A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Unless you are in the new, cynical America. Click on the title of this post to link to a new Bill Moyers piece published at TomPaine.com today. He's got a great way of succinctly stating what the Republican Crime Syndicate has been up to for the last 20 years or so.

We have got to change our priorities in this country.


Revealing Apparel

This is also from Melissa. This is so cool. I want a shirt that gives me an eight pack and perfect pecs!

Coming to Walmart.....
What you see below are not see-thru skirts. They are actually prints on the skirts to make it look as if the panties are visible and these are the current rage in Japan. They'll be the rage in Norway soon. .....and eventually in the US

I post this as a public service, so you won't have a heart attack when the rage reaches the USA.

As I mentioned in a recent post, my Mom's mother and sister had a magazine together, over 100 years ago, and her Aunt Charlotte did all of these wonderful fashion illustrations in every issue. We're talking turn of the twentieth century, so they were these impossibly thin, 16 inch waist dreams with Gibson-Girl hair piled up on top, tiny facial features, and those wierdo bustle things in the back. Well geez Mom, wonder what your Aunt would think about this latest fashion development?! Wonder if she'd be sketching this idea out? I want to take some of her sketches now, and modify them to be Gibson-Girls, with dresses printed with their undergarments (and waistlines struggling to compress under those cinched up girdley things!) showing. Hmmmm

Things aren't necessarily what they may seem!

This is from my friend Melissa at work, another designer at Hilferty. Really funny, and wise!
Subject: flying seeing-eye dog

On a plane flying from Seattle to San Francisco, the plane unexpectedly stopped in Sacramento. The flight attendant explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft, the plane would re-board in 50 minutes. Everybody got off the plane except one gentleman who was blind. My buddy had noticed him as he walked by and could tell the man was blind because his guide dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of him throughout the entire flight. He could also tell he had flown on this very flight before because the pilot approached him, and calling him by name said, "Keith, we're in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs? The blind man replied, "No thanks, but maybe my dog would like to stretch his legs."

Picture this: All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a guide dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses. People scattered. They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!

True story.... Have a great day and remember --- things are not always as they appear.


A Beautiful Day

What a beautiful day in Athens. I've been walking around all day, enjoying seeing everything up-close, and enjoying the relative desertedness of the town. It's sunny and 55 or so here...lovely, my favorite kind of weather. Click on the title of this post to link to a Chad Fox podcast to go with such a lovely day. Chad is a rather exuberant San Fran Gayboy who I blogstalk (which doesn't mean anything sinister...I just read his blog but never leave any comments or anything. Secret, like a stalker). It's zany, and since i haven't gotten around to linking to it, you can go here to see all his podcasts:


or here to see his blog:


An Update on the Move

I haven't updated you guys lately on what's going on...for some of you this may be boring, but I know many of you want to know, so here goes.

The job at IBM that Steven was working on did not come through. Something about him not having direct experience with the software they use was the problem. Thank goodness that didn't apply to me when I interviewed with Hilferty last year...the only programs I know that they use are Filemaker pro and all the standard graphic design stuff: illustrator, photoshop, InDesign. All the drawing software I'm learning, as well as learning how to use a mac.

Well, i was bummed about the IBM job at first, but not too much. Steven is proactive if anything, and has been spending his time in the past several weeks getting certifications in all kinds of programming wares and practices...he really is such a student and loves to do all that stuff (and he can buckle down and turn everything off and focus on it...which is sometimes a problem for me...I am easily distracted). For those of you who don't know, he has FOUR degrees and is a bit of an egghead. The IBM job was perfect because we could live here in Athens, him working remotely and travelling fairly often. The road to Columbus is fine once or twice a week to commute to the airport, but daily is not a possibility.

So, now, we are back to wondering if we'll have to live somewhere between here and Columbus. And we had our FOURTH contingency offer on the house yesterday, which we rejected. Well, the house has been on the market for 9 weeks now, that is certainly not a long time. But I keep hoping the house will sell fast, and Steven can just move up here and take some time off while he looks. That would be excellent.

A Landmark Study of the Human Journey

Have any of you heard of National Geographic's Genographic Project? It's kind of expensive, $100, but by scraping a tiny bit of DNA from the inside of my cheek, I can find out something about my ancestral past, and the migratory patterns of the folks that I come from. Sounds interesting to me, and they need people to participate. As far as I know, all of my origins are European. But it will be interesting to see what I find out. You don't find out anything, apparently, about recent generations, but more about your ancient origins. Still, I always wonder about the more recent stuff. I wish I could get my Mom and Dad to write down things they know about their heritage (if either of you want to start a blog, I'll help you!!)...they both have boxes and boxes full of old photographs and stuff from their parents that neither I nor my sisters know much about. I have two wonderful big, old panoramic photos that my Dad and my Stepmother gave me fairly recently. One is a picture of my Dad's father, Walter II, standing next to president Calvin Coolidge, with Hoover right next to them, and a gallery of hundreds of people around them, at the 3rd Annual Radio Conference in Washington, 1924. The other one is of Norma's Dad, Olin, at a Military Base somewhere (Newport News? I don't know and don't have that one here with me yet in Athens) in 1917. Both were WWI veterans, and my Dad is a WWII veteran.

On my mom's side, she was adopted, and as far as I know, she is not sure of her nationality. But there are so many interesting stories about her adoptive family. Her mom, Marie, was 56 when she adopted my mother, and had already done many, many great things with her life. She had a sister, Charlotte, who she spent almost her entire life with, engaged in lots of different enterprises. Sometime in the late 1890s, when they were both very young twentysomethings, they moved to Atlanta and started a magazine called the Southern Woman's Journal. Within 5 years, it was a very big success, and was swallowed up by the competition, Ladies Home Journal. My Mom has several copies; it was a montly; but by no means does she have them all. I used to constantly scour Ebay trying to find some...but only ever found any as part of University collections here and there. Great Aunt Charlotte also went to Paris in the twenties to the Sorbonne, and became an artist. I have one of her paintings.

And I know a tiny bit of lore about 3 or 4 generations ago on my Dad's side from my dear departed Aunt Connie. She's told me all these wild stories about a man (great great grandfather?) who started out in life as an architect, but then owned a hat factory in New England. And another story about another man (great great great grandfather??) who was on a steamship in which the boiler exploded, as often happened on steamers, and who survived because when he was thrown in the explosion, he landed on a big piece of wooden debris, into which his choppers sank, saving him while unconscious for some period of time. She was known, a bit, to embellish and aggrandize, I wonder if those 2 stories are really true? She told me so many more, but now I can only remember these 2.

Well, I'll let you all know in a few weeks what happens with this DNA thing. Just did the online transaction and bought the kit. Click on the title of this post to link to the NGGP and see for yourself.


Spring Broken

I got all done with my deadline early, with much success--but not without hiccups--I might add, thinking that i'd have plenty of time to fuck off this weekend and do nothing, watch tv, go to the movies, catch up on some personal work...go to the gym, etc. before I go to Arkansas on Monday to workshop. But damned if this silly little town isn't buttoned up for the next week, because it is spring break at OU. More like spring broken if you ask me. It's just not a very adult-oriented town. My gym is closed (but I can go to the other, bigger one starting Monday, just not today or tomorrow). The cool old movie theatre downtown that i like to walk to is closed till next Friday. Oh well, not much i can do about it. Guess it's a hazard of living in a small college town in the middle of nowhere. Guess I'll have to drive to the stinky strip mall theatre. Last night I went to Columbus to see Bombay Dreams, a slightly cheesy show about Bollywood. It was entertaining; went to a great place in the Short North afterward called the Burgundy Room. It's nice to have some down time after a deadline...I told Steven this morning that I think i've been extra sweaty-faced lately, what with the must. prove. myself. anxiety that i guess is natural before the first few deadlines. It honestly helps when what I do is well-received, of course. Gerry and Richard were both really happy with the drawings, but i'm not so sure about Melanie. I can't quite figure out what makes her tick just yet, and i'm learning that maybe she is just the type that finds very little positive in anything. I hope that's not the case; trying to keep an open mind.

Steven's coming next weekend, i'm very excited. I've got some work to do to the plants to make it look like i've been taking good care of them since he was last here. They're a wreck.


Maureen Stapleton has died

Okay, while finishing my Chivas, I just read that Maureen Stapleton has died at age 80. I really liked her in "Plaza Suite" and in Woody Allens "Interiors" she was super-fabulous. Well, obviously my blog has become a way for me to do an annotated photo album/scrapbook...I probably shouldn't get into the habit of covering obits. But somehow it is a loss to lose this lady, who apparently battled alcholism and mental illness...but channelled it all beautifully for our pleasure.

My head hurts.

Everytime i cough, my head feels like it is going to crack open like an egg. I told Steven tonight that I feel like i've been fighting something off for a couple of weeks...now i'm thinking maybe i've lost the battle. And Steven tells me that Trotsky is illin, something about his mouth, yelping, not barking, not eating. Now he's eating and barking a little bit, but Steven is still going to take him to the vet to make sure he doesn't have some horrible disease. Okay, this bleak Tuesday night post is coming to an end.

On a brighter note, i'm listening to a nice podcast from this guy in San Francisco named Chad Fox. He has an interesting blog, and really wacked taste in music, I always love his selections. And he does full podomatic mixing and always includes some wierd retro commercials and stuff, and with his radio announcer voice-overs, DAWN, he reminds me of Mark Tweed (in a kinda non-Southern way--he's a Mark Tweed from Cleveland).

Check it, and click on the STMF 6 link after the litany of lovely San Francisco photos:


Took some Tylenol geltabs with a sniff of Chivas. Nightey night.

Another Boring News Story

that you aren't going to hear about from Nancy Grace or Anderson Cooper (or much of anybody within our borders I'm afraid). Global warming is worse than we think, folks, according to Steve Connor, Science Editor at the Independent. My first winter in Ohio has hardly seemed like a winter at all. While it has snowed often, there was never any accumulation nor any ice or any problem driving or getting around. Only when we all came up at Thanksgiving did we encounter any super cold temperatures and ice problems, much to JingXia's chagrin. Anyhow, seems there hasn't been much of a winter in Artic regions this year either:

"...some parts of the northern hemisphere experienced very low temperatures this winter, but the Arctic was much warmer than normal. "Even in January, when there were actually record low temperatures in Alaska and parts of Russia, it was still very warm over the Arctic Ocean...."

And, there is apparently an exponentially expanding effect caused by light and heat reflection vs. absorption, that i've not read of before:

"...environmental "positive feedback" has kicked in, where global warming melts ice which in itself causes the seas to warm still further as more sunlight is absorbed by a dark ocean rather than being reflected by white ice."

Click on the title of this post to read the whole story at the independent. My lunch is over. Polar ice caps are thawing. Happy Tuesday!

No One in the Media is Touching this Story?

And it's a big one. I found this link on the tompaine.com website at lunch just now. Anyone have any idea what a HUGE chunk of the good ol USA Arabs, principally the Saudis, own? It's staggering, and due in large measure to the Bush branch of the Republican Party. Look it up. If the Sauds dumped all their American interests and dollars, it would be devastating, to say the least. Click on the title of this post to link to the UPI story (no other outlet has picked this up apparently...just a small story coompared to missing white females vacationers, right?).

Here's the story pasted in, since someday the link will be dead:

3/14/2006 10:13:00 AM -0500

Dollar may lose Arab customers over DPW
LONDON, March 14 (UPI) -- Arab nations are exchanging dollars for euros in the wake of congressional rejection of the Dubai Ports World takeover of U.S. ports management.

The United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, said it was looking to move one-tenth of its dollar reserves into euros, the Independent reported Tuesday.

The move helped lower the value of the dollar Monday and boost the price for euros.

"The issue is whether we will see similar attitudes taken by other Middle Eastern banks," said Monica Fan of RBC Capital Markets. "It is a question of momentum."


Ceci n'est pas une pipe bomb!

This is just way beyond funny. My little hippie town of Athens, OH has had several bomb scares in the past week or so...seeing evacuated dorms, half naked kids in flip flops talking on cell phones crowded onto sidewalks and narrow streets, is now, apparently, de rigeur here. It's the chance encounter of bubble gum, booze, band culture, and police state hysteria on an operating table. Unbelievable. It all started with a kid who had a band sticker on his bike (click the title of this post for more on this reputable coterie of serious artists), copied from some blog in Athens (which I don't read). Well, let's hope the poor kid doesn't get proclaimed an enemy cobatant and shipped off to GitMo:


Just recieved this from a band in Tennessee called Lucero.

***ATHENS, Ohio -- Authorities in Athens said that they were investigating a mountain bike that put the Ohio University campus on high alert Thursday morning.

Athens Acting Fire Chief Ken Gilbraith said that the bike had a sticker on it that said, "This bike is a pipe bomb." He said the university police discovered it overnight, parked outside a campus restaurant.

(there is a band called "This bike is a pipe bomb" and they are from Pensacola, Florida, on plan-it-x records (http://www.plan-it-x.com/) and have a venue (http://www.angelfire.com/folk/core/) and are amazing and fun.)

OU closed four buildings, police blocked streets around the Oasis restaurant, the fire department brought in off-duty firefighters, and the Columbus fire department's bomb squad was called in.

Gilbraith said the bomb experts attacked the bike with a high-pressure spray of water, then pried it open with a hydraulic tool and found no bomb inside.

The university remained in session throughout the incident. The four buildings were reopened by 9 a.m.

A fan of this bike is a pipe bomb who sported the
band's sticker on his bike in athens, ohio is in way
big trouble...

Apparently, after leaving his bike parked on the
street, he returned to find a bomb squad and
handcuffs. He was told that because of the sticker on
his bike he was a threat and accused of being a
bombing terrorist...





AGAIN thruhiker@riseup.net - or you can send it to evaolymagruder@hotmail.com******


The Rust Belt is Happening, Baby!

Wow. Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has designed this jewel for Louisville, called Museum Plaza. It's unorthodox and controversial because it's public space is the big horizontal box 22 stories above street level, accessed by the diagonal elevator...also controversial because it vaguely recycles/regurgitates a previous OMA idea, and because plazas not part of the life of the street are notoriously de Chirico-like and void of life. Well, compared to the timid and corporate Museum Tower in Atlanta, which has the newish Atlanta Children's Museum below, this is super imaginative and exciting. Which is what OMA is known for. Click on the title of this post for a really nifty movie explaining a bit about the process, the rationale and presenting the whole effect. Groovy.

Dick in Concert

Well, this is kinda fun, in a sick and desperate kind of way. Click on the title of this posting for the "concert.'


Have We No Decency?

For those of you who were shocked and horrified when Rachel Corrie was bulldozed to death on camera, you might be interested in the below. More and more, it feels to me like 1933 in Germany must have felt. When are people here going to wake up? What on earth would make a New York theater director back down from something that alot of people, myself included, would love to see? Well, all I can say is I hope this show will go on in all kinds of small local theatres all over the country. Fuck You, New York theatre wimp. I hope New Yorkers in particular get up in arms about this.


Published on Wednesday, March 1, 2006 by the Los Angeles Times
A Message Crushed Again
by Katharine Viner

The Flights for cast and crew had been booked; the production schedule delivered; there were tickets advertised on the Internet. The Royal Court Theatre production of "My Name Is Rachel Corrie," the play I co-edited with Alan Rickman, was transferring later this month to the New York Theatre Workshop, home of the musical "Rent," following two sold-out runs in London and several awards.

We always felt passionately that it was a piece of work that needed to be seen in the United States. Created from the journals and e-mails of American activist Rachel Corrie, telling of her journey from her adolescence in Olympia, Wash., to her death under an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza at the age of 23, we considered it a unique American story that would have a particular relevance for audiences in Rachel's home country. After all, she had made her journey to the Middle East in order "to meet the people who are on the receiving end of our [American] tax dollars," and she was killed by a U.S.-made bulldozer while protesting the demolition of Palestinian homes.

But last week the New York Theatre Workshop canceled the production — or, in its words, "postponed it indefinitely." The political climate, we were told, had changed dramatically since the play was booked. As James Nicola, the theater's 's artistic director, said Monday, "Listening in our communities in New York, what we heard was that after Ariel Sharon's illness and the election of Hamas in the recent Palestinian elections, we had a very edgy situation." Three years after being silenced for good, Rachel was to be censored for political reasons.

I'd heard from American friends that life for dissenters had been getting worse — wiretapping scandals, arrests for wearing antiwar T-shirts, Muslim professors denied visas. But it's hard to tell from afar how bad things really are. Here was personal proof that the political climate is continuing to shift disturbingly, narrowing the scope of free debate and artistic _expression, in only a matter of weeks. By its own admission the theater's management had caved in to political pressure. Rickman, who also directed the show in London, called it "censorship born out of fear, and the New York Theatre Workshop, the Royal Court, New York audiences — all of us are the losers."

It makes you wonder. Rachel was a young, middle-class, scrupulously fair-minded American woman, writing about ex-boyfriends, troublesome parents and a journey of political and personal discovery that took her to Gaza. She worked with Palestinians and protested alongside them when she felt their rights were denied. But the play is not agitprop; it's a complicated look at a woman who was neither a saint nor a traitor, both serious and funny, messy and talented and human. Or, in her own words, "scattered and deviant and too loud." If a voice like this cannot be heard on a New York stage, what hope is there for anyone else? The non-American, the nonwhite, the oppressed, the truly other?

Rachel's words from Gaza are a bridge between these two worlds — and now that bridge is being severed. After the Hamas victory, the need for understanding is surely greater than ever, and I refuse to believe that most Americans want to live in isolation. One night in London, an Israeli couple, members of the right-wing Likud party on holiday in Britain, came up after the show, impressed. "The play wasn't against Israel; it was against violence," they told Cindy Corrie, Rachel's mother.

I was particularly touched by a young Jewish New Yorker from an Orthodox family who said he had been nervous about coming to see "My Name Is Rachel Corrie" because he had been told that both she and the play were viciously anti-Israel. But he had been powerfully moved by Rachel's words and realized that he had, to his alarm, been dangerously misled.

The director of the New York theater told the New York Times on Monday that it wasn't the people who actually saw the play he was concerned about.

"I don't think we were worried about the audience," he said. "I think we were more worried that those who had never encountered her writing, never encountered the piece, would be using this as an opportunity to position their arguments."

Since when did theater come to be about those who don't go to see it? If the play itself, as Nicola clearly concedes, is not the problem, then isn't the answer to get people in to watch it, rather than exercising prior censorship? George Clooney's outstanding movie "Good Night, and Good Luck" recently reminded us of the importance of standing up to witch hunts; one way to carry on that tradition would be to insist on hearing Rachel Corrie's words — words that only two weeks ago were deemed acceptable.
Fight the H8 in Your State