28 September 2006

25 September 2006

The Cost of War

This price tag is simply staggering -- especially when you look at in light of what the same money could have bought.

This number is based on an analysis of the legislation in which Congress has allocated money for war so far and research by the Congressional Research Service (latest report) which has access to Department of Defense financial reports. Read more about how it is calculated.

This cannot be the answer.

24 September 2006

One Singular Sensation Indeed!

Some might remember my post of June 8
when I excitedly reported on my purchase of tickets to the revival of A Chorus Line. Well, last night was the night. I went with my mom who was perfect company and I have to say it was everything I'd hoped for and a bit more. The show was excellent. It is still officially in previews so no "real" reviews have come out yet so let mine be among the first.

The revival was complete to the last sequin on the gold costumes in the last number. The set, the costumes, the lighting, the dancing and the singing were all faithfully revived, but it was not just a cold carbon copy. It was vital and very relevant. At first I was thinking it would be nice to see a modern day version of the show, but ultimately I am very glad they decided to keep the show set in the 1970's. In a way this was the very first "reality show" giving people a look into the world of auditions and a window into the souls of all the chorus dancers (and the like) out there who will never be stars. It is their fifteen minutes of fame. Undoubtedly some of the "secrets" that are revealed are somewhat less shocking to the general audience now than they were 20 or 30 years ago, but they still have bite. Standout performers were Deidre Goodwin as Sheila Ken Alan as Bobby and Natalie Cortez as Morales, but it is important to note that there were no weak links on the line. There was a lot of applause throughout the show and many opportunities to express enthusiasm in the form of clapping and cheering, however my only disappointment was that there was no real curtain call and therefore no real chance to give a standing ovation. I imagine, but can't remember that this was part of the original production, but I still hope the director will reconsider because it was a little bit unsatisfactory to not get to clap until your hands hurt. All-in-all I would say that Michael Bennett would be proud. Thank you so much to the cast and crew for an incredible night that made me remember what I love so much about the theater.

21 September 2006

Happy Half Birthday

Today is Zoë's half birthday -- she is exactly 4 and a half.

It is astounding to me to think that in 6 months she will be 5 and in a year from now she will have started school.

You know how everyone tells you it goes so fast -- turns out they're right!

19 September 2006

A theory on energy

How many times have you watched your kids run laps around the house, jump up and down, climb the sofa like it was Mt. Everest and asked yourself "where do they get the energy?" And how many times have you had to carry your oh-so-tired 40 pound kid out of the Christmas Tree farm, the museum, shopping mall, etc. because they just couldn't walk another step themselves? (While silently cursing yourself for not bringing the stroller, of course.)

It makes me wonder just how that energy comes and goes and I've come to the conclusion that it is parentally driven and it counter-corresponds directly to the amount of energy you want your child to have and expend at any given moment.

For example, if you want your daughter to sit down and have dinner, she will be running up and down the stairs faster and faster. However, if you are at and apple picking farm all the way down at the bottom of a big hill and carrying a bag filled with apples, at the farthest possible point from your car, that same daughter will be too tired and ask to be carried.

It's one possible theory.

18 September 2006

Website of the Week: Ideal Bite

Everyone knows it's not easy being green, but this site makes it just a little bit easier. Ideal Bite is basically an email newsletter sign up. The newsletter is emailed daily and contains simple tips and suggestions for leading a more planet-friendly "green" existence. The site itself also contains a tip library of past mailings.

The tips themselves are, for the most part, realistic and relatively simple changes to your activities of daily living. Plus you are given the facts, helpful resources and good suggestions for carrying out the changes.

Go for it and maybe green will be the new black.

14 September 2006

The Famous Gorilla

On the way into school this morning Zoƫ requested that I tell her a story about "the famous gorilla from Dusseldorf who took all his dog bones to Jupiter."

That is an exact quote.

Did she just channel some message from outer space?

Or is it from some TV show? She claims it is from Higglytown Heroes, but I'm not so sure.

10 September 2006

Website of the Week: NameVoyager

This week's site is a cool tool that is part of babynamewizard.com. It is the NameVoyager. Very useful for soon-to-be-parents, but the site is fun for everyone. See how popular your own name is. NameVoyager presents the info in a cool, fun-to-use graphical interface.

For the record the name "Zoe" hit an all time high as the 54th most popular name. In 2005 it was down to 59th. The name "Emily" was the most popular in 2002, the year my Zoe was born, but that was recently usurped by the name "Emma."

05 September 2006

Go see this movie!

Yesterday I saw Little Miss Sunshine and it is a fantastic movie and I think everyone should see it.

The basic plot is: A dysfunctional family travel across country to get their daughter to the finals of a beauty pageant.

But the story is about so much more than that. It is about the beautiful innocence of children and the fragility of human life and the ridiculous pursuits people dedicate themselves to. It will make you laugh out loud one minute and cry the next. Greg Kinnear, Toni Collete, and Alan Arkin star, but Abigail Breslin steals the show.

I can't say enough good things about this movie.

04 September 2006

Website of the Week: NY Times US Open Blog

OK, it is really a just a blog and not an entire site, but it is really good. NY Times US Open Blog is about as close as it comes to actually being there when you can't watch TV. In fact sometimes its better than watching on TV because it sums up the heart of each match really nicely. It kind of reminds me of the inning wrap-ups you can get for Major League Baseball games as ESPN.com. The coverage is insightful as well as enthusiastic.

One bit of advice -- catch the blog this week before it's gone -- at least until next year!

01 September 2006

School Supplies

If there was ever any doubt that Zoë and I share genetic code (which I don't think there was) it has now officially been proven that she is my daughter through the love of school supplies.

The other day we got a letter home from daycare about the official start of the pre-K year. Contained in the letter was a list of supplies -- pencils, crayons, markers, scissors and glue plus a box to put it all in. As it turned out due to a recent Staples shopping binge, we already had most of the supplies on hand so I packed up her orange plastic box with all her supplies and put it into her backpack that night. The next morning when I told Zoë about her new box of supplies, she was simply ecstatic. She had to open the box and carefully inspect each item. She determined she would like some different pencils, but otherwise everything was heavenly. Now each morning she checks her backpack to make sure her supplies are all there. I love it!