Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cheddar Cheese Is the Local Favorite!

Here are my nephews Gavin and Zach, their cousin Connor, friend Glen, and my niece on the trampoline. I can't imagine anything more fun for kids than a trampoline. They were bouncing up and down, with small breaks, for literally hours. For some reason, my nephew Zach yelled out: "Cheddar cheese is the local favorite!" There were other equally odd comments.
Perhaps being all bouncy bouncy loosens the brain cells and the funny bones.... I went on the trampoline too, but I'll spare you that footage....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Gay Storm

Apparently there's a hilarious ad out about same-sex marriage, created by N.O.M. (The National Organization for Marriage (Heterosexual, that is). I don't think N.O.M. intended for their ad to be so hilarious, but many a parody has 'come out' in reaction to the ad. Below is the N.O.M. ad, and Stephen Colbert's commentary and parody ad on 'The Colbert Report".....

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage Commercial

Early America

For some good reads concerning early America, here are some books I've read or will read.....

1. Ladies of Liberty "The Women Who Shaped Our Nation," by Cookie Roberts
2. Savage Kingdom "True Story of Jamestown, 1607, & the Settlement of America," by Benjamin Woolley

3. First Generations "Women in Colonial America," by Carol Berkin
4. A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard," by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

5. Love & Hate in Jamestown, "John Smith, Pocahontas, & the Start of the New Nation," by David A. Price
6. Founding Mothers, "The Women Who Raised Our Nation," by Cookie Roberts

7. Voyagers to the West, "A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution," by Bernard Bailyn
8. Mayflower, "A Story of Courage, Community, and War," by Nathaniel Philbrick

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Battle of Lexington & Concord

On Monday morning I left the house on my trusty scooter at 5 am, to see the reenactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. It was very foggy and spooky. This year it was less crowded than last year, and I got there earlier. Perhaps the weather kept more people away. I missed the little Zack man this year. (He was with me last year).

By the way, the real battle was fought at 4 am! The Americans were very outnumbered and lost several men. It was certainly not the most triumphant battle of the American Revolution, but it was the first. And it happened here, in Massachusetts! Here are the British marching on to the green.....

Top 100 Female Finishers

When I see this list, it inspires me to run. Look at the accomplishments here! Finishing 8th is a 45 year old Colleen De Reuck from Colorado. Some local gals include Simonetta Piergentili, of Wilmington, Diona Fulton, of Somerville, and Amy Gosztyla, of Cambridge. The oldest woman in the top 100 is a 54 year old Christine Kennedy from California! In fact, out of the 100 top women, 53 were age 30 or over. Perhaps I don't have to 'throw in the towel' yet! Congratulations to all the women listed here!

Women's Top Finishers 2009 Boston Marathon

Place Name Age Home Official time
1 Salina Kosgei 32 El Marakwet, Kenya 2:32:16
2 Dire Tune 23 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2:32:17
3 Kara Goucher 30 Portland, Ore. 2:32:25
4 Bezunesh Bekele 26 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2:33:08
5 Helena Kirop 32 Kapenguria, Kenya 2:33:24
6 Lidiya Grigoryeva 35 Cheboksary, Russia 2:34:20
7 Atsede Habtamu 21 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2:35:34
8 Colleen De Reuck 45 Boulder, Colo. 2:35:37
9 Alice Timbilili 26 Moiben, Kenya 2:36:25
10 Alina Ivanova 40 Tampa, Fla. 2:36:50
11 Sheri Piers 37 Falmouth, Maine 2:37:04
12 Elva Dryer 37 Gunnison, Colo. 2:38:50
13 Mary Akor 32 Lomita, Calif. 2:41:09
14 Heidi Westerling 28 Acworth, N.H. 2:43:11
15 Anzhelika Averkova 40 Miami, Fla. 2:44:19
16 Veena C. Reddy 30 Arlington, Va. 2:45:46
17 Jennifer Feenstra 28 Duluth, Ga. 2:46:16
18 Adanech Zekiros 27 Tigray, Ethiopia 2:46:51
19 Nathalie Vasseur 43 Gouesnou, France 2:47:04
20 Tomoe Yokoyama 32 Tokyo, Japan 2:47:57
21 Denise C. Robson 40 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia 2:48:15
22 Allison J. Kerr 32 Vacaville, Calif. 2:49:34
23 Hiroko Sho 38 Chiba, Japan 2:49:37
24 Meghan Arbogast 48 Corvallis, Ore. 2:49:46
25 Tamara Karrh 39 Marietta, Ga. 2:49:50
26 Jutta M. Merilainen 37 Batawa, Ontario 2:49:51
27 Sheila A. Casey 39 Park Ridge, N.J. 2:50:02
28 Christa Benton 25 St. Petersburg, Fla. 2:50:05
29 Andrea Pomaranski 26 Farmington Hills, Mich. 2:50:55
30 Shelby Joslyn 24 Rochester, Mich. 2:51:29
31 Diona J. Fulton 29 Somerville, Mass. 2:52:05
32 Kim L. Pawelek 35 Jacksonville, Fla. 2:52:18
33 Amy E. Gosztyla 29 Cambridge, Mass. 2:52:23
34 Sarah J. Graves 31 Ballantine, Mont. 2:52:42
35 Heather C. Parks 34 Bruceton Mills, W.V. 2:52:45
36 Devon M. Crosby-Helms 26 Seattle, Wash. 2:53:20
37 Allison S. Krausen 29 Edwards, Colo. 2:53:28
38 Lori A. Kingsley 43 Wysox, Pa. 2:54:03
39 Sarah R. Flament 33 Poland, Ohio 2:54:09
40 Simonetta Piergentili 44 Wilmington, Mass. 2:54:48
41 Caroline White 23 College Park, Md. 2:55:14
42 Martha I. Nelson 27 Washington, D.C. 2:55:22
43 Tammie Robie 34 Milford, N.H. 2:55:39
44 Christine Kennedy 54 Los Gatos, Calif. 2:56:32
45 Sumner A. Fletcher 23 Uxbridge, Mass. 2:56:44
46 Christina M. Vullo 25 Omaha, Neb. 2:56:45
47 Suet-Fei Li 33 San Jose, Calif. 2:57:05
48 Tara M. Vance 26 Jamaica Plain, Mass. 2:57:12
49 Patricia R. Vargas 37 Ennis, Texas 2:57:28
50 Michelle D. Harburg 26 Washington, D.C. 2:57:31
51 Judit Pettko-Szandtner 39 Budakeszi, Hungary 2:57:58
52 Kate Gorry 25 Houston, Texas 2:57:59
53 Mary D. Bertram 21 Salisbury, N.C. 2:58:19
54 Christy M. Carrara 33 Hudson, Mass. 2:58:19
55 Lara C. Johnson 28 Boston, Mass. 2:58:33
56 Maria Clara A. Castro 34 Belo Horizonte, Brazil 2:58:36
57 Laura Onderko 22 Philadelphia, Pa. 2:58:46
58 Kathryn E. Bowser 22 Philadelphia, Pa. 2:58:46
59 Jaclyn Truncellito 26 Baltimore, Md. 2:58:49
60 Kelly B. Calway 25 Mililani, Hawaii 2:59:05
61 Lisa M. Goldsmith 44 Nederland, Colo. 2:59:08
62 Marybeth A. Reader 40 Bloomfield, Mich. 2:59:08
63 Bridget A. McCarthy 29 Brooklyn, N.Y. 2:59:16
64 Katie Snowden 23 Toronto, Ontario 2:59:19
65 Mary Gill 30 Carrboro, N.C. 2:59:30
66 Lia O. Slemons 29 Seattle, Wash. 2:59:36
67 Tara M. Cardi 40 Warwick, R.I. 2:59:40
68 Michelle Kelley 39 Moab, Utah 2:59:54
69 Beth M. St. John 32 Brooklyn, N.Y. 3:00:25
70 Stephanie D. Summers 33 Whitby, Ontario 3:00:27
71 Yiou Wang 24 Cambridge, Mass. 3:00:38
72 Samantha Johnson 28 Cambridge, Mass. 3:00:49
73 Suzi Harvey 46 Sparks, Nevada 3:00:53
74 Beth Y. Coughlin 30 Newton, Mass. 3:00:54
75 Jenny Hitchings 45 Sacramento, Calif. 3:00:57
76 Heather M. Backer 34 Crestview Hills, Kent. 3:01:07
77 Tina D. Senft 25 Groton, Conn. 3:01:27
78 Dori A. Downey 38 Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. 3:01:58
79 Elizabeth L. Abbey 28 Blacksburg, Va. 3:02:02
80 Kathryn Jarocki 23 Bridgewater, Mass. 3:02:03
81 Jen Gwin 25 Vienna, W.V. 3:02:05
82 Molly Watcke 38 New Bremen, Ohio 3:02:13
83 Emily S. Bryans 41 Schenectady, N.Y. 3:02:18
84 Aviva M. Goldstein 23 Brookline, Mass. 3:02:20
85 Laura A. Gaughan 34 Smithtown, N.Y. 3:02:23
86 Corinne E. Roberts 24 San Francisco, Calif. 3:02:32
87 Katie A. Churchill 32 North Easton, Mass. 3:02:50
88 Arien N. O'Connell 25 Brooklyn, N.Y. 3:02:52
89 Beth Schreader 28 Georgetown, Cayman Islands 3:03:12
90 Claire Gadrow 39 South Kingstown, R.I. 3:03:16
91 Beth A. August 35 Dublin, Ohio 3:03:21
92 Camille Moseley 24 Spangle, Wash. 3:03:25
93 Mary S. Palmore 28 Merizo, Guam 3:03:35
94 Lynde C. Johnson 31 Denver, Colo. 3:03:39
95 Erin E. Kister 28 Centerville, Ohio 3:04:00
96 Justyna Wilson 33 Philadelphia, Pa. 3:04:15
97 Megan A. Peterson 26 Fairfield, Conn. 3:04:22
98 Erin M. Heslin 28 Newtonville, Mass. 3:04:25
99 Karen Lockyer 31 Lafayette, La. 3:04:43
100 Faith R. Korbel 30 Arlington, Va. 3:04:51

Elite Women

I caught the lead women's pack running by on Monday at Coolidge Corner, at the Boston Marathon. (They let the women run first this year..... ) Note Kara Goucher (tall, in red) in the pack, the only American, who ended up coming in third. Though I certainly applaud the Kenyans and Ethiopians for their superb domination of the marathoning world, it would be a happy thing to see an American woman win. No American woman has won since Lisa Larsen Weindenbach in 1985! Joan Benoit, the only woman from Massachusetts, won the marathon in 1983. Kara Goucher, of Portland, Ore., with a strong showing, has a very excellent chance in the future.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Goodbye Texas?

Governor Rick Perry of Texas has recently made some (I consider) outrageous statements about state rights, the 'oppressive' federal government, and, dare I say the word: succession. Is this man actually serious about the idea of Texas succeeding from the Union? I understand there are similar grassroots movements in Alaska.

Funny, how a few months after we elect our first black president, we see extremist, right wing politics coming to the forefront. Underlying Perry's rhetoric, do you hear: "We ain't gonna let this ____________ in Washington tell us what to do."

Being a Civil War history buff, and
reenactor, I guess I personally find the word succession shocking. Abraham Lincoln is my American hero because, besides freeing the slaves, he preserved the Union. But I'm willing to debate other possibilities. Have times changed? Would the country be better off split up? Is New England so radically different from Texas that we should be separate countries?

I personally don't think so, and I think Texans' arguments for
succession are whiny and nebulous. Just what federal government 'oppression' are they talking about? The millions of dollars in federal aid to Texas supplied every year by federal taxes? I think the translation for 'federal oppression' is short for 'damn, the democratic liberals are back in power after 8 years.'

Should the liberals have spoken out seriously about succession during Bush's reign of terror, we would have been labeled
UnAmerican socialist traitors. Yet Gov. Perry's 'don't tread on me' comments are bravely American. I say 'bullshit', but let Gov. Rick Perry speak for himself.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Uma Thurman

I love Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah, kicking butt in Kill Bill, Vol. 2. I personally wish they would just kiss and make up..... But.....

If they insist on fighting this way, somebody's gonna get their eye popped out!

Boston Billy

Today Bill Rodgers ran his first Boston Marathon since 1999. He has run 17 Boston Marathons, and many others. He's 61 years old now, and wanted to run for his 60th birthday, but was thwarted by prostate cancer treatment. He's doing well now.

During the years of 1979- 1981, Bill Rodgers was my hero. It was during these years that I was also a runner myself in high school. I was on the cross-country, indoor, and outdoor Somerville High School Girls Track and Field teams.

Bill Rodgers was a local guy and the winner of four Boston Marathons (and 4 NYC wins) during the years I was running. It was also during these years that I went to see my first Boston Marathon, with the encouragement of our coach. The dream of running the Marathon has always been implanted in my mind since.

I went to view the marathon today, but I didn't see Bill Rodgers. Later I heard on the news that he finished and did well. (just over 4 hours) My hero was somewhat deflated when I asked a marathon official: "Do you know when Bill Rodgers will be coming through?" His curt response was: "Oh, we don't track him like that."

In 1980, I played hooky from school on a rainy Monday and made my way to the Harvard Coop bookstore in Harvard Sq. Bill Rodgers was there signing his new book, "Marathoning." I was so excited that I stood in a long line and bought the book and had him sign it. (the book cost 8.90, which I remember thinking was a hefty price...) He wrote, "Carolyn. Good Luck." Gotta still run that marathon.......

Selma, Alabama--- 1920's & 30's

I have a friend who grew up in Selma, Alabama. She recently posted some old pictures of her family on Facebook. I loved the pics and asked for her permission to post them here. I especially love the pic of her Aunt Johnnie-Neil, the woman who "taught her how to fish and shoot a rifle." These photos reminded me a lot of the post I did earlier of my grandmother and her siblings in the 1930's (only the city version of the same era). Great stuff...... Thanks Jackie!

Aunt Johnnie-Neil

Grandpa & Vamp Woman 1920's
Sisters--My friend's Aunt Johnnie-Neil
& mom Jimmie-Mae

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Foxy Brown

"That's my sister, baby, and she's a whole lotta woman!" --Link Brown.

I watched 'Foxy Brown' on
Netflix last night, a cult classic from 1974. It stars Pam Grier as the sexy 'Foxy Brown.' It's very campy. Quentin Tarantino masterfully re-created this genre in 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Jackie Brown' years later. (His movies are far better, of course) 'Foxy Brown' is a low budget B movie, but it stands out because of its portrayal of race relations at the time. The movie was made during the "Black Power," "Black is Beautiful" era. Everyone has a big Afro, platform shoes, orange pants, and calls themselves 'cat' and 'brother.'

As for Foxy Brown, I was a little disappointed that she didn't kick more ass. But she does get out of every scrape, wield a gun, and state her case clearly. In other words, it's gratifying to see a strong black woman in film. (At one point, she even gets into a brawl at a dyke bar! The scene is absolutely hilarious!) The film also stands out because there are plenty of dumb white people getting humiliated, which seems a rarity in film, especially in 1974. Foxy says to a white judge: "
You pink-ass corrupt honky judge, take your little wet noodle outta here and if you see a man anywhere send him in because I do need a MAN!" Shocking!

"FoxyBrown" is definitely a revenge film. In fact, some of the scenes are disturbingly brutal, and seem out of character for Foxy and others. Some of the language in the film is also by today's standards grossly offensive. Foxy is called a "jigaboo" at one point. But, all in all, this cult classic is worth watching for a 'slice of time,' and (I sheepishly admit) a few laughs.

** Upon further research I discovered that "Foxy Brown," and the earlier "
Coffy" (1973)-- also starring Pam Grier, are classic films of the "Blaxploitation" genre. These films, made during the early to mid 1970's, are usually set in urban areas like Los Angeles. The main characters are African Americans, with white people having minor roles. Generally there is an 'anti-drug' message in the film. Pimps and hit man and drug dealers are subdued not by police, but by vigilante black gangs. There's plenty of sex, profanity, and violence. The scores of the films are the soul and funk music of the time.

Many considered "
Blaxploitation' films empowering, as they portrayed black actors and African American concerns and culture. The characters in the films (including the women) are strong and take action. But some African American organizations, like the N.A.A.C.P., protested "Blaxploitation' films because of the blatant (and often negative) stereotypes of blacks. A famous film of this genre, for example, is 'Shaft,' 1971.