Tuesday, September 30, 2008

randomissimo - Can someone explain this Matthew McConaughey ad?

I heard this cologne smells very nice. Is Dolce & Gabbana not aware of Malibu Matthew's rep? I can't picture him wearing cologne at all.

This ad is on here all the time.

I get the beginning but at the end when it switches to color? I like the music and the look of the ad. I think Matthew is all wrong for it. I used to think he was talented and v. good looking circa "Dazed and Confused" and "A Time to Kill". What happened? Maybe he has done too many "himbo" roles?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lo Shopping: Castroni


Last month for my birthday I thought I would make something special…pancakes.

I went to the flagship store in Prati. This is the place for cranberry juice and other hard to find foreign food. They also a great selection of Italian gourmet food.

The food from America isn’t cheap. I paid the equilvant of 12 U.S. dollars for a tiny ass box of pancake mix and a small bottle of syrup from Vermont.

However, I enjoyed my purchases immensely. I thought by now I would be craving certain foods but I don’t. The only things I really miss from the States are Jelly Bellys and Swedish Fish and they are not food. Oh how I wish they were packed with vitamins. Anyway, I can go to Ikea for the Fish. Seriously, if the craving gets that strong I have no problem taking the bus to the train then another bus just to buy the candy and these dill potato chips that are sooooo good.

Sometimes I have conflicting feelings about buying Aunt Jemina pancake mix. It really is the best. Same with Uncle Ben’s rice…again it’s the best regular rice. They are the brands I grew up with. I’ve tried others and they were not as good. At least now Aunt Jemina (a former slave named Nancy Green was the model) lost the Mammy get up in the 50s. The brand has been around since the 1890s.

I don’t have any issues with the Quakers Oats man or Mr. Clean. Ha.

Castroni
Via Cola di Rienzo, 196

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul Newman 1925-2008

One of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Newman was not just a wonderful, beautiful actor, he was also a great philanthropist. His brand, Newman's Own, (the lemonade rocked and was the best store brand) raised millions of dollars for charity.

Newman was from an era where the stars seemed larger than life. While he had great looks and charisma he was also very good actor. He wasn't some former reality show guy but a stage trained actor.

Here are some stills from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". It's amazing to me that Newman was only 30 when he filmed this. He was a grown-up, a man. Think about most of the current American male "stars". Even the ones pushing 40 seem like teenagers.

Good bye Mr. Newman, you will be truly missed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flashback Friday – Miss South Carolina – Special VP debate edition

As I type this, the McCain campaign still wants to delay the debates. Move the Presidential debate, which is supposed to be held today, to the VP debate slot and hold the VP debate on a different date (when, some time after the election?).

What happens if McCain doesn’t show up? The debates have not been postponed. If he really felt the need to be in DC to deal with the bailout why not just flip the debates and have the VPs meet today?

I watched Gov. Palin on CBS. It was not good. While the McCain tried to spin the Gibson/ABC interview as sexist they can't do that this time. Katie is not known as a tough interviewer and Gov. Palin was terrible even though she had notes in front of her. Gov. Palin's answers were so incoherent even I was surprised. Her speaking style (I'll get back to ya" and she says "yeah" quite a bit) makes Bush seem like Bill Clinton.

I think the McCain campaign is worried the following would happen during the debates and that’s why they want to move it.



Once again, if McCain had vetted her he would have seen while she can give a prepared speech, she is terrible off the cuff. Gov. Palin did not have a good week. For George Will and other conservative Republicans to speak out about McCain's judgement, says a lot. Right after the convention she did bring a great energy to the ticket. Now that the dust has settled, she's actually hurting McCain. One, she overshadows him, two, because of her lack of experience and intelligence, she's limited on the campaign trail. That is a major problem. Your VP is supposed to be able to step in and pinch hit, any time, any where. It was made clear this week that she is incapable of that.

I don't think it's sexist or elitist to say Gov. Palin has no business being on the ticket. Watching that Couric interview made my stomach hurt and really pissed me off. We are facing major problems (it looks like Washington Mutual is going down and might be sold to JP Morgan) and this is who Steve Schmidt picks to be on the ticket? Are you kidding me?! I think she is worse than Bush. Seriously.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clay Aiken comes out of the closet.


And in related news, the sky is blue.

Seriously, I'm glad he doesn't have to lie anymore. I'm surprised so many of his fans (the Claymatics) had no idea or still refuse to believe he's gay. Are they for real?

Off topic, McCain wants to delay the Presidential and VP debates "because of the financial crisis".

I'm sorry but as President one has to juggled many problems at once. I don't think they should delay them. I actually want to hear what the candidates have to say about these important issues.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Films, writing and fear in Hollywood

Last week I attended a screenwriting workshop sponsored/organized by the Italian film company I sold a project to.

The exec I work with received her Masters at one of the best film schools in the U.S. One of her former professors held the workshop. This professor also teaches at the top film school in Paris.

The class was in English but I was the only American writer. I really enjoyed the workshop and it was fun to meet some of the Italian writers and writer/directors.

The main things the class focused on was structure, themes, and characters. Writing a script is so different from writing a novel. You might start a novel not knowing your ending. For a script if you don’t know the ending, you will go back and rewrite the beginning after you figure it out.

We watched films that couldn’t be more different (Sideways, The Elephant Man, The Godfather, The Shawshank Redemption, Billy Elliot, Notting Hill etc.) and yet they all had the same structure.

I’ve seen all the films we watched and there were things the professor pointed out that I never noticed before. This workshop will definitely help me with my writing.

We also talked about the “industry.” Hollywood is in a strange place right now. The system is broken. Everything is so geared toward young teen boys, other audiences are underserved. That is why everyone freaked out when a study came out a few years ago saying teen boys ranked going to the movies below playing video games and being online as the things they liked to do for entertainment.

Film critic Jeffrey Wells ha a website called Hollywood-elsewhere.com which is a great read. Currently it’s heavy on politics, and he can get down right cranky sometimes. Anyway, he was talking about how fear in Hollywood is ruining the business. He complained most of the powers that be don’t seem to have any love of film. They are operating from fear and that is why so many mainstream commercial movies suck.

I agree with someone who left a comment saying if you work in film and never get that goose bump feeling before a movie starts, perhaps you should do something else for a living. Several execs have told me they hated writers. Umm okay, why stay in Hollywood? There are other, easier ways to make money.

We will be seeing more comic book movies (there are a bunch in development) and more remakes coming out of Hollywood. I love comics as a child but enough already.

What genres are you sick of and what types of movies do you want to see more of?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

J. Hud & Punk?! I have some questions about this, the Emmys and Italia's Next Top Model.

Did anyone watch the Emmy awards? I tried to watch part of the red carpet on E! but couldn't take Ryan Seacrest. I did laugh when he invited Sandro Oh's parents to the stage.

Ryan: What is your mom's name?
Sandra: Mrs. Oh.

Ryan looked confused. Why did he assume he could call this woman that he doesn't know by her first name? Didn't he know in other cultures that's considered rude?

This year's Emmys (I know the Oscars air live in Italy but not sure about the Emmys) was the lowest rated in years. I wonder what the producers of the show were smoking. It's the 60th anniversary of the show and they chose to have 5 reality/game show hosts emcee the show? Several reviews pointed out the stupidity of that move. You're giving awards to a group of actors, writers, producers etc. who are losing jobs left and right because of reality TV. Plus I heard the hosts were terrible. It's hard to do these award shows. Ellen Degeneres was a great host a few years ago. They should have brought her back.

Jennifer Hudson is engaged to "I Love New York" contestant Punk. I thought she had a bf from back home. When did this happen? Why did a smart guy with a great job quit to be on the show in the first place? Did he really like Miss New York or did he just want to become "famous".

From what I can see, VH1 here doesn't air their reality shows. That is probably a good thing. Less distractions. ha

I did get sucked into Italia's Next Top Model. New season starts today. Last week I watched some of the tryouts. Fascinating. I understood maybe 50% of the Italian. One of the judges, Michael uses a lot of English words. Is he American? Michael in Italian is spelled and pronounced Michele (MeeKEYlay). I noticed the host called him Michael.

I recognized the other judge, the French/Greek model, Nadege. She is fierce. I've always loved her style. That short hair is not an easy look to rock.


I think this host is less over the top than Ms. Banks. Is she a former model as well? Here is a little clip from Season One.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Randomissimo - Gattuso ad

I was walking through Rome's Termini Station and took these photos. There is a big Nike store on the ground level.

Although I don't follow his team, I do have a special place in my heart for Gennaro "the Rhino" Gattuso.



Interesting combo of Italian/English. To my American eyes, when I see the words Nike Football, I look for shoulder pads.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Flashback Friday – 39th season of Sesame Street, Dave Chappelle

Sesame Street has kicked off its 39th Season. I used to adore the show as a kid. Most of the Spanish I know is from the show. Ha.

Great songs, excellent characters, what’s not to love? As I got older I started to wonder about some things. Like, what was the real relationship between Bert and Ernie. Hmmm

Anyway, this short clip cracked me. A reminder for those at work or who don’t like curse words: It’s Dave Chappelle.

The Oscar the Grouch joke had me on the floor.

Who was/is your favorite character? I liked Cookie Monster because well, I liked cookies and my strict West Indian mom who was a nurse, wouldn’t let us eat them that often.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Last week hot, hazy and humid...this week it's fall.

I am very happy about this. I've been in a screenwriting workshop all week so today was the first morning I went to work out in a while. I had to leave my warmup jacket on the whole time. Last week it was so humid I skipped a couple days because it was too sticky to even think about working out.

The Italian film company I sold the project to sponsored/organized the workshop and it was excellent. I'll post about it later. I'm trying to figure out how to write a post about it that isn't crazy long or too "inside baseball".

This morning when I was in the park I noticed the leaves are starting to change. There's a crispness in the air. I don't dislike other seasons but fall is my favorite (summer is too hot, winter too cold and spring allergies are not fun). I've missed it for the last ten years living in Southern California.

I loved the beginning of the school year. My parents used to taking us shopping for new fall clothes and school supplies (yes I was one of those geeky kids that got EXCITED about brand new notebooks). I think it was because a clean/blank page represented the idea of possibilities. Who knew what great things were going to happen during that year?

Moving west I never had a sense of time passing, or possibilities, everyday was the same old, same old. Seriously you could wake up in April and wonder what month (or year) it was. All the Botox, arrested development and everything being brand spanking new made me feel like Dorian Gray...nothing was aging. If I was born and raised there I would be used to it of course.

But I'm from the east coast and we have very clear seasons. While I didn't miss the cold, dark days of an east coast February, I am looking forward to the fall here.

I wish I didn't have to watch my budget so closely. After the park I walked down Via Condotti and there are many gorgeous clothes for fall. I can't wait to wear sweaters, tights, gloves, boots.

My closest space here might be less than a 1/4 of what I had in L.A. I donated a bunch of items before I moved and yet I still had to buy under the bed boxes to store my out of season clothes. This weekend I will be doing the switch from summer to fall. I don't have many fall/winter clothes. I didn't need them. Around January I might be sick of wearing the same things over and over again. Ha. Hopefully by then my economic situation will have improved. Glad to see that the dollar has gotten a little bit stronger. That helps.

I'm very curious to see what vegetables will be at my market. Now that it's not 100 degrees in my apartment I am going to start cooking again.

What is your favorite thing about fall?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

As America faces our biggest financial crises since the Great Depression...

I thought the following was interesting. Some of you may have seen a version of this email that is going around. I have been laying off the political posts. I wanted to say something about Palin's ABC interview but was so angry I decided for my mental health not to write it. ha

But with the market's dive yesterday and one of the largest investment banks America shutting down (Lehman Brothers) after 100 years and another financial company in trouble, AIG, I can't sit back chilling in Rome like it doesn't impact me. I might not have much money in the market (I'm broke) but the ramifications of this are severe not just for Americans but for the world markets. That this disaster is a direct result of some of Bush's economic policies is even more reason to say NO to McCain/Palin. That Palin thinks it's okay to be a VP and not even know what the Bush Doctrine is, is so mind blowing to me I cannot believe it's even a discussion that McCain made a terrible and cynical choice. The country is hurting and the Republicans wants to run an election based on a "cultural war".

I hope enough people will see through the hypocrisy. Like I said before, the Democratic ticket isn't perfect but I feel like they actually know WTF is going on. That people are losing their homes, that for the 8th month in a row in the U.S. we lost a slew of jobs, that the fact that companies have to hire large number of illegal immigrants for jobs American won't do and a large number of legal ones for jobs Americans are unable to do is a major problem. I hope American voters prove Rick Davis (McCain's campaign manager) wrong. He said to the press that this election is not about issues. Something tells me after yesterday's terrible news folks might start to care about the issues.

The Republicans have done a great job so far flaming the "cultural war".

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic,
different.'
* Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, a quintessential American story.


* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.


* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
* Attend 5 different colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.


Now, let's get down to Moose-meat, here we go...

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first
black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive
that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law
professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with
over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human
Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a
state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the
Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs
committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

...however...

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council
and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as
the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to
become the country's second highest ranking executive.



* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2
daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real
Christian.

...however...

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your
disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.




* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the
proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

...however...

* If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other
option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen
daughter ends up pregnant , you're very responsible.



* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a
prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community,
then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent
America's.

...however....

* If your husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DWI
conviction and no college education, and he didn't register to vote until age
25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska
from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

Now let's talk about socio/psycho-pathic preachers, which at my count stands two to one...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What's playing in Rome now...Adele

I cannot get enough of her latest single "Cold Shoulder".

I first heard of British singer Adele when I saw the video “Chasing Pavement” on MTV Italia. I heard that song non-stop during my first few months in Italy.

What is in the water in the U.K.? Why do so many soulful singers come from there? She went to the same performing arts high school as Leona Lewis, Amy Winehouse and Kate Nash.

She mentioned in the press that her weight is brought up more in America than in London. I was reading some of the comments when found this clip. People are so cruel. Who cares what she looks like as long as she’s healthy? She’s thick not fat…we all know the camera adds weight. I don’t think some one who is a 10-12 is obese. She isn’t trying to sell herself as a sex symbol. She started out as a jazz singer not a pop creation. Anyway I think she is crazy talented. I have serious respect for singers who actually write their own lyrics. Something about putting pen to paper and expressing themselves makes the songs resonate more to me.

I finally bought the song on iTunes after hearing it during commercials for the new season of Italia’s Next Top Model.

Adele’s voice is fantastic. Is she getting play in the States? I’m bummed another British singer, Estelle. isn’t becoming a bigger star in America. Why? Her CD is excellent. She's still getting major play here in Italy.

Here is the video.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A day trip to Orvieto

On my birthday I took a day trip to Orvieto.

The town is an hour or so train ride from Rome’s Termini Station. The trip costs 14-22 euros round trip depending on which train you take (the slower train has a few additional stops). Once you arrive in Orvieto, the funicular will take you up the hill.

Some tourists took the little bus from the funicular to the Duomo but it’s easy walking distance (you can walk the entire villiage in a an hour or two) and quite scenic.

This is a beautiful hill town in Umbria built on tufa rock. It has been settled for thousand of years and was an important Etruscan city.

The major attraction is the Duomo, started in 1290. It has a very ornate exterior. I don’t think I’ve seen a Duomo with such bright colors before.

Orvieto is also know for it’s local white wine, the Classcio, pottery and lace making. Get there early as the place is packed with tourists.

Once inside the Duomo, look for the San Brizio Chapel. It’s five euros to enter and the ticket also covers the fee for the Museum. It is worth the price as one of the Renaissance’s greatest frescos is located inside the chapel. Luca Signorelli's nudes because famous for the subject matter and the form. They inspired Michelangelo’s own Last Judgment for the Sistine Chapel.

The views from the hill town are spectucular. If you get a chance, take time to explore the town, getting away from the touristy part by the Duomo. It’s beautiful. There is a tour that takes you through the underground caves.

I look forward to exploring more of Umbria and Tuscany once I learn how to drive stick and get my Italian drivers license.

On my Flickr page I have more detailed photos of the exterior and the interior of Duomo and other shots of this bellissima town.


Here is a photo of the Signorelli fresco, The Preaching of the Antichrist. See the woman in the foreground with the red top? She is described as a “whore” who is accepting money for “services rendered”. She also has the face of Signorelli’s ex-girlfriend who had recently broken up with him. Damn, I guess he put her on blast.


A view of the countryside.


How much do I love the new Fiat 500/Cinquecento? The Italy strips on this one cracked me up.


A picture of the Duomo

Friday, September 12, 2008

Flashback Friday – The Osmonds "One Bad Apple"

The news has been depressing this week so I'm going way back to the 70s for today's Flashback.

Back to a time when Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond were constantly on the cover of "Tiger Beat".

Before the Jonas Bros, before Hanson, there were the Osmonds. Those harmonies, those smiles.

I'm not really into the Jonas Bros. I think they're okay. Hanson was and is a lot more talented.

This song was a monster hit on the pop and the r&b charts. Check out these outfits. Love it.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven years later Osama is still chilling,

while our administration is spending billions a month in Iraq.

Rest in peace Nigel.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rome off the tourist track - Via Appia Antica (Appian Way)

I will have to post about Orvieto next week. There are too many photos to go through.

A few Sundays ago I took a nice long walk along Via Appia Antica.

On Sundays the ancient road is closed to all non-local traffic.

The road was started in 312 BC. It was the funeral route for Emperor Augustus in AD 14 and St. Paul was lead to Rome as a prison on this road in AD 56.

This is the longest straight road in Europe over 62 km. It travels all the way down to Brindisi. It was the Roman's gateway to the eastern part of their empire. The road was an engineering marvel back in the day. I read the stones were laid so well and tightly, the blade of a knife couldn’t fit in between the stones.

The oldest part of the road (the section closest to Rome) contains a vast network of catacombs. The Catacombs of San Callisto is one of the largest. It has over 12.5 miles of tunnels that used to be filled with the remains of Popes, martyrs and thousands of early Christians. Not sure how many bodies are still there. Some like Saint Cecilia, were moved to churches. There is also a Jewish catacomb. I would like to go back with a friend and check them out. I’d rather not go by myself as I don’t like being in underground burial places. ha

The road has is lined with some very interesting ruins. You can try to imagine the large tombs and mausoleums built by wealthy Roman along the road. The Goths, Normans and various Popes took statues and any piece of marble they could get their hands on.

I went super early before it became too hot. At one point I heard roosters and it was hard to believe I was only a few miles from my apartment. There are gorgeous villas, and the views are fantastic.

My round trip took four hours and I was very hungry when I got home. I misjudged the distance between the gate to the National Park and the beginning to the old road. Oh well, I had a good work out that morning.

There is a bus that will drop you off pretty close to the beginning of Via Appia. In the same area, you can rent bikes and there’s a little cafĂ©. Here is more info on the road including directions.

More photos on my Flickr page

Ruins of the San Nicola Church


The road. There are some sections that still have the original ancient Roman stones. I have a picture on my Flickr page.


I noticed these doors from the ruins of a villa. Did Coco Chanel have a relative that lived here or something?


One of the tombs that line the road. Some of the ruins are just mounds of bricks after being picked over. This one is in pretty good shape.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In honor of NYC Fashion week, one of my favorite scenes from Devil Wears Prada

The screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna wrote the movie. I was not a fan of the book at all but the movie was excellent. Smart, funny and I thought Meryl, Emily, Stanley and Anne were great. The actors who played Anne Hathaway's friends and boyfriend, not so much.

I love the way Ms. Streep says "Why is no one ready?" and her silver hair looks fierce. A lesser actress would have made Miranda a caricature.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A day trip to San Felice Circeo

San Felice Circeo is a small pretty town located on the coast halfway between Rome and Naples.

In THE ODYSSEY San Felice Circeo was the place where Ulysses fell in love with Circeo.

San Felice Circeo may not be the best place for a day trip unless you have a car. You have to take the bus and it’s a loooog ride, especially on the way back.

Sperlonga, further south, is more accessible because of the close train station.

The water here is not as clear as Sperlonga’s but it’s definitely nicer than Ostia’s.

This town is bigger than Sperlonga and there are many Romans who have second homes here.

The Historic Center is up the hill. Let me tell you, it's a more of a mountain. I asked for directions and folks said, " oh just make a left and go up the hill." The hill is steep and the road is curvy. After sweating buckets, I reached the top. The view was worth it.

The Historic Center is small, with a nice piazza under the clock tower.

More photos on my Flickr page.

I still need to upload my photos from Orvieto. I’ll try to do that this week.

A view from the top.


This was taken earlier in the day. By 11:00 a.m. the beaches were packed.


Inside the Historic Center.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Flashback Friday – Dolce with Maria Sharapova

On Day 11 of the U.S. Open I thought this clip was appropriate.

I've always loved this ad. What's there not to love about a cute Italian dog named Dolce. "Yes, yes I see you tennis champion." ha.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

I heart SKY TV

And of course my siblings. For my birthday they were most thoughtful. Without them there would be no TV.

I went to Euronics (an electronics store here in Rome) and nodded as the salesman discussed the various TVs’ pros and cons. I had an idea of which brands I was interested in and was glad there was a sale.

However, I had no idea what the heck he was talking about. I asked him to please speak a little slower and then I was able understand approx. 40%. When I went to pay I forgot that you need a pin number for your credit cards here. I couldn’t remember the number to save my life and the numbers I wrote down were for a different account. I didn’t want to charge it to my American credit card because I had already transferred my siblings’ gift from my American bank to my Italian one.

Good thing I bought my little checkbook. In Italy checks aren’t used that often. For one Euro you get ten checks. Other than the security deposit for my apartment, I haven’t used the book and forgot how to fill it out. The saleslady seeing my frustration (I couldn’t use my Bancomat/ATM card because it was more than the limit) filled it out for me. She was super nice.

SKY came yesterday. Big problem they couldn’t access the roof. One of my neighbors was home. She speaks English and gave us the key and a ladder.

Second problem they need access to the apartment on the top floor to get to her terrace. Something to do with the cable. The neighbor isn’t home.

Later I run upstairs to leave a note on her door and she happens to be home. She tells me she’s leaving town the next day and not returning until late next week. I’m frustrated. I have a TV I can’t watch. I really wanted to watch some of the Republican convention and Mad Men. I don’t have a number for the office that made the appointment. Something told me to check my cell and I see ten minutes before my appointment someone called. I hit that number and it’s the SKY store. I tell them the lady is back, SKY shows up 10 minutes later. Phew. I think my neighbor or her housekeeper was annoyed though. One of them basically hung up on me when I called to tell SKY was coming back. I get it. She was leaving for a trip and had stuff to do.

After five months of not having a TV it feels kinda weird to have one again. The plan I picked is reasonable. I’m on a strict budget and I don’t really need a soccer package when I can go to several places in my neighborhood to watch a game. Movies, I need to see before they hit cable so I didn’t get a movie package either. I love how my cable package is cheaper, even with the exchange rate, than what I paid in L.A.

Last night I was going through the channels. There are a bunch of American shows I can watch in English or dubbed.

In the news section I have everything from BBC News to CNN World to Al Jazeera to French News. I can’t believe how many international channels there are. I have VH1 too. I will have to make sure I don’t get sucked into their reality show vortex. It will be hard but I must try.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What's the big deal about Palin? Obama doesn't have experience either and he's at the top of the ticket.

I swear this isn't going to turn into a politics only blog. ha.

GOP talking heads are saying Dems can't attack Palin on experience since Obama has none. Never mind that they were slamming Obama for the same things before they picked her. If the best line of attack you have against your opponent (since they can't run on economic, foreign affairs or education issues) is that they are too young and don't have enough experience why would you pick someone younger with less?

Obama has had over a year to prove himself to the American people, as did Hillary, Romney, McCain, Giuliani and others that ran. We won't get the opportunity to know Palin that well. We have to trust in McCain's pick.

Palin's depth of experience is more shallow than Obama's no matter how you slice it. He has been on the national radar since the 2004 convention. Some officials in her own party have never heard of Palin.

When I hear people say Obama has no experience, I don't get it. He doesn't have decades of sitting on Capitol Hill but neither did JKF or John Edwards.

What do people mean by NO experience? He is a sitting United States Senator. He served for years in the State Senate of Illinois which has a much bigger population, a greater diversity and variety of issues to deal with than being the Gov. of Alaska and the mayor of a town of 8,000.

He was a community organizer, wrote two books, is well traveled, is managing a multi-million dollar campaign with over 2000 employees and thousands of volunteers who are spread out across the country.

He TAUGHT constitutional law at one of the top schools in the country. Palin believes in creationism. He graduated with Honors from Harvard Law school and was the editor of the Law Review. Palin majored in communications and had a C avg.

She is not ready to lead the country.

Obama is not perfect but his pick of Biden shows he took the decision seriously. McCain's decision shows a complete lack of judgement. How do you pick a VP without vetting them? The number two for a man who is 72 and has major health problems is just as important as the top of the ticket. Do you see Palin meeting with Putin?

We already have suffered for eight years with an ill informed president who revels in his ignorance. I'm not the smartest person in the world but I'm not running for higher office. I want the brightest running the country. Not mediocrity.

Bill Clinton may of have a bunch of personal issues but the man is brilliant and curious about the world. He was respected by other world leaders even when they disagreed with him.

These are complicated times. What does Palin think about Russia invading Georgia? How does she feel about China owing pretty much all our debt (god help us if they ever dump our currency)? What about Pakistan? North Korea? Iran? The U.S. being only 6 percent of the world's population but using 26 percent of it's natural resources? That was cool before I guess but with China and India's demands skyrocketing how will that change? How does she feel about the increasing high school drop out rates? What about the few good manufacturing jobs left going overseas? How does she feel about the high price of gas vs. oil companies' record profits (her husband works for British Petroleum)? What about illegal immigration? Our high incarceration rate...the highest in the industrialized world?

I'm worried because McCain/Palin could win. I have plenty of friends who are either Independents or Republicans. They are concerned about this pick as well. Just because someone is a Republican doesn't mean they're an Evangelical. Palin has been described as being a "teflon candidate".

A friend told me she was watching "The View" and Sherri Sherpard said she's excited about Palin. Sherri believes the world is flat. I just hope people do not get distracted by gender, the pregnancies, her hair style and really look at what Palin wants to do as Vice President or President.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

McCain could have avoided all this drama if he had actually vetted his VP.

This pick shows complete contempt for the American people.

McCain has been slamming Obama for his “lack” of experience. So why is Gov. Palin on the ticket? She is not qualified to be VP or President. She has admitted to not paying attention to Iraq. She said she doesn’t know what the VP does. She only received a passport last year. She doesn’t know anything about foreign affairs. She was a C student. She has been Governor for 18 months of a state with a population less than Obama’s state senate district. She is under an ethics investigation. She is a far-right creationist who believes in abstinence only sex-ed and is anti-choice. There’s more like her views on the environment but I’m getting salty just writing this stuff down.

Regarding her 17-year old daughter’s pregnancy,their press release made it seem like it was all the rumors regarding Palin’s son Trig (some believe he’s Bristol’s baby) that made them issue the statement about Bristol being 5 months pregnant. As if that would never become public. It’s interesting Palin asks for privacy and the far-right is trying to spin Bristol as some kind of role model “look she didn’t kill her baby and she’s going to marry the father.”

Please, you know if Chelsea Clinton had gotten pregnant at 17 the far-right would have slammed her Methodist mom and Baptist dad as “typical liberal heathens” with bad parenting skills. I love how they respect Bristol “choice” but want to deny that choice to other women. Fascinating.

McCain who really wanted to pick Lieberman, claims he knew Bristol was pregnant. Right. I wonder if this is going to be an Eagleton situation? Palin has been the pick for 72 hours and already there is drama. His vetting team is in Alaska now. Are you kidding me? You vet before picking someone.

Palin is the “family values” candidate. Really? Where are her family values? Why did she accept the VP gig with a teen daughter who is expecting and 4 month-old special needs baby? Did she think nobody would notice she actually doesn’t get to spend any time with her family, especially given her very vocal conservative views? I wonder how her daughter feels about all this? What is Mr. Palin doing? We haven’t heard peep from him.

If the GOP wanted a woman, why not someone qualified, like Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Elizabeth Dole, Olympia Stowe, Condi Rice, Christine Todd Whitman, etc. Obama’s vettors were even vetted but this pick seems like a last minute thing. Again, contempt. To think that HRC supporters would vote for someone who goes against every Hillary stood for is insulting. Hillary is crazy smart and busted her butt. Gov. Palin you would want to not mention 18 millions cracks again….you are part of the problem. Your wing of the party wants to seal the cracks with cement.

Yet even with all the cons against her (The two Alaskan papers said she is not ready for this job) she might end being the VP unless she drops out.

I do not underestimate Karl Rove. Remember this is a man who convinced enough voters that John Kerry, a bright, decorated war veteran was an elitist, French speaking pouf while George Bush who also came from an well-off eastern seaboard family, used his connections to avoid combat and was a cheerleader, was the mans man. Those swing voters picked the man they “could have a beer with.” Sigh.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gustav and the RNC convention.

It seems as Gustav is veering away from New Orleans but still many people are displaced (over 2 million people have fled) and thousands are without electricity.

It's the third anniversary of Katrina. Bush was supposed to speak at the Republican convention tonight but decided to stay away to keep an eye on Gusav.

I'm curious to see how the convention will unfold. What are they going to highlight? I am still trying to figure out this Palin pick (I'll post on that later).

Now there are all these rumors that the reason Cheney isn't at the convention is because something is about to jump off in Iran. Sigh. We can't deal with two wars, are we really going to add a third? Where is this money coming from?

I hope Gustav continues to weaken. My heart goes out to all those impacted by the storm.