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Of Politics, Sports and Sex

OK, so there won't be a LOT on here about sex, but tell the truth, that's most of the reason you entered this site, right? So, I'll slip some things in from time to time just to keep you coming...back.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

I protest those who protest the protestors!

Interesting to me that where we had all feared the Occupy Wall Street protestors might turn violent at some point and lose any support they may have generated from all walks of life and corners of the world, it was in fact, the Oakland Police who lost control of themselves first.

(Yes, 7, not 17 or even 37.)

With the occasional entry to this blog as an example, I like to think I sometimes look at things differently from the way they are usually seen. But if that is so, I also need to accept/admit that I am way slower to reach some other conclusions, or accept common wisdom that everyone else learned and understood when they were, like, 7.

I always thought I knew what folks meant by Don't judge a book by its cover. Or at least, I guess I just used a narrow definition of it that had more to do with blacks or minorities in general, which in retrospect, seems kind of racist or maybe just condescending or patronizing on my part in a small way: Yes, yes, they are just like me! I like to think THAT is common widom now, tho that's probably naive.

But at some point, I wish I could remember the exact moment, in the past few weeks, I realized it also includes fat, nerdy, ugly, lopsided people of all random coverings. I realized I'd be much more drawn, for instance, to a person at a party who I found attractive or who had some sort of seeming gravitas. Or I'd look at someone on the street who would generally be affixed the technical term of Loser, and immediately discount anything they might have to add to my general wherewithal or understanding of the world.

Also in retrospect, I'd like to apologize to all those losers...equally interesting people. In the end, I wonder if I've hurt the people I treated so brusquely or myself more, not just from a karma standpoint, but on all the knowledge and insight I've missed and avoided absorbing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Well, an old-style cartoon, not The Simpsons so much

Remember the opening to the Wonderful World of Disney, when Tinkerbell would come out and use her little wand to splash beautiful colors all over the sky? No? Well this is the closest online image I could find, taking the risk that Disney lawyers won't hunt me down to sue me for unlawful use of a copyright (Unintended consequence - it might just double or triple my readership!):


Anyway, that is what it felt like driving down rte 282 from up near Glenmoore and Lyndell down to Downingtown this morning. It feels like every corner I rounded (come to think of it, how can one "round a corner"?!), there was a new splash of incredible colors. I felt like I was in a cartoon practically.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oh, and any Monkees album obviously

I hate to jump late onto a bandwagon after everyone else has already discovered a new person or TV show or movie. I also have been proud and somewhat snobbish never to fall in love with the Josh Groban types - who sound really good but have no real edge to them. Sort of like an artist who is technically perfect at painting a scene so that it practically looks like a photograph, but has no feel to it, no soul, no creative interpretation.

So, if only for those two reasons, i'm embarrassed to admit that I have yet to hear Adele sing a song that I don't really want to hear all the way through. That girl can sing.

And the previous times someone new or perhaps I should say someone current has come out with an album I've felt similarly about were:
Eminen - The Real Slim Shady album
Pink - M!ssundaztood
and especially Green Day's American Idiot.

And in each case, they went on to win Album of the Year.

So, thinking about that, I went on to pck my top albums of all time, not in order:

American Idiot - Green Day
Born to Run - Buh-ruuuce
Deja Vu - CSNY
Any Beatles album pretty much, but if I had to choose one, it'd be Let It Be, since I bought it for like .50 in college and played it over and over and over

Some are just barely not on the list, including only a few that come immediately to mind, like Mizundaztood, Good Vibrations, and a bunch of soundtracks:
- Oh Brother Whereartthou
- West Side Story
- American Graffiti

I'll bet her dress is pretty though

Cheryl gets a kick out of my appreciation and borderline attraction to women of an advanced age, who don't smother themselves in bright red lipstick and big ovals of rouge on their cheeks and who dye their hair colors not normally even found in a crayola box.  I think it probably stems from my upbringing and being surrounded by Quaker women, for whom there is no shame in letting their hair go gray and leaving their house, or even their bathrooms in the morning, without caking on the makeup.

I don't even understand what it is these doyennes are trying to accomplish. Are they trying to look young? The whole recapture the beauty of their youth sorta deal? Or do they just think that is a good look?

I was reminded of this whole subject by this recent story in Huffington Post:

"The beauty of being 90 is that you stop caring -- what people think about you, who you might offend, how crazy your clothes look.

Which is why Iris Apfel, the lovable nonagenarian doyenne with the oversized spectacles and the priceless bon mots, is totally worth listening to. The "geriatric starlet" spoke to the Telegraph and had some choice words about the current state of fashion:


"Now when I walk down Fifth Avenue in the summertime I just want to throw up. It seems that the fatter and uglier people are, the fewer clothes they wear. The shorts and flip-flops and tight jeans on butts that go from here to Poughkeepsie."


The feisty fashionista added:


"I always say they should put people in jail for wearing clothes like that. Especially stretch jeans over size 10 -- they should be outlawed. Ten years ago people were starting to look like slobs in New York, now it's an epidemic."


We'd say that Apfel is being unusually harsh, but she has been around to see a bad trend or two. And these days there are some particularly bad ones, she says, on the red carpet:
"At the Golden Globes and Oscars they all look alike - it seems like they're all wearing the same nightgown and this year nobody had any jewellery at all. Only Helen Mirren was wearing a beautiful necklace, but even she got it wrong because the necklace just ruined the dress. I think the designer must have wanted to kill himself when he saw her."

OK. So that's fine. An older woman with a sense of style and a strong opinion. All good so far...until we see a recent photo:
 
 
Ach!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Not sure I could handle the heels though

Who needs Paris to set fashion trends? I vote we let Christina Aguilera decide for all of us:

(click to enlarge, tho judging the size of her thighs...oh never mind)

And although I don't have a picture to prove it, there was a young West Chester University Co-ed walking through town this afternoon, who was wearing a pair of what - tights? something incredibly thin and skintight, that revealed pretty much every little curve, bend, and crevice of her very attractive lower-half as she walked into the Student Housing office on High Street, and I would just like to personally thank her for that, I mean, here, not face-to-face, dear!

The headline we've been waiting to see for 10 long years

'AMERICA'S WAR IN IRAQ WILL BE OVER'


Obama Announces Iraq Troops Will Be Withdrawn By End Of This Year

Thank you, Mr. President.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Now" is my favorite time of year.

As much I love snow, and I do, and am consistently overwhelmed by the wonder of it all, I finally realized today on my drive into work that I am even more awed by the fall colors.

It made me think of fireworks and how this season is kind of like the grand finale of a fireworks show, after its starts slowly in spring, is consistently beautiful through the summer, before it goes really nuts in the fall. Then the metaphorical white (ashes?) falls back to earth through dead of winter.

Anyway, it all sure is beautiful.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

There was an old woman who lived in the media spotlight...

I don't know why it took me so long to figure out why Michelle Bachmann is so batshit crazy, when she includes the answer pretty much every time she answers a question in these uproarious "debates" the Rs have been having, and when it's right here in her wiki bio:

"Bachmann and her husband have five children...(and) Bachmann and her husband have also provided foster care for 23 other children, all teenage girls."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's enough to make me almost want an IPod. Almost.

I have my car radio preset to 7 different music stations, 8 if you include the jazz/classical WRTI, and it's amazing how often I flip from station to station looking for one song I want to listen to.

I propose a national law that local stations in each market agree in advance that one will be playing a Beatles song at any given time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Taking the risk of cutting my readership by 50% in one fell post

Huffington Post articles I can only wish I had more time to read:

Sharon Osbourne's Style Evolution

If it upsets you that I didn't provide the link, please don't ever come to this site again.

And they're 1-4 now, so we're probably good for at least another year

Having just completed our 31st (We had our first one in 1980, then skipped a year and have had one every year since) annual Friends Fall Festival at Downingtown Friends Meeting this past Sunday, it seems as good a time as any to post this, even though what I wrote has very little to do with the festival, except that this first appeared in the Festival Almanac, which is no longer published.

The FFF Coordinator, Bob Santangelo, dug it out, asked for my permission and posted it to the Meeting's website: http://downingtownfriendsmeeting.org/home.htm , but here it is if you don't want to link there:

Thoughts During Meeting



by Jamie McVickar


People sometimes ask me what I think about while sitting in a Quaker Meeting for Worship where there is no pastor to guide us in our thoughts and prayers. Depending on who is asking and what depth of answer I think they are expecting, I usually answer either by detailing the Quaker philosophy or by telling them that I simply think about whatever comes to mind. Those thoughts may range anywhere from trying to figure out the best batting order for the co-ed softball team I coach to thinking about how to change my attitude towards someone at work that I'm havinga particularly hard time getting along with.


One example of my process in Meeting for Worship is a good example of how one can go back and forth between spiritual and practical while drawing particularly from the people in meeting.


One cold Sunday morning in early December, I found my mind wandering from subject to subject, not really settling on any one topic when the woman sitting directly in front of me stood up to speak. She spoke of a recent computer conference in New York City she had attended. The seminar leader spent the final day of the week long conference detailing the role of computers in the nuclear arms race. The leader concluded the seminar by illustrating the likelihood of some sort of computer error unintentionally setting off a nuclear disaster. The odds of this happening, in our lifetime, the leader claimed, is roughly equivalent to the chances of our favorite foot-ball team winning the Super Bowl.
 Having thus finished sharing her message, the woman sat down. Just then, two rows in front of her, a young child no more than one or two years old awoke from a nap in his mother's lap and began crying. Summoning all the spirituality in me, I saw this as a symbolic message from God showing us that we must do all we can to fight such an unfortunate possibility because of our children and the future they would not have a chance to experience. I began to think of the nuclear arms race and wars in general and what I might do to prevent them. I thought of writing my Congressmen and starting petitions and joining no-nuke groups. As my commitment grew, so did the intensity of the wailing of the child who had set me off on this activist tangent. Finally the mother decided the child was being too disruptive to the Meeting's silence and picked him up to carry him out. It was then that I realized that the green shirt the child was wearing was a Philadelphia Eagles T-shirt. Reflecting back to the message, I reconsidered God's symbolism and decided perhaps we aren't in as much danger as I had originally thought. The Eagles lost that afternoon 33-14.

I'm sure I thought that quite clever when I originally wrote it, but when Bob sent it back to me last year, many years after I'd originally written it, I didn't understand it all until i read it a second time. And then I thought, how facile, yet clever.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yet to be seen is whether they also lead the majors in 2011 playoff wins, which is all I really care about

It isn't so much that this is surprisingly, or necessarily even all that interesting. (Not that that has been a criterion for maybe 90% of my posts.) But I want this here so in years ahead and I can look back on it and shake my head in amazement:

From fangraphs.com:

By nearly every measure, the Phillies’ starting rotation dominated the majors in 2011: lowest ERA (2.86), lowest FIP (2.98), highest percentage of first pitch strikes (63.5), highest K/9 (7.88); highest K/BB (4.22), lowest WHIP (1.11), most complete games (18), most shut outs (7), and highest WAR (25.8).

On the other hand, Hedge Fund managers and Big Oil execs Are fully behind them

From the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll:


Barack Obama has jumped to a 15-point lead over the Republicans in Congress in trust to handle job creation, a sign the beleaguered president’s $450 billion jobs package has hit its mark in public opinion.
 
Before proposing the American Jobs Act, Obama and Republicans were trusted equally on job creation—an even split of 40% each. Now the numbers are 49%-34%, so not only has Obama gained, but Republicans have lost.
In addition to majority support for his jobs plan (52% to 36%), the poll showed nearly three-fifths of Americans think Obama's jobs plan will create jobs (58% to 39%).

This is so unfair. The Rs haven't even proposed anything to address job creation, so how can they be judged on it. I mean they've only had power in the House for a year now and there are so many millionnaires to protect before they get to silly things that help the middle- and working-class.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And now, this message from the American Friends Service Committee

As an organization devoted to nonviolence and social justice, the American Friends Service Committee is encouraged by the recent wave of nonviolent actions that have swept from Wall Street across the country highlighting economic inequities.
At this point, no one knows whether this wave of actions will continue and give birth to a larger movement. But, in the meantime, we encourage those AFSC staff members and volunteers who have the interest and ability to participate, provided that the actions are nonviolent, that they target issues rather than specific individuals, and that they lift up the dignity of all individuals. We also encourage staff members to help others see connections between economic injustices, militarism, and a punishment-oriented justice system.

We also encourage staff members and volunteers so engaged to explore whether there are unmet needs or roles the AFSC can play to broaden and deepen the impact of these actions in ways consistent with the values and goals of the organization. Such roles may include provision of material assistance, faithful observers, nonviolence training, and meeting places.

And you do NOT want to see my skin crawling anywhere!

I have to admit being both relieved and disappointed that Chris Christie has once and for all declared that he isn't entering the Presidential race for 2012.

I'm relieved because I think he might have smoked President Obama next November. I'm disappointed because, well, brace yourself...even I have to admit I kind of like the guy.

But the biggest reason I'm disappointed is that all the current Republican candidates just scare me, that they might win and actually implement some of the outrageous policies they have proferred. Mitt Romney is the only one whose policies aren't so much scary, at least not in the Rick "I will send troops into Mexico to fight the drug war" Perry does, but the thought of having to listen to him for the next 4 years makes my skin crawl.