Friday, October 31, 2008

Fed up in this country with being sick and tired

I'm a huge political junkie, but even I'm ready to get this election over with.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Barack the Piemaker?

The Obama campaign has bought a half-hour of television time tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. Central time on CBS, NBC, and Fox--but not on ABC. That network offered to sell half an hour to the ridiculously well-funded campaign, but the campaign declined. I can only conclude that Barack Obama would rather watch
Pushing Daisies than his own informercial. I hope so, as Daisies is in danger of being cancelled.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Japanese Sunday

Our local Zen group took part in the annual Japan Fest at the New Orleans Museum of Art this past Sunday. It went well, and there were plenty of curious onlookers outside the dojo we had set up in one of the galleries.

This gallery was adjacent to the dojo gallery, and I had this lovely statue to view when I was assigned to keep the curious onlookers from disturbing the dojo during introductory zazen instruction.

The Joker

I liked The Dark Knight, and A. likes hats. It fits him rather well.

T. obsessed on the crane/hook machines in the WalMart foyer last week. I was in big trouble when I couldn't get the plush-toy Incredible Hulk he just had to have, even if I had pulled one out of the machine the night before (and it was in the car). It wasn't pretty when I had to take him inside the store to get change for a $10 so I could try some more. After that $10 expired, I took him to Target and bought him a Hulk action figure. He was over the Hulk thing by then, but he accepted the toy, I suppose just to be nice to me.

Doesn't this prove he isn't a Muslim? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Spotted in San Francisco:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Daisies and Dexter

The sweet, whimsical Pushing Daisies is the Arrested Development of the past couple of television seasons, the best show that nobody watches. The show is a bit darker this season, to the extent that something so sweet and visually bright can be labeled "dark." Ned the Piemaker and Charlotte "The Lonely Tourist" Charles explore their emotionally formative backstories, which are balanced with the absurd homicide investigations and Olive Snook's hilarious spoof of The Sound of Music. This show might be just plain silly but for brilliant casting. Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Kristen Chenoweth, Chi McBride, Swoozie Kurtz, and Ellen Greene move effortlessly amongst the absudity, sadness, and hilarity of the show.

Season One of Pushing Daisies is out on DVD. Check it out.

Dexter has let go of "the only God [he] ever worshipped," his foster father Harry, and the Code of Harry by which he had lived every moment of his life. Ironically, though, he finds himself needing to follow Harry's code more than ever, thanks to an accidental killing. Jimmy Smits guest stars as a politically ambitions assistant D.A. who befriends Dexter in a most unusual circumstance. Smits's character, Miguel Prado, is becoming increasingly stalker-like as to Dex, and we saw with Doakes what happens to Dexter-stalkers. However, Miguel is a friendly stalker, and one wonders whether he may have dumped a few bags of bodies into the ocean himself.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Tyler Durden's Wall Street?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 576 points thus far today, and it has lost 3,800 points in the past year. I'm afraid to even look at my thrift savings plan, most of which is invested in a S&P 500 fund. The international finance capital meltdown reminds me of Tyler Durden's scheme in Fight Club to force mankind into a primitive state of nature by blowing up the buildings housing major financial institutions simultaneously. Wall Street and its counterparts in London, Paris, Frankfurt, etc. seem to be destroying themselves just fine without the assistance of Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and their merry band of followers. President-in-waiting Obama and his economic team have their work cut out for them.

I've no idea how far down the food chain this meltdown will go. I heard this morning that my mortgage company has settled a lawsuit by allowing some subprime borrowers to renegotiate. Hopefully they'll let the rest of us do the same thing. One proposal from Academe to stabilize the real estate market would allow all U.S. homeowners to adjust our mortgages to a flat 5.25% for 30 years. That's not such a bad idea; it strikes me as much better than allowing subprime borrowers to have bankruptcy courts adjust their mortgages, which would clog those courts and might adversely affect the credit ratings of those borrowers during a time when credit is scarce. However, the international nature of this collapse makes me wonder whether anything the U.S. Government comes up with will do much good at all.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Cinematic Justice

I just ordered the newly restored BluRay version of The Godfather trilogy. The previous DVD version was a total piece of junk, so I'm looking forward to seeing the two masterpiece films of that series in all their glory. The studio powers-that-be hired the restorationist who fixed Lawrence of Arabia, and the restored version of that film is stunning. It should be a fun little film festival at my house when the package arrives.