NaBloPoMo – November 2007

Today is the day. Today is the first day of the rest of the Blog Post month (NaBloPoMo, y’know). So much to do today and for the rest of the week. I have yet to begin writing for NaNoWriMo, but I will do that during ER…

I listened to NPR as usual. I am so used to hearing On Point between 10am-12pm, that I can’t stand to watch tv on my days off during that time period because there is nothing on that I REALLY care about.

One topic of discussion on today’s On Point was the fact that the network nightly news as we know it is circling the drain. It’s true that I don’t watch it much anymore, that is more of a function of me not being home at 6:30pm than lack of interest. Of the big three, I will watch Charles Gibson, since I watched him from Good Morning America. I never liked Katie Couric and I have no idea what crack Les Moonves was smoking when he thought that she was an improvement over Rather and Schieffer.

The day after Halloween is somber-at least for me. It also means 1/2 price candy…

Sometimes I get annoyed at how much time and energy work takes away from more fun things than can be productive as well. I did write for NaNo during ‘ER,’ though am a little disturbed that they want to have Abby fall off the wagon. I understand that as a high pressured job, an ‘ER’ doc who is a mom would be challenged and that something like this would not be completely out of the ordinary, but I feel that I want to for once see a woman doctor on that show who is not a damsel in distress. Someone not perfect but managing, like every other mother does.
 
Well, I missed the weekend. There was a lot going on with finishing up work on helping out at Steppin’ Out and sleeping. I liked sleeping and watching the Phantom Gourmet on Sunday. I did do some NaNo writing and cleared 2611 words. Pakistan has lost its mind and there is a writers’ strike. I wonder if guildmembers will participate in NaNo now that they have some more time (or less-bills still need to be paid).
 
 

People are talking about the strike…on NPR’s ‘Talk of the Nation’, they are mentioning the shows that people should give a second look on DVD or RERUNS to watch out for. My list would read as follows (in no order of preference-just listin’):

Mama’s Family Carol Burnet Show
Good Times
Are you Being Served?
Book of Daniel
Firefly
Freaks and Geeks
Dallas-especially the seasons leading up to and just after “Who Shot JR”?
Newhart
The Bob Newhart Show
Jack Benny-especially when the episodes centered around his life
Maude
Golden Girls
Alice
Cold Case
Roar
Xena
Select episodes of Hercules
Cleopatra 2525
Jack of All Trades
Cowboy Bebop
Ghost In Shell
Digimon Seasons 1-3
Gimme a Break (until the death of the father)
Newsradio
WKRP
EastEnders
The Vicar of Dibley
The Blackadder series (all of them 1-4, the specials and Blackadder: Back and Forth)
Roseanne
Grace Under Fire (up to the last season)
Committed
Close to Home
Hawaii Five 0 (if you must watch the final season, do it to see McGarrett finally get Wo-Fat or to learn how to wreck a good series)
Dynasty (select episodes)
Falcon Crest
The Colbys (select episodes)
Murphy Brown
AMEN (if nothing else, watch the opening-one of the best theme songs for a show)
Lou Grant
Soap
Sports night
Wacky Races

I guess I could go on, but will stop for now. I suspect that future posts will consistof me extending this list.

Today was a laundry list day where bills were paid, work was done and plans were made. One of the biggest things I have going on is recruiting volunteers for the Resolution Ball (http://www.resolutionball.com/), which supports the Ellie Fund (http://www.elliefund.org/), a nonprofit that provides assistance to breast cancer survivors by assisting them with everyday needs. I am the chair and it (the committee) has been merged with fundraising and well…we shall overcome.

I was listening to Judge Judy, which apparently is “child support” and “stupid fight” day.

Today was a laundry list day where bills were paid, work was done and plans were made. One of the biggest things I have going on is recruiting volunteers for the Resolution Ball (http://www.resolutionball.com/), which supports the Ellie Fund (http://www.elliefund.org/), a nonprofit that provides assistance to breast cancer survivors by assisting them with everyday needs. I am the chair and it (the committee) has been merged with fundraising and well…we shall overcome.

I was listening to Judge Judy, which apparently is “child support” and “stupid fight” day.

More working and organizing-especially the Resolution Ball and the Blogger meetup (http://blog.meetup.com/3/). For the meetup, I am working on a political blogging discussion.
 

Well, falling off a bit on the posting every day thing, but I mean to work harder at it.

Well, falling off a bit on the posting every day thing, but I mean to work harder at it.

Today has been ‘NPR’ day. I decided to listen to some of the archives in addition to the regular broadcast. I actively sought the broadcast that covered Tom Anthony and his book about the song, “House of the Rising Sun.” I remembered this because I found the story fascinating. I actually don’t think I have heard all of the versions of the song. Yesterday I heard and saw finally in its entirety the Animals version of the “House of the Rising Sun”. I saw the original tv tape and the 2006 concert with a much older Eric Burdon. I think that older Eric gave the song a rawness that was missing in his younger incarnation. It was said that the Animals version of the song held an “allure” and I would agree with that. The “allure” was missing in the older Burdon’s performance. It makes you wonder about the fantasies of youth where something like a song of ruin and reckless can be attractive and of age where once older is now wiser and the skull is seen beneath the skin.

I also heard today on On Point about disparity in divorce rates in classes, a rough report card on day care, a review of the movies ‘300’ and ‘Sicko’ and ‘How Doctors Think.’

Divorce rates and class: Maybe. I found it curious that they did not look at a class of people that want to get married but cannot in any state in this country except Massachusetts. I suppose that’s another story.

‘300’: I saw the movie and liked it for the entertainment that it was. A strong memory for me regarding this was a girl named Marin who brought along a copy of Thucydides’ version of the event that was published by Oxford, which is always awesome in providing maps, timelines and commentary. I thought it was curious that mention was made by the Iranian guests and host Tom Ashbrook about the darkness of the Persians’ skins and the whiteness (Ashbrook said Aryan) of the heroes. Actually, I found it curious that the Iranians were so upset and adamant about the fact that their characters had dark skin and one went as far as to claim that the Greeks were actually the dark skinned ones as if being dark skinned was a despicable thing-even more than Xerxes being portrayed as an immoral “drag queen” that does not value his people or family values.

‘How Doctors Think’: I think that the idea that you need to be your own best advocate was reinforced. Women especially need to do this-damn the ‘b–tch’ perception and full steam ahead.

‘Sicko’: I saw ‘Sicko’ finally at MIT yesterday. I was upset by it because I am still hopping mad over Massachusetts’ mandatory healthcare reform program that only benefits the health insurance companies and not the people. This documentary only reinforced what I already knew. I am also upset at the Phoenix because you know, it’s real easy to portray young people (20s and 30s) as careless, selfish and thoughless-we have a society that hammers that home all the time with cartoon character media portrayals. To say that they are all these things because they see the Emperor doesn’t have any clothes (the fact that they are paying for health insurance that over time with certain jobs, will almost certainly insure that they will be behind-but they will be covered-kinda) points out that the writer and the experts advocating for this really don’t see this for the racket that it is. I also find it a bitter taste in my mouth that many of us will still pay Medicare taxes and then be asked to carry a policy.

I understand that as an employee of a company, you would need to pay this anyway and of course the larger the company, the better it is in terms of what portion you pay (usually).

My problem is with being made to take a policy or risk getting fined by the state.

The argument that most make for this measure is the fact that most people who are uninsured only get medical attention in the Emergency Room which equals huge expenses and well then they don’t pay their bills to the hospitals that treated them and they wouldn’t have been there anyway had they gone for regular checkups with a regular doctor.

It seems to me that proponents seem to forget a few things:

A) People don’t get regular checkups and/or don’t go for treatment at a clinic not because they can’t afford to take the time off from their job. All of the proponents of this “healthcare reform” assume that everyone has these dreamlike employers that will not give them grief about taking part of a day or a whole day off to have the checkup. They forget that particulary for the groups of people that they are seeking to put on the rolls, this more often than not is the exception and not the rule-particularly when it comes to those with children. In some cases, you will not get paid for this time that you take off.

I know that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure and losing a half a day’s wages is worth it when the alternative is more lost wages or death. My larger point is that we live in one of the most expensive states to live in for everyone, where choices are made all the time between paying the rent or eating two meals vs. three meals. It is easy for those who don’t have those worries to think that it is all so very easy to do-this go to the doctor’s on your time (which is usually company time).

B) The assumption that now that everyone is covered by health insurance that there will be this rash of people going to their doctors and not going to emergency rooms to receive care. See A.

C) Choice. Many managed care plans offer choice and as ‘Sicko’ illustrated in one poignant story, a person may not have a choice where they can get emergency treatment, which makes no sense at all.

I don’t think that the countries Michael Moore profiled are the magic bullets per se but I think that we as country may need to let go of our hubris and revisit the BIG PICTURE and look at the fact that if we don’t solve our problem with health care in a meaningful way that respects all of our citizens and not just the ones that make a buck on it, then we can’t cry about the results.

I found this quote from one of my favorite all time authors:

“We must still do our own thinking and act upon it, for even though we make mistakes, experience is still the best teacher, and thinking and experimenting develop character.”

– Laura Ingalls Wilder –

Currently I am listening to “Young and the Restless” and am shaking my head over Abby Carlton’s “gee willikers” description of what she learned about Native Americans in school…”We learned that they used to live in wigwams…and they used to tell great stories….”

One of the members of the Massachusetts Bloggers at NaBloPoMo asked where people were from. Below is what I answered:

“I was born in Boston and grew up in Cambridge. I was about 5 when the Blizzard of ’78 hit. I have two outstanding memories from that:

A) I remember my uncles opening the window of our second floor apartment and finding snow for as far as the eyes could see and the hand could touch.

B) Walking to my aunt’s house much later after the Blizzard when you could finally move. The snow piles were not only at least 3 ft over my head as a child but well over my mother’s head (She was the height I am now-5’3”, so we are talking about at least 8ft.) It all looked like that maze scene in the original version of “The Shining.” ”

Another laundry list day-event planner’s day is very long. Made some progress on securing the venue for a nonprofit I volunteer for. Now I have to make the appointment and let the fun begin. The work on the Ball is going along slowly but surely. I need to motivate the committee to really work on obtaining things for the raffle. We are at the half and we need to adjust what we are doing. Blog Meetup is getting there.

Tis the season…

The holidays are upon us. The first harbinger is the annual list of the most dangerous toys in America. Not surprisingly, many of them were made in China.

People are starting to get antsy with Thanksgiving only one week away. This weekend will be “fun.” I still have to buy much of the fixins’ for dinner and I imagine that much of this will be raped and pillaged by the time I get to shopping on Friday and Sunday. Still, to battle! Fortunately the turkey is spoken for. I ordered it from Bates Turkey Farm, which provides the best turkey in this country. They are located in Alabama and they have been the gold standard for turkey in this family.

Finalizing the Blogger Meetup (http://blog.meetup.com/3/) has been good. I’ve been posting far and wide about it. A local political blogger will be talking about what he does and how he does it.

I checked out my blog at MySpace and was pleasantly surprised to see that there have been views and other things. I got my highest numbers this time last year when I blogged about my time in New Orleans from November 8-14. I think it was some of my better blogging.

MySpace blog: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog&friendID=3592208

There are times where I really hate being associated with Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I heard that Cambridge officials had put a stop to the local Boy Scouts care package drive for the troops in Iraq at polling places because “political messages are not allowed inside polling places.”

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, not a fan of the Boy Scouts based on their history of and current practice of discrimination, particularly of homosexuals and not a fan of the war-we need to be out of there.

However, the troops need our support and care packages mean much. The scouts were supporting the soldiers NOT any political world order. IF you substituted “soldiers in Iraq” for “victims of wildfires” or “homeless families,” it would be the same act. I think that is must also be said that many of the places where people voted in this past round of anemically attended elections are community places-churches, community centers, etc. where what these scouts did would not be out of the norm.

I don’t understand where common sense has gone. The head of the election commission received the complaint from one resident that the message was “pro-war.” I saw one of the bulletins in Cambridge mentioning that this was taking place and nothing about it was pro-war. If anything, it was pro-‘so while you are taking time out to vote, you can do even more good by dropping something of for the soldiers in Iraq that may be your child, sibling, parent, friend or someone else’s child, sibling, parent, friend. The city’s law department was consulted and they gave the permission to pull them.

Based on one complaint? A complaint that apparently did not reflect the true language of the flyers? It usually takes a fatality in spite of many complaints for the city to do anything constructive in the interest of public safety but they jump because someone said that they saw care package collection boxes that might have read “pro-war”?

Of course those who have for years been skewering Cambridge for its more radical, liberals elements are having a field day-witness the editioral in the Boston Herald: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/editorials/view.bg?article…

I can’t says I blame them.

Those who want to support Troop 45’s effort can send funds to purchase the supplies (toiletries etc.) for care packages for the soldiers in Iraq can send them to:

Boy Scouts Troop 45
P.O. Box 381241
Cambridge, MA 02238.

Of course checks should be made payable to Troop 45.

I’ve been listening to NPR and soaps again as usual.

The Bold and The Beautiful: Of all of the soaps on daytime tv now, this one with the exception of Passions and NightShift is the youngster. Unfortunately, it is the youngster that doesn’t understand why it’s bad to go 100 miles an hour in a residential area and runs itself off into a ditch and continues to do things that shock, thinking they are being clever and cool but they aren’t. I intermittedly listen to the show. They only time I paid exclusive attention was when they had storylines concerning Bridget Forrester, when she was portrayed by Jennifer Finnigan (now Mrs. Jonathan Silverman). Once she left to do Crossing Jordan, I lost interest and I completely hate what they did with her character after she left. Today’s story featured the quagmire that is Eric and Stephanie’s marriage or rather impending divorce. Mixed in this is the “reprucussions” of a stupid storyline where Stephanie, in order to discredit her longtime nemesis Brooke, hired a creep that ended up raping Brooke and now Brooke’s family in their ways want to get her and Stephanie’s children somehow found a way to excuse her. This irritated me because it seems that this show plays fast and loose with the issues of rape and abuse-one could argue in a very Beverly Hillsian-Paris Hilton way.

As The World Turns: An excellent example of what happens when you run a car into the ditch and you keep the engine running. The Paul/Meg/Craig/Rosanna storyline is truly irritating. Then I always get irritated when smart people (Meg) do really dumb things for no real reason other than it serves the demeted plot the writers wrote after their bender. This goes for the Carly/Jack/Katie/Brad/Holden/Lily/Dusty quagmire. I have to ask-what toxic chemical are these people being exposed to at the Snyder farm? None of the Snyders can make a smart move to save their lives except the kids and they are falling prey to their parents’ bad programming.

The Young and the Restless: Still the best written soap by far-on CBS at least. Poor Victoria will either lose her life or her long hoped for baby and her parents are the one that have to make the decision and they are divided-Victor wants to save Victoria, Nikki wants to save the baby. Brad, the alleged baby daddy, has no say and for someone like him, that’s not acceptable. It will force the issue of paternity.

What I like to do for the show archives for NPR is to pick a topic in each month of each year they have for archives in addition to listening to the daily broadcast. Today has been ‘January Day.’ Last week was ‘November Day.’

What I heard on NPR:

SATs: They chucked antonyms and analogies (which I was really good) and the score was raised to 2400. They included more writing, which is good but is it serving a purpose-this test? I never really found that it did me any real good, the SATs. Personally, I think that if college is being paid for by the college or the government, then SAT testing may make sense. I imagine that it is a good tool to measure what is going on in terms of the education of merican students.

China in Africa: Sounds to me that China found a way to make a profit here and get away with it. I don’t see the Chinese government as being particularly benevolent here. I think that they saw a buffet table called Africa’s resources and the fact that the West is more interested in being missionaries at a distance in relation to Africa.

Well, here we are. 24 HOURS to Thanksgiving. Thankfully I am not travelling anywhere. To listen to news coverage, you would think that this was more important than anything else-traveling on Thanksgiving and shopping the day after. I will be making dinner this year. Unlike most people that I have been reading about, I have no worries. While I am not Betty Crocker, I was drafted into kitchen duty at a young age and can make some basic things. Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes were a required part of the curriculum. I did tell the person that will be joining me that he will not be sitting on the couch and watching tv or writing. While I was in bed sick yesterday, I automatically started mapping out his chores which will include dicing and chopping and mixing and table setting. We will be making more than two people should have for Thanksgiving. I don’t expect us to eat it all. In addition to celebrating the bounty that we are able to have, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners also serve a way of providing easy to fix meals for at least two weeks. A harkening back to the days when people ate the same day in and day out-the days when you were just lucky to get fed, rather than fuss over what you got.

In addition to hearing on [insert the name of any morning show] about how to avoid taking in too many calories at Thanksgiving, Jasmyne sent out a bulletin on MySpace that covered her feelings about Thanksgiving and “Black Friday.”

I agreed with a lot of the sentiments of her bulletin. One of my favorite animated avatars is an Indian clocking a Pilgrim upside the head. However, I see celebrating Thanksgiving as celebrating the idea that we have something to be thankful for, particularly the bounty that we have no matter how big or small and not the landing of those who would wreak genocide upon most of the Native tribes of Northeast America.

As we are on the topic of being thankful for bounty, I really can’t take the annual segments on the morning shows where person acting as expert gives hints on new ways not to indulge at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I understand if you have something really wrong with you and you need help on how to cope with whatever illness (e.g. diabetes, lupus, etc), but that is not who these segments are aimed at. They are aimed at many of the women that are already insane with calorie counting and dessert denying to meet that mythical weight, while the menfolks shrug their shoulders and wash it all down. I don’t know how many ways it can be said that these are two days of out of a year of eating more than a tablespoon full of food each will not kill you. If you have something wrong with you or if you are in training, sure, plan accordingly. Otherwise, be thankful that you have the opportunity to have what you have and when you have it because many don’t. I always find it curious that for the most part, those who both preach the calorie counting and do the interviewing are women.

It is true that Thanksgiving has become a way station on the road to Christmas Shopping land. It used to be that attaching the word “Black” to any day of the week meant that said day was doomed. Now “Black Friday” means “last chance for retailers to get back in the black.” Artificially lowered prices, tele and cyber bullying by retailers to get you into the store and spend your money.

I can tell you how my Thanksgiving will play out:
-Cooking (after shower and travel to the Thanksgiving location) to the tune of whatever is on-They Might Be Giants, New Order, REM, Stylistics, 80s and 90s stuff, Holday cartoons

-Calls to family

-Changing into “nice clothes”

-Saying a specially crafted prayer

-Eating-a lot

-Sleeping

-Some walking

-Some sports watching (football and figure skatin’)

-Going online to see if anyone has signed up for next week’s volunteer projects.

-NaNoWriMo writing

-No “Black Friday” mall trips. Period.

 

 

Today is the second to last day of the ‘noble experiment’-to blog every day for a month. I fell short as I am sure many had. November is a funny month-sometimes it seems like nothing happens and then everything happens-especially since people feel the pressure to wrap up everything for the year.

Thanksgiving was solemn, casual, restful and work. While I did not participate in the ‘Black Friday’ madness, I did make a few small purchases on that Sunday.

Still coasting through the ‘On Point’ Archives. I surprise myself at how much economic analysis I like to hear…

Well, here we are at day 30 of the “noble experiment. I can’t believe a whole month has passed and that soon a whole year has passed.
As Forrest Gump once said (or would have said): ” Bloggin’ evr’y day is TOUGH.”

I tried to do the every day thing and fell down definitely over the weekends when I just wanted to sleep or had other things to do.

Content. I don’t think that I had a total shortage of things to blog about but I ran into time crunches, which made it dificult to expand on things the way I would have liked.

It was good to see some of the other blogs and to read them. I did think it was cool when I created a Massachusetts group at NaBloPoMo that people joined. I wished I could have been more involved there too.

I think that I did accomplish one of my goals for this thing. I will blog more at least once a week if not daily. I did miss it when I stopped doing it more religiously. I also took a step towards next year’s goal of blogging every day. If I can blog 15 days out of the month, then I can blog next year for more than 15 days.

That’s all for me and NaBloPoMo. See you next year!

BTW-for NaNoWriMO I got to over 32,000 words, which is short of the 50,000 goal but lightyears better than last year’s 2611 and 2005’s 500

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