Frugal and Pretentious

I am digging my new Bodum travel press coffee cup/french press that I picked up this past weekend. Now, instead of spending anywhere from $1.50 – $3.00 on coffee per day while at the temp job, I just pre-grind some beans that I’m going to buy anyway for the house, bring them with me and make french press coffee at work. It’s frugal and pretentious, which is always a winning combination, Oh, and plus, even with pre-ground beans (I know, I know, you shouldn’t pre-grind beans), it’s a smoother, less acidic, and more pleasant cup of coffee than Au Bon Pain’s coffee. Win win situation all around and I highly recommend it.


www.bodumusa.com – the Bodum online shop

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One Simple Question

If you don’t trust the government, how in the world do you trust the corporations who dominate the “free market,” and whose primary purpose is to take your money away from you to do anything for the betterment of you, your family, your community, or your nation?

I ask this in all sincerity because I’d really like someone to provide a well-reasoned argument that, say, Anthem Blue Cross, is more trustworthy and effective at promoting civic well-being than the government.

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A Chance to Speak and Be Heard

The Environmental Protection Agency is soliciting ideas and comments from the public until March 19, 2010.

Give us your ideas on how we can:

Work better with others inside & outside the government
Solicit feedback from the public
Improve the availability & quality of information
Be more innovative & efficient
Create EPA’s Open Government Plan

Transparency and the willingness of government agencies to actively solicit public opinion only works if we are paying attention. So if you have an idea, or even if you don’t, head over to the website and participate in the discussion because the only way for the We, the People to participate in our governance is to participate.

h/t BoingBoing

These People are Idiots

FAIL:

The Tea Party’s choice in the Florida Republican primary, Marco Rubio, began his address to a crowd of conservative conventioneers by taking a shot at President Obama for reading from a teleprompter. He did it while standing in front of two easily visible teleprompters. Rubio Slams Obama’s Teleprompter While In Front Of Telemprompters At CPAC

The reality blinders on these people are astounding.

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One of My New Favorite Shows

I’ve been a fan of H. Jon Benjamin since Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and have loved his work in Home Movies and Lucy, Daughter of the Devil. He is on FX’s new show Archer playing the title role, and if you don’t mind a bit of off-color ribaldry, you should definitely check it out. Benjamin has an amazing voice and a brilliant sense of comic timing and his buffoonish secret agent is a perfect parody of the spy genre. Silly, crude, and clever, Archer is definitely worth watching.

“I’m not sure that’s technically irony.”

“What? This is like O. Henry and Alanis Morrisette had a baby and named it this exact situation!”

So far, Hulu has the first two episodes and I hope they’ll post more soon.

Republicans or Political Pustules, You Decide

What is there to say about these political pustules? They are hypocritical and don’t give a damn about the American people or about good governance or about doing what is right for the country.

For Republicans, the idea of requiring every American to have health insurance is one of the most abhorrent provisions of the Democrats’ health overhaul bills. “Congress has never crossed the line between regulating what people choose to do and ordering them to do it,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “The difference between regulating and requiring is liberty.” But Hatch’s opposition is ironic, or some would say, politically motivated. The last time Congress debated a health overhaul, when Bill Clinton was president, Hatch and several other senators who now oppose the so-called individual mandate actually supported a bill that would have required it. wbur.org » News » Republicans Spurn Once-Favored Health Mandate

Don’t get me wrong, the Democrats aren’t much better and have enabled this kind of obstructionist hypocrisy every step of the way. But the GOP is really quite special when it comes to being lying sacks of shit who want to ensure that 1% of Americans can continually benefit at the expense of the rest of us.

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Painting with Light

Light Painting:

Light painting, also known as light drawing or light graffiti is a photographic technique in which exposures are made usually at night or in a darkened room by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. In many cases the light source itself does not have to appear in the image. The term light painting also encompasses images lit from outside the frame with hand-held light sources. The first known photographer to use this technique was Man Ray in his series “Space Writing”. Link

Francesco Mugnai has a great collection of light painting images that ought to bring a smile and a little bit of wonder to your day. After looking at these, I’m curious to try and do some light painting myself. Have you tried it? Feel free to share links to images if you have, or thoughts on what techniques have worked for you.

This is not Photoshop: 50 incredible examples of light painting – FrancescoMugnai.com – Graphic Design Inspiration and Web Design Trends

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This Liminal Life for February 2010

For those who might want to be caught up on my liminal status:

Job

I am currently temping at the Rhode Island Hospital where I’m covering for the secretary/admin assistant for six doctors in the Pediatric Critical Care department. The hours are 8:00 – 4:30. I’m mostly taking the bus these days, though I have walked the 2.4 miles a couple of times and would do so more often if the weather was warmer. The job will last until the middle of April for a total of 10 weeks and is paying decently at $17/hour. Of course, I need to get caught up on bills and such and can’t let this income go to me head or get very frivolous with my money. Still, it’s so nice to be able to depend on a check coming in every week.

Theatre

I recently helped with some sound for the Brown University Writing is Live program, providing assistance to the show Encyclopedia by Rachel Jendrzejewski and directed by Shana Gozansky. I would love to work with either of them again in the future.

PhD Applications

I applied to Brown, Cornell, UC Davis, University of Pittsburgh, University of Hawaii, and University of Colorado, Boulder. I don’t want to say too much about what’s going on with my applications, but I do want to share that UC Davis has reached out to me and I have spoken to two of their faculty members about my work and how I see myself fitting into their department (and they certainly wouldn’t take the time to talk if they weren’t seriously interested, even though there is still no guarantee that they will make me an offer), and another of the departments has nominated me for a quite prestigious fellowship, which is both exciting and humbling and makes me happy to know that they value my work as a thinker, student, and scholar enough to put me forward for such an honor. I haven’t heard anything yet from the others, so there are still a lot of variables that are, as yet, unsolvable, but I expect to begin hearing within the next 3 – 4 weeks.

Writing

I started a 30 day challenge, but broke it (the first time I’ve done so since I started putting these challenges to myself last July). I haven’t started a new one, even though I’ve been trying to write. I’m not quite writing every day but am managing around 4 days per week. Mostly short story or writing exercise stuff, however, I do want to get back to a play that I’ve been working on called Angel Dust, Rust, and Respite and plan to start more work on that next week. Oh, and I gave an artist friend the first part of the script and she used it as inspiration to create a really cool piece of visual art. I haven’t worked on my novel in quite a while, though will probably try to finish the play first before going back to Devious Astrolabe. Although, I’ve also just found out that Big Finish, the company that produces audio plays and books based on the classic Doctors of Doctor Who, has an open call for short stories and I definitely plan on writing something for that. (For my previous attempt at a Doctor Who story for Big Finish, go here.)

Music

I am currently writing a series of songs (not quite a musical) that create a fictional origin story of the Blood from a Turnip program at Perishable Theatre. For those of you who don’t know, Blood from a Turnip is a late night puppet salon that blows away what you think you know about puppetry. Always entertaining, sometimes hysterical, occasionally deeply moving, BfaT happens every two months and generally includes musical interludes. This past fall, after attending a show, I decided that it would be fun to give the program an origin story and so I’m five songs into a seven song cycle that will explain just how BfaT came about. There’s love, puppets, tragedy, and magic curses involved. I hope to put up some demos within the next two or three weeks and the show, Paradise Falls: the Legend of Steve will be performed at the final BfaT of the season in May. Keep an eye out for more information here or at the Perishable website.

That’s about it for this update. Overall, things are going well and I’m content with my current situation and excited for the future.

Be well.

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