Rip some paper!
It’s that time of year again (I know, it seems like yesterday, right?) Once I pay my rent this week, I’m officially out of money.
It’s a lot of work, this blogging thing. I work 18-hour days, seven days a week. Even my friends don’t really believe how much effort goes into it until they spend time with me and see for themselves. It’s mentally aggravating and yes, physically and emotionally exhausting.
But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. If you value what I do, if you’ve been coming here a long time because you find that my work informs, infuriates, uplifts or cheers you, well, I’d really appreciate your support right now.
Not if you can’t afford it, of course. (After all, I know a lot of you are in the same leaky financial boat.) But if you can make a donation, I would really appreciate it.
Brief power outage destroyed all my bookmarks, taskbars, etc.
Storms coming through, lost power briefly. If I disappear, that’s why.
Addressing governors from around the country at the White House this morning, President Obama dedicated a moment of his speech to warning them not to vilify public workers.
“I believe that everybody should be prepared to give up something to solve our budget challenges,” Obama said. “In fact, many public employees in your respective states have already agreed to cuts. But let me also say this: I don’t think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or when their rights are infringed upon.”
Thousands of public employees have protested in Wisconsin and Ohio as Republicans have proposed stripping them of some collective bargaining rights, as part of new state budget plans. Pensions and compensation to unionized state and municipal workers have come under increasing fire from conservatives during the past year.
“We need to attract the best and brightest to public service,” Obama said. “We’re not going to attract the best teachers for our kids if they only make a fraction of what other professions make … Yes, we need a conversation about pensions and Medicare and Medicaid and other promises that we’ve made as a nation, and those will be tough conversations and necessary conversations.”
Not liking that last part, though. If we have to keep promises to bankers to allow them to keep their obscene bonuses, well, you won’t get away with swatting the rest of us away.
People seem to confuse creating a successful monopoly with brilliance.
The police union refuses to remove protesters from the Capitol:
So we had dinner downstairs in Johnny Brenda’s before the show, and the only available seats in the dining room were right next to… Steve Earle, who was sitting at the small table right next to ours. I was trying to read the chalkboard menu, which was on the wall behind his head, but I didn’t want to look like I was staring at the celebrity. It was a fine line to walk.
Plus, I couldn’t decide what I wanted. Finally I said to Steve, pointing at his plate, “What’s that?”
“Mussels and sausage,” he said.
“Is it good?”
“Yep.” Then he started talking about how the sausage was supposed to be chorizo, but he didn’t think it was. He liked it anyway.
Brush with greatness!
But our attention was really on Rocco, the absolutely adorable eight-month old who was the offspring of the diners on the other side of us. This baby had the cutest face, and just beamed at everyone. It was a pleasure just to see him smile. (How can you not love babies?)
By the way, Steve was right; the mussels and sausage were really, really good.
The show was a benefit for Witness to Innocence, an organization of exonerated death row survivors who fight against the death penalty. Ray Krone and Ronald Kitchen, two of the members, told their powerful stories to the packed house.
Then Steve came out, talked about his support for the cause, then told a funny story about showing up at a 5th century church in Rome to surprise Sister Helen Prejean (the anti-death penalty activist nun whose book inspired “Dead Man Walking”), who was speaking there. He said she saw him, just stopped her speech and said, “Steve Earle.” Pause. “In church.” Pretty funny.
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The older I get, the less interested I become in who wins what. Lots of cheesy movies win Oscars, and occasionally, even great ones. And yes, I do think it’s “an honor just to be nominated.” It’s recognition, and actually winning depends on so many random factors, the losing nominees shouldn’t ever feel like losers.
But anyway, I didn’t watch last night, because I was at the Steve Earle show. I’m happy “Inside Job” won (the documentary category was very strong this year), and I did catch the Inception bit with Anne Hathaway and James Franco online, which was surprisingly clever (I love special effects).
I’m still trying to track down a video of the finale with the PS22 chorus, of which I’m a big fan.
Did you watch? Did you like it?