Tag: Open Thread

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I’ve played in several bands, in fact I’m a member of one today, though I’m not very active.

When I started out in 6th grade I played trumpet.  I had a choice of trumpet (Richard), flute (Emily), piano (Emily), or Guitar (Richard).  Too many keys, too many keys, too many strings and what the hell is a chord anyway?

Trumpets have only three keys so you can guess what someone as shallow and one dimensional as I picked.

Frankly I wasn’t good enough to cut it.  The other gal in class with me (just the 2 of us) went on to become a solo with The Connecticut Hurricanes which was at the time a very happening professional marching band.  My current band is professional too but you take out your pay in beer at the end of the parade.

Anyway it was clear by the time I was 13 years old that I was hopeless as a trumpet player, third seat third as they put it in Junior Band not Concert and my Band Director (one of the greatest leaders it’s ever been my honor to work under and I’ve had a few) suggested I borrow a Baritone Horn from the school.  AND because I am incapable of reading Bass Clef I could use the Tenor Sax music!

Since I was now instantly the second best player my attitude improved a lot.  Also he was very tough.  One period every day for group rehearsal, three nights a week after school,  Three sectionals a week (so you could thoroughly embarrass yourself in front of the same guys you’d been playing with all week who already knew that this was the part where you kind of hummed along so you didn’t fuck it up).

He was tough, and we played tough music and dominated our crosstown rivals and mostly everyone in the State.  Made us some trips too.  When you graduated you went on to High School Marching Band and by comparison it was a cakewalk.  Two short seasons, springtime all parades not drills, and we never had to play that good, just make our marks and play fast, loud, or both fast AND loud.

But that’s not what I’m here to share with you tonight.  I’m here tonight to tell you the difference between a Baritone Horn and a Euphonium.  Like a Trumpet a Baritone Horn has a tubular bore and a Euphonium has a conical one like a Cornet.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Three to Five is a stump speech you’re expected to give out at a public meeting.

You’re supposed to pump up enthusiasm for your current portfolio (whatever that is), lay out your agenda for the future, and recognize your performers.

All in three to five minutes because people want to get to the buffet and mingle and there are 10 other speakers.  Tight time budget.

I had a reputation as a time waster, but I really didn’t because I HAD an agenda.

Recognize your performers!  Surprise, surprise, surprise this also pumps up enthusiasm.  Two birds, one stone!

Blitz agenda-

I have promised myself that every single elected official who posts on dKos shall have to confront these three issues-

  • The Occupation of Iraq
  • The Erosion of Our Constitutional Liberties
  • Executive Submission to Congressional Subpoenas

All very simple.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

One of the things my club does, and has for the last 40 badump years, is run an Arts and Crafts Show on the Stars Hollow Green.

Taylor Doose hates it because we tear up the turf more than all the Weddings and Concerts and Easter Egg Hunts and Festivals he runs; but you know, that’s just the way it is in Stars Hollow, do something long enough and you have squatters rights and old Taylor can just piss up a rope.

It was a bad year.  We had less than 8 members to cover the whole event and it is our major fundraiser.

At the end of the day we were all pretty beat.  I won’t pretend I worked any harder than anyone else.  I still smoked and I must say I enjoyed it, sitting on the bench.  Still, it was just getting darker and colder and I was just getting stiffer so I mildly suggested-

“Seems to me we ought to get started cleaning up.”

Yes.  Well, it got exactly the kind of response I expected.

It occurred to me some stronger measures might be required, so I bestirred myself, picked up a garbage bag and said-

“Ok, I’m starting at that end”, and I pointed to the shorter and less garbagy part of the green since if you lead you get to do stuff like that, “and we need a team to start over there”, and here I pointed toward the horrendous pigsty, “and we’ll meet in the middle.  Let’s do it!”

And I did an unconvincing little jump and stalked off.

Oddly enough a half hour later the job was done.  The last Crafter on the Green closing up was a person who did tumbled rocks like Emily’s Mom.  Before she finished packing up her van she stopped me and said- “I saw what you did.” and gave me a piece of polished quartz of the type that normally went for a buck, so no big deal.

After all stones don’t bring you luck you make your own.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I advise everyone I know to buy a tuxedo.  Don’t rent.

For one thing they’re exceptionally cheap, cheaper than real clothes.  Mine cost me $150 at a Men’s Warehouse Store and came with a pair of pants and alterations.  They rent it for $75 a day.  A good jacket costs the same but without the pants and even though I don’t buy into your 20th Century notions of modesty I am particular about how I appear in public.

Call it vanity.

They’re remarkably durable.  After I discovered that people picking you up and tossing you in the hotel swimming pool means you’re a cool kid, I’ve had mine doused twice.  Costs the same $20 to clean as if I dropped my elbow in the salad dressing (that only happened once).  There is a reason they call it a Dinner Jacket, it’s a full body bib.

And for some reason people associate this penguin jacket with so many things.  I use mine like a costume at Halloween.  One year in fact I was at a party in Greenwich, The Fourth Annual Masquerade Ball.  I remember it for a couple of reasons but one is I have the Commemorative Champagne Sports Squeeze Bottle on my mantle.

My costume was my tux and a few copies of lorem ipsum printed in teeny tiny print like a contract, in red.  At the appropriate moment I’d whip it out and say- “No, I came here tonight especially to talk to you.”

Then I’d take a Montblanc (another $20 prop, you have to be stupid to pay more than that for a pen) I’d loaded with red ink and slide it across the bar.

For some reason that creeped people out.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Iraq drawdown to begin in volatile area
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
45 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Commanders in Iraq have decided to begin the drawdown of U.S. forces in volatile Diyala province, marking a turning point in the U.S. military mission, The Associated Press has learned.

Instead of replacing the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, which is returning to its home base at Fort Hood, Texas, in December, soldiers from another brigade in Salahuddin province next door will expand into Diyala, thereby broadening its area of responsibility, several officials said Tuesday.

In this way, the number of Army ground combat brigades in Iraq will fall from 20 to 19. This reflects President Bush’s bid to begin reducing the American military force and shifting its role away from fighting the insurgency toward more support functions like training and advising Iraqi security forces.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

People accuse me of being ridged minded and arrogant.

So what?

If I appear Manichean, too quick to divide things into black and white, I could plead my character but I won’t stoop that low.  Painful experience has taught me I’m smarter than most.

It’s really embarrassing at parties to have the Briggs-Myers INTP turn up and have the banker ask you- “So how does it feel to live in a world full of idiots?”

I dunno, how does it feel for you?

In my personal experience everyone is the producer, director, and star of their own private movie.

Of course you act like a diva, or you should.

This life is your red carpet.  Joan wants to talk to you.

Hope you have a designer dress on and some borrowed jewelry because this is your fifteen minutes of fame.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I hated water skiing with Uncle Ralph.  He was Aunt Alida’s second husband and they lived in a ranch house perched on the edge of a quarry lake.

What’s a quarry lake?  Basically a pit filled with water.  The house was kind of a normal house on top of a steep driveway as you got near the edge of the crater.  The downstairs was a game room with a Pool Table and a genuine One Armed Bandit that paid out real money and was totally illegal as Uncle Ralph would proudly boast.

And a rack of water skis and pile of life vests and a changing room and laundry so you could wash your bathing suit before you got home.

When you stepped on the patio what immediately attracted your attention were the pike and walleye heads nailed to the trees while you clunked down the steep terraces toward the dock.

It was a funny kind of lake.  Three feet deep for about thirty feet out.  Then a watery plunge.  The dock was set up so you could step off the side and play around or dive straight into hell.

As a two ski skier I was sneered at as worthless and weak- real men (and women) slalom.  Uncle Ralph delighted in throwing me at rocks and docks and generally jerking me around.  He was a mean boat driver, I’m not kidding.  Last time my dad skied he skied with Ralph and dad could slalom and went down hard.

Still, it had its good points.  After you had suffered enough you could climb up and play pool with cousins you didn’t know and can’t remember; and later, when Uncle Ralph had driven everyone into a cliff, he’d give you a cup of quarters and let you play slots ’til you lost them all.  Then it would be about dinner time.

If you brought your own money you could play nickle, dime, quarter with Uncle Ralph and all the other older relatives on the big felt pool table.  It was an odd night I didn’t walk away $4 or $5 dollars richer, but they were my relatives and I didn’t see them that often and I am a very good poker player.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I don’t really like swimming very much though I’ve done a lot of it.  I find it difficult to enjoy myself in the water because there’s always this sense that I should be doing something.

When I was in Swim Team we’d do 3 to 5 miles a day and it is the most boring, grinding, isolated kind of exercise you can imagine.  No view except the feet of the person in front of you.  Nothing to hear except an occasional whistle when you breathe.  Endless circles of aching effort regulated by 15 or 30 second breaks before it is time to push off again.  I’d sing symphonies in my head (I was into long haired music- Mozart, Bach, and Brahms) to alleviate the endless counting.  Stroke, stroke, stoke, stroke, stroke, stoke… 25.  Stroke, stroke, stoke, stroke, stroke, stoke… 50.

Everything about me stank of chlorine all the time.  My hair turned green.  I’d tell you my fingers and toes turned permanently pruney but that’s not quite true, they usually recover after a couple of hours.

Monday through Friday 6 to 8 and if you were on the elite squad there were the mandatory practices from 6 to 7 in the morning.  In the winter your hair would freeze and in the summer?

Ah… nothing like an outdoor pool in the early morning after it’s had all night to cool off.

I’ve had my head burnt to near Emergency Room levels when someone flushed the toilet while I was in the shower (actually I should probably have gone, it was that bad).  I’ve swum in pools so green you couldn’t see the bottom and had to feel for the wall (no flip turns, Team safety orders).

You get to a point where you can tell by feel fast water where you’ll get good times and personal bests from slow water.  But it’s slow for everybody as coach would say.

Anyway, now that I’m no longer a professional Life Guard and have to do my 400 yards every day, I rarely swim except to get somewhere and it should be somewhere fun.  A rock you can jump off.  A boat you can sail.  I will take a dip to cool off, but I hardly call it swimming, in and out.  I watch kids play in pools and I think- how are they having fun?

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Guards fire on car in Iraq, kill 2 women
By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer
21 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – Guards working for an Australian-owned security company fired on a car as it approached their convoy Tuesday, killing two women before speeding away from the latest bloodshed blamed on the deadly mix of heavily armed protection details on Baghdad’s crowded streets.

The deaths of the two Iraqi Christians – including one who used the white sedan as an unofficial taxi to raise money for her family – came a day after the Iraqi government handed U.S. officials a report demanding hefty payments and the ouster from Iraq of embattled Blackwater USA for a chaotic shooting last month that left at least 17 civilians dead.

The deaths Tuesday at a Baghdad intersection may sharpen demands to curb the expanding array of security firms in Iraq watching over diplomats, aid groups and others.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I frequently liken my family to the Gilmores.  Part of that is I have lived a life of privilege, the best schools (like Chilton and Yale), Summer Camp, Music Lessons, a library within walking distance where I spent much of my youth, large areas of undeveloped land practically in my back yard, Scouting, Swim Team, Golf, Skiing, Sailboats and Canoes.

Not too bad Richard and Emily did for my brother and sister and I, but there’s also the personality similarities, especially between Emily and my mother.  If it’s not a name brand it does not exist.  I’m sure she would have put plastic on the davenport, but midwesterners don’t do that sort of thing.

Anybody have any pop?  I like Vernors but you have to import it.

I’m only half troll though, Richard’s a Yooper and his dad came over from Denmark as a child so I know how to make pasties AND ableskiver (first you need an ableskiver pan, Gilmores get them on their thirteenth birthday, Emily had to learn from Lorelai The First before she was allowed to marry into the family).

But the most startling similarity between the Gilmores and my family is the dialog.  Guests sit down at the dinner table and leave impressed by the viciousness and wit.  Reactions have ranged from- “So who IS afraid of Virgina Woolf” to “Me Oww Ms. Parker” to “You should be writing this down dude.”

As if.  But I am sooo good enough to write for The Stamford Eagle Gazette Mr. Huntzberger.  In fact, I bet I could get a gig at The Baltimore Herald if I put my mind to it, following around Obama on the campaign trail.  I am the reigning Lorelai and if you want to sit down at the table cocktails start promptly at midnight.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Scandal brewing at Oral Roberts
By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 30 minutes ago

TULSA, Okla. – Twenty years ago, televangelist Oral Roberts said he was reading a spy novel when God appeared to him and told him to raise $8 million for Roberts’ university, or else he would be “called home.”

Now, his son, Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts, says God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal.

Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local political campaign and lavish spending at donors’ expense, including numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his daughter’s senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Dozens arrested as Myanmar junta tightens grip
AFP
32 minutes ago

YANGON (AFP) – Security forces combed through Yangon rounding up activists as Myanmar’s regime tightened its grip on power Thursday and a UN envoy prepared a key report on last week’s bloody crackdown on protesters.

Residents said dozens of people were arrested during the night as security forces raided homes in Yangon neighbourhoods near Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar’s holiest Buddhist shrine and a key rallying point for the mass protests.

They patrolled the streets during an overnight curfew and swept into homes to make targeted arrests from a blacklist of campaigners following the largest anti-regime demonstrations in almost 20 years, residents said.

2 Japanese journalist’s body returns from Myanmar
Reuters
Wed Oct 3, 10:09 PM ET

TOKYO (Reuters) – The body of a Japanese video journalist who was shot dead during a crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Myanmar was returned home on Thursday, and was due to be taken for an autopsy.

The results of the investigation are likely be a factor as Japan weighs whether to take action against military-ruled Myanmar, such as cutting back economic assistance.

Kenji Nagai, 50, was shot when the military opened fire on protesters in Yangon on September 27. Footage smuggled out of the country appeared to show a soldier shooting Nagai at point-blank range, but Myanmar officials have said he was shot accidentally.

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