Saturday, January 31, 2009

Trying new things

So yesterday after my onerous work meeting at the buffalo wing buffet, I drove back to Clevo and hit up my favorite stretch in all of Northeast Ohio - Waterloo Road.

I popped into Music Saves and snagged a bunch of cds I'd been either wanting or had been (semi)recently released by bands I plan to see over the next few weeks. So far there isn't a disappointment in the mix, either, which is awesome. I particularly dig the Ra Ra Riot album (The Rhumb Line) and the Cotton Jones album (Paranoid Cocoon), but the Tokyo Police Club and Cut Off Your Hands discs are pretty good, too. The other ones I picked up were by Obi Best, Phosphorescent's Willie Nelson tribute (which kicks thing off with a fine cover of "Reasons to Quit"), and the first Coconuts Records cd, since I've been digging the new one that was recently and quite generously burned for me so much lately.

After that, I picked up Chris Ryniak's book at Shoparooni and then headed home, in time to change clothes and meet a colleague for dinner. (Side note: Ryniak's work is pretty stellar and yet another piece of evidence to support my argument that the art scene in this town is stronger than most folks believe. And I really dig how Shoparooni Steve is starting to cultivate that vibe.)

For dinner, we hit up Bodega on Coventry, which I thought was somewhere between "marginally ok" and "way over-hyped." The cocktail menu was ridiculous, with literally hundreds of drinks, though most were silly Sex and the City type concoctions, and the first three drinks we tried to get were not available. Velvet Tango Room, this place is NOT. The food was hit and miss - the halloumi special was great, the lamb lollipops above average, but the calamari might've been the worst I've ever had.

Afterwards we decided to get in the spirit of the dastardly weather in which we are trapped and went to see Revolutionary Road at the Cedar-Lee. That fucking movie is so hit-you-over-the-head depressing I can't believe it! My friend liked it, or at least said she thought it was well done, but I wasn't a big fan. I thought the acting was super-forced, with really cliche 50s personas, and there were moments where restraint would have made a wiser decision, especially the last two scenes. Anyway, the only other choice we had available to us was The Reader, since she'd already seen Milk and didn't want to see The Wrestler. None of them would've been upbeat, though. What is it with indie film in the winter - must it be as dreary as the outdoors?

Cutest picture in the world!

Got this off the Passion Pit blog of their adventures in studio-land.


Dear Folks:

For quite some time I have totally hated the name of this blog. I was whining about this today and the person on the receiving end had a brilliant suggestion: change the name.

Yeah, that easy. Why didn't I think of it?

Well, I've sorta thought of it, but not ever in a constructive way. Since receiving that sage advice this afternoon, a few different things have traipsed across my brain, but nothing I'm sold on.

Which brings us to the contest.

If you are into it, put your suggestions in the comments below. No limit on entries. The winner is the person that either comes up with the new name or comes up with the suggestion that makes me think of something I like even better, which then becomes the new name. There will be a prize, but I don't know what yet. What I do know is that if you only come up with the name that makes me think of a better name, the market value of whatever prize you do receive will be about half that of what you would have received if I just went went the name you suggested entirely. Think that's unfair? Well, tough. My contest, my rules. However, console your bad self with this: 1/2 of the value of (tba) is still more than zero. Or at least it won't be less than zero. In other words, I promise not to bill you for naming rights to my blog.

Though that is a good idea, too ...

Well, one thing at a time. Let's see how this contest plays out first.

Friday, January 30, 2009


So I just looked in the mirror. Oh my god.

I woke up, oh, I don't know, some time ago. I groggily got dressed and sat down at my computer, alternating between virtually harassing people and doing a little work-writing, toe-tapping along to the Benji Hughes record I picked up in Austin a couple weeks ago. Eventually, I went into the bathroom, looked into the mirror, and almost died.

I am a sartorial and aesthetic disaster today, folks, and I didn't even know it. I have, of course, bed head, my glasses must've been sat upon for they are quite ridiculously and crookedly bent, my haphazard attempt at trimming my stache late last night while on the phone with my best friend was a total failure, with different lengths an either side and just enough stubble growing in between said stache and the chops to make me look not only like a registered felon from the 70s but a homeless one at that. My wardrobe "decisions" are even worse, with my brown house-shoes covering blue dress socks that are easily a decade old, worn with some generic maroon jogging pants, a coffee-stained t-shirt from a Houston micro-brewery, and an inside-out fleece hoodie I purchased for $9 at the Lakewood K-mart last fall en route to the airport when I realized it was supposed to be in the 40s in Boston and I forgot my coat at home.

It probably gets worse, but these are the things I was able to notice before my cheek-burning reached distraction level and the tears welling up in my eyes ruined (thankfully) my ability to recognize my own visage in the reflection.

I guess I ought to take a shower, take another crack at trimming the stache, bust out a razor for the rest of my face, and give hair combing my best effort. And, of course, figure out something else to wear, something that is at least marginally better than what I have on now.

After all, I have a reasonably important lunch meeting today. Though it is over buffalo wings, so some sloppiness is to be expected, I suppose.

That's right - my job can at times be awesome, when meetings amount to brain-storming over bar food. Days like today make up for a good number of those days when I find myself in my office, staring out the window from my perch on the 17th floor, listening to the wind whistle in since the window can't be fully closed nor can it be completely opened, and wondering which specific bad decision is to blame this time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Something for you to read, Part 16

The hits just keep on coming:

Who says management of major scientific grants organizations isn't interesting? Not Chuck Grassley.

And speaking of vinyl (ok, no one was speaking of vinyl, but segues are overrated anyway), how about this little journalistic ditty about Barack Obama's secret album stash. Those of you interested in music collecting or DJing are gonna flip!

And speaking of the presidency, final confirmation that change really has come to the White House: Booze is Back!

Something for you to read, Part 15

Some more stuff I forgot to put in the last post:

1) Sex and War - Who says libraries are boring?

2) The new president's new chief of staff's impossible (?) task: behaving himself.

3) A leading writer on human rights and international politics tackles a surprising subject: Andrew Bird.

4) A top-notch music critic on the demise of his journal and the future of the genre.

5) A lengthy essay on the finest character actor of our generation.

OK, there - that oughta keep you busy for part of this day of snow.

Something for you to read, Part 14

You simply must read this article. It is currently making its way through the tubes and devices that compose the modern internets, so I'm sure it'll show up in your inbox sooner or later. But the thing is so funny, why wait?

Anyway, it is a great complaint letter, if improperly punctuated. (What a terrible, middling criticism, right?) I have a fantastic complaint letter story of my own, so someday if we are ever hanging out, remind me and I'll tell you. I promise you that afterwards you'll want to pay me to conduct all your corporate correspondence from here on out.

mutha-flippin' ugh

OK - I give up. It is now 5:38 AM, and after 4+ hours of tossing and turning and staring wide-awake at my ceiling, I'm just getting my ass out of bed and starting my day. I have no clue why I couldn't sleep this night, but in my quasi-scientific mind I have a strong hunch it was a function of the confluence of the following factors: (a) I "accidentally" (i.e., stupidly) ingested way too much caffeine after 3 PM yesterday, (2) my socks are too small, yet I still broke my "no socks to bed" practice (hey, it was either socks or long pants and I figured I'd mix it up a bit), and (III) my nuts hurt. That last one is probably terribly inappropriate and perhaps gag-inducing to report, but it is true, and only those afraid of the truth refuse to follow where science leads them. Uh, right?

Anyway, that caffeine thing is certainly part of it - for whatever reason, all of a sudden about 4 years ago my ability to ingest caffeine dropped precipitously. A cup of coffee nowadays totally rocks my nervous system, whereas I used to be able to drink pots of the stuff and still fall asleep on cue. Only recently was I even able to start drinking much coffee again, as for the last couple years it gave me a terrible stomachache. Now that doesn't happen, though that could be because I pour a shit-ton of cream in every cup.

Nevertheless, I think the socks thing might be a better culprit to blame. I've had this particular 3-pack of dress socks I bought a few years ago now from a top-of-the-line men's clothier, and ever since have been torn between absolute love for the soft yet durable feel and the fact that they make my feet go numb after about 6 hours. It only dawned on me this morning - seriously - that the reason they make my feet go numb after a few hours of wear is because THEY ARE TOO SMALL! Seems totally obvious, right? Not to me, apparently. It took me years and probably literally hundreds of instances of self-inflicted circulation deficiencies to learn this little lesson. They call me Dr. CB, folks, but apparently for no reason. Or not much of one.

As for the nuts thing, who knows. I believe in seeking out causal linkages, particularly when none actually exist. It is possible, I guess, that the caffeine caused the nut pain, but I'm leaning toward a too-small-socks and uncomfortable groin hypothesis. At this stage, it is still only the most uninformed speculation, since I may be a doctor, but I'm not that kind of doctor (despite what I let the pretty lady at the local pizza joint think when I pick up my $5 Tuesday world pizzas each week - yeah BOGO!).

Anyway, I'm up and at 'em for now. Today is one of those days where I actually need to produce a lot of "real" writing, and have scheduled myself to be sitting at home, working at the dining room table, getting it done. In other words, I'll probably end up having lunch twice, watching a couple episodes of Charmed, and posting a few more times here. Hasta.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wanna Hang Out?

OK, so listening to a bunch of bands online today and reading posts from some of my favorite bloggers around town has me thinking about all the cool stuff I want to do this spring, culture-wise. I'm usually cool with checking this stuff out by myself, but it is always (ok, sometimes) preferable to do it with someone. So, if any of the stuff below strikes your fancy or interest, give me holler and we can maybe meet up. (FYI - In case you are a bit dense, the bold stuff is definitely on my calendar - the rest are events I can be easily talked/arm-twisted into.)


1/27 - Anya Marina & The Virgins @ the Grog Shop
2/12 - JJ Magazine @ Matinee (Cleveland)
2/19 - Obi Best/Muttering Retreats @ Beachland
2/22 - Revival Dear/Pale Hollow/Good Touch Bad Touch @ Beachland
2/24 - Juana Molina @ the Grog Shop
2/27 - Whiskey Daredevils @ Beachland
2/28 - Don Caballero & DD/MM/YYYY @ the Grog Shop
3/1 - Tokyo Police Club/Harlem Shakes @ the Grog Shop

3/2 - Phosphorescent @ Beachland
3/4 - Sam Roberts Band @ the Grog Shop
3/8 - Dent May/Afternoon Naps/Houseguest @ Beachland
3/11 - Cotton Jones @ Beachland
3/12 - Downtown Soulville (DJ) @ Beachland
3/14 - Unsparing Sea/Wussy @ Beachland
3/20 - Child Bite/The Hot Rails @ Beachland
3/25 - Passion Pit/Cut Off Your Hands/Ra Ra Riot @ Musica in Akron
3/29 - Brian Jonestown Massacre @ the Grog Shop

1/31 - Akira Kurosawa marathon @ CSU (Sanjuro, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, & Hidden Fortress)
2/1 - Otto @ CIA (unless some awesome Super Bowl thing comes up)
2/2 - The Wrestler @ Cedar-Lee
2/9 - Waltz with Bashir @ Cedar-Lee
2/11 - Miguel Delgado's Santo and Blue Demon versus El Doctor Frankenstein @ CSU
2/14 - Dr. Zhivago @ CIA (unless some awesome girl comes up)
2/15 - Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player @ CIA
2/18 - John Moxley's The City of the Dead @ CSU
2/20 - 6 in Paris @ CIA
2/25 - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive @ CSU
2/27 - Riptide @ CIA
2/28 - The Wild Child @ CIA
2/28 - Grindhouse Marathon @ CSU (Vanishing Point, The Stunt Man, Planet Terror, & Death Proof)
3/2 - Wendy & Lucy @ Cedar-Lee
3/9 - The Class @ Cedar-Lee
3/16 - Che @ Cedar-Lee
3/19 - Zidane @ bela dubby in Lakewood
PLUS all the awesomeness there is at the Cleveland International Film Festival through the end of March!

Art & Poetry:
1/30 - SPACES opening on the west side
2/13 - Asterisk Gallery party in Tremont
2/17 - Static Snow installation at Asterisk Gallery in Tremont
2/22 - Theater Ninjas @ Asterisk
2/26 - Jericho Brown/Terrance Hayes reading @ CSU
3/6 - Artchitecture opening
3/13- Akron Art Museum Art and Ale event
3/13 - Asterisk/Doubting Thomas opening

not much

That's what I've been up to the last couple days. Woke up with the return of this terrible throat thing that's been afflicting me ever since I lost my voice singing along to Purple Rain while driving with my two best grad school pals from Houston to New Orleans a few weeks ago (totally true story), and have laid low pretty much ever since, mostly because it hurts to talk and when I do it sounds ridiculous. The good thing is that, for a few days before I'm finally healed, I'll have the awesomest deep voice ever, or at least since Barry White. Then I'll be back to my normal wussy self.

Anyway, the last two days I've napped like a mofo. And gone to bed early. Last night I went to bed at 830! And this was after taking a nap in the shower! I think I'm probably fighting off something, doing a little Bush Doctrine preventative warfare against something insidious that has yet to reveal itself, a Darth Maul sort of flu thing. Hopefully my slacker theory of medicine will prove the superior jedi.

Just in case that "nap in the shower" thing took you by surprise, I should fill you in. Well, I probably shouldn't, but I will, because right now my choice is that or write professionally, and I'm still warming up those skills this morning. (Or "morning" since it is well past noon already.) Anyway, for more years than I can count, whenever I'm either stressed out about something or trying to think some work-related issue through, I find myself laying down in the bath tub, turning on the shower, and letting it go until the hot water runs out. On particularly bad or thought-filled days, this might happen 2-3 times, but usually it is just a one time thing. Most times, by the time the water turns lukewarm, I'm relaxed and/or have found a solution to whatever it was I'd been pondering. That's it really. Nothing dirty or fancy, but just enough to give those of you that've met me a mild stomach-ache.

Today my one major activity - a business lunch over buffalo wings - was postponed till Friday, so my day is now entirely free. I burned through my two netflix films yesterday (Happiness and the Luna rockumentary, Tell Me Do You Love Me) yesterday, so now I'm just listening to myspace pages of bands coming through Clevo in the coming weeks that I may or may not have an interest in seeing. And eventually I'll do some real work. Or as real as it gets for me. I have a super-exciting memo to write, a couple dull emails that still need to be carefully worded to compose, and some pressing facebook revisions to make. Big day, really. Anyone want to switch lives?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We Miss Robert

This is the funniest shit I've seen in a long time. My best pal and I discovered this a couple years ago when he was trying to show me some Rickey Smiley stand-up clips on youtube. I remembered it today when I saw Smiley was playing a show in Detroit next month. Watch this clip. With it 10 times. Watch it 100 times. Seriously. Every time you'll see a little more you missed the previous time and the semi-hidden narrative will unveil itself.

Leave your favorite parts in the comment section - everyone always likes something different.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Rise and Fall of a Fine Evening

Last night I headed out to check out some art and then some music. A very cultural evening, all things considered. Especially since I spent the entirety of the time with one can or another of free beer resting on my gut. In fact, other than the cover at the Grog, I never had to pay for a single drink (so this is what it is like being a pretty girl!), so I went ahead and splurged on a jalapeno pizza around midnight when I returned home. This, as everyone else in the world would automatically realize, was a mistake, one I paid for by having a terrible night of sleep and that I am continuing to pay for now that I'm up and facing the day.

Anyway, it was a good evening all around, particularly because it was spent with good folks. Chatted for a long time with friends all over Waterloo and came away perhaps more optimistic than ever before about the direction that neighborhood is taking. Vision Gallery was having perhaps its best curated show since I've been around, it sounds like Arts Collinwood has a good show coming up soon and is going full blast at organizing the next Waterloo Arts Fest (which was one of my favorite events of 2008), and the folks at Shoparooni are really evolving into a great place to find cool new art. I'd been a little bummed when the clothing aspect of the store started to shrink (especially the lack of men's hats), but if they are going to replace it with the kind of art that they are bringing in and look to continue bringing in at the ridiculously awesome prices they are selling it at, I'm cool with the evolution. By the time I hit my last stop on the block, Music Saves, I was so full of good cheer and free beer that I totally forgot the purpose of my stop. Instead, I regaled (or irritated or bored) Kevin and Melanie with a never-ending second-hand tale of indie rock romantic intrigue, learned about a great new Six Degrees game (new to me, anyway), and walked out without buying the School of Seven Bells album. (By the way, am I the last to learn that this band was formed by the dude that left Secret Machines? And did you know that they replaced him with Phillip Karnats, who used to play with the Polyphonic Spree, which formed from the wreckage of the Tripping Daisy collapse, which also led to the birth of the Secret Machines in the first place? Karnats also played on the awesome Tripping Daisy album, Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb and his solo record, Pleasesuite, isn't too shabby, either. Some crazy, though productive, band swapping going on in Dallas. There is definitely more than big hair in Big D.)

After the Collinwood excursion, I headed over to the Grog Shop, a bit fashionably late for an arranged meet-up at La Cave du Vin. Instead, I went straight to the venue, straight to the bar, and was about to order and pay for my first legitimately purchased beverage of the night when ... my pal Bridget materialized next to me and bought it for me. Score. Hung with Bridget and listened to the second half of the Jessica Lea Mayfield set, which was pretty darn stellar. I've heard her twice, I think, playing with her brother and alone at the Happy Dog, but this was the first time I've seen her amped up with a full band and I totally dig it. Brings a fullness to her songs that I had previously never noticed as missing. After the set ended, we met up with some local blogger aristocrats like Kelly and Jose, Roger, and Jason. Hands were shook (or shaken? or shaked? One of them, anyway), glasses were clinked (or whatever the sound of aluminum on cheap plastic makes), and introductions made. All was right in the world ...

... until ...

... Annuals started playing.

I've been listening to their cd and another EP a lot lately. A lot. I'd picked up the EP when they were in town opening for another band, but never ended up going to the show. I kinda liked the little bit I'd heard, though, at least enough not to try and foist it off on someone else. When I heard they were coming through town again and playing with Miss Mayfield, I put it on my calendar, picked up their recent full-length, and tried to become a fan. I never was quite able to do that, but I was still somewhere between ambivalent and hopeful that the live show would convert me.

Boy did that not happen. Jose and I agreed that it was painful to watch the lead singer sing, with his ridiculous facial expressions and a mouth that opens cartoonishly wide when he sings. Bad cartoonishly. Like the kind of cartoon that'd get you a D- in an intro animation class at art school. The multi drummer thing was cool, except for the fact that there were more horrible skinny leg jeans onstage then I'd ever seen in my life and the guitarist next to the singer was either dancing or having a 60 minute seizure. Anyway, the worst part was it was all so contrived, like young kids deciding this was how they wanted to look, like before the show they all practiced their "looks" and "moves" in the mirror, and no adults or reasonable friends were around to offer the kind of tough love to say, "Dude, don't do that. It looks ridiculous."

Anyway, I think folks in my group left after the first song, then some more after the third, and then finally I left after probably the 4th.

I walked friend Bridget to her car, where she gave me a cd that she promised I'd love despite the fact that it was an offshoot in some way of Rilo Kiley. (Note it is my bias, not hers, against The Rilo Kileys that makes me skeptical of this claim). Later today I'll probably listen to it. I mean, why not. It is a win-win either way. If she's right, I like it and I win by having a new band to check out. If she's wrong, as I expect her to be in this case, I don't like it but I still win by being able to say "I told you so" AND having something to hang over her head. For the first time in a long time, I'm excited about working all day with music in the background!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Only 77 Days Until This Fucking Winter Dies

Can you believe that it has been two months since I last aired my wintry grievances on this blog? And that it is only about two and a half more months until my self-appointed last day of winter (i.e., the day of the Indians home opener)? Naturally my math the first time was totally fucked, and is probably equally so again, but the point remains ... it has been a long time since I used this perch to bitch. About the weather, at least.

So what occasions this, uh, occasion? Some of you more optimistic folks might be like, "Um, dude, haven't you noticed the heat wave today?" Yes, I noticed. It is 40 whole degrees outside, according to the handy-dandy weather gizmo on my iphone. Forty Fucking Degrees. This, my friends (and enemies and the 3-4 people I haven't yet classified into one of those two categories) is not a god damn heat wave. This is still shitty weather, just not quite as shitty as last week or, definitely, the week before.

Listen. It is important to be honest and, above all, to be honest with ourselves. Once you start saying things like "it is nice outside" when it is forty degrees, words start mattering less and less. And you do a horrible disservice to those days when it is nice. You know, like my favorite day of the year, the day when the ladies break out the skirts and light blouses, even though it is still a little too chilly for that but they just can't stop themselves. Optimistic skirt day, I call it. Or rather just decided to call it. I have loved this day for many years, and used to have much less appropriate names for it when I was in college, but Optimistic Skirt Day is a good enough name. Ahh ... Optimistic Skirt Day, rivaled only perhaps by that wonderful day in late August every year in college towns across America: Cute Co-Ed Shopping at Target with New Roommate Day. But I digress (and likely disgust).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cool Stuff in the Cleveland Art World Coming Up

From the genius factory that is Dana Depew's Asterisk Gallery, here is what promises to be an excellent February.

Asterisk Gallery Presents:
“Thrice is Nice”Joshua Rex, Michelle Murphy, Todd Leech
Opening Reception
Friday Feb 13, 2009
show runs through March 7
hrs by appt

Todd Leech

My artwork has always addressed the themes of time, mortality and disintegration. These themes, at once very personal to me, are universal. I address the duplicity of my themes, and my choice of working with a permanent material such as clay, by using non-traditional glazes that give the finished pieces the appearance of being eroded by time.

Notions about the progression of time are further reinforced by my impulse to work in series and employ obsessive and sometimes excessive repetition. A seemingly endless number of drilled perforations attest to time-consuming practices.

My most current work is exploring geometric forms that are metaphors for the human body. I seek to convey the architecture of the human body. Windows cut into the forms represent a surgical excision that has perforated the wholeness of these torsos. Old ceramic kiln elements act as sutures spanning these excisions creating an opportunity for healing to take place. I have specially formulated a foaming glaze that reaches and spreads across these wounds replicating human tissue regeneration.

I am fascinated by the ability of the corporeal body, while in a continual process of disintegration, to heal it self.

Joshua Rex
Although flat and geologically uneventful, the natural landscape of Northern Ohio is quietly beautiful. In the summer’s subdued greens and browns along Lake Erie, one can imagine a dinosaur rearing its head in the heat. In the ice of January seagulls drift through white outs.

These paintings reflect the dubious manner in which we see our land: as Space to be Filled. They speak of our aesthetic surrender. We build fast and with frivolous abandon; the prefabricated chain store blueprint is duplicated, in variations, from town to town throughout the American Midwest.

They also say something about our regional state of mind. We favor the wrecking ball over restoration. The work truck over walking. And we build, filling as much space as possible, lest we be doomed to boredom.

Michelle Murphy

The inspiration for these watercolor paintings came from web searched UFO photos. Although some of these images may leave the viewer with an obvious explanation; I would like the viewer to contemplate their own thoughts about life beyond Earth.
"UFOLOGY": paintings about the "Bigger Picture"

“Ufology” are painted from internet sightings of a cloud (resembling an UFO), a lens flare, the reflection of a hotel light in the window, and even controversially convincing photos of natural phenomena. Through this work, I hope to reveal the American optimism… that there is something bigger than us out there.

This series is for "believers” and skeptics alike.

"Nobody Said I Love You" is public art project by Michelle Marie Murphy.
In the genre of "stencil art" Murphy creates and posts public Valentines in the greater Cleveland area. Using terms of endearment, humor, and sarcasm Murphy creates a one-sided dialogue to the general public, “speaking to” the triumphs and tribulations of our region.

Lower gallery
Wes Johansen's “Static Snow” installation
Feb 17, 2009 at midnight – lower gallery

Also on Feb 17, 2009
Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Tacoma Narrows Bridge creates visual + aural renderings which present an altered snapshot of the current, regional human condition.
TNB takes actual situational transcriptions and performs them through narrative and tonal elements. Words heard from the performed character studies taken "out of context" become "ultra-contextual".
The "snapshot" from real life experience to the performance (by the Tacoma Narrows Bridge) creates a continual uncomfortable breaching of the "third wall"...and leaves the viewer/participant to a continually altering interpretation.

Something for you to read, part 13

Check out this engrossing and well-written article from the Atlantic a few years back about Lincoln and his bouts of depression, and how it affected his work ethic and worldview. The author gets on his soapbox a little at times, not-very-subtly railing against the medicalization of depression, but other than that it is fine.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Great Day!

Many words will be, and already have been, written about the historic nature and importance of today's ceremony celebrating the peaceful transition of power from George W. Bush to the 44th president of the American republic, Barack Obama. I cannot match the eloquence or brilliance of many of these writers, and won't even try.

Instead, I'll offer you congratulations. If you are reading this today, it means you were not one of the literally millions of world citizens, at home in the United States and abroad, whose lives were ruined or ended ignominiously and tragically by the actions and sometimes inaction of this last terrible administration. Congratulations for making it, for not being done in by the bastards. And good luck with the future. Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, American or alien - every sincere, serious one of us is hoping that our new president will succeed. Not because we are fans or fellow partisans, but because we all desperately need him to.

The 8 year bad dream is over. In the words of Ronald Reagan circa 1984, it is again morning in America.