Monday, June 30, 2008

Peace has Come to Zimbabwe

So, it has been a gloriously hot weekend here in Portland, with delicious baking heat that forces you to drink plenty of cold, cold water and to eat almost exclusively fruit. I love hot weather- it's an instant realization that the sun does exist!

What also exist is corruption. Your friend and mine, Robert Mugabe ( he is referenced in a number of songs, including Stevie Wonder's Master Blaster)is again President of Zimbabwe. He's like 80 years old. His followers makes the Clinton campaign look like sissies- reports of horrifying disfigurements, assassinations, intimidation and beatings has been leaking out of Zimbabwe. The opposition leader, Morgan Tsvirigai, had told his supporters to not resist and had to go run to the Dutch embassy for protection.

How lovely. Zimbabwe was once the shining example of the overthrow of British Colonialism and shadow Apartheid. Now, it is a sad farce- or it would be a face, if this thing was not written in blood.

Now Edie, you say as you sip your iced coffee, come now, you can't say such things after all- you are a :

1) A privileged Westerner
2) A badly educated, somewhat ignorant American
3) A spoilt American woman who knows nothing about African history
4) Your random thought here.

Except there is this: I am the daughter of Caribbean immigrants who have been in the New World for nearly 400 years. In that time before time, my ancestors were probably rather harmless rice and millet farmers in what is now Ghana, brought here ( Brazil)by the slave trade. Despite what "Roots" probably taught people, my ancestors were mostly raided on by a stronger, meaner, better equipped clan assembly or nation -state who needed slaves to trade for European- made guns or cannon or- get this- cloth.

Not that I am bitter. Look at the richness and diversity of the African Diaspora in the Americas. That's my ( and your ) patrimony; that people traded for mere objects were ( and do ) create art, poetry and policy that speaks to soul.

And so, the point being is that we in the Western nations are perfectly suited and have every right to criticise the corruption and foolishness of Zimbabwe's leader and the followers who prop him up. It is not racism nor is it colonialism to point out that your regime is maiming and killing innocent people and bankrupting the country. If nothing was wrong, would such an outcry be there?

And so, on a very hot day, the peace of Fascism came to Zimbabwe, instead of the liveliness of democracy and freedom. The Union of African Nations welcomed him with open arms, and Egypt, old, old as dust Egypt, paid for his stay at a luxury hotel.

This is our world,friends. But what now- how now?

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Last Call!

Yesterday, I went and met with the good NWs one last time. It was the absolute last day for Nationwide at 919 NE 19th ( except for the processors). It was so good to see everyone, and we even had some sparkling wine for toasting off to bright future. Betty and I had a nice walk in the sunshine, and even bought flats of strawberries (1.49 a pint-cheap!). All in all, nice to come into the city after errands to see the old gang.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Get Smart!

So, on Saturday I did so pedalpooloza stuff and attended a free-form concert. Afterwards, some of us decided to go see the big screen version of Get Smart!

I am a lover of stupid comedies and Bond flicks, so this was a perfect blend for me. And my goodness, it was better and sharper than I expected. Steve Carell attains a pitch perfect blend of misplaced confidence, stiffness, a sort of surprising but very quiet deadliness, and a very sweet old fashioned seductiveness. He does not channel Don Adams, thank goodness, but rides the balance of the character's seriousness and the absurdity of his situations beautifully.

Anne Hathaway is wonderful as Agent 99. Her character is no Bimbo; she can take care of herself, thank you- but neither is she a robot who can kick and punch. There is a poignancy in her situation and her story, which also allows for laughter as well. And then there is Dan Johnson (aka ''The Rock'), Terence Stamp and Alan Arkin, rounding a a very funny cast.

No plot detals- no spoilers, of course- but the blend of terrifying and utterly hilarious physical stunts made me squeal out laughing.

Go see it! Get Smart is great fun!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Midsummer!

Yay! It was rather lovely today- perhaps a break from the continously gray weather we had for eh mjority of the Spring this year, and a move into true summer. And it came just in time for Midsummer. Lots of gentle sunshine, not too hot at all, and with a light breeze. Just lovely. My goal is to now bike every day, continously, for at least five miles a day to enjoy the sun.

And one small presidential watch point:

So, Barack Obama decided to forgo public financing. There is plenty of grumbling about how he broke his promise to accept public financing. Hmm.
Given how nasty the democratic Primary was, and how nasty lies about Barack Obama circulate through email and tv already, Obama will need every penny he can raise. The Republicans will have no such compunction about using smaller groups money to put forth whatever ads to get McCain elected; I find the surprise about Obama's financing a fine show of childish cynicism.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why God is on my side part #7123

Well, I heard from a little birdy that my former workplace is is up to borderline unethical shenanigans, what with report writing and negative write ups and threatening people and`sorts of foolishness that is better suited to a McDonald's than a major insurance company.

Now, there is`word that the company want some of the people- not all of the people, but only some- to stay until October instead ofthe original date of 28 June because the new improved and cheaper workforce did not quite cut the mustard. The key is this: the people asked were not to tell the other people not asked, fo rthe management did not want to extend the offer to people who would not be productive.

This is a farce- and not a particular good one. The company has trousers about it's ankles and the workers look like fools. There is something especially pathetic about "hush don't tell" aspect of all this- like the friendly Uncle who gives you ice cream in return for molesting you. But Shhhh! don't tell.

Horrid. I am so glad I am not having to deal with this goofy set up, and I am glad I was let go when I was. Really, I am.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

A taste of summer

Today, we had a taste of summer- clear and pleasant air with plenty of sun, but not very hot. I did some work, and then sat out in the open air, reading a book on Italy and sipping a ginger lemonade. The hours simply fell away, and the only I could tell the day was going away was by the cool air and the shifting shades and shadows.

I will continue to look for work in Oregon, of course- but I have to start looking for a place in DC. I simply must, for August is not so very far away, now. But golly, I would just prefer to sit in the sun, reading a fine book and drinking a zippy drink.

Incredible Hulk and Tim Roth

So, saw Incredible Hulk last night! Lotsa bang,smash, boom and great action. Edward Norton could indicated more angst, and Liv Tyler look lovely, although rather remote ( but then again, that is part of her Pre-raphealite beauty.) If you are a fanboy/fangirl, and know your Marvel, then Incredible will be fun, fun fun, with a sneaky references to Iron Man and the Avengers .

Squee!

But man, I have to say, Tim Roth. Jesus. He is a damned good character actor, a person who can be trusted to bring menace to a role. and by goodness, he nearly manages to steal the non-CGIscreen. His violent, short, ugly Blonsky is transformed by battle into a side of humanity that I don't think Marvel had the guts to even explore : the way anticipation of battle and the hunt can lustful, almost orgasmic - no, is orgasmic to a person bent on blood. And before Tim is turned into a cartoon, he is a ugly, ugly mirror into human motivation.

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Strawberries!

So, we have had hints of sun, followed by snow in the mountains! and plenty of drizzle- but look now, there are strawberries in the market. No, not the California strawberries, although they are lovely in a pinch. I mean the tender, juicy ones from here in Oregon, so very tender that once they are ripe, they must be processed or eaten right away- they simply do not hold. I will buy several lovely pounds and simply eat them out of pint box. And, perhaps, maybe, I will make a jar or two of jam, for the winter, maybe even flavoring them with rose petals, to remind of sun and rain and warmth.

I will share with you the rose-strawberry jam and of course, midsummer's cake, with strawberries, almond cream and whipped cream.

Yay! Strawberries!

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Is it summer yet? Huh?

Gosh- so we have had a few days of vey hot weather, followed by lots of gray and rain. And it's June. And the Solstice will be soon. God, I swear, I don't think I can have anymore of this grayness. It is so tiring to the spirit. No wonder people move to California or even Parts of the Mountain States, like Colorado or Idaho. Sure, California is terribly expensive. And the mountain can be very cold and dry. But, by gum, here is sun, shiny warm sprkling SUN, and the spirits can soar.

Go away, clouds.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nomination! Yay!

So, after all the media fueled drama, Barack Obama is finally acknowledged as being the nominee. Hillary Clinton continues to insist more people voted for her, and she is the best nominee, and that she reserves rights, etc, etc ad nauseam. Yet many people say she should get VP nod.


Yikes. This lady's campaign has turned into a corrosive poison, and given the way so many of her hangers on have behaved, it would be rather surprising to have Hillary CLinton as a Veep nod. Too much has been said, and done, and not apologised for, to consider anything that Hillary Clinton and her people could possibly bring. The fringe of her campaign is completely ticked off. The nastiness and bs that campaign stopped to get votes is depressing.

Let Mrs. Clinton remain where she is most effective, in the Senate, helping the people of New York.

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