I’m so pissed about what the Clinton campaign is doing to our country’s chance to break from all the crap of the last eight (sixteen?) years, that it is starting to creep into my everyday life. I was listening to some music on iTunes today, and before I realized what I was doing, I had downgraded Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop from four stars to three stars. Man, I used to like Bill Clinton.
I confess. I like Ashley Judd. I will watch just about anything she’s in, even though I know it is likely not good. I have sat through any number of bad Ashley Judd movies. And yet, I keep going back. Just today I watched Twisted over lunch, on TiVo-triple-fast-forward. You know a movie is bad when you don’t miss any plot points at 60x speed. And the title? No idea what it means. Maybe I missed that. Note to younger generations: you may empathize by replacing the above mentions of “Ashley Judd” with “Natalie Portman.” And by watching them on film together, of course.
Ripping (and listening to) some of my Styx albums the other day, I decided it was time for a Styx tribute album. If only there weren’t already some Styx tribute albums. ((2002’s Tribute to Styx, 2003’s Too Much Time on Our Hands, and 2006’s The World’s Greatest Tribute to Styx.))
Not to mention, Styx themselves, still soldiering on after all these years. ((An interview with Styx in 2004, from the homefront here in Lawrence))
Thinking of Valentine’s Day, I remembered this billboard I saw a number of years ago in Omaha. It’s for a jewelry store in town, the world-famous Borsheim’s, and it’s the first jewelry ad I’ve seen that I find at all compelling. The imagery is greeting card trite, but the tag line, “Of this you are sure,” is a relationship, a life leading to love, the uncertainty of everything else, all condensed into a nutshell of wisdom.
Last week, somebody found this site by searching for Tiffany Novo. Sure, it’s beautiful, engaging, smart, and pretty much priceless, but it can’t hold a candle to the real thing ((My wife, Tiffany, whose last name isn’t actually Novo)).
I’m the luckiest man I know, and I’d like to wish the love of my life a happy Valentine’s Day.
So, when I restarted this blog, a while back, I posted an entry about who I was, and for that entry I came up with a list of my favorite books. Only two of them made it into the entry, and I just came across the full list while cleaning off my desk. So here, for the edification of the Internets, is a list of my favorite books.
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Still a delightful book, still puts me in stitches, still compels me to read it out loud to anyone who doesn’t get away fast enough.
- Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. Bittersweet, but compellingly lovely. It’s like the best you could hope for out of a real life laced with tragedy and beauty.
- Watership Down by Richard Adams. Very human rabbits struggling with life and death decisions. It is one of very few books I re-read every so often.
- Juno & Juliet by Julian Gough. I fell in love with these girls, I think.
- The Double Helix by James Watson. Sure, Watson is an ass, and Rosalind got screwed, it’s true, but this account of science being done fascinated me when I was a teenager, and started me down the wrong road to a life in science (a mistake that was corrected by my advisor in college).
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I reviewed this book for my high school AP English class (the year’s theme was “Hell”) and loved it. I understand it might be his most accessible work, but there’s no shame in that, right? Don’t forget the Cliffs Notes.
- A Zoo in My Luggage by Gerald Durrell. This book, and several of the other books Durrell wrote about his life as a naturalist, were pivotal in my interest in animals. You note my comment about a career in science above, well these books are what made me focus on animal behavior as that scientific pursuit. Alas. But still delightful books.
- City of Baraboo by Barry Longyear. Ostensibly a sci-fi book about a circus in space, this is a delightful, well-researched book about how a circus operates, full of nostalgia and wonder. The format is a little weird, kind of like a bunch of short stories, and I gather there are two more books in the “series,” but this is the only one I have read.
- Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. This is the source materiel for all the stories you know better, like T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, and Mary Stewart’s books. It can be a bit plodding, but the stories are all there, including my favorite, the story of Arthur’s death and the return of Excalibur to the lake. You’ll want Volume 2, as well.
- Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. You’ll have heard of the Disney movie, The Black Cauldron, but these books are so much more. Based in Welsh mythology (hence the similarities to Tolkien), these are pre-teen, or teen fantasy novels about a boy’s rise on the strength of prophecy to save the world. These were the first (and still only) books that could reliably make me cry. Five books, all well worth it.
I like baseball, though I don’t follow it like I used to. I watch the occasional game, but mostly I watch the ALCS and the World Series. I am as disappointed as the next guy about the steroids scandal, and am curious about the outcome, now that Congress is involved. But I am struck by one salient thing, seeing Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte on TV in the halls of Congress: these guys are huge! They both tower over their entourage of lawyers, often by at least a head or more. You don’t really notice, watching them in a game, but Clemens is 6′4″, and Pettitte is 6′5″. Did they play basketball as youths? Add to that the 10 inches of the pitcher’s mound, and they must have a commanding view during games. Is there an advantage to being a tall pitcher? Anyone know?
Okay, the last I have to say on the topic of politics for a while. It is pretty clear from all the polling that women are voting for Hillary in large numbers, and African-Americans are voting for Obama in large numbers. The Press has mostly discussed this in the context of men not voting for Hillary, and whites not voting for Obama, but the flip side is more important to me.
Voting for Hillary because she’s a woman is a stupid way to pick a President. The same is true of voting for Obama because he’s black. I understand that it has been a long time coming, and that either one is likely to be the best chance in a generation for a woman/African-American to ascend to the highest office. But you can’t vote with your heart when you’re choosing the leader of the free world. ((Though that title may be in doubt nowadays, thanks to W.))
As a white man, I know I don’t have much footing here, except to say that I would clearly vote for either of them over the white man in the race (McCain), but not based on race or gender. Nor, truth be told, on the issues. Obama and Clinton are very close on most points, close enough that the differences aren’t important to me. Rather, I voted for them based on what kind of President I think they will be, and whether they can beat the white guy in November.
It doesn’t matter to me if my President is white, black, male or female. And it really shouldn’t matter to you.
I’m sure there have been others, but this is the first poll pitting Obama or Clinton vs. John McCain for all the marbles since Super Tuesday (though it must be noted that it was gathered before Super Tuesday).
Time Magazine’s poll shows Clinton vs. McCain tied at 48%, while Obama beats McCain 48% to 42%.
Don’t trust the polls, etc., but I am interested to see what the sure-to-be-coming slew of similar polls predicts in the next few weeks.
I’m not going to say I told you so, yet.
Since the amicable California debate, there have been suggestions floating about that an Obama-Clinton, or a Clinton-Obama ticket would be a dream for the Democrats. I don’t believe it for a second. First, it won’t happen, unless it is forced on them by Dean and the DNC. I can imagine no more dysfunctional White House than one with Hillary and all her baggage (including Bill) in the VP’s suite.
But I do have a dream ticket in mind. What about Obama pairing up with Kathleen Sebelius, the current Governor of Kansas? She’s a re-elected Democrat in a very Republican state, she’s a woman, she’s smart, and she just raised her profile with the Democratic Response to the State of the Union (though she looked a bit terrified). That’s a ticket that could win in November, even against a McCain-Lieberman (the collective Dem nightmare, imho) Republican slate.
I continue to believe, with all my being, that Hillary can’t win in November because of the poisonous feelings she brings out in even rank-and-file conservatives. Want to re-energize the Evangelicals after Huck’s fade? Nominate Hillary! Want to bring the NRA out to vote after Thompson crashed? Nominate Hillary! Want to drive the heavily Democratic youth vote back to their TVs? Nominate Hillary.
In fact, here’s the advice I’d give Barack Obama. Losing is not an option, and you should never accept Hillary as your VP. To win the nomination and not be forced to compromise your vision, you should choose Kathleen Sebelius as your running mate now. Today. Show the women voters out there that they don’t have to choose Hillary to support women, that there are other (better) women out there fighting the good fight.
What do you think?