Sunday, March 26, 2006

Far Out Dude

~ From Capital Hill Blues ~

Is Bush flipping out?
March 25, 2006 08:06 AM / Bush Leagues

We hear more and more White House chatter about increasing Presidential temper tantrums – reports of an out-of-control President George W. Bush losing it with close aides and even during incidental contacts with lower-level West Wing staff.

This is unconfirmed. Our usual sources aren’t talking and those who contact us are ones whose information has not always checked out in the past but if the Department of Homeland Security can raise terror alert levels on unconfirmed chatter, we can sound the alarm bell on reports that the Prez may be losing it

We first reported on Bush’s erratic behavior and temper tantrums on June 4, 2004. As usual the mainstreamer ignored it until Newsweek reported the same thing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Other reports said Bush, angry over war protests, went into a mad tirade against “traitors and Commies.”

Now others are chronicling the President’s history of temper tantrums. But new reports say the outbursts occur more frequently and Bush then retreats into a deep depression. In 2004, we reported Bush was taking anti-depressants. He may need to go back on them.

All of this suggests disturbing behavior in the man who can order a nuclear strike on another nation. It also explains how the man can authorize illegal spying on Americans by the National Security Agency and then brag about it to the public.
© Copyright 2006 by Capitol Hill Blue

The Chicks are Coming Back

On May 23 my favorite group will finally release their next CD. Not since Natalie Maines voiced her personal opinion of Dubya at a London concert in '03 have they produced a new album. Harassed, threatened, banned from radio... and yet, she was right all along. Freedom of speech indeed.

I will buy this album because I love their music. Their voices and writing abilities combine into something wonderful and unique. Having just visited their website and read the lyric to their first single release from this venture, I hope that others who havn't been fans in the past might join me to make a statement to the current administration that personal opinion can't be silenced.

Go there and have a listen...
Dixie Chicks

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

I’m through with doubt
There’s nothing left for me to figure out
I’ve paid a price
And I’ll keep paying

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I know you said
Can’t you just get over it
It turned my whole world around
And I kind of like it

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

Last but not least

Two final photos from NYC.
We never did get a shot of the three of us together but here's one of Kim and Erin at the library...
... and one of me with Erin.

(click on photo for a larger view)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Back from NYC

To be continued!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Mothers and Daughters

I am posting this today because I'm off on a long weekend getaway with my two daughters. Just us girls!

My oldest daughter's husband is treating us to a trip to New York City. He is an absolute doll for doing this for us! Mrs. H (the teacher) and I leave from Tampa about 8:30 and arrive JFK around 11. Mrs. McD gets in from Salt Lake City about thirty minutes later and the adventure is on!

Soho shopping tour tomorrow... Odd Couple matinee Sunday then Tavern on the Green for dinner... Monday shopping, shopping, shopping and dinner at a culinary school where a friend of Mrs. H attends. All courtesy of Mr. McD. It's been a few years since just the three of us have spent quality fun time together, so this should be great fun!

I am blessed to have such wonderful children. Both my girls married extremely kind, thoughtful, sharp, ambitious young men. And sisters are a special breed. My sister and I live hundreds of miles apart but are still closer to each-other than anyone else.

My pictures today are of my mother, sister and me.... the first around 1972 and the second on our cruise in February. See you when we return with pics of the girls and me!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Gay-Straight Alliance

If you have time, please read this article by Rodney Thrash. It is about the Gay-Straight Alliance organizations at two Tampa area high schools. I have been familiar with GSA for a few years now. You see, my youngest daughter is a teacher at this very high school in Brandon and the club's faculty sponsor. The second school mentioned is Newsome High, my son in law teaches there and is the faculty sponsor for their club.

I am quite proud of my kids for taking this on. Mrs. H. has been the Brandon sponsor since it's inception. Mr. H just this school year as they are just getting started. The news media has hounded them for comments. The parents who are "concerned" have yet to attend a meeting or inquire as to the nature of the meetings and discussions. Some think they are "teaching" the kids how to "be gay." Others are afraid their kids will "catch" gay. Still others believe their children are getting sex education information. Why won't people open their minds before they go protesting? Nevermind, I already know the answer to that.

Good for Michael for his stand. I'm proud of him too!
Michael's Agenda

Fight On Hudson High!

This would be the fall of 1967... I was a cheerleader for the Varsity Soccer Team. Not quite good enough for Football/Basketball but a cheerleader nonetheless and loved every minute of it. (That's me in the front with my mouth open. Remember, I have a big loud mouth.)

My parents thought I was "chubby" so, naturally I thought so too. My clothes were size 9 then. I'd give a kidney if I could be that size now! ::sigh::

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Episode#: PA1A08
Copyright © 2003 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved
I LOVE Paula Deen! Her show always entertains and she is adorable. This is my favorite recipe of hers.... but, I have a variation. Instead of the top layer of cookies, I use shaved chocolate. Yum!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"The Value of George Orwell"

The Value of George Orwell

by Charley Reese

George Orwell remains a valuable writer, though he died in 1950. He was a man who was an active participant in his times, and since the new century appears to be going down the same road as the last one, we can still learn from him.

His essay "Politics and the English Language" ought to be read by every journalist and by everyone who reads journalists or listens to the babble on television.

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity," he wrote. "When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.

"In our age, there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia," Orwell wrote. Earlier in the essay he had said, "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible."

Our time and his time remain the same. We invade a sovereign nation based on lies, destroy its infrastructure, depose its government and kill 30,000 of its people, and we call that "spreading democracy" or "defending freedom."

The phrase "war on terror" is a phony metaphor. We are not at war. Ninety-nine and 99/100ths percent of the American people are living the same way they've always lived. We have troops in Afghanistan and Iraq fighting an insurrection that our invasions of those countries caused. They are at war – a war of their own country's making – but the rest of us are not. Waving a flag or putting a bumper sticker on one's car cannot be called a war effort.

The "war" is being relegated to the inside pages, and it's a safe bet that no matter what happens in Baghdad, the Academy Awards will receive more coverage and notice than the war. In our nutty society, the choice of a comedian to emcee a Hollywood trade show is considered big, national news.

What distinguishes us from other animals is language, and when we use language not to communicate truth as best we can determine it, but to deceive, mislead, obfuscate and obscure the facts, then we are committing the ultimate sin against humanity. We are playing a dangerous game with our own sanity.

Our own journalists sanitize even their skimpy coverage of the war. The American people must not be allowed to see the real face of war, lest they withdraw their support. The real face of war, of course, is broken bodies, blood, splattered brains and innards, horrible burns and other mutilations. There are no pleasant aspects of war. So, Americans are allowed to see soldiers giving candy to children, and occasionally an explosion on the horizon or the wreckage after the bodies have been removed.

In the meantime, the president and his folks blather on in carefully chosen euphemisms and newspeak just as if they were characters in an Orwell novel. At least the American people are at last beginning to catch on, and Bush's approval rating is 34 percent and his vice president's rating is 18 percent. That speaks well of the American people. They do trust their politicians, though that trust is often abused, but eventually they begin to check actions against words, facts against claims. Once they realized they've been bamboozled, then all the fancy words and euphemisms in the world won't restore their trust.

Bush has been in trouble in Iraq and Europe and Asia, and now he appears to be in trouble at home. He has three more years, so it would be a great help if this year one or both of the houses of Congress shifted to Democratic control. That would restore the checks and balances so necessary to preserve liberty, not that Democrats are any prize. That doesn't matter. The genius of our Founding Fathers is that they realized that as long as government fights itself, the liberty of the people is safe.

March 6, 2006
Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years.
© 2006 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Charley Reese Archives

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Theater

In 1967 I was a senior in high school. Miss Center, our select choir pianist, was also music director for the local village community players who were planning a production of The Music Man for the spring of '68. A professional director was hired, scripts & scores ordered, members of the Cleveland orchestra were going to provide extra musicians, and try outs were scheduled for just after Thanksgiving. Mrs. Center asked if choir members would consider trying out for parts and as extras. I was psyched but when I asked my parents, they said no. I was already involved in too many other extra curricular activities. Dash it all.

A few days later Mrs. Center asked if I'd see her after choir practice. Would I please consider being an extra in the play as part of the chorus. "You have excellent projection in your voice dear and can be heard throughout the auditorium." Translation, you have a big, loud mouth! Armed with a personal invitation, I again approached my parents. Since the chorus didn't have as many rehearsals, at least in the beginning, they gave me permission. (Hurray!!!)

At the first chorus rehearsal, I was assigned a few solo lines in various songs. Several in "Wells Fargo Wagon" ... "OR A DOUBLE BOILER!" was one of them. Remember, I can be heard in the back row without a mike. The music learned, we started practicing with the cast. One night the actress for the Zaneeta Shinn character didn't show up. She's the mayor's oldest daughter, doncha know? "Connie Jane would you mind reading the lines for Zaneeta?", the director asked. I had seen the movie version of the play and thought this character quite a hoot. I agreed and when I came to the part where she says, "YE GODS!" I really let them have it. Everyone laughed and so I preformed it the same way every time and really got into the characters attitude.

Once again, Mrs. Center asked me to stay after. "The director has asked me to approach you and offer you the part of Zaneeta Shinn. We thought you were fabulous and would love to see you take it on." My mind raced... are you shitting me?... OMG! ...Flattered... YA THINK? I practiced the spiel for my parents all the way home. PLEEEEEESE, I begged. Cheerleading is over, I'll keep up with my homework... HONEST! They finally got tired of the pleading and gave their consent.

It was a lot of work and many hours of rehearsals but well worth it. I knew every line, every dance step, every song, every stage blocking, every move the scenery made, every lighting affect. I learned so very much and loved every moment of it. All of our performances were sold out and a big success. We were asked to extend our run but the lead actors didn't want to. Go out while you're on top I guess. It was a wonderful experience and I wish I had done more of it.

This photo I scanned from our yearbook, Mrs. Center giving me some acting pointers. Sometimes it pays to have a big, loud mouth.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Lemon Drops

fresh lemons, cut in wedges
(3/4 oz of bottled lemon juice can be substituted)
2 oz vodka
1 oz triple sec
fine granulated sugar

run a lemon wedge over the rim of a martini glass and dip into fine sugar to coat the rim

in a cocktail shaker...
muddle 1/4 lemon (enough to equal 3/4 oz fresh juice) with 1 teaspoon of fine sugar.add...
vodka, triple sec, and ice

shake to mix and dissolve sugar
pour into the martini glass
garnish with a lemon slice