Sunday, October 31, 2004

Hallo-When? 

It's been dark for over an hour now, and we just had our first trick or treat doorbell ring. I'm afraid we're going to wind up with nearly all of the three large bags of candy we bought at Walgreen's today. Perhaps we should have bought stuff neither of us likes, so we would be more likely to give it away at work tomorrow.

Would that count as promotional candy laundering? Can you guess what type of case my appellate brief involves? What would be the public policy arguments for and against white chocolate Reese's Cups?
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UPDATE (11/1): I fretted just a wee bit too soon. The throngs arrived shortly after the above speculation, and we ended up handing out almost all the candy.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:43 PM
Thursday, October 28, 2004

Cukor's The Women to be Remade 

Romeo San Vicente reports that George Cukor's 1939 classic "The Women," written by the late journalist, US ambassador and member of Congress Clare Booth Luce is finally going to be remade. The updated project was written by Diane English of Murphy Brown Fame, and she is also scheduled to direct. If all goes well, filming is to begin in February, with an uber-chick flick stellar cast of Meg Ryan, Annette Benning, Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd and Uma Thurman. Good god - if they had gotten Angelina Jolie as well I'm not sure I could have lasted through the anticipation until the final product is released. As it is, I'm pretty darned psyched!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:51 PM

Red Sox Victory 

To all those who exploit tragic events for their own causes and blame the ills of the world on gays, feminists, abortion rights activists, and pretty much anyone who isn't them, I have this to ask:

May 2004: Massachusetts becomes the first state to recognize legally the right of gay couples to marry.

October 2004: Setting records along the way for being the first team to come back from a 3-0 deficit in post season play, and then the first team to win 8 straight games in post season the Red Sox end an 86-year losing streak and win the World Series in definitive fashion.

Coincidence, or karmic reward?

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:32 AM
Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Political Expression or Attempted Murder? 

First there were the sign thefts and vandalism, then there were attempts to excuse it as healthy expression of political involvement. Apparently these stories and electoral theories were followed closely by Floridian voter Barry Seltzer, who had this to say upon his arrest:
"I intimidated them with my car," Seltzer told police. "I was exercising my political expression."

What was his chosen form of expression? Witnesses say that while former Florida Secretary of State and current U.S. Representative (seeking re-election) Katherine Harris (yes, of 2000 Florida presidential election fame) walking along a sidewalk with supporters, Seltzer drove his car at a high speed through a nearby intersection, steered up onto the sidewalk and sped towards the group. He veered off the sidewalk at the last moment and drove away, but not before witnesses noted his license plate number.

He is now being held without bond on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. Ass.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:17 PM

Evidence vs. World Series 

I feel sorry for my Evidence professor today. Our class begins tonight at 7:40, and lasts until 9:05. The potentially historic (shhhhhhh!) World Series Game 4 begins at 8:05. The building is fully wi-fi enabled.

I anticipate a higher number of empty seats than usual, and I'm afraid that the rest of us may be prompted to spontaneous disruptive outbursts.

My parents are both in their early 80's, New England born and bred, dedicated Red Sox fans who have not had the experience of having a championship baseball team in their entire lives. Perhaps the wait will pay off tonight (SHHHHHHHHHH!)????

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:48 PM

Iron-Jawed Angels 

Last evening the American Constitution Society presented our second movie night, with Hijacking Catastrophe, a 68-minute documentary along the lines of Fahrenheit 9/11 (which we showed at our first movie night last week). Last week we managed to get 15 people willing to stay at school from 7-10 pm on a playoff night, and this week we had 8 brave souls who made the 7-8:30 commitment on the night of World Series Game 3!

Since I was already there, I decided to stay for the Women's Law Caucus' showing of the HBO Original, Iron-Jawed Angels. I saw this when it first aired in February, and loved it. Even better the second time around.

Hilary Swank stars as Alice Paul, the feminist who went to Washington, D.C. in 1912 to work for the enfranchisement of women. She and her colleagues eventually broke ranks with the more conservative suffrage establishment and took more direct action. The movie follows the movement from 1912 until passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, including the ridicule, violence, arrests and force-feeding they endured along the way.

What sets this project apart from other historical dramas is that it portrays the characters as the very real people they were - young, very educated and passionate women fighting tooth and nail for their very existence as citizens. They smoke, they sweat, they long for romance but fear losing the independence for which they struggle. The soundtrack and cinematography is modern and edgy, and it brings you to see these courageous women as contemporaries, not as the activists who were doing the work featured here back before anyone ever heard of the Curse of the Bambino.

As when I watched it the first time, when it was over I found myself wanting to get out there and do something - exercise that vote they worked so hard to ensure for me. How convenient. Now let's get out there and find George Bush's boots... (I'm not letting you off the hook and explaining this. You'll have to watch the movie to get it).

Amazon link:


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:47 AM
Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Elaine Stritch - She's Still Here 

I just procured tickets for The Girl and I to see Elaine Stritch - At Liberty this Friday at the Wilbur Theater. I'm psyched - I've been wanting to see her for years. The Girl isn't as wildly excited as I am, but she's being a good sport, plus we're going out to dinner first.

Stritch won the Tony award in 2002 for the show's broadway performance, and this year she won the Emmy for individual performance in a variety or music program for HBO's presentation of the show, plus the HBO show itself won for Best variety, musical or comedy special.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:20 AM

The Train Rolls Down the Track 

Since I began law school last year, I've had the feeling of being on a train, but my job on the train has evolved.

Last year I was the stoker, and I had to keep shoveling, shoveling, shoveling to keep moving toward the final destination of exams. Work it, work it , work it. Work harder, put your head down, have to keep up.

This year I'm getting the feeling that the engines are fully stoked, and my job now is to keep my hands on the controls and keep the train on the tracks. The landscape of the semester is flying by so fast, and with the cargo of classes and outside projects there's no stopping this thing. But if I lose focus or take my eyes off the rails for a moment, I might find myself either hurtling off the track or blowing up the furnace with too much steam. Then it's an exponential amount of work to get things going again.

Assuming I stay on the main line through the rest of this year, what new challenges will the next two years bring?

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:51 AM
Friday, October 22, 2004

All Hail Dell! Dude! 

I bow in supplication before the Gods and Goddesses of Dell Computer. Here is my tale, by day:

Monday: Unfortunate latte incident. Computer responds negatively.

Tuesday: Dell assures me that the repair is covered under my accidental damage protection. They will send DHL Wednesday to pack and ship my notebook. I should expect it back 3-5 business days after they receive it. I am to remove the hard drive and reinstall it upon notebook return.

Wednesday: DHL carefully packs and takes away my computer.

Thursday: Using the tracking number, I see that Dell received the computer at 7:30 a.m.

Friday: I get a call from the front desk that my computer has returned!!!!!! Sure enough, The Guyfriend reinstalls the hard drive, boots it up, and everything is there, right up to the moment of the spillage.

What did they replace? System board, CPU, video card, LCD cable, EMI shield, Palmrest assembly, keyboard and heat sink. In other words: yeah, I fried it. But now, it's like nothing happened. At no additional cost to me.

Life is good.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:47 PM

PIE!!!!! 

Not that I condone this sort of behavior, but.... BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:12 AM
Thursday, October 21, 2004

Lessons Learned This Week 

It really is a bad idea to sip pumpkin spice or other latte from a paper cup while sitting at your notebook computer.

Spillproof lids only minimize spills.

The accidental damage coverage on any new notebook purchases is worth it.

It really is a bad idea to Razorboard through the city without wearing knee pads and wrist guards.

It's advisable to learn the above lesson after your first wipeout, rather than waiting until you do it again.

Spenco Second Skin Moist Burn Pads work really well on abrasions, and are soothing to boot.


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:43 PM
Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Theft & Vandalism: Political Statements? 

Reuters reports that as we are approaching Election Day, incidents of political sign theft and vandalism are on the rise against supporters of both campaigns, and both sides are characterizing this as being a worse than usual year. Many people have expressed anger about the problem, but apparently at least one political scientist thinks it's a positive indication of political involvement:
"People really care about this election and this is one way to show it," said Richard Valelly, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. "It's American politics."

So get out there and show that you care. Follow the example of some of the activist demonstrations featured in the article: steal, swap, spray paint, chop down, urinate on or burn down signs for the opposition's political opponent. Leave your hatchet embedded in the sign when you run away, as one person did. Since you're there committing vandalism, might as well make a big statement, and burn a swastika into the lawn of a Bush supporter. Yes, all these actions occurred. Because that's how politics works in America.

Why bother educating yourself on the issues so you can engage in intelligent debate with your neighbors, when you can make your point by sneaking into their yard under cover of darkness and either steal or vandalize their manifestations of free speech and political involvement. Just think of the election as like a sports event. Any team that isn't your team sucks, and anyone who supports any team but your team also sucks. No need to reveal your name or face, because you're simply stating the law of the universe: you are right, and everyone else is wrong.

While we're at it, why stop with political campaigns? What a great way for everyone to participate in any number of current issues!! Don't approve of your gay neighbors? Rip that rainbow sticker off those cars, and if you have enough time, spray paint the car or burn into the lawn something about fags or dykes. Think your conservative neighbors are oppressive? Sneak on over and hang a Nazi flag on their front door - that will show them! Take issue with the race, religion, ethnicity, culture or profession of anyone in your town? I'm sure you can find some way to get your message across. Just put your mind to it.

Oh wait. Use your mind? Isn't that kind of defeating the purpose?

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:34 PM

Latte Sipping Computer Update 

Well, the friendly woman from Dell never did call me back at 2:00 yesterday afternoon. I gave her until 2:30, then placed another call.

This new friendly woman didn't make me repeat the various tasks of taking parts off the computer and trying to start it after holding the power button down for 20 seconds while tapping my heels three times and doing the hokey pokey. I described the problems (won't boot, monitor doesn't display but does flash white light, adapter light goes out as soon as I plug it into the computer), and she said it sounds like a multiple component problem, so it has to go to Dell for repairs.

The good news is that all parties involved feel strongly that the hard drive is fine, so the Dell woman had me remove it and keep it here. I can then reinstall it into my repaired or replacement notebook, which should be back late next week.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:33 AM

Sushi Racer! 

Can't afford Buffy's yummy sushi pajamas? Have no fear, you can afford a sushi racecar! Check out the online Supaaaaa Sushi Race!!!! Choose your sushi car, choose your course, and off you go! But watch out for the blowfish and other hazards, and maintain your soy level, or you might crash off the sushi bar... (Link via Inter Alia)

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:11 AM
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Charmed - Styx Feet Under 

In this week's rip-off episode (okay, so it was last week's - I'm a little behind), Charmed tackles Meet Joe Black, Death Takes a Holiday, Dead Like Me and various Twilight Zone type scenarios in which Death can't or won't do its job and the whole cosmic plan gets fouled because of all the Dead Men Walking.

Some half-demon (Sirk - FYI: In Death Takes a Holiday, Death takes on the persona of Prince Sirki while he's on vacation) is trying to shed his human half by means of killing every human to whom he's related. Paige casts a protection spell on the last scion, but all it does is keep the demon's Army officer cousin from dying even though he's got a giant hole through his midsection. Death then arrives on the scene in a snit, because in the latest version of the Charmed universe, he has to collect the souls IN THE ORDER THEY APPEAR ON HIS LIST!!!!! Until he collects Army Guy's soul, no one else can die. Well, they die, but not really.

By the way, Charisma Carpenter is the one guiding Sirk in his quest to shed his humanity. Very limited role this time, not very exciting.

Sirk convinces Death to work with him to their mutual benefit, and Death decides that desperate times call for desperate measures. Once Army Guy's soul has been Hoovered and escorted to the light, Death smacks down Piper. Literally. She face plants on the sidewalk. It cracked me up. And Paige just left her body lying there while she and Piper's now black-trenchcoated soul argued with Death in the middle of a public street. Agent Brody is standing nearby at the Army Guy's investigation scene, and witnesses Paige talking to no one while her dead sister lies there unattended.

So Death's gotten a bit behind what with the bottlenecking of souls, so has conscripted Piper to assist with the collecting. Which must be done IN THE ORDER THEY APPEAR ON HIS LIST!!!!!! Paige is assigned the duty of convincing Darryl to stave off Piper's autopsy long enough for her to finish up and pop back in.

You may be wondering why I've been emphasizing the whole ORDER thing. It's because it's a crappy plot point. The souls have to go in order, but when "circumstances" change, the order will change. For instance, Piper gets her list in time to see Phoebe's name suddenly appear a the head of the class. Circumstances changed, and Sirk's a-gunnin' for the Charmed Ones. Turns out he's also gunnin' for the newly discovered unborn child of his previously mislabeled last scion cousin. Did anyone not see that coming when the Dead Man Walking was saying goodbye to his wife outside a prominently labeled "Medical Office?"

But back to the crappy plot point - what about when Piper's ghost boyfriend from Chinatown was eluding the scary Chinese lost soul collector until his body was properly identified and buried? Was the scary lost soul collector just another manifestation of death? Why did he only get the lost souls? Ghost Boyfriend ended up going with the other soul collector, so who was that? And what about all the other people in the world who weren't dying while the Charmed Ones were running around helping Ghost Boy?

Back to this episode and its own unique twists - Phoebe and the mother to be head to the protective walls of Magic School, but Sirk can get in after he kills Paige (yes, he killed Paige) because of the various powers he's been collecting (not worth explaining). But they TRICK him, and hit him with a demon stripping potion, leaving him dead and human. But he's NOT ON THE LIST!!!!!!! So they strike a deal with Death, who exchages Paige's soul for Sirk, because you see the Charmed Ones changed the circumstances, but it didn't change the names on the list because... See what I mean? Sigh.

Paige's soul pops back into her recently dead body, which by the way is still on the ground in the garbage strewn alley where she died. Yep, they just left her there. She doesn't seem to mind, though, and just gets up and brushes herself off. I know she's already trying to think of how to get herself out of trouble for the post death confessions she made to Piper about various clothing items and accessories Paige stole from her.

Piper, meanwhile, pops back into her body at the morgue. She's been dead for at least a day or two at this point, but somehow doesn't seem to be stiff or in early decomposition or anything. But Agent Brody is waiting there for her, sitting on a chair in the corner of the darkened morgue, on the off chance that he can catch Piper returning from the dead. He then throws the whole you owe me, we're on the same side, bladdy-blah, and leaves.

I think Leo, Phoebe and Lesley might have been in there somewhere too, but I just don't care. I would have preferred Tru Calling over this piece of hooey.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:15 AM

Tru Calling's Vital Signs Dropping 

SciFi.com reports this week that the producer of Tru Calling, Jon Harmon Feldman, is expressing doubt that our valiant yet poorly-written morgue attendant will be returning to the schedule, even in a delayed and shortened season format.

He did state that season one will be coming out on DVD on November 30, and that if the show doesn't make it back to broadcast, he hopes the remaining six episodes (which are now in postproduction), will eventually also be released on DVD.

Amazon link:

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:56 AM

The Latte Syndrome 

"I have the four year accidental damage insurance, I have the four year accidental damage insurance, I have the four year accidental damage insurance..."

This was my mantra that began at 6:30 last evening when in the middle of Evidence I spilled an ounce or so of my pumpkin spice latte on the keyboard of my notebook.

I froze for about a second, then calmly stepped out of the classroom to retrieve some paper towels, returned, turned it off and unplugged it, while trying to get every drop out from between the keys. Unfortunately, the computer was attempting to communicate its distress by means of flashing the monitor at me, despite the power being off. When I was no longer pulling any moisture out of the crevices, I pulled a yellow notepad out of my bag and began taking manual notes. This is really a bad thing for me, because I have horrendous handwriting.

At the 10 minute break before Constitutional Law, while my neighbors were freaking out on my behalf, I called The Guyfriend and left a message that I'd be bringing the notebook in today in hopes that he could somehow access my hardrive. I did back up my school folders recently, but it was a week ago. My friend who sits directly behind me and therefore had a complete view of the entire horror immediately offered to send me all of her notes from the evening's classes, and to take over my promise to give a copy of notes to another friend who is in Egypt this week.

I got on the phone with Dell at 10:15 last night, when I got home. The very pleasant, Indian-accented woman assured me that I indeed have the accidental damage complete care service package, as well as the at-home service package, so a friendly technician would be coming to my home to apply healing hands. But first we had to narrow down exactly which parts might need replacing. I retrieved my tiny, tiny flathead screwdrivers and she walked me through removing the battery and hard drive in various combinations and testing the power. Unfortunately, the screws are Phillips head, and the third panel she wanted me to remove had a firmly installed screw. She offered to wait on hold while I went out and bought some tiny, tiny Phillips head screwdrivers, but realized my dillema when I told her it was now 10:30 at night and the store was not likely to be open.

So now I have the computer at work, and the friendly customer service woman will be calling my office at 2:00 this afternoon to finish the estimated 10 minutes of the screening. I'll be recruiting The Guyfriend to sit here with me to provide expert assistance. The customer service woman will then set up an at home service call, which she assured me would take place in a day or two.

I've been handling this fairly calmly to this point, but I'm a bit wary that my protective emotional disconnect might fail at any moment, at which time my head will simply explode. I'd better cover the notebook, just in case.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:51 AM
Monday, October 18, 2004

Joan of Arcadia - The Cat 

This week we meet Larry the Feral Cat, whom Cat Lady God convinces Joan to adopt. Joan throws herself whole-heartedly into the project despite her pre-existing loathing for cats. Just when she finds that she's making progress and has grown attached to Larry, Helen's abrasive visiting Aunt Helen (played magnificently by Cloris Leachman) suffers a stroke and moves into the house while she recuperates. Helen insists that Olive hates cats and shouldn't be made more upset than she already is, so Larry's got to go.

Adam, who has been battling with Helen over a pop art project (it's not his thing, but it unfortunately is his assignment), agrees to keep Larry in the shed/studio and to do all the things you're supposed to do according to the pamphlet on feral cats. Turns out that Larry takes to Adam a whole lot more than to Joan (whom he scratched repeatedly), and in turn inspires Adam in terms of his pop art project. By the way, there's an Andy Warhol exhibit going on in Brattleboro, VT, as we discovered on our foliage drive last weekend. Helen is so impressed that she encourages Adam to seek a career in commercial art as a way to pay the bills, while still doing his own art on the side. Sounds like a sellout, but then again while being a starving artist may allow you to be true to your own creative ideals, it doesn't do you much good if you're living on the street because you can't pay the rent.

Friedman is still tirelessly pursuing Judith, who has made it clear that drunken kissing aside, she is never, ever going to go out with him. Unless he memorizes Hamlet in its entirety. We don't see how that turns out, so perhaps we'll be blessed with less Friedman for the next couple of episodes, while he's off sweating his lines.

Helen totally loses her cool and calls Aunt Olive an ungrateful bitch. Wow - was that over the top as far as being out of line goes. This is a woman whose husband died on their honeymoon decades earlier, and who has spent the rest of her life independently traveling the world. Now she's at least temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, with limited mobility in one arm, living with mainstream (on the surface at least) relatives in Maryland. Cut her some slack.

Joan does her best to help Olive out, but to no avail. However, it would seem that one middle of the night heart to heart with fellow wheelchair racer Kevin does the trick. The next morning Olive's up at the crack of dawn to teach Helen her secret paella recipe, everyone bonds over a rather savory and not at all light breakfast (except Luke - more later), then off camera Olive takes off to get together with her herbalist to work on getting out of the wheelchair. But she left a note.

Meanwhile, Grace is dancing around opening up a bit about her homelife to Luke, who is desperate to let her know he's listening. Unfortunately most of this opening up occurs over IM, during which someone comes into the room and one or the other must log off. Finally, just before the paella fest, Grace lets it out: My mother drinks. Grace then logs off. Luke rushes out of the house and tracks Grace down at school, and she gives in to a full body hug with her head resting on Luke's shoulder.

At the police headquarters of the puzzling lighting, both yellow and red made return appearances, but in less featured roles. Prominently featured was Annie Potts (Yay!), as an Internal Affairs detective (Lt. Lucy Preston) investigating the latest corruption. Turns out that the street detectives were the bad guys, but Roebuck resigns since he's the one that brought them over from Arson. I'm not that upset, because Roebuck was kind of boring. The good news - Annie Potts is taking over the department. Whee!!! That place was way too much a boys' club. Will's partner Toni was the only woman in sight, and she vanished without a trace after a few episodes. I can see Helen and Lucy bonding. One question - are they doing some sort of Pretty in Pink running homage? First with the Ducky references at the party of coma drinking, and now Annie Potts. Not that I'd mind if they slowly brought in the rest of the cast for appearances - James Spader, Andrew McCarthy, Margaret Colin and Gina Gershon would all be good to start with.

The episode ends in the park, with Helen, Joan and Adam all chasing Runaway Larry, who broke out of the shed by ripping through a screen, but who it seems will be willing to be caught, if they can get him out of a tree. Joan's upset with Cat Lady God because Joan thought her assignment was to change Larry. CLG assures Joan that running is Larry's nature, and that he wasn't the one she was helping with change. The camera then focuses on Adam's Lost Cat posters, with a very pop arty drawing of Larry.

It was nice seeing Kevin being neither self-pitying nor an asshole, and it was also good to see Grace letting people in a bit more. It bothered me that Aunt Olive was turned around so quickly, though. I anticipated this being at least a three episode arc. While I repeat my request that Grace not be turned into a smitten teen, I feel more comfortable that this won't happen. She's always going to have the dark edge, but perhaps now she won't let it keep her isolated from everyone else.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:45 AM
Friday, October 15, 2004

Civil Rights Commission's Preliminary Report on Bush 

The New York Times reports both on a preliminary report on the Bush Administration published online by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and on the accusations being made by some of the commissioners that the online publication was politically motivated.

The process of immediately posting the preliminary report online was approved by the commission in a 6-2 vote two years ago, after a draft report had been leaked to the press. The draft report is researched and written by staff, who then submit it to the commission and post it online. The commissioners can then challenge any findings and vote on those challenges before sending the final report to Congress and the White House.

As in 2000 when then President Clinton was facing re-election, the commission voted to postpone consideration of the report until after the election. The Republican commissioners have expressed their concern that the timing of the posting was politically motivated, and attempted to have it removed.

My question - if not posting the unfavorable draft would have been contrary to approved standard procedures, would that not have been a politically motivated violation of procedure?

At any rate, the report, titled "Redefining Rights in America: The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2004," is still posted on the Commission's homepage, and is clearly labeled as a staff draft, as are several other posted documents.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:53 PM

Bill O'Reilly Facing Sexual Harassment Suit 

This man was the keynote speaker at my school's Law Day banquet last year. I'm now more glad than ever that I chose not to attend. (Link via feministe, who has further commentary.)

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:37 PM

Melissa Etheridge Update and Bracelets 

The Advocate and E! Online (link via FMB) report that that Melissa Etheridge's publicist stated yesterday that MLE is recovering well from a lumpectomy last weekend, and that while she is taking it easy at home right now, she still plans on continuing with her many upcoming projects, including a sitcom in development, new songs for the Brother Bear DVD, and work on the film Southern Comfort, which will begin filming in January.

Additionally, Advocate gave a nod to the Pink Bracelet Fund, which is taking pre-orders for pink bracelets similar to the Lance Armstrong Foundation's wildly popular LiveStrong bracelets.

The pink bracelets have a similar slogan, "BeStrong - MLE," taken from Melissa Etheridge's long-standing motto, "Be Strong, Speak True." The bracelets cost $5 each, of which $4 each will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I've already ordered four: one each for me, The Girl, FMB and an extra just in case. I have to decide whether to alternate it with my LiveStrong bracelet, wear them together, or one on each wrist. Decisions, decisions.
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UPDATE (10/21/04): The Pink Bracelet Fund has moved their website. The old address will automatically forward you to the new one, but here's the direct link.

Also, I don't know what happened to change the charitable organization benefitting from the project, but all proceeds (beyond the cost of the bracelets) will now be going to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, another long-standing breast cancer research and educational organization.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:28 AM

Joan of Arcadia - Back to the Garden 

First off, an apology. Glynis, I'm sorry I referred to you as Gwynneth last week. I don't know what came over me.

Bravo for Judith and her portrayal by Sprague Grayden this week. I momentarily despised her when she totally insulted and dismissed Joan in order to look cool to her new stoner friends, but then I could see that she immediately regretted it, but was afraid to take it back since she figured she had now completely alienated her old friend and so had to preserve her new connections. By the end when she finally figured out what she wanted to do, and that Joan wasn't going to abandon her because of the party misdeeds, The Girl and I cheered as Judith faced down the bulldozers. Nice touch tying in the gardening info retained from the time with her dad, and that Stoner God let Joan know that Judith was also planting little bulbs of rebellion in the form of flowers that will grow in the spring in defiance of the new bleachers.

Stoner God: "Yeah, these jeans are really comfy." Bwah! God's wearing baggy jeans hanging halfway down his ass! He'd better not manifest in Louisiana like that.

The featured color in the drab blue-gray police station this week was the yellow strip down Roebuck's uniform slacks. Does that mean he's a coward? That he's a ray of sunshine? I think the whole suspicion that he's the corrupt ringleader is too obviously a red-herring for my taste. I don't think they would have had Will and his ravenous sidekick figure it out so quickly if he were the one.

Please, please, please don't turn Grace into a gooey smitten teen. That would just be so wrong.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:53 AM
Thursday, October 14, 2004

Be Back Soon 

In the immortal words of Yvonne DeCarlo, Shirley MacLaine and Carol Burnett, "I'm still here." I've just had a killer week, with work-work, school-work, school activities, and home life. The Girl and I set aside Monday (Columbus Day) as a no work/no school/nobody else day, and went for a long drive in search of fall foliage. Really it was just an excuse for a roadtrip and lunch in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Soon to come: updates on Joan of Arcadia, Charmed, Lost and Enterprise. I promise.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:01 AM
Friday, October 08, 2004

Melissa Etheridge Being Treated for Breast Cancer 

Melissa Etheridge has been receiving treatment for stage I breast cancer, and will be undergoing surgery. A full recovery is expected. Upcoming tour dates have been cancelled. Good wishes can be sent to her publicist at:
Pariseau/Yorke/Raymond Public Relations
139 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 230
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
This is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and if you needed another reason to raise your own awareness, you've just gotten it. I was going to put a link to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's homepage, but their server appears to be down. I'll put the link here anyway, and perhaps they'll get it running again shortly.

Here are a few of the regional affiliate sites:
Boston
Seattle
San Francisco
New York City
Austin
Charleston
Los Angeles
Philadelphia


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:19 AM
Thursday, October 07, 2004

IM U2, RU? 

Courtesy of Kim's Lilypad: What band of the 80's are you?

U2.jpg
You're in touch with the world, and you have a very
strong opinion on things like politics and war.
Even if you do end up changing your image in
the future, most of us will still like you.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:35 PM

Lost - Tabula Rasa 

Let's get the Buffy reference out of the way up front, okay? Tabula Rasa was one of the best Buffy episodes ever. Greatest laugh lines, most heartbreaking ending, that moment when everything came rushing back into Buffy's memory. Tara's realization of what Willow had done, and Willow's realization of how badly she was fucking up. The entire closing montage with Michelle Branch singing "Goodbye To You." Kills me time and again.

Now, back to Lost.

Early in the episode we get some day in the life scenes of the various uncredited surivors going about the tasks required for making the best of things. It was nice to see that there really are more than just the regular cast. They keep saying there are 48 in total, whoops - almost down to 47 by the end of this episode, but we'll get to that later.

Walt's Dad doesn't like that some Bald Guy is telling Walt secrets, and tells him not to hang out with the shiny-pated freak. Walt basically tells Dad to take a hike - and find Vincent while he's at it. Dad insists that he'll find Vincent as soon as it stops raining. Which it does that very instant. Hmm. Bald guy told Walt that a miracle happened for Walt or something like that. Is Walt projecting all this stuff somehow?

The transceiver crew decide they have to keep the truth about the mystery transmission a secret from the rest of the survivors, or it will destroy any hope they have left. Syed points out with much gravity that you don't want to see what happens when people lose hope.

Daniel Dae Kim continues being an asshole. He's got SSF busy rummaging through the wreckage and retrieving bags that might be his. We see her dragging one over to him, only to be told that it's not his and she should keep looking. As she sadly turns to continue her task, he admonishes her for being filthy, and tells her to go wash up. He does tell her, "Sun, I love you." She is the Sun, and he is the Ass.

Dad and SSF's storylines collide later when Dad is retreating in terror from the jungle after hearing scary tiger-like growling while searching for Vincent, and he runs headlong into SSF's little private bath clearing. He stammers and stutters about how he didn't see anything, but takes way too long simply to exit, and he hands SSF her blouse on his way by. Why did he hand her the blouse? She's clearly in the midst of bathing, and Dad is leaving. She says nothing, as usual. She gives him some unclear looks, however. She's an enigma.

Hurley and Jake find Kate's mugshot in the jacket of Dying Guy Who I Don't Believe is a U.S. Marshall (at least not an uncorrupted one). Hurley freaks out that she's going to like, you know, kill them all, Dude. Jake is taking a more philosophical approach that whatever any of them did in their previous lives is gone, and everyone is starting out with a clean slate on the island.

Through a series of unimportant circumstances, the transceiver gang decide that Kate should be the one to keep the gun and bullet. Hurley's not going to like this one bit.

Today's backstory is provided by Kate, who we learn was hiking her way through Australia after she ran out of cash on her journey to find herself after college or something like that. She was taken in and given a farmhand job by a lonely old guy with a helluva mortgage. They bond, but after three months she's preparing to take off in the middle of the night. She did leave him a note. He wakes up and convinces her to stay one more night, and he'll drive her to the train in the morning. En route to the train, she realizes that he's turning her in to whoever is after her for whatever he's after her for. Old Guy 'fesses up that he saw her picture at the post office a few days earlier, and he really needs the $23,000 reward for that helluva mortgage.

Dying Guy who at this point was still Menacing Man then pulls up alongside the pickup truck and makes a shooting gesture at her with his empty hand. Much crazy driving follows, which I don't really understand since Old Guy was turning her over. Why didn't he just pull over and pass her along? Anyway, Kate grabs the wheel, the truck goes off the road, crashes and catches fire. Kate, being the misunderstood and unjustly accused fugitive with a heart of gold, takes the time to drag Old Unconscious Guy away from the wreckage and is then faced with the muzzle of Menacing Man's gun.

Jake has determined that Dying Guy probably isn't going to make it, apparently because his abdomen is rigid. That and the massive physical trauma and subsequent sepsis, but Jake keeps repeating about his abdomen being rigid. Hey - do some situps Jake, and you too can have washboard abs! The rest of the survivors are getting a little tired of listening to Dying Guy's endless moaning and wailing and wish he would just die already. Think of Tilda Swinton in The Beach. Kate grills Jake on whether Dying Guy will suffer horribly before he dies, and then tries to play on his humanitarian instincts by suggesting that Jake should put Dying Guy out of his misery. I think she'd prefer that he suffer a horribly lingering death, though.

After an earlier scene in which Dying Guy musters enough strength to try to choke Kate, later on Kate and Dying Guy have some secret words, in which we learn that just before the explosion Kate was going to ask Menacing Man to make sure Old Guy got his $23,000. Heart of gold, I'm telling you. I get the distinct impression that Menacing Man was in love with Kate at some point, and that his blind pursuit is somewhat scorned vengeance driven.

While Kate's in with Dying Guy, Hurley lets Jake know about the whole gun thing. Jake goes running up but Kate exits the tent. Then we hear a gunshot, and Angry White Guy steps out, all he asked me to, and I-did-what-needed-to-be-done-but-you-didn't-have-the-cojones-to-do-it. But he swaggered too soon, as we discover due to the loud fluidic groan that emerges from within. Turns out genius Angry White Guy took the obvious route of using the last bullet they have to shoot Dying Man in the heart. Because it would have been too simple to shoot him in the head. Of course he missed and punctured the lung, which will now lead to hours of more intensive deathbed bitching and moaning.

Oddly, the episode ends with a bunch of uplifting, happy scenes. Kate tells Jake about the 16-year transmission, Jake tells Kate he knows about the mugshot etc., she offers to tell him what she did, but he gives her the clean slate line. Spoiled Chick gets a newly repaired pair of sunglasses delivered to her by her Clueless Brother, and is tickled pink that she can be cool again. Pregnant Girl is still happily experiencing an active pregnancy, and Bald Guy fashions a dog whistle, to which Vincent responds immediately. Why has this dog been hiding in the jungle? He seems to like Walt - has this just been an extended game of hide and seek? What has he been eating? Bald Guy bonds a bit with Dad by secretly letting him know about Vincent so that Dad can be the hero for Walt. It works quite well, and Walt is ecstatic as Dad appears with Vincent on a leash. What a drag for Vincent - he's on this island with lots of trees, sand and open water, and he has to be kept on a leash. That's like doggie hell. In other news, we see Charlie retaping his index finger so as to change his magic marker tattoo from "FATE" into "LATE." I'm thinking we'll get some of his preflight story next week. This is pure speculation, as Tivo didn't record the previews.

So this week we learned about secrets and slates. No sushi, though. Too bad, because that hand on Pregnant Girl's belly scene was priceless.



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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:22 PM

From the Front Lines of Voter Visitations 

Jasmine Beach-Ferrera has an interesting article on AlterNet, in which she describes her recent experiences going door to door in Kentucky in an effort to motivate voters to go to the polls and vote against Kentucky's extremely broad proposed constitutional amendment. She discusses her encounters with voters strongly on either side and those who declared themselves undecided. It's a tale of overcoming your fears and getting out there to take action for what you believe.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:09 AM

Johnny Kelley, 1907-2004 

Marathoner extraordinaire Johnny Kelley passed away last night at the nursing home in which he had taken residence yesterday. Kelley took on the Boston marathon 61 times (a record), finished 58 of those (a record) , was in the top 10 finishers 18 times, came in second 7 times (a record), and won twice, in 1935 and 1945. Between 1933 and 1992 he missed only one race, when he was recovering from a hernia operation.

He was a member of the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame and is the double subject of a statue for the Boston Marathon. Kelley is shown as both a young man and in his later years, with both versions in mid-run and holding hands aloft in victory.

Who can forget his final finish in 1992 at the age of 84, when they held up a special finishing ribbon for him to break as he crossed the line and nearly knocked over his poor wife who was waiting for him there?

Kelley was also involved in the event leading to the naming of "Heartbreak Hill," the final of the hills in Newton. Apparently in 1936 he passed the leader, Ellison Brown, and tapped him on the shoulder. When Brown passed Kelley on that last hill, he returned the favor and went on to win the race. A reporter commented on the exchange, and wrote that the return tap had the effect of "breaking Kelley's heart."

The heart of Boston breaks today.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:30 AM
Wednesday, October 06, 2004

No Voter Registration on Federal Property? 

Today's Washington Post reports an issue that has come up regarding nonpartisan voter registration at Indian Health Services facilities in New Mexico. Staff members at a number of hospitals and clinics were interested in running voter registration drives for staff, patients and patient families this summer, but were informed that this would not be allowed, in a July e-mail from Ronald C. Wood, the executive director of the regional Navajo office. From the e-mail:
"There have been recent questions about whether we can do nonpartisan voter registration drives in our IHS facilities during non-duty hours," Wood wrote. "The guidance from HQs staff is that we should not allow voter registration in our facilities or on federal property."

Needless to say, this order has been questioned. Apparently off-duty voter registration events are encouraged on military bases, which traditionally are strongly Republican. The Native American vote has become "an important constituency for the Democrats."

The Indian Health Service issued a statement yesterday that such drives will be permissible at IHS facilities, as long as the persons working the drive are not on-duty employees.


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:00 PM

Federalist Event - John C. Eastman 

The new Federalist Society chapter at my school just held their first speaker event today, which I attended. I'm glad I went, because otherwise the turnout would have been totally pathetic rather than just quite embarrassing.

In attendance were the two Fed-Soc co-presidents, the girlfriend of one of them, the ACS faculty advisor, a lefty-liberal student who is involved in the ACLU and Women's Law Caucus groups, one other student (affiliations unknown) and myself.

I must be honest in that I would have liked a larger turnout, in the hopes that there would be a lively discussion in which of course we would convince Prof. Eastman of the error of his conservative ways, but it was not to be. I did have a chat with him about some portions of the opinions (regarding application of the Environmental Species Act) he was critiquing without supplying practical alternatives, but for a while all I could get out of him was repetition of his position that the opinions are wrong.

Eventually he came out and said that he feels the federal government has no business protecting any species, and that this task would best be left to the states. He preemptively countered the "race-to-the-bottom" argument by declaring that the states would never do that, and would of course take care of any and all species that need it, since otherwise they themselves would be cheating their citizens out of the as-yet-unknown benefits that might be discovered decades from now, such as a new medicinal application of some particular gene or plant fiber.

Right, because that's worked so well in the past. States always take the high ground when it comes to protecting endangered species - and citizens. I didn't press him on how the state would benefit from the future benefits of creatures that were rendered virtually extinct due to overdevelopment of their breeding grounds when the states determined that the economic value of that development outweighed the burden of genetic loss. I didn't see the point.

Oh well, at least we have a good shot at having a noticably better turnout at our first ACS event.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:18 PM

Fashion Trend for Autumn? 

I was walking through Copley Square one morning this week, en route from the Green Line to the bus, when I spotted a woman running across Dartmouth Street, towards the Boston Public Library. She wasn't crossing at an intersection, but in the middle of the block. After she had committed to crossing, the light changed and cars began speeding towards her, so she responded by waving her arms in a motion somewhere between "Stop" and "Look, a pedestrian - don't hit me!" She made it safely across and continued running on up the steps and into the library, waving at the library employee who was outside sweeping up the steps. He looked at her with what I interpreted as puzzlement. I was a bit puzzled as well, simply at the fact that no one else seemed to think anything strange was going on.

What's so odd about jaywalking and running into the library? Normally, not much. It was what she was wearing that set her apart. Newspaper in hand, sneakers, jeans, a backpack, and a black bra. Just a black bra. Not a sports bra, mind you. A basic, plunging, Victoria's Secret type black bra. It did coordinate quite well with the straps on her backpack, but other than that I didn't see the advantage in not wearing a shirt. It was cold that morning - it's October in New England. Most people had jackets on. But not our little trendsetter, nosireebob.

Although can it really qualify as a trendsetting style if no one notices? Which no one did!!! Did Boston become New York overnight?

Although to be honest, there's a good chance that some of the drivers who stopped to let her get the rest of the way across the street may have noticed. That's the only explanation I can come up with for why she was neither mowed down nor left stranded in the middle of the road, waiting for a break in the traffic speeding all around her.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:06 PM
Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Liberty Film Festival 

Darn it all, I keep just missing these self-proclaimed groundbreaking conservative film festivals! First the American Film Renaissance in heart of Texas, now the Liberty Film Festival, in the heart of Hollywood.

The tag line on their poster is "Liberating Hollywood. One Film at a Time." The organizers clearly targeted their festival with politics in mind, and couldn't escape the Michael Moore as Moby Dick trap into which the AFR fell. The homepage promotes:

hollywood's first conservative film festival
right before the election
right in the heart of hollywood
& there's nothing michael moore can do about it


Even though it's too late to attend (it was held this weekend, October 1-October3), you can still get a piece of history by purchasing an official poster. They say it will "thrill your friends" and "offend liberals." You can also view trailers for many of the films from the festival site, which also provides links to many of the films' websites.

The festival was organized by co-directors and married couple Jason Apuzzo and Govindi Murty, who were both apparently young conservative stars at Yale, and who both went on to careers in the film industry. The Washington Post has a review of the festival.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:28 PM

Charmed - Charrrmed! 

I had a mixed reaction to this episode.

On the one hand, it was lively, the dialogue was quick and with attitude, and the characters for the most part weren't dwelling in the depths of despair and confusion. I loved the scene where Piper brought breakfast to Darryl and Inspector "Something's Going On Because I Say It's Going On" Sheridan, then just froze Sheridan in order to chat with Darryl. He ordered her to unfreeze her, but Piper was just "Whatever - these missing women are witches, we've got to help them, what do you know?"

And what's up with Inspector "Captain Ahab" Sheridan anyway? She's got nothing, her bosses have told her to pack it in, but dammit she's not going to give up. Police harrassment? Misuse of public funds? Stalking?

What's the story with the newly introduced Agent Brody? He's supposed to be from some hush-hush group within the Department of Homeland Security, and is responding to some demon blood sample that Sheridan sent. DHS has a demon-hunting specialty group? Are they called The Initiative by any chance? Is he really working on an official project, or does he have some ulterior motive? He seemed more interested in having the sisters indebted to him than in busting them for... whatever. I don't think Congress has spoken on the subject of regulating interstate witchcraft. Would this be a dormant commerce clause situation?

I think part of the lightness of this episode was Leo's minimal role in it. The less of him the better, especially now that he's so freaking morose and tormented. Speaking of freaking - I loved that Inspector "Regulations Be Damned" Sheridan used the word "freaking" during her initial rant, as in "no freaking way."

Oh yeah, the storyline. Cursed pirates, the captain ages but doesn't die, his crew is bound to serve him unless he breaks parlay. At least they acknowledged the mythology lift from Pirates of the Caribbean. They kidnap and cause witches to age and die in order to lure the Charmed Ones, who in turn must steal a golden chalice which will summon the fountain of youth, which will make the captain young again, etc. Paige gets nicked, Piper and Phoebe steal the chalice with gratuitous use of laser security acrobatics a la Entrapment but of course they forget about the pressure sensitive alarm under the chalice - come on, even I knew that was coming! Sheridan, Brody and Darryl follow them to the pirate's cave (guess it wasn't a mystical cave, just some cave full of mystical pirates in the Bay Area that no one noticed, the captain is youthified then tries to kill the Charmed Ones, thus breaking his vow not to do that. The crew turns on him, kills him and ends their own curse. It gets dusty, including the parrot. The parrot was bound by parlay? Sheridan wants to bust them for unlicensed spell casting or whatever, but Brody shoots a tranquilizer dart into her neck, tells the witches they owe him, and sends them on their way. Huh? Are they going to be recruited into the enforcement of some secret clause of the USA Patriot Act? Paige is returned to her rightful age, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Whoops. Here comes the part that really bothered me. The last bait witch the pirates took and cursed was Brenda. Paige went to Brenda's apartment looking for clues, and another woman answered the door, quite visibly upset. Turns out she's Brenda's girlfriend. At first I thought this was great, as it was presented very matter of factly, with no "Oh. Um." kind of thing on Paige's part. People - the show takes place in San Francisco, and I think this is the first time they've dealt with any gay characters!

So Paige manages to scry for Brenda and pops into the pirate's cave, where she gets age-infected herself and goes out for help, at Brenda's urging. Piper and Phoebe go back just in time to hear Brenda's dying warning to save their sister, and off Brenda goes to whatever awaits her after this life. And that's pretty much it for her storyline. Back at the manor one of them mentions that they have to save the witch, but someone (sorry, can't remember who) points at that they "lost that one already." Then they move along. No remorse, none of the usual sorrow at not being able to save them all, not one peep about her girlfriend back at the apartment. Is the poor woman still sitting there, waiting to hear what happened and if Brenda is ever coming home? Coudn't they at least let her know that Brenda used her dying breath to save Paige? Huh - lesbian relationship, witchcraft involved, one of them dies. Did Joss Whedon help write this?

Although we never got to see both halves of the lesbian couple in the same scene, we did get gratuitous groping and pawing courtesy of Piper and Lesley, who had an incredibly contrived subplot in which Lesley faked a publicity stunt in which he was a lucky reader who won a date with Phoebe. Meanwhile, Phoebe knew it was just because he was afraid to ask her out directly, so she went along with it. What? She made out with him the first time they met, she recently leapt into his arms and wrapped her legs around his pelvis, and he's afraid to ask her out? Then as soon as they have their predictable confrontation followed by the equally predictable kiss, the first thing he does is rip off her sweater, because that's the logical thing to do when you're in the workplace after hours. I was reminded of the nightmarish art gallery scene on Queer As Folk. Maybe next week they'll have Nick Lachey go by Brenda's apartment and give her grieving partner some manly comforting. I wouldn't be surprised. Aghast, but not surprised.

Casting note: This week's elder sucked. Get more John de Lancie!!

Next week: More Charisma Carpenter! Maybe she could help with the post-Brenda fallout...

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:06 AM
Monday, October 04, 2004

Book Wars 

USA Today reports that both Ann Coulter and Michael Moore have books being released tomorrow. Book wars of the political extremists.

For Ann Coulter: How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must). This book is based on her many columns, and offers a general political analysis and lashing of liberals.

For Michael Moore: Will They Ever Trust Us Again? This is a collection of letters written to Moore from soldiers, veterans and families, with their thoughts on the war in Iraq, plus an Introduction by Moore.



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Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:28 PM

Button Promo 

In an effort to fund my law school adventure or more likely get some change for the parking meter, I've set up some shops at CafePress. Much to my surprise, people have actually bought some of the stuff! If you're looking for some geek oriented items for all sorts of obsessions, check them out. Among the recent items sold are:



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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:22 AM

SpaceShipOne's Second Flight Underway 

SpaceShipOne has taken off from Mojave Airport on its attempt to win the Ansari X Prize. Their first flight in the competition was last week, and was a success. If they reach an altitude of 62 miles, then return safely with the pilot and the mass equivalent of two passengers, they will be the winners of the $10 million prize. Plus they've already signed a deal with Richard Branson and his new company, Virgin Galactic.
***********
UPDATE (11:50 am): They did it!!!! SpaceShipOne has won the Ansari X Prize.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:44 AM
Sunday, October 03, 2004

Joan of Arcadia - Out of Sight 

Damn. Such a good show.

I loved that in Joan's dream she was the Joan of last season, with the lighter, livelier hair, cooler clothes and hip accessories. It's such a contrast with her current "tryiing to be normal" garb and style. I noticed this week she was even trying to "normalize" her scarves, but the wispy floral stuff just didn't have the same vibe.

Sadly, my hopes from last week were dashed - Grace and Luke are trying to find common ground in order to continue their clandestine relationsh... thing (see contractual prohibition on the R-word). They have a great scene in which they each play a selection of their favorite tunes for the other, and of course they can't stand anything that the other listens to. Personally, I was all over Grace's selection. And Luke - Metallica? Please. Just when they're about to throw in the towel, a group passes by with Kool & The Gang's "Celebrate" blasting from a radio. Our melody-crossed lovers discover a mutual hatred for that one, and the sparks fly. Luke declares, "Grace, this is our song!" How perfect is that? "Their song" is one they both despise.

God is being persistent despite Joan's clear break-up of last week. I'm glad to see God's not giving up, because otherwise we wouldn't have much of a show to watch.

Joan's best friend from camp, Judith, is now at Arcadia High, having been booted from Country Day School for filling the car of one of the faculty members with styrofoam peanuts. Kind of harsh punishment for a prank, don't you think? Anyway, Joan and Judith have this huge bond, and folks at camp used to refer to them as Joaneth. Grace is dismayed, as this means she'll "have to get to know another person." The first group scene reminded me of scenes from Buffy, where the various Scoobies would come into view and form a clump of solidarity. Here we have Joan, Grace, Adam, Luke, Gwynneth, Friedman and now Judith. Oddly, the uber-hip Judith seems to have a thing for Friedman.

It appeared that Judith might take a hasty exit from the cast when she drank herself into a coma at her first my-parents-are-out-of-town party for Arcadia High, but fortunately Grace kept her eyes open (unlike Joan, whom God asked to do just that - keep her eyes open, not get passed-out-drunk), took charge and ordered the 911 call. Judith will recover, and Joan's eyes are fully open once more. Also during the party, Luke attempted to talk to Grace, who stalked off while reminding him of the no party contact clause. He puts Kool and the Gang on the stereo, which wins her over. In the middle of their makeout session, he informs her that her breaching of the no party contact clause has nullified their confidentiality contract, and the whole thing is now up for renegotiation. I'd have to say I think he's right, dammit. Also at the party, Gwynneth hooks up with a guy who did some sort of particle physics internship over the summer, and they disappear into each other's mouths.

Speaking of Buffy, Joan's boss Sammy is now on leave until his wife is back to whatever passes for normal in Arcadia, and his best friend and business partner is running the store. He is also Sammy, and is as much an intellectual snob as Sammy I, but in a much more aggressive manner. He's also the actor Jack Plotnick - the late lamented Deputy Mayor Allen Finch, the accidental staking victim whose death put Faith firmly on her path of Rogue Slayer! Anyway, he's horrified at Joan's dismissive attitude toward books, but trips all over himself in excitement when Helen comes in and asks for something by Hegel on Existentialism. She's doing lots of reading for her spirituality quest, including a couple of books by Graham Greene, for whom yesterday would have been his 100th birthday (see what you learn by listening to NPR?).

Kevin went to see Andy, who's living in their old city four hours away, and living a self-pitying life as a window washer. His parents told him the lawsuit would be paid by insurance and therefore would not harm the Girardis. He and Kevin get into an argument in which Andy blames Kevin for not taking the keys away and Kevin asks Andy if he'd like to trade places. Kevin takes off, but is now beginning to blame himself. Of course, I seem to recall him blaming himself for that very thing last year. I think the bottom line is that both of them made mistakes, but the Girardis decided not to go after Andy's family for his mistake, and Kevin is left with the permanent reminder that you should do the right thing when it's called for. Andy's family, on the other hand, are selfish money grubbers who apparently aren't willing to take responsibility for anything if they can blame someone else for it.

Will has a small storyline in which he convinces a woman to do the right thing and she points out her nephew and his best friend as the perpetrators of a drive-by gang shooting that accidentally killed an 8-year-old boy. As her reward, the gang torches her house and her right along with it. Sounds like a lesson in not doing the right thing? Turns out that the nephew's been in foster care for years since his mom died, and the aunt didn't take him in. She says that if she had done the right thing she would have welcomed him into her home way back when and then none of the gang activity and killing would have happened.

So today's lesson is to keep your eyes open and do the right thing. Joan declares her understanding of this at Judith's hospital bedside, then goes out into the hall where she runs into Adam. He then goes off to work, and Joan has a chat with Mrs. Landingham-as-candy-striper God. I think she's on her way back to the old Joan we loved, and the episode ends with Joan crying on God's shoulder while God tells her it's okay and tries to comfort her.

How cool is that? Hugged by God.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:14 AM
Saturday, October 02, 2004

Margaret Cho - State of Emergency 

The Girl and I ventured up to Hampton Beach, NH to see Margaret Cho on her State of Emergency Tour.

Hampton Beach is where all the straight high school and college kids work during the summer, and where all the straight families who don't go to the Cape go for their summer beach trips. Arcades, fried dough stands, souvenir shops, surf shops, etc. You get the picture. The show was at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, which is this old and very large establishment, but which now looks a bit like a renovated barn on the inside. This place is so very, very straight. NASCAR straight, if you know what I mean.

But not last night. Gay girls and boys of all ages, shapes, colors and sizes, along with assorted straight liberals, invaded quiet little off-season Hampton Beach, took it over and had our own little ball at the Ballroom.

Bruce Daniels provided the opening entertainment, and he got us warmed up and laughing. Then Margaret Cho took over. The world. She rocks. Period. She just rocks. Nothing I could say would do her justice. Check out her blog, and also her videos (link from her blog), for a taste. Then get out and see the show.

And if you ever do wander up to Hampton Beach, be sure to have lunch or dinner at Ocean Wok, one of the best chinese restaurants in the world. It's right on the Hampton side of the bride to Seabrook. I actually lived with my psycho-ex in a winter rental in Salisbury, which is just on the Massachusetts side of the state line, fell in love with this restaurant then and have been coming back ever since.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:45 AM
Friday, October 01, 2004

Women In Hollywood Award Luncheon Broadcast 

PlanetOut reports that on Sunday, October 3rd at 10 pm, AMC will be broadcasting the September 14 Premiere Magazine "Women In Hollywood" gala luncheon and award ceremony. There will be a couple of repeat broadcasts - the schedule is here. Among the honorees are Angelina Jolie, Patricia Clarkson, Queen Latifah, Liza Chasin, Olivia de Havilland and Anne Hathaway.

Before you watch the show, brush up on your cinematic knowledge with AMC's Women In Film quiz. My shot at it was a dismal failure: 4/10. How humbling...

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:06 AM