Archive for August, 2008

Surprise twists

In a twist I really didn’t see coming, I just received an email from Sundance thanking me for my alumni application.  So, I decided that if they were under the impression that I had already applied, I better actually apply so that I have some control over what my application looks like.  This doesn’t mean I’m in.  It just means that I might be in.  Eeks!  Why?  Oh, I don’t know.

Onto old news.  And it is old news now.  I have finally settled down enough to say a few words about John Edwards.  As you know, I was and, I guess, still am a big fan of his.  I really admired him for being one of the very few candidates — sometimes the only — who would address NAFTA and the enormous problems it has caused for millions of workers.  I’m currently reading The Big Squeeze, which is a very current book about the dire straits too many American workers are in.  It details the lives of factory workers, Wal-Mart employees, waitresses and dozens of others and discusses who is making it and why, and who isn’t and why not.  Anyway, it’s a fascinating and depressing study of the current working class.  And it reminds me of the reasons I liked John Edwards in the first place.  Ok, so, Edwards had an affair with a woman who seems battier than the bat that lives in the cabin we rent in Presque Isle every summer.  And then he lied about it.  And then there is a baby that may or may not be his.  And then one of his supporters gave the Bat Woman and an aide who has taken credit for the babe a bunch of money to live in southern California.  And then Edwards admitted the affair, but said it ended in 2006, the baby is not his and he told Elizabeth all about it.  He also mentioned the affair took place while his wife was in remission.  Hmm.  And the most recent news I read about it is that folks have now turned on Elizabeth, calling her complicit in the “cover-up.”  Double hmm. 

I don’t know what to think about all of it.  I don’t know that I need to think about it at all.  I do know, though, that I find it really obnoxious to blame Elizabeth for not wanting to see her personal family matters splattered all over the news.  What sane person would announce to the world, “My husband had an affair with this Looney Toon?”  It’s a new twist in blaming the woman.  Like the Sundance application being received when I hadn’t filled it out, I didn’t see it coming.

Dentures as comic gold.

Facebook is many things. One of them is a really neat vehicle to reconnect with old friends. Friends that you knew were still out there, and suspected were doing really neat things, but with whom you really hadn’t had any contact since you maybe ran into them at Four Star during one of your college years.

One such friend is a gal named Kayt, who was pretty much my best grade school friend. Kayt, like me, had a lawyer for a parent, was an only child, and had to attend what was called after-school day care because our parents worked till the shocking hour of five. When we were in about fourth grade, we really started rebelling against this day care idea and just went home. Often together — probably for two reasons: (1) it was more fun that way; and (2) it was easier to convince our folks that we were safe if we were together. Well, Kayt is now in Japan and has a really neat blog of her own. She’s clearly become a master storyteller and still has the brains and wit that make me remember the way she was back in the day. She was always so much more advanced than I was in the ways of the world (as is clear from some of the stories she tells on her blog). For example, I remember shortly after I had gotten braces (so I was about 11), she and my mom and I were having dinner at the now-defunct Upstairs Downstairs Deli at Hilldale. My mom got into a converation with folks at a neighboring table (I suspect she knew these people as my mom is not really a start-chatting-with-strangers person) about things like, well, my braces. There must have been some discussion — jovial, I’m sure — on how much the damn things cost and what’s a parent to do. Without missing a beat (in my head anyway), Kayt said, “Yeah, and the next thing you know, she’ll be needing dentures.” Laughter all around! What a hit! Except for with me because I had no idea what dentures were. I felt like a total idiot.  That was Kayt: funnier and wittier and brighter than I. She had a self-confidence I admire to this day.

What I also admire is her ability to tell a story.  As is evident here and here and here. And pretty much everywhere else on her blog.

The power of the invite

Yesterday I received my invite to volunteer again at the Sundance Film Festival. As most of you know, it was the SFF and the pumpkin that kicked off this whole blog. As you also may remember, the SFF was a bit of a mixed bag. On the plus side: Robert Redford, movies, neat new city, some distraction from the pumpkin, Sarayu. On the flip side: the sofabed, the living room, freezing temps that did not distract from the pumpkin, too many instances of seeing Adrian Grenier, and being too tired to fully appreciate Sarayu. I knew this day would come, though, when I couldn’t really remember the downsides to it. Or, rather, I can remember them, but they don’t seem so bad compared to having another adventure that wouldn’t be as adventurous since I’d already done it. But I shouldn’t even say I “knew” the day would come because I more hoped that it would. See, upon arrival at my Park City residence, I was met with four very kind, veteran ‘dancers who were to be my roommates for the two-week period. In the course of their chatting, it became clear that not everyone who volunteers gets to do it again. They knew several people who were not asked back, some folks who’d even been at the festival for years. I soon learned, too, that our supervisors evaluate us at the end of the festival and having once told one of the Canadians not to yell at me (particularly about something I had nothing to do with), I wasn’t sure how I’d fare. Though throwing me that surprise mini-birthday bash made me think maybe we were all on good terms.  Anyway…

When I got the email that says,

“Based on your service in the past, we would like to invite you back as a volunteer for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. The Festival will be held January 15-25, with additional days or evenings for training as required by position,”

my heart beat a little faster. Especially when I clicked on the application link and it requires I type in the secret log-in name and password. And the site it takes me to is captioned, “Alumni Volunteers.” Is it so wrong to feel excited about that? Who doesn’t want to be asked back? Maybe it’s not so much wrong as just super lame. Nonetheless, while it may be pathetic, it’s pathetic validation. It’s like when someone asks you to be their friend on facebook — whether it’s your best friend or someone you barely remember, it makes you light up a little: someone remembers me! Someone knows me! Me!! There are a TON of people in this world and someone knows me!!! Sad? Maybe. But that’s how it is. For me anyway.

So I know I said I’d talk Edwards — and I will, but I need to do more research and compose myself since when I first heard the news, I was quite hurt — but first I need to air this: Sundance ’09. Is it for me?

Dare I say number 12 is the new number 4?

That standing ovation made me cry.  But…

Who the ^&%$#&* were those announcers last night?  What the &^$#&?  When they started the coverage saying that they had gone for a brat before the game started (in an attempt to sound at one with Sconnie, I suppose) and talked to the brat seller who said, “I’m a Packer first.  I’m angry about what happened, but I’m a Packer first,” and used this to adduce that that’s how most Wisconsinites feel, I should have known we were in trouble.  No offense to any of my audience members, but I think those announcers would feel very comfortable in Waukesha County.  It all made sense when one of them admitted to never having been to Lambeau before.  You’ve never been to Lambeau?  [And I’m not talking about folks who are real fans who just haven’t been able to go].  Then I don’t want to hear what you have to say about how other folks think based on one interaction with the brat guy.  Additionally, when the offense came out for the first play and the crowd stood up and cheered like mad and one of them said, “They’re cheering Aaron Rodgers.”  And the other one corrected him and said, “They’re cheering for the Packers” I almost threw my drink at the television.  You think that if the defense had opened up the game there would have been a standing O?  No way.  Those fans were backing AR and that is all there is to it.  Those announcers had their fingers on the pulse of nothing close to GB last night.

And wearing that Jets jersey later was tacky, rude, obnoxious and just stupid.

I think most Packer fans are pretty annoyed about how things went down, but more disappointed than angry.  The article I read in the Journal Sentinel last week said — and this was before Favre was traded to the Jets (but nearing the eve of the trade) — that the folks in Wisco that had the least favorable opinion of Favre were in GB itself.  Those with the highest opinion of him?  Suburban Milwaukee.  If the 100,000 some people in GB are pissed at Number 4, I think we should all take pause.  I know I am a broken record here, but I’m really over him.  I am saddened that he chose to end things this way.  It was he who said that he could not continue in GB because he could not get over “things” that were said and stories that were “planted.”  What stories and what things, he never really specifies.  Maybe McCarthy could tell us from the six plus hours they spent discussing Brett’s feelings (who knew his feelings would take so much time to air), but I think McCarthy will probably continue to choose the high road here and keep his mouth shut to the media and stick to what he knows best: quarterback coaching.

Which brings me to the season opener.  Rodgers threw several bullets with grace and accuracy.  He performed well in and out of the pocket.  And most of all, he looked calm and confident.  I’m so proud he’s our quarterback.

Additional points: (1) Why are the announcers discussing Rodgers’ scruff?  Shut up; (2) I’m glad that Jackson is on our team; (3) Maybe watching Favre calm in the pocket for three years was actually helpful to Aaron; (4) Donald Driver is so damn awesome and I love love love how he — unlike Mr. Woodson — has stayed out of this off-field drama; (5) I’ve never seen a touchdown scored without a helmet; (6) it must be repeated: the standing ovation was so great.  Made me proud; (7) Kudos to the dude who said the obvious — Ted Thompson and McCarthy did what they did because they had to take their team back.  Favre tried to hijack it and they said, “Enough;” and (lastly because if I put in the number eight it makes some goofy sunglasses smile) after the first quarter I pretty much just watched the Olympics.  It’s the fever and all.

Final note: I have no doubt that Favre can still play football.  And now he can play it in New Jersey.  I think his behavior was abysmal — particulary whining nationally that Thompson didn’t hire Mariucci when Favre told him to ((a) Mariucci?!?!?!? (b) How’s that supposed to make McCarthy ‘feel?’ (c) Um, is Favre a player on the team or is he the manager?  I always forget) — and I’m glad that he isn’t around to insist that all of GB cater to his every whim. 

And I’m a believer.  In the Green Bay Packers, as well as Aaron Rodgers.

And I will also stop talking about this soon.  At least I will try.  Next up: John Edwards and the book I’m reading, The Big Squeeze.


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