Sunday, November 7, 2010

Adventures in Speech and Debate and Englishmen

I found this at

I feel a bit like Michael Palin's character in Monty Python's Flying Circus' "Gumby Brain Surgery" sketch.

My brain hurts.

It was a long weekend for la Famille de Forrest. Super Son competed in a Congress Debate event whilst Professor X and I scurried about doing Speech and Debate Booster Club support activities, including judging some events. We heard some great stuff from a lot of wonderful young people. I especially love judging events like impromptu, where they're given a choice of three topics and have to choose one, then make up and deliver a speech on the spot. It takes guts to do this type of activity. It's been over a quarter of a century since I participated in speech and debate, and I can still remember how nervous I felt before each round, how my heart pounded and my stomach churned.

I had lots of good stuff I wanted to tell you about regarding the speech and debate topic, but I got distracted with hanging out with the kids and my man, going to the local fitness center to get more sleek, eating a great steak dinner grilled by the man, watching The Simpsons featuring Hugh Laurie and Daniel Radcliffe, and enjoying my new secret boyfriend, Benedict Cumberbatch, in his brilliant portrayal of Sherlock.

I was first introduced to him when I watched Fortysomething, a funny television series starring Hugh Laurie. Have a peek at some of the scenes with Cumberbatch. Hearing all those lovely British accents gets me very excited about our upcoming visit to the UK this summer. I do love me some Englishmen. You're just going to have to wait for my Speech and Debate recollections and observations, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WTF Has Obama Done So Far?

I had prepared myself for bad news yesterday, so I wasn't shocked when the tide of red began to sweep the map. Still it was a blow when my own congressional district chose a woman who does not represent my values.

I've heard a lot of people say that the election of all these conservative candidates is a backlash against the President and the Democratic-controlled Congress.

I just don't get it. A backlash against what, precisely?

Significantly expanding Pell grants, which help low-income students pay for college

Providing travel expenses to families of fallen soldiers to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB?

Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs with more than $1.4 billion to improve services to America's Veterans?

Or maybe it's something else?* God knows they've accomplished a lot in just two short years, after 8 years of an administration that screwed our environment, turned a surplus into a deficit, and sent our troops into wars that shouldn't have been started in the first place.

I am angry today. But unlike Sharron Angle, I don't intend to "resort to Second Amendment remedies." Instead, I take comfort in the fact that at least she and some of the other more obvious wackos didn't win. Still, Michele Bachmann is reelected. And that woman scares the shit out of me. You probably saw the footage of her interview with Chris Matthews. Here Matthews reflects on the interview. Shades of Joe McCarthy! I want to know WTF Minnesota voters are thinking. Seriously?

*Check this out for more examples:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Second Chances

Laurie Viera Rigler, author of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict

I have to tell you the sad news: I didn't win any of the Austen books in the giveaway I mentioned in my last post. But the good news is that the author is offering another giveaway! Check it out and watch a funny clip about chamber pots vs. toilets:

Laurie Viera Rigler is the author. She just visited Portland, but sadly, I didn't get to meet her. Though I volunteered to help at the JASNA AGM event, and worked at the registration table, our paths didn't cross. I wish now that I had coughed up the money for the event, but it was spendy and I'm saving for a trip to visit Jane Austen's home in England this summer. Life is all about choices.

Speaking of choices, I hope Laurie chooses me to win her books!