sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

September 30, 2011

Style and Fashion Pick-Me-Up: Affordable Wardrobe Suggestions for Lady O

Filed under: society, taste, tv, whatever — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 3:12 pm

Apparently there is an AP photographer at every Target.  Hence the country is abuzz re FLOTUS’s everywoman shopping trip.

Michelle Obama shops at Target

If she really shopped there, I'll have to find another favorite department store.

I also put on bright red lipstick and a festive LOOK AT MEEEE  blouse every time I need to run an errand incognito.  First Lady:  She’s just like me!

In ’08 Lady O went H&M, but with the economy on the verge of another recession, the stock market tanking again, and the recent bad publicity re 40K worth of bling and other assorted extravagant spending, the situation seems to call for Target.  So what’s in the shopping bags?  Zoloft for POTUS or local produce for the White House kitchen?

I hope Michelle gets out of this department store rut because I have some affordable Project Runway suggestions.  Not everywoman type of wear, but affordable.  See, the outfits created for last night’s episode are auctioned off right now.

Michelle likes mixing patterns and showing off the arms.  How about this lovely and wild design by Laura?

Laura Project Runway

Actually, the large horizontal stripes on the bodice is not a bad choice for MO; they would balance out her lower body.

It’s not that Nina Garcia is already on record questioning Laura’s taste, but the belt is low and narrow.  Hmm…  Well then, a boob belt can cover up a few defects in this invention by Josh M., who will probably get to Bryant Park, given how he’s the b**** of the season and the producers need the drama.  And Michelle can always use more dramatic glow around her loins.

Project Runway auction

Nice pop of color; just add a boob belt and a string or two of oversized jewels. Josh M. will approve.

If that dress doesn’t sell itself, try this signature Josh M. creation:

Project Runway auction

This week's theme was supposed to be the 70s. There is nothing 70s about this design, but Josh M outdid the worst decade in style.

Michelle, we know the pants will do a lot to your butt.  Come on, $40 and it’s yours!

Because if I wouldn’t include a decent faux pas I’d let my readers down, here is Michelle’s most recent appearance in a Pierrot:

Michelle Obama fashion icon

I've been there before: hit the snooze button one time too many, and ended up with a random skirt and a random blouse. Only my random skirts and blouses are less expensive and more tasteful.

This image comes from a Mobamahead blog, don’t you know.  The entry is called “A Champion for Girls in Science”.  Given how watering a rock counts for a science experiment these days, maybe stretching the fabric on a blouse can earn students extra credit.

UPDATE: Linked by Political Junkie Mom — thanks!

September 28, 2011

L’Shana Tova!

Filed under: politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 3:42 pm

Today is erev Rosh Hashana or Rosh Hashana eve.  I would like to wish happy Rosh Hashana to my fellow Jewish readers and blogging buddies.  L’Shana Tova!

And here is Experimental Dental School with Hava Nagila:

September 27, 2011

A Year of Blogging

Filed under: blogging — edge of the sandbox @ 4:16 pm

A year ago today I had enough of studiously reading Instapudit while my children napped, and started my own blog.  In the whole month of October 2010 I had 53 page-views.  Sad.  Later I met Linda and Vicky, and through them everyone else.

What a great experience it has been!  I’m able to share my ideas with people around the globe, and even meet like-minded individuals in the Bay Area.

I can see how blogging is a bit like an addiction.  When I pick up my daughter at pre-school and moms form an impromptu support group, my mind drifts to the post I’m about to write.  I know I should really be figuring out my 2 year-old’s Halloween costume.  He really wants to be a garbage man.  Maybe he can be a Jewish janitor because he’s, you know, Jewish, and he likes to sweep too.

Because I have to balance parenting with reading other blogs, I do a lot of opening up a bunch of pages in the morning,reading at naptime and commenting once the kids are down for the day.

My favorite posts to write were, in politics department:

Self-Governance, East Bay Style

How Much Sense Does MSNBC Make?
In pop culture department, probably my favorite topic:

Gaia is a Baby-Eating Goddess

Situationist Conservtive

But is that one is too grad schoolish, although I was trying, obviously trying so hard to make it less so, try

Government Dogs

Guilty pleasures in style and fashion subdivision:

Happy Birthday Mr. President: the Top 50 Get-Ups of Michelle Obama.  Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Although I started the blog hoping to write about topics other than parenting, a good deal of my posts are about family and parenting.  However, these topics seem to be unavoidable.  They also seem to be the biggest crowd-pleasers:

Anti-Gun Agenda Placement in Parents Magazine

Dithering Motherhood

My most overlooked posts were for Capitol Commentary, probably because late Soviet sci fi for pre-teens is not something Harrison is known for.  I wrote about a TV series I grew up with, and I’m surprised I didn’t see many click-throughs, considering that Russians read my blog.  Here it is, Adventures of Elektronik,  Pt. 1 and 2.

Biggest disappointment?  When my blogging buddies fall off the face of the net.

Biggest surprise?  A nod of approval from anarchists.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention, I’m on twitter now.  Two words sum up my experience: information overload.  I open it now and then and see if anything jumps out at me.

Bay Area “Community” Ganging up on Berkeley Republicans

Filed under: Bay Area politics, journalism — Tags: , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 1:59 pm

A few days ago I blogged about an SFGate opinion piece masquerading as a news item about the upcoming affirmative action bake sale on the Berkeley campus.  And now, SFGate is publishing an opinion piece opinion piece about the event.  The essay in question is written by Chip Johnson, who really is a SFGate columnist, of which at first I wasn’t sure.  The opinion piece contains the following bits of wisdom:

There are few places in America more reactionary than a college campus, and among them, UC Berkeley is a leader.

A-ha.  And:
The bake sale creators have no understanding of how race works in America.
Sounds know-it-allish.
There is a distinct difference between criticizing an idea in the public marketplace, criticizing a public figure and criticizing a group based solely on an ethnic, religious, social or economic difference. Rich or poor, white, black, Asian or Latino, it doesn’t matter. You can only meet people one at a time.
The stunt is not aimed at “criticizing a group based solely on an ethnic, religious, social or economic difference” whatever that means.  It criticizes a government policy.
There’s not only a distinct difference, but a distinguishable line whenever the issue is race relations: You never, ever, ever speak in generalizations about any ethnic group, because people of similar color and ethnic makeup aren’t all the same.
I confess I’m impressed by the “[y]ou never, ever, ever” line.  But I still don’t understand how “distinct difference” and “distinguishable line” are disparate concepts.
Chip does have a point about the Asians.  The Student GOP group priced their cookies at $2.00 for whites and $1.75 for Asian Americans when in reality Asians need higher grades to be accepted.

September 25, 2011

Patient’s Death Blamed on Nurse Strike

Filed under: journalism, local news, politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:35 am

A few days ago California nurses went on “sympathy” strike, and now a patient’s death is blamed on a fill-in nurse at an Oakland hospital:

A female patient at an Oakland hospital died early Saturday due to what the hospital described as a “medical error” made while she was under the care of a replacement nurse hired during a labor dispute.

The nurse allegedly gave the woman a fatal dose of medication, said Cynthia Perkins, a spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department. The nurse, who was not identified, was taken in for questioning by officers.

Police and state medical officials are investigating the death at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, which occurred while most of the hospital’s regular nursing staff was locked out after a one-day strike Thursday.

Shameless union leaders are using this tragic incident to further their agenda:
“An incident like this is chilling and strikes right to our nurses’ concern about their ability to advocate for their patients,” said Rose Ann Demoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association-National Nurses United, which represents about 2,000 nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. “It was irresponsible to lock out those nurses.”
Surely, going on “sympathy strike” when the striking nurses have no beef with their employers, but merely solidarity with some other strike is responsible and perfectly ethical.

KTVU channel 2 doesn’t waste time to assign the blame.  Check out their headline:

nurses strike

The Predictably Racist UC Berkeley Republicans

SB 185, a bill that will allow the University of California schools to reinstate affirmative action, is waiting for Gov. Brown’s approval.  I’m sure it has something to do with the current fiscal crisis embracing our state; otherwise our legislators wouldn’t bother to waste their time on the issue.

And so UC Berkeley Republicans are planing an affirmative action bake sale.  The idea here is to illustrate the unfairness of affirmative action (h/t DH):

A Facebook post announcing plans by a UC Berkeley Republican group to sell baked goods priced according to race, gender and ethnicity – “White/Caucasian” pastries for $2 and “Black/African American” pastries for 75 cents, for example – has drawn outrage on campus.

“I’m ashamed to know that I go to the same school with people who would say stuff like this,” responded student Skyler Hogan-Van Sickle on Facebook. “I’m really trying to figure out how someone can be this hateful.”

What I’m ashamed of is that a student enrolled in one of our top universities has no idea what hate is.  Perhaps Mr. Hogan-Van [Hammer and] Sickle never read good literature or studied history.  After all, good grades are earned by those who learn the art of being appropriately offended.
Nanette Asimov, the good journalist at SFGate, insinuated that the bake sale is somehow linked to the following incidents on UC campuses:

Berkeley’s tempest follows a series of racial and anti-Semitic incidents across UC campuses, which prompted UC officials to focus new attention on fighting hate speech among students.

In March at UCLA, a student posted a video of herself ranting about Asians. In 2010, UC San Diego students posted racial slurs and caricatures on Facebook, and used campus TV to belittle black students. Someone also hung a noose from light fixture in the library.

At UC Davis, six swastikas were found, including one carved into a Jewish student’s door, and someone defaced the gay students’ center.

At UC Merced, a video mocking efforts to create a Chicano studies program was posted on Facebook.

In 2010, UC President Mark Yudof described the incidents as “quite simply the worst acts of racism and intolerance I’ve seen on college campuses in 20 years.” He created a committee to help campuses strengthen anti-hate policies. And next year, all students and employees will be asked to take a survey about campus tensions, said UC spokesman Steve Montiel.

Funny she mentioned anti-Semitism, which, of course, is the old news on UC campuses.  For instance, this Friday Muslim students were found guilty of disrupting speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren.  Something tells me the students in question are not members of the local chapter of Young Republicans.  As a side note, Michael Oren is a terrific historian.

I’m not familiar with the specific incidents Ms. Asimov mentioned, but I think it’s a bit presumptuous to connect the disperse events at a university that enrolls nearly 200,000 students to a stunt to be performed by a small group on one of the campuses.  Actually, “presumptuous” is a bit of an understatement considering the threats of vandalism:

But students say the joke is anything but funny. More than 200 students responded to the event, most opposed, and some violently so. One threatened to burn the table and set the cupcakes on fire. At least four student groups sent complaints to campus administrators, and a student-only meeting was set for Friday evening to discuss it.

So SFGate is pouring gas onto the fire.
The UCB “community” seems to be easily disturbed:

At Berkeley, the Facebook posting violates no campus policy, said Gibor Basri, vice chancellor for equity and inclusion.

“The only policy it violates is the principles of community,” he said, adding that a campus-wide letter will go out Monday. “We can use this as a teaching moment.”

Well, that’s quite a passage.  While I’m relieved that the Facebook posting didn’t violate any campus policy, I am taken aback by the fact that UC Berkeley has a vice chancellor for equity and inclusion.  I no longer pay UC Berkeley alumni fees, and I will not renew my alumni membership as long as that position exists.
Affirmative action bake sale

Gibor Basri

I’m sure Gibor Basri has a PhD, but principles of community do not constitute a policy.  I’m not clear as to what kind of a teaching moment the upcoming bake sale incident represents.  Will the Berkeley “community” grow a thicker skin and learn to take a joke or will the vice chancellor for equity and inclusion use this occasion to berate a group of students who subscribe to minority opinion?
And how about this for teachable moment: getting your outrage on will get a student into Berkeley.  Knowing how to kiss up to teachers is a valuable skill, to be sure, but if a student wants to become an important thinker, it’s probably a drawback.  On the other hand, irritating the campus “community” might prove to be a valuable life experience. It gets worse.  Playing the race card can get a politician into the White House.  It can also make this politician known as President Downgrade.

September 23, 2011

San Francisco Never Fails to Amaze

Filed under: Bay Area politics, whatever — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:40 pm

Although I lived in the Bay Area for a decade and a half I had no idea that it’s perfectly legal to stroll the streets of San Francisco au natural.  And now a 65 year-old nudist (why is it that nudists are always over the hill?) is organizing a public service announcement in a form of a “nude-in” to let us all know that public nudity in the City is not only permitted, but possibly “not lewd”:

Though the naked guys aren’t fans of Supervisor Scott Wiener’s recently proposed legislation mandating that they put a towel down on a public chair or bench before sitting on it, the nude-in is actually unrelated.

It was planned weeks ago as a sort of pre-party for Sunday’s Folsom Street Fair. Because, you know, that daylong celebration of all things nude and leather-related stretching 13 blocks through the city doesn’t necessarily fill the weekend’s naked-in-public quotient. Last year’s pre-Folsom nude-in drew 50 nudists, though Wiener’s legislation could prompt a larger turnout.

Evidently, nothing pisses off jerks as much as a request to be courteous.  And so:

George Davis, a 65-year-old nudist best known for his unsuccessful run against Gavin Newsom in the 2007 mayor’s race, said the nude-in is just about letting people know it’s legal to go naked in San Francisco. (He’s right; it’s only illegal if one is aroused.)

“You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t know it’s OK to be nude; it’s not illegal,” he said. “It’s just conveying a message that nude is not lewd, that you have a right to be nude. That’s about it.”

No pictures to illustrate this story, for obvious reasons, but attractive topless protesters of Ukrainian group Femen can be found here and here.
UPDATE: More Bay Area craziness re signature Bay Area issues!  The City wants both bird safe buildings and the trendy wind turbines.  Oakland mayor not fined for her blighted Oakland Hills house; her neighbors are for theirs.
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