Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Flo!!!

A very happy birthday to you, Flo!!! And its a big one!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Slate Votes

If the staff of Slate were to decide the election, Obama wins by a landslide. Well, actually, it is almost unanimous.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Early Voting

I voted today on my way to work. Besides an extreme lack of parking (most spaces were saved because of some board meeting that was being held there in the afternoon) there was no wait and things went smoothly. Of course Jerry had to wait 2 hrs at the same place yesterday and park in a fire zone, which as you can imagine Jerry hated doing.

I was excited to vote, but now I feel even more powerless than I did before. Darn this red state I live in.

Family Photos

I think this picture is of Bill, Floey and Jody. Taken in Disneyland? In 1966?

(My brother Bob is converting all the family slides to digital, and this one picture was in a carousel labeled "various". I have no idea how a Culkin family vacation slide ended up in there).

And most of you have seen this one, but I think it deserves a place on Red Peonies:

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Weekend

My weekend started early, with a great Indian dinner on Thursday with Kristen and Neilson. Good food, snarky comments, beer. Lots of discussion of the wonders of kitties. Nice.

On Friday, Neilson and I went to a Trafalgar Night Dinner thrown by one of my colleagues. Trafalgar Night, of course, celebrates the British victory over the French and Spanish and honors the memory of Admiral Nelson, who died in the effort. Highlights included Beef Wellington, port, and a chocolate cake shaped like a ship.

On Saturday, I rode on a bus to Wilkes-Barre, PA, with other CUNY professors and canvased for Obama with the American Federation of Teachers. I was paired with a nice young mathematician from Medgar Evers College, who rivaled me in baby-facedness, and I think we looked so nonthreatening and goofy that people were very friendly. We managed to get 3 people to put signs in the lawns, which apparently was quite impressive. Only 3 of the 50 houses we went to were openly for McCain, although one of them did tell us Obama was a terrorist and we "were just too young to understand." We did get some undecideds, which seemed like code for 'I won't vote for an African American'; one woman, who was for Obama, pretty much confirmed this and said everyone on the block would have voted for Hillary. After we were done, the union fed us a tasty lunch of chicken, rice and cheesecake.

When I got back to NYC, I went over to Neilson's sister's for a family dinner, as Neilson's father is in town. Neilson had taken care of the food selection, which is always for the best, and he imported many delicious dishes from Chinatown. But the most exciting news was that I had an Otis breakthrough. I reported last winter that I had at long last gotten him to make eye contact with me, but I have never been able to get him to really play and interact with me. But last night the two of us had a great time crawling around the floor (forwards and backwards), practicing standing, and reading books that Otis picked out.

Yesterday I tried to catch up on all my work. A Coke helped.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall in Colorado

Joseph and I drove over Guanella Pass 2 weeks ago and took these picts. Thought everyone might like them.

More Campaign Silliness- The Dance-Off

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

I am obsessed with the election!

I cannot stop hitting the refresh button on the news sources and blogs I read to find out what people are saying about the election. I can't wait until this is over, so I can move on to other things I am interested in- though if Obama/Biden lose, I may never recover.

More Republicans Jump Ship

Read about more Republicans who have jumped ship to endorse Obama.

5 Best Fictional Black Presidents

Slate has an article about the 5 Best Fictional Black Presidents- Read about it here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Opie and the Fonz endorse Obama

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

HJP in the LJ

It's not a baby, but another Culkin product is arriving on the scene this fall. The HJ Papers are being published in November and just received a rave review in The Library Journal. (You need to scroll down to read it). Of course, I and everyone but the project director are referred to only as "others" and "co-editors." But my name is on Amazon and, although you don't seem to be able to search by it, the Library of Congress online catalog. (I am clearly a librarian's daughter--and a huge geek--given how exciting that is to me.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Celebrating Phillippe

Kathy often invites me to fabulous events at the Met- I wasn't able to go that often until this year, when my schedule has changed and I am done teaching by 5:30.

Phillipe de Montebello has been the director of the Metropolitan Museum for 30 years or so. I can't pretend to comment on the acquisitions that the Met has made during his tenure. But I really enjoyed attending the party (one of many) to celebrate Phillipe and the Met. What a great museum! I loved walking from a rifle- to a Caracci painting- to a Degas print- to a statue of Shiva- to a sword in the exhibition that highlighted the acquisitions to the collection under his watch. And at the reception, many tasty snacks were consumed. More pictures on flickr

Congratulations are in order

So, many of you have already been made aware of this exciting news, but I am happy to have been given official posting duties on the blog.

Another family member is on the way, due to join our clan in late spring of next year. Eric and Kjersti are expecting a baby in May of '09. Legally speaking, Kjersti will be joining the family in September or October of '09 when we will all get to celebrate their wedding in Denver, but I for one already consider her a member of our crazy group. She looks like she's up to it.

Congratulations to you both. Welcome to the family Kjersti. We can't wait to be posting pictures of Cookie right alongside Butter.

Looks like I'll be making a couple of trips to Denver next year.

Poll of polls...

One good way to manage election anxiety is through sites that consolidate information and update continuously. One site that does a pretty good job of this is FiveThirtyEight ("538" = number electoral votes).

It consolidates information from credible state and national polls and updates throughout the day. Read their FAQ for information about their methodology.

This site kind of addictive but is handy in this final countdown phase. It's also encouraging it illustrates using visuals how well Obama is doing across many views.

Colorado no longer a swing state?

According to some reports, McCain is giving up on Colorado. I did not see that coming--Denverites, do you have any perspective on this?

And will Palin and McCain continue the character smears as Obama goes to the side of his ailing grandmother?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Was Kenley treated unfairly?

I love the Slate Political Gabfest (as does Molly), and this week one of the guests, Hanna Rosin, talked about toggling between the last debate and the Project Runway Finale, as I did. Her main point was that bratty Kenley got treated differently than the equally obnoxious men in previous seasons.

I don't think she should have won, but I do think there is no doubt that she was treated differently than the guys. Read Rosin's post on Slate's XX Factor.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sonja - Closeups at 24 hours

More Sonja

Here is a link to Trish's Sonja flickr set

Sonja Kiley

I'm sure there will more, higher resolution pictures coming from Denver soon. But here are some of the first cell phone images of Sonja Kiley, born Oct. 17 at 3:15, weighing in at 7 lbs 6 oz.

Anders celebrated by getting a pizza with his grandparents.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apple you irritate me

I've been waiting to buy a new computer until the new Macbooks with the aluminum case were released. Which happened yesterday. And I was all set to buy one until I learned the new Macbooks don't have a firewire port. Which means my external hard drive--just purchased at Christmas--and my iPod won't work on it. (And yes, that means I have a really old iPod, but I embrace the unAmerican idea that you use electronics until they break). I really don't understand what Mac was thinking--the lower end MacBook, which is still in the white plastic case (which I never liked)--still has a firewire port and so does the MacBook pro. I read in many of the heated discussions on this topic online that Apple previously shipped a MacBook pro without a firewire port, but people were so upset that the company changed the design quickly. (This doesn't matter to me, but apparently a lot of video stuff requires firewire, meaning a lot of expensive video cameras can't be attached to the new computers). So now I don't know what do--buy the white computer I think is ugly, buy the new MacBook and run my iPod off of my old computer, or just wait and see if Apple sees how irritated people are makes a change. Where is that hipster now to explain things. I realize the whole Apple plan is to make things obsolete as quickly as possible, but just grrr.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debate or Project Runway Finale?

Tough call, which do you watch?

Well, I did watch the debate, but skipped back to Project Runway when McCain went on a jag.

Cringe Time

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Christopher endorses Obama

Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley, endorsed Obama here

Monday, October 13, 2008

Even Christopher Hitchens Endorses Obama...

in an extremely grudging way. Read about it here

Sarah Palin Booed at Flyers Hockey Game

You have to wait for the other Hockey Mom to get cheered, Sarah gets booed (loudly) about 40 seconds into the clip.

Oswego in the Fall

Bill and I spent some time in Oswego; Bill is still there. Kate joined us, and we had dinner with Trish and Mary Brennan at Canale's. Bill and I went to hot yoga, had Thai food with Sandy, Mary Alice, Kathy, Tracey and Burt, and also had dinner at the house with Dan and Joan, Carol, and Terrie.

It is quite beautiful there right now. I forgot to take pictures until my last day, so I took many from-the-car shots. Many more on flickr.

Border Bridge

Dad knows this guy. Not too surprising really. But worth checking out the video.

You can read more about it in the Wall Street Journal's article Texas Rancher's Bridge to the Past Runs Afoul of the Border Patrol.

Oh Border Patrol and DHS, don't you have anything better to do with your time? Seriously, why don't you?

Paul Krugman Wins Noble Prize

Paul Krugman, columnist for the New York Times and Princeton professor, won the Nobel Prize in Economics. I have become a fan, his column has been so helpful in understanding what is going on in the economy over the last couple of years. Read about it here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A good analysis....

“I have no idea what the stock market is going to do next month or six months from now,” Warren Buffett told CNBC on Friday. “I do know that the American economy, over a period of time, will do very well, and people who own a piece of it will do well.”

(I've always trusted Waren Buffet)

Full story here

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Who is Barack Obama?

For one thing, he's left handed. (Did Hosmer know this?)

From a Rush and Molloy column in February 08 ...

"Lefties are backing Barack Obama - his fellow southpaws, that is. A group of left-handed Democrats has formed Lefties for Obama to raise money and get out the vote for the Illinois senator's White House bid

Albert Einstein, Michelangelo, Charlie Chaplin, Pablo Picasso and Babe Ruth were all lefties, as is Dr. James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, and Paul McCartney. Leftie Jimi HendrixLeonardo da Vinci wrote backward, with a mirror. Comic genius Jon Stewart is a leftie. And left-handed, too. famously played his guitar upside down, and Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward, with a mirror. Comic genius Jon Stewart is a leftie. And left-handed, too." More here

Will the McPains try to make the case that beng left-handed means Obama is even more of a dangerous radical? Don't rule it out, but also watch this video to see how the Obama campaign is answering the question "Who is Barack Obama?"

Sunday, October 05, 2008

My wrist saga

As most people know I injured myself in Mexico on the 3rd day of our honeymoon. I dropped a glass and it shattered and cut my wrist. I had 12 stitches in Puerto Escondido and they were taken out in Oaxaca City 5 days later.

I enjoyed Sprite and read a book on the beach while Jerry swam.
I had to keep it dry so this was my shower gear.

Well it was still painful a month later, I couldn't put any weight on my wrist and I couldn't pick anything up. I went to a Dr. and he thought I had damaged a tendon. I wore a small wrist brace for a few weeks and then I had surgery on Thurs. It turned out that my tendon was 25% cut and needed to be repaired. I will be in the blue brace for 4 more days and then the Dr. will evaluate and see if I need physical therapy. I am pretty grumpy about the whole thing, but I will get over it. I may be more mad that someone stole my Obama sign in my front yard.

This is my high tech shower gear.

Thankfully the feeling came back in my arm late on Friday, but I still can't move my wrist or do much of anything.

I Heart Bruce Springsteen

Bruce thinks Obama will lead us in an American reclamation project.

You probably saw these already, but in case not.....

And then Mel Gibson kicked Bill Maher off his Facebook Friends

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Real Men Love Cats

The New York Times Style Section reports what Grand Daddy Bob proved long ago: Real Men Love Cats.

Friday, October 03, 2008

New Yorker endorses O'Bama .......

and provides a coherent antidote to the hoohah of recent weeks. Reading this is a delight not just for its point of view, especially as it exposes McCain's weirdness, but because it demonstrates that the clear presentation of opinions is not totally a lost art.

"The election of Obama—a man of mixed ethnicity, at once comfortable in the world and utterly representative of twenty-first-century America—would, at a stroke, reverse our country’s image abroad and refresh its spirit at home. His ascendance to the Presidency would be a symbolic culmination of the civil- and voting-rights acts of the nineteen-sixties and the century-long struggles for equality that preceded them. It could not help but say something encouraging, even exhilarating, about the country, about its dedication to tolerance and inclusiveness, about its fidelity, after all, to the values it proclaims in its textbooks. At a moment of economic calamity, international perplexity, political failure, and battered morale, America needs both uplift and realism, both change and steadiness. It needs a leader temperamentally, intellectually, and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled globe. That leader’s name is Barack Obama."

Click here for full editorial.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Voice of a People's History/Sneakers on the Internet

Last night, I joined my friend Jen and her family for dinner and a performance of Voice of a People's History, readings based on some of the primary sources that Howard Zinn used to write A People's History of the United States. The reading was held at NYU, part of the Hip Hop Theater Festival. Performers included Tim Robbins, Michael Rappaport, and some hip-hop people I am way too uncool to know. Sadly Lili Taylor was a no show, but it was still a fantastic event. There is going to be a performance in Boulder next week with Zinn himself attending, and I think many of the Denver Culkins would enjoy it.

Over the course of the evening I learned my friend's husband is a youtube sensation, as he documents a year of collecting sneakers, especially Jordans.


Here's a cool site that creates small manageable URL's from large humongous ones. Click here.

It's pretty handy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dennis Kucinich on Rachel Maddow

I must say, he makes some good points.