Wednesday, September 9, 2009


NPR Latino USA
Originally uploaded by naden

Bare with me while I toot my own horn for a second. So, last week I got an e-mail from an editor for NPR's Latino USA station. They were preparing to do a series of stories on immigration reform and wanted to use this photo of mine from the protests in Postville, Iowa last summer.

Here's the text that summarized the broadcast:

"After federal immigration reform legislation failed in 2006, many local governments began passing their own laws. New Haven, Connecticut was the first in the country to offer municipal IDs to all its residents regardless of immigration status. But reports of police harassment and racial profiling show that not every one agrees with the premise of a sanctuary city. Reporter Aswini Anburajan profiles a catholic priest arrested while looking into immigrant harassment reports. Also, a new study suggests that home raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents violate some basic legal tenants."

Okay, putting the horn down now. Thanks for indulging me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Smitten Kitchen

I ran across this site the other day and I'm afraid I may have found my new favorite blog. Entertainment Weekly said that the photos on this site were "pure food porn". Now that's right up my alley. I've been drooling over the photos and recipes on this site for a week or so, and someday soon I'm actually going to buy some groceries and make something.

First up just might have to be these pickled grapes with cinnamon and black pepper, or maybe these cottage cheese pancakes.....hmm, but this pasta with cauliflower, walnuts and feta looks super yummy.....oooh, there are just too many fun recipes to choose from. I think I'm smitten.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Republicans for Voldemort

Republicans for Voldemort
Originally uploaded by naden

With all the "Death Panel" talk this week stirred up by Palin and Chuck Grassley (to name just a couple), I thought posting this photo was appropriate. It's completely frackin amazing to me that the Dems have capitulated on End of Life Counseling even though most Republicans (including Grassley) were FOR this type of counseling that was included in the 2003 Medicare bill. That's right, the Republicans were FOR these so-called "Death Panels" before the were against them.

Score one for Voldemort and his Death Eaters. I'm not proud to be a Democrat today.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Have I ever mentioned how much of a nerd I am?

I've always been slightly nerdy, "bookish" as my mom might say. I used to try to hide it, but as I've gotten older I've found myself embracing my nerdishness. These days I'll happily admit that I know exactly what BSG stands for (Battlestar Galactica for you non-nerdy types) and that its not usual for me to spend an entire Saturday playing a board game (that's ONE game, not games...and by entire Saturday, I mean from at least 10am to 10pm). On more than one occasion I've watched an episode of the Big Bang Theory and thought...yeah, that's my life.

Anyway - this is all to saw that I'm pretty much a nerd and quite possibly getting nerdier as I get older. So you'll forgive me if I jumped with joy when Netflix sent the first disc of the last season of BSG. And you'll look the frack away as I crawl into bed with the dog on a beautiful summer day to watch my show. There will be other beautiful summer days to enjoy, but I can't go one more day without knowing whether or not Starbuck is a Cylon.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

100 Best Beach Reads

Roatan, Honduras - Gumbalimba Park
Originally uploaded by naden

I love NPR. I adore reading. I can't live without lists. So, NPR's list of the 100 Best Beach Books is right up my alley, especially this time of year when I'd rather be on a beach than behind a desk. Oh wait, that really doesn't have much to do with the time of year.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Regina Benjamin

You've probably never heard of Regina Benjamin. Neither had I before Monday when she stood in the Rose Garden next to President Obama and accepted the nomination as Surgeon General. I love this pick. From all accounts she's an incredible doctor, a giving and caring person and actually has some experience with public health issues (as opposed to TV doctor Sanjay Gupta who had been rumored to be Obama's pick earlier this year).

Since Monday, the blogosphere has focused little on her accomplishments, choosing instead to debate the woman's weight...speculating about her BMI and writing her off as unfit (pun intended) for the position. I've struggled with how to articulate my disgust with this line of thought, until I ran across this piece by Frances Kissling at Salon. She's done a nice job of articulating things for me. This Jezebel piece also raises a good point about the inherent sexism behind this discussion.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Blame Justin Long

My old PC died last night. It gasped, gave a quick shudder and shut its eyes forever. I've known for awhile that my poor PC had one foot in the grave, so in its last month or so, we've been carefully making succession plans. The back up hard-drive is full of files, the research on replacement computers is done. So when PC flashed it's final screen at me and faded to black, I mourned for about a minute and then put on my shoes, grabbed the dog and headed to the Apple Store.

I freely admit that it was Apple's clever marketing campaigns that drew me in. It all started with the iPhone. Who can resist all of those fantastic applications? Clearly, I can't - and now I cannot remember what life was like pre-iPhone. I mean, how did I live without a phone that can act as a compass, a level, play music and find the nearest public restroom for me all at the same time? So, now the transformation is complete. I'm now a Mac user. Although, I'm not sure I can qualify myself as Mac "user" quite yet - that would suggest that I actually know how to use my Mac...... WHICH I DON'T. If you need to find me over the next couple of weeks, I'll be over here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I was surprised by how sad I was the night Michael Jackson died. I wouldn't have called myself a fan prior to Thursday night, but after his death I felt a strong desire to listen to his whole discography again. I blame MTV. It took Jackson's death for them to start playing music videos again, and the night he died they did nothing but replay old MJ videos. All of a sudden I was transported back to my childhood, singing along to Billie Jean and PYT. Soon I found myself searching through closets and boxes of old tapes hunting for my copy of Bad or Thriller. I found neither - but after pouring $16.99 down the iTunes drain to buy songs I know I already own, somewhere, all the old MJ classics are back in my life.

Many aspects of his life were disturbing, and I'm not one of those people that's ready to put that aside now that he's passed on - but I'm willing to admit that in elementary/junior high school I was a fan and his music added context to many of my formative years. If that doesn't deserve my respect as a fan, it at least deserves $16.99. Shamon, MJ. Shamon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Poop Expert

Yes, that's what I said. I'm a Poop Expert, duly certified by the fine folks at the Minnesota Zoo. Jealous? There's no need to be, because you too can become a Poop Expert. Head on over to the Minnesota Zoo's new "educational" site called "Who Pooped" and see how well you can match up animals to their dung. There are plenty of visuals, real and animated, as well as sound effects galore. Have you ever heard an ostrich break wind?'s your chance. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Open Letter to Arlen Specter

Dear Senator Specter,


Random Muser

P.S. Welcome to the party.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Totally Get How This Kid Feels

I twitter. It started last August when I noticed that dooce had a link on her site to her twitter page. Twitter is hard to explain, and I have yet to convince any of my friends to join. I mostly follow the twitterings of blog authors, politicos, reporters, local businesses and the odd celebrity. My own tweets typically consist of inane musings, political observations, and the odd random link.

I've discovered many interesting websites from other people's tweets...and this evening I believe I ran across the mother of all links. Demi Moore (aka @mrskutcher) posted a link to this utilitarian website. The site is essentially a White Pages for the best viral websites/youtube videos (and by viral, I don't mean to suggest that you should be worried about updating your anti-spyware software before visiting these sites...although you can never be too safe).

The title of the web page reads: "GREG RUTTER'S DEFINITIVE LIST OF THE 99 THINGS YOU SHOULD HAVE ALREADY EXPERIENCED ON THE INTERNET UNLESS YOU'RE A LOSER OR OLD OR SOMETHING," and while I admit that earlier today I was contemplating the rapidly closing window of my youth, I don't consider myself to be an old fogy quite yet (I mean, I twitter for goodness sake), so I decided that I needed to check out several of the links that I hadn't come across yet. That's when I came across THE FUNNIEST YOUTUBE VIDEO EVER. It's right here, and you must check it out. I laughed so hard at this video that I cried and had to cross my legs to keep from peeing my pants. Perhaps the fact that I can completely relate to this kid speaks volumes about me...or maybe it's just a really funny video. You decide. Oh, and if you know where I can get some of what that kid had, let me know.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Adios, Au Revoir and Auf Wiedersehen

I'm off. Flight to San Juan, via Newark, leaves in 6 hours. Not sure if I'll get any sleep tonight as I'm still doing laundry, but who cares...soon enough I'll be napping on the beach. On the itinerary, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. Oh, and rum. Lots and lots of rum. I hope my liver is up for the challenge.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Remind Me Again, Why is Bipartisanship a Good Idea?

To reiterate my point on Obama's desire for bipartisan support of his fiscal stimulus plan, but in a much more forceful and cohesive manner, here's Paul "Mr. Genius" Krugman (no, I'm not being facetious, he won the Nobel Prize in Economics for goodness sakes) on why bipartisanship won't work with Obama's plan. Also, can we all stop calling it a "stimulus" bill and call it what it really is... a JOBS bill?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Or maybe not...

Guess the 60 seat majority in the Senate is out, which begs the question why Sen. Gregg is still going to get the nod for Commerce Secretary. I get the desire to be bi-partisan, you know, the whole no blue-state/red- state, touchy-feely, kum ba yah thing, but I'm starting to think it could all be for naught.

I'm going with Rachel Maddow on this one and suggest that our new President pick up the book "He's Just Not That Into You" (or get a private screening of the upcoming movie)- cause, let's face it, the republicans are just not into him...and they never will be.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Every Vote Counts

With the fire sale outside Norm Coleman's soon-to-be former office in the Capitol, and the news that Republican Sen. Judd Gregg is on the list for Commerce Secretary, it's starting to look like the Dems may be able to pull out a 60 seat majority in the Senate after all.

See, every vote does count (especially in Minnesota)!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Survivor's Guilt

I should have known when my hair wouldn't cooperate this morning and insisted on being parted on the right (instead of on the left like I've parted it every day of my life for as long as I can remember), that today wasn't going to be a normal day. Even when the coffee pot made hot water instead of coffee this morning, I still didn't get the hint. It wasn't until I arrived at work this morning to the news of layoffs that I realized how much life had changed in a mere 14 hours.

Luckily I'm still employed, but not everyone on my team was so lucky and I'm feeling an enormous amount of guilt right now. I know its irrational for me to feel guilty, but I can't help it. I feel for those that were sent home today and for their families. I want to tell management to cut my salary, take away my promotion, eliminate my anything to keep these people employed - and at the same time I feel a certain sense of relief and gratefulness that I wasn't the one packing up my personal belongings and being escorted out of the building. I also feel a sense of foreboding and uncertainty. I made the cut today, but how long will my luck last. I guess all I can do is embrace the survivor's guilt, and be comforted in the fact that I'm not going to be spending my night trying to figure out where to line up for an unemployment check tomorrow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Open Letter to Arlen Specter & John Cornyn

Dear Senators Specter and Cornyn,


Random Muser

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blogging on the Go?

Thought I'd try out the mobile blogging feature. Seems like it will work just fine. Oh technology, what did we ever do without thee?


I finally was able to flip the last page of my "Bad President" desk calender this morning. At the bottom of every page was a countdown keeping track of how many days until Dubbya would be ousted from office. Today the bottom of the calendar page simply read, "It's finally over." That pretty much sums it up. It's finally over.

I woke up this morning and could feel the energy in the air - it was like waking up on Christmas morning as a kid...only way better. I'm filled with so much hope and optimism about our country. I realize that President Obama doesn't have a magic wand that he can wave and cure all of the ills imposed on us and the rest of the world by the white house's former occupant...but just knowing that there is an intelligent and thoughtful person in charge will make me sleep much better tonight.

Now I'm just waiting for the day when I can see/hear President Obama (I'll never get tired of saying that) without getting all weepy and emotional. I've been a hot mess the past couple of days with the non-stop inauguration coverage (the HBO special at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday nearly put me over the edge). I watched President Obama's inaugural address this morning at work, crowded into an office with 8 of my co-workers peering at the live video stream from NPR. I snapped the photo above with my phone, not that I really needed a photo, I'm certain I will always remember exactly where I was today at 11am. The rest of my evening will likely be spent glued to MSNBC with the dog in my lap fighting for space with the box of kleenex.
Happy Inauguration Day. It's finally here!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Stoogeon General

If you know me, you know I'm a big Obama fan. So it pains me when he makes a decision that I'm not entirely happy with (like this one). When I heard that Obama was considering Sanjay Gupta for Surgeon General, I developed a sharp pain that emanated from behind my right eye through my ear and up my forehead. The pain is not unlike the pain I feel every time I hear fingernails on a chalkboard, or Sarah Palin's voice.

I don't have any problem with Dr. Gupta's qualifications. In fact, I sort of agree with Howard Dean that the job of Surgeon General is not unlike what Dr. Gupta currently does for CNN: explaining medical issues of public concern in a manner that the public can understand. My problem with Dr. Gupta stems from his on-air accusations that Michael Moore had "fudged his facts" in his movie Sicko. (If you haven't seen Sicko yet, then I urge you to open up a new window in your browser right now and add it to the top of your Netflix queue. Go ahead, I'll wait.)

In reality, Michael Moore had been entirely accurate and CNN was wrong on each and every one of the supposedly fudged facts. To their credit, CNN admitted after the fact that Dr. Gupta had been wrong, but the damage had already been done. If we're ever going to fix our ailing health care system, then we need people in respected positions (like Dr. Gupta) to stand up with those, like Michael Moore, and speak the truth about our broken system. Instead, Dr. Gupta called Michael Moore a liar and gave the public one more reason to not take Moore, or his message, seriously.

Also, I'm not really sure that the chief public health official (you know, the one in charge of telling us all to stop smoking and to lose weight) should really be showing our kids how to eat fire. Am I wrong here?