Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Blatant commercial endorsement.

After (a) really enjoying all the hiking out west on vacation last week; (b) not wanting to lose the momentum once I started; and (c) looking for something that is easy to follow and flexible, I found this: iTRAIN. A wide variety of different training routines for everything from yoga to weightlifting to running, to use on your iPod. You can get a subcription, or just download an individual workout.

It's a good thing!

Now I just need to find a way to take a virtual hike in the Red Rocks of Sedona on my treadmill.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:54 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
It's a good thing I work in a hospital
Nothing like having one of your senior managers throw a grand mal seizure on the couch in your office to get your day started.

Typical, Wednesday morning staff meeting, and all of a sudden, she gets this frozen grin on her face, refuses to answer or respond to me, and then goes completely rigid. I managed to knock over my coffee table (with coffee), get her on the floor without hitting her head while she's convulsing and call a code. Luckily, there are three physicians within about 20 feet of my office, and there was a crash cart, O2 and a medical team on her within 30 seconds.

That hasn't happened since my 6'8" boyfriend in grad school had an epileptic seizure in the shower and cracked his head open on the faucet. THAT was fun.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:00 AM   5 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
It's not the heat, it's the humidity
Damn straight.

Got off the plane at 1:15 AM last night, and was hit by a wall of wet heat coming off the jetway. My shirt was clinging to me by the time I got to the land of lost luggage to wait for my bags (both showed up!). I checked the temp., and it was actually COOLER than it had been in Phoenix when I left, but it was far, far more uncomfortable. Got home at 2:00 AM, and the house was stifling. Tossed on the AC and the ceiling fan and plopped into bed for a whopping 4 hours, which, due to the heat, was more like 2.5 hours of decent sleep.

Needless to say, I'm dragging and jet lagged today. It's noon and I've made it through my mail and answering all the emails I read last week, but didn't respond to unless they were urgent.

I flipped open the suitcase this morning and grabbed the first clean outfit I unearthed. It's a little "resort wear casual" for the office, but it's cool and comfortable, and I told my assistant not to schedule anything my first day back so I could get caught up and write my monthly report. THEN, I get a call that the CEO of the health system wants a "brief meeting" this evening at 5:30 to go over something, and I suddenly find myself wearing "casual Friday", on a business Tuesday. Crappity crap.

And what is it about travel that wreaks complete and total havoc on an otherwise healthy digestive system? Churned up, stopped up, bloated and discombobulated.... ugh.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:51 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Monday, May 29, 2006
Airport Blogging
Thanks to the folks at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, who graciously provide free wi-fi in the airport, I am waiting for my 5:30 flight back to Bawlmore.

Things I saw in AZ: Elk, Condors, Snakes, Scorpions, a Coyote, Mule deer, jackrabbits, a Great Horned Owl, lots of lizards, ground squirrels, tons of western songbirds (I broke down and bought a little book to identify some of them).

Things I got in AZ: Freckles, a painful sunburn on the backs of my legs hiking, a nasty gash from a close encounter with an overly aggressive agave plant out on the trail (squished blood in my shoes the rest of the hike), 6 broken fingernails, a bloody nose from the high altitude and dry air, and a rash. I'm guessing the rash is a combination of sunblock, sun and sweat, but my arms are all bumpy.

Things I didn't get to do in AZ: For those of you familiar with my various vacation mishaps, you will be glad to know that my reputation remains intact. Despite all the truly wonderful things I got to see and do on this trip, I had planned to take a sunset helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert. Due to really high winds at the Canyon both of the days of my visit, all the helicopter tours were grounded. Disappointed, but understandable. It just meant I had that money to put toward the jewelry I ended up purchasing, and the tour company gave us tickets to the IMAX movie of Grand Canyon which featured their helicopters swooping through the Canyon and over the Colorado River, so it was a virtual thrill ride.

Hope you all had a terrific Memorial Day weekend, and if you have a chance to see it, don't miss this evening's broadcast of the HBO Documentary Baghdad ER. I listened to Terri Gross's interview of the film's directors on the drive down to Phoenix, and it sounds like a really compelling documentary that everyone should try and see. I'm sure parts of it are very difficult to watch, but it portrays the horrors of war, and the heroes that war creates.

Time to go through security and wait at the gate. The mere thought of going back to work tomorrow is rapidly undoing all the rest and relaxation I got on this trip.
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:08 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
The End
Sunday: Everything hurts.

Feet, calves, knees, and most of all - thighs and butt. After 4 days of hiking 8-10 miles a day over varying elevations of 1,000 - 2,000 feet, this old girl has had enough. Plus, the weather has been so wonderful, I didn't have a "rain day" to go to all the wonderful art galleries and shops of Sedona. That, coupled with the fact that this is Memorial Day weekend, and all the day trippers are in town to hike the most popular trails, made this the perfect day to shop.

I am not the traditional jewelry type. Diamonds and gems leave me cold (with the distinct exception of Opal). But hand crafted, Native American stone work and silver leave me breathless. I don't own a watch, ring or bracelet, but I adore big, heavy, artistic pieces of handmade necklaces, collars, cuffs, and earrings made from interesting and rare pieces of stone.

Yesterday, I drove East out of the Grand Canyon and entered the Navajo Nation. I went to the Little Colorado Gorge, and visited the Cameron Trading Post. It's one of the few, authentic, Navajo supported stores to sell authentic pieces produced by Navajo artists and craftsmen.

I walked through the Flea Market style stalls, most of them selling trashy tidbits, and was immediately drawn to a woman in her sixties, wearing the traditional velour shirt, ruched skirt, and an amazing set of Squash Blossom necklaces and cuffs, who was beading her own work, and had a collection of already worked silver pieces with her. Her name is Lilly Nelson, and she has lived in the Navajo Nation her entire life. She had a wonderful 6 strand piece of red coral beads she had made, interspersed with pieces of turquoise and silver, and the ends of the strands were impossibly small beads of shell. We negotiated a price I was almost embarrassed to pay her for such beauty. She responded by adding earrings she had made. We talked for a while, and she signed a small document like an author signing a book. This was not tourism. This was investing in a people and their culture. It deserves to be preserved. Admist what could be considered a rather exploitive display, Lilly Nelson, and a few other stalls, exhibited the true sense of the artistic heritage and skill that these artists represent.

In Sedona, there is really only one place to invest in truly high end, one of a kind, pieces of Native American art. It's Garland's Jewelry. This place is world renknowned, and I saved my lunch money to come here. Two years ago, I invested in a dramatic and unique silver pillow necklace and earrings inlaid with red coral, along with some liquid silver and a turquoise bear fetish with a heart line.

This time, I succumbed to a one of a kind antique / estate piece created about 1940 by a famous Navajo artist. It's a 20" necklace made of 10 separate strands of turquoise to create a "rope" of turquoise stones. It's stunning. And heavy. I will be taking lunch to work for months to pay for it. Some people buy cars, I buy Native American art. Each piece comes with a photo / authenticity document for insurance purposes. Yikes.

I also bought some unusual earrings made from fossilized dinosaur bone which actually match a large silver pendant of Labradorite, which I received as a gift a few years ago, and gifts for some lucky family and friends.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:32 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Day of the Condors
OK, Friday and Saturday were absolutely amazing in every way possible. The Grand Canyon did not dissapoint. It is really hard to be agnostic when you're standing on the edge of something so colossal and magnificent. On the other hand, looking directly back on MILLIONS of years of geology, you kind of just want to push all the Intelligient Design cooks over the edge and say, "SEE"????

Anyway, the coolest thing happened almost immediately after I arrived. I started to hike out to Hermit's Rest, about 9 miles going west along the South Rim of the Canyon. Just after I left most of the tourists and had the trail to myself, I came to a point where I suddenly saw this massively huge shadow cross directly beneath me. I looked over the edge, and there were THREE California Condors perched on a ledge about 100 yards away!!! This is the largest terrestrial bird in the US. They are simply magnificent to see in flight over the canyon. I used the max. setting on my telephoto lens to get this shot, but enjoyed a really close up view with my binoculars. If you click on the photo, you'll be able to clearly see the one bird with the number "10" on her wing. What you can't see is the yellow GPS transmitter under her wing, which was visible in flight.


When I finally reached Hermit's Rest, I showed the Park Ranger my photos. He got all excited and got out a small notebook which has all the sighting information for the birds in the Park. This is when I learned that what I had seen was so special. There are only about 250+ California Condors in the WORLD - period. Of those, there are less than 160 in the wild and of those, less than 60 in all of Grand Canyon National Park. I got to see 3!! It was like seeing a Giant Panda in the wild. It's that rare. They were re-released beginning in 1992 after the last 10 known birds were taken into protective custody back in the eighties to avoid extinction. The bird I had identified, Number 10, was hand raised by a puppet and released in 1999. She was wearing a yellow GPS transmitter. Her partner is currently recovering at the Phoenix Zoo from lead poisoning. Condors eat carion, and during hunting season, they often ingest lead shot from dead animals.

Coolest thing EVER. Posted by Picasa
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:01 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Friday, May 26, 2006
Saw this guy sunning himself in the early morning sun on my way to the trail head yeaterday. Yes, that's a rattlesnake, and yes, I was in the car when I took this photo.

I'm off to the Grand Canyon today and tomorrow, and I'm not dragging the laptop with me. The weather is gorgeous, and I'm looking forward to the sunset helicopter tour of the Canyon and Painted Desert this evening. Be back on Sunday!
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:52 AM   4 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Oh, and did I mention the sunset views from my balcony?
 Posted by Picasa
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:52 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
It's a Good Thing
I initially thought that renting an SUV was a bit of an extravagance, but also affordable in light of the fact that my airfare and housing are all paid for on this trip. When I was here last, it was late February, and many of the more remote trail heads and the roads leading to them were closed for the winter. Naturally, those are the trails I want to hike this time. I grossly underestimated the time it takes to get to some of these trail heads on unpaved mountain roads. At less than 10 miles an hour to navigate ruts, rocks, and sand, the 6 mile trip to the trail head for this morning's hike took almost a half hour. The back roads all have "Primitive Road" signs and warn that 4WD and high clearance vehicles are recommended. Recommended?? There is NO way a regular rental car of any type could navigate these ruts.

Here is an example of a useful sign:

Useful Sign

When you are doing a 2,000 ft.descent over 7 miles in first gear with 4WD, trying to navigate switchbacks, no side rails, and a 1,000 ft. fall into the Canyon below? Well, this sign is not really helpful:

Useless sign

This morning I was up and out early to beat the mid day heat and get two hikes in. I climbed 500 feet over a mile of rocks to reach the top of "Devil's Bridge". The view from the top was worth every complaint from my out of shape thighs and calves. I met quite a character at the top. He had climbed the entire trail in his bare feet and had nothing on but an old pair of shorts. Long ponytail and grey beard, he sat out on the ledge playing an Indian flute. "Devil's Bridge" is a vortex site, and he was an artist on a "journey of personal discovery". I talked to him for quite a while and walked back down the mountain with him. Completely and totally crazy. At the trailhead, he shared his fresh strawberries with me out of the back of an ancient truck that had all his earthly belongings crammed into it. You meet some interesting types out on the trail around here. After that, I headed to "Vultee Arch", which also provided a spectacular view of a unique arch formation.

Back to the condo for soup and a sandwich, check email, and relax for a little bit to avoid the hottest part of the day. Although the sun is really strong, I am wearing enough sunblock to keep a vampire alive, and the temps aren't too bad (about 90).

This afternoon's hikes are another unique rock formation area called "Cow Pies", and a stroll along the canyon wall in Oak Creek for the "Jim Thompson" trail. If I make them all, I'll have covered almost 10 miles in trails and 1,000 feet in elevation.

I think there is a swim and jacuzzi in my future this evening...

Photos to follow.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:56 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Desert Spring
I'm experimenting with a new camera I got from my Dad at Xmas (his "old" one). It's a great camera, but I'm not a good photographer. Sometimes, nature makes it really easy to take good photos. I didn't touch these images except to balance the color a little because the afternoon desert sun was so intense, it washed the images out a little, despite shielding the lens.

And today I learned the invaluable lesson of focus first, frame second!

Prickly Pear Bloom:

Saguaro Bloom I:
Saguaro Bloom I

Saguaro Bloom II:
Saguaro Bloom I
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:28 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Come to My Window
I'm not sure this is what Melissa Ethridge had in mind when she wrote that song, but heck.

After a VERY long day of conferencing, picking up the rental (a very sweet maroon Xterra SUV!), spending the afternoon in 103 degree heat at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix (lots of great pics - have to work on them first), I finally arrived in Sedona a little after 7:30 last night. I had to hit the grocery store for provisions and check in at the condo. It was pitch black when I finally found the building. I had asked for a view, and a unit as far away from the "Family Pool" as possible (there is an "Adult Pool" at the resort). I unloaded the car, unpacked, made a little to eat, collapsed in the jacuzzi tub and went to bed. I had no idea what to expect this morning when I went out on the balcony at 6:30 AM. Needless to say, I was not dissapointed. This is the view I wake up to every morning from now on, and with wi-fi, I can sit out here on the balcony and work on all the great photos. Compared to Phoenix, here at 4,500 ft. elevation, it's cool and gorgeous:

posted by Broadsheet @ 10:05 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, May 20, 2006
The Flying Nun - No Really!
Well, despite Snay's dire predictions, I made it to Phoenix on time and intact, but it was more than a little weird getting here. I think someone is trying to tell me something....and it gets weirder after I arrive.

I was running around like crazy last night trying to pack for business and vacation, and making sure the house was reasonably clean for the neighbors/pet sitters, etc.... I didn't remember to print out my Boarding Pass before I went to bed. So, despite the fact that I was up at 5:30 for an 8:30 flight, thanks to the festival seating democracy better known as Southwest Air, I was class "C", otherwise known as a middle seat loser, on a FIVE hour flight. Great. So far, so good.

Sure enough, as I board the plane, they are telling us it's a full flight and to play musical chairs and sit the @#@$#$% down in the first available seat so we could get on with it.

Just as the musical ditty for the chairs ended, I saw a row with 2 women in it and excused myself into the middle seat. My seatmates were NUNS. Not just any nuns mind you, but novitiate, 21 year old, newly minted Brides of Christ off to their Honeymoon with JC at a cloister in Sacremento. Full on nun habits to boot. Black whipples, white cowls and scapulas, and I'm sure they were probably wearing sackcloth versions of Victoria's Secret underwear. They were both completely wholesome, fresh scrubbed, freckled, and clueless. They were also nice. Really, really, annoyingly NICE.

Facing a 5 hour flight, I had come prepared with 3 months worth of back issues of Vanity Fair (the ads alone would damn me to hell as a pornographer), and the poolside book I am devouring, but which sadly stayed in my bag during the flight for obvious reasons.

These were lovely young women, but their innocence, blind faith, and serenity were downright creepy, and I kept thinking of ways to perform a cult intervention / deprogramming before the plane landed. Seriously, if they hadn't been wearing habits, they sounded totally like cult members.

Longest five hour flight - E V E R.

On the upside, the resort is beyond amazing, and I managed to take a long walk in 95 degree heat, go for a swim, have a nice lunch, get a massage and pedicure, and now I'm going to bed because I've been up since 2:30 in the morning desert time, and it's almost 11:00 PM my time.

One last little sign of "messages"? I'm laying on a chaise by the pool, enjoying the constant hovering of a cute pool boy who brings me lovely ice teas, when I look above me into the palm trees lining the pool and see the largest Great Horned Owl I have ever seen just sitting above me and staring right at me. I got a picture of him on my cell phone, but haven't been able to forward it to a server to load the photo. Stay tuned.

I actually have to work tomorrow. I won't bother anyone with conference blogging unless the owl tells me to.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:28 PM   7 Editorial Opinions
Friday, May 19, 2006
Vacation, all I ever wanted.....
6:30 PM and I am officially on vacation!!!

This time tomorrow, I will be sipping cocktails poolside at a resort in Phoenix.

I realize I have a 3 day conference to attend first, but I have to admit, I'm really looking forward to it. It's the first conference for my professional group I've attended since taking the new job last summer, and I've got enough experience now that I have tons of questions to get answered, I'm looking forward to the networking, and I'm even looking forward to the exhibit hall to get caught up on the latest and greatest products and services in my industry. They've also scheduled enough "down time", to make it relaxing, and the Resort is none too shabby.

Then it's off to Sedona and the Grand Canyon for some real R&R!!

Stay tuned for photos and the intermittent travelblog.
posted by Broadsheet @ 6:27 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, May 18, 2006
What Goes Up, Must Come Down
So...who else just added three years to their retirement age thanks to this week's Stock Market slide? Ouch!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 6:17 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
You can't be my Yoko Ono
Maybe not, but the woman was equally reviled by the public for marrying Linda's Paul.

Paul's blaming the media. I say it was his kids who coudln't get used to having their mum replaced.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:15 PM   6 Editorial Opinions
Article Meant to be Satire Causes Flood of Angry Letters
Thankfully, that horrible article I blogged about below DID turn out to be a hoax, but people aren't taking it lightly. Because the site requires a free registration, I'll just point out that the owners of the Wrigley Mansion where this decadent feast supposedly took place, have received a flood of angry phone calls and emails.

I'm just relieved that no matter how elaborate and disgusting the story was - it's a fake. It's also stretching it quite a bit to call it "satire".
Hawkins says the e-mails were alarming enough to file a police report. But for now, the concern is how the fake story is hurting business.

"When you end up getting concerns and phone calls like that and business is not returning ... then we call you," Hawkins said.

I did speak to the reporter who wrote the article and to the editor for the New Times. They both told me the same thing on the telephone, "Look, we are an alternative news paper and we're here to entertain people."

And according to legal experts, satire is covered under the first amendment.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:54 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Xtreme Cuisine
I was looking up restaurant reviews and recommendations in advance of my vacation to Phoenix this weekend, and came across this article. I don't suppose there is anyway to categorically verify the events described, although the article does come with a series of photos (which could have easily been staged I suppose). To be honest, it sounds like a Snopes hoax, but then someone went to an awful lot of trouble to write it all up. I did a little searching on Google, but got nothing. The article drops a lot of names. If true, I suspect a lot of people could go to jail over this, but regardless of the article's veracity, it is an engrossing read - if you liked "Silence of the Lambs" that is.
For the past three years, Yamamoto has maintained his movable feast right under the noses of law enforcement authorities, placating the jaded palates of the wealthy, famous and powerful with such bewilderingly bizarre preparations as monkey brain stew, roasted flank of gazelle, and dry sausage crafted from the pink, lardaceous hindquarters of the great African hippopotamus.

Yet in spite of such health benefits and Yamamoto's obvious genius for preparing such super-exotic fare, his methods are unlawful, distasteful, excessive, and, at times, leave you wondering about the chef's sanity.

"The Phoenix zoo have lot of monkey," shrugs Yamamoto. "Sometime they lose one. Maybe they think it escape. Maybe they should pay their employee better. For guard on night shift, $500 is lot of money. Same for sea lion at SeaWorld. If sea lion not perform in show, sea lion go bye-bye."
Needless to say, I won't be attending dinner at "Le Menu" in Phoenix....
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:00 AM   5 Editorial Opinions
The earliest Transgender person?
Interesting article about a Peruvian Woman Warrior, A.D. 450. Reports indicate that she was buried with spear throwers and spears, and had tattoos and other pigmentation on her skin. It also reports that she was a young adult.

Since bones will identify a person incontrovertibly as male or female, regardless of how they dressed, acted, or were even surgically modified, I wonder if perhaps this woman adopted a male persona during her lifetime and hid the fact that she was actually female? If she did, it would be a fascinating discovery of the role that transgenderism has played going back as far as 1,600 years.

Whoever she was, she was clearly a leader who had the respect of her people at a young age, whether by birthright, or accomplishment, and that fact alone is interesting.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:23 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Monday, May 15, 2006
Truth in Advertising
So, Saturday, I was running the usual errands like everyone else, and after grocery shopping at the new Mega Superfresh at the 41st St. Plaza in Hampden, I headed over to the Wine Underground for wine. I have to tell you, if you don't know this place, or haven't been there, it's PHENOMENAL. Amazing selection, and the guys that work there are really knowledgeable. I like it even better than the The Wine Source in Hampden.

Anywho, I pulled up out front, and as I was getting out of my car, another car pulled up and a pretty Hopkins student built like Jessica Simpson, and wearing painted on jeans rushes ahead of me into the shop. Breathlessly, she asks, "Do you have Daquiri Mix"? When the wine guy replied, "No", she asked for something else sweet and cheap which they didn't have either, nor did they have bags of ice and party cups. Clearly frustrated by this lack of availability for non-alcoholic mixers and party supplies in a WINE shop, she made some comment about it, flipped back her hair, and stormed out of the shop. She even squealed her tires pulling away. I'm sure her sorority was having a Saturday afternoon Daquiri party and she was left empty handed.

She had the best T-shirt on though. Couldn't help but notice it given the package. Actually, it was so tight that the first and last letter were partially obscured, much like the horizon when it has to follow the curve of the earth. Her T-shirt simply said: BLONDE

Yes, yes she was.
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:09 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Verizon stock takes hit on $50 billion lawsuit
Well, it didn't take the sharks in lawyer suits long to jump into this feeding frenzy.
The suit, filed Friday by two New Jersey lawyers on behalf of all Verizon subscribers, contends the phone records collection - first reported by USA Today on Thursday - violates the Constitutional right to privacy and federal law.

As a part of the snooping program, the government reportedly collects information every time a call is made on a Verizon phone line.

"The Telecommunications Act of 1934 is as clear as clear can be," plaintiff Carl Mayer said. "You can't turn over the records of your customers and if you do so it's $1,000 per violation. The Constitution is very clear. The Supreme Court has consistently held that the Fourth Amendment prevents unlawful searches and seizures which we believe this to be."
Hmmm, 50 million subscribers @ $1,000 each, and more than $15 billion would go to the lawyers if they won. Which they won't.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:19 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Deborah Gibbon
In Memorian: Deborah Gibbon

What follows is an essay my sister wrote for the catalogue to Deb's first major show in San Franscisco just last month. "Such a wonderful, funny, supportive friend and smart, talented artist. Such a tragic loss."
A seductive sliver of cleavage spills from beneath a lawyer's tailored white blouse as she leans over a stack of legal texts. Caught mid-performance, a rock star clad in a black concert T-shirt and leather-studded bracelet grips her microphone with defiant authority. Playful bathing beauties with arched backs and dazzling smiles wield their superficial glamour over several crouching, cowering nudes. At first glance, the unlikely group of figures portrayed in artist Deborah Gibbon's "Identity" series seem gathered for some kind of surreal casting call. Yet despite this apparent incongruence, these subjects are united by the artist's very real facility for exposing the historical promise and limits of figural representation in western art.

In this series, Gibbon's subjects assert powerfully individual yet disturbingly partial identities through an exacting process of visual editing that conceals as much as it reveals. Subjects like "Beth, Lawyer" and "Kara, Rock Star" for example, become palpable personalities through carefully articulated poses, hairstyles and wardrobes while the bathing beauties like "Magnolias" and "Crimson" strike a more nostalgic, if equally familiar chord in their association with the "low" art genre of the Pin Up. For each provocative, crisply rendered detail put forth in these brightly colored canvases, an equal amount is obscured. What makes these women so immediately compelling but ultimately unknowable is the fact that they remain mere outlines or silhouettes. Present in form and gesture, they are literally absent as bodies. Where we expect to find markers of individual identity in faces and flesh we are met instead by hauntingly blank, if formally dynamic negative space.

As Gibbon has noted, the series employs the historical conventions of the Nude and Pin Up in order to explore how these internalized pictorial devices "impact our contemporary and very complex notions of identity." The desire to intimately connect with and consume the identities and bodies of the re-worked Pin Ups and professional types is at once solicited and suppressed. A similar tension between the known and unknowable is achieved in works like "Loop" and "Horizon" from "The Nude" series through a wholly different set of artistic conventions. Absent of identifying personal or professional markers, these vulnerable, anonymous nude figures contort within ambiguous compositional spaces. Convincingly corporeal, their faces remain obscured by their outstretched hands. We are invited to gaze upon their expressive, exposed bodies but are denied access to their individual visages.

Gibbon's work explores deeply entrenched pictorial traditions that force the viewer to confront the ways in which identity is projected and perceived within a distinctly contemporary system of visual commerce. In so doing, she has created a compelling body of work that successfully challenges western assumptions of beauty, identity, gender and established paradigms of visual production and consumption.
UPDATE: Another tribute site to Deborah can be found at the micaela gallery
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:09 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Life is Short - Make a Difference
April was Organ Donation Awareness Month. I am remiss in not doing more to raise awareness of this issue that is so near and dear to me last month.

Over the weekend, my younger sister's best friend succumbed to a sudden brain aneurysm. A silent time bomb since birth, it has left a beautiful, talented, vibrant, 37 year old wife, artist, sister, daughter, and friend, suddenly dead with a family reaching for answers. She and her equally talented husband of only three years or so, were in the process of relocating back to the Pittsburgh area from San Francisco when it happened. Literally, while they were unpacking in their new home, and just a week before she was to start a new museum job she was really looking forward to.

In spite of the overwhelmingly sudden and tragic circumstances, her family was able to make a decision that honored her wishes and will directly save, or dramatically improve many lives in the wake of such abject tragedy and loss.

Organ donation. PLEASE - sign your driver's license and let your family know of your wishes. You simply never know what can happen.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:01 AM   7 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Truce Is Talk, Agony Is Real in Darfur
This is precisley what I was afraid of. Less than two weeks after "Peace Treaties" are signed, death is still the rule.
Officially, the cease-fire in the Darfur region went into effect last Monday.

That was three days after the government and the largest rebel group signed a broad peace agreement, creating hope for an end to the brutal assaults that have left more than 200,000 dead and have driven two million from their homes, a campaign of government-sponsored terror against non-Arab tribes in Darfur that the Bush administration has called genocide.

But the reality was on grim display in this crossroads town, where Ms. Moussa and other villagers were attacked Thursday as they rode home in an open-backed truck from Shangil Tobayi.

The Arab militiamen who attacked them killed 1 woman, wounded 6 villagers and raped 15 women, witnesses and victims said.
Only one rebel group has signed the agreement. This is an area the size of France for Christ's sake. It must be unilateral to be effective. DO NOT FORGET. DO NOT IGNORE.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:20 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Attack of the Fiber People
If you thought AIDS, Ebola and Bird Flu were scary, put on your tin foil hats and start speculating about Morgellon's Disease.
Morgellons disease is not yet known to kill, but if you were to get it, you might wish you were dead, as the symptoms are horrible.

"These people will have like beads of sweat but it's black, black and tarry," said Ginger Savely, a nurse practioner in Austin who treats a majority of these patients.

Patients get lesions that never heal.

"Sometimes little black specks that come out of the lesions and sometimes little fibers," said Stephanie Bailey, Morgellons patient.

Patients say that's the worst symptom — strange fibers that pop out of your skin in different colors.

"He'd have attacks and fibers would come out of his hands and fingers, white, black and sometimes red. Very, very painful," said Lisa Wilson, whose son Travis had Morgellon's disease.

While all of this is going on, it feels like bugs are crawling under your skin. So far more than 100 cases of Morgellons disease have been reported in South Texas.
Two weeks ago - Travis committed suicide.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:33 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
The first confirmed "Pizzly" in the Wild
So, some big game hunter, high on testosterone, shoots a bear in Northern Canada.

The bear was special and didn't deserve to be hunted down and killed for sport, but as it turns out, the odd looking bear was even more rare. It was a Pizzly, or Grolar Bear. A hybrid of a Grizzly and a Polar bear. The first one to be observed in the wild.

Apparently, like Ligers (a lion-tiger hybrid), Pizzlies have only existed in zoos, and their existence in the wild has only been speculated to date.

It's interesting that one has been found, but the photo of the "mighty hunter" and his team over the carcass of such a magnificent animal kinda takes all the wonder out of it.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:40 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Friday, May 12, 2006
Central Great Lakes Hurricane
Is it just me, or does the current weather system wreaking havoc in Chicago and the midwest look and act like an inland Hurricane?

posted by Broadsheet @ 2:28 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Brave New World
This story in today's NY Times about the Nukak-Maku' tribe leaving their Stone Age rainforest existence to enter the modern world, is sad, upsetting, and heartwarming in differing ways.

Sad, that an indigenous, innocent, culture is once again, and perhaps for the last time on earth, forced to leave their natural habitat where they have lived peacefully for centuries, and now have to adapt to a modern world that they are completely unequipped to deal with.

Upsetting, in that the reasons for their leaving their environment are unclear, but may be due to military guerillas forcing them out.

Heartwarming, in the total innocence and wonderment experienced by people who are nothing more than children in terms of coming to grips with the marvels of the modern world. It is so rare to find a culture so completely isolated. I hope we take the time to learn from them as much as they will have to learn from us.
The Nukak have no concept of money, of property, of the role of government, or even of the existence of a country called Colombia. They ask whether the planes that fly overhead are moving on some sort of invisible road....

Ma-be explained that the idea is to grow plantains and yucca and take the crops to town. "We can exchange it for money," he said, "and exchange the money for other things."

But first they need to learn how to cultivate crops. The Nukak say they would like their children to go to school. They also say they do not want to lose traditions, like hunting or speaking their language. "We do want to join the white family," Pia-pe said, speaking of Colombian society, "but we do not want to forget words of the Nukak."

After a recent meeting with government officials, the Nukak were clear about what else they wanted: vehicles, drivers and doctors so a group of 15 Nukak could set off on a tour of the countryside, searching for a spot to settle down.

They do not ask for much — land to plant, preferably close to a town but also on the edge of a forest. They do not want armed men around, nor coca, they say.

"They will look to see if there are nuts, monkeys, water," said Ms. Rodríguez, the town official handling the latest request. "If they find it, then, yes, that's the spot."
Better to be self sufficient, than to succumb to the fate that other tribal refugees have endured in becoming wards of the state, where they are either unwilling or unable to adapt and become self sufficient in society.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:40 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Blair's Bloody Nose
If you think Bush is having a tough time at the polls, get caught up on the goings on across the Pond with Tony Blair and Co.

As always, my good buddy Steve (who blogs about as much as this guy lately), has his finger on the pulse of British politics and media.

How's that dissertation coming big guy?
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:30 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy
This highly scientific survey and map attempts to address one of the greatest National debates in US History.

Soda? or Pop?

Their conclusion?

"People who say "Pop" are much, much cooler."

HT: Sully.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:25 PM   7 Editorial Opinions
Monday, May 08, 2006
Too little, too late
While I certainly applaud Bush's effort, it comes far too late, and is still far less than adequate.

The fact that he acknowledges the actions as genocide and has done little or nothing to impact it, or force the UN to do something, is beyond reprehensible. This happened on your watch Mr. Bush.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:34 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Crazed Lefty vs Rumsfeld
He's got a point.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:54 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Now for something completely different
I'm used to hearing the church bells from the carillon tower on the corner of Dolphin and Eutaw street. They chime the hour, and the half hour. On weekends, they play various songs courtesy of their organist.

Right now? I kid you not, they are playing "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia".

Oh - followed of course by "Yes, Jesus Loves Me".
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:18 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Billy Connolly: Onstage Solo, But Not Lonely
On the way to the MVA this morning, I was listening to NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon, and he interviewed my absolute favorite comedianBilly Connolly. I sat in the parking lot listening to the piece till it ended. Go have a listen - he's an absolute riot.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:27 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Painless - mostly
Well, the trip to the Mondawmin MVA to get a new driver's license was not nearly as bloggable as I would have thought. That's a good thing - I think. I got there early - before 9:00 AM, and waited in line for my ticket for about 25 minutes.

I had planned ahead and had my iPod, a recent issue of Vanity Fair, and a fully charged cell phone to while away my Saturday morning.

The cross section of Baltimore that goes to the Mondawmin MVA is pretty interesting. Of the 200 or so people there, I was one of probably less than 7 white people. Lots of gangsta hip-hop types, a handful of parents with their teenage kids waiting for driver's licenses, and then just the usual assortment of plain old people of all ages and sizes. There was a big teenager with a large black T-shirt that said "graduate from the HOOD", and another one with a copy of the LIFE cereal box, except that it said STREET LIFE, with a picture of the 'hood on it.

One casual observation however. Why is it that the guys wear those HUGE T-shirts that hang down to their knees, but then have the oversize baggy jeans that seem to hang on them magically below their butt?? Meanwhile, the women wear clothing that is 6 sizes too small when they are packing some serious booty? What's with that? I mean, I am not a small woman, but I wear comfortable clothes that FIT. I saw stuff spilling out of everywhere on these women, and it wasn't pretty. At. All. I mean, do they consciously think to themselves, "I'm not showing quite enough back fat - let's get one size smaller T-shirt", or "You know, these jeans just aren't low enough and tight enough to allow my belly to hang over to dimple the fat the way I like it, and still have my butt crack show at all times.". ICCCKKK.

After getting my ticket, I took my seat on one of the lovely, ever so comfortable metal benches, and after a phone call to my Mom, a friend in London, and getting a phone call from a neighbor about the guys doing construction in my yard, I only had time to read the "Letters to the Editor" and Graydon Carter's monthly rant before I was called to a booth.

Have to say, the MVA lady was actually nice, seemed to have a personality instead of being a souless, senseless shell of a state employee, and chatted with me while waiting for my card to process.

The experience wasn't too bad. Took a total of 80 minutes out of my day.

Despite the lack of inconvenience and frustration, one thing about the MVA remains true however: My driver's license photo sucks.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:51 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Friday, May 05, 2006
The Sound of the Other Shoe Dropping

Kennedy entering rehab after crash

Paging Jon Stewart, paging Jon Stewart!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:19 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Main parties sign Darfur accord
I am cautiously optimistic about the new peace agreement in Darfur.

Cautious, because the fighting and killing will not stop overnight, there are still millions of refugees who are in danger of starving to death in camps, and I'm worried that the world will conveniently forget them.

I'm also worried about who will oversee and confirm that the Janjaweed militia has indeed been disarmed.

I'm worried that rebel factions will continue to slaughter innocent people indiscriminantly.

I'm worried about a withdrawal of aid once peace is in place.

I'm worried that the people driven from their homes, will never be repatriated.

I'm worried that a generation of people will dissapear from the face of the earth, if in fact, they haven't already.

This is the first, small step towards peace in the region. Not a solution.

I'm worried.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:02 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Hello Morning Glory
Watching the news as I was going through my morning ritual this morning, they covered a story about the hallucinogenic effects of eating or otherwise ingesting the seeds of the Morning Glory plant. I remember this story from when I was a kid, but never paid much attention to it as fact or fiction. Apparently, it's fact, but the mere mention of this on the morning news show, with clear instructions as to how to obtain it and use it to get high seemed more than a little irresponsible to me.

Why not show a meth lab experiment from start to finish? I mean, most kids are savvy enough to figure this stuff out on their own, and the internet makes everything from running a meth lab to building a nuclear bomb seem like an 8th grade science experiment, but do we have to promote it on the morning news?

Jack Shafer's column in Slate this morning also brings a lot of criticism to the Washington Post article which generated the buzz in the first place and precipitated the morning news story. His point is that the article's author recycles this story as an amusing anecdote of a rekindled 60's pastime. In doing so, she ignores the fact that the drug has been widely used historically going back as far as the Aztecs and has never really disappeared from the drug culture.

Well, if it had disappeared, they've done a great job resurrecting it publicly. Way to go, Washington Post.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:06 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Celebrate Good Times
There are few things more rewarding in life than celebrating the hard earned, well deserved, success of a good friend, over a bottle of champagne, at a nice restaurant, on a beautiful spring evening.

Lots of good conversation and "war stories" over dinner with some other State Dept. friends. I didn't know Iraq could be funny - but there are definitely some moments. It almost sounds like a script from M*A*S*H when they aren't being fired upon and trying to avoid IEDs. We urged him to write a book based on the last 2.5 years as the senior diplomat in Baghdad, but it may have to wait until Bush is out of office.

We had fun toasting and teasing Robert about the Senate Confirmation hearings last night. "What was the lamest question they asked you?", OK, Wow, Yeah, that's pretty lame - "was there a well informed question?" No, not really.

Once the Senate Committee confirms the nomination, it will be presented to the government of Algeria for approval, and then to the full Senate for confirmation. THEN - there will be a party!!

He leaves today at 4:00 PM and after being routed through Germany, Jordan and Kuwait, will arrive back in Baghdad sometime early Monday morning (like 3-4 AM their time). In 4 more weeks, they'll be back in Baltimore for the summer!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:57 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Home Alone Together
Finally! A lifestyle choice I've been embracing and advocating my whole life gets some attention. . Guess I'm ahead of the times.....
"In many cases Baby Boomers want to have the freedom to live on their own terms," said the author Gail Sheehy, whose latest book is "Sex and the Seasoned Woman" (Random House). "As you age, you have more commitments and possessions in your life that you are attached to that the other person may not want to share."
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:27 AM   7 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Yet Another Author Caught Plagiarizing
But this one is not what you think. Raytheon CEO, William H. Swanson, was caught lifting large portions of other people's work, for his book, "Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management".

To "punish" him, the company docked his pay and stock awards to an amount which cost him approximately $1 million.

Mr Swanson's book seems to have centered around 44 key principles, 17 of which were "lifted" from another work. In addition to the other work and even topics from Dave Barry, the key principle was ironically lifted from Donald Rumsfeld 's "Rumsfeld Rules". The rule? "Learn to say 'I don't know.' If used when appropriate, it will be used often."

God - I love that.

The kicker: At Ratheyon's annual meeting in Washington yesterday.
..."The board decided, and I think properly, that there is a great difference between an unintentional error, in which you have simple negligence, and an intentional act that breaches sound ethical conduct.

"Based on the evidence, we decided that this was unintentional and not negligent. It was just poor judgment."

...Mr. Swanson told shareholders that "I did not properly check source material," according to Bloomberg News. "I apologize to those whose material I wish I had treated with greater care."
*Despite the $1 million dollar slap on the wrist, other forms of Mr. Swanson's compensation were not touched by the punishment.

These include his 2006 bonus (he received a $2.6 million bonus in 2005), along with personal use of corporate aircraft and a company-paid car. Raytheon also reimburses Mr. Swanson for his tax payments and covers his life insurance payments; neither item was reduced or withdrawn.

*parts of this post were plagiarized from a May 3, 2006 article in the The New York Times.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:42 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Flu Plan Calls for Limited Federal Role
Well, I suppose that's one way to avoid another Katrina-esque debachle, just wash your hands of the whole thing and let the state and local authorities fend for themselves.

Somehow, unlike FEMA, I suspect that with more funding, the CDC is a lot more competent in performing their job.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:26 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Mr. Abassador
Assuming everything goes well with his Senate Confirmation hearings in Washington tomorrow, I will be dining with the newly minted Ambassador to Algeria tomorrow evening.

Robert flew back from Baghdad yesterday, confirmation hearings tomorrow, and right back to Baghdad on Friday. I'm thrilled and honored that he's stopping long enough to have dinner with me. I'm sure he'll be more than a little exhausted after all the travel and stress of being under the spotlight like that. He suspects that the Committee will use the opportunity to grill him about Iraq instead of asking qualifying questions about Algeria.

After trying in vain to knit together a democracy in Iraq for the last two years, he is finally being rewarded with a much deserved Ambassadorship position.

I'm half tempted to take tomorrow off and attend the hearings (I mean, how often do you know anyone who gets to testify in a Senate Confirmation process??), but I'll get the scoop at dinner. I am SO proud of him!

I'm definitely looking forward to a trip to North Africa in the next year or so!
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:16 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Woman, 104, takes man, 33, as husband No. 21 - May 2, 2006
Well, God Bless her. 21 husbands later....she must be some lady.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:13 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Friday - Celebrate Jwer Day!
Sunday was a day set aside to Stop the Genocide in Darfur.

Yesterday, May Day, International Worker's Day, was also seen as "A Day Without Immigrants"

Thursday is the International Day of Prayer.

This Friday is Cinco de Mayo (celebrating the Mexican victory over French invaders at Puebla, Mexico, on May 5, 1862), quickly becoming the Mexican version of St. Patrick's Day in the US (as far as over indulging goes), but this Friday is also the first Friday in May, and you KNOW what that means!!!

No Pants Day!!!

For a list of activities and links associated with this great Holiday - go here.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:09 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Just Shoot Me Now the spirit of one of those embarrassing real life admissions that blogs let you make to the entire internet, here's my misery du jour:

On the way back from our little Girl's Weekend last month in Jackson, Mississippi, I somehow managed to misplace my driver's license. I had already looked through every jacket, pocket, purse lining, and magazine I could think of, and the last time I remembered having it was going through security. Over the weekend, when I was making my plans for vacation, it occurred to me that I needed to either find the damn thing, or replace it, since I couldn't very well travel or rent a car without one.

Last night, just before drifting off to came to me.

My LAPTOP Case!!! I had it when I got on the plane!! Sure enough - in the outside pocket, there is my Driver's license - right where I left it when I boarded the plane over a month ago.

Snoopy Dance!!

And then I looked at expired 3 weeks ago on my birthday.

Yay - I get to spend this Saturday with the unwashed masses (literally) at Mondawmin Mall MVA.

Just Shoot Me.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:48 AM   5 Editorial Opinions
Monday, May 01, 2006
Sniper Trial
Can anybody out there explain to me why we are wasting thousands and thousands of dollars in tax payer's time and money to try a cold blooded killer who has already received the death penalty for the same crime in another state? Especially when he is not eligible for the death penalty here?

I don't get it. What will finding him guilty again prove?
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:16 PM   7 Editorial Opinions
Welcome to Marissa's world
Ick. Meet the next Paris Hilton. A no-talent, spoiled rich girl, whose parents are nuts enough to indulge her every fantasy just to live out their own. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meet American Idol.

I feel a little dirty just reading this. I think I need a shower.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:58 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Just another day at the zoo.
In response to recent posts by Ebill and Fool over the weekend, where an errant rooster and a chicken took up residence in front of their rowhouse Highlandtown, I wondered how many people caught the story of the Beaver that was found wandering near here on Mt. Royal Blvd. last weekend. Apparently, after taking the beaver to the Baltimore Zoo, they had to euthanize the poor thing. I'm sure the combination of stress, and whatever illness caused it to find it's way from the Jones Falls (presumably), to the University of Baltimore, contributed to its untimely death.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:06 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Anna Nicole Smith Wins Supreme Court Case - New York Times
Not only did she win, but it was UNANIMOUS.

Perhaps the first, and last, unanimous ruling of the newly redesigned Supreme Court.

Stay tuned for the next round of Anna's court battles. This is turning into a latter day Jarndyce and Jarndyce.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:26 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Vacation Planning
I finished up confirming and making plans for my upcoming vacation over the weekend, and I am REALLY looking forward to it. After last year's tragically aborted vacation, I have high hopes for this year's attempt at some much needed R&R. The first real vacation I've taken other than Holidays and one or two long weekends, since I started this job last summer.

Toward the end of this month, I have a conference to attend at a nice resort / spa in Phoenix for a few days, which should be nice enough in itself. In addition to indulging in some of the services the spa has to offer, I'm hoping to find time to go to the Phoenix Botanical Gardens, and the Heard Museum. After the conference, I'm renting an SUV and heading north to Sedona, and will stay there through Memorial Day. In addition to all the great scenery, shopping and hiking to be had in Sedona, I've never been to the Grand Canyon, so I've planned an overnight trip there to see the South Rim and do some hiking. I rented a cabin for the night in the Park, and made helicopter reservations to take a sunset flight over the Canyon and the Painted Desert.

On the way back through Flagstaff, I hope to spend some time visiting Wupatki National Monument, the Sunset Crater Volcano, and Walnut Canyon. It's a pretty ambitious list, but I really loved this part of the country the first time I visited my folks out in Sedona, and want to see a lot more of it.

Now, I just have to wait.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:24 AM   7 Editorial Opinions

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