Wednesday, January 25, 2006

political angst

Going to poach an idea from my friend, Andy, and highlight the exquisite skills of Stephen Colbert, former Daily Show correspondent, host of The Colbert Report (pronounced ra-pore), and all-around swell guy. This week's Onion has a fantastic interview with him discussing politics, pundits, and D&D.

Here's an excerpt:

The A.V. Club:
What's your take on the "truthiness" imbroglio that's tearing our country apart?

Stephen Colbert: Truthiness is tearing apart our country, and I don't mean the argument over who came up with the word. I don't know whether it's a new thing, but it's certainly a current thing, in that it doesn't seem to matter what facts are. It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It's certainty. People love the president because he's certain of his choices as a leader, even if the facts that back him up don't seem to exist.

...The whole idea of authority... authoritarian means there's only one authority, and that authority has got to be the President, has got to be the government, and has got to be his allies. What the right-wing in the United States tries to do is undermine the press. They call the press "liberal," they call the press "biased," not necessarily because it is or because they have problems with the facts of the left--or even because of the bias for the left, because it's hard not to be biased in some way, everyone is always going to enter their editorial opinion--but because a press that has validity is a press that has authority. And as soon as there's any authority to what the press says, you question the authority of the government--it's like the existence of another authority. So that's another part of truthiness. Truthiness is "What I say is right, and [nothing] anyone else says could possibly be true." It's not only that I feel it to be true, but that I feel it to be true. There's not only an emotional quality, but there's a selfish quality.

I wish I could speak half as eloquently or intelligently about the current state of politics as Colbert (or Jon Stewart). I've watched the shifting relationship between our political leaders and the media for the past four years with frustration, disbelief, and angst. And rather than approach the problem in a proactive way, I find myself retreating from the entire subject.

When did the title of president become a free pass to bully, lie, and make-up his own rules? When did the press lose its obligation to be unbiased, to seek the truth, and to hold our leaders accountable?

Or is that the press' job? Before the last election I would have said it was the American people's job to hold our leaders accountable--to state their dissatisfaction with leadership through their votes. And yet five years after he first took office, we still have an unbelievably secretive, almost-certainly corrupt, definitely-incompetent president in the midst of his second term.

I don't know how we go about fixing this. I'm certainly not equipt to do it. When the president refuses lead with honor and the press is impotent or apathetic, I find myself with two options: laugh or cry. I'm glad Mr. Colbert is here to help me do the former.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

to do list

Things that I WANT to do today...

finish my craft project (OMG, I'm making the most fun bridal shower invitations ever!)
go see Brokeback Mountain, Capote, or Transamerica
bake a small army of gingerbread men to do my house cleaning for me
read the entire Sandman series cover to cover
start a webcomic
fight crime

Things that I SHOULD do today...

memorize my lines for a film project
redesign my website
buy a new battery for my watch
send updated headshots to casting directors
look for new monologues

While the first list is a whole lot more fun, my "shoulds" aren't really bad at all. Maybe I can even combine the two... you know, find a new monologue in the Sandman comics...or fight crime while buying a watch battery! This could be an interesting day.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

myth, Buster

For fans of Bjork, Diddy, or both... jigga-what?

On a completely unrelated note, I thought I'd update on the progress of my New Year's resolution: the fitness plan. I'm happy to say I've been going strong, working out six days a week for nearly three weeks now. I feel more energized, healthier, and better able to wake up in the morning. Thom's started noticing a little more definition in the muscles and I warned him that soon I'll be able to take him down like a little girl, so he better watch it. :)

Of course, as I say that, I've missed my morning routine because I got caught in the unbreakable vortex of book addiction. I started reading Anansi Boys last night and couldn't put it down until I finished it just a few minutes ago. Fantastic read from one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman.

So, after I do some actual work today I'll see if I can bring myself to do an evening workout. I'd hate to start a downward slide just because I'm a nerdy book-lover.

Monday, January 16, 2006

killin time pt. 2

My watch just died on me. It's the latest go--a sad soldier in an army of watches I've managed to kill since I started wearing them years ago. It's not just that they go dead way before their time (usually a couple months after I buy them); no, for a few days before they go kaput I have a magical backward-running watch.

Seriously, my mutant power is to make watches tick backwards. I have no idea why this happens--perhaps some weird blood chemistry, or electromagnetic pulse, or maybe it's like Thom says and I'm really an alien planted here at birth.

I've talked to a number of people about my mutant power, but never run into anyone who could concur that, yes, they too have the freakish ability to make watches reverse. After an online search I even found a number of people who frequently kill watches (some within hours of putting them on--the force is very strong with them), but still no one who actually reverses the clock.

So this is my call to you, fellow mutants, please reveal yourselves. If you have this strange gift, I'd love to hear from you. So as not to leave the rest of you out, I invite any of you with any useless mutant powers to please share (you know, like the uncanny ability to sense the mailman coming or terrific toe dexterity or a third nipple). Don't be shy, the world wants to know!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

getting my social on

After a week of sitting on the couch zoning out to the tube with our house guest, Kevin, we finally got off our asses this weekend and (hopefully) showed him a good time. Friday night we went to see my friend, Seth, in his Mystery Cafe show and engaged in some post-show debauchery at Three Cheers. A few of Seth's friends were there as well as much of the cast so I floated around chatting while Kevin and Thom indulged in gin and tonics (and some drunken philosophy to boot).

I was designated driver, so after a couple hours at the bar we moved the party to someplace more conducive to me having a drink--our go-to party spot, the Doyle Pad. I love hosting because we have a nice open kitchen/living room, a passable bar, comfy furniture, chill music, and generally a positive vibe in our house. An added bonus is when I'm done hanging out, my bed is waiting for me, all cozy and warm (warm because Thom usually finds his way up there a few hours before I do).

At peak we had a group of about ten hanging out, which dwindled down at around three. A few of us stayed up until the early morn (my god, what did we do until 6am?) and as usual Seth ended up on the couch for the night while a couple extra folks took the spare futon upstairs. It's great to have space for people to stay so I don't have to worry about them doing stupid things like driving home drunk.

I wasn't hurting too bad the next day, which is great because I had a show that night at the Theatre Cooperative. I did a couple plays in the Ritalin Readings at the Theatre Cooperative (10 minute staged readings), which Kev and Thom came to see. It was the first time Kevin has seen me act since high school, so that was a bit daunting, but the evening went well. The second play was especially well-received and I was psyched to get such enthusiastic laughs.

The next morning I started off with a little five mile run (imagine the sarcastic tone of "little" here), which was awesome and kicked my ass. Brunch with some old friends from the boys' MIT days, and then they went off to look for a permanent residence for Kev and I hopped it over to my friend Will and Ellen's Sunday Afternoon Tea.

Seriously, they threw a tea party. We had tea and cookies and I brought along some very appropriate cucumber sandwiches. I felt like the queen. Thom and Kevin joined us later on and I think we all had a wicked-good British time.

So, it was a bit of an unconventional weekend all around but I enjoyed myself immensely. Plus, we got to show Kevin a little bit of "how we roll" here in Boston.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Backstreet Al

Oh, Ebay, where would we be without you? Weird Al doesn't like to imagine a world without it...

I tell you, kids, he's one of the great minds of our time.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

a new addition

So we're going on day three of my brother-in-law living with us, and I must say it's going swimmingly. You never know how these things are going to work out. As much as you may like someone at Christmas dinner, or driving through Europe, or even in a Vegas strip club it's a very different thing to continue liking them when they move in. People's living habits are peculiar and can be very difficult to navigate (ask my poor husband... I'm sure he's continually baffled at the way I think the dishwasher should be loaded).

Now, we're still in that very-polite-staying-out-of-each-other's-way-oh-yes-I'll-pick-up-my-towels-honeymoon stage, but all signs bode well for the future. He'll be here for at least a month, then his fiance will join him--either here or in their new home.

So stay tuned for the continuing Adventures of the Doyles' House Guest...

(I'd write more, but I'm also on day three of the new fitness routine and EVERY muscle in my body hurts...)

P.S. To give you a visual aide, here's our man and the woman who gave him birth:

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

a new guru?

Okay, I've found the fitness book from hell...

It's actually a really cool program, but it's going to kick my ass like no other. This dude, Steve Ild, who has apparently won competitions in every extreme sport imaginable, has created what he calls Wholistic Fitness. It's essentially a combination of weight training, yoga, and meditation. He uses the philosophies of yoga to make working out a spiritual experience. He's a complete nutter and I love it!

But don't think he's a softy just because he likes him some stretching... he does yoga looking like this:

Tough, no?

I love his completely postmodern philosophy--the combination of two distinct disciplines in a way that seems to enhance both and create something new.

Will I be able to stick with it? Ah... that is the question. I've done one day of his program, and I figure that's as good a place to start as any.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

an arbitrary reason to start fresh

Welcome to a new year, everyone!

Thom and I had an absolutely fantastic time at home in Vegas with our families, and now we've returned to the chilly land of the east in time to celebrate the change of the calendar. Not that we did much to celebrate...

We flew in on a red eye Friday night, arriving in Boston yesterday morning and by 7pm we both knew the futility of trying to go out to celebrate. So we rang in the New Year with our butts on the couch and cocktails in our hands. It was a tipsy, sleepy, happy celebration followed by a solid 11 hours of sleep. Nothing like sleeping til noon on the first day of the year!

Now I've come up with my New Year resolution, and I'm filled with all the hope and determination a clean slate provides. In an effort to simplify and focus, I've limited myself to one resolution this year: get in shape.

It's a standard one, I know, but resolutions aren't about originality are they? My principal goal is to find and maintain a regular workout regimen. I was more active in 2005 than years past, but still not as consistent or disciplined as I'd like. A secondary goal would of course be to lose some weight, but that's less important than improving my overall health.

You're all my witnesses now, so I expect a public flogging should I slack off.