Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fast passports and slow runs

Today some amazing things happened. I will tell you about two of them. First of all, I ran eleven miles, but that's not the amazing part. The amazing part is that after dragging my feet, spending a lot of time on the couch, and just generally putting off going, while I was stretching I lay there consoling myself with this thought: "Well, it's only eleven miles." This is because the past few weeks I have been running twelve miles or a little more. So that's how my brain has progressed. I officially motivated/consoled myself with the thought that I had "only" eleven miles to run. !

Before I went running, though, another amazing thing happened. My new passport came in the mail! Why is this amazing, you ask? Because I sent off the application a week ago. ONE week. Everyone has been all up in a snit about the looooooong passport processing times and I was totally buying into the hype, even sitting here wondering aloud to Brian for some time as I filled out the app whether I should spring for the expedited processing (because of my upcoming Honduras trip! see below), but in the end I decided not to. And how glad am I! ONE WEEK, people. When I sent off my stuff I dutifully read the State Department's web site, which stated that they have added extra staff to all locations in an effort to contend with the new higher demand (the whole Canada/Mexico thing and whatnot--ugh, Bush-Cheney-Rice, ugh!) Well done!

One week! I'm so proud of the State Department! Way to problem solve.

So the reason for all this needing-to-renew-my-passport and wondering-if-it-would-get-here-in-time is that in about five weeks I am slated to go to Honduras with Habitat for Humanity Global Village. We will spend one week building houses in San Pedro Sula. I am so excited for the chance to build something, and I am trying to fundraise in order to meet the cost of the trip. You can contribute to my Habitat for Humanity trip online:

Click here to visit my Honduras trip page.

But you can also donate my phone or by mailing a check, you just have to give them my Habitat i.d. # 90563082 and trip i.d. GV8261. I am super grateful for all the support I have received for this trip. Don't think you have to donate big...every dollar is helpful. (I'm totally serious. I would love my friends to donate a dollar. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and all that...)

In other news, I finally addressed the long-awaited question Am I a Literary Snob? over on my literary supplement, so go check it out.


Friday, April 18, 2008

I like a TV show!

The official purpose of this blog entry is to tell you about a television show that I have newly discovered and that I adore! I know, I know, you must be thinking 'I've got the wrong lindanapikoski.' But it's true. In addition to Lost and the Maher-Stewart-Colbert triumvarate, I hereby declare myself a fan of Lil' Bush.

OK, it's really funny. Really funny! It's also sort of hard to describe why it's so funny. For those who don't know, basically it's a cartoon (I. Know. but this is really me, I swear) featuring the antics of Lil' (George W.) Bush and his other lil' friends on the playground like Lil' Condi, Lil' Rummy, and Lil' Cheney. They also frequently encounter others like Lil' Romney or, last night, a slew of lil' democrats whom Lil' Bill Clinton had to show how to have fun on spring break, by force if necessary. (Force = he pilfers the room in the airport with all the confiscated drugs from the security check and gets Lil' Hillary, Lil' John Kerry, etc high, but only after we watch the security checkpoint guy confiscate a box cutter from a Taliban-looking sort of dude who then walks away wearing bombs on each foot...) Last night Lil' Bush wanted to go camping on spring break with his dad but H.W. is busy with his Iraq concerns so he takes the kid camping in Iraq instead. Sample dialogue: "But what about torturing a bear?" Answer: "Don't worry, there are lots of people in Iraq to torture."

The premise and the wacky plots are only half the fun. There is so much snide little stuff, and it just keeps coming at you for a brilliant half hour on Comedy Central. I highly, highly recommend it. It's totally spot on, and I love it.

Here's a link: Lil' Bush
Here's another link for you after that: my Hillraiser Action Center

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I do love me some problem-solving skills

I've been reading about the "issues driving voters to the polls." I've always found it interesting that some people have to be driven, so to speak, by this or that issue. I compare voting for president to selecting my manager or boss, who is going to face varied issues every day, including ones we haven't imagined yet. I think the better choice for president - of a country or of my company - is the person I trust most to respond to a variety of issues, problems, and people. The clear choice for me there is Hillary, who has not only demonstrated incredible intelligence and problem-solving skills, but has also been diplomatically successful with heads of state and progressive with grassroots populations in eighty-plus countries. Hillary isn't prone to blunders or comments that are off-putting to entire groups of people, as is the case with both Obama and Dubya. I'm afraid that on a level of managing the toughest job in the land, Obama might not bring the "change" he so often talks about at all.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

And what do you know, it's April 12th!

What do you think of when you think of a dozen? A carton of eggs? The Dirty Dozen? Hmm??? Do I hear "the number of miles Linda ran today"?

That's right. Today I ran twelve, count 'em, twelve fierce miles. The first third was steady though I was a little tired and sluggish. Then I really got moving and cruised through the middle third. Round and round Astoria Park I went, and I felt great. The last third...uh...let's just say that on mile eleven I slowed considerably and the last one was a doozy. But - here I am!

"One, two, three FOUR-five six, seven, eight NINE-ten eleven-TWELVE!"
- my favorite Sesame Street song

Friday, April 04, 2008

Baby and War

I have another nephew! My sister's third child was born yesterday and by all accounts (pictures and my mom's calls and e-mails) he is hairy, ferocious, and wonderful.

That's the joyous news. The news of the world is, of course, bad. I don't have time to blog because of this crazy thing called law school so I decided to give my blog space today over to Michael Moore's latest newsletter, because he rules. And while everything he says here is so "Duh! Obvious!" to me, I have clearly learned that many of you out there take a few years to catch up. So here's some help. And if you've been watching the excellent John Adams mini-series you can appreciate the "God bless/God help" even more!

So? ... A Note from Michael Moore
Monday, March 24th, 2008


It would have to happen on Easter Sunday, wouldn't it, that the 4,000th American soldier would die in Iraq. Play me that crazy preacher again, will you, about how maybe God, in all his infinite wisdom, may not exactly be blessing America these days. Is anyone surprised?

4,000 dead. Unofficial estimates are that there may be up to 100,000 wounded, injured, or mentally ruined by this war. And there could be up to a million Iraqi dead. We will pay the consequences of this for a long, long time. God will keep blessing America. And where is Darth Vader in all this? A reporter from ABC News this week told Dick Cheney, in regards to Iraq, "two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting." Cheney cut her off with a one word answer: "So?"

"So?" As in, "So what?" As in, "F*** you. I could care less."

I would like every American to see Cheney flip the virtual bird at the them, the American people.
Click here and pass it around. Then ask yourself why we haven't risen up and thrown him and his puppet out of the White House.

The Democrats have had the power to literally pull the plug on this war for the past 15 months -- and they have refused to do so. What are we to do about that? Continue to sink into our despair? Or get creative? Real creative. I know there are many of you reading this who have the chutzpah and ingenuity to confront your local congressperson. Will you? For me?

Cheney spent Wednesday, the 5th anniversary of the war, not mourning the dead he killed, but fishing off the Sultan of Oman's royal yacht. So? Ask your favorite Republican what they think of that.

The Founding Fathers would never have uttered the presumptuous words, "God Bless America." That, to them, sounded like a command instead of a request, and one doesn't command God, even if they are America. In fact, they were worried God would punish America. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington feared that God would react unfavorably against his soldiers for the way they were behaving. John Adams wondered if God might punish America and cause it to lose the war, just to prove His point that America was not worthy. They and the others believed it would be arrogant on their part to assume that God would single out America for a blessing. What a long road we have traveled since then.

I see that Frontline on PBS this week has a documentary called "Bush's War." That's what I've been calling it for a long time. It's not the "Iraq War." Iraq did nothing. Iraq didn't plan 9/11. It didn't have weapons of mass destruction. It DID have movie theaters and bars and women wearing what they wanted and a significant Christian population and one of the few Arab capitals with an open synagogue.

But that's all gone now. Show a movie and you'll be shot in the head. Over a hundred women have been randomly executed for not wearing a scarf. I'm happy, as a blessed American, that I had a hand in all this. I just paid my taxes, so that means I helped to pay for this freedom we've brought to Baghdad. So? Will God bless me? God bless all of you in this Easter Week as we begin the 6th year of Bush's War.

God help America. Please.

Michael Moore