Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Swopistas make me happy

Maggie says...

You guys rock!

Palin Poetry

Mikaela says:
Thanks to Maggie Mae, the Freckled Citizen, for posting this. It was too good not to throw on the old m-pyre.

As a dabbler in poetry myself, I thought I could recognize a good poem when I heard one, but apparently not. Leave it to Conan O'Brien and William Shatner to uncover the poetic heart in Palin's dumbass farewell speech.

Verbatim transcript provided below for you to follow along!

"[S]oaring through nature's finest show. Denali, the great one, soaring under the midnight sun. And then the extremes. In the winter time it's the frozen road that is competing with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty. The cold, though, doesn't it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs? And then in the summertime, such extreme summertime, about a hundred and fifty degrees hotter than just some months ago, than just some months from now, with fireweed blooming along the frost heaves and merciless rivers that are rushing and carving and reminding us that here, Mother Nature wins. It is as throughout all Alaska, that big, wild, good life teeming along the road that is north to the future."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Funny

Mikaela says:
I work at a Native-American owned company, and one of the things I love is the paradigm shift that occurs here, where white is NOT the norm and shouldn't be.

My coworker, who happens to be part Navajo and part Cochiti, sent me this Top 10 List of Things Native people should say or ask white folks. It's funny because it's true!

  1. How much white are you?
  2. I'm part white myself, you know.
  3. I learned all your people's ways in the Boy Scouts.
  4. My great-great-grandmother was a full-blooded white American Princess..
  5. Funny, you don't look white.
  6. Where's your powdered wig and knickers?
  7. Do you live in a covered wagon?
  8. What's the meaning behind the square dance?
  9. What's your feeling about Las Vegas casinos? Do they really help your people, or are they just a short-term fix?
  10. Hey, can I take your picture?

(This also reminds me of a similar list of things people ask when you say you're from New Mexico... Maybe I'll share that next Friday!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

...watching the advent of medical marijuana...

--> -->

marjorie says...

A friend of mine has qualified for a medical marijuana license, or maybe it's called a prescription. He recently got his official card in the mail. The email from the non-profit that he'll be able to purchase marijuana from sent an email with program details, and signed off, "we look forward to serving you."

He was rather incredulous when showing it to me, noting that he'll be in on the first crop produced by the non-profit.

It is rather eyebrow-raising to see it in action up close and personal. For so many people who have illegally medicated themselves with pot for years, there must be a significant element of relief involved with the state no longer treating them like criminals.

I've been on board with pot legalization forever, frankly, but seeing this up close and personal drives home for me how important it is for many who have serious illnesses.

There are a lot of advocates in the state who deserve credit, but I still chuckle when I recall the simple one-liner uttered by Gov. Richardson back in 2007 on the topic. "My God, let's be reasonable," he said. Indeed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Women and our "temperament" problem

Maggie says:
Let's review yesterday's gems from everyone's favorite Southern gentleman, Lindsay Graham, in which he uses phrases such as "nasty," "fiery," "a bit of a bully," "a terror," and asks that very gendered question, "Do you think you have a temperament problem?" As you can see in the following clip, the only temperament I see in effect here is the graceful, calm restraint used to respond to such questioning.

Oh, Lindsay. Let's expand this a bit. Might I remind you of some of the other women in U.S. history with "temperament" problems?

It takes a certain temperament to achieve great things, wouldn't you say, LG?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Harry Time!

Mikaela says:
Oh my. Feels like I can hardly wait the 2 days until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is here! But I hate crowds. I hate crowds of fans even more, so my wait is even longer. Add to that wait the factoring in of a viewing with audience small enough that I can risk taking my 3 month old! We're talking Monday night, now, people! Can I make it?

In preparation, I listened to the audio book again. Love that Jim Dale*! I will admit that I like the audio book more than reading it myself because it actually stretches the experience out longer. It took me about 2 weeks to get through the audio book, listening mostly on my way to work and on walks. Reading the book takes about a night. That would be all night, and now that my baby sleeps through the night? I want to, too!

I'm reading reviews, but you know what? Critics are too critical, and fans are too breathless. All fans care about is how much the film deviates from the book. All the critics care about is how slavishly the movies follow the books at the detriment of making a good movie.

Me? I see the movies as an added bonus to a literary and cultural event that's made me happy for 10 years. I'm even glad they're splitting the final book into two movies, just so the series won't end for that much longer. What on earth will I ever be this excited about again? We've gotten to build excitement and anticipation for 8 movies! That's incredible.

The C.S. Lewis Narnia series might work well as a movie experience, but they need to get their act together a little more. Actually, the first couple Harry Potter's weren't that great, either. The first installment in Narnia -- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe -- was pretty good, mostly because of Tilda Swinton (love her).

But the books? I read them as a kid and was a fan... right up to the moment I heard they were all a big Christian parable. Bleck! Even if you are a Christian, isn't THE BIBLE good enough for you? Why pollute children's books with MESSAGES? Harry Potter's got its share of morality -- the deadly battle between good and evil -- but it's somehow specific to itself and therefore not just a thin veneer for a deeper message. Aslan's a great character, but he's a pretty poor Jesus, if you ask me.

But that's neither here nor there. What matters is that Harry's almost here. And even after I finally see the movie, there will be 2 more installments to come! Woo-hoo!

(After that, do I have to stoop to reading the Twilight series? And yes, I know how that sounds. I was all uppity about Harry Potter, too, until my little brother's fan-dom forced me to read the first one, after which, of course, I was hooked!)

[Trivia via Freakonomics blog: Dale was given only 100 pages of manuscript at a time to read and then record, so he never knew what was coming; in order to keep track of the 146 voices he’d created for all the characters, he often pre-recorded a bit of the characters’ voices and then held a tape recorder up to his ear in the studio to remind himself.]

Monday, July 06, 2009

Memories of Palin

marjorie says...

I figured we needed to save the highlights of the Sarah Palin comedy year here on m-pyre, those moments that have really sent us collectively over the edge into flabbergasty. Yes, that's a word. It may be a touch uncharitable, but on the other hand...this is the woman who McCain thought could be president. It pretty much boggles the mind.

I would love to hear a defense of this kind of delivery, keeping in mind that this is the person McCain wanted to have in the wings, ready to represent us on the world stage.

This is probably my all time favorite Palin clip. She did a staged press event where she "pardoned a Thanksgiving turkey" and then gave a bizarre interview in front of turkeys being slaughtered around back. It was November 20...and many of us thought it was all over.

In the interest of space, and not burying Mikaela's stellar blogs by a kazallion clips, here's a greatest hits put together by Talking Points Memo. Granted, this is an edited montage with a clear editorial bias (they felt they needed to tell us how to feel at the beginning--which for the life of me I can't understand the need for), but on the other hand it has some real golden moments that we all will want to remember.