Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's Been a While . . .

Wow, so as the title reads, it's been a while since the last post here, and I fear it's getting to be a bit of a habit. Although in my defense, my wife has recently just given birth to our second daughter, and I am exhausted! Just give me a second to dodge the incoming projectiles from mothers who rightfully didn't find that funny . . . whoa . . . oops . . . ah! Ow! Okay, that one got me!

Yes, on November 11, Becky gave birth via c-section after 27 hours of labor to a beautiful and very healthy girl who weighed in at an impressive 9lb 15oz! I've since been told that I'm going to need to stop describing any woman's weight as "impressive", even if they are only 2 and a half weeks old. Our gorgeous new little one is doing very well, as is her older sister, who is loving the heck out of having a baby sister. We were concerned as to her reception of the newest member of the household given that she doesn't speak yet and we felt limited in our ability to explain the impending situation to her. Of course it turns out, that our nervousness was all for naught and things are hunky do in the land of sibling love. There has however emerged a slight glitch in the program these past four days: glitch thy name be colic!

Colic, for those who don't know, is a fun little trick pulled on parents of newborns that results in said miniature person crying for no good reason for hours on end - usually when they should be sleeping. It's a temporary thing that typically resolves itself within three months for most and by six months for the rest! So no time at all really - just long enough to get you to right before you're about to have yourself committed! The frustrating thing is that no one actually knows why these little ones bawl, not even the little ones. There's nothing much wrong with them; maybe a little gas, maybe they just want to be held, maybe they're mad that they missed the finale of "Dancing With the Stars". Our first wasn't colicky at all. I mean sure, she had her moments of crying, but it wasn't a clockwork like thing. I have had Swiss horlogiers at my house setting their timepieces to my darling daughter's episodes. Ah well, what can you do? I've decided it's a character building thing - time to put a few more hairs on the old chest. Happily they're all sleeping now, giving me a moment or two to write this addled diatribe.

I've thought long and hard about what to write in the last while, and frankly the longer the pause, the more important the blog topic has seemed. After all, the longer my "regular" readers have to wait, the more pertinent and Earth-shaking this next entry should be, right? So much has happened on the world stage since I last wrote on this hallowed site. Barack Obama has been elected President of the United States of America in a ground breaking (and I must say prescient on my part) election result. Proposition 8 passed disappointingly in California to the detriment of many of my friends. My second daughter was born. The markets have crashed and rebounded countless times, leaving us on the brink of another unknown fiscal catastrophy. Yesterday in India, terrorists attacked many areas around Mumbai and killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 300 so far. These are all great fodder for a meaningful and influential blog entry. Do I write about the historic election that has brought America her first African-American President after 200 years? Do I write about how gay rights are important not just to the gay community, but to all of us because they involve basic human rights issues? Do I write about how cute my baby girl is - super cute by the way! Do I write about the importance of working our way out from under the economic pall we find ourselves enveloped by? Or do I write about the terrible scourge of terrorism hitting every culture around the world, and how and why addressing it is priority one?

The answer is YES! Just not right now. On the next few weeks, these are the topics I intend to blog about . . . and I promise they will be funny - sort of. There is a lot to talk about here folks, and to run them all together would do them a disservice. Drop me a line in the comment box if there is anything you want me to address in these upcoming blogs. I love discourse and I promise you I won't ignore dissenting opinions. Opposing view points are what make for strong societies as long as people discuss and debate them rationally and respectfully. As we move into the holiday season it would be great if we as citizens of this great planet could work harder to remember that, and treat not only others as you would like to be treated, but also the ideas of others as you would like yours treated.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Once a Month is Still Regular . . . Right?

So here we are. It's been nearly a month since my last post and I feel just awful knowing that I've let so many regular readers down by not pouring my own special concoction of drivel into their clamoring ears (I didn't think ears could clamor either, but you try telling that to the good folks at In that time we've witnessed the shocking declines of the Dow, the Nasdaq, the TSX, Nikkei, Heng Seng, and countless other made up sounding exchanges. We Canadians went to the polls and elected ourselves basically the same folks who were just there, and then some. Finally, our American cousins are continuing their 342 month trudge toward the 2008 election.

The end is in sight for them now, the last debate was held tonight resulting in the trouncing of the other guy by our guy if you listen to the clinical morons opining before whatever biased networks cameras they pretend not to work for. Given today's CNN webpoll, I'm beginning to suspect that the whole debate process is an excercise in space age futility. Today's webpoll (don't you love how you can make anything "current" and "accessible" by tacking "web" on the front of it?) revealed that debates have the potential to change the minds of a whopping 9% of the respondants! Well heckfire, I say we add five or eleven more mind numbing debates with as many "free thoughts" and "unrehearsed" answers that sound about as natural as twelve year olds reading Roman Catholic catechisms.

I've got to say that is probably the most infuriating part of politics for me these days. I love the game of politics, the sport of it all, but I can't believe that these highly educated men and women don't seem to be able to find a way to meld the all important feedback from the focus groups into who they are and what they're selling as opposed to "becoming" the feedback. These people, and say what you will about them, but I believe they get into a highly public and thankless life out of desire to affect change, have dreams and visions but always allow themselves to be twisted out of their comfort zone and into the realm of the "politico". The only guy I can think of who was adept at appealing to the "common man" while flaunting his personality, and remaining an intellectual who didn't frighten people was Bill Clinton. That guy could work the whole package. As interesting and ground-breaking as Obama is, he still isn't as fluid and comfortable out there as WJC. I would even hazard the somewhat sacreligious opinion that if he weren't breaking ground here, he would be a little less remarkable. He does well with many voters because he is certainly a change from the past, and a clear shift from the status quo embodied by McCain, but he doesn't have Clinton's excitement and joie de vivre. He's not eating Big Macs on the DL from his wife one minute, and playing awkward sax (but somehow working it all the same) the next. Like Obama, Clinton is an intellectual. He was a Rhodes scholar and an Oxford alum. He did have more political experience as two time Governor of Arkansas, but certainly this election isn't going to be about experience. It will be what it's always about - how do the candidates make the electorate feel?

That's what it always comes down to: feeling. When Clinton famously said "it's about the economy stupid" he wasn't just stating the voter's main concern that election year, he was saying that he understood that that's what they were concerned about. It's another Clinton quote that is more often parodied than any other: "I feel your pain". There it is. That was it folks. He got it, and voters saw that he got it. That's the real reason that up here in Canada yesterday Prime Minister Harper didn't pull off the majority government they were aiming for: people didn't feel he understood what concerned them. Oh they trust him to govern and see him as more of a leader than anyone else running, but in this economic crisis he didn't connect with his potential supporters. That's the real reason he didn't make any gains in Quebec; it wasn't the funding cuts, it was what they represented: a lack of understanding of the Quebec perspective.

So much has been made this year in the States of everyone apparently coming from small towns, poor small towns, tiny, dirt-poor miniscule towns. Everyone wants to be an "everyman". Heck, that's how Bush got into power - he's just like you: he puts his pants on one leg at a time, he walks the dog, clears the brush on his Texas ranch, that resonated with voters. Somehow the whole he was born in Connecticut, went to Yale, and grew up the son of a millionaire didn't so much find a voice. The thing is, all these politicians who have never held a blue collar job and have degrees in being politicians want you to believe that they're from small towns just like you because it makes you feel connected, it makes you feel good. That's also why a two party system can be so tricky. Eighty percent of the electorate is already decided, hell people register as one or another. So it's down to the swing voters, you know, the 9% who can be swayed by a debate?

These campaigns are so tightly managed, so focus grouped that these men and women have no chance of being anything close to themselves. Obama actually gets knocked for being too intellectual, too smart. How does that make any sense when you are vying for the most important office on the planet currently? The truth is you don't want an everyman, you want a betterman, screw it, run down to the wedding down the street and grab the best man! You long for these guys to grow a pair of balls and throw off the shackles of opression that are campaign runners and be themselves! McCain used to be a man, he used to be a war hero, a real maverick. Then he knelt down before Falwell and his cronies and became this wraith of a man running for the Republican Party. I must say I have many Republican friends as I have many friends who count themselves Democrats and I love them all - they are all good people believing what they do from good places. What bothers me most about politics as usual in this form is that it lessens the integrity of all involved by distilling everything down to talking points, and always the same ones. Elections in this day and age in this modern a country should not be decided on the backs of ridiculous "wedge" issues like stem-cell research, gay marriage, or Creationism. They should be decided by issues of import like the economy, healthcare (even if not for yourself at least for your children), environmental issues, and positions of Domestic and International policy.

Obama needs to stand up a little taller, and speak from the heart and a little off the cuff. Take a break from the stock answers and gravitas. I know that it's late in the campaign and he's ahead on numbers, but maybe just a little for me. Being real will make people feel good, and whoever he loses by being too real, I'll guarantee he'll pick up others to replace them by making them feel as though a real human being will be out there fighting for them, and not some corporate and lobbiest automaton. Mr. Obama is breaking barriers here, so let's do it with a little style. It's not always enough to just be the first, I think we should all aspire to be the best.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Last Lapse

Well wow, this has been a bit of a lapse! I apologize to all of the non-existent people who regularly read this blog, to my clergy members and their families, but mostly to myself - sorry me. It's a very busy time that has kept me away from my passion of writing rambling non-sequitur laced drivel on the small bathroom stall wall that is my corner of the webbynet (copyright pending). Well that and Facebook. Damn! Yes it's true, merely days after savaging Facebook on this very influential blog, I buckled and signed on to the beastly "social networking" site. I told myself it was an ingenious way to get people to accidentally read my blog, but really I think it was to see what all the fuss was about. I've got to say part of it is pretty neat: seeing old friends' photos, catching up on what's going on in their lives. Then there's the other part, the annoying and silly part: having people accept your friend request, then watching their picture sit in your friends list with absolutely no further contact whatsoever, catching up with people and then experiencing the cyber equivalent of the awkward slow breath exhale accompanied by a "Yep . . ." that you would do on the street having caught up on all there is to catch up on with that same person, then there are the sheer volumes of friends in some of these peoples lists! how can you possibly be friends with 1300 people as one friend is? I have to say, this friend is a particularly pleasant and friendly guy, but 1300?! My wife has over 100, which I'm finding out is a relatively average number, if not on the low end, but I can't say I've even met 100 people - and I've lived in 8 cities in 4 countries! I think there's some serious padding going on here, I frankly don't think you should be allowed to include your entire grade 3 class in your friends list unless your parents are religious zealots and home-schooled you and your 12 siblings. I also now find myself checking updates on my page and am feeling the pressure to join interesting groups and add interesting things and write interesting status updates or risk not looking terribly interesting to the long lost friends now silently occupying my friends list, judging me cyberly (copyright pending). I have to go now, too many things to think about. I can't promise when I'll post next - perhaps when Facebook lets me run away to try to impress people here rather than there . . .

Thursday, September 11, 2008

101 Ways to be an A$$h@(e

It's been a few days since my last post, and I can't promise that this one will be terribly long, but I felt that I had to write something after a fluke visit to a Yaletown baby accessory store on Tuesday - and accessory seemed to be the operative word. For those who don't live in the lap of the Lower Mainland of BC, Yaletown is a toney district in downtown Vancouver. It used to be an industrial area many years ago where a lot of manufacturing used to take place. When the factories left, the buildings stayed and were soon converted into lofts and "hip" shops. Mix in Vancouver's urban densification boom and sprinkle on some real estate super-inflation and you've got a perfect mix of $7 latte sipping twits and oversized sunglass wearing knobs trying desperately for people to notice how cool they think they are. My wife had gone to an appointment in the area and so I took our daughter for a stroll down the too narrow sidewalks past some wannabe trendy for the sake of trendy boutiques until I happened across one that purported to be a baby store. Thinking it couldn't hurt to see what new might be out there, or whether some as yet undiscovered by me toy may inhabit the innermost depths of said shop, I ventured in. Once inside I had yet another experience that has been played out between my wife and I over the past year and a half of being parents: I got really pissed off by the cost of the crap that no kid could ever freaking care about in this stupid store. Now let me be clear as I say that I have no problem spending the money for quality items as long as there is a value in that item. But a $295 Paul Frank "rocking thing" is a joke! Come on! It was a sheet of freaking fibreboard machine pressed into a taco and a laminate veneer of monkey heads on the underside! This is ridiculous - I know you pay a premium for a name brand, but last time I checked, drawing a cartoon monkey head doesn't give you license to charge the general public hundreds of dollars for a piece of bent laminated wood. The next overpriced toy I saw was a wooden jobbie that was very nicely made and featured some rolling cars, it also featured a lick of paint that informed buyers that it was a french company in existence "depuis 1911." For those not acquainted with the french tongue, that means "since 1911." The toy was valued near the $100 mark - all I could think was how much had they charged in 1911?

This is not an old complaint. We've all seen the proud as peacock mothers and fathers out there gathering at coffee shops everywhere practically revving the engines on their $1000 and $1500 strollers - push-chairs with the seats so high up they look like they're walking their babies around on barstools. My wife and I didn't scrimp on our stroller, we bought a new one with a new infant seat in a reasonably cool color - we thought it looked reasonably cool. When you are spending $1200 on a stroller however, it has nothing to do with your child and everything to do with you! Many years ago, one would walk down Robson Street in Vancouver on a Friday or Saturday night, and at the kitty corner Starbucks at Thurlow Street, one could gaze upon the the long row of gleaming chrome glinting off the dozen and a half Harleys lining the street outside the coffee shop as packs of middle aged wankers relived their youth while sipping a foamy cup of, what was at its core, joe. Today the bikes have been traded in and their wives are now crowding the streets with their newest accessories: their babies' accessories!

Not long after the birth of our first child, my wife and I were walking through Holt Renfrew trying as it might in its new digs to be Harvey Nicks. We walked past the mannequins and the middle aged botoxed women who bore an uncanny resemblance to mannequins and into the Burberry section. My wife pointed out a Burberry pram, and suggested I might like to buy it, knowing my aversion to spending frivolously. I answered that it certainly would save me time having to tell people I was an a$$h@le. It certainly would have saved me time telling anyone in the store in Yaletown that I was - of course the too cool saleswoman would have actually had to look up from her lunch of water to see that I was one of them.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

If This is Political it Must be Saturday

Well, here we are - it's the weekend again and I feel the need to post something of a political nature.

It has been an interesting week on the political landscape. Up here north of the four nine the party ads are airing fast and furiously - well the Conservative ones are. I'm reasonably sure the other parties know there's going to be an election but you wouldn't guess that from the tundra-like lack of anything from them. This void of opposition is why I will continue to reserve comment on the goings on in Ottawa for the time being, but I will certainly hold forth on another chapter of "What the Hell is Going on Down There?"

The Republican Convention is over for another election run-up and think the general consensus after the fact is: "What?!" as in "the hell was that?"  I didn't think it was possible but a senior citizen with a speaking style only slightly more animated than Ben Stein's managed to steal the spotlight and thunder and all the accoutrements from Senator Obama. What did Mr. McCain have to do to accomplish this next to impossible feat? Confound everyone by finding the hottest Governor that no-one has ever heard of in the Union to be his running mate, get the whole country debating the merits of said Governor's fitness to be the Vice President, and then dazzle the Party faithful with an acceptance speech that everyone had to admit was pretty darn good whether you agreed or not. Easy.

Going into Wednesday evening I still wasn't sure what to make of this woman.  Her politics were uncomfortably right wing, her experience level was slim, and Republicans were busy legitimizing her new position by arguing that she had foreign policy experience by virtue of the fact that she lived pretty close to Russia's Easternmost frontier.  I did have "a feeling" about this woman however - and it wasn't because she looks like a mix of Tina Fey and the Karen Walker character from "Will & Grace". I certainly don't share her politics, or McCain's for that matter, but I also don't think that McCain's people are idiots either.  These are essentially the same folks who engineered the last two Bush ascentions. As I said in my last politics post, I don't think this is a political master-stroke and I'm still calling this for Obama-Biden. However there was something about calling on Ms. Palin that I think gives Republicans, particularly young Republicans, the sense that they are also being given a chance to make history that they certainly wouldn't be making with McCain alone. Now I'm not suggesting that there is the same significance in breaking a barrier running for Vice President that there is in running for the top job, or even that there are direct parallels between the personages of Mr. Obama and Ms. Palin. But there is no doubt that Sarah Palin represents a clear and visible shift from the business as usual politics of the right. At least on the outside, of course. On the inside conservatism is alive and well in the person of Palin. This is where the Republicans may in fact lose a portion of the demographic that they must covet or die - the young voter.

Young Republicans today are far more likely to be more put off by the views of the radical right and the black and white clear cut platforms of old. Even young Evangelical voters are more likely to be moderate and unwilling to touch Roe v. Wade despite the fact that they see themselves as Christians in good standing. Palin's staunch stance against pro-choice arguments in all cases as well as her lack of any kind of positive record on environmental issues may be off-putting and marginalizing to the young voter. Whether the Grand Old Party likes it or not, it is going to have to move beyond the old or it won't be so grand anymore - so to speak. In one sense Governor Palin does reflect change for the party in that she is a woman, she is young, she is clearly strong an unafraid to ruffle some feathers, and she is new - so new that most people obviously had no idea who she was. That's all good and certainly part of why the McCain campaign went with her.  It's also most likely the reason they didn't go with other women within the party who are more qualified and definitely just as strong: they are not new and McCain's camp probably felt they still represented too much of the "old" in the party. The problem of course is that Palin's record doesn't really reflect any new thinking, which ironically was also most likely the other part of her draw. She is a staunch right wing conservative which may well lose them some of the younger vote. The truth is however that all this punditry lives on paper alone, and most people vote with their heart whether we like it or not. This is the big variable and will become the X factor in all of this.

How this plays out come November is going to be most affected by how these two tickets make people feel. This is where I think McCain's camp is laying their chips. I think that they believe that Palin is going to make conservative voters feel good because she's likable, she's funny, and she'll appeal to that conservative base - even the ones who are unsure of the level of zealotry. As long as this race stays close, people will vote out of fear in those booths. Not fear of terrorism, or imminent threats, but of "the other guys" getting in. Obama has some serious mojo on his side and he has had it for some time. That mojo is fueled by the feeling of impending history, of change, of excitement. He makes a lot of people feel good, he makes them feel good about the country, about the economy, and about their place in the world. If Palin can make those swing voters who were swinging for Obama but are normally conservative start to feel good about the right, then the Republican Party may have a chance to stay in this thing and keep it close right up to the curtain closing behind voters alone in a booth with a ballot and their feelings.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Slippery Slope

So it begins . . . three days since my last post. Is this the slippery slope upon which I tread that leads to my turning to a career in competitive tiddly-winks rather than updating my soon to be influential amateur blog? Possibly, but my legions of imagined fans will be relieved to know that I have not yet purchased a set of professional tiddly-winks. I have, conversely, been watching a lot of television and reading news feeds online which inform my ravings on popular culture and the political state of innumerable unions - real and imagined. I will not however be blogging on anything political tonight as I still need more events and times to ferment.  Maybe I will make a weekly posting on all things political to give my non-existent fans something to look forward to, assuming they are politically interested - otherwise it will be a weekly posting to be avoided!

Things are exciting here as always - well not circus exciting, but exciting to us nonetheless. We have new windows coming soon to the house which we are anticipating eagerly, even more so when they are installed. My wife and I are tidying up and readying ourselves for an imminent new arrival as we add another beautiful we'en to our family - our second.  Before long I will be a father to two little ones under two and I couldn't be more over the moon. If you find yourself considering parenthood in any way shape or form and are over the legal age of majority and in a happy committed relationship, I strongly advise you to go for it! Jump on in with both feet! Being a parent is the greatest thing I have ever done or ever will do by such a huge margin as to make all other margins laughable (even margarines)! That would certainly be a fun thing to blog about, parenthood and kids, maybe I should use the other page for that - it would certainly be apropro considering it's titled "Musings from Suburbia."

In other news I'm starting another movie next week, another conservative budget, but it looks like it will be fun. It's about stuff, and some other stuff, then this new stuff happens, and then at the end there's a big stuff twist. I wonder how far out of town I'll be travelling for this show? Ah well, I'm sure it'll all be worth it. So I'll do a few days on this show and have some fun. Well I think I'll bring today's lecture to a close with this philosophical question: If a tree falls in the forest, does it improve someone's view? Ruminate my friends, ruminate. 

Sunday, August 31, 2008

May You Live in Interesting Times

Okay, here it is: my first political blog!  I'm well aware that this event is far more exciting for me than anyone possibly reading this.  As my page subtitle reads, I'm yet another voice in the echoing chasm of the internet.  Is there seriously anyone out there without a strident and ringing opinion?  Of course not, the only people who keep blogs are opinionated and obtuse people - me included obviously.  Well for what it's worth I look forward to posting my crackpot views here beginning today and continuing into infinity, or until something more interesting comes along, or an actual living person asks my views on something.

There is a very well known Chinese curse that  goes, "May you live in interesting times."  I realize that the "interesting" is euphemistic, but I can't think of anything more inspiring than doing just that, and this election season both North and South of the border are shaping up to be just that - very interesting.  I'll leave my thoughts on the Canadian election for another day, and instead hold forth on the goings on below the 49th this evening.  As of today the Democrats have just wrapped up their convention in Denver with Barack Obama having announced Joe Biden as his running mate and accepted his party's nomination as Presidential nominee.  On the other side, the Republicans are about to kick start their Convention in St. Paul with the news that their front runner John McCain has just announced Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate.  Phew! Interesting times indeed!

Let me just say before I continue any further that I am a bit of a political junkie, but as such I'm more of a watcher, less of a vocal supporter of one side over another.  I really love the sport of it, the game, how one move affects another.  If I were to describe my personal political stance it would be that of someone who is socially liberal, and fiscally conservative.  I don't believe the Government has any business in a nation's bedrooms or their hearts, I think that love is a hard enough commodity to come by in this world of ours without having someone tell you who you can or cannot share your life with as a married person.  I believe that Government doesn't have any business in a nation's churches, of course I also feel the opposite is true and feel that religious entities should stop trying to effect influence in the halls of governance.  I don't think that gender should play any role in determining your pay grade, nor should your ethnicity stop you from reaching your social goals.  On my more conservative side I think that I pay enough taxes and that more of my money in the public coffers won't achieve the fiscal needs of the country as much as the reorganization of the existing funds and their methods of collection.  I don't think that taxing my estate comprised of my net worth upon my death is fair - or legal.  I also think that time sentenced should be time served, if you do bad things you should go to jail, if you do really bad things you should go to jail for a really long time.  I see myself as a pragmatist, as I'm sure most do.  I think with my gut as much as anything else, but at least it's my gut.  Things are right and wrong and all shades of in between.  I think that most people have pretty good moral compasses and are able to determine these subtleties.  I know that people are going to have differences of opinion and that's normal.  Where I start to get a little less than generous is when we start getting into the extremes, where bile and vitriol are part of the "discussion".  Neither sides' extremes do either's middle any favors.  When I state that I'm a watcher, this is what I mean, I see both sides points and actions, process them through my moral and intellectual filter and voila!

So there's the preamble and here is the guts of it - what to make of the race so far.  Let's start on the Democratic side.  First off, this guy is a real breath of fresh air.  He's smart, charismatic, and smacks of change, and not just any change, historic change - real and figurative.  Between he and Clinton and the potential historic firsts for both of them, it was Obama that felt different, that felt as though he wasn't already part of the White House frequent flier club (probably because one of them still had their old drapes from last time).  I like Obama a lot, and I would be very interested to see what he would do as the 44th President of the United States should that become his much vaunted job.  The pragmatist in me does see that he hasn't got a lot of experience, but perhaps that's a blessing.  I would like people to remember that he is a man at the end of the day and not the second coming, but I suspect he would often like to remind people of the same. I think he's a great speaker and a dreamer - I just hope he has a plan to make those dreams come true.  As far as his choice of VP goes, he made a smart choice with Biden, choosing someone who will fill in those gaps in his resume without overshadowing the nominee.

On the Republican side of the see-saw we have a man, who eight years ago was a formidable nominee, a maverick and free speaker who wanted to bring change and a new direction to the GOP.  Unfortunately that was nearly a decade ago and since then he has smoothed much of the rough edges and pandered considerably to groups of individuals who eight years ago he had railed against and others whom he had labeled "dangerous".  All this led to a man who may have his party's nomination, not having the hearts of a large population of his assumed voters. I do admit that I still respect this man, predominantly as a war veteran and hero, but I am disappointed to see a person who eight years ago I thought may level off his party seem so adrift politically, so dependent on focus groups.  Frankly the guy needs to grow a pair back and shoot from the hip again, not tell people what other people have told him they want to hear. His choice of VP is the real reason I wanted to make my first political blog this weekend.  Now I realize that today's posting has approached the size of something a deceased Russian man may have written, but I do want to finish with a quick opining on Gov. Palin.

This was the biggest surprise of the election by far, and I mean by far - even more than discovering how hot Dennis Kucinich's wife was! No-one saw this coming. Obama's camp certainly didn't know how to react. Outwardly the trend seems to be dismissal, but I have to question to extent some Democrats have gone in dismissing someone so apparently dismissible. Paul Begala went off on both Palin and McCain on He wrote that in announcing Palin as his running mate McCain had only further proven his lack of fitness for the highest office in the country.  He railed on about it.  I couldn't help but feeling that if Ms. Palin was so utterly unfit for the job, Mr. Begala should have been ecstatic about her appointment - let them crash and burn! His argument as a liberal to what one could assume was a liberal audience given that it was a liberal opinion piece seemed almost too vehement.  Now I'm not saying that I think this was a conservative master stroke, because frankly I don't even know what I think just yet, I'm simply putting forth that she does tick a few boxes for McCain. She doesn't have much experience, but neither does Obama, and while he certainly has more than she, Palin is a Governor which has traditionally been a plus for voters electing Presidents (admittedly not Vice Presidents).  She is a woman like Clinton. No, she does not have Hillary's record or experience, and she'll lose female voters over her opposition to abortion, but people forget that conservative voters are also made up of conservative women as much as men.  There were plenty of female voters in the middle states who voiced a displeasure about Mrs. Clinton many years ago when Bill was running for the nomination due to her lack of conservatism. Finally she has a very conservative record and may heal some wounds of the neocons.  I really have no idea what will happen in the next two months and certainly not on election day.  At this point, I have to call it for Obama as he currently has the stronger ticket in my opinion.  He has the hearts of so many, the beliefs of so many. He also has that very enticing hope.  As they say, "May you live in interesting times."  I can't think of anything more interesting than these times. 

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm a Somebody!

My blog finally showed up on a Google search today!  I know that pretty much everything in every possible permutation shows up in a Google search, but neither of my blogs had in three days - hence my concern.  Imagine not showing up in a Google search that is supposed to locate any tiny thing that exists on the web - it's like not actually existing! For three days I lived in a sort of ether purgatory, able to see myself but being told I didn't exist. The funny thing is that if I search my specific and full name on Google I get some 38,000 hits, the vast majority of them actually me. That didn't mean a thing to me these last few days, all I cared about was finding my blogs online using Google, because I figured if I could find them then so could others and that meant someone might actually read this thing. Well there I am.  To quote Steve Martin upon finding his name in the phonebook in "The Jerk": "I'm a somebody!"

Today was a pretty good day.  My wife is pregnant again so we all went to her Doctor's appointment and learned that everything is doing well and is on track - yay! I had an audition, then we came home and ordered pizza (cheat day). When I went to pick up said pizza, I found myself in a verbal altercation with a real poseur on a motorbike.  This suburban "motorcycle enthusiast" jawed off at me and we each exchanged some choice words with the other from the comfort of our respective vehicles.  It ended with each of us driving off and me yelling back with an expletive infused parting shot.  I gotta tell you, I felt good that I stood my ground, but the language just sounded so ugly and harsh to me as I looked back and saw my daughter's empty car seat. I felt guilty for projecting those curses across the parking lot despite its near empty state.  I realized that while I feel poorly for having engaged the dimwit at the lowest level, I'm glad that it happened for the pause it gave me. Cursing is not an easy thing for me to stop doing as it flows from me so naturally and eloquently, but today I resolved to stop for my children's sake. I won't be as interesting or as much fun at dinner parties any more but the swearing has to stop or before long I'll find myself answering to a very displeased Kindergarten teacher.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

This is Becoming a Habit

This is the third day in a row that I've sat down to chisel words into my little spot on the web. Can't really say that this will be a particularly deep or long post given the late hour and my tired state of being.  I was up at 5:30 in the morning today so as to be on set on time. After 4 1/2 hours of sleep I dragged myself from bed and into the shower after a hearty, bleary-eyed bowl of granola. Whilst there I took the opportunity to wash myself and shave.  Always a good idea to run a razor blade over one's face while in a state of semi-consciousness - and starkers. There's also something adventurous about trying to dress yourself in the dark, especially as you try to be totally silent so your wife and daughter can keep sleeping - mocking you in their cozy slumbers.  I half expected to leave the house looking like I had been clothed by a drunken, blind, and surly chimp. Thankfully however I was soon on my way to work wearing a natty ensemble comprised mostly of denim and attitude (but mostly denim).

I arrived at work on time, and before long was through hair and makeup and whisked up to set sporting a tight little suit and a pair of black eyes courtesy of the makeup department - do not piss those people off. We were shooting the last day of a disaster-themed movie whose plot I am not at liberty to divulge, suffice it to say that stuff happens, then other stuff, and eventually the last stuff happens too. I was working on this show with a fabulous director whom I've known for years and am fortunate enough to work with fairly regularly, so the shoots are always fun and loose no matter what is happening around us. Today I was to be dressed in a haz-mat suit consisting of a set of paper coveralls and an antique looking gas-mask.  The suit I didn't mind so much but the mask . . . well that was something else entirely!  To describe it is to say it looked like something you'd see in a German fetish film - if you happen to watch those things unlike me who has only had their plots and thematic elements vividly described to him as well as the props inherent.  So as I was made to understand, this rubber mask with tiny eyeholes that smelled of fear for the most part was exactly like something you'd see somewhere in the most caustic and naughty corners of the internet.  It was extremely claustrophobic in that disturbing "rebreather", so I was very relieved that I didn't have to spend more time in it.  Of course that relief quickly subsided, because after completing that scene, the movie ended for me as today was the last shoot day.  It's always sad when a show comes to an end, not just because a job is finished but because you know you'll have to wait a while to work with those same people again. 

On a completely separate note (yes I can shift themes like this, after all no-one's reading this yet) I was thinking today about perhaps setting up a Facebook page.  Yes me, the most Facebook hating guy out there - actually I can't back that up, I'm sure there is a Government Official somewhere in Beijing that may hate Facebook more.  I was just thinking that if I set it up with no actual information or photos it would be an incredibly boring page, but at least I could network with work people, and on the bright side my stark page may appeal to the Amish.  I'm feeling more tech communicative the past few days since I set up this blog, today I even set up Messenger on my Blackberry - cracker jack! I'm absolutely positive this enthusiastic embrace of the electronic world will fade as surely as my enthusiasm for cleaning the litter box, but until then I drivel on! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Two Blogs in Two Days

Wow, I went from no blogs to two blogs in two days!  The truth is that this blog exists because I started thinking that the URL for my other blog, "thecoxblogmusingsofasuburbanite" was far too long, which of course it is!  So I created this blog, with the intention of copying over the posts from the other site and starting over with the more straight forward and self explanatory "richardcoxsblog".  However, now that I look at them, I think maybe I'll keep them both and find different uses for each of them - besides, Google can't find this one either which was the other reason for starting another blog.  Maybe this one could be the main blog, full of my day to day thoughts, and the musing blog could be where I try to be funny, but it just ends up looking like I'm trying too hard and then it gets awkward for everyone because the readers start to feel sorry for me, but I can sense their pity and then I start to get angry because I'm like "Who do they think they are to pity me, I should pity them!"  Well, I think we can all see where that's going . . .

The real problem is that I was worried that I wouldn't have enough to fill a blog as my life's not that exciting (at least not the parts that I'm willing to share with voyeuristic total strangers gawking at my intimate posts in various states of undress) but how am I going to keep up with two blogs?  I'd say the quality will be the first thing to go.  Then the passion for what I'm doing will dry up relative to the inevitable awesomeness of the new fall lineup.  Hmm, I've got to say that I'm surprised that Blogger's spell check didn't flag "awesomeness".  It just doesn't feel like a real-life genuine word, in fact that's the whole reason that I used it.  Of course just because a computer says a word is real or not real doesn't make it so - Microsoft Word will be the death of the proper British (and Canadian) spellings of words.

I will just have to soldier on with these two similar and yet totally different blogs (one's a little bit Country, the other's a little bit less Country, I mean it will listen to it but it won't go out of its way for it, not like the first one).  I would like both to be humorous, insightful, and of course massive internet smash successes.  I would also like at least one person to read them and pretend to like them.  I would also like a pony.