For Kerri

White Door/Open Door by Wilhelm Hammershoi
1905 Oil on canvas

Eef Barzelay - Thanksgiving Waves
Matt Pond PA - Measure 3
Neko Case - Hold On, Hold On


annamaria at 10:07 PM

2 spoke


Interior with a Lady

Interior with a Lady by Wilhelm Hammershoi
1901 Oil on canvas

I'm feeling melancholy today, and I have nothing at all to complain about which only makes it worse. So, I started writing in my little journal about all the things that have ever made me happy, all in a futile attempt to get back that feeling without doing any of the work to deserve it.

One of those happy memories involves the painting above. A few years ago, Rich and I spent a lovely afternoon at the DIA, and we noticed this fantastic piece tucked in a corner of the European Masters room. It looked bereft and humble, almost as if it was embarrassed to be sharing space with the Rembrandts and Renoirs. It seemed to know that hundreds of people passed it daily, perhaps giving is a passing glance but never their full attention.

We must have spent a half-hour staring at that painting, and the rest of the afternoon talking about how much we loved it. I'm sure I spent ten minutes alone discussing the dirt and scuff marks on the bottom of that interior door and how lifelike it was in its dereliction. Rich was impressed with the paintings within the painting, and they way the light from the window lit upon the cold, hard floor infusing a drab and depressing existence with its only source of life.

About a year later, Rich sent me this article about Michael Palin's 20-year obsession with Hammershoi; accompanying the article was our painting. We both laughed, blaming our 20-year obsession with Monty Python for somehow leading us to give a lonely painting a second glance.

This summer, Rich and I went back to the DIA and discovered that Hammershoi was a victim of the DIA's ongoing renovation project and ever-shrinking European collection. It's been relegated to wherever it is that art goes to die. Inexplicably, this is still taking up valuable wall space. I'll take Danish realism over ironic pop-solipsism any day.

More melancholy: The Magnetic Fields - All My Little Words


annamaria at 6:30 PM

2 spoke


My fantasy boyfriend president won't make an honest woman out of me


I know, I know, there is no way in hell that Russ Feingold would ever be elected president. He's all liberal and thrice-married and, well, a Jew. Doesn't play well in the Bible Belt. But, damn, a girl can dream right?

U.S. Sen. Russell Feingold said he has decided not to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, saying his party's victories in the midterm elections have energized him to continue working in Congress.

Feingold, 53, is an outspoken opponent of the Iraq war, the USA Patriot Act and other Bush administration policies. He said Sunday that although he had explored the possibility of running, he has ruled it out.

"I never got to the point where I felt strongly I wanted to run," Feingold said. "Then I saw the result Tuesday and thought what a great opportunity to do my work in the Senate."

Feingold (D-Wis.) said he would keep an open mind if he were asked to join the ticket as the vice presidential candidate.

"If some nominee called me up and said, `You're the guy, I need you,' I would have to take that very seriously," he said.

Is it bad that I'm looking at the Democrats and wondering whose foot is nearest the grave?

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annamaria at 1:05 PM

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My head just exploded

This scene from Queer As Folk immediately comes to mind

The American Family Association has just called for a boycott of Wal-Mart, claiming the union-busting, music-censoring, gender-discriminating discount chain is too....pro-gay!

I'm going to let that sink in for a second.

The AFA is a little more unhinged than usual on this one. Here are some of the claims:

The absolute best part of the boycott, though, is it's scope. The AFA is asking all members to avoid shopping at Wal-Mart on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Apparently, come November 26th, its okay to pander to the gays so long as you're still getting a good deal on cheap shit made in China.

I must give credit where credit is due, though. Good on Wal-Mart for recognizing that the queer dollar is just as green as the breeder dollar. Of course, no self-respecting gay man would be caught dead buying anything in that crap emporium, but it's a good effort nonetheless. Now, let's talk about living wages and health care, hmm?

UPDATE: Pat Boone used to play tennis with Sam Walton, which is why his opinion on homosexuality matters.

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annamaria at 8:56 AM

6 spoke


And the hits just keep on coming...

Damn, I almost feel sorry for the GOP. Almost.

It's official: Jim Webb wins in Virginia, and now the Dems control both the House and Senate. Of course, having Democrats in power doesn't necessarily guarantee progressive policies. After all, Clinton was responsible for Don't Ask, Don't Tell, The Defense of Marriage Act and draconian welfare reform. If the midterm elections are a referendum on the current administration, then we are looking at a nation that is frustrated with corruption and scandals, a stagnant economy and a poorly managed war in Iraq (and Afghanistan--has everyone forgotten about Afghanistan?); none of this issues are likely to parlay into any real discussions about progressive social values. I hate to be a sore winner, because I really am happy that the Dems are back in power, but I can't help but notice how much (on some issues) the new boss resembles the old boss.


annamaria at 9:35 PM

3 spoke

Oh Happy Day, Part 2!

The Decemberists were incredible, but that joy will only last for one night. Democrats winning the House, and perhaps the Senate, that's years of happiness, baby! Better folks than I have weighed in on what the election means (including Amanda at Pandagon who lovingly dedicated Le Tigre's TKO to the Republicans), so I'm just going to do a quick rundown of the good and bad in my humble opinion.


Boo! Hiss!


Feel free to leave your post-election day cheers and jeers in the comments.


annamaria at 12:46 PM

8 spoke

Oh Happy Day!

Colin Sings, Annamaria Swoons

Jubilation! That's the only word I can use to describe last night—Jubilation!

Kerri was my lovely date for the Decemberists show at Clutch Cargo's; terrible venue but fan-fucking-tastic show. Everyone on stage was lovely, and the audience much younger that I anticipated—I know that I'm approaching 30, but I really shouldn't be amongst the older members of the crowd yet, should I? In deference to the kiddies in the room, the show was a non-smoking event...Kerri and I audibly groaned when we saw the signs posted asking us to step outside to smoke. Here's something I've never understood—you're at a bar, presumably imbibing spirits, you're at a rock show, presumably listening to the devil's music, and smoking offends people's sensibilities? We're already going to Hell, why not light up on the way down? And before I get the “second hand smoke kills” lecture, so does drinking and driving (more and quicker!) but I've yet attend a dry concert aimed to prevent drunks from killing themselves and others. Fuck, listening to music at exceptionally loud volumes will fuck up your hearing but good—is the sound booth going to account for that, too?


Besides the non-smoking thing (felt like I was in LA again!), the show was amazing. Really good mix of old and new, though I would have loved to hear When the War Came or Summersong live. I think I might be the only person that actually likes those songs, though! I was pretty excited to hear July, July! which was, to me, the biggest surprise on the set list. The Perfect Crime No. 2, hands-down my favorite track on the new album (indie-rock purists be damned! I like my Decemberists sounding like Steely Dan...and I hate Steely Dan!), was so good live I might never be able to listen to the studio version again. I noticed the arms-crossed-over-their-chests and imperceptible-head-bob-used-to-approximate-dancing hipsters even shook their asses a bit during that number.

The Perfect Crime No. 2 (9:30 Club, Washington D.C., October 30, 2006) right click, save as

Hurdy Gurdy Man

The highlight of the evening, and I think it's safe to assume that I speak for all Michiganders here (and it is Michiganders, Colin, not Michiganians), was not only ending the show with A Cautionary Song but having Chris, Lisa and John parade through the crowd with drums, tambourines and cymbals, which finally culminated in a reenactment of the beheading of Anne Boleyn. I'm so not making this up.

Oddly, all those paper lanterns were red, even the
one that appears to be white in this picture.

After the show, I figured nothing in the world could make me a happier girl...and then as I was driving home listening to the election results on NPR* I discovered that Rick Santorum lost his Senate seat. I don't know that I've ever felt such peace and joy.


*Thanks to Carina for sending me text message updates on the election results during the show, solidifying my nerd status once again.

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annamaria at 12:42 PM

1 spoke