I got my hands on a copy of the Plant & Krauss album "Raising Sand," and though it is generally outside the strict parameters of my usual tastes, I love it. They harmonize incredibly well (as you'd expect), and the songs are varied and a little gritty at times, and they're so easy w/ the songs and w/ each other that it seems to me they must have had a lot of fun making this album. It feels like one of those "simple joys of making music" records, and how could we resist? The above song was my favorite from first play.
And this seems as good a time as any to talk about faves for the year. My favorite album of the year (by far): The National, "Boxer." Killing myself that I missed them in concert, but it couldn't be helped. Funny, this is one of those how-you-know-you're-an-adult moments, because were this high school, I would not have gotten over it. This album brought me no end of joy this year, and it is still my go-to, default record when shuffle just does not cut it in iTunes.
Nothing came close to the National this year, but I loved Peter Bjorn and John, Feist, Schooner, Arcade Fire, Editors, and lots and lots of Broken Social Scene, too. Also happy to discover Jose Gonzalez, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hello Saferide, Basia Bulat, and The Cloud Room. So much Swedish pop this year, yaay!
allison krauss, arcade fire, basia bulat, boxer, broken social scene, editors, feist, hello saferide, jose gonzalez, national, peter bjorn and john, robert plant, rodrigo y gabriela, schooner, swedish pop
LONDON—The nightly Ten O'Clock News program on Great Britain's BBC One channel upgraded a minor flap in Parliament's House of Lords to an all-out row Tuesday after Conservative Party leader Thomas Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde, told the Lord Speaker to sod off. "The fortnight-old handbags suddenly exploded into a proper barney when Lord Strathclyde had an eppy and called Baroness Hayman a 'dozy slag' and then buggered off for a Jack Dash in the bog," BBC political correspondent Basil Islington said. "Needless to say, the other geezers went chicken oriental." The BBC said if the tossers don't jam their tarts by late afto, they will be forced to classify the bull and cow as a paddy, though they haven't ruled out the possibility of a total fucking pagger.
Also, I am thinking of changing my name to Basil Islington.
This article refuses to plainly state two very obvious things that would put its provocative headline in context: 1) the Bush administration has been a miserable failure on a scale such that the scope of our national disaster is almost too frightening to contemplate and 2) professors engage critical thinking, analysis, research, contemplation, rigorous debate, peer review, and the scientific method to separate the facts from the Faux Nooze hyena pack echo chamber swiftboating.
Faced with a party of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Alito, Gonzalez, Rice, Bremmer, Feith, and the grandmaster buffoon of all time, not to mention "go f*ck yourself" and "known unknowns" and "Stuff happens" and "mission accomplished" and "quaint" Geneva Conventions and rescinded habeas corpus and moral relativism on torture, among many other tragic and infuriating injustices, is it any wonder the learned among us vote Democratic? Just venturing a guess here.
Professors and administrators at the nation's top colleges are supporting Democratic candidates for president at a rate higher than the historic averages.
More than 86 percent of those who teach or work directly for an Ivy League university have donated to a Democrat so far during the 2008 campaign, according to an analysis of campaign finance reports. That percentage -- which does not include those who work in affiliated hospitals -- is more than 10 points higher than the education industry as a whole.
Of the roughly $470,000 donated by these Ivy League higher ups, approximately $205,000 has been given to Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, and $147,000 to Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY. The top Republican recipient was former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, who received approximately $33,000 in Ivy League largesse.
"I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that professors are more liberal than most," Massie Ristch, communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics, told the Huffington Post. "This industry is as Democratic as the oil industry is Republican and I don't think the split in either end would surprise anyone. With professors, however, we assume that these are more ideologically driven than economic."
No, Massie Ristch, it's not a surprise to anyone because it is one of the oldest class-baiting tropes in the Repugnican bag of smelly tricks. Thanks for playing along.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the education industry has become increasingly Democratic over the past twenty years. Whereas in 1990, 57 percent of the industry's donations - including Political Action Committee dollars - went to Democratic candidates, by 2006 that number had increased to 71 percent. The amount of money in play is also on the rise. In 1996 the total amount of contributions from academia was more than $8.8 million. By 2000, that had doubled and in 2004 it doubled again to more than $36 million.
Gosh, I wonder what's happened in the last twenty years to spur those in the education industry to "become increasingly Democratic." Who can tell in this reportage vacuum? Could it be that for 12 of those 20 years we've suffered through disastrous Repugnican/Bush family policy? Hmm. Feh.
A smattering of images from the weekend, during which there was not near enough slouching around, though these pix seem to tell another story.
Finny always finds the best seat in the house.
How much money does C*ca-C*la have that they can make all new bottles for a seasonal campaign? And what brave new world is this that I bought this because I simply had to blog it? Ha. (Now who's going to drink it?)
Menu at Super Taqueria where the platillos are indeed muy delicioso. And this time I had horchata, mmmm.
Marketing hysteria. Found in the travel section of the local big box store. On principle of my love for civil liberties I refuse to employ these symbols of our national disgrace. Maybe I'll use them for dog poop or something equally fitting.
A walk in the tall grass. Man, that felt good. (I'm mighty pigeon-toed here.)
London, UK -- U.S. Olympic Commission Director Bob Famous announced Friday that waterboarding has been added to the 2012 Summer Games, which are scheduled to be held in London, England. Weather permitting, events will take place on or near the River Thames; expected categories include team, relay, and freestyle waterboarding. All scoring will be based on well-established "sudden death" criteria.
In Beijing, Chinese Olympic waterboarding team captain and seven-time national champion Xiao Yin Zhang responded to the news with characteristic vigor.
"Tell those weak and puny Americans to bring their best game," said Xiao. "The People's Republic will give the United States a waterboarding lesson, you bet. My country has been waterboarding since long before the Pilgrims landed in California."
"I will admit," added the feisty Chinese athlete, "those Pilgrims would
have been formidable foes. That Salem team was fanatical."
After many, many years of heading up and down I-95 only to get a glimpse of the beautiful skyline, we were finally afforded the luxury of spending a couple of days in Richmond, VA, thanks to ae's conference. After starting the trip in DC, with the requisite stop at Ikea, we hit Richmond late Thursday evening. After a good night's sleep in our snazzy hotel room on Canal Street, ae headed to her conference on Friday morning while I hit the town for a early morning sightseeing walk. My first stop was the 3rd Street Diner, which I had read about before we arrived. The place is more bar than restaurant, and my eggs and bacon were lacking flair. The pitcher of beer that the booth behind me was enjoying looked much better (it was 7:45am!!). I then headed away from town on Mayo's Bridge and looped back across the 9th Street Bridge (?). I stopped at the VA War Memorial and then met ae back at the room.
After some quick email checking, we headed to lunch at Millie's near Church Hill. The restaurant is in the middle of the new construction zone near the canal, and we parked amidst a throng of construction workers eating from a taco truck. Here was our Plan B if Millie's was either packed or not so inviting, but no worries, our lunches were great and the restaurant had a great funky vibe. We will go back.
We then headed to the Museum of the Confederacy, which they apparently do not want you to find because it is nestled right in the middle of the VCU Medical Center. We finally found the parking deck where the elevator literally stopped on floor 7 for Emergency and floor 8 for the museum. We skipped the museum (way too much Confederate flag memorabilia in the gift shop; neither of us had the stomach for it) and opted for a tour of the Confederate White House, which was quite nice and informative. The tour guide presented everything in a even tone (I never once heard "The South will rise again!").
Then we were off for a quick driving tour of Monument Ave., where we both enjoyed the statue of Arthur Ashe a little more than the ones of Lee/Jackson/Stuart. The townhouses in that area are very nice and we said often how nice it would be to live there (if we won the lottery!). We then did a quick tour of the VA Museum of Fine Arts, which is mostly closed due to a large renovation project opening next year, though we saw a nice mix of African masks and Faberge eggs, which should always be paired, of course.
We did a quick walking/driving tour of VCU's main campus (alas, no t-shirt for db) and then hoofed it back to Shockoe Slip for a boat tour of the canals. It was fairly cold and windy out (TS Noel was churning off the VA coast) so we had the boat to ourselves, and a nice kid as a tour guide. It was about a 40-minute ride which gave nice views of the city as well as up close and personal anecdotes about the James River, the locks, and the flood wall surrounding the city. Our boat captain let slip that the best pizza in Richmond was at Bottom's Up nearby, so of course we headed there as soon as we hit dry land. It was close enough to walk, so we headed over, ordered up, sat at the bar while we waited for our order and people watched, then carried our pizza back to the hotel room for a happy supper in. Went to sleep with the sounds of ae laughing at "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
We woke up early the next morning to get a jump on our final day. We headed through the Fan to Kuba Kuba, a funky Cuban place recommended to us by a tweet from Ruby. I had eggs over Cuban hash that was deeelish. Our final sightseeing adventure was a quick up and down along the Canal Walk. We were able to head out over the water and read a little bit more about Richmond history.
We headed home soon after on the never before traveled (for us) VA hwy 288, my new favorite road in VA. All in all, a very enjoyable quick visit away from home.