Orange Gearle

family, friends, politics, music and technology... that's what it's all about

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Ever feel like you just want to pull an Alexander??? Maybe he thought of Australia because he heard Bob sing this:

Well, I wish I was on some
Australian mountain range.
Oh, I wish I was on some
Australian mountain range.
I got no reason to be there, but I
Imagine it would be some kind of change

A bad day lead Alexander to dream about his move...and that's what lead me to the references tonight, as well.

So let's think 'happy thoughts'....

Baby heads
Baby feet
Baby smells
Jogging on the Beach
Swimming with Dolphins
Music, especially the live kind
(Well, I see you got your brand new) Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
Children's voices
Children's voices singing
Things that are Orange
The Sounds of NYC (they're rhythmic, you know)
Art, specifically paintings and pottery
Bob Dylan
A good workout
Meaningful, fun conversations
A Harvest Moon
A Good Quote
Garlic, Green Olive and Cheese Pizza
Words, espcially words that are fun to say like jejune...seriously, say that three times?

jejune, jejune, jejune

Isn't that fun? If it wasn't, then you probably didn't say it right...cuz you know I'm (always) right. :-)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

good night, and good luck

Keith Olbermann has done it again. The host of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" has intestinal fortitude. If you haven't watched the show, I would recommend it. It's a newscast that 'counts down' the day's top stories, weeknights at 7pm CT on MSNBC. It's more than just the top stories however. Let's just say it's anything but boring! His style is courageous and comical.

For those without cable or just without MSNBC (like my mother), Crooks and Liars is really good about posting the good stuff. Tonight's outstanding performance is no exception. His focus was on Rummy...but the whole administration is "implicated". You can check out Keith's attacks on this administration's obscene tendancy to surpress dissent here. Seriously, check it out.

Mom: click the link above (marked here), then click one of the "video" buttons. It will download it to your computer. Double click the icon to open it. But the best part, mom, is that you can read the transcript from the above link too (it's below the picture of Olbermann). So you can read along as he speaks, which I know you like. :-)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Tonight I had a great jog. Glorious, really. I decided, in honor of his first CD release in five years, I would listen to Bob for my run. Funny...I turned on the iPod, and it began playing Disease of Conceit from Oh Mercy...before I even had a chance to flip to the Bob playlist. So I listened to it before switching the iPod to all Bob all the time. I actually listened to Disease of Conceit twice because it sounded so good tonight. Next song up was a live version of Summer Days. This version was over eleven minutes long (including all the clapping) because it was the final song of his Carver Hawkeye Arena concert nearly two years ago. I saw that show. It was my first live Bob. I saw it with one of the best friends I have ever had. The only person I know that loves Bob as much as me (maybe even more). It's a great memory. Anyway, I remember clapping for a long time before Bob agreed to take the stage again and play Like a Rolling Stone and All Along the Watchtower. That was a great experience. A few from that concert came up tonight, actually. Honest With Me and Love Sick to name two more. Of course despite the beautiful run, I was left a bit melancholy, missing conversations about Bob. So if you are reading this, and you are a person that loves Bob, email me. :-)

I'm thinking about making the journey to Madison in October to see him again. If I do, it will be 2 years and 2 days since the first time I saw him.

If you haven't heard his new CD yet (Modern Times) you need to. It's anything but modern. It's beautiful poetry, of course. And you should take a look and listen to this over at zoot's place.

Everytime something from the Nashville Skyline album came up I laughed out loud. His voice cracks me up on that one. It's so...uh....professional. I especially liked it when immediately following Girl From the North Country (with Johnny Cash), Mr. Tambourine Man (a LIVE version) came up! Have you heard Bob play Mr. Tambourine Man live lately?? Heh. Let's just say it's quite unlike the Nashville Skyline album. Cracked me up.

The trail that I went to was packed tonight. Surprisingly, however, I felt very isolated (and in this case, that's good). It was busy, but not congested. I saw a small, female boxer. She was beautiful, but not as beautiful as Emmie. There have been a few days of rain, I'm sure the sunny skies accounted for the busy trail.

After my jog I drove to the athletic club for yoga. Yoga is wonderful. I always feel so relaxed and tranquil, not my usual state. In the car coming home for the night, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful, orange crescent moon. Simply spectacular.

I leave you tonight with a song released as I was just begining my first year of college:

Shooting Star
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you.
You were trying to break into another world
A world I never knew.
I always kind of wondered
If you ever made it through.
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you.

Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of me.
If I was still the same
If I ever became what you wanted me to be
Did I miss the mark or
Over-step the line
That only you could see?
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of me.

Listen to the engine, listen to the bell
As the last fire truck from hell
Goes rolling by, all good people are praying,
It's the last temptation
The last account
The last time you might hear the sermon on the mount,
The last radio is playing.

Seen a shooting star tonight
Slip Away.
Tomorrow will be another day.
Guess it's too late to say the things to you
That you needed to hear me say.
Seen a shooting star tonight
Slip away.

Monday, August 28, 2006

imagine that, orange gearle cannot be silent

As I type this diary, I have just finished watching a Katrina special on NBC, crying. I’m not trying to be dramatic at all…I just can’t believe that what happened the first five days after Katrina could have happened in America.

I told my friend Donnie, (aka Louisiana Fury, and Katrinacrat), that I was not going to blog about Katrina. He sent me this with this video that everyone should probably watch. Anyway, I told him that A) I don’t feel like I’m well enough informed and B) everyone and their sister will be doing it and I NEVER do what everyone favorite color is ORANGE, for goodness sake! While watching this special, I changed my mind. I cannot be silent.

Yet another rerun of Friends was over at 7:00 (it was the one where Rachel finally goes into labor). I began flipping through the channels to see what might be on “for noise” while I continued to work on things for school. When the dial arrived at NBC, I could tell that it was going to be a Katrina story and I almost just shut the tv off. In fact, I said aloud, “God, I bet every channel is going have this stuff on all week.” I don’t mean to sound heartless…in fact, the problem is that it physically hurts my heart to hear these stories. I would rather just not deal with it. God, I know! How horrible is that??? I'm ashamed by myself. It’s not a lack of empathy…it’s not that I actually think if I don’t see it, it’s not happening…it IS that I get so down about it all. As I’ve stated many times before….I’m sure I need prozac. ☺

But this isn’t about me. I suppose it’s a little about my reaction to the fiasco, but it’s really not about me (for once). ☺ It’s about them…the people of the gulf coast, and their suffering.

My father (and brother) say, “How can you blame Bush for Katrina? You blame Bush for everything.” I cannot even think about writing some of the other things that I have been forced to listen to on this topic. It’s embarrassingly ignorant. But the fact is, I don’t blame Bush for Katrina. I love blaming Bush for things, it’s so easy for goodness sake! But in this instance, I blame the whole fucking ‘system’ for what happened in the days following this natural disaster. This was the worst natural disaster in our history, quickly followed by the worst human disaster…that continues today. And yes, Bush is part of it. All the Bushes are part of it…as well as the Bush appointees to certain positions. But what I really blame him for, like most, is the lack of response. He wants to be powerful. The governmental checks and balances that are intended to protect us from tyranny are clearly eroding away because of this man. Ok, fine, Mr. President…where was your power the days following Katrina’s landfall?? Where were you the day the levees broke? What did you do about it? You are the decider, right? Why couldn’t you DECIDE to get food and water to the people. It’s about choices, man. You could’ve. This was a disaster. People were literally dying in the streets, bodies everywhere because of no food, water, or medication. Where were your helicopters? People were literally walking over and around DEAD BODIES. Dead bodies that were there because of the aftermath, not because of Katrina itself. You didn’t CREATE Katrina. I know that. I’ve never blamed you for that, Mr. President (contrary to my father’s claims). And you know what?? I’ll even give it to ya that it may have been very difficult, or even impossible to get the people out, once things got to a certain point. You know, Mr. President, that hard work that you keep talking about. But, Mr. President, there is no excuse for letting the people of the Gulf Coast die from lack of food, water and medical supplies. Unacceptable. In. America. Period. Do you hate Americans, or just those of a certain hue or social class?? Maybe you don’t hate them/us, maybe you are just indifferent about it. That’s almost worse.

OK, maybe I do blame Bush just a little. ☺ But I don’t just blame Bush if that makes sense. I know that there were a lot of people that failed. I’ll even acknowledge that there were things that happened that no one anticipated (however, everyone anticipated the breach of the levees, Mr. President). But as earlier stated, he could’ve done much more than he did (I mean, anything is better than nothing). He’s the frickin’ leader of the “free world” for goodness sake (if we can still call us that – but that’s another story). You can't tell me his hands were tied.

Don't even get me started on the photo-ops....those of the past...and those that will no doubt continue this week in NOLA and next in NYC. That just makes me want to vomit.

This special on NBC (done quite well by Brian Williams) showed people screaming for help. It showed babies in mother’s arms too weak to cry. It showed a man on the city street convulsing…having an actual seizure on tv! Seriously, it showed it. And it showed the many people around him trying to help. It showed the looters too, of course. These are the people that my brother tends to focus on. But what would you do? Really? Think about that for a minute. Your baby is dying. Your mother is dying. Your wife, sister, husband, brother is dying. What would you do? I know how I felt when I took my daughter to a Green Day concert and a mosh pit ensued. All 5'0" if me protected my daughter like I was 7 feet tall. It's instinct. I know exactly what I would've done.

They followed a police officer. He was one of the officers trying to stop the looting. It showed him in tears, horrified at the events he was witnessing…empathetic to the looters, but arresting them anyway, and trying to grieve on his own. Mourning the loss of family and friends, the loss of a city that he loved. It also showed him now. Still doing his job. He even played a “shit stick” ovation guitar for the camera. ☺

Another story was the story of a woman looking for her eighty some year old mother following the tragedy. Do you know that it took some protesting and two months to get her mother’s body? And her body was in the morgue the whole time.

What a disaster.

I cannot do their stories justice. I cannot. I can tell you that one of my best friends did some mission work in the Gulf Coast area this summer. We should all do that. Helen said that her life is forever changed by what she saw.

I’d imagine so.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


...all I can say is wow.

Mardi Gras From Hell

Thursday, August 24, 2006

a teaching story

Today was our seventh day of school.

Yesterday we started "Writer's Workshop". During writer's workshop, students are subject to a minilesson about writing, and then they are allowed time to write. A boy we'll call Bobby was having a difficult time getting started yesterday. So, I had a brief conference with him about writing ideas. He chose to write about watching the Dallas Cowboys play football. As I was circulating through the class, I noticed that Bobby wasn't getting very far, in fact, he had erased most of what he was writing!

Today brought another minilesson, and then they began writing. I called Bobby over to the back table, in a cheerful way...but he sat down and started bawling. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I don't know what to write." I worked with him for a while, and he decided to write about playing a card game with his mom and dad. I didn't "help" him, I just talked him through it. After he had sketched the picture and written several sentences, I sent him back to his seat to finish the details. Moments later it was time for recess. As I was walking them out to recess he turned to me and eagerly said, "Are we gonna have more time to write when we get back inside??" He's hooked, and so am I.

i smell karl

Six or more years ago, I wouldn't have been so "conspiracy theory" about all of this...but...I've been proven wrong time and time again.

Do you know your Secretary of State? It's a very important state governmental position...especially in times like these. During the upcoming election: Iowans need to pay attention.

In June there was a primary election, and (Republican) voters chose Chuck Allison as their candidate for Secretary of State. Fast forward one month, and Allison "mysteriously" drops out of the race. Instead of selecting Robert Dopf, the runner up in the primary, the GOP state central committee unanimously picked Mary Ann Hanusa (seemingly out of nowhere). There were several other names thrown around in the media, but Hanusa was the only one considered by the state central committee (says Cullen Sheehan, executive director of the Iowa Republican Party).

Why do I smell a bit-o-Rovalicious?? Manusa hasn't lived in Iowa for the last five years. She works for George W. Bush. She also worked for his father. Yes, she is registered to vote in Iowa, of course. I wonder how I could find out if she's ALWAYS been registered to vote in Iowa? Not that it matters. She was HANDPICKED. If you think this administration wants fair, lawful elections, you are wrong. If I ever questioned the "conspiracy theories" hanging over the last two general elections...I no longer do. (Fact is, I was convinced long ago, but this just adds fuel to the fire). This is clearly the work of "the architect".

Iowa Democrats and Independents listen: If you want a chance at fair elections in Iowa, you must get out and vote...Michael Mauro for Secretary of State.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

running winos

I ran across this article as I was searching for information about training for a half marathon. Yes. You heard me. I'm thinking about training for a half marathon....then a marathon. We'll see. I'm sure the itch will pass.....but....who knows?

Anyway...the article....

There are few sights more peculiar than a parade of 8,000 costumed marathoners sipping wine as they run 26.2 miles. But that's exactly what happens each September at the Medoc Marathon in Bordeaux, where the course winds through 59 of France's most prized vineyards and elegant châteaus. Its aid stations eschew sports drinks and instead offer up such local refreshments as Lafite Rothschild and pâté. Winners take home their weight in grand crus.

I've been training for that kind of marathon for a while now. :-)

And then....(emphasis mine)

While there aren't any U.S. marathons serving fine wines on the course, American runners aren't immune to the pleasures of the ancient grape. In fact, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), serious recreational runners drink more alcohol than their sedentary counterparts. Even Olympian Deena Kastor enjoys a glass of red the night before big races--including her bronze-medal run in Athens last summer. This despite the fact that the ACSM also says that drinking alcohol before engaging in sports decreases strength, power, speed, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular endurance.

So, I'm normal then. Heh.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

thoughts...the best kind (random)

I love it when: I jog and during the third mile (I usually jog three) I cannot remember if it's the second or third mile. Tonight was not one of those nights, however. :-) I haven't been jogging regularly, and the last couple of nights have been only restless sleep. That, and not eating properly made for a difficult time on the path today. I felt old and tired. Every step seemed like one step closer to 40. I need new shoes and most of all, I need to eat and sleep better. But the music of the evening made up for it all. Often I jog with either a set playlist, or I set it on all Bob, Steve, or Zoot. The last couple of jogs I set the iPod on random tunage. I heard great stuff. It's the only reason I actually made it through the three miles. That's really sad considering just last spring, when I was running to stay alive, I ran 5 or 7 miles regularly (on not the best sleep or food, as a matter of fact). Anyway, tonight was Bill Morrissey, The Clash (which almost never comes up), John and Yoko, Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, The Jayhawks, Young Fresh Fellows, Freedy Johnston (I must say, from the first to last chord, Remember Me sounded great tonight), True to Life (Uncle Tupelo) was FANTASTIC, Marvin Gaye, Cab Calloway, The Beatles...and on the ride home, The Holmes Brothers (that's where it's at, perdy baby) and Bo Carter. NONE of the regulars, but all fabulous. I definitely need new shoes though.

Next is a picture of my favorite meal -- the meal I ate this evening (post jog). Red wine would've been better...but apparently it's back to giving me headaches. I haven't had this glorious meal all summer (you can probably guess why). Anyway, bread with pesto, fresh tomatoes (thanks mom), cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, fresh herbs, (salt, too, of course) topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Man it's good. The fresh herbs make it....I'm pissed that for very stupid reasons I haven't been able to bring myself to "cook" this meal. I'm taking left overs with me to school tomorrow (minus the wine, of course)

My daughter had her first class at the community college today. Wow. How old am I? She is going to love this one, I can tell. It's a humanities class. One of the first things she told me after she got in the car: She wants to set me up with her teacher. Heh. Very funny. Apparently he's single (or at least w/o a ring), dark hair, has an art degree, and doesn't own a cell phone -- all apparent criteria for my men. Heh. That's just funny. If he plays the guitar, I'm screwed. It seems the only men I am attracted to, however, are unavailable in some way...emotionally or with a significant other. It's a running joke around here. Seriously, though: I told her that 1)I'm not ready. 2)Even if I was, I couldn't date him while she was in his class. He's probably gay anyway. :-) Too bad they don't have parent teacher conferences in college. Heh. I crack myself up.

I'm extremely grateful that not everyone can write like this, otherwise I'm sure I wouldn't appreciate him/it as much. Damn. Make sure you check the link...and subsequent links. :-)

Ok, finally, check out this drawing by one of my kids. That's me on the right. In my building, we have amplification systems in every classroom. I wear a microphone -- very Madonna (notice I didn't say Brittney). Check out the earrings, too. Actually, it's very accurate; true to what I was wearing the first day of school.

My kids are great, btw. After just four days, I've figured out which ones are going to keep me awake at night. :-)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

stacey and mark

Last Friday, August 11, I drove to Des Moines to see Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart. I almost didn't go. I'm so glad I did.

(Disclaimer: Here's where I tell you all more information than you need to know...but since no one really reads's ok) Spring of 2004 I made a pact with myself...a pact to do what I want and quit waiting. Up until that point, I'd spent much of my adult life waiting...waiting to get married to buy a house (stopped that wait fall of 2003 -- bought the house on my own), waiting to see if my then boyfriend would "like to go" where ever, and then just not going because he wasn't around. Spring of 2004, I stopped waiting and began living again. That summer I went to many, many live shows...pretty much anything I could find, actually. Sometimes pretty bad shit, but mostly good. Since that summer, I really haven't stopped going. I would sometimes find someone to go with me, but often I went alone. That was ok, because that was the go if I want to go and not wait for someone to go with me. For a while I had a great friend that attended most things with me. We saw some awesome shit. Bob Dylan (twice), Willie Nelsen, Andrew Byrd, Paul Westerberg, Steve Earle, Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart, Hamell on Trial, DBT, The Black Keys, etc. Well, he is no longer in my life and I'm pretty much alone again, but I've kept my pact. Last Friday, I almost broke the pact. I was tired. It had been a long week. And frankly, I didn't want to go by myself. Being the Friday before school started, most of my friends (all teachers) were not wanting to go. But, the pact MADE me go. :-) I wasn't going to let loneliness win again.

I walked into the bar and Mark was standing right there. He said, "Hey Dona, it's good to see you. I'm so glad you came!" It'd been a long drive (longer than usual, due to a traffic jam) and I had to use the little girls room. As I was coming out of the stall...Stacey walked in. She said, "Hey, how are you? Mark is going to be happy to see you!" I love it that they recognize me...and I'm not a stalker. :-)

I quickly grabbed a spot to sit, front and center of course.

The crowd was fairly sparse. While I was waiting at the bar for my glass of Pinot Noir, (for some reason, it's all red wines for me lately) I met a woman that is also a musician. I'm pretty sure she lived in the DM area...but she was familiar with CSPS. Anyway, I invited her to sit with me (cuz it was such a choice spot).

The show was great, of course. The highlight for me was hearing Wedding Night for the first time live. It's from Stacey's first CD Simple Gearle. It's one of my favorite songs on the CD, and they never play it live. I have the Must Be Live CD (a REALLY good one to purchase if you are just learning about them). It has songs from two CDs, Simple Gearle and Dancin' with Them That Brung Me AND some of Mark's songs. It's totally live, and if you listen to it start to finish, it's like listening to an actual concert because they kept the "in between song talking" on the CD (it's a two disc set). Anyway, whenever a song from Simple Gearle comes up, I turn it up an sing real loud. :-) The songs on Simple Gearle were written when she was 31-37 years old. I'm thinking that's probably age. I can just relate to so many of them.

I can't wait to see them again in the Spring.

mmmm....dark chocolate....

US Man Survives Chocolate Ordeal

From BBC News:

A 21-year-old US man ended up in hospital after spending two hours trapped in a vat of chocolate, police in Wisconsin said on Friday.

The man said he had climbed into the tank before becoming trapped waist-deep in chocolate, police chief Randy Berner told AP news agency.

However, other reports suggest he was stirring the chocolate when he fell in.


The accident involved dark chocolate.

Vat of dark chocolate. Am I dreaming?

Friday, August 18, 2006

i hate this stinking war

Neil Young on the Colbert Report

"Is it just you or the entire AARP?"

"Until we do leave, should we even talk about leaving?"

"Read it?!"

And the end...I loved the end.

I love Neil seems like Colbert might as well.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

nsa wiretapping v. jonbenet

On KUNI today I heard about the most recent ruling in the NSA wiretapping fiasco. Short story: A Federal Judge in Detroit has ruled that the Bush Administration's domestic wiretapping program is unconstitutional and violates federal law. Full story here.

So, I got home and I turned on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, you name it....and what did I hear....nothing but JonBenet Ramsey. Now, this ten-year-old case may be important. I have my opinions about this latest development...I think it's a hoax, but who knows? Regardless, I can understand why it's news. She was white, a beauty queen, and from a wealthy family. Why wouldn't we know all about it?? However, a FEDERAL JUDGE says that our PRESIDENT's policy has VIOLATED the LAW and is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Why am I not hearing much about it???? This is disturbing to me.

So, I got online. The MSM pages...all JonBenet. I wouldn't be exaggerating much if I said that I had to dig to find the wiretapping story. It happened today, people. It's not like it's old news. I don't get it.

I don't mean to belittle the horrible death of a young girl. That would be heartless. I do care and of course I want the evil being that did this to her brought to justice. I am only questioning two things: Why is this national news? Why is this the top story above our president's violation of basic civil rights? (ok three) Why don't "the people" want our president and his policies brought to justice just as much as Karr?

NPR came through for me. I found this Q&A very informative. It's nothing new, exactly, but lots of info about the program in one location. It's dated back in May, but still worth the read I think. Although nothing new, I found this part especially perturbing and relevant:

"...FISA has provisions for emergency situations: The executive branch can begin a wiretap and then obtain a warrant within 72 hours if time is of the essence. And if war is declared, FISA allows warrantless wiretapping for 15 days, after which Congress must be consulted."

So, once again I say....why is there a 'need' for this program??? The executive branch has the legal power to do it...within the why the need for this ILLEGAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL program???? Let's see....because he can?? (or thinks he can?) Mr. President, why do you hate civil rights?? Why do you hate the constitution? Why do you hate America?

I'd like to think that the reason this wasn't "news" today is because everyone already knows he's violated the constitution, probably many times over, so people are just thinking, "Well, yeah, of course he did," but I'm not certain that's the case. And anyway, even if that were the case, I guess I'd be just as exasperated at the fact that we've become so desensitised and apathetic to our miscreant administration. Why aren't more people outraged? Why aren't people screaming at the top of their lungs???

Of course the administration is appealing the the illegal eavesdropping continues despite the judges ruling.

As I finish this diary, The Daily Show has begun. Top story: JonBenet. Good grief.

UPDATE: (8/18/06) The top story on most of the papers that I saw in HandiMart this morning....NSA Wiretapping Ruled Unconstitutional. Maybe there's hope yet?? :-)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

seriously, are you kidding me????

Mr. 37% was in Pennsylvania today "pitching the economy". Whatever. Then he was trying to raise money for Lynn Swann (former Steeler running for Gov. against incumbent Ed Rendell). Why does he think he would be at all helpful to him? Better yet, why does Swann?? Seriously, are you kidding me??

Cheers and applause erupted inside the Harley-Davidson Inc. vehicle operations plant here when Bush straddled a high-end model painted blue and white and revved its engine again and again. Climbing down, he ripped off blue-tinted safety glasses that he insisted made him look like rock star Bono and jokingly struck a pose intended to show a hip side.

"I'm just looking so far," Bush said during a tour of the plant where 3,200 employees work around the clock on shiny motorcycles that move slowly around the assembly floor on tracks. "I'll let Josh Bolten ride these things," Bush said of his chief of staff, known as a motorcycle enthusiast.

Seriously??? BONO??? Good grief, Charlie Brown.

their last day

Tomorrow school starts for HMH and her best friend, T. They've spent the last couple of days cleaning out the spare room for T. to stay for a while. Their boyfriends helped them. My mom has been the "supervisor" and "advisor" while I've been working on my classroom, attending Open House, mentoring, and in meeting after meeting. They've done a lot of work over the last few days! But I think they've had a bit of fun in the process. Here's a few pics to share.

PS - My mom took the pictures, loaded them onto her computer, AND sent them to me without any help. :-) This is the second or third time she's been able to do that recently. Woo hoo, mom! :-)

Monday, August 14, 2006

buddy guy

Mary Had a Little Lamb

I just had to share this.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

sen. joe biden

My mother has accused me of being "too liberal" or "too radical". Now, a bit of background here...if you are an avid reader of Orange Gearle you might remember that I wrote this diary about being born what I call a "bi-political" child. The short story: my mother is a democrat, and my father is a republican. However liberal my mother is, she is concerned that I'm becoming a bit radical. Well, sorry mom, you can blame the current administration for that. This 'uniter' has divided this country more than I thought could ever be done. It was "hard work" but he accomplished it. I'm farther left than I've ever been....and I like it here.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to attend a fundraiser for Jan Kvach at our local Democratic Headquarters. Sen. Joe Biden was the keynote speaker. I almost cried. Seriously, I had big tears in my eyes when he spoke about what Bush should've done after 9/11...what Kennedy or FDR would've done. I went to this event thinking, "Ok, I'll go, might be cool. I probably won't like him." After listening , I left ready to volunteer for his campaign. Now that some time has passed, I realize that I haven't figured out if he's just being a politician, or if he's really what he claims. I've just decided that I will "watch him" over the next 18 months and see what happens (as well as do my research, of course -- doing research is one of my many curses).

He said everything I believe in. He said everything I've been screaming for the last few years. He talked about the Democrats no longer being timid. He talked about America needing us (democrats) to be the leaders that we can be.

Of course he slammed President Bush, as he should. Of course, he talked about the war, the economy, the tax cuts for the richest of the rich. Of course he talked about the middle class and poor being left behind. But for the first time in a while, maybe ever, I heard a democrat talk about what he would do instead and (most importantly) how he would pay for it.

He also talked about America not being made up of Red and Blue states....that we are purple....this sorta feeds into my mother's thinking. And I agree -- to a point. :-) Mom, you would've loved that part. That moderate approach is probably what we need to get elected. I'm all about getting elected.

I enjoyed his comments about Katrina and the disastrous way Bush and friends handled it. I am going to try to get the video of him and watch it again. Then maybe I can update this a bit more. I'll admit I was taken in by his powerful speaking, and so I am unable to articulate the speech with any sort of clarity.

Have you read Crashing the Gate? You need to. Go buy a copy today. I've been bitching at you to do it for MONTHS. :-) Send it to your friends. Although he never said the words, this speech was very "Crashing the Gate-ish" as well as "Fifty State Strategy-esque". If nothing else, this guy is motivating. If he decides not to run, or isn't elected, he should become a motivational speaker. LOL.

Now, if he'd just vote for stem cell research and gay/lesbian rights....hmm....I'll have to look into that, I'm not sure where he stands...but I won't be a one-issue voter...I WON'T. Think Big Picture, people! Big picture. (steps off soapbox)

Here are a few more pictures from the event...

(Check out the button, not the breasts)

(Dave Loebsack -- running against evil doer Jim Leach)

Jan Kvach

Saturday, August 12, 2006

the onion

Bush Grants Self Permission To Grant More Power To Self

WASHINGTON, DC—In a decisive 1–0 decision Monday, President Bush voted to grant the president the constitutional power to grant himself additional powers.

"As president, I strongly believe that my first duty as president is to support and serve the president," Bush said during a televised address from the East Room of the White House shortly after signing his executive order. "I promise the American people that I will not abuse this new power, unless it becomes necessary to grant myself the power to do so at a later time."


"In a time of war, the president must have the power he needs to make the tough decisions, including, if need be, the decision to grant himself even more power," Bush said. "To do otherwise would be playing into the hands of our enemies."

You just gotta read it. Here's the link.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

bless me bloggers...

...for I have's been 20 days since my last confession diary. Yes, I am going to blame it mostly on school. I also confess that nearly a week ago I tried to write a diary, but alas, after spending over two hours uploading all of the pics and writing the text, I lost it all, and then gave up. :-) Cut me some was 2 a.m.

Actually I have been neglecting the blogosphere as a whole lately. This whole "moving schools thing" has been a bit more intense than expected. There has also been ongoing computer hell in my life and we just hired a new first grade teacher (teammate for me). This is late to be hiring, and he's new to the profession and requires a mentor. I am his mentor (mentor=more work for me). So what was already going to be a tight timeline for me to get my room complete before beginning school NEXT WEEK, adding "mentor" to my title restricted my time even more. Fortunately, the new teacher will fit our team beautifully, and he and I especially click. We get along dangerously well, actually.

Two weeks ago I found myself in Madison, WI at the Sugar Maple Tradional Music Festival. I went alone (don't freak out Cari, it's ok)! I'll disclose that it was a bit lonely at times, but probably good for me. It was also relaxing, and really, it's all about the music for me anyway. I visited my nephew and his family on the way. I will have pics of that on Orange Gearle soon (or whenever I am able).

I arrived at Lake Farm County Park late in the afternoon on Friday, July 28. Set to begin at 4:30, I was there by 4:00 to get a seat in front. After paying the

two-day admission price, I entered the "big top" tent and made my way toward the stage. I was a bit surprised at the sparseness of the crowd. In hindsight, I suppose it could've been because it was a Friday, and some people have to do this thing called work, or because it was one of the hottest days of the summer. Regardless I set my orange chair in the closest spot I could find, directly beside the sound table, with only the dance floor between the stage and I. I immeditely began taking pictures.

There were several vendors: ice cream, food, and beer...the essentials. It was so hot I even drank some beer that day (I hate beer, but really wanted the cup). :-) I enjoyed the fact that there were several vegetarian choices....why can't they do that more in Cedar Rapids??? I went the Cajun route...very yummy.

Throughout the two day festival, there were many opportunities to take pictures like the following. Many "regular" people sitting around with their guitars, playing.

First to take the stage was the Wisconsin-based swing group, Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble. Mom, you would've liked these guys. There was a clarinetist. :-)

Anyone know what kind of guitar that is?

One of the things that I liked about this festival was the family feel. As more people began to arrive, I noticed that many were young families with babies in wombs, babies in arms, and children around 1-5 running around. If I were raising a young family, I would certainly do it this way -- raising my children around this music-rich, liberal, loving (hippie) environment. In the beginning, only the children would dance. I took several pictures of this little sweetie with her dad.

I was able to hear The Mike and Amy Finders Band again at this festival. This Iowa City based duo (plus a fiddler) play music with a folk/bluegrass (and maybe a bit of country) feel. I bought two of their CDs (and you should too). If you haven't seen them live, you should. It makes the CDs even better when you can picture them singing their original songs. Amy is quite "cute", actually she is beautiful...but when she sings she is adorable. It was when I first heard them that I decided I needed to learn how to play the mandolin. (I have not realized that goal yet, but I will) Afterwards I spoke with Amy a bit. It seems that with the girls growing older, and the fact that they are having a difficult time keeping a band, they will be playing very few gigs in the future. Most will be in the CR, IC area I would imagine. My mother informed me just today that they are playing this weekend in Cedar Rapids. I may try to attend. Hopefully, I'll see them at CSPS again.

The music festival atmosphere is something I crave. I do wish I was able to attend about one of these a month or so! The line between musician and audience is transient. The moment a musician steps off the stage, they become the audience.

Guy Davis was next on the lineup. He is billed as a "renaissance blues man" and lived up to his reputation. I was aware of Guy, but never heard him and was anxious to experience his music. I was not disappointed. He had two guitars, a harmonica and a banjo. He played a lot of slide guitar with his 12-string, and when he played harmonica he used his voice to add percussive sounds. That was enjoyable. I liked the Gibson best, but I'm a bit biased. :-)

Guy just hanging.

Guy's Gibson

As Guy finished his set, the sun was disappearing, and the bugs decided to join us. As the Lost Bayou Ramblers were doing their sound check, the mosquitoes and gnats were attacking the audience. The smell of bug spray was overwhelming, and a bit surprising....given the liberal, environmentally conscience hippies in the audience. I was surprised that so many would apply deet to their bodies and allow it to permeate the air around us. :-) All I can say is the bugs were feisty!

The Lost Bayou Ramblers were amazing. For this festival, they were certainly my favorite. Their Louisiana upbringing was obvious, and the Cajun Zydeco style was addictive. I am SO pissed at myself for not purchasing a CD. Fortunately there's this little thing called the internet (tubes and tubes) and I will be able to purchase one online.

All I can say....french is sexy.

Yes, he's STANDING on the bass.

This next picture will seem odd to all that know me. I hate feet. Always have. It's wicked weird, actually. I have the "anti-foot fetish" if you will. But for some reason, while the Lost Bayou Ramblers were playing, I couldn't take my eyes off the feet. I tried like hell to get a decent picture of them, but with my point and shoot type camera, I wasn't very successful. There were sandals, and bare feet. There were tennis shoes and BLACK socks with shoes (really not attractive) but very diverse. I just thought a good pic of their feet might be artistic and beautiful. Well, there was a photographer there. He doubled that first night as the emcee as well. I'd been watching him most of the day, we were taking many of the same pictures...and we seemed to be two of only a few picture takers. :-) Anyway, I asked him to take pictures of the feet for me and send me some. :-) He had a much better camera, of course. Well, he actually came through for me....more pictures of the festival can be seen at his website, including feet, and one of my ass. :-) YIKES! I need to jog more and eat less. More on Jeff later, but here's the link to his pics.

Saturday began with a group of women from Minnesota called the Ditchlilies. GREAT name. Love it. Two of the girls put down their instruments for some of the songs and clogged! I think they probably win for having the most instruments on stage at one time (per person). :-) This day I was smart and took in a cooler...water, Diet Dr. Pepper, and wine. Good call.

Next up was the everybody fields. This is the group that brought me to the festival. I heard about them through my friend, Kathy. They have amazing harmonies. It was fun to see them because they truly represent their music...eclectic. If you look closely you will see, a "retro" kinda guy, a girl that looks like a kindergarten teacher, and a girl that looks very punk. What a strange combination, but it works.

On this second day of the festival, there were two stages. The second stage was called the "learning stage." There were songs for children, and workshops there throughout the day. One of the workshops that I stopped to check out was called "the art of the slide" hosted by Joel Paterson (from Devil in a Woodpile) and Guy Davis. I love that the festival offered these opportunities, but I hate it that both stages were going on at the same time. I hate missing things! :-)

Check out Joel's National!

A second workshop that I attending was with two brothers from the Lost Bayou Ramblers. The began with a bit of history about their family and their music which was very interesting. And they played, which was amazing. Then they taught us the Cajun two-step (not me, of course).

Meet Jeff. Hmmm.....I wonder why I liked him? Anyone? The first day I resisted asking him if anyone had ever told him that he was beautiful and only asked him to take pictures of feet for me. Why? Well, that would be weird if I did that, (apparently not weird to ask him to take pictures of feet? WTF??) AND (mostly) I was fairly certain he was with someone. I'll confess, it was equally difficult to resist mentioning my appreciation for his beauty when he pulled out his guitar. Da-amn. Apparently I have a type. I didn't really think I did...but I do. Anyone ever heard of someone like Jeff?? Dark curly long-ish hair (in this pic he had just run through the sprinkler to cool off). Musician. Liberal hippie type. Ten bucks says he's an artist too. Da-amn. Anyway, during the Cajun two step workshop, he helped out and played a bit-o-guitar (I think he has a Martin?) to dance to. :-) BTW I did find out later that night that Jeff does have a partner, a lovely woman named Eva. I danced with her. :-)

(Above) Kevin Tubb and the Lonely Stars (way too country for me)

I enjoyed the Hunger Mountain Boys from Massachusetts. Funny, they didn't sound like they were from Massachusetts. Check out the guitars. Enjoyable.

Remember the kids? Here's some more. This beauty was a complete ham! She would twirl, but stop and pose for the camera. She's very smart, too...knows all her colors. I cannot remember her name, but I think it was something glorious like Dahlila. (I have no idea how to spell that, please forgive me)

(below) These two sisters were quite the dancers. (notice Jeff in the background of the second picture....heh...I just couldn't get away from him -- I swear he's a stalker -- must be my rare and exotic beauty??? Isn't the hat sexy? Again I say DA-AMN!)

The second night of the Lost Bayou Ramblers was equally amazing as the first. This time the fiddler stood on the bass! That can't be good for it!

Audie Blaylock & Redline: amazing bluegrass. The bango player was only 18 and I've NEVER heard a better fiddler.

Even this bird decided to dance to Audie Blaylock and Redline.

To end the evening, Devil in a Woodpile. These guys are from Illinois, and I would say they were more of a blues band. I enjoyed the tuba :-) The guitarist was absolutely fabulous. No doubt. He looked like he might be an engineer. :-) But he played from his soul.

Can you see it? The sticker says DEVIL.

The above pic is probably my favorite of the weekend. I'm not sure why...I think it's the "composition"...or whatever the artist types call it. :-) It's probably nothing special, but I like it either way.

And yes, a kazoo.

Sorry it took me so long to get this all posted. I have several other things I need to get posted on Orange Gearle...I hope you will see an eruption of activity soon!