Monday, January 28, 2008

Gang leaders on "The Wire"

My dear friend, Joel (pronounced ho - el, an important descriptor I think), introduced me to the wide wide world of HBO's The Wire last season, a show that is like sitting on the edge of the plains, looking up at the West Texas night sky, everything wondrous and yet barely perceptible upon first look. While striving to decipher the language of the street and at least two dozen characters' story lines, I crinkled my nose and said under my breath, "ay'on'no" during my first viewing. The show was most of the time set in the ghetto. Last season focused on the kids and schools in the ghetto. I wasn't sure that I needed that dramatized for me. But, wow. After three or four episodes last season, wow.

This season I've been searching around the web for articles and reviews on The Wire to become better acquainted with its writer/creator, his background, critics' opinions and so forth. It turns out that a crew of staffers have created their own Sunday night chat room after each episode, and an editor on thinks it's the best show on television, ever. I've learned that the show has been either snubbed or missed by those who honor achievement in television acting, writing, and directing for its entire run. I think that just means that it's a sleeper hit, maybe too fuzzy for those who start bandwagons.

Anyway, last night I stumbled upon this fantastic weekly blog entry. Ew-good fantastic. Check it out.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Ding-dong, the witch is dead! Which old witch? The Clinton witch!"

Unexpectedly Orange may turn political for the next eleven months. (The entry title above comes from a line in a piece by one Rebecca Traister, writer of my favorite explanation of the Hillary win in New Hampshire, published on

Excerpt: "So no, I have not been a Hillary Clinton supporter. But the torrent of ill-disguised hatred and resentment unleashed toward a briefly weakened Clinton this week shook that breezy naiveté right out of me, and made me feel something that all the hectoring from feminist elders could not: guilt for not having stood up for Hillary. "

The naiveté she's referring to is the careless assurance she felt that many more suitable female presidential candidates will present themselves in step with the males in the years to come, that she has no worry about Hillary being a one-time wonder and, thus, no responsibility to feel allegiance to her as the first Democratic female presidential candidate.


I read a narrative accounting of the happenings on election night at one caucus locale in Iowa. It turns out that if a candidate's station does not fill up with enough caucus supporters to reach the percentage quota, then the votes don't count and are up for grabs, or, horsetrading. One Hillary campaign leader began her call for votes, championing all that is righteous and twinkling about her candidate, with: "She's a woman." The horses looked up from the fray of bids being shouted at them and walked away from the Hillary camp.

Is that all you've got? Apparently so, that night. But she regrouped in New Hampshire by calling Obama out for referencing King and Kennedy, saying in effect that he's no King or Kennedy. She brought fight for five days, and humility, which we saw, in contrast to the hammer coming down on her by those who decide our elections--the press. It was over. And, surprisingly, I felt sorry that it was. I can't say that I felt guilt like Rebecca Traister, but I definitely felt sympathy and a wish that it wasn't yet over, so quickly with one night's outcome deciding a presidency.

For Rebecca, her urge to stand up for Hil would have led her to vote for her, if only for one night. I can't say the same. But I'm glad that the women in New Hampshire rallied in a stand against the tsunamis created by pollsters and pundits. I get swept up in them sometimes. I depend on them to deliver my winner, at least I did on Tuesday. He came in 2 points behind instead. But Hillary's display of true joy at her win seemed to also be a display of joyous surprise that voters still have the power to defy. How fun.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I'm not a very good blogger

Hello! More than two months since an entry. Hmph. Blogging requires you to be home in your spot where you enjoy blogging rather than filling all your time with social engagements and travel. My mother sent me a new year's email that included this quote: "Most of us have been given many more blessings than we have received. We do not take time to be blessed or make the space for it. We may have filled our lives so full of other things that we have no room to receive our blessings . . .." I have been filling my life so full of some things that often times there's no room to call someone back, or send out my Christmas cards, or do the things that may change someone's life or my own.

In December, I spent 11 days with my brother in his NYC apartment. He took me along to his GED tutoring session one evening, and I worked with two women to review equivalent fractions. Haha. Okay, let me see here. Fourth grade math steps catch you by surprise at first because you can't remember them. But they return, and you try to teach. This experience led me to one of my five resolutions--to volunteer to teach literacy to adult students. I have found a group here in Houston. I attend a one-day training and then tutor two nights a week for a 12-week session. Perfect. Another resolution is to buy my first house this year. Another resolution is to write, to work on one single writing project and try to make something of it. Another resolution, or goal, is to get myself to France this summer and do a biking tour through Provence with my brother. And, finally, the fifth resolution is fitness and good health.

Wishing you a fantastic, creative, and fortified 2008 (three things, Jeffrey!)

Sistra V