SotW: Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Tuesday, Apr 19 2011 

“Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs keeps coming on Alt-Nation on XM radio.The song is from their 2003 album, Forever to Tell.

(You have to click on the link and watch it on YouTube.) I remember when I first saw the video on MTV2 or FUSE or some channel like that. I immediately loved it and then proceeded to forget all about it. Hearing it again on the radio seemed familiar, but I didn’t really remember it until I saw the video again (I’m such a visual person).

There’s not much to the song (or the video) but I love its simplicity, I guess. And Karen O’s way of pleading, “They don’t love you like I love you,” towards the end of the song. It’s a very emotional song — maybe simplicity is the best way to evoke strong feeling.

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SotW: It’s Your Love by Melinda Doolittle Tuesday, Jul 28 2009 

My song of the week this week is the remix of Melinda Doolittle’s “It’s Your Love,” which was released as a single today: 

This video is of the Nevins Radio Mix. I actually like the Nevins Club mix the best, but this one is fun too.

This single reminds me how much I love remixes of R and B divas — Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, etc. Now maybe Melinda Doolittle can join their ranks!

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Here, Now & Me + 1 Month Sunday, Feb 8 2009 

At the beginning of the year, I proclaimed 2009 to be the year of “Here, Now, and Me.” Now that the first month of this project has come and gone, it seems like a good time for a mini-assessment of how it’s going so far.

First off, it’s been really good having a theme for the year. It’s given me an immediate gauge to help me decide whether I’m going in the right direction or getting off track. All I have to do is ask myself two simple questions:

  1. Is thinking about or doing X, Y, or Z living in the here and now? and
  2. Is X, Y, or Z what I really want?

For example, I was recently faced with the option of maybe applying for a new position. Even before the opportunity arose, I was giving it a lot of thought. At that point, I reminded myself to live in the here and now and not in the vague future that this opportunity might present if it all worked out. Once the opportunity did (at least theoretically) come along, I asked myself if it was really what I wanted to spend my time doing. Would doing that job really be my passion. It could be someday or in the right circumstances, but for right now it isn’t. Once I came to that realization, I felt really good about ignoring the opportunity. I could see changing my mind at some point, but for right now I’m happy with the decision I’ve made.

Having a theme so far this year has also helped me make a couple of other decisions. I’m currently the secretary for our Faculty Senate. This year I’m up for reelection to the senate and, if I want, to the secretary position. The past couple of weeks have been full of meetings and other responsibilities associated with my position in the senate. I enjoy doing this work, and I like being a part of things and knowing what’s really going on. But I started to feel that I need to reassess how much time it takes to do this job. So, I started thinking through my two questions and decided that I don’t think I want to run for reelection as secretary or as a senator. I’ve done my part. Now it’s time for someone else to do this work. It’s not where my real interests and passions are.

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What Would Gay Marriage Look Like? Monday, Jan 12 2009 

This satiric propaganda “film” is hilarious! I especially love the advice for what to do if you see gays betting married. And let’s put the “altar” into alternative lifestyles!

SotW: Where I Stood by Missy Higgins Monday, Jan 5 2009 

Protected: At This Point in My Life Sunday, Dec 21 2008 

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Election ’08 Part 2 Saturday, Nov 8 2008 

What a week it’s been! It’s taken me a few days to process it all. First, Barack Obama became our president-elect, earning more than 65 million votes, the largest for a Democratic candidate since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Second, the Democratic Party increased its majorities in both houses of Congress. And finally, three states — most notably California — voted to enshrine discrimination and prejudice against gays and lesbians into their state constitutions. The first two were certainly occasions for celebration. For me, the third almost takes away all of the joy from the first two victories.

I spent most of the day on Tuesday in Portsmouth visiting Shawnee State University. I got home around 5:30. After the past two presidential elections, I was afraid to get my hopes up. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want John McCain to become president after the terrible campaign he had waged, but you never know what’s going to happen on election day.

It was with both great hope and great fear, therefore, that PJ and I started watching the election coverage. It was especially frustrating that the media wouldn’t call any important states — Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida — for Obama. We were relieved when Pennsylvania was called. That meant that McCain’s chances were greatly diminished. Then the results for Ohio came in and everyone knew that it was basically over. I can’t even begin to explain how joyous that realization was! We had won!

I haven’t always been a Barack Obama supporter. In the primaries I supported Hillary. I liked the Clinton years, and I thought that she would make a great president. When the campaign first started, though, I had hoped that Obama would run. While I like Hillary, I worried that America didn’t really want to return to the past. I feared that the Republican Party had effectively tarnished the country’s memories of the Clinton years and reduced them to a blow job in the Oval Office. I thought that Obama’s effort to turn the page on the past and make a new beginning would be a better platform for winning back the White House.

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Traipsing Down Memory Lane Sunday, Aug 24 2008 

I blame this entirely on my mother. She’s been asking me to find some old photos of a play that I was in when I was in eighth grade. I finally went down to the basement today to see if the pictures were in a box down there. They were, so I started scanning them so that I could send her electronic copies. It didn’t take long before I was mildly obsessed with googling and facebooking my old classmates to see what had happened to some of them. One search led to another, and before I knew it I had spent the entire afternoon looking people up online, signing up for the alumni associations of my high school and undergraduate institutions, and joining classmates.com!

I went to junior high in Nederland, Texas. Nederland is a small residential community outside of Beaumont. We moved there when I was starting sixth grade. I was in the “theater arts” class in part of seventh and all of eighth and ninth grades. The seventh-grade class was just an introduction to theater arts; in eighth and ninth grades we participated in producing plays and other theatrical events. Our first play was a production of The Wizard of Oz, a one-act version based more on the book than the 1939 movie. These were the pictures that my mom wanted. I thought I’d share a few here.

Here’s Dorothy as she arrived in Oz. She’s talking to our Glinda and the munchkins:

I played the scarecrow.

My mom made my costume. If you look closely, you’ll see the striped socks that I’m wearing. I still have them. They’re not wearable, of course, but I’ve always kept them as a memento of when I first fell in love with theater.

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Infamous: A Review Tuesday, Dec 19 2006 

Last night, PJ and I saw Infamous, the latest film about Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Like Capote last year, Infamous recounts how Capote came to write this book and how it affected his life and career. It stars Toby Jones, who seems to have been born to play Capote, and a large star-filled cast that includes Sigourney Weaver, Hope Davis, Sandra Bullock, and the new James Bond, Daniel Craig.

Here’s the trailer, which gives you a glimpse at these and other members of the cast:

I really admired Capote last year. I thought Philip Seymour Hoffman and Clifton Collins, Jr. were both excellent as Capote and his prized murderer, Perry Smith. The look and feel of the film was also great — I thought that it really caught the historical moment of the early 1960s. Of the five films nominated for best picture at the Oscars earlier this year, I thought Capote was the most deserving of the win.

Since I liked Capote so much, I’m kind of surprised to report that I loved Infamous! Infamous isn’t simply a retread of the previous movie. Jones is great as Capote — he brings a humor to the role that I don’t think Hoffman did. Also, where Hoffman’s was a performance, Jones’s is an embodiment, every gesture perfectly conveys Capote’s inner life. Sandra Bullock is also excellent as Harper Lee. While I thought Crash‘s win at the Oscars was indeed a homophobic rejection of Brokeback Mountain, Bullock was great in Crash; combined with this role, she is becoming quite an actress.

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Philly Wednesday, Nov 8 2006 

PJ and I are off to Philadelphia until Saturday. He’s presenting at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Conference. I’m just tagging along to visit Philly again. I hope to blog about my touristing when I get back.

Until then, happy Democratic election victory!