Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New "Half-Blood Prince" trailer released

Just caught this on Huffington Post. Even though there were a couple of "Half-Blood Prince" trailers out there already, Warner Bros. has given us a new one two days before what was to have been the movie's release date. Now we have to wait until July to see the completed film, due to a bunch of behind-the-scenes studio maneuvering that I still don't entirely understand.

Couple of thoughts on this: "Half-Blood Prince" is my least favorite of the Harry Potter books, but I'm still incredibly excited about the movie. There's intense debate about the relative merits of the Potter movies but I love them all. Each one in its own way brings to light something that has enriched my subsequent readings of the novels. This is due in no small part to the near-miraculous casting of the once-child (now more or less adult!) actors who play the three key roles. Could Warner Bros. have found a more perfect Harry, Hermione and Ron? I can't imagine how.

So while it's enraging that Warner Bros. is making us wait until next summer for this one, I think the next couple of years of speculation on how they will pull off the final two-part blockbuster version of "Deathly Hallows" will be pretty fun to watch. The one thing I desperately hope they don't screw up in the final movie(s) is the "anteroom to the afterlife" scene where Harry speaks to the departed Dumbledore. That scene ranks right up there with the classic and incredibly moving "Mirror of Erised" chapter in the very first Potter novel, in my estimation.

If Virginia Woolf had written children's fantasy novels, she could have written that scene: heaven's entryway imagined as King's Cross station. Literary snob though she was, I expect she would approve of that.

(Here endeth the literary geekery.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The best lost wallet story ever

It even has a happy ending. Told as only Laid-Off Dad can tell it, read the story of an amazing adventure in mass transit craziness, the kindness of strangers, and an unlikely rescue in the shadow of the Henry Hudson Parkway. Plus the "CHUD-like gnome-wraiths several miles beneath the earth's crust" who apparently run New York's Mass Transit Authority. (Who knew?)

As I've said before, if there is such a thing as a blogger creative writing award, this guy is the lifetime all-star winner. Read part one of his adventure here, part two here, and the wrap-up here.

Newsweek asks: Is Obama the Antichrist?

I mean, of course it does. This is Newsweek we're talking about. I am not surprised in the least that they would publish a column with the headline "Is Obama the Antichrist?" Newsweek is a "news" publication in the same sense in which I am "The Queen of England." The people who run this tragedy of a publication desperately aspire to ascend to the level of assclownish hackery (hackish assclownery?) of, say, the New York Post or the Boston Herald.

So, yeah. This is what we can expect for the next four years. "Does Obama have cloven hooves and a tail?? Will he sell the country out to Al Qaeda??"

Fun times ahead...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Time once again for my favorite game

..."Imagine if (fill in the blank) happened to/was said by/was done by a Republican." (Or in this case, maybe what we need to imagine is: what would happen if the endemic racism in this country was targeted against whites, but the same rules apply.)

Just imagine, if you will, the shitstorm that would ensue if the newly-elected President whose election triggered this behavior was, say, an old, white Republican. Imagine if blacks across the country, responding to the election of said white Republican, erupted in an insane spasm of hateful, racist acts targeted against white people.

How long would it take for the blacks in question to wind up in prison?

How many of these crackers will end up in jail?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veteran's Day

(And yes, I realize this is a day late..) Here's my dad in Korea in 1953.

Thanks to all the veterans.

Open mouth, insert foot

Memo to Mark Foley (and all other Republican sex hypocrites, by the way): You should really stop talking. No more interviews. When you open your mouth, you make things worse:

Foley insists he did nothing illegal and never had sexual contact with teens, just inappropriate Internet conversations. Investigations by the FBI and Florida authorities ended without criminal charges.

And while he concedes his behavior was "extraordinarily stupid," he remains somewhat unwilling to accept full public scorn.

These were 17-year-olds, just months from being men, he insists.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Indescribably awesome

Our President-Elect, dropping his kids off at school this morning. How amazing is it that he's still taking the time to do this kind of thing, even when he's got just a few weeks left to get ready to assume the presidency? I love that he is unabashed about showing this kind of devotion to his family.
(Photo credit

Friday, November 07, 2008

The very serious Washington Post

For the last year and a half all we've heard is how Barack Obama is the most left-wing person in U.S. politics -- a socialist hippie who wants to "redistribute wealth" by raising taxes to give more money to lazy undeserving poor people.

So what does Obama's landslide victory mean? The very serious Washington Post joins the very serious Newsweek in asserting that this victory for the crazy lefty hippie means that "America is still a center-right country."

You guys keep telling yourselves that. Maybe someday it will come true. Not anytime in the forseeable future, but maybe someday.

Four is awesome indeed

As Antique Mommy writes with her usual eloquence here, a four-year-old is a marvelous thing.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Our liberal media

The stark reality reflected here notwithstanding, our liberal media will remain on hand to inform us at every opportunity that we're really a conservative country.

Hey, Newsweek: if you repeat a lie often enough, it doesn't come true. Watch this: "Sarah Palin is intelligent and competent! Sarah Palin is intelligent and competent!"

Nope, still not true. Screw you, Newsweek--and that goes for the rest of the corporate barbecue media too! The grown-ups are in charge now--deal with it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

They no longer speak for us

They don’t speak for us. The warmongers. The torture-lovers. The reverse Robin Hoods. The crooks and thieves and racists and liars. Those who would leave our own countrymen and women to die in the streets.

That’s what this election was about for me. Making it absolutely clear that we are done with having these people represent us in our government. Shouting from the rooftops that we are better than this, and that we will live up to our potential as a nation instead of letting ourselves down. Letting the world down. We can do better—we must do better—because this is America and America cannot fail.

We are America: all of us who made history by electing Barack Obama to the presidency. We are America whether we are black or white, Christian or Jewish or Muslim or atheist, straight or gay, young or old. Whether we live in big cities or suburbs or small towns, there are no fake Americans here.

But, that said, if anyone has been destroying the promise of America, it’s been the race-baiters and the warmongers and the neo-cons--those who would kill and pillage and steal using our tax dollars, in our names.

As Gary Kamiya wrote in Salon today:

The Obama triumph means the Reagan revolution is over. The anti-government, anti-tax, trickle-down, every-man-for-himself ethos collapsed with a whimper during the catastrophic presidency of George W. Bush, and Obama's election put it out of its misery. By electing Obama, the American people have emphatically rejected the selfishness, masquerading as freedom and rugged individualism, that has been the calling card of the American right wing since Barry Goldwater. In its place, they are calling not just for a new and expanded vision of government's role in American life but for a new vision of American society.
Let's hope that Obama's election will be the impetus for driving a stake through the heart of the wrongheaded conservative philosophy once and for all. YES WE CAN!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

More Sicilians in the 1960s, and a little Italian-Chinese-American in the 2000s

Continuing with these old photos from my cousin: here's my parents in 1965, four years before I was born. That's my mom in the light blue dress and my dad next to her in the dark blue shirt. Did the Peanut get the Sicilian chubby cheeks or what? (See her above at about age 1.)

One of the many, many things I am going to love about seeing Barack Obama sworn in as the next president of the United States is that someday, I can tell the Peanut that in a timespan of just a few decades, we went from interracial marriage being illegal in much of the country to a multiracial person just like her being elected president.

50 years

My parents' 50th wedding anniversary is coming up later this month, and I've been collecting old pictures of them from relatives scattered far and wide. I'm going to surprise them with a scrapbook. One crafty cousin of mine managed to scan in some ancient slides, so that I actually have a bunch of these pictures as .JPGs! Seen here are my dad in 1954 (holding the guitar in the second shot) and my mom and dad with my grandmother and a bunch of other relatives in 1958, the year of their marriage. They're the couple on the right side of the picture. My grandmother, the older lady in the middle of the first shot, is the Theresa of this post, which I've just updated to include a photo from my parents' wedding which shows my grandparents with all 10 of their children.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

McCain on SNL

There was that booing I had expected when Palin came on. Some people are saying he humanized himself somewhat, which I guess he did, but even joking that he's planning to play the "sad grandpa" card to get sympathy votes is pretty pathetic at this stage of the campaign. I'm almost starting to feel sorry for the guy.