Sunday, November 26, 2006


The day didn't start that brilliantly -- I woke up at 5:45 AM (and I am not a morning person), it was pouring rain, rode around in a shuttle for an hour before getting dropped off at the airport, waited for an inevitably delayed flight, finally boarded only to find someone already in my seat..

That's when my day took a turn for the better. The lady in my seat wanted me to change seats with her so she could sit with her little girl. Naturally, I said yes. There was just one little hiccup -- her seat wasn't an aisle and I'm claustraphobic. The flight attendant offered to find me an aisle -- only, the cabin was totally full. But, wait a minute -- first class wasn't!

Yup, day definitely improved. Landed in Chicago to find the weather beautiful (despite everyone's dire predictions), my favorite favorite cousin waiting, long drives with lots to talk about, gorgeous niece and nephew*, guilt-free french fries and ice cream cake, long afternoons with nothing to do but "be"...

I love Thanksgiving.

*(While my niece and nephew are gorgeous and adorable and cuddly, they did introduce me to the ultimate nightmare toy -- click on "demo" and you'll see what I mean. It's still playing in my head...)

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I think I might actually be in love with Daniel Craig. I find myself lying here thinking, Sean Connery or Daniel Craig? Sean or Daniel? Not sure I'm ready to take my Best James Bond award away from Sean Connery as yet. He was, after all, the original. But Daniel Craig has come closest to knocking him off that pedestal -- in my book at least.

Finally, James Bond as he should be, again. No more chocolate-box-pretty-boy-ubergentleman. There's such a thing as being too suave. I mean, I love Pierce Brosnan, I do (he was brilliant back in the day as Remington Steele -- and hello, the Thomas Crown Affair??). But he was too... nice.

Daniel Craig's yummy bad-boy ruggedness is so much more attractive. And so much more "Bond".

He's not afraid to get down and dirty. And you gotta love his crooked smile.. sigh...

This kind of thinking, when not applied to a figment of Ian Fleming's imagination but rather to real life, explains a lot about the choices I make.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Last night...

...I realized what a difference friendliness makes. I would trek back to Brooklyn on the unreliable R train just because everybody smiled. From the maitre d' to the bartender to the waiter to the busboy. It was like being "where everybody knows your name."

...I realized (again) that I find concrete strangely beautiful. Well, not all concrete -- but the Manhattan skyline. There's something eerily lovely about it.

...I realized that knee-high boots, while making me about 3 inches taller and doing whatever it is that boots do, still don't make me feel as good as spindly-heeled sandals that show off a pedicure do. (I really need to live somewhere warm).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Expanding horizons...

I met an awesome group of people tonight. They're some of the most aware, intelligent, warm, real people I've met in a long time. They are Iraq veterans.

It's always so interesting to step into a world so different from my own. And to then discover that the differences don't matter when it comes to relating to people. Of course I could never imagine the life experiences they've had -- but that doesn't mean we can't hang out, eat some dinner, talk some politics, and then just have a good time.

Did I mention they were crazy fun?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Revealer Part 2

So, another one of my commentaries passed muster and was published by the Revealer. Read it here.

An introspective interlude:
I didn't quite realize before how much I like writing with a definite "voice." The whole "objective journalism" thing isn't at all what I'm interested in. I mean, I can do it. But it isn't what gets me going. Criticism/editorials/opinion pieces have really grown on me. I used to be hesitant about making my view known in my writing. But I quite enjoy it now. (Maybe a little too much -- a friend of mine says, quite rightly, that I have a very snarky side that is most evident in my writing. Especially when I allow my views to seep in. As she says, my alterego emerges. Because, in real life, I'm just a big sweetheart! Really.)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Jesus Camp

It's a really well-made, provocative, sensitive, scary, totally watch-worthy documentary about Evangelical Christians in America. And I think what makes it particularly edgy is that the focus is on children. I watched Jesus Camp a couple days ago -- and I strongly recommend it.

Especially to anyone who thinks that religion today has turned a strange shade of bizarre. This particular film focuses on Christian Evangelicals, but the fact is, fundamentalists of any religion are this...mindblowing.

The film follows three born-again Christian kids to a camp in North Dakota where they're trained to be part of "God's army," an army that's fighting to bring Americans back to Christ (or to their interpretation of Him anyway). Just the idea of children as religious soldiers sends chills coursing through me. There were many moments that made me want to gag -- like when a camp leader was lecturing the kids on abortion, while handing out little plastic fetuses and red "life" strips that they taped across their mouths. Or when the leaders whipped the kids into such a frenzy by making them feel like sinners, that they began to shake and cry.

Still, the film also had many, many humorous moments -- given children's innate naïveté, that's inevitable. One of my favorite moments was when this little 9-year-old walks up to a platinum blond 20-something with large breasts under a tight shirt and hands her a religious book, saying that she felt the woman needed to "be saved." It was just so funny because I had a feeling even before she went over that the blond's big breasts would evoke the devil in this little girl's mind!

The laughter wasn't all comfortable, though. Some of the time, it was derisive(consider that this film about Evangelical kids being essentially indoctrinated was being watched by an NYU-heavy, New York liberal audience). And sometimes the bursts of laughter seemed to come at the most uncomfortable moments.

Anyway, I guess my reaction was colored by the fact that I fit the above mentioned demographic. Most extreme forms of religion scare me. And yet, I didn't entirely dislike the characters. The film has a definite political bent, but at the same time, I think there was a certain fairness of portrayal. Which means the directors did something right.