Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Mirror Law

The Mirror Law
I am not in a position, nor do I foresee being in one, where I can propose federal law.  Nonetheless, for this moment we are going to pretend I can.  So, the issue with DC lacking representation in Congress is not just the whole taxation without representation, it is also that Congress has the ability to make laws about DC and there is no one in the room with equal power to advocate for DC.  (Don't get me wrong, I think Rep. Holmes does a great job with what she has.) Now, you might be thinking that's true of everyone, Congress makes laws for the whole country.  But, no, those I am (mostly) fine with.  I mean the laws they make that are just about DC.  Laws that often override stated desires of the DC residents.  This proposed gun legislation is only the latest example.  There has been medical marijuana and changes to capital punishment and so on.
So, my proposal is what I call the Mirror Law.  Anyone in Congress who proposes legislation that is just for DC, will also have to agree to that legislation in their constituency.  So, decide to add capital punishment to DC, you get it in your district to. (For example.) This would accomplish two things - it would force Congresspeople to think a little harder about the legislation they force on us, since people who actually can vote them out would be affected by the laws also; and, it would raise further awareness of the meddling that Congress does in the lives of DC residents.  We aren't asking for representation for the star (although, really, it's very obvious where the star would go) or for a longer ballot in November, we are asking for the rights that other US citizens have - to choose a person in that room who has the same powers as everyone else, so that if I don't like the results, I know who to yell at. Or to not pay federal taxes (like the territories who also lack federal representation).  I'm fine with that too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Can Stop Anytime

I Can Stop Anytime
A fellow Facebooker, pointed me to this article about an experiment with University of Maryland students who were asked to give up social media for twenty four hours (they were allowed to choose the period, although apprently coincidentally there were major news events during the time frame). Now, first, I would like to clarify that they were not only restricted from cell hpnoes and Facebook, twitter etc, but TV and Ipod usage.  So, yes they missed texting and talking to their friends, but they also missed listening to music or most every form of entertainent.  Now, could I do this?  Yes - I would knit and read like crazy (I did not see any preventions against these) but yes, I have grown accustomed to taking daytime walks with the headphones, in part for the beat and in part for the ability to pretend I did not hear the crazy people talking to me.  (Not that there are really that many, and crazy people don't really think that well about if I can hear them, but I feel less rude.)
Now, buried a few paragraphs down was the result that college students get a lot of their news from social media - both about friends and TV and the world in general. So, while I imagine they still had access to paper newspapers, they were missing things because their normal routes to news were cut off. I also think, that the part that was only briefly developed is it's one thing to go camping in the mountains, or out to some island where the pghone service is gone - because then the people you are traveling with are in the same boat.  But, the students were not only cut off from their typical methods of communication and entertainment planning, they were less informed than their classmates and roommates and that was what made it a little maddening.  Imagine if it rained only on you for twenty four hours it would be much more annoying than if it was raining on everyone.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears

Lions and Tigers and Bears
This past weekend I went to the WRW* chapter conference. It was great.  (Not that I doubts or anything.)  The hotel has adopted an adorable orange tabby who hangs out on the veranda waiting to be fed and/or adored.  I got to meet and hang out with so many of my amazing chapter members, chat with agents and editors (both informally over breakfast and formally).  There were great speeches - Roxanne St. Claire talking about inspiration and Charlaine Harris talking about how in 29 years you too can be an overnight success.  Workshops (again I refer to Roxanne St. Claire, in part because the workshop will be given at Nationals in Nashville, and it is great) and then, of course, Romance Jeopardy (which is, by the way, not fair.) Romance Jeopardy had a "Wizard of Oz" theme (my team was the Lollipop Guild) hence the title here.  My team did not win (but we ended in positive numbers), but that is because we have decided it is not fair.
I may post up some scenelets from Charlaine Harris's workshop just for fun.

ETA: Let's make it three references to Ms. St. Claire, as she has blogged about the weekend here. And Barbara Vey, who was there to talk about the joys of social media, talked more about Romance Jeopardy. And Hope Ramsay has her take here. I'll stop adding links now.

*Washington Romance Writers, the DC area chapter of RWA.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In Which We Revisit the Internet

In Which We Revisit the Internet
And how it's not secret.  Or more specifically, things you post on the internet are not secret.  Your blog is not secret. So if you decided to not tell a bunch of people, for example, that you were unfamiliar with the piece of music you are conducting but have decided that it doesn't matter because this world famous opera isn't that hard, well, perhaps the internet is not the place to post it.  Assuming you wanted to continue to hold on to this secret.  If instead you wished to be pummeled by critics noting that it was clear you did not know the piece well enough to conduct it, well, then job well done.
H/T to Monkey See Blog.

Monday, April 05, 2010

What Kind of Whale?

What Kind of Whale?
I have to say, that I'm not a big fan of other people deciding what words I get to read anyway.  I certainly understand and appreciate the purpose of filtering content on television on certain channels, during certain times, just as I understand the purpose of having sections - some based on age in the bookstore.  But, I really don't need the words in my books censored.  So, you can imagine how I feel about the word filtering the iBooks app for the iPad apparently has embedded in it. 
Oh the fun of reading about a s***m whale

H/T to Monkey See blog for the link.

Well, That's Different

Well, That's Different
I have always been a football fan, but not so much a trade and draft fan.  I watch only tiny portions of pre-season games.  It's not that I'm only a fan from September to February, it's that I have chosen not to spend much time and energy on the business side of the games.  Now certainly, I heard about the coaching switch.  And I knew there were discussions about a change at quarterback.  Not that either of those things are unusual Redskins type news, we are the team that has had a ridiculous number of quarterbacks and coaches in the past decades.  In fact, part of my sadness in this news is not for Donovan McNabb who gets to leave Philly beloved*, and come here where he is already generating lots of excitement, but for Jason Campbell who provided us the longest consistency at quarterback since Gus Frerotte**, and now has some choices to make.  Either way, the Redskins are once again proving stellar at shaking things up.

*Yeah, okay, Philly is fickle, so not entirely beloved.
**Yes, Patrick Ramsey had a long stint too.  But his was more at backup even though he started a number of years.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Dear Folks: The Spoiled Edition

Dear Folks: The Spoiled Edition
Dear Lifetime,
Due to a cable snafu I was unable watch "Project Runway" last week.  I managed to make it through an entire week without spoiling myself on the internet or with, you know, real people.  Since the episode would be re-run just before the new episode, I chose not to watch it online.  And then, with about thirty minutes to go before the re-airing - I got spoiled, by you.  The stupid promo with the "one of these designers would return" (which was dumb, by the way because faithful viewers will know that this is not the first time a designer has left, and the precedent for which designer returns is set) ad featuring three auf'd designers ruined the end for me.  (I still watched.) So, after 6.9 days, I got spoiled.  I got spoiled by watching you.
Sincerely,
Hate Spoilers*
*Yes I realized it's not really a spoiler when the episode has already aired. Still annoyed though.