Obama’s Birth Certificate: Is Our Long National Nightmare Over?

Obama released his birth certificate today because, as he says, it was causing a distraction. So $4 gasoline, three wars, 10% unemployment, and his utter failure as a president were not enough to prompt him to release it for the same reason?

I was never a birther – I was only annoyed that he wouldn’t release a document that most US citizens have easy access to. Now that’s he’s released it, I’m curious about why. I am not a conspiracist at all, but I am terrified by whatever Ben Bernanke is going to say today in the first ever press conference at the Fed. Whatever it is can’t be good. And I know enough about politics to realize nothing is accidental. I wonder if Obama released his birth certificate to distract us from whatever the Fed says. If that isn’t the reason, I’m even more curious.

What is wrong with this administration that it plays games like this?

I Love You, Queen Elizabeth

Yes yes yes, I am mad with royal love this week. A royal wedding! Is there anything more lovely?

I lived in London for a year. I fell head over heels in love with the City, its beauty, its calm quiet reliance on history, its dignity. From the moment I awoke on an airplane and peered down to see the coast of Ireland, to the day I miserably left, I felt it was quite vital that I learn as much about England as I possibly could. Since my return to the US, my love continues apace.

Central to that love is Queen Elizabeth. I am enthralled with all the power that small, sweet woman holds, but more than that, I am quite shocked at the maturity and judgement the Queen has displayed since she was twenty-one years old and swore that “my whole life, whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great Imperial Family to which we all belong.”

She has fulfilled that promise. She has resolutely handled every trial and tribulation of the royal family with grace. Her fifty-five year reign remains unblemished, despite her every movement being followed by royal waters, media, and political pundits.

She is my hero. I love you, Queen Elizabeth.

Trending Right

John Hawkins has launched another website that is sure to be as successful as Right Wing News and Linkiest. Please check out TrendingRight.com. Trending Right shows the most linked conservative stories on Twitter for each hour. So, if you want to know what’s hot on the Right, RIGHT NOW, then read Trending Right.

I Bought The Eiffel Tower

I went to the museum today:

I thought this bust was fascinating:

Then I went to the Impressionist Exhibition. These gorgeous paintings are on loan from the National Gallery of Art so I’ve seen them before, but it did not diminish the experience. As soon as I saw this, tears welled up in my eyes. Vincent Van Gogh is my favorite painter, and his work speaks to a wavering, shimmering joy and happiness inside me. It says even in those dark days, that is what is important, what is most real and most human. His portrait of roses against a green background, Boots, and Starry Night all have that effect on me.

I loved the experience of seeing it so much I did something risky: I played dumb, whipped out my camera, and snapped the only self-portrait that means a damn:

They were on me like I’m on the Australian rugby team. “Ma’am, ma’am, no photography!”

I apologized profusely, but I didn’t regret it. Not at all.

The day got better when I went into the gift shop – almost as if I was called into it – and there, by the door, was the Eiffel Tower. I immediately asked how much it was but the saleslady didn’t know. I found a smaller one, but wanted the large one. So I waited in the long check out line, and asked her to look up the price. When she gave it to me, she hadn’t even finished speaking when I said, “I’ll take it.”

Outside, I took a photo of it.

It is now on my fireplace with my stacks of to-be-read books while I settle on a place to put it.

I’m crazy in love with it. It’s a ridiculous item, but it means a lot to me. It reminds me of where I’m going.

The Tourist

I feel flooded with media recently. In the last thirty days I’ve watched:

– Black Swan (twice). Amazing. Natalie Portman was transcendent.
– Tangled (don’t ask.)
– Rabbit Hole. Another excellent movie. Nicole Kidman was great.
– Winter’s Bone. Freaky.
– Hereafter. I wanted to love this movie. Even with Matt Damon, I just couldn’t.
-Sex and the City 2
-Old School. Love Will Farrell. This movie sucked.

Yet the movie that remains most vivid, playing behind my eyes, is the horrendous “The Tourist”, featuring a rather bland Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

Angelina is, of course, a very beautiful woman. I met her once in Washington DC and she is positively luminous in person — the kind of person that you simply can’t take your eyes off. But as I watched The Tourist, my eyes remained fixedly on Johnny Depp.

I’ve always enjoyed Depp’s movies. In Alice In Wonderland, he rendered himself unrecognizable as the Mad Hatter. Oh yes, he has a flair for props; one recalls the Pirates of the Caribbean with mixture of exasperation and pure joy. But The Tourist didn’t require gobs of makeup or costumy clothes.

Depp plays Frank Tupelo, an American tourist in Venice. He’s had some sadness in his life – his wife expired in a car accident three years ago – and he is without the refinement that Jolie amps up to a thousand degrees. Jolie looks like a gorgeous, exotic insect with her enormous eyes and big pillowy lips.

Depp’s it is one of the most compelling performances I’ve ever seen. It is a bad movie – let us never mistake this for high art – but Johnny Depp is absolutely supreme. Just like he was devoured by the madness and the costumes of Alice In Wonderland, he is subsumed here in this alternate persona. His eyes look sad. Forehead lines look more apparent. His beard is a bit scruffy, not quite adequately groomed. His hair is unbrushed, a little too long – like he’d given up on his appearance since his wife died.

In one scene, he says to Jolie, “It’s a nice hotel room isn’t it?” But “Isn’t it” comes out as “Iddnt it”? It is so subtle and spontaneous you’d think he’d lived every day of his life in Indiana. I had to reply it to make sure I’d heard correctly. It was genius.

As he monkeys through the movie, being inexplicably chased by bad guys, he does it with a naturalness that shocks me; his reactions have the immediacy of a documentary.

Johnny surprises me with each performance and he proves that even when he takes a silly popcorn movie like The Tourist, he elevates it to more than it deserves to be.

Early April Bookstack

Sally Beauman’s The Devil’s Advocate

Another Vanessa James novel. Early Sally Beauman is amazing!

Destiny Emails

I sent a copy of Sally Beauman’s Destiny to my friend Tracey a few days ago. Last week she sent a note that she’d gotten the book. Then this weekend she sent a “Destiny update.” We talked about a few points, and I am not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the highlights of my life. I absolutely lovetalking about this book, and the fact that its with Tracey, who I just adore, is just a thrill.

One email just said, “Billllllllyyyyyy!”

And I understood exactly what she meant and what page she’s on. A totally “Stellaaaa!!!!” esque type comment is very appropriate.

I love the fact that she’s reading this. I am actually nervous for her though. Knowing what she’s going to encounter. Knowing how she’s going to be changed after this. Godspeed, dear Tracey!

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