Monday, April 30, 2007

Bob Barker to retire from The Price is Right

Legendary host Bob Barker, 82 is retiring from the Price Is Right, after 35 seasons.

"I want to retire while I'm still young," said Barker.

Ever since his upcoming retirement was announced, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night in a panic - "Did Bob Barker retire already?!" I'm overwhelmed with regret that I may have missed his last appearance on the show.
Good news - I haven't missed it. His official retirement is in June 2007, but there are a few more chances to see him before then:

Wednesday, May 16, CBS will present The Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular," Barker's final appearance in prime time hosting the show he has led since 1972. In this special primetime edition, contestants will have the opportunity to win bigger prizes and the chance to spin the wheel for $1 million.

CBS is also airing 2 primetime specials paying tribute to Barker in May. The specials will be broadcast Wednesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 17 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

I will be sad to see him go.

He's been such a fixture on that show and it's definitely the end of an era. I've grown up with him on the show and I will miss his familiar voice saying, "Come on down!" Many a sick day I watched The Price Is Right while curled up on the couch with a box of Kleenex. He genuinely seemed to find something interesting about every contestant - "Where are you stationed soldier?", or "What are you studying at xyz University?" and then there were those desperate housewives that wouldn't stop kissing and squeezing him. All the while trying to win that brand new American car. I mean talk about a piece of Americana!

When he stopped dyeing his hair black (to protest the way animals are used to make the products) I thought he looked a bit strange, but then I got used to the gray hair. When that sexual harassment scandal broke out that he was sleeping with one of the Price Is Right models, I even forgave him. This is the same man who after decades of hosting the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants left in 1987 when they refused his request to stop giving furs as prizes. So he can't be all that bad.


I heard that George Hamilton is scheduled to replace Bob Barker as the host on The Price is Right. Pretty good choice if you had to pick a replacement (a little cheesy and charming at the same time with that trademark tan), but it still won't feel the same without Bob.

Did you know?

*The Price Is Right is TV's longest running game show.
*Since it premiered Sept. 4, 1972, on CBS, Barker has taped 6,482 episodes of the show, a frenzied contest centered on players' knowledge of product prices.
*Barker, born Dec. 12, 1923, grew up on an Indian reservation in South Dakota.
*Barker started out his career in radio.
*One fan hugged Barker so hard he says he tore a ligament in his side.


"The show was top-rated when we started, and we have never had a ratings problem," Barker says. "How many shows can say that over, five years, 10 years, let alone 35 years?"

CBS president Leslie Moonves in a statement called Barker's contribution and loyalty "immeasurable. ... We knew this day would come, but that doesn't make it any easier." My sentiments exactly.

You can count on me to tune in...
to hear Bob Barker's signature sign-off after the Showcase Showdown, one last time: "Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered." And then watch it cut to commercials while I'm still in denial about it being his last show.

Tell Bob What He Means To You
CBS Interactive is offering fans the chance to say goodbye to Bob Barker by submitting 15 second videos on YouTube.
For more details go to:

Friday, April 27, 2007

"Hallelujah" by Rufus Wainwright (Irish performance)

He's also scheduled to perform at Coachella today.

Amy Winehouse=Rehab

Looking forward to seeing Amy Winehouse perform at Coachella today.

Julieta Venegas - Me voy

This song came out on the "Limo`n y Sal" album in June 2006. When we were in Italy last September we heard it being played everywhere we went, so for that reason, whenever I hear it I think of our vacation in Italy.

A lot of foreign language songs don't make the cross-over to America, so Kudos to Julieta Venegas. I have no idea what the words are to this Spanish song but it doesn't seem to matter because it has a great melody.

She's also performing at Coachella today.

Jesus and Mary Chain - Just Like Honey

I'm leaving for Coachella this morning.

I'm looking forward to seeing Jesus and Mary Chain reunited. They will be performing for the 1st time in 20 years.

Yesterday they were on Jonesy's Jukebox (Indie 103.1 FM) talking about everything from being nervous about performing at Coachella, to religion, to just chit chatting about old times with Steve Jones (founder and guitarist of the Sex Pistols who now has his own radio show).

(If you're interested, the band Happy Mondays will be making an appearance on Jonesy's Jukebox this coming Monday.)

Olivia Newton-John - Magic - 1980

Watch this video and you'll remember why everyone was in love with Olivia Newton-John in the 80's.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Olivia Newton-John's daughter struggles to overcome anorexia

Olivia Newton-John and her 21 year old daughter, Chloe Rose Lattanzi did an interview with Entertainment Tonight where they talked about Chloe's struggles with anorexia and trying to overcome her eating disorder.
I've always loved Olivia Newton-John. I remember in the 80's she was so HUGE. Then she kinda disappeared for awhile and then she reappeared in the headlines for the 20th anniversary of Grease, then her boyfriend mysteriously disappeared during a fishing trip in California, and now her daughter battles anorexia and is releasing an album.

At the height of her disorder, Chloe says her anorexic crisis led to a memory loss so severe that she can't remember most of the time she was starving herself.

"You can't make your child eat if she doesn't want to," adds Olivia. "There was a time I was in denial about it. I have to admit that, because you don't want to think that anything could be wrong -- not to say I wasn't frightened, and nervous, and anxious for her." I must say, after watching the video clip of the interview and photos of Olivia and her daughter - Olivia at age 58 is still more beautiful and photogenic than her 21 year old daughter. It must be hard to live up to the image of your famous mother who is both gorgeous and thin. But she seems to be following in her mother's footsteps with her singing and acting career.

Chloe acknowledges the monumental achievements of her mother's singing career -- 25 songs in the Top 40; her 1981 hit "Physical" spent 10 weeks at No. 1; and her new CD, Grace and Gratitude, is out now -- but she's hoping to be recognized on her own merits. "When I got to about 20, I started thinking about, like, not being in [her] shadow, but my mom, like, blows me away," she says. "I hope to be like her one day. I don't know if I could ever do that, but that would be, you know -- she's an amazing person."

Billy Joel - My Life

Look how young Billy Joel is in this video! Not only does he have hair, but its a New Jersey 70's afro!

The video starts off very slow, but if you listen to the lyrics it's pretty deep.

I never paid that close attention to it before. I always just thought of it as the theme song to the 80's TV sitcom, "Bosom Buddies".

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oregon Governor To Live On Food Stamps

Dear Mr. Kulongoski,

You are an inspiration!

I read today that you and your wife are going to live on food stamps for the next 7 days in observance of Hunger Awareness Week in Oregon, to raise awareness about the difficulty of feeding a family on a food stamp budget, as you begin lobbying Congress against cuts in the food stamp program proposed by the Bush administration.

When I read this my jaw dropped. A politician living on food stamps? Lobbying Congress to care for those less fortunate who need help the most? Governor, let me just say that I would love to live in a state with a Governor such as yourself who governs for the people and by the people.

I live in Los Angeles with my husband and our 2 year old daughter. In recent news there was video footage of a homeless man with no legs who was driven from the hospital to downtown LA by hospital staff, and literally dumped in Skid Row. The video showed the staff pushing the patient out of the wheelchair and leaving him stranded in one of the most destitute and dangerous places. It was inhumane and downright shameful. I was not proud to be an Angelino that day. I'm telling you this because reading about your efforts today was like a breath of fresh air. An elected official who really cares and wants to make a difference. You have my support, and you're someone I would vote for in a heartbeat.

Keep up the good work! And remember - there's still time to make your bid for election day November 4, 2008.

Food Stamps:
  • The Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski will have $21 to buy a week's worth of food — the same amount that the state's average food stamp recipient spends weekly on groceries.

  • Both he and his wife and his wife, attorney Mary Oberst, will spend just $3 a day apiece on their meals, to match the amount spent by the average food stamp recipient in Oregon.

  • He and his wife are the most-high profile people so far to take part in a food stamp challenge. The goal is to walk the proverbial mile in the steps of those who rely on food stamps to feed a family, to kindle both awareness, and hopefully empathy.

  • The Bush administration has proposed several cuts to the program, among them taking away food stamps from about 185,000 people who qualify only because they receive other non-cash government assistance. The Department of Agriculture budget, as proposed, would also eliminate a program that gives boxes of food to nearly half a million seniors each month.

  • The governor pined wistfully for canned Progresso soups, but at $1.53 apiece, they would have blown the budget. He settled instead for three packages of Cup O'Noodles for 33 cents apiece.

  • At the check-out counter, Kulongoski's purchases totaled $21.97, forcing him to give back one of the Cup O'Noodles and two bananas, for a final cost of $20.97 for 19 items.

Sigman-Davenport, a mother of three who works for the state Department of Human Services and went on food stamps in the fall after her husband lost his job, dispensed tips for shopping on a budget. Scan the highest and lowest shelves, she told the governor. Look for off-brand products, clip coupons religiously, get used to filling, low-cost staples like macaroni and cheese and beans, and, when possible, buy in bulk.

Quote from the Governor:

"I'm gonna probably go back to what I remember in college, Top Ramen and hot dogs," said Kulongoski.

"I don't care what they call it, if this is what it takes to get the word out," Kulongoski said, in response to questions about whether the food stamp challenge was no more than a publicity stunt. "This is an issue every citizen in this state should be aware of."


More about Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski:

  • He lived in a home for boys as a child.
  • After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served a tour of duty in Southeast Asia, returning home to work as a truck driver and a bricklayer in a steel mill.
  • Thanks to the GI Bill, he was able to pursue higher education, and attended the University of Missouri, where he earned both an undergraduate degree and a law degree.
  • At the start of his law career he was a judicial clerk in Eugene, Oregon, and at the end he had established his own law firm.
  • His early successes in representing labor organizations earned him a reputation as a leading labor lawyer.
  • He won the Oregon House of Representatives election in 1974 and served 2 terms.
  • He also ran for the Oregon State Senate, where he served until 1983.
  • He was appointed Oregon Insurance Commissioner in 1987.
  • He led a sweeping reform of the state’s workers’ compensation system, which quickly gained national recognition as a model for reducing employers’ costs while upgrading workers’ benefits.
  • He won the election as Oregon’s Attorney General in 1992.
  • He won a seat as an Associate Justice on the Oregon Supreme Court, a position he held until mid-2001, when he decided to run for Governor.
  • He began serving his 1st term as Governor in January 2003, becoming the 1st Oregon Governor to serve in all three branches of state government—legislative, judicial and executive.
  • He is also a strong advocate of school breakfast and lunch programs. "When the federal government cuts back on them," says Kulongoski, "you're actually depriving children of opportunity to basically have a healthy life and at the same time, to be able to learn while they're in school."
  • He regularly serves food at soup kitchens and helps to unload donations at the state's food pantries.
  • He and his wife, have three grown children, they enjoy backpacking and hiking, and he is an avid fly-fisherman.


More on the Hunger issue and Food Stamp challenge:

(from CBS News)

"It really re-energized me to be so much more conscious of what people are going through," said Sister Mary Scullion, the executive director of a Philadelphia nonprofit that works with the homeless, who did the food-stamp challenge last year. "It's about understanding the limited choices people have, and how money gives you choices." Those who've done the challenge say it can leave you both physically enervated and mentally exhilarated. They say shopping on such a tight budget requires plenty of planning, a reliance on inexpensive staples like legumes, beans, rice and peanut butter, and forgoing more expensive fresh fruit, vegetables and protein. Meeting friends for a slice of pizza or a cup of coffee becomes a nearly unaffordable luxury. Cheating by using staples already on hand, like ketchup or olive oil, is discouraged.

"On the spiritual side, when I did eat, I was more present," said Connecticut state Sen. Jonathan Harris, D-West Hartford, who just finished three weeks on food stamp funds. "Usually I'm watching TV, shoveling things in, not thinking that I am blessed." Like Kulongoski, Harris said, he's lucky to have a car to get to a grocery store and a kitchen in which to prepare food. And like Kulongoski will have to do, he had to resist the free goodies at state receptions and business lunches. The experience has helped him as a policymaker, Harris said, in discussions such as whether to expand the earned-income tax credit in Connecticut. "I personally felt how a few extra hundred dollars in the bank to supplement my nutrition would make a major difference in my life," he said.

Hunger has been a major issue in Oregon, ever since the state was embarrassed by having the country's highest hunger rate in 2000. Hunger groups launched an effort to get more people signed up for food stamps, and the state's ranking fell to 17th.

Karen Wilson, director of the Greater Philadelphia Coalition against Hunger, said Kulongoski's support of the food stamp challenge is particularly notable, given the time of year. "People only seem to focus on hunger and food insecurity around the holidays," she said. "People are hungry year-round."

Dancing with the Stars - Apolo & Julianne dance the Rumba

Check out this clip:

The music and choreography are perfect for this Rumba number.

Did I mention that Julianne Hough is an amazing dancer?! She's the youngest (and only) American dancer to have become both International Latin Youth Champion and Junior Blackpool World Latin Champion. She was also Assistant Choreographer on Gwen Stefani's Wind It Up video.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dancing with the Stars - Apolo and Julianne dance the Samba

Yes, I'm a geek. I get a kick out of watching "Dancing with the Stars." It's especially fun to watch when the dance routine is great and both partners look like they're having a great time.

Check out this clip of Apolo Ono and Julianne Hough dancing the Samba. The choreography is superb, and they got a perfect score of 30 (tens from each of the 3 judges). Julianne is an AMAZING dancer and she's only 19!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Coachella 2007

Who else is going this year?

We'll be there Friday. (Passing on Saturday and Sunday. All day events 2 days in a row was a bit much, but this year the 3 day event just isn't doable for us.)

We've gone to the Coachella outdoor music festival every year since 2001, with the exception of 2005. I had just given birth to my daughter a week prior and although it still crossed our minds, we opted to stay home that year. So this year will be the 6th time for us at Coachella.

One year we saw Bjork up close and personal - we were right in front of the main stage and that year there weren't as many people and it was WAY less crowded. That was one of the best concerts/performances I've ever been to. While singing Cocoon, Bjork stood facing the audience, with her back to a wind machine dressed in a costume that looked like a cocoon with the fabric flowing around her body. At the end of the song, as she stepped away, the fabric flew back into wings. It was enchanting and beautiful. (We also saw Bjork perform at the Hollywood Bowl. Even though that show had pyrotechnics, it was disappointing because the venue was just too big. It's better to see her at smaller, more intimate venues.) I can't wait to see what she has planned for this year.

Last year we thought it might be our last year, because the lines were so long for everything from water, to the restrooms, to the food and bar. We've had VIP access in the past, and in the VIP area it's not so bad, but last year we just had regular admission and had to wait in long lines with the masses. It was pretty painful. I always forget how hot it is out there until I get there, and then we're hoarding water like our lives depend on it. (It feels that way at least.) But the music, the very cool art installations, being outdoors in the huge, grassy, polo area listening to live bands/DJ's with other people who are also having a great day in the sunshine, makes it all worthwhile.
Then before you know it the new Coachella line up is posted, April rolls around again, and we've forgotten the heat and the misery and just remember how great it was, and hope that this year will be as great or even better than the last.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day 2007!

"A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation, and further, can even enable a change in the destiny of all humankind. "

~ Daisaku Ikeda

I was inspired this Earth Day to do something more than just the everyday recycling and energy conservation, so I joined Global Green USA (the US affiliate of Green Cross International) and became an e-Activist to stop global warming.

In addition to lending my voice to this important issue and becoming better informed, I'll receive special updates including Leonardo DiCaprio's new film The 11th Hour. The film's campaign motto is "Lighten your footstep." It has interviews with over 50 leading scientists, thinkers and leaders who discuss the state of the world and the state of humanity, including Stephen Hawking, and Mikhail Gorbachev. The film was selected for the Cannes Film Festival - Special Screening, scheduled to take place May 19th, and will be released to theaters later this year.

Leonardo DiCaprio: actor, activist, environmentalist, at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in southeast Iceland.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz

The 11th Hour and Leonardo DiCaprio were featured on the cover of Vanity Fair's Green Issue.
The Man of the Hour - excerpt from Vanity Fair magazine, May 2007

If you go to, you will find that it is split down the middle. The left half is labeled "Leonardo," and will bring you up-to-date on his filmmaking career (doing rather nicely, with a recent Oscar nomination for his performance in Blood Diamond and, to some tastes, an even stronger performance in best-picture winner The Departed). The right half is labeled "Eco-Site"; it offers guides to various environmental concerns, tips on differences anyone can make, and links to dozens of green organizations and information.

Not many stars share their fan face time with gorillas and ferns, but this is the image DiCaprio puts forward to the world: a literal expression of twin passions. A longtime environmentalist—remember his interview in 2000 with then president Bill Clinton for an ABC Earth Day special?—DiCaprio is currently on the boards of both the Natural Resources Defense Council and Global Green USA and has been a tireless promoter of green causes and events.

Later this year will see the fusion of his two passions with the release of The 11th Hour, a feature documentary on environmental ills and possible cures, a kind of state-of-the-earth address with gorgeous pictures and eloquent experts, which DiCaprio is producing, co-writing, and narrating. As he says in this remarkable film, as hopeful as it is alarming, "So, we find ourselves on the brink." On the brink of what, it is made plain, is up to us.

Press Release - 2005 - Leonardo DiCaprio to Produce New Documentary on Global Environment
NEW YORK - Leonardo DiCaprio has begun production on 11th Hour, a feature length documentary that will examine the state of the global environment, and includes visionary and practical solutions for restoring the planet's beleaguered ecosystems. The documentary will tackle an issue that DiCaprio has championed for years as it takes on a renewed urgency in the wake of recent natural disasters, and as increasing global abuse brings the future of our environment into greater question.

The film will be co-directed and written by Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners, co-founders of Tree Media Group. DiCaprio will produce, co-write and narrate the project. The team has previously collaborated on Global Warning and Water Planet , short films that can be seen on DiCaprio's eco-site,

"Global warming is not only the number one environmental challenge we face today, but one of the most important issues facing all of humanity,"said DiCaprio. "We all have to do our part to raise awareness about global warming and the problems we as a people face in promoting a sustainable environmental future for our planet."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

15 minutes of fame

We're all familiar with the Andy Warhol coined expression from the late 1960's:
"In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."

The adaptation of this line that applies to our generation (the 21st century) is much more interesting:
"In the future, everyone will be famous to 15 people."

No longer is the fame of "everyman" a one hit wonder, but instead everyone is capable of being world famous in their own circles, as a result of online social networking, blogging, and other modern day online phenomena.

This rings true for me when I look at my own experiences and I can apply it to my own life:

I started a blog called We Love Astrid, in 2005 after the birth of my daughter to document my daughter's life, my life as a mother, and to connect to other parents out there and the world at large. What started as a personal outlet for me where I would write and post everyday to my blog about my life and daily adventures soon grew into something meaningful with a small following who would read my blog everyday. Some bloggers would even get upset if I went too long between posts because they were anxiously anticipating my posts after returning home from a trip, etc. So I had the added responsibility to my readers, in addition to my own enjoyment in receiving comments to blog entries. I never imagined that my blog would be read by people all over the United States, Europe, in Australia, Korea, and even China.

People started adding my blog as a link to their blog, and then their viewers would visit my blog and leave comments, and it just had a snowball effect. Then I was recognized one day in the grocery store. Uwe (my husband) said, "Well that makes sense, since you had Astrid (my daughter) with you." Since that blog has tons of photos of Astrid, and some with me with her, he assumed that if people recognized me in the real world it had to be because I was with my daughter. But I wasn't. I had gone to the store by myself one hot day in a pair of shorts and flip flops with my hair pulled back in bun and I think I may even have been wearing my glasses (not my usual contacts) and still they recognized me. That was an odd experience.

Then last night, Uwe and I went to the Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock for their wine tasting. The place was packed and I was telling Uwe how another LA blogger, Citizen Robot loves this place and they always come here, and the girl (I assume) keeps telling me I should check it out. Here's what little I know about Citizen Robot - 3 people contribute to their blog and they live nearby in Glassell Park so we go to the same local haunts. They seem to be pretty young 20 something hipsters who I presume work in some capacity in the Internet industry whether it be design, advertising, entertainment, etc.

Uwe turns to me and says, "Oh sh*t that means they're probably here and they recognize you." It was Friday night, the ideal night to be out drinking. So all of a sudden paranoia kicks in, as do the giggles after my 4th wine tasting, but I say, "No, even if they did see me, they'd never put two and two together and recognize me here in this environment." To which he responds, "Oh yes they will because we're together. Maybe if they saw us separately they'd never place us, but you've got photos of me on your blog too. Together we're a dead ringer. No one looks like us Rose. We're a pretty unusual looking couple."

Okay he got me there. I have to admit he's got a point. There probably aren't too many half German/Korean women with a blond haired, blue eyed German husband living in Los Angeles hanging out in a local haunt. You don't need to do a a lot of deduction to figure out that it's us. I still think it's pretty hilarious.

I guess my wildest fantasies about being a spy for the CIA or FBI are over, since my cover has been blown all to hell. But that's okay, what's the worst that could happen - someone approaches me and tells me how much they enjoy my blog or they think I'm inspirational because I traveled through Europe with a 16 month old?

I also got approached about writing a blog for money, by writing about my travels with the baby and baby products I liked. It was tempting, but I turned it down in the end because blogging for me is fun. It's something I do in my spare time for myself and my readers, not for the man. It shouldn't be about product placement. I heard that the lady from dooce gets paid to use products and then she writes about it. I used to enjoy reading her blog from time to time, but now it's got ads all over it and it doesn't have the same feel. Now it's seems like a marketing ploy to manipulate readers, vs. a desperate housewife in Utah who deals with the daily struggles of being a stay at home mom, which captivated her readers because it of the domestic quality it had and people could relate to it. If my own personal blog becomes just about making money, it loses all it's value.

Now if I could only get a little of that fame directed towards this blog I'd be happy. =)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Margaret Cho speaks out about the Virginia Tech tragedy

So much is being made of the "race" factor in the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech University on April 16, 2007, where a Korean American shooter killed 32 people and injured 29 more before committing suicide, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Since I am of Korean origin, (my mother is Korean and my father is American/Caucasian) it's even been the topic of conversation in my own home. The day of the shootings I came home and had a conversation with my husband that started out like this:

Husband: Did you hear the shooter is Korean?
Me: Yes, I know.
Husband: What did you think when you found out?
Me: It surprised me to hear that he was Korean. Usually when someone goes postal it's turns out to be a white guy.

I found myself getting a bit defensive, but then I thought this is ridiculous that I'm somehow associated or linked to this guy (who clearly had psychological problems) just because we're of the same race. I'm white too, but no one asks how I feel when someone who's Caucasian does something crazy. It made me uncomfortable to be put in the position that I somehow had to defend the entire Korean race because of one bad apple.

In discussing this further we realized that regardless of race, when we're talking about the shootings at VT, or Columbine, or people showing up at work with a gun and going postal, we're missing the point when we try to narrow it down to race, because the shooters were Americans.

Margaret Cho is a Korean American stand up comedian, who I've loved since she did the University circuit back in 1991, (before she got famous and got her HBO special and sitcom) and did a free show at my school (University of California, Irvine). The whole audience was with her and understood her unique style humor, and afterwards my face hurt from laughing so hard.

Margaret Cho spoke out on her blog about the race issue, in a post titled, "Our Humanity." (See below.)

"Whenever anything really bad happens around Korean people, that is when I would like to hide, go to Hawaii and eat spam sushi until it blows over. I don’t want to comment on it because I don't want to escalate the situation and I don't want to implicate myself in it. I don't want to 'come out' as Asian because therein lies a tremendous responsibility that I never volunteered for, that I don't have any real control over, and that is as mysterious to me as it is to someone who isn't Asian.

So here is the whole terrible mess of the shootings at Virginia Tech. I look at the shooter's expressionless face on the news and he looks so familiar, like he could be in my family. Just another one of us. But how can he be us when what he has done is so terrible? Here is where I can really envy white people because when white people do something that is inexplicably awful, so brutally and horribly wrong, nobody says – “do you think it is because he is white?” There are no headlines calling him the “White shooter." There is no mention of race because there is no thought in anyone's mind that his race had anything to do with his crime.

So much attention is focused on the Asian-ness of the shooter, how the Korean community is reacting to it, South Korea's careful condolences and cautiously expressed fear that it will somehow impact the South Korean population at large.

What is lost here is the grief. What is lost is the great, looming sadness that we should all feel over this. We lose our humanity to racism, time and time again.

I extend my deepest sympathies to all those who lost their loved ones, their children, their friends and family, in this unimaginable tragedy. I send them all the love I have in me, and I encourage everyone to do the same."

Very well said.

To view Margaret Cho's blog go to:

The best photo of Ann Coulter

Kudos to scottch for capturing in a photo exactly how the world feels about Ann Coulter.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stop Wars t-shirt has been selling their t-shirts to like minded individuals since 2002.

Actress Natalie Portman (Star Wars) wore this "Stop Wars" t-shirt when she appeared on SNL last year and there's also a photo of her in this shirt on their website.

According to their website, the Company's history is as follows:
We got our start printing 3-4 dozen Stop Wars shirts at a time and taking them down to the anti-war rallies in San Francisco. The message resonated with folks who did not agree with the post-9-11 policy in the U.S.

We launched mid-year 2002 to meet this demand and spread the message of peace. The designs have caught on in a big way and in 2007 we will donate 10% of sales to anti-war outfits. Moving forward we will focus on important social, political, and environmental themes in our t-shirt designs. We welcome good ideas and love to hear from you! Drop us an email anytime:

The cost is $22 plus shipping. If you're interested, the website address is :

Saturday, April 07, 2007

After Sylvia

In 1963 when the famous American poet Sylvia Plath committed suicide, her husband Ted Hughes, (British Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998) was with another woman, Assia Wevill who was pregnant with Hughes' child. Their love triangle was no secret, however the details about what happened to his mistress, Assia Wevill, who six years later in 1969 gassed herself and her four year old daughter Shura (allegedly Hughes was the girl's father) in her kitchen in the same fashion as Plath, were almost erased from history.

For some mysterious reason, the press refrained from reporting the tragedy. Only one local paper, the South London Press, violated what amounted to a hush-up. Even there, the story was at the bottom of page 13, and omitted any hint of an intimate connection between the poet and the deceased.

A new biography called: A Lover of Unreason: The Biography of Assia Wevill was published in Dec. 2006, and for the first time ever it tells the story of the woman that the poet, Ted Hughes tried to hide, with details about their eight-year relationship, which contributed to the ending of his marriage to Sylvia Plath. The book's title is from Assia Wevill's self-composed epitaph: "Here lies a lover of unreason, and an exile." Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev, the two authors that wrote this book claim that it took them 20 years to write it by painstakingly doing all the research needed by interviewing those closest to Plath, Hughes and Wevill, including a rare interview that was granted by Hughes himself.

I can't wait to get the book in my hands and tear through it. I've always loved Sylvia Plath's poems and I found her suicide to be a tragedy in the nth degree. I thought the story ended there, but now I find out there's more - an entire chapter that goes on and eerily repeats itself in the end with an almost carbon copy suicide by "the other woman" and murder of her four year old daughter.

Here are some tidbits I've read so far from reviewers and those who've read the book:

  • Assia Wevill was born in Berlin, the daughter of a Russian-Jewish father and a German Lutheran mother, and grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel.

  • Five week after meeting, Hughes hurried to a London advertising agency where Wevill was working, scribbled a note and left it with the receptionist. It said: 'I have come to see you, despite all marriages.' Wevill couldn't resist the thrill of responding, but she wanted to do it in striking, memorable fashion. From her office window, she noticed that a gardener was mowing the lawn below and found her inspiration. She went down, picked up a single blade of the freshly cut grass, dipped it in Dior perfume and sent it to Hughes.

  • Wevill's husband took an overdose of sleeping pills after he found out about the affair, but survived.

  • Assia Wevill was sleeping in Sylvia Plath's bed recovering from an abortion, just 2 days after Plath's suicide. Apparently Wevill had an abortion partly it seems to avoid scandal.

  • At the time of Sylvia Plath's death, Ted Hughes was granted custody of their two children, (although Plath's mother petitioned for custody). Their daughter Frieda was three, and their son Nicholas was barely one year old. (Frieda followed in her parents footsteps and is an acclaimed writer. Nicholas remains out of the public eye and is a Marine Biologist in Alaska.)

  • In a diary entry, Welvill blamed the ghost of Plath for making her suicidal.

  • Ted Hughes tried to keep the suicide of Assia Wevill from his mother because he thought the news might affect her recovery (from a knee operation). However, his mother eventually did find out. She suffered a thrombosis, lapsed into a coma and died three days later. Hughes was certain that Wevill's suicide was the final blow.

  • Throughout his life, Hughes warded off biographers and journalists and asked his friends to refrain from mentioning him in interviews or in their memoirs. When his archive at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, was made available to the public in 2000, it was devoid of Wevill's presence in his life: none of the numerous letters they exchanged, the notes, drawings or photos, were there.

  • In the rare instances where Ted Hughes agreed to provide biographical details, Welvill and Shura were never mentioned. He claimed that after Plath's suicide and until his marriage to Carol Orchard in 1970, he raised his children assisted only by members of his family or a local woman who helped with the daily chores - that for all those years, he was looking for a permanent feminine figure but "the right woman failed to materialise". In fact, Wevill lived with him in what she called Plath's "ghost house", 23 Fitzroy Road, London, and then in Ireland and Devon, and mothered his two children.

  • In a letter to his close friend Lucas Myers, Ted Hughes reflected on his part in the deaths of his wife and lover, confessing that with Plath it was his "insane decisions", while in Wevill's case it was his "insane indecisions".

  • When Hughes granted the authors a rare interview in London in October 1996, they wrote, "Hughes said Plath's death 'was complicated and inevitable, she had been on that track most of her life. But Wevill's was avoidable.' Perhaps this was why he tried to erase her from his life. "

  • It dawned on Wevill that being at Hughes' side at the time of Plath's suicide had contaminated her forever, and that he would never marry her. "I have lived on the dream of living with Ted - and this has gone kaput," she wrote in her suicide note to her father. "There could never be another man. Never."

  • In Wevill's suicide note to her father she also wrote that her daughter Shura had become the core of her existence, and she was quite certain that if left motherless, the four-year-old, pampered child would be a second-class citizen in the Hughes household. Also that she was afraid that Shura was too old to be adopted, and did not wish her to grow up alone as a foster child, an orphan. Her murderous act was thus the outcome of a distorted over-responsibility: "Execute yourself and your little self efficiently," Wevill had written in her diary three days before.

  • Hughes' infidelity was notorious, and even while in a relationship with Weville, Hughes was also having affairs with at least 2 other women; one of whom he later married - Carol Orchard, a nurse. They remained together (despite his continued affairs over the years), until his death.

  • On March 23, 1969, Assia Wevill took her own life and that of her daughter in a manner that closely reenacted Plath's suicide. Dragging a mattress into the kitchen, Assia sealed the door and window. She then lay her sleeping child down on the mattress (some say quilts and blankets) and dissolved some sleeping pills for herself in a glass of water. Taking the pills, she turned on the gas stove, and lay down next to her daughter.

  • In a letter Hughes wrote, "Assia was my true wife and the best friend I ever had."

  • Hughes died of a heart attack on October 28, 1998, while undergoing treatment for colon cancer.

  • Weville's friends say at least the new biography means Welvill at last has a voice after years of being a footnote in literary history.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I'll be your mirror

More Nico.

Video footage is of someone's travels to Chile.

Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing

Random thought of the day:
This video/song by Scissor Sisters reminds me of Amsterdam.

Background info:
When we were in Amsterdam last year (Sept. 2006), Uwe and I would watch MTV videos while the baby was taking a nap in the afternoon. They seemed to play this video over and over again. I didn't mind since it's such a fun pop song reminiscent of disco, but with a modern twist. (And the lead singer is fun to watch dancing around in his metalic purple outfit.)

They were huge in Europe 6 months ago so it's funny that Americans are just now hearing about this band.

When we got back to Los Angeles, Uwe bought me the CD, but it took awhile since it was an import and not yet available in the US.

Anyway, quite random I know. Thank gawd for youtube, where you can find just about any video or song. And did I mention I miss Amsterdam?