Um, you know how the British spelling differs from the American?

The British spell it ‘grey’, Americans–‘gray’. And of course, we all know the ‘re’ instead of ‘er’ at the end of such classics as ‘theatre’; or the ‘our’ instead of ‘or’ in colour, behaviour, etc.

Well, is ‘yay’ the American way of spelling ‘yea’? I’ve always spelled it ‘yea’. Mainly cause I learned British-English growing up. I think. In primary school, they beat the ‘our’s & the ‘re’s right outta me. Well, ok, so they didn’t beat me here in the States*. But they def worked their patooties off to re-condition me to spell things the American way instead of the British way.

Um, does anyone else also call it ‘primary school’? Grammar school? Grade school? Anyone?

But I guess they never noticed the ‘grey’. Maybe I just didn’t use it back then. I mean, how many 8 year olds use the word grey? I use it all the time now, complaining about yanking out yet another couple of hairs. So, it hasn’t been til recent years that I even noticed that it’s correct to spell it ‘gray’ as well.

But what about ‘yay’? Is that the same thing? Or, is it just these young punks now-a-days. W/ their adding words like ain’t, bootylicious, & google (as a verb) to our dictionaries?

*Although when I was in preschool overseas, my teacher used to threaten to tie me to the ceiling fan at least twice (or thrice) a week. No kidding. My mom & grandma had to go to school on several separate occasions to ask her to stop.

Aside: I was trying not to post b/c I wanted to keep the link to write about the crisis in the Dafur region at the top of my page; but please do scroll down & click on the link to help. Amnesty is trying to get a massive amount of letters to Washington by Monday.

remember the taliban

No, not like “remember the Alamo”. I’m asking, remember the taliban? As in the taliban that Yale admitted to a non-degree progam? Well, has an update on it all; as does the NY Times.

At the time of my prior post, Mr. Hashemi was asking to be moved into the full-degree program* w/ a sophomore status (since he had already completed one year there). Well, now it’s been decided that he may be back for one more semester in the fall, but he will not be graduating. I know it really shouldn’t be such a big deal; but it is to me. Yes, everyone deserves an education; & I will be the 1st to give someone a second chance, & I truly believe that people can reform. I did a dissertation on the rehabilitation of prisoners in college, & most ppl can reform if endowed with w/ the ambition & the means**.

But here’s my beef w/ the situation. Yale does not allow the ROTC to train on campus, they would not allow intelligent Afghan women to study there; but they’re ok w/ this top-level Taliban official being there? I think that part is wrong. At least the Afghan women were well-qualified, & likely to succeed in a high-caliber institution; but Mr. Hashemi only completed a 4th grade education, & a high school equivalency certificate. Not only that, but I don’t believe he’s reformed, or that he regrets any of his past doings. He was doing horribly in his “Terrorism: Past, Present and Future” class, arguing the textbooks were labeling the wrong ppl as the bad guys. He said that public executions in a soccer stadium in Kabul (pic to the left) were akin to the executions that take place in Texas***. I can’t agree w/ that. Um, btw, the ppl that were executed in that very public (see the tons of ppl in the background watching) stadium were missionaries.

*This is very common for international students to be admitted into a non-degree program, & be “shifted” into the full-degree program after a year (pending grades/courses, & approval by a dean). Of course, they need to formally petition this change (either by re-applying or simply writing a letter of appeal/petition to the dean & admission committee).

**I did find exceptions (as usual). It seems that some types of criminals have a chemical imbalance in their brains that actually propels them to do what they do. However, some of those crimes are not considered deviant in other countries. We as a society have deemed their actions as deviant behavior & so we persecute them. We are either fortunate to live in a country where we are so protected; or they are unfortunate to live in such a narrow-minded society that is not willing to accept their behavior. It depends on exactly how liberal you’re willing to go. I’m not quite that open-minded & liberal.

***I really did not mean to start up a topic on capital punishment. I know that the ppl who are executed in Texas are convicted murderers & rapists. I also know that a lot of ppl who have been on death row had subsequently been found innocent (via testimonials, dna, whatev); some before they were executed, & some unfortunately after. And I know that the anesthetic injection they give to paralyze the individual before they actually inject the super-painful poison that destroys the person’s insides doesn’t always work right; & there’s evidence that the person goes through the most jarring, wrenching pain possible before they actually die, but they can’t communicate it b/c they have been paralyzed. That all being said, I’d love to hear any thoughts anyone has on this. You can leave an anonymous comment.

dude, what am I?

For over a decade now, I’ve been undeclared (as a voter). The only real effect this has is that in May, during the primaries, I’ve only voted on the issues (some years, I’ve just gotten a ballot w/ one issue on it*). I’ve always voted in every election since I was 18; including primaries. This past May, I did have to declare myself for the first time, b/c there was this guy running in the primary, so that he could run for office in November. So, I knew he had to beat the other dude. That meant I would have to declare myself to give him a fighting chance, so that he could do good (not unlike Superman). But alas, he didn’t win the nomination.

I don’t think anyone can really say that they are completely liberal or completely conservative. We live in the shades of grey in between. It’s more a matter of how liberal. or how conservative.

Anyway, I found this quiz that asks “How Liberal or Conservative are You?” I though it was really interesting.

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 35% Conservative, 65% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

*usually the school levy, which I always vote for, even though sometimes I feel they’re just wasting the money. Well, not sometimes, a lot of the times. They threaten you by saying they’re gonna cut classes or bussing or teaching staff, but then they use the money to give the higher-ups (superintendent or board members). I feel we as adults have a responsibility towards children. Even total strangers’ children. If I pull up next to a car w/ a kid in the front seat & see no seat belt on him, I do roll down my window, honk the horn to get their attention, & tell them that kid needs to have that restraint on him/her. Yes, that crazy lady is me; my dad would yell at me & say that anyone who was willing to not make their kids buckle up musta been some sort of cretin, so he might even just pull out a rifle & shoot me. This was like 12 years ago; now that it’s like the law, you don’t see ppl w/out their seat belts on much. Well, not here anyway. And on the plus side, more ppl have guns. Yea.

Yale admits just about anyone


You know how schools are always looking to diversify their student body? Well, they are. I just read that Yale enrolled a former Taliban official in to a non-degree program. That’s not even all of it. This person only had a 4th grade education!

Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, a former ambassador-at-large of the Taliban, was admitted as a “special student”.

Related articles:
Opinion Journal (from the Wall Street Journal)
NY Times article
Polly Awards (handed out by CampusMagazine)
Article from Gujarat paper

mo money. . .

. . . mo probs.

Yep, that’s right. The House (of Reps) ratified the Deficit Reduction Act. This is another example of things that just don’t make sense to me. Here’s the deal:

They want to cut $39.5 billion through 2010 from the federal budget; thus saving taxpayers almost $40 billion.

That sounds all kosher and all. It seems to be great for most ppl, the average taxpayer will save about $300 (I’m not clear if this amount is per year, or over the next 5 years; but prob over the next 5). I’m sure most of the ppl who read my blog have student loans though. For kids currently in college, it opens up some options & increases the amount of moolah they (& their fam) can borrow. It’s going to cut about $12.7 billion from student loans, but will allow kids to borrow more money. Don’t ask me how that works, it all seems very contradictory to me.

But for those of us paying on loans cause we’re all done w/ our educatin, & we’re now trying to be productive, contributing members of society; we’ll have to pay more in interest.

Starting in July, parents who have the PLUS loan will have an interest hike from 6.1% to 8.5%. That’s about 800,000 parents across the US. A lot of these parents are single-parents w/ only one income trying to help their (multiple) kids through school.

And for the nearly 10 million kids (TEN MILLION ppl!!) out there who have a Stafford Loan, your interest is gonna go up to 6.9% (from the current 5.3%). I know that for those of you making payments, you already know that 5.3% is already a hike from what it was.

It’s supposed to be a good thing: lower loan fees & higher loan limits. But it seems to be a temporary good thing. Cause in the long run, they’re killin us in the interest. That’s just my take on it all, though. And I’m not pretending to understand a lot of it.


OK, what’s up with all the Reggae stuff happening on Sundays?! I used to be fine w/ it, b/c it all used to happen in the afternoons. There was one summer that Carlos Jones played every afternoon on the deck of Shooters. “Shooters on the water” was a place that if you went to at night, the girls there would look you up & down (2 feet away from you), then scoff, & make their remarks about you. Loudly. W/in 2 feet of you. And they were harsh. You see, the girls there were all sluts (well, not all, but mostly), & they dressed pretty trashy. Think Sienna Miller, but coked out w/ some Naomi Campbell attitude thrown in. But during the day, I think they were safely locked in their coffins.

Anyway, in the afternoons, it was quite lovely. Summertime, on a huge wooden deck, w/ the ships going up & down the river (the deck goes over part of the Cuyahoga River), & servers to wait on you as you bask in the sunshine. The weather was always temperate, warm but not too hot, & there was always a refreshing breeze that came w/ each sip of your refreshing beverage. Aaahh, it was the life. Also, I was younger (by a couple of years, but younger is younger none the less).

Anyway, back to Carlos Jones. I 1st saw him play back in the day in Kent, about 10 years ago. [I’ve talked about Kent before but in case you missed it, that’s where I gots my schoolin on.] In fact, I used to go see them w/ my dear friend Shan, who actually ended up in a picture inside their cd cover. I can totally mention her b/c she never reads this blog.

Complete sidenote: only 2 of my real-life friends actually read any of this. Is this a common thing? To not have your real-life friends read your blog? Maybe cause I don’t really promote it, or talk about it, or even acknowledge it. Oh, maybe that’s why. Never mind then.

So, back then, ‘Los played in a band called First Light. And of course, I didn’t know what his name was (I’m self-involved, remember?). So, 10 years later, when I would see him at Shooters, I didn’t make the connection that this was the same dude. But now I know. And knowing is half the battle (yo Joe!).

There’s another weird Carlos Jones/Kent connection. That place I worked at through college, Ray’s. [Yes, I’ve mentioned Ray’s before too.] I worked in the kitchen there w/ this guy Dan. Well, Dan’s in ‘Los’s current band now, the P.L.U.S. Band. All the ppl at Ray’s were really cool, talented, & smart ppl. Well, except the ones that weren’t; but they were still ok. Well, except the one.

Anyway, this all started cause I was gonna talk about the reggae-fest I went to a couple of Sundays ago (Pookie inspired me to write about it). It all started w/ Reggae-brunch. Even though the show doesn’t start til 4 pm, you have to get there by 11:30 to get a table. Well, I did get there at 11:30 am, & it was packed, & we still had a little trouble snagging a table. Everybody just comes early (it’s at the Parkview every year), & grabs a table & stays all day. They do have a phenomenal brunch, & they’ve got these “crabby crepes” (light, delicious crepes stuffed w/ crab, chedda, & onion in a champagne cream sauce) that’s really incredible. You can click on the link to the Parkview & they have a link on that page to some pics from this year’s Reggae thing. Click on it if you will, I’m not your mom & I’m not gonna force you to. You don’t know most of the ppl there anyway.

To the left is a pic one of my friends took at the Parkview.

So, the band started playing at about 4 pm, & of course, they were amazing. I stayed until 9 pm (I didn’t realize what time it was until I was leaving), but I heard the band played til after midnight. NOW (finally), back to my first point, why do things like this take place on Sundays? I had to work Monday, & I had about 150 musicians flying in from all over the world that I was hosting & had to be alert for. AND, it was almost a 12-hour day for me (7:15 am to 6:30 pm). I was WHOOPED, beat, exhausted, & as one of my dear friends would say “le tired”. They need to either notify companies that there should be no work the next day, or just hold these events on a SATURDAY.

My idea of holding these things on a Saturday is obviously NOT a revolutionary idea. It’s not profound, or original. It’s completely logical. And of course, now there’s a “Buckeye Riddims: The Best of Ohio’s Reggae Rockers CD release party” coming up. Guess when it’s gonna be? Yep, on a Sunday! Starts at 7 pm, and w/ 8 bands! So you know it’s going to be a late night. I don’t think I’ll be able to go; but if it was on a Saturday, I would so be there.

If anyone is in Cleveland next weekend, you should totally check it out though. It’s def going to be a great time. The flyer’s below.

Another sidenote: I was a COMPLETE linkin-machine on this post. So, give yo-self a point for each link you actually clicked on. If you click on them now, it’s only worth half-a-point each.

the whiskey hounds

I went to school at Kent State; and when I was there, I worked at Ray’s. This was probably the best job I’ve ever had b/c I loved all the ppl there, everyone was like family. Charlie owned the place, & he was just the most fair & compassionate person. Anyway, I quit in 1999, b/c I was going to move soon after. Around the time that I quit working there, this guy Freddy Hill started.

Now, this part’s the vague memory . . . He either started just before I quit but we never worked together, or he started just after I quit & so we never worked together. I think it was the latter. Anyway, I still hung out there on the regular. So, mutual friends introduced me to him at some point in time, and I went to go see him play once (possible twice; once again-vague memory). But I didn’t really know him, & we never hung out so that we would get to know each other & become friends or anything.

So, the other day, my friend tells me that Freddy Hill’s band is playing Friday night. I had this recollection of him, & so I thought I’d go. Also, I’d always try to support any of my former Ray’s ppls.

Then, I really started to get keen on the idea of getting to see them play. I get there & Freddy does look vaguely familiar. He looks very different now then what I remembered him to look like (he’s all grown now, w/ facial hair & stuff). But then I realized that I’ve actually seen them play about 3 (maybe 4) times in the last 4 years! I just never realized that it was Freddy’s band that I had gone to see. I just liked them & their music, I never paid much attention to who they were themselves. I know that doesn’t sound nice, but I can be a little self-involved sometimes. I’m ok w/ it.

So, I’d like to plug their band, The Whiskey Hounds. Go to their website, listen to their music, and enjoy life.