Friday, March 31, 2006

Is Bush the worst? Impossible to say right now...

I have taken my time responding to Tusk and Talon and Homercles, who have graciously responded to my request for reasons why President Bush shouldn’t be considered the worst president of all time. You should really check out their responses. Particularly T&T, who have really made some excellent arguments. What follows is my response.

Homercles, first. The nice thing about his response is that he outlines a number of things he feels Bush didn’t do well first. That’s appreciated.

However, his first two positive points about Bush are the appointments of Bolton to the UN and Rice as Secretary of State. Even if you do like these appointments (and I like one out of two), you can look at other appointments he’s made or attempted to make (Brown in charge of FEMA, Chertoff in charge of Homeland Security, Miers to the Supreme Court) and you realize this is someone who often appoints friends not qualified individuals. This was never more apparent than during the Hurricane Katrina response. I am not one of those people who closes my eyes with regard to the failures of the local governments, but I absolutely hold Bush responsible for the failure of the federal government. Either 1) his decision to fold FEMA into Homeland (Michael Brown’s assertion) or 2) Brown being appointed to run FEMA when he wasn’t qualified to do so contributed to the loss of property and loss of life.

Homercles also supports Bush’s moves in the war on terror, but I’m going to skip that one for the moment and come back to it.

Next Homercles applauds Bush saying we need to look into alternative fuels. Saying it and doing it are two different things. What exactly has he done besides point out the obvious? Not to mention the fact that I’m taking points off for waiting until now to even admit that there’s a problem.

Homercles brings up the AIDS appropriation. Like Bono, I give Bush props for that. However, unlike Homercles, I think putting conservatives on the court will hurt our country more than help. But I do agree about the need to get Kelo overturned based on what I read about the case today. In any case, this is one of the points where it’s impossible to agree as we just have philosophical differences.

Homercles final point is about exposing Russia and France for their immorality. Did Bush do that? Seems to me that happened on his watch. And exposing immorality of other nations hardly qualifies someone as a good president. I have a higher standard than that, I guess.

Okay, let’s check out what Tusk and Talon had to say.

First Don explains how he determines what makes a good president. I agree completely with this statement:

I define a president who protects the elements of American freedoms as “good”, and one who yields them as “bad”. It is difficult, but necessary to differentiate between short-term expediency and long-term effects of any action, or decision not to act.

According to Don, those elements of American Freedoms include:

Our constitution and bill of rights guarantee majority rule with protection for minorities. Free-market capitalism allows the most opportunity for people to get those things they desire while rewarding innovation and economic growth. And hundreds of years of history have ingrained transparency, tolerance and respect for private property into our culture.

Again, I agree with that, however where I differ a little bit is that I recognize that a free market economy is not perfect and there are times when an outside force (i.e. the government) needs to step in. But still, I think we’re starting at a pretty similar place.

The first point that Don brings up is Bush’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Treaty. I’m pretty torn on this issue. I think it’s impossible to say that Bush’s refusal to sign this treaty was a good thing at this point. We may not know for many years whether this hurt or helped us. On the general issue of the environment, Bush has clearly failed. Go here for more information on that front. Don makes the point in one the quotes above that we "must differentiate between short-term expediency and long-term effects of any action." On the environment, the Bush administration has clearly ignored the long term effects of its actions.

Don’s next point is tax cuts. We’re not going to agree on that issue and I’ll just say we have a different philosophy on this issue and leave it at that.

Moving on... the No Child Left Behind Act has failed. It’s great that he tried to do something, but it didn’t work. You don’t get president points for trying, you get points for succeeding.

Don then brings up the appointment to the courts of judges who will base their rulings on the constitution. This one makes me smile a little bit. I have to give Homercles props for admitting that he applauded Bush for putting conservatives on the court instead of hiding behind the 'judges who use base rulings on the constitution” line. Let’s face facts, the constitution requires interpretation. Individuals are going to bring their biases to the table. Presidents are going to choose individuals who think the same way they do on issues. As someone who is pro-life (which is a terrible label, but everyone knows what I mean when I use it so there you go), I am glad to see the court move toward a makeup that is more in line with my views on that issue. Of course, there are other issues that the new judges will probably not go my way on. I guess I’m kind of jaded on the whole Supreme Court issue.

There’s still the one big issue that, as Don points out, will be the determining factor in figuring Bush’s place in history: The Iraq War. And the problem with that is… we just don’t know how it will all turn out.

So here’s what you get from asking the question and getting well reasoned, informative answers. I will not say that George Bush is the worst president in my lifetime… at least not yet. Right now, it doesn’t look good and in fact, I don’t see any successes that both political parties can point to and agree on, but I suppose if by some miracle his plan to create a democracy in Iraq leads to more democracies in the Middle East, then I’ll give him props. And that success could be enough to lift him out of last place. But I think that plan is doomed to failure because you can’t force democracy.

Don also brings up the wiretapping issue and I’ll address that in another post.

Finally, I just want to say thanks to both Homercles and Don from Tusk and Talon for responding. You both gave me a lot to think about.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thursday funny

Check out this blog post from my friend James. Damn funny.

Rain forest moving on

And now something more local...

What are the community leaders of Pella, Riverside, Grinnell, and Tiffin thinking? Did they miss the aggravation Coralville went through when dealing with the people involved in this Rain Forest Boondoggle? What I love best about the article, and by love I mean despise, is the headline: Rain forest finalists named. It makes it sound like these cities are close to winning some sort of contest when really all their winning is misery. Check out this part of the article:

The focus of the next six weeks, at least for the selected communities, appears to be the ability to raise the requested $25 million.

The project leaders' plan calls for a two-tiered approach of community-driven and project-driven private financing, which would go along with federal funds and potential state funds. The community would be expected to raise money first before the project signaled their private financers, Oman said.

Ha, ha, ha! This is rich. The community has to raise the money and then Oman will get those mysterious private financers to throw in with it. Ha, ha, ha! Listen carefully, Grinnell, Riverside, Pella, and Tiffin. There are no private financers. It’s not going to happen. Get out now while the getting’s good.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Probably too idealistic

There’s a very interesting and important case in front the Supreme Court right now - Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. It involves Salim Hamdan, the driver for Osama bin Laden. He’s been held as an enemy combatant. He filed a writ of habeas corpus, which basically challenges the lawfulness of his detention. However, Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act. This ridiculous piece of legislation on one hand mandates that the detainees not be tortured and then with the other hand it states that the courts have no authority to enforce that. In fact, it states that the courts have no jurisdiction over detainees whatsoever. This could be construed to eliminate the right of a detainee to file a writ of habeas corpus although it does not explicitly say so. It sounds like the Supreme Court is leaning against that curtailment of its powers.

If they do rule that Detainee Treatment Act does not remove the right of habeas corpus then they’ll rule on whether the military commissions set up by the Bush administration are legal. From

The commissions, which exist separately from courts-martial, operate under rules that allow the defendant to be excluded from trial and impose other limits on protections for defendants. Guilty verdicts and sentences are reviewable only by the president.

President Bush declared a war on terror. During wartime, that means our suspected enemies should be protected under the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. However, because the terrorists are not operating with the backing of a foreign government, the theory is that they’re not protected under this. So we have these military commissions set up to prosecute the suspected terrorists.

I don't think Geneva really applies because we are not at war with the nations that these individuals call home. We are at war with "terrorism", which is a new idea that requires new rules.

However, from all reports, it sounds as if these suspected terrorists are not receiving the same treatment you and I would receive were we held for the suspicion of a crime. Some would argue that’s fine – they’re terrorists, remember 9/11?

I’ll never forget 9/11. And now is the time when we must bend over backward to assure fair and humane treatment of our enemies. The world is watching. We have been claiming that this is the greatest nation on earth and that our principles, our way of life, should be emulated. A nation that tortures or denies to others inalienable rights that we ourselves would never give up is not one that others would find worth imitating.

I think these individuals should be prosecuted as suspected criminals and if found guilty receive appropriate sentences, but they should go through the same legal process that we go through. It’s the best system we’ve come up with; why shouldn’t these people be allowed to go through that system? They are still human beings. Being born American doesn’t make us better than them. They should be considered innocent until proven guilty. We believe in that concept – why do we believe we have the right to deny that to others?

I do believe in our country and the freedoms that we stand for. And I think the best way to spread those beliefs is not through war, but through example. I suppose this is why some people call me idealistic.

Bad night for the Idols

Wow, that was a terrible week on American Idol, wasn’t it? Almost all of them sucked pretty bad. Chris was good, but even I, a big Chris supporter, am getting a little bored with him. He told Ryan he could pull off a love song, so let’s hear it, Chris.

My favorite for the week was actually Elliot. He sang Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Want to Be", which was done by Bo Bice last year. Elliot’s version was completely different, but no less effective. I thought Taylor did a good job, but I was a little bored again. That’s two weeks in a row that he’s sung a repetitive song. I liked Paris’ performance, but I was not familiar with the song and the words didn’t stick with me during the show. I read online today that it’s a very suggestive song and a lot of people have a problem with a 17-year-old singing that song. I tend to agree, but rating her just on performance and not song choice, I thought it was one of her better performances.

In the they-were-pretty-blah category, we have Katherine, Bucky, and Mandisa. All were okay, but not spectacular. In the oh-my-god-that-was-painful category, we have Lisa, Kellie, and Ace.

Who will be bottom three? Ace and Lisa for certain. I am afraid Kellie will stay out there for another week, unfortunately. That probably means we’ll see a shocker in the bottom three… like… how about Mandisa?

I predict Lisa will go home.

Oh and by the way, Rachel decided she’d rather play Strawberry Shortcake and Old Maid than watch American Idol. She is planning on watching Katherine’s performance tonight. I was told I had to save it for her.

My War to Bush to Why We Blog to AI

So I finished My War by Colby Buzzell. He’s the soldier who started a blog while stationed near Mosul and took some heat for it. It’s an excellent book and really gives an authentic view of at least one part of the Iraq war. But don’t go looking for any truth, any black and white facts about the war. It is right or is it wrong? Who the hell knows? From the book, it’s clear that some Iraqis are thrilled we’re there and some are not. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to determine objectively if that war was right or wrong.
Look at the facts:

Fact 1: We were told we were going there because Iraq had WMDs and it turned out there were no WMDs. That's a bad thing.

Fact 2: We removed Saddam Hussein who was clearly a criminal and caused much hardship and worse for the Iraqi people. So that’s a good thing.

It comes down to a “Do the ends justify the means?” question. Nothing ever ends, Adrian. (Name the reference and win a virtual prize. Or did I make a reference to this work before? No matter.)

What’s still undetermined is whether we’ll succeed in creating a democratic country in the Middle East and that will breed more democracy in that area of the world. That appears to be Bush’s plan. If it works, then Bush has got a chance of bring considered a great president. My opinion is that it won’t work because of one basic fact: you can’t force democracy. It has to happen naturally.

Anyway, back to the book. One of the more interesting parts of it is the idea that we should take control of the media ourselves. Dead Kennedys’ frontman Jello Biafra is Buzzell’s inspiration for this theory. In his book, Buzzell includes CNN’s version and the official army report of a particular engagement in Mosul where Buzzell was nearly killed. Then he writes the about it from his perspective in the middle of the firefight. He ends by asking if the media and the army are not telling the whole truth about what’s happening where he is in Mosul, what else are they not telling us about the war. Bloggers can do a good job of taking control of the media and it’s clear our impact is growing. I know that this little blog doesn’t reach that many people but I think it’s likely it’s had an impact on some of those who have read the posts. Perhaps those readers started a conversation with someone else because of something I’d written. I think that’s the goal really. Be the impetus for conversations. Get people talking about the things that I think are important.

And of course, the unimportant stuff too. Like Chris Daughtry. He was good again last night, huh? Of course, I would like to see him sing something a little outside of the rock and roll comfort zone.

Monday, March 27, 2006

A quiz...

Thanks to Sidenotes...

You Were a Coyote

Brutally honest, you encourage people to show their true selves.
You laugh at life - none of it can be taken too seriously.

Movies and more movies

I saw a few movies over the weekend. When I was at the video store the other night, I realized just how many movies I have missed in the last year. I need to catch up, but it’s slow going.

The one movie I saw in the theater this weekend, Brokeback Mountain, was very good, but I am glad that it didn’t win Best Picture over Crash, which I re-watched on Friday. Crash was just as good on the second viewing. And what I liked most about it was the way it wove different storylines together both through plot and theme. I am inspired to create a play with that technique although for a play it’d have to be on a smaller scale. And I’d need to figure out what I wanted to say. But back to Brokeback. It’s a great movie, certainly worthy of a best picture nom. I haven’t seen Capote yet (it’s high on my list) but I’d say that Phillip Seymour Hoffman has to have given the best performance of his career to have done a better job than Heath Ledger. Ledger created an entirely new person, unlike any other character he’s every portrayed. You know how when you see George Clooney in a movie, you never really forget he’s George Clooney? I completely forgot that was Heath Ledger up there on the screen. He was simply amazing. The most interesting aspect of the movie was not the love story, but rather the reminder of how bad things used to be for gays. Not that things are perfect now, not by a long shot, but the fact was Ennis (Ledger) chose an entirely unsatisfying life, denying who he was because he believed he would be killed. While that still happens forty years later, there are now lots of places in the United States where a gay man or woman can live and feel safe in their community. We have come a long way.

Enough with the Oscar worthy films. I also rented Serenity, which was a movie spin off from the failed television series Firefly. I never watched Firefly so I came into the movie completely unaware of the history of the show. I was afraid I’d get lost and I’m sure there are parts of the movie that would have resonated more if I had watched the TV show, but the fact was I really enjoyed it. I picked up on the characters and their relationships easily and the plot was both interesting and exciting. The only reason that the movie didn’t become a big hit was the lead actor. I don’t know his name, but he’s no movie star. I can see him doing well on a TV show, but that didn’t translate to the big screen. He was decent, don’t get me wrong, but he just doesn’t have the charisma and acting chops to send the movie into orbit. Oh, and I have a question for those who did watch the TV show. The guy who died in the crash near the end of the movie – was he a regular on the TV show? Just wondering if that would have been a shocking moment for fans of the show.

Walk the Line is next on my list of movies to watch. It’s rented and waiting for me at home.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ahh! Interview!

So I had a job interview today. It's at my current workplace. Someone is retiring in a couple of weeks. Thing is, I didn't know I was having the interview until a half hour before it was to start! Pressure. You see, I came into work today to find that a number of people were interviewing for the job and I thought, well, I guess I'm not going to be considered. Which I thought was strange since I have received such good feedback from my boss. So part way through the day, I decided to step into my boss' office and ask if she received my resume. She said no and that she was surprised she hadn't. Well, that's better than receiving it and saying "Ha! As if!" I told her I sent one in so she checked with HR and found that there was a snafu and mine hadn't been forwarded. At first, she was all "I don't think we can do anything about this" as she had the four candidates they wanted to interview. However, a few mintues later she came by and said the committee could stick around a little longer to interview me, too. Which was great, but nervewracking. I like time to prepare for this sort of thing. Plus, I was wearing jeans since it's casual Friday. Still, it all worked out well and I think I did a good job. I won't be too disappointed if I don't get this job as I've only been here a few months and wouldn't mind a little more experience before taking on more responsibility. Of course, at the same time, it'd be great to get the promotion and all that comes with it. And I know I'd do the job well. So we'll see what happens. If I don't get this one, another will come along eventually. I have been enjoying my current job a lot so I'm feeling good about things no matter what happens.

Godot in Cedar Rapids!

We're taking our most recent production on the road! Waiting for Godot comes to Cedar Rapids this weekend only. Come see the show and get a chance to look around inside a masonic building - it's held at the Scottish Rite theater space. Seriously, though, I saw the show in Iowa City and it is excellent. Funny, thought provoking, everything good theater should be. Don't miss it! Especially if you're one of those Cedar Rapidians who never find the time to drive down to Iowa City. We're coming to you! Check it out.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Okay, I don't think I've ever had a Werther's candy until today and ohmygod, that's good. I mean damn tasty. Wow.

You would think at my age I wouldn't be finding new tasty candy treats. I can't believe I went through 30 some odd years without having one.

I gotta get me another one of them.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

AI Thoughts: Chris should win

Well, Rachel seemed uninterested in actually listening to the performers last night. Perhaps she was soured on the whole thing after previous favorite Melissa was ejected last week. (If I hear the question “Why did Melissa get voted out?” one more time…) Of course, she has now decided she likes Katherine based solely on a tiny picture of her. She didn’t really care to listen to the singing. I have a superficial daughter, I guess.

Anyway… did you hear Chris sing Walk the Line? Wasn’t that amazing? Day-um. I know there’s a bit of a controversy right now because the producers lead us to believe Chris created that version of the song on his own when really it’s very similar to Live’s version, but frankly, I don’t give a damn. It was an electrifying performance. However, Sharon thought it sucked. She thinks Chris keeps doing the same thing over and over again and he needs to break out of the box. But I guess I just like that box that he’s in.

Kevin was good again. Sorry Kevin-haters, I don’t think he’s going anywhere tonight. Bucky wasn’t very good at all and I think he’s going home. Lisa was too good, either, and that’s two weeks in a row for her. Still, I think almost being booted last week will help her. Her peeps will rally around her and save her for one more week. Taylor bored me this week. The song was just too repetitive and he didn’t mix it up at all. I am totally done with firecracker Paris. She can go home anytime now.

Overall, you have to give props to Barry Manilow, who helped the contestants prepare this week. All of them were at least good, and some were outstanding. It was a much better week than last week’s terrible Stevie Wonder night.

Bottom three prediction: Kevin, Lisa, Bucky

Going home: Bucky

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Help me out?

I have stated before that I consider myself an Independent. I do not favor either party and in fact wish we had a viable third option. (Green party supporters please note the word “viable”.) I look at the politician’s integrity, intelligence, stated positions and then, most importantly, his or her actions, and decide whether or not to support him or her based on that.

Right now President Bush’s support is at an all time low. Still, he had a lot of support in the past. In my view, based on the actions he’s taken, I think he’s the worst president of my lifetime. As I look back over the past few years, I can think of one moment when I thought George Bush did something right. And that was the moment he stood atop the wreckage of the World Trade Center with his arm around the firefighter and told the world we would fight back. Cynics may call that a photo op, but he did the right thing at that moment, which was bring a nation together and tell them we’d be all right.

But that’s all I got. So. I am asking those Bush supporters that out there (Hi Homercles and the Tusk and Talon gang!) to help me out. Could you please list the actions President Bush has taken in the last six years that were good for this country? I am ready to read with an open mind.

Oh and if any Bush detractors want to play devil’s advocate, feel free to do that as well.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Vote for James!

So my friend, James Erwin, is trying to win some sort of contest where he gets to blog for the Des Moines Register or something like that. James is a darn funny guy having had stuff and more stuff published on McSweeney's webite. He's also plays really well with Rachel. She enjoys patting his balding head. And he's very nice about it. And besides you don't know any of those other people. So vote for James!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Quick AI Thoughts

So Ryan Seacrest says to Kellie Pickler: "Simon isn't a fashionista. You know what I mean?" And Kellie looks like at Ryan like he's from another planet. And Sharon says to me, "Of course she doesn't know what it means; that word has more than four syllables." And that sums up brainless Kellie perfecty.

And about Kevin Covais. First of all, I like him. Not that I think he should or will win the competition. But I love his attitude. He knows he's not sexy, he's knows the fact that he's there is absolutely ridiculous, and so he's going to have fun with it for as long as it lasts. Part Time Lover! Ha! Of course, the fact that he sang really well doesn't hurt either. If you close your eyes when he sings, you'll find that he's not bad at all.

I worry for Melissa, Rachel's favorite. Forgetting the words of the song will not be forgiven. I think she's probably gone.

I wouldn't mind seeing Elliot leave, however. Everyone raves about his voice, but I don't hear it. And I'd rather watch Kevin's ridiculous dance moves than stare at Elliot's ears. He's a brown haired Alfred P. Newman.

What will be most interesting is to see who is in the bottom three with Melissa. I am hoping for a surprise there.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

American Idol - thoughts about the top 12

It was a pretty big shocker last week when Kevin Covais made it through to the top 12. No one, not even Kevin who looked completely shocked, expected him to slide through. Gideon, who has an amazing voice, was cut instead. And that just goes to show that it's not all about the singing. I thought Gideon's personality was very fake and I'm betting he just didn't connect with the audience the way Kevin did. The other male casualty last week was Will Makar. He wasn't bad and I was little surprised he didn't make it through.

As for the women, Kinnick and Ayla got the axe. I won't really miss either one, but I was a little sad Ayla didn't go further. She was crying and that's always too bad. Plus, there won't be any more fun shots of her towering over Ryan Seacrest. Fortunately, Rachel's favorite, Melissa made it through. I was worried I'd have a crying five year old on my hands. Instead I had a girl jumping for joy.

So who do I like?

That's easy. Chris Daughtry, the rocker with the soulful voice. He's one of only a few who are complete performers. Add to that his choice of songs and the rock edge and he's easily at the front of the pack in my eyes.

For the women, Mandisa is the front runner. Like Chris, she's a polished performer with the vocal chops to match. She's as good as Chris is, perhaps better in some ways, and so it just comes down to personal preference. I like Chris better but I could understand how Mandisa could be someone else's top choice.

As for the others... what happened to Paris? She was good at the beginning but she's just coasted the last two weeks. I would have liked to see her get the boot before the top 12. The girl needs a wake up call. And the other young one - Lisa - is wilting under the pressure. I think they'll both be gone pretty soon. And would someone explain the fascination with Bucky? I can't stand him. He's Bo Bice-Lite. I mean, really, really lite. Finally, Kellie Pickler cannot go home soon enough. She is not a good singer. The ONLY reason she's still around is that fake innocent personality thing she's milking. And Simon, of course, is making it worse by encouraging this BS. Every season there's a cute girl who's not that talented that Simon takes a shine to and she gets further than she should. Last year, Carrie was Simon's girl and she won. A travesty.

Tonight is Stevie Wonder music. I am not thrilled. I don't think Stevie has 12 good songs.

Friday, March 03, 2006

A brand spankin' new MEME

I watched the creation of this MEME over at livejournal, so I hope you'll all take it to your own blogs and keep it moving through the 'net.

What’s your super power?

My super power is to help others fly, like my two kids. "Fly, Daddy!" they'll say and I'll lef them up with my feet and they smile hugely.

What was your major in college? In what ways, if any, is your current job related to your major?

English. I used it to get my last job, which was as a technical writer and through that job I learned all about financial aid, which helped me get my current job at the financial aid office at Kirkwood. But really, I figured out about halfway through the English degree that I should have chosen something else. Amusingly enough, if I had it to do over again, I'd double major in business and theater. Then get a master's degree in Theater Administration. But I didn't figure all of that out until I was 30 or so.

Did you go to your 10-year reunion? How was that?

I would have liked to but my class didn't have one! I was so annoyed with those slackers. Twenty years is only three years away so hopefully that'll happen. Ohmygod. I'm only three years away from my 20th reunion? What the hell happened!?

For real, how long would you last if civilization ended? Explain.

Oh, I think I'd be okay. Honestly, I have this whole Appalachian Trail hiking side of me that I wish I got take out more often. If civilization ended and we had to live off the land, I'd be all over that. Although I'd definitely move south so I wouldn't have to deal with winters without civilization. I don't like the cold.

What is the first thing you do have coming home from a day at work? I take off my shoes. I don't like wearing shoes inside.

What’s your favorite late night, after bar “breakfast” food?

I would say waffles and a chocolate shake. But I don't go to bars anymore. In fact, I hardly went to them when I was in college.

What’s your favorite restaurant in a city other than your own?

Beef and Brandy (B&Bs) in Countryside, Illinois. But that's mostly for sentimental reasons. I used to hang out there with my friends when I was in high school. It is a 24 hour place so we could be there late into the night.

Tell me about a website you love that I’ve probably never heard of.

This is a really hard one. For one, I am at work so I can't look ay my bookmarks. I'll have to update the meme when I get home.

How much can you benchpress?

More than you probably think I can. I am stronger than I appear.

How did you end up blogging?*

I was part of a short-lived reality tv blog and then I decided to create my own thing. At least I think that's how I got started.

* note the original question was "How did you end up on livejournal?" but I changed since I didn't end up on livejournal although I do have a livejournal feed thanks to Ali who knows all sorts of computer like things.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Theater roundup

ICCT's production of The Seven Year Itch opens tomorrow night. Here's an article about it.

And on Saturday, be sure to check out Dreamwell's last hurrah party at the Old Capitol Mall. Here's an article about the event.

Some pictures from past Dreamwell shows...

Intellectual Orgasms

Death and the Maiden


Mr. Wu

Glengarry Glen Ross

The Book of Liz

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What a day...

I was going to post today about how much fun Rachel and I had. We played with her horses (thanks, Uncle John and Aunt Peg!), we watched some favorite TV shows that she never gets to see anymore, we saw a movie (Curious George - a lot of fun!), we got haircuts, and we just had a lot of fun being together. So much fun that she fell asleep this afternoon, something she hardly ever does anymore.

So I was going into detail about all of that, but I don't feel like it because today I got a call from mom telling me that my grandma had passed away a few hours earlier. My grandma was 96. She was not in the best of health and this wasn't a surprise at all, really. But it still hurts. Being far away from my family, I don't get to see them very often and when I do it's usually for some family party and with a family like mine, big and boisterous, it's hard to have real conversations, ones that move beyond an update on what's new in your life, you know? So I don't feel like I connected very well with Grandma these last few years. And it's really my own fault. I could have made a special trip to Chicago to see just her, but I didn't. I knew I was going to feel this way when she passed on. I knew it, but I didn't do anything to fix it. My grandma was a special lady. She was smart, and she never lost her smarts as she got older. Sharp as a tack as you often hear people say. She had a lot of pride and a lot of gumption. Even old and frail, she seemed strong to me. I wonder if she realized that I and probably a lot of other people, too, saw her that way. Her body had become weak, but there was still strength within her and I saw that every time I saw her. I loved her. And I really miss her. And I regret not being there more. I suppose if I take anything from this, it would be to make the time to see the people you care about even if it's not easy to do so.

My Survivor blog has the latest news and speculation as well as some spoiling about the show.
About Me

Name: Matt
Location: Coralville, IA
I am a Dad and a Husband. An Actor. An Administrator. A Hiker. A Writer. Probably a bunch of other things too. Read my blog and you'll find out more.
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

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