Wednesday, November 26, 2008

thanks 1

I am loving this website. Each day they put out a strip of Garfield without Garfield. John is musing to himself and it is either an existential exercise in learning to live with yourself or an example of insanity.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Three Reasons I hate to say I love...

So I have been recently trying out my new iphone's you tube application. I have found something new about me. I have to say I love Beyonce. I know I like a song if I find myself injecting lyrics into conversations in a snarky, sarcastic way. The three Reasons I hate to say I love Beyonce (beside the incredible rhyme scheme I just came up with) are presented here in You Tube form:

If not for the infectious beat and electronic trill, I simply love the dance. I don't know why but I can't stop thinking about it.

Ok, this is like watching Paris Hilton's my new BFF. You want to look away because it's just so bewildering but something keeps you looking into the jaws of the beast.

Lastly, this is a video the original choreography was based on and is remarkably similar to what Beyonce works with. I just love the afros, Bob Fosse, and the thought of Beyonce as a plumper white lady.


For all those still watching this is a great video music mash. For some reason it makes me think of Whitney.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Cooking Renaissance?

Hi Everyone!! I am loving cooking these days. Today I made trail mix. It has dried apricots, dried cranberries, almonds, pecans, oats, and honey. I coated the nuts and oats with honey and then cooked it for about 15 minutes. Then I let them cool. After cooling I mixed another table spoon of honey and mixed in the fruit. It's all in my effort to be a skinnier J-heff.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Attempts at Tasty Thursday-Pumpkin Edition

I decided to try my hand at cooking, something I hadn't made before, pumpkin Ravioli. Here are the pictures. Yeah, I said bam a lot just to make the food seem more fancy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Little Feelings on Prop 8

It was interesting to listen to both poles of the issue concerning Proposition 8. In the end though I was disappointed in the decision to simplify vilification of one section, the Mormons, of the group that supported yes on eight. There were multiple religious groups that spoke out politically. When will attention be called to their bigotry? It concerns me that no mention of this showing a bias in editing of information concerning other groups that supported Proposition 8. And makes me wonder if the Gay Community hasn't fallen into the same attitude that you so vehemently protest. Would the protesting of the LDS church be received in the same way if the dissenters of Prop 8 protested the African American, Hispanic, or Elderly community that mostly voted for the ban on same sex marriage. I think within that context it would not be as widely accepted.
When I first heard that the ban on gay marriage I was surprised and disappointed. I was disgusted that people would go so far as to fast that the state amendment would pass. I hated that some people were told to pay their tithing to the vote yes on Prop 8 campaign. I was disappointed that people spent time in call centers trying to "educate" voters on this issue. It didn't seem congruous to a church which once practiced plural marriage. How could it be so vocal about the holiness of a union of just one man and one woman when it abdicated the sanctity of having multiple wives? Yet when put in a certain context I can understand the protesting and politicizing of the Mormon church on this issue.
This is obviously a moral issue and I don't mean to discount that but I am viewing this from a legal angle understanding the morals believed by the LDS Church and not questioning it to eliminate controversy. I think that churches, including the LDS church are concerned that the acceptance of gay marriage would create a law which would force their religious institutions to preform same-sex marriages. In this way I find it appropriate for a religion to become involved in government. If an amendment can potentially alter the way a religion is practice then by all means fight to protect what you believe in. This is what our country was founded for (Well, that, and to harvest ridiculous amounts of natural resources). I believe that everyone should have the choice to practice as they wish. This is the complication in these types of decisions. What we should focus on is discussing how we can extend this constitutional right and still respect peoples right to practice religion according to their own dictates. If other churches choose to marry gay couples then great, but an amendment should be more explicit in this regard stating explicitly that all churched needn't honor same sex marriage within their own religion but that Gay couples can have the civil freedom of same sex couples marrying.
Last Week was a big step towards a dialog between the gay community in SLC and the church. They are right that there does need to be a separation of church and state and that is on both sides. The state can not force religions to alter its practices and churches should not seek to legislate its moral agenda.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

15 minutes of fame once a year

it's that time of year again were my greasy head causes a severe glare on the few that tune into kued for the annual veterans day concert. Which I am told is a banking holiday. Can my favorite economist confirm or deny this rumor? Anyway, if you feel so include you can tune in on channel 7 and view my ugly mug. It is between 7 pm and 8 pm.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election results

With the election predicted I am glad to say it is over but know the day after an election is the beginning of the next election. John McCain was gracious in his speech and Barack Obama was surprisingly somber in his acceptance. And alas, my hip hop activist is without a room in the white house and believe it or not she is with child. Jesse Jackson's none the less. Why do you think he was weeping at the acceptance speech of Obama, because his baby mama ain't going to get benefits now! He is going to have to get his broke self some money to pay for that baby. With this moment in history I chose to post my smatterings on campaign theater I wrote for a comm class. If you want Whitney, you can stop reading here.

Stretching Definitions and Branding Minds

Every four years the United States completes its ritual of electing the nation’s leader. However within those four years we are always looking forward to the next election predicting what the future will bring in the form of the “most powerful person in the world.” It all seems to be part of being American. We are always searching for something better. It is within this frame that I hope to look at language within the “campaign theatre.” More specifically I would like to look at the role of language in branding a candidate and also identify abstraction as lies.
I had a dream. It was about the ubiquitous Sarah Palin. Now, I will be sparse in my detailing of this account but the basic premise of the dream was that Sarah Palin was trapped in a cabin with John McCain’s campaign team. She could do nothing but read prepared statements in front of a camera and the rest of the time she could do nothing. Now, this dream may not be reality, let me stress may. After, I began to think of John McCain’s campaign in the context of brand management. A key concept behind brand management is to increase the product's intrinsic value to the customer. From a pure strategy position McCain chose Palin as a way of solidifying his brand as a maverick. By choosing Palin, a women, he was seen as a person who made non-traditional choices.
It is with the principles of brand management that political campaigns go to the news looking for what matters most to gain "momentum." Candidate’s base their campaigns on words that increase their value in the eyes of voters such as: “hero,” “maverick,” “change,” or “hope.” While candidates seek to improve their value they will also brand their opponent with words that devalue them in the minds of voters, such as “Muslim,” “liberal,” “old,” or “status quo.” It is an interesting game because it takes the news away from why voters chose a candidate to who is voting for whom. This then informs how others should vote based on the popularity of a canidate or brand.
In this way politicians and media have become kissing cousins. News is deemed important only if it politicized. I interpret that to mean the news tells us what is important by making it political. So people in the media are looking less to the public for opinion and are rather defining opinion for the public and hoping we adapt to their message. Presently we have seen stories that deal with popularity polls. So candidates rather than focusing on solidifying their policies are focused on how they can get their popularity higher. Causing them to make vague promises and exuberant speeches were they say what they think the public wants to hear. You know, the equivalent of a high school student government election, where students are promised pizza in the cafeteria and a longer lunch period. Welcome to our National Student Body Presidential Election.
It is on this note I introduce the use of abstraction as a political tool. Abstractions are terms that are generic enough that they can be perceived to mean many different things. For example, the words, “agent of change,” was thrown around quite often during this election season. Agent of change in the crudest sense can mean a person who is going to change things. But what does change mean. To me it may mean alteration of health policy while to another it may mean someone who will give me change so I can buy a coke from the vending machine. My point, politicians use abstraction to get voters on the band wagon. Yet, it seems to me that it these promises are deliberately misleading. Politicians lie in a way that would have you believe they intend their words to mean one thing when their intentions are not what they portrayed. They overextend the meaning of their words to catch as many votes as possible but somehow after they are voted into office they alter their message, it becomes more defined, and invariably doesn’t mean what the voter took it to mean. For example, we simplify issues of controversy like abortion. A candidate will say I am against abortion. This is not clear though as to what the candidate defines as abortion. Is it all right to get an abortion in rare cases or does s/he desire abortion to be banned in all cases. Because of abstraction we miss out on those intricate details that may lead us to vote another way. This misleading is rampant in campaigning.
The Use of language to manipulate has been a long standing tradition in politics. I hope I have made some appropriate connections with the specifics I have chosen. However, I believe that eliminating some of these tactics in the long run would benefit the process of campaigning. Abstraction and branding are only two in a vast array of techniques used to mislead voters. Hopefully with this knowledge we can get down to what is important in a candidate.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Would you date me?

I did what nate, laura, Tom and Whitney did but waited a couple of days to do it so I wouldn't look like such a follower. Here are my results:

Your dating personality profile:

Liberal - Politics matters to you, and you aren't afraid to share your left-leaning views. You would never be caught voting for a conservative candidate.
Stylish - You do not lack for fashion sense. Style matters. You wouldn't want to be seen with someone who doesn't care about her appearance.
Athletic - Physical fitness is one of your priorities. You find the time to work athletic pursuits into your schedule. You enjoy being active.
Your Top Ten Traits

1. Liberal
2. Stylish
3. Athletic
4. Adventurous
5. Outgoing
6. Big-Hearted
7. Intellectual
8. Wealthy/Ambitious
9. Sensual
10. Practical
Your date match profile:

Intellectual - You seek out intelligence. Idle chit-chat is not what you are after. You prefer your date who can stimulate your mind.
Practical - You are drawn to people who are sensible and smart. Flashy, materialistic people turn you off. You appreciate the simpler side of living.
Adventurous - You are looking for someone who is willing to try new things and experience life to its fullest. You need a companion who encourages you to take risks and do exciting things.
Your Top Ten Match Traits

1. Intellectual
2. Practical
3. Adventurous
4. Stylish
5. Athletic
6. Traditional
7. Conservative
8. Shy
9. Big-Hearted
10. Wealthy/Ambitious

Take the Dating Profile Quiz at Would I Date You

Would you date me? Even though I am pretty sure number 1 and 2 and 3 are lies. Who knows.a