Thursday, January 31, 2013

go, gabby, go.

thank you for inviting me here today.

this is an important conversation
for our children,
for our communities,
for democrats & republicans.

speaking is difficult,
but i need to say something important.

violence is a big problem.
too many children are dying.
too many children.

we must do something.
it will be hard,
but the time is now.

you must act.
be bold.
be courageous.

americans are counting on you.

80-word testimony before the
u.s. senate judiciary committee on gun violence
by gabrielle giffords,
former u.s. house representative [d-az]
& survivor of a gunshot to the head [2011].

image sources: larry downing, reuters; americans for responsible solutions facebook page.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

never mind.

gilda lives.
well, her name does, in madison, wisconsin.

last year, the madison chapter of gilda's club —
a community cancer support organization named to honor the memory of
comic actress & saturday night live legend gilda radner
announced it intended to change its name to
cancer support community southwest wisconsin [catchy, no?].

gilda's club was founded in 1991, two years following
radner's death from ovarian cancer.
in 2009, gilda's club worldwide merged with
the wellness community, another established cancer support group,
creating the cancer support community [csc].

following the merger, many local affiliates of both merging groups
adopted the csc moniker, but some kept their original names.
the madison gilda's club chapter had done so — until recently.

that delayed decision called attention to itself,
& sparked a brushfire of harsh criticism
from chapter members, other club leaders, radner fans
& even her widower, comedic actor gene wilder.

so last week, the madison chapter board voted to
retain the gilda's club name,
in apt tribute to the legacy of a woman who
faced cancer with compassion, dignity & humor.

viva gilda.

image source: nerdy chicks rule.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

just indulge me ... one more day.

my top six runners-up for the greatest moments
of the 57th presidential inauguration [in order of appearance]:

6. kelly clarkson [texan] wowing the crowd
with her *live* version of "my country 'tis of thee":

5. beautiful beyonce [texan], amazing as ever, delivering
our national anthem [lip-synch? who cares? look at her!]:

4. our first lady epically eye-rolling
at boehner's luncheon banter:

3. nbc's al roker getting a presidential thumbs-up
& a vice-presidential handshake during the inaugural parade:

2. big first sister malia obama hilariously photobombing
little first sister sasha's shot of their smooching parents:

1. jennifer hudson, doing right by the reverend al green
with her first-couple's-first-dance version of "let's stay together":

aaaand . . . my favorite moment of the 2013 inauguration?
the one captured at the top of the post —
president obama, as he exited the ceremony,
pausing & turning around to take a moment to take it all in.
"i want to take a look one more time," he said.
"i'm not going to see this again."

watch the video of it here.

image source: the white house.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

let's stay together ... four more years.

we, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths —
that all of us are created equal —
is the star that guides us still;

just as it guided our forebears through seneca falls,
& selma,
& stonewall;

just as it guided all those men & women, sung & unsung,
who left footprints along this great mall,
to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone;

to hear a king proclaim that
our individual freedom is inextricably bound
to the freedom of every soul on earth.

it is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began.
for our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers & daughters
can earn a living equal to their efforts.

our journey is not complete until our gay brothers & sisters
are treated like anyone else under the law —
for if we are truly created equal,
then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

our journey is not complete until no citizen
is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.

our journey is not complete until we find a better way
to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants
who still see america as a land of opportunity —
until bright young students & engineers
are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.

our journey is not complete until all our children,
from the streets of detroit
to the hills of appalachia,
to the quiet lanes of newtown,
know that they are cared for & cherished & always safe from harm.

that is our generation’s task — to make these words, these rights, these values
of life & liberty & the pursuit of happiness
real for every american.

america’s possibilities are limitless,
for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands:
youth & drive;
diversity & openness;
an endless capacity for risk
& a gift for reinvention.

my fellow americans,
we are made for this moment,
&we will seize it — so long as we seize it together.

president of the united states barack h. obama
his second inaugural address
january 21st, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

different is beautiful.

i am sick.

not with the dreaded flu that's so widespread,
thank goodness.

just a cold.
a bad cold.
a miserable cold.

yesterday, i was coming down with it.
today, i'm down with it
[& not in that "i'm cool wit dat" way;
in that "i'm down for the count" way.]

i loathe it even more than i loathe lance armstrong.
which is considerable, as i've forever considered lance armstrong
an egotistical asshole. & now, at last, i'm not alone.

regardless of how vindicated i'm feeling, however,
i'm still feeling crappy.

i've got an asshole cold.

i blame lance armstrong.

still, watching this 3 minutes + 19 seconds of
different, beautiful, vulnerable, confident, breathing, wonderful women
makes me feel just a smidge better.

that, & knowing the obama family
will knock lance armstrong totally off my tv screen
come monday.

happy friday, y'all.

image source: old-fashioned days.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

revamping the crown.

my favorite headline of 12.4.2012: kate expectations.

yea, verily, the duke & duchess of cambridge are with child.
& it has been confirmed it is only one child & it is due in july.
it has not been confirmed what sex said child is believed to be.

but, regardless of blue-ocity or pink-ishness,
prince william + kate middleton's firstborn will be great britain's future monarch,
thanks to primogeniture recently becoming history.

primogeniture is the ancient rule of royal hierarchy,
which provided male heirs priority over their older female siblings,
permitting them to cut to the front of line of succession.

not only is the british government in the process of
modernizing the laws of succession to ensure trh w+c's
eldest child will become monarch, but queen elizabeth ii
has bestowed the title of "prince" or "princess" to all of the couple's kids.

prior to qe2's decree, if will+kate's firstborn were a girl,
she would receive the underling title of "lady."
now, she will officially be called "princess," & will be third in line
to the british throne, regardless of the arrival of any annoying little brothers.

my fingers are crossed for a xx-er!

image source: queen elizabeth ii & her firstborn, prince charles, ca. 1948, via vanity fair.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

i'm honoring christmas in my heart . . .

. . . & keeping it all the year.
or for a month, anyway.

three weeks later, i thought i'd try to brighten up your january midweek
with a couple of musical videos that brightened up my holiday.

video #1: a courageous [albeit rather crass] confession
from a jewish dude who calls himself happyjoel
& earns his living entering online video contests.

video #2: a kinder, gentler performance
from jimmy fallon, the roots, mariah carey & random kids,
featuring all toy instruments. just. so. charming. & happy. & fun.

"blessed is the season which engages
the whole world in a conspiracy of love"

quoth american writer hamilton wright mabie.

why not try to extend the blessing just a little longer?
share a smile — or two — today.

image source:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

women's congress?

the good news about the 113th u.s. congress?
a record number of women — 80 representatives + 20 senators —
were sworn in as members earlier this month
as a result of last november's election.

the bad news about the 113th u.s. congress?
i know, i know — there's a saddening bad-news smorgasbord from which to choose,
but the bad news i'm referring to is that despite the above-mentioned good news,
the violence against women act died.

for the first time in 19 years, the vawa doesn't exist
because the u.s. house of representatives failed to pass its renewal.
house republicans, it seems, didn't want to extend protection to
immigrants, the lgbt community or native americans.

co-written by a democrat & a republican, the vawa targets domestic violence.
& though about 85% of the victims of domestic violence happen to be women,
the law protects across the board, regardless of gender.
it includes measures that:

:: support investigation & prosecution of violent crimes;
:: impose automatic & mandatory restitution on those convicted;
:: permit civil redress in cases prosecutors choose not to persue;
:: provide legal assistance for victims;
:: provide housing assistance for victims;
:: fund family shelters & outreach groups;
:: fund community programs dedicated to fighting violence;
:: educate police about the signs of domestic violence,
how to interpret crime scenes & witness testimony; &
:: help prevent elder abuse.

the vawa was first passed in 1994, & was readily renewed in 2000 & 2005.
here's hoping our more-womanly-than-ever congress
gets 'er done — with protection for all americans —
again here in 2013.

image source: the house women democrats, 1.3.2013, via upi.

Monday, January 14, 2013

laugh — it's monday!

all together now: awwwww.

this opposites-apparently-attract pair of pawsome pals
sure are keeewt with a capital Q . . .

but if you've got four-legged friends around your house,
then you know the daily reality of pet parenthood
often features less-than-darling, closer-to-disgusting moments.

this video — which i've watched at least a dozen times &
is still causing me to laugh aloud alone with my laptop —
accurately exemplifies the type of behavior we will tolerate
in our furry wards which we likely would not in our two-legger friends.

bone appetit!!

image source: verba mea vita blog.

Friday, January 11, 2013

are you a fe-man-ist??

a quick little femi-litmus quiz for the boys, courtesy of the frisky
[you might want to imagine your man's answers & ensure he's
the right guy for you]:

sir, you may be a feminist if you . . .

:: are proud and not threatened that your wife, girlfriend or gal pal earns more money than you.

:: wouldn’t dream of having sex with a girl too drunk to consent.

:: are appalled by how many celebrities and professional athletes get away with abusing, sexually assaulting or killing women.

:: even though you believe abortion is wrong, you believe a woman should make decisions about her own body.

:: respect female power and don’t feel threatened by it. [extra points for a Hillary '08 tee]

:: are pretty horrified at the expectation of other dudes that women wax their nether-regions bare.

:: don’t feel the need to qualify people as “a female doctor” or “a female writer.”

:: realize all the glitter nail polish, red lipstick, and stiletto heels in the world doesn’t make a woman dumber than you.

:: pay and promote your employees based on merit — i.e., your female employees can expect to make as much as your male employees — and offer both maternity and paternity leave.

:: love women’s bodies, yet wonder why they are used to sell everything from beer to drano.

:: expect to do as much of the diaper-changing and PBJ-making as the mother of your children because you realize fatherhood is equally as important.

:: tell your buddies to quit it whenever you hear them talk degradingly about women.

:: understand that lesbians were not put on the Earth for “Girls Gone Wild” videos.

:: wouldn’t dream of criticizing a black woman for rocking her natural hair.

:: give as good as you get [sometimes better?] in bed.

:: are open to the evolution of your own gender identity/expression, i.e., you don’t tell yourself or other males “a real man shouldn’t” or “a real man can’t.”

image source: rupaul "foxy lady" doll @ logo tv.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

slammin' women.

last month, the universe slid the following video
of poet mindy nettifee performing
"for young women who don't consider themselves feminists"
in the autumn at the west side school for the desperate
across my laptop, & i loved it.

now, i've discovered ms. nettifee is the headliner for
the women of the world poetry slam finals,
being sponsored by austin poetry slam & being held
here in the atx next month.
$5 admission? seriously?? i'll be there.

according to her bio, mindy "believes poetry should
hammer all the nerves & swell the heart & shake the sleeping.
she believes we need it like we need clean air & people to smile at us every once in awhile.
she sincerely hopes that this whole getting-to-do-what-she-loves-for-a-living thing
isn't a fluke. but if it is, well, there's always peaches & bourbon."

image source: austin poetry slam.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

amy & tina's golden globes.

yes, i am a pop-culture junkie.
i always earn the pink trivial pursuit pie piece first.

but i do try to stay toward the top of the entertainment-news fray . . .
i sometimes buy people magazine, but never other supermarket tabloids.
i watch et, but not tmz.
i dvr the academy awards, but just glance at reviews of the golden globes.

until this year.

this year, i will be watching the golden globes
from red-carpet coverage to closing credits.

because this year, the magnificently hilarious tina fey & amy poehler
will be teaming up to host oscar's 70yo boozy little brother.

in advance interviews, tina has outlined the hosting job description as
keeping things moving, & getting the movie stars drunker so
hopefully someone's boob will fall out of their dress.
amy has promised to wear an all tear-away wardrobe throughout the evening.

&, as if all that is not enough, they've created a drinking game
especially for the event for at-home viewers.
i've already posted the rules up on our fridge:

::any time an actress cries in a speech, drink.

::any time you see a person actively not listening to someone onstage, drink.

::any time someone says, “i didn’t prepare anything!” drink.

::any time anyone thanks harvey weinstein, eat a meatball sub.

::any time they show judi dench, take off an article of clothing.

::any time maggie smith wins, take off an article of clothing.

it's gonna be a night to remember — or try to, anyway.
go, team fey-ler!! wait . . . that didn't come out the way i meant it.
anyway, can't wait for sunday.

image source: huffington post united kingdom.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

now or never.

elvis presley celebrates his 78th birthday today . . . somewhere.

elvis was & is the hip-swiveling patron saint-slash-guardian angel
of my & my husband's courtship, especially while we lived
a couple of thousand miles apart.

it's a long story. but trust me, the king was there.

so we thankedhimverymuch by having an acoustic version of
"it's now or never" played just before "here comes the bride"
at our wedding. we knew E'd know it was intended in gratitude for him.

but all that is beside the point.
the point being, where have i been for two months?!?

here in the states, it's called the holidays.
mine were full. & joyful. & non-bloggily creative.
& for about four days, edgy.

like the edge of a file folder that just sliced your thumb.
or the sort of edgy that promotes eye-twitches.
& that segment was rough.

but the rest was rather merry, really.
& now i'm ready for bright.

so to 2013,
i extend a warm, open-armed, open-hearted welcome.
& i say, bring it.

bring the bright. the lucky. the shiny.
bring the creativity. the opportunity. the abundance.

bring it all. because i'm ready.
ready to love it all. ready to release the little
& embrace the big.

dreams. realizations. kudos.

ready to shine. ready to do. ready to blog.

it's not really now or never.
but i intend to make it now.
2013, i've got a feeling. & i feel good.

so happy birthday, elvis, wherever you are.

image source: joni james @ calligramorama.