Wednesday, July 22, 2009


We're crazily heading out on an international trip this evening, baby and all her equipment in tow. Should be fun, unpredictable, interesting. Will see old friends, introduce Speck to new accents and odd foods, master driving country roads on the wrong side... Meantime, I leave you a little babycake to tide you through my absence.

What next?!

Let's just tighten this up a bit

Am quite impressed by Vanity Fair's proffered edit of Palin's resignation speech -- not for the snark value, but to see what a difference in impression would be made if somebody who cared about words got to polish her speeches, even maintaining her intent. Actually, am most wowed by the edits in green, representing factual corrections by the research department -- Lincoln, Johnson, no biggie!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sorry kid

One look at this picture is enough to convince me that Speck will never be allowed to drive. Or at least, not until she's 25. Oy!

(via a BagNewsNotes tweet)

Poem of the day


Our stories lie down in the orchard,
their time is not now, but something is
coming, something is going away. They

rise to the stars, and wait to be told.
There are listeners who know how littlebent grass blades
we know, how much we are feeling.

We had to go our own way, a little off course,
always, no matter how specific the directions
seemed at the time. In this universe if we're lucky,

we will live in our children's stories,
their tales that will turn us to legend,
some absurd truth that has nothing to do

with our plans, our meticulous records.
No matter what stories we discard or keep,
they will give us a life we cannot imagine.
- Jeanne Lohmann
The Light of Invisible Bodies
Beyond the Fields We Know
(via whiskey river)

Our "post-racial" society

It reminds me a lot of our "post-feminist" era -- that is, complete crap. Just ask prominent Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who appears to have been arrested for Getting Your Key Stuck While Black (and then being offended by the fact that police were called). I'm guessing that the black businessmen who got stopped every day going across the bridge from St. Louis to East St. Louis because their cars were too nice (charge: Driving Nice Car While Black) back when I lived there are just feeling the post-profiling love today too! It's a whole new world, man!


(via a Medley tweet)

One and done

We're just old and feeble, so the thought of doing the newborn thing again is almost inconceivable, let alone doing it with an energetic and attention-desirous toddler in the house. Anyway, in tribute to That Which Shall Not Be Done, I enjoyed this description from Dooce of her current household's level of functioning (with newborn and preschooler):
I mean, we've sort of got a rhythm going, one where the drummer and guitarist are playing two different songs, and the lead singer is just making up words as it goes along, and the sound is just awful but we're calling it "art."
Ah yes, that sounds very familiar . . . (am also reminded a bit of this Calvin & Hobbes cartoon)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Man, that really wrecked my morning

sorrowYou just gotta feel good when your country tortures children in order to further pressure their parents (to, um, confess anything we say). I want not to think about it, but as a nation we just can't afford to give in to that instinct.

Friday, July 17, 2009

X steps forward, Y steps back...

Healthcare, and whether we can get anything done... (well, and/or quickly)
  • A bunch of centrists putzes in the Senate explictly want healthcare reform to move more slowly. Because what's a few dead poor folks against getting some more spotlight/pork? grrrrr....

  • Meanwhile, Obama perhaps brings some of that heat to the issue, claiming that a desire to delay is a defense of the status quo... More please!

Great minds

Enjoyed this little clip (mostly). Can we get that first guy into some kind of important role? And, um, can we get that last guy off the *&%#! TV?!?!?

(via Talking Points Memo)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Morning thoughts

Am almost entirely skipping coverage of the Sotomayor hearings. I guess it's in part because it's pretty clear that she's going to be confirmed -- making all of this pure kibuki -- and also because, while extremely qualified and rumoredly sympatico with Obama, Sotomayor is also pretty moderate as possible nominees go. So I'm not that invested in getting every glimpse of her in action or leaning in for applause lines.

colorful thoughtsThis also brings me back to the thought that Obama really needs to light a fire under the healthcare reform business. Too many of his moves so far have been tailored to avoid spending much (or any) of his political capital and popularity -- thus the avoidance of action on gay issues, the careful selection of a noncontroversial Court nominee, and many other delicate maneouvers -- so that it could all be available on this one critical issue. He needs to weigh in in no uncertain terms so that (a) it has a chance of getting done before the August recess (and the chance of everything backsliding with a view towards fall elections) and (b) he can gear up the rest of his game on other fronts. I realize that he's working under the dual burdens of (1) a struggling economy that probably needs more stimulus before it will turn around and (2) the selective lens of the media, which is much more interested in Michael Jackson (or insert the issue/celeb of the day) than in whatever speeches Obama may be making to generate momentum on healthcare, but that's just how it is. There are a lot of sharp minds in the White House; they should be able to energize this more completely. Get moving!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Light a fire...

Robert Reich argues that healthcare reformers need to hurry, or the momentum and will behind the effort will yield to election fears and other pressures. Eep!

So much hatred, so few outlets

I gotta say, the right wing is a really creepy place these days. There are "journalists" and bloggers fretting over what an Obama daughter is wearing (or perhaps her hairstyle), and now a soldier who contests his deployment to Iraq on the basis that Obama wasn't born in the US and thus isn't a legitimate Commander in Chief. Or something -- who really wants to know what's in these people's minds?!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quote of the day

There is no greater gift to an insecure leader that quite matches a vague enemy who can be used to whip up fear and hatred among the population.
- Paul Rusesabagina,
humanitarian (b. 1954)
(via A.W.A.D.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday baby faces

Three moods of Speck, from recent days (meaning 16+ months)...

grin (dad_baby2)
Giggling grin

cracker, dawg!
Givin' some attitude (it's my *cracker*, dawg!)

Off-line stare...

Have a good weekend, all!

Twitter quote of the day

From Hunter, as usual...
Breaking: John Ensign, Mark Sanford resigning to spend more time with other people's families.

What goes around...

forehead smackThe U.S. is holding up some anti-drug payments to Mexico because they're torturing suspects. Needless to say, the Mexicans find this standard a bit hypocritical . . . Imagine.


Oh yay!

Nothing chippers my Friday morning like gloomy economic forecasts!
This economy can't get back on track because the track we were on for years -- featuring flat or declining median wages, mounting consumer debt, and widening insecurity, not to mention increasing carbon in the atmosphere -- simply cannot be sustained.
That sounds right, but it also sounds like the best place to keep your money secure may be under the mattress after all. Grim times.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A few things that need blogging

Ah, the pressure of unblogged tabs. If you're lucky, they sometimes cohere. Other times, they just need attention! So here are some worthwhile things:
  • stethoscopeAt last some good news on health care reform, not least that Obama himself says that a public option must be created.

  • Speaking of healthcare, here are two examples of how our current system misfunctions, one over a small expense, and the other showing how you may have to lose your job and your solvancy before you can get your needs attended to. (And can I just point out the ludicrosity of that latter example? Man, this system is broken!!)

  • On a different note, a dKos diarist looks at two recent news stories that remind us of how unions can save lives if they can get some workplace safety concerns addressed.

  • And, unrelated to all of the above, a neat visual that draws on history to help catalyze (and recognize) ongoing societal change.
    (via Bitch, Ph.D.)

  • Finally, just for the snark: a very clever hacked transit sign that rags on my local transit agency for all of the least desirable experiences it offers to its riders. hilarious!
    (via Albert)
Happy hump-day, all!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I want it!

This cool concept phone. Yes, I'd gladly have something that acts only as a phone, if it could be that small (and thus disappear into my pants pockets). I already have a camera, and nobody that I need to call on short notice could be relied upon to receive text, so make this thing already!!

Monday, July 06, 2009

A second opinion

Apparently the updated Senate plans for health reform are much more reasonable in terms of cost than the initial estimates (based on incomplete plans). Perhaps this will dissipate some of the panic that has been driving so many legislators to flee this very popular and desperately needed effort. Here's hoping!

(via Atrios)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

In honor of my previous post

Speck spends a little floor time with Dad -- here they've been looking at photos on her camera, but clearly there were blocks, puzzles, and other fun just before this...

camera-lap-time (with colorful outfit!)
(Also note the armload of critter pals)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A father is a parent

The subject line of this post seems like a truism, and yet in our society, dads who spend substantial time with their children, while increasingly common (at least in my generation and younger), are still treated as a bit of an amusing anomaly. This does a disservice to all involved.
Scour the parenting forums on the Internet and you’ll find the common lament that "DH" (darling husband) expects a medal whenever he "babysits" junior for a few hours. I have little sympathy for DH in these cases, but maybe a step in the right direction would be to stop using language that suggests hired help — to stop referring to DH's job in the same terms as somebody who could legitimately stick his hand out at the end of his shift and demand a tip. DH isn’t babysitting, he’s parenting, and just changing that one word changes, for me at least, all sorts of connotations.
Indeed. Dads shouldn't feel like oddballs at baby/parent classes, whether it's yoga or music or just supervised play, and they shouldn't need handholding or head-pats to get through a day. Parenting works best as a team sport, and men's participation, and the acceptance of same, will increase when they're treated as regular teammates, not subs.

(via kottke)