Friday, November 28, 2008

Broken Innocence

Broken Innocence

Fortune is a giver and a taker

~Polish Proverb

I looked into her eyes and saw a future with her by my side. A sly mist, however, clouded my vision, and I never foresaw the deep darkness that would follow me, just out of sight around the corner every day I spent with her.

I was so young. Back then, I could go almost a whole week without shaving. In fact, I frequently let my facial hair grow, just to see how long I could go before I’d have to shave. The first few days, whiskers would fail to give any notice. Then gradually, they’d begin to appear just below my lip before finally attacking my chin and sprouting down my neck. They never ever worked their way up the side of my face to join together with my weak sideburns. A can of Barbasol and a sharp razor were all I needed to maintain my boyish face.

She turned my head the very first time I saw her. 5’3”. Sandy brown shoulder-length hair lightly feathered in Farah Fawcett style. An engaging smile, and so very smart. Little did I know that she would break my heart time after time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Almost A Heart-Beat Away From The Presidency

By now, loyal readers of this blog have no doubt seen or at least heard of the recent Sarah Palin turkey video. Without a doubt, it is one of the most misguided political interviews ever. As I watched it, visions of the chipper scene from the movie Fargo (warning gross content) came to mind. The judgment Palin used to justify being interviewed with turkeys being slaughtered behind her is hard to fathom. Perhaps it's as she said. "For one, you just need a little levity in this job...." All I know is that that woman could have become the first female President of the United States.

Scarier than the WKRP-esque turkey slaughter was listening to the duly elected Governor of Alaska ramble on and on saying absolutely nothing of any substance. As I watched, my eyes were constantly drawn from the turkey killing machine to the Governor's motorious mouth. After a minute or so, I became anesthetized to the killing and horrified by the Exlaxic dribble the Governor was spewing. She just droned on and on and on and on. Seemingly never stopping to take a breath, the Governor plowed on. Barely blinking, the Governor prattled on. Not even taking the time to wink, the Chatterbox talked on and on.

As I contemplated the whole absurd scene, a revelation came upon me. I suddenly knew how this woman came to be elected to the highest office in the largest state. The great people of Alaska pulled the lever, touched the screen, or punched the chads in a vain attempt to just make her shut up. They elected her, but she didn't shut up.

In the book, Mr. Chatterbox, Mr. Bowler had to find a way to make Mr. Chatterbox stop talking. Chatty old Chatterbox would drone on and on without really saying anything at all. His friends were getting worn out by his incessant talking. Mr. Bowler thought and thought before hatching the idea of making a magic hat for him. The hat he created looked normal enough, but as Mr. Chatterbox talked and talked, the hat grew and grew until it covered his face and muffled all of his words in a blind darkness. Scared of the dark, Mr. Chatterbox finally stopped talking, and Mr. Bowler smiled.

Unlike Mr. Bowler, the American people haven't yet found a way to make Sarah Palin stop talking, but we did find a way to keep her in Alaska.
It's possible that Nordstrom's sells magic hats.

I heard a line on a sit-com this evening that seems somehow appropriate.

"I can't remember a time when you weren't talking!"

Enjoy the show, but due to the graphic nature of the video and the piercing sounds being uttered from the Governor's mouth during it, viewer and listener discretion is strongly advised.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I know...I just posted a link to this song last month. But funny thing is that it still speaks to me. I think it's got something to say. Because sharks patrol these waters.


Sharks patrol these waters
Sharks patrol these waters
Don't let your fingers dangle in the water
And don't you worry about the day glow orange life preserver
It won't save you
It won't save you
Swim for the shores just as fast as your able
Swim like a mother fucker, swim!
Fast as that seen ships to now
The ever glorious now the ever present now
Drenched in flower and deep-fat-fried
And cooled on paper towels and then devoured
You know, I spent 15 years in a life raft
15 years in a life raft and now I got something to say
Stay in your life boats people,
Stay in your life boats people.
It's murder out there murder out there
Sharks patrol these waters
Sharks patrol these waters, hey!
Don't you worry about the dayglow orange life preserver
It won't save you
It won't save you
Swim for the shores just as fast as your able, swim!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Watching the Puppies

Apparently, this site is the most popular thing in Korea right now. These puppies are relentless.

Free Videos by Ustream.TV

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

An Open Letter to Rob Wood

Rob Wood is the son of a colleague at my elementary school. Rob is a young man who thrust himself into the heart of the Obama campaign in Roanoke. He was the point man for a local voter contact and get out the vote network. Over the past few months, Rob worked tirelessly in the Valley to get Barack Obama elected. Here's my letter to him.


The winds of change have swept the land.

The real thanks goes to you, my friend, and all of the people who helped organize the effort. I've been watching campaigns my whole life, and I've never seen anything like the organizational effort the Obama campaign produced.

I owe you a huge debt of gratitude.

I wish you could have seen your mother at school today. She was absolutely giddy!

I'm a bit of a political statistical nerd, and I was rooting through precinct data last night. I was amazed at the turn-out, strong across the state, but especially strong here in Roanoke. I noted that at Oak Grove, 60% went for McCain this year while 65% went for Bush in 2004. That's a huge shift, but one that might be glossed over by sexier numbers elsewhere.

I also noted that at my home precinct, Northside-in Roanoke County, we had about 88 new voters. That didn't seem to match what I saw at the polls. There, I saw hordes of people absolutely overjoyed to be voting, included, and vested with HOPE. I also saw others grimly clinging to a desperate vote all the while shaking their heads in disbelief as their personal political world was being turned upside down.

Our challenge now will be to find a way to include everyone in a positive wave of true reform.
It will be a job every bit and even more challenging than getting Barack Obama in the White House. It's the unfulfilled mission of this great country, this great ideal.

Thanks again and best wishes to you.


Monday, November 03, 2008

A Contentious Debate

A Contentious Debate

Virgil Goode and Tom Perriello squared off in one last debate tonight, election-eve 2008, in Martinsville. The hour-long event was broadcast locally on Star Cable and on WVTF public radio.

Virgil's favorite line was "That's ah-nutha New York City slick answer, Tom."

Perriello tended to give his answers in English, but some seemed to stray from the question. In fairness, some of the questions were repetitive. "What do we do about jobs in Southside?" or "I lost my job, what are you going to do about it?"

Virgil didn't seem capable of pronouncing Perriello's (Perro...) last name. After a few aborted attempts, he just referred to him as "Tom."

Virgil chose to attack Perriello at every turn. He was especially vicious and pointed regarding the 2nd Amendment and the A+ NRA endorsement he received. Goode, in an angry, shaking voice, claimed Perriello was lying on his campaign signs where he claims to have "received the NRA's highest rating." Perriello responded in a much calmer voice that he supports 2nd Amendment rights and that the rating is the highest rating a non-elected official can receive (A-q).

The most pointed moment in the debate came as Goode was launching into yet another attack. Goode, for probably the third or fourth time, made a sharp point that Perriello is supported by people who support Obama. At that moment, a member of the divided partisan, vocal audience shouted to Goode, "He's not running with Obama, he's running against you!" Goode screamed back, "He absolutely is running with OBAMA!" Then Goode calmed slightly and explained how by electing Perriello and Obama, the Supreme Court would be in the hands on people who would take your 2nd Amendment rights away. He said that people like Obama and his friends were against selecting "Ahlootoe" and Roberts for the Supreme Court.

The debate ended abruptly when the hour time limit was reached.