Thursday, February 28, 2008

Remember Gennifer Flowers?

Gennifer Flowers promotional video. I still think her autobiography is amazing: she describes every detail of her relationship with Pres Clinton. She even wrote about her appearance in Penthouse...her mother urged her not to show her "precious" but she did anyway ($200, 1998 dollars). She knows no shame - just listen to her singing.

Monday, February 25, 2008

NATO competition concludes

NATO competition ended, and like Odysseus's journey home after the Trojan War, our trip home had many twists and turns ("in's and out's" as the Dude would say) until we finally made it back to Slimey Pebble. On the way out of DC, a couple of students had to spend the night in Rockville, due to exhaustion I think. We got them situated safely, and with Little D Mac manning the satellite map with his laptop, made it to Interstate 70 and we were on our way home. We drove fast but safe, and if we had wings we would have been airborne. Here are pictures of Steve and Non Amnesty Dan on the finally day, voting for the final resolutions. Our hotel had a pool, but only the ducks swam in it. The students worked hard and partied hard while Dr. D kept taking pain pills. We made Hemingway and Fitzgerald's exploits in Paris look amateurish. The only thing we didnt do was cut the roof off the van (Hemingway and Fitzgerald once drunk had the top of their french sedan chopped off on a drive back to Paris). Of course, having the roof chopped off was one alternative after the van got stuck in the underground garage, but luckily the hispanic-latino concierge knew how to unstick wedged vans. Overall, a great experience: next year we will be Slovakia and we are going to contact the Slovak society in the burgh and get familiar with Slovak culture, language, geography, and politics. Now on to Model UN and Model Congress!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Steve belly dancing at Moroccan restaurant

the waiter said, "it is his birthday.." and the belly dancer immediately grabbed him and made him dance - he did a good job! Way to go Steve!

Arlington National Cemetary

I finally visited Arlington Cemetery. I got to see Gen meig's grave, and that of his son. His son was ambushed by "bushwackers" and killed, left to lie in the road. His father had a bronze statue made showing how his son was found, and vowed to bury his son in Gen Lee's wife's rose garden. That is how Arlington Cemetery began.Also I saw Phil Kearney's grave, and his statue is him on his horse, without his left arm - awesome grave. John Kennedy's grave was beautiful - overlooking Washington DC, you can see the lincoln memorial, the washington memorial, and US Congress. A beautiful location to spend eternity: kennedy would have loved it. he was very fatalistic, did not think he would live long, had addison's disease and probably would not have lived out his second term. To die in an assassination, filmed for everyone to see, and to be buried a hero's burial overlooking Washington DC probably exceeded even his expectations. Bobby Kennedy's gave was also there, a simple grave, and his quote from April 4 1968 was there. Story is, he was flying to Indianapolis to give a campaign speech, heard about Kings death, was late, but insisted upon arriving to go to a campaign stop in the african american neighborhood: at this time, riots were breaking out, his advisors urged him not to go. He went anyway, it was raining, and he announced King's death to the small crowd (there were screams, "no no!") and then he gave his speech, off cuff, not spin doctors, no Karl Rove there to write it for him Bobby said what we needed was "love and wisdom." he said politician I have heard has ever said we need to love one another. There has never been a man like bobby kennedy. I cried at his grave, couple people looked at me like there was something wrong...I still remember the morning I woke up and the news was reporting his death.

fortune teller in Georgetown

So I was walking in georgetown after eating at an Ethiopian restaurant (I ate with my fingers, pulling bread apart and dipping the bread in all sorts of meats and seafood) and i saw a sign for a fortune teller. So I walked up 3 flights of stairs, and it was a woman's apartment. She came to the door, her young son was practicing the piano, and she sat me down in her front room and asked if I wanted my palm read, or have a tarot reading. So I went with Tarot. I was going to tell her that TS Eliot often had his tarot read, even though he was a religious catholic, but I figured that might give her information that she could use. She read my cards, and I purposely did not react to anything she said to prevent her from playing off my gestures. Her description of me was surprisingly accurate, although she said I was romantically involved with two women, which isnt true. She asked if i was divorced and she said sometimes divorced men feel that their exwife is really two different people...she has an explanation for everything I guess. Most surprising is that the first thing she said was that I was going to live a long time, and have a natural death. That surprised me. Anyway, it was a good experience, she seemed really nice. it was worth $25 to hear about my long natural life.....

Friday, February 22, 2008

Model NATO competition in Washington DC

We are in washington dc for the annual Model NATO competition. We first drove through an ice storm, had to stop and fix wiper blades and buy wiper fluid. But we made it and took a cab to a Moroccan restaurant - it was great, Steve was invited to dance with a belly dancer (see the video in above post). The food was great. The next day we visited the Czech embassy (Embassy of the Czech) and met Ivona Hola, the Political Officer for Europe and Eurasia. The embassy is located next to Rock Creek Park, and she met with us for almost 2 hrs, and gave us each a bag of goodies. We then met with all participants at Howard University - I enjoyed being on a campus where most of the students were of color. The honor guard presented the flag before the meeting began, and I was really proud of these 4 young men and women - they were very solemn and the presentation was very impressive - lets not forget good old fashioned patriotism: we do live in a remarkable country, (despite Iraq and Dick Cheney, the US is still a great place to live). When we returned to the Washington Plaza hotel, i tried to park the van in the garage and got it stuck to the roof - i gave the parking attendant $20 and told him the van was stuck, maybe he'd have to let some air out of the tires, and he said dont worry about (must happen all the time). Today (friday) was competition all day, great interaction. Last night I had a drink at the Willard Hotel, a James bond martini, and tonight I dined in georgetown at an Ethiopian restaurant with some other faculty and the desk chief at State for Cyprus. Tomorrow is more competition - we wont get home until sunday. i love city - very intense. But I could do without the $50 dinners....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

shooter at Northern Illinois Univ

The one thing no one has mentioned despite all the press is his eyebrows. I wont show a picture of him here...publicizing monsters like this only encourages others...but look at his eyebrows. His eyebrows are plucked - gender identity problems? So many who knew him said he was good student etc., they didnt notice his unusual appearance?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"Once" - great film! A must see!

this movie is about a singer-songwriter who repairs vacuums with his dad, and an immigrant from Czech republic who sells flowers. but they are both very musical. And they both have a past love they are mourning, and they fall in love with each other. As they fall in love, or should I say as they play music and fall in love with each other, they finish his songs, she with lyrics, that reveal their past loves, and their current growing love for each other. The music is amazing!!! The young woman in the film is Markéta Irglová who never acted before, was 18 (or 17) yrs old when movie was made. the singer is Glen Hansard who is incredible. I am ordering the cd for movie even though the movie isnt over yet - I heard this is a heart breaker - I will blog when the movie is over. You have got to see this! Absolutely beautiful, wonderful - I dont want it to stop! Update: ending is not that much of a tearjerker, but it is really beautiful. I must get the soundtrack....

Tattoos and college students

I was at the fitness center and looked at the young woman to my right while on the elliptical aerobic machine - she was wearing two tops, a short one, and a sleveless one on top and there was a part of her side exposed, and a tattoo that was vertical that looked like an electrical engineering circuit. I mean it really looked odd. then I thought, maybe a surgeon drew that on her and she was going to be operated on (my surgeons would draw on me before surgery too, kinda like an engineering plan) but then I thought why would that still be on her? Then I realized, it was a tattoo she must have wanted and it looks like an electrical circuit. Of course its creepy that I am starring at the side of a young woman's bare tummy....I listen to my ipod and read a novel at the fitness center to block out everything around me so this was unusual. Is a circuit board the strangest tattoo you have ever heard of?

Marlee Matlin

What a beautiful talented woman - I remember seeing Marlee in Children of a Lesser God -- what a film, absolutely beautiful, starring marlee and william Hurt (one of my favorite male actors). So i finally rented What the Bleep do we know? Fun movie I guess, not very accurate scientifically, but still good. I am still trying to figure out what that psychologist meant (Susan blakemore) about how she doesnt think she exists, but she cant prove it. So I rented what the bleep do we know? I didnt realize marlee matlin was in it: she is so beautiful, and talented. Anyway, I think what the bleep do we know did address the concept of "no self" and if I am correct i think the documentary support Susan's intuition that she doesnt exist, only she cant prove it. I am still working on the idea that mark daniels doesnt exist...ego cogito ergo sum? I act therefore I am? I watch movies therefore I am? Marlee Matlin gets me excited, therefore I am?

Update: film over. What bullsh#t. It focused alot on addition toward the end - poorly organized and edited - starts out with quantum physics and ends up with addiction. Somewhere along the way JZ Knight, the vessel of Ramthas, a 35000 year old soul, speaks about reality and appearance, and its time to buy the snake oil. Check out JZ Knight (she changed her name, middle name is now
Zebra). I am now mark cheetah Daniels, and I speak for the people from Tralfamadore about their ancient knowledge - send me 29.95 for my dvd and you too can learn the wisdom of the people from tralfamdore....

how to fold a shirt from Japan

Here's a traveling tip - fold your shirt in one move, perfectly.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Movie Wag the Dog: USA in 2002

Ted Turner is showing the classic Wag the Dog, a movie from 1998 that is about a president facing a sex scandal and decides to create a diversion until his reelection is over. Albania is thinking of attacking the US! Then, Albanian terrorists are threatening to enter US through Canada with a dirty bomb! And it works. They whip the country into a patriotic fervor, and they win re election. Many felt this mirrored the situation with Clinton, facing impeachment, bombing Iraq to divert attention from his sex-impeachment. But I think this movie is about 2002, Bush wanting to invade Iraq, and 911 was starring him in the face - get the PR machine working, weapons of mass destruction ( what are those? Who thought up that term? ) So now we invade Iraq, and its a disaster, so what does Bush do for 2004? Terrorists are in Iraq, different reason for being there, and those terrorists will bring the war home (just look at the TV stories - can you imagine Iraq violence in your hometown?) and if a weaker opponent gets elected, the terrorists will smell our weakness, and hit us harder next time (thank you dick cheney for saying that). Its wag the dog all over again - hollywood makes a movie about this, and we still swallow it - amazing! But this is a great movie - never grows old watching it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

citizen kane still the best

So I am eating dinner before class, and wouldnt you know, Citizen Kane comes on the turner channel. what a film! Dorothy Comingore is fantastic as Susan Alexander, the "singer." Heres trivia for you: Nat King Cole played the piano in one scene, and the reporter with the pipe at the end is Alan Ladd. But Dorothy is great - she was a professional singer who had to practice to sing off key for the movie. And I know Orsen Welles is a great director, but she was responsible for lots of scenes: they way she pronounces Charlie when she is mad - "Chaaa lie" to show off her working class roots. Or her rants at charlie, or her sarcasm. Or the restrained way she left him. A fantastic performance. I guess she was overlooked because of Welles performance, or because of the incredible film shots. She was blacklisted by the McCarthy fascists in 1951. Died in Stonington Ct, the seaside village where Nathan and I had a picnic on the pier, until the wasps starting flying around us - I still remember how mad Nat was at the wasps. But time for class - I will watch this again later. Tonight's film is walk on water - I will be receiving Etyan Fox's latest film, The Bubble, later this month - I cant wait!