I'm throwing a John Kerry Convention Party on July 29th. It should be lots of fun. I'm fundraising for Kerry, and hopefully getting people signed up to volunteer. It certainly is a more active role than I've ever taken in politics before. This election is that important.
Here's a collection of important links:
My John Kerry page, where one can register to receive campaign emails galore, can sign up to volunteer, and can contribute cash for the campaign effort.
John had told me last week to ask for Friday off. I was not told why. Thursday night, he arrived at Kerry HQ to pick me up and said to me, "Hey! Over there! It's Kerry!." When I sarcastically turned, my best friend Carrie was standing in front of me. She lives out in Cali. It was a fantastic surprise. Once again, John is marvelous and incredible. Then he paid for us to have massages on Friday, which was a great start to the visit.
When I get the chance, I'm going to make a pie-making guide out of these photos, but for now, at least they are resources for innocent web-hunters out there.
Gosh, it is sleepy here! Night!
John & I went to the Smithsonian folklife festival a bit on Saturday. It was mostly shut down at the time we got there, but we grabbed a bit of Hatian music and a nice talk with a Hatian art gallery guy that knew the artist that painted John's big painting (Hector, a guy who lives at the mansion of Issa in Port-a-Prince).
We also encountered not one but two faux folklife festivals.
The first one was a group who had "Atasteofindia.org" on their van, and had a garish but cute set of tents up that were focusing on the Bhagavad-Gita and vegetarianism and other random religious aspects to their specific cult of Hinduism. It was fairly small and not too obviously a faux festival.
The street after that, the mall was filled for a long stretch with an elaborate mockery of the folklife festival, complete with an Appalachian area with goats, a Colonial area with cheesy reenactors, a ring with seats that people wearing dinosaur masks were rounding up viewers to, a 20' Collosus of Rhodes with pamphlets about the culture of the people of the Collossos, home made apple pie, a giant display board next to a crashed and burned airplane comparing the Bible to the Black Box of an airplane, a spirtual pavilion covered in quotes about god from many folks including Mister frederick nietzsche himself that bespoke a question and answer session, ethnic bands, artisans and crafts, a coffee house two stories high called "Common Grounds", and other weirdnesses that are right now slipping from my mind. Everywhere there were very clean tidy people bustling about and tourists that seemed very accepting of the random place they were in.
I haven't figured out what it was. Scientology was my best guess, because of the really high production values. The Twelve Tribes seems to be a small group of neo-Christians, though. But I am so intriged by the cargo cult festivals! Obviously they work...I wonder how the Smithsonian Institution feels about them :)
We watched fireworks on the fourth at my friend Todd Roberts' house. He engineered some Mexican-style whirligig spinners in an elaborate stage show, which required him to make fusetape from scratch. Ah, genius. I am so proud to have him as a friend. Here's a nice shot of them grinning over a box of kitty litter (and I will explain that to you no further, innocent reader). The fireworks were a real triumph of creativity, including the new "super-low" mortars that add excitement and danger to our night. Must have been those crazy people down the street doing that. :)
Sadly, this category is "obscurata". I took a grammar test this evening, while sitting on my deck listening to someone chainsawing over on the next street. The wind was soft, the mosquitos insistent, and the sunset muted. Life is unexuberantly nice.
You are a MASTER of the English language!
While your English is not exactly perfect,
you are still more grammatically correct than
just about every American. Still, there is
always room for improvement...
How grammatically sound are you?
I am realizing that I do subconsciously judge people around me by their formal grammar skill. It seems to be a class-based assumption and it makes me very uncomfortable when I notice myself doing it.
On the other side of that, a number of people I've worked with in the last few years use a distinctive contraction that seems to be common through the western Virginia/Maryland/Eastern Pennsylvania region. One drops the infinitive "to be" from a sentence like "This house needs to be painted" leaving you with "the house needs painted." A passive infinitive contraction. It makes so much sense! Why say those extra two words? The sentence motors along perfectly well without it. These shoes needs polished. Sadie wants married. You want paid. This tool needs fixed. What a great contraction.
The Appalachian grammars (of which there are many different flavors) have a very proud heritage. "Southern mountain dialect (as the folk speech of Appalachia is called by linguists) is certainly archaic, but the general historical period it represents can be narrowed down to the days of the first Queen Elizabeth, and can be further particularized by saying that what is heard today is actually a sort of Scottish-flavored Elizabethan English." Yum.
I found this specific word that I'm going to try to use more often: Haet. As in, "Not worth a haet!" Haet means the smallest thing that can be conceived of, and comes from Deil hae't (Devil have it.) I haven't had a haet to eat tonight!
On a totally different note, take an implicit association test of what you think of the presidential candidates!
Here's a butterfly grave left by someone on Roosevelt Island on Thursday.