Thursday, May 29, 2003

[Duchess note ... this tidbit is from a recent newsletter from Great organization! Check it out if you wish.]

The Democratic National Committee has now joined the fight with a "Supreme Court Countdown" and online petition, and we think it's important to support them too. We've spoken to chairman McAuliffe and he's agreed to deliver our petition comments personally to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. He'll ask Sen. Daschle to get your comments to his colleagues in the Democratic caucus as well.

To sign the DNC petition and send your comment, just go to:

We expect chairman McAuliffe to deliver these comments next week, so add your voice today.

President Bush and the right wing are pulling out all the stops on these nominations. They've even talked about a "nuclear option" -- attempting to change the rules of the Senate to deny the use of the filibuster in the consent process. It's amazing that these politicians would consider destroying the time-honored traditions of the Senate and undermining the "advise and consent" provisions of the Constitution.

The Democrats are standing up in this fight, in the face of heavy pressure from the Bush White House. They need to hear our appreciation for this courageous stand and our demand that they hold the line. They need to hear that we understand what's at stake and will stand with them.

Go now to:

As I'm sure you know, these appointments are for life, and these judges make decisions that impact every aspect of our public and private lives. Our actions today will affect generations to come.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Interesting article from Denver Post ... "Musicians Blast FCC Plan - Members of R.E.M. & Pearl Jam Decry Radio Consolidation". Rock on dudes! God damn government and big corporations are slowly taking away our first amendment rights et al. Down with corporate media ... let's hear it for free speech!!,1413,36~78~1406829,00.html

On to something light and fun ... Elf Quiz! I took the quiz/test and found out I'm a tranquil elf. Cool! Check it out:

Even tho the weather mostly sucked [overcast, wet, cool] over the Memorial Day weekend, we did have a lovely, sunny, warm Sunday afternoon upstate NY. Did a few fun things over the course of three days ... such as: visit the Bennington Battlefield in VT, took a tour of Schuyler Mansion in Schuyler [NY], visited Saratoga National Cemetery, hit several tag sales [lots of good bargins], eat out a few times, shopping in Saratoga Springs [NY] & Manchester [VT], visit family and watch cable telly. Dad rented a car from Enterprise and it was a nice, little Mazda. Mom and I toodled around in that while Dad utilized his car and worked at golf course. It was nice and relaxing to get away for several days.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Interesting article/link from Common Dreams website and UK Times ... check it out if you wish:

Another terrific article/link from BBC News Online regarding war media coverage:

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Came across this link/article on the GREEN PARTY website and wanted to share it with you all. Check it out, if you wish:


As promised awhile ago, here is my book review......

"The Eagles Shadow - Why America Fascinates & Infuriates the World"

By Mark Hertsgaard ... He's put out four other books, including "Earth Odyssey" and "On Bended Knee". Mark is first and foremost a journalist who's articles have appeared in New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, The Nation [current fav of mine], Die Zeit, Le Nouvel Observateur and many other worldwide publications. He's a featured lecturer at Harvard and Yale, plus a regular contributor to National Public Radio.

I first heard about this book and author after attending the awesome February 15th Peace Rally at UN here in NYC. While surfing the Internet I came across a great website called The article and interview was quite fascinating and intriguing, really peaked my curiosity. Two months later I finally found "The Eagles Shadow" at Shakespeare & Co bookstore. Brilliant book ... informative, thought provoking and well researched. One that I highly recommend others to read. Remember that knowledge is power or enlightenment, especially if its utilized correctly and not abused.

"Americans rarely used to think about the outside world", says Hertsgaard and that statement is so true for about 50% of our nation. The media over the last 20 years or so doesn't help, as its more into sensationalism [ie: money profits] then truth, knowledge or vital issues. Hertsgaard gathered perceptions regarding America from people in 15 countries. Ranging from business leaders, teenagers or Islamic fundamentalists, these people felt both admiring of and uneasy about the US, also enchanted, bewildered, appalled and yes, even envy. In his book, Hertsgaard exposes uplifting, as well as uncomfortable truths that force Americans and foreigners alike to view this country with fresh open eyes. Read it today and you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Here are the lyrics to a terrific Pearl Jam song [Long Road] and seems to be appropriate [I think] for these days. . . . . .

and i wished for so long, cannot stay
all the precious moments, cannot stay
it's not like wings have fallen, cannot say
but without you something's missing, i cannot say yeah
holding hands are daughters and sons
and their faiths are falling down down down down
i have wished for so long
how i wish for you today
we all walk the long road, cannot stay
there's no need to say goodbye
all the friends and family
all the memories going round round round round
i have wished for so long
how i wish for you today
and the winds are blowin'
and the sky keeps turning grey
and the sun is setting
the sun will rise another day
i have wished for so long
how i wish for you today
how i wished for so long
how i wish for you today
we all walk the long road
(we all walk the long road)
we all walk the long road
(we all walk the long road)

Monday, May 12, 2003

Interesting BBC article on "Saving Private Lynch Story 'flawed'". Check it out:

Another interesting BBC article on Democratic presidential hopefuls for the 2004 elections. ABB = Anybody But Bush!


A snippet from the May 12th Green Party press release called "Revelation of Halliburton's Oil Distribution Deal Tops The Extensive List Of Bush's Wartime Lies"

[Greens also note that the White House and intelligence agencies are blocking the release of information about the September 11 terrorist attacks, delaying publication of a 900-page report from Congress on how the attacks happened. The blocked information includes details of early warnings received by the FBI, as well as testimony already published, such as the Phoenix memo.

"Why aren't these deceptions and evasions a major scandal and cause for investigation and prosecution?", asked Starlene Rankin, Lavender Green Caucus delegate to the national party. "Where's the outrage from the public and media? Why is perjury about oral sex cause for impeachment, but not perjury before Congress, the American people, and the U.N. about reasons for war? Why is the Democratic Party, except for a few vigilant Congressmembers like Henry Waxman, asleep in the passenger seat?"]

Here is the link:

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Came across this really good article on American versus British media today [ie: regarding Iraq war] on Common Dreams website. It is so true, one has to go elsewhere for good detailed news coverage, cause its just not happening here in the USA. Check it out ... if you wish:

Yesterday afternoon I was up in Yonkers doing my beloved volunteer work at ferret shelter. Aliza and Briana met me at the train station and we drove to shelter. Its great seeing them again and chatting. When we arrived Joanne was outside working on flowers in front and Harley was sitting in his doggie house. We talked for awhile about several things, one of which was the new 4-level cage Aliza purchased for her two furkids. Then Aliza and her daughter took off and I went indoors with Joanne. In the kitchen we caught up on "news" before going into shelter. Dear Bouncy Bear has been adopted, several new ferrets are in-house and one of the oldsters had to be put to sleep a week ago. In the shelter the first group of furkids were out ... the regulars whom I know well and love dearly [ie: Oliver, Sweet Pea, Emily, Big Willy & Spats]. While brushing their fur and cleaning their ears I put a large, empty Q-tip box on the floor. OMG! They went nuts over it. They dragged it all over the floor or tried to squeeze into it. Very amusing to observe their antics. Then it was time to put them back in their cages and go around filling up all the waterbottles. That done ... Joanne and I took out next group [10] of ferrets for play time. This included several newbies and one oldster. They too played with the Q-tip box. I brushed their fur and cleaned ears. Then it was time for a tea break with Joanne and a liberal discussion on politics. During this whole time her cat Mushy sat on my lap purring away. Back in the shelter we put away the furkids. I cleaned up poopy papers, mopped the floors and put down fresh papers, plus straightened up all the toys.

The last furkid to come out for his playtime has quite a "story" ... which I'll briefly relate. Hearing Joanne tell it damn near brought tears to my eyes. She said that two weeks ago a woman called her and said she'd found a ferret, in a park out in Forest Hills [Queens]. She was walking her dog when the pooch went to sniff a towel on the ground near a tree. She thought it might have a dead animal, but then a little ferret slowly poked its head out. The poor darling was thin, dirty, couldn't walk and very shaky. Joanne said the woman made several phone calls before being referred to her. The little three year old fella is doing better these days, tho not 100% and is slowly able to get around. Whomever the original cruel owners were, Joanne says they must of keep the wee one cooped up in a small cage on a 24/7 basis. Bastards! The little ferret is very friendly, doesn't bite, gives kisses, inquisitive and likes being held. He's such a darling. Soon Joanne plans on taking him to the vet for a thorough checkup. While there I brushed his fur and cleaned his ears. It was apparent that the previous owner didn't perform these duties. Makes me so mad to hear of people who are cruel to animals and innocent pets. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Spent the rest of my Barnes & Noble gift card yesterday evening and picked up several cool books.

"I'm a Stranger here Myself" by Bill Bryson
"The Master & Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov

[Plus a pretty, blank journal to utilize as a record-keeper of my volunteer work at ferret shelter.]


Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark......

One: Don't miss the boat.
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
Six: Build your future on high ground.
Seven: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Nine: When you're stressed, float a while.
Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Really good article from Common Dreams website on the media verse protest marches. Check it out ... if you wish:

[Duchess note ... I will continue to participate in Peace Rallys and Protest Marches. I go to lend my support to a worthy cause and making my "free" voice heard. Whether the media covers the events or not, we must continue to go out there and fight for our democratic rights. Or we'll lose them to the evil, greedy, ruthless, destructive Bush Administration empire.]

Next on the agenda ... check out this link ... if you wish:

[Be part of a national anti-war action on May 14th. Screen "Dr Strangelove" (Peter Sellers film from 1963) and raise money for groups still working hard for peace, justice and relief in Iraq.]

One of my bosses gave me a belated "Administrative Assistant Day" gift card [$50] to Barnes & Noble. WooHoo! During a late lunch I stopped by a B&N in Union Square and picked up two books. Still have $35 left on the card. Yeah!

The Buddhist Handbook by John Snelling
Daughters of Britannia - The Live & Times of Diplomatic Wives by Katie Hickman

More political news:

Join the party that fights for democracy instead of empire, peace instead of endless war, working people instead of corporations, and the health of our planet!

The Green Party and its candidates take NO money from corporations.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

On Sunday, May 4th, I joined my friend Debbie in going to see Cirque Du Soleil ["Varekai"] out on Randalls Island. Our tix were for the 5pm showing. Took subway up to 125th Street, where Debbie joined me and we got on special buses [$4 roundtrip] bound for Randalls Island. A short ride and a nice, sunny spring day. After leaving the bus we stroll, along with the crowd, to were the many yellow/blue stripe tents are situated. Then the usual procedure ... go thru security check, show ones tix, look at the merchandise, hit the bathroom and then find our seats. Its like a "one-ring" circus only there are no animal acts, delightful music and costumes are fantastic. Believe me, when I say, there isn't a bad seat in the whole venue. The show started shortly after 5pm, had one 20 minute break and ended close to 7:30pm. Amazing show! Fantastic! Visually appealing and all the performers were incredible. I highly recommend to all in seeing a Cirque Du Soleil show at least once in their lifetime. Worth the price of admission. No doubt about it.

A friend of mine sent me a terrific article ["My Country: The World"] by historian and author Howard Zinn. It can be viewed at:

Here is a quote from that article:

[Tom Paine used the word "patriot" to describe the rebels resisting imperial rule. He also enlarged the idea of patriotism when he said: "My country is the world. My countrymen are mankind."]

I've also finished the book by Mark Hertsgaard called "The Eagle's Shadow" and will have a review end of week. Stay tuned..............

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Pearl Jam Concert Review
Albany, NY

April 29, 2003

Arrived into Albany, via Trailways bus, at 5pm. I checked into the Ramada Inn near the bus terminal at 5:30pm. Good thing I made reservations for a room way in advance, cause they are sold out, mostly with Pearl Jam fans. The room was on the 4th floor overlooking the thruway. Oh yeah, noise factor. Sigh! Freshened up then changed into my concert attire of jeans, sneakers and POLICE t-shirt. Then strapped on my fanny pack and grabbed my jeans vest before heading out to arena at 6:30pm. Yeah baby!

Strolled to arena and arrived at 6:45pm. What a mob scene outside! Ran into some cool Green Party dudes who were handing out Xerox copies of PEACE sign to any and all fans. I already had mine protected in plastic sheet and snuggly stashed in my fanny pack. Got to talking to one of the dudes about a few topics [ie: local cops, etc] and he gave me the number to contact Green Party here in NYC.

Went into Pepsi Arena and had no troubles with security check, plus the guard was young and so cute. ;-) After showing my tix I noticed the Pearl Jam goodie table and a huge line of fans. I was like, no way, too pricey for my humble wallet. Had a slice of pizza, which tasted like some icky frozen kind nuked. I was hungry, so figured what the hell. Yah know. Hit the bathroom, cause I refuse to leave during mid Pearl Jam gig to take a pee. By this time its 7:15pm and I go in search of my seat, which is 104 C 3. I could see the stage just fine from my seat. Totally different from what I experienced at Saratoga show back in August 2000.

Two gals [ie: Alexa & Cheryl] are in seats next to mine and we strike up a fun conversation. It’s their first Pearl Jam gig and my second. Cheryl is in her mid-30s, married with kids and Alexa is in college. They live way south of Albany and were nice gals.

At 7:30pm SPARTA comes on stage to do a so-so 45-minute set. Well folks, this band did nothing for me, though I must admit the drummer was pretty good and the bass player sucked. But hey, to each his own, yah know. I wore earplugs to tone down their noise. Took the roadies about 35 minutes to clear SPARTA stuff and do final setup of Pearl Jam equipment. By this time my stomach is doing flip-flops. Hell yeah, I’m getting that excited.

At around 8:50pm the lights dim, everyone jumps to their feet, screams and lots of applause as Pearl Jam hits the stage. WooHoo! I’ve got a piece of paper with me and pen to jot down the set list, plus other notes. Watched them come on stage, observing them closely, especially Mike AND Jeff. They all looked good and ready rock the arena. I was hoping they would start off set with LONG ROAD, but they jumped right into I AM MINE. After that they blasted into WHIPPING. Awesome! Jeff started in with some pogoing, but poor Mike was having trouble with either his guitars or pedal board. This unfortunate occurrence continued thru next few songs and kind of curbed his style. Next song was LAST EXIT, followed by an intense version of BLOOD. Ed raging into his mike and I thought his voice would go, but it didn’t. Next on set list was CROPDUSTER with Matt supplying the backup vocals. Then comes one of my fav songs DAUGHTER with several cool tags, one of which is ABITW by Pink Floyd. Mike is still having troubles, but is dealing with it and his roadie is doing all he can to resolve situation. Jeff, as always, is looking and sounding wonderful. I’m taking in the whole stage, but my main focus is on Jeff, Mike and Ed. In that order too. Through it all I’m happily dancing, bopping up and down, plus screaming “yeah baby”. The two gals next to me are also dancing and smiling. We be happy!

The arena has signs all over stating NO SMOKING and despite this people are lighting up cigarettes and joints. And damn security is doing nothing! The smell of the pot is slowly giving me a sinus headache. Damn!

Next song on Pearl Jam set list is another fav of mine – EVEN FLOW. Mike, Jeff and Ed do a jump during the song and Mike is the bomb with his solo. Wow! They follow with a fav song off their RIOT ACT cd called GHOST. This is one of Jeff’s songs and he does backup vocals. Sweet! Next is ELDERLY WOMAN, though Ed chats abit with crowd before singing that song. Audience really gets into this song, and then they do another RIOT ACT song called LOVE BOAT CAPTAIN and features Boom Gaspar [?] on keyboards. Awesome! Next is WISHLIST and I admit not one of my fav Pearl Jam songs, though at the end Ed does an interesting tag. Then they do a kick-ass version of SAVE YOU and the whole band is totally grooving. Then, to my surprise, they swing into ONCE.

Along this time both Cheryl and Alexa had to leave, as their ride is waiting for them outside. I told Cheryl, who is a Ten Club member, to order the CD boot online. That way she will hear the whole gig.

Next up a great version of CORDUROY with Jeff grooving all over the place, but mostly with his back to us, which affords me a nice view of his amazing shoulders and butt. What a fine looking man. Mike rips off a bitchin solo towards end. This is followed by BETTERMAN, which the audience sings along to and quite loudly. They end the first part of their set with a fantastic rendition of PORCH. They are really into it and if I remember correctly, Ed and Mike stroll around the whole stage waving to fans in the back. This really gets the whole audience jazzed.

They head off stage for a 7-minute or so break. This give me and hundreds of others in the crowd time to whip out our white 8x11 papers with PEACE sign on it. The Green Party asked us to hold these up when the band came back on stage for encore. Not only do I hold up mine and proudly I may add, but also several hundred fans do likewise.

The look on the guys faces as they gaze out to see so many PEACE signs is priceless. Ed says something about peace, and then Jeff strolls over to mention something in Ed’s ear. Also, at this time, Ed spots someone in audience and brings up on stage. She is a young, petite gal who shakes hands with all the band members, but hugs Stone. I’m thinking lucky girl, but also what’s wrong with her. Hug Stone? Fuck that – go for the good stuff and hug Jeff. Oh well. Then Ed introduces her to the crowd [name is Rachel], asks her to hold a piece of paper and be a human music stand, which she does. One could tell she was nervous but happy. After the band finishes a great rendition of Patti Smith song called PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER, Rachel hands Ed her small camera. He takes pix of her with Stone, then Mike & Jeff and finally with Matt. Whoa! After she leaves the stage, Ed and band do a cute improv about how Rachel came to show and wished for world peace. Definitely a highlight to the evening. DO THE EVOLUTION follows this and then another fav song of mine GIVEN TO FLY. Audience is so into the show, me too, lots of energy. Then Ed says the next song is being performed for first time on NA Tour [or something like that] and they do ALL OR NONE. Sounds good too.

OMG! They follow that with an amazing version of ALIVE. I’m singing and dancing. Love it all! Throughout the whole encore Jeff is wowing us with great jumps and pogoing all over. A joy to watch. The final song of the gig is The Who’s BABA O’RILEY. Ed is whipping up frenzy on tambourines, Jeff dances a little Irish jig near Mike, and Matt is a powerhouse on drums. Towards end of song Ed runs around the whole parameter of stage, not once, but twice and flings tambourines to the crowd. Mike throws out guitar picks by the dozen. The guy’s finish the song to cheers from audience, they wave goodnight and Ed says goodbye. Awesome two hour show, though I’m wondering why no second encore. Doesn’t take long to exit the arena and walk back to Ramada Inn. The air feels so cool and fresh.

And there you have my lengthy review.