"If Obama had a whole bunch of kids, they'd look like this"

http://ex-army.blogspot.com/2012/03/trayvon-protestors-loot-drugstore.html

"What the Left wanted and what they actually got"

Funny article about the media's initial hopes for the George Zimmerman case:

http://www.coachisright.com/in-the-zimmerman-martin-case-what-the-left-wanted-and-what-they-actually-got/

One reason not to dislike Michelle Obama

Two days ago it was announced that Michelle Obama would appear on The Biggest Loser, a television show about obese people trying to lose weight:

http://news.yahoo.com/michelle-obama-appear-biggest-loser-083501735.html

All First Ladies adopt pet causes, and Obama has chosen eating right and exercising as hers.

You sometimes hear people criticize her for violating her own eating guidelines. People occasionally express sentiments like, who does she think she is to be telling us what to eat and what to do? Some have tried to characterize her cause as symptomatic of the Democrats' attempt to turn our country into a nanny state. A few make snippy comments about the way she likes to show off her toned arms, or about the way she often seems to indulge in ribs or hamburgers herself.

But a third of Americans are obese, and another third are overweight. The incidence of diabetes is way up, and there are plenty of other health consequences to carrying too much fat. To try to rally people to eat right and exercise is a good cause, and also a nonpartisan one.

If you criticize Michelle Obama for this, your dislike of her comes off as reflexive and unthinking. There are many far better reasons for disliking the First Lady and her husband.

Don't use this one, unless you want to come across as prejudiced and full of bile.

On being a sports fan

A friend, Dave Moriarty, like me, has never outgrown his chosen sport (in his case, baseball). I asked yesterday if he'd heard about a certain older player who had just been signed by a major league team, and he said yes. I said that I should have realized he'd be way ahead of me on that one.

He replied:

The truth is, I don't follow the major leagues as avidly as you might guess. I rarely watch games on TV. I read some newspaper articles, mostly highlights, but don't pore over box scores. So it's a pretty shallow pool I swim in (I figure you can relate to that metaphor.)

I'm more interested in my own playing than that of a bunch of people I'll never meet. I do get to one or two games a season, but it's either a social occasion or with Shea as a father son bonding experience.

I peek at Yahoo Sports to stay somewhat abreast, but there are plenty of people -- these fantasy players in particular -- who absorb every piece of information they can. There are many teams I couldn't name a single player on, and that's fine with me.


I'd like to say I have Dave's healthy attitude. But I don't -- I'm more like one of those fantasy baseball players. I pore over swimming results with great relish, marvel at outstanding performances, and try to figure out who's going to win at the Olympics this summer. I follow swimming as obsessively as some follow the stock market, or the Presidential election, or other things that actually matter.

I know I'm not alone in this. There are legions of fans who follow their sports fanatically. ("Fanatic" is the root of the word "fan.") I'm not one of those who identify with and root for certain athletes or teams; but I do know an embarrassing amount about them.

It's almost as if I have no choice in the matter. I suppose I could go cold turkey. But I won't, since it's not a matter or life or death.

If anyone does know of a cure for this disease, though, please let me know. I'm sure I'd be better off not wasting the time I do being a fan(atic).

Pagan Blog Project: Pagan Biker Gang?

I am an extremely proud Pagan woman! I have never hid my faith from anyone. However, over the years I've had people ask me if I was a Biker. Until recently I never knew why. Now, that I do know though, I'm considering the need for a new classification of beliefs! Of course I will still be Pagan, but I wonder if I should stop using the term Pagan in this area, since it's obviously being taken as a sign that I am somehow affiliated with Bikers.

Now, please don't get me wrong, I have no issue with bikers in general. BUT, I certainly don't want to be lumped in with them either. I have recently met a "Pagan Biker" and if you were to listen to him, they are a lovely little club that is full of loving and kind individuals. Unfortunately, the truth is vastly different.

The Gang, or Club as they call it, was formed in 1959 and grew rapidly through the 60's. Today the FBI categorizes this group as an outlaw motorcycle gang. And they tend to via for territory with the better known "Hell's Angels" throughout the North Eastern US. This group has been identified as a "white supremacist" organization by authorities, however, my own research shows that this is not entirely true - most likely it's a common feeling by many members, but it's not a driving force for the gang as a whole. That, unfortunately, is where the "good news" ends... The gang, like most organized crime groups, are best known my authorities for their violence and drug related activities.

I hate to listen to the "popular opinion" when it comes to ANY group. I know the kind of ridiculous rumors I have faced over the years because of people doing just that. But, at the same time, I'm actually hearing much of this same chatter from ex-members and children of members as well as law enforcement and the general public.

So, as a FAITH based Pagan and not a BIKER GANG based Pagan, I'm really not liking the fact that for the past 10 years or so, numerous people have believed me to be a part of this group. It's no wonder so many have simply avoided me afterwards.

And I have to say, I find myself rather angered that this gang even choose to use Pagan as their title. I do understand that at the time they were founded it was not as acceptable to be Pagan as it is today, nor was it considered a religion on a legal level. I am sure that, like LeVay chose to use the term Satanists for his group, the Pagans were simply trying to separate themselves from the accepted societal norms at the time. I don't, however, feel that makes it better.

Frankly, I don't care WHY they chose the name they did. The only thing that is affecting me at the moment is the fact that I, as a Pagan, am often being lumped in with them by those who don't know better. People I meet in the street, those who visit my website - and possibly this blog - and I'm sure, those who are considering a religious switch - are all associating the term Pagan, with this violent, outlaw group. Not only is this group damaging the reputation of Pagans as a whole, but they are damaging MY reputation.

Now, I don't think I will stop using the term Pagan. I will always be proud of being Pagan! But I think I may just start being a little more conservative with who I use the term with. Terms such as Eclectic, New Age, or even Witch, may simply be a better choice for me - and for anyone else who may live in Pagan territory. I do understand that terms like Eclectic or New Age can prove to be a little "aloof" and the term Witch often brings negative feelings as well, but, at least I wouldn't be being grouped in with rapists and murderers...  And I AM a witch, I'm not ashamed! So why not simply use that term?  It almost makes me wish I belonged to a specific path so that I could use a term like Kemitic or Wiccan, but I don't...

I've always known that using the term Pagan could bring me some negative reactions from the under-educated or the mislead, and that's never deterred me one bit. BUT, I never expected there would be an actual group of violent drug runners, rapists and killers out there reinforcing those misconceptions. Now that I know what I know, I think I need to consider what terms I am using, and how much damage they could do to my reputation as well as the reputation of Paganism as a whole... I have always striven to be a positive example of a Pagan, and have worked to help work against common misconceptions locally, and overall. But I wonder if it's possible that this Gang is doing damage that simply can't be overcome directly, and if possibly, by using alternate terms early on in relationships or in local actions, could help to bring people to a better understanding of what Paganism is, all the separating myself from the actions of outlaws... 

Thank God for Pharmaceuticals & Napa Valley

Longest dinner in history!  I never take a moment with my grandpa for granted.  He's 98 now and I am so grateful for everyday I still have him in my life, but that night my heart forgot to appreciate my time with him.  My heart was much too busy thinking about Richard's time with her.

This would be the night that Richard decided to come clean.  Come clean...Odd phrase for revealing something so dirty, so shameful.  Richard "deciding" might not really be accurate, either.  He didn't have much choice.  I'd found the truth myself.  He couldn't very well lie his way out of the digital damnation.  He was ready to confess a multitude of sins, but was I ready to hear them?

Grandpa went home. (yea...he still drives!  LOVE that man!) The kids both retreated to their rooms for texting, Facebooking and other teen social activities.  Richard and I headed outside, into the dark.  I went out armed with a fresh pack of Virginia Slims and the rest of the bottle of a lovely Napa Valley white I'd been sucking down for the past two hours.  I was feeling no pain, not even in the emotional sense.  God bless pharmaceuticals.  We sat in the stools by the barbecue next to the pool.  I had no idea how to start this conversation.  I left that up to him.  After all, it was his story to tell.

He wasted no time.  It seemed to me he needed to expel all the lies, like the dishonesty had nearly poisoned him.  He needed his soul pumped clean, just like you might pump the sewage out of a cess-pool after years and years of unattended use.  He gushed foul truths about himself, recent truths and some long past.

Yes, he had loved Jaymie.  He couldn't explain it.  He never stopped loving me.  He told me repeatedly that he always wanted to come home.  Yes, he had stayed with Jaymie the first night I sent him out of the house.  Jaymie was there when he spoke with me on the phone, but he asked her to wait in the hall for privacy.  WHAT??  To this day, I don't buy that one.  Mostly because in her email to him that chronicles the entire night (see Post Rough Night)  not once does it say she left the room.  On and on, he continued to try and cleanse his soul.  I learned about a night he spent with a stripper 5 years ago, a mutual friend that he slept with multiple times 15 years ago and a woman he met at work that needed attention of a very personal nature.  He was compelled to help her in her time of crisis, 20 years ago.

In my drug induced zombie like state, I managed to absorb what he was telling me but I could not even begin to process it.  I probably wouldn't have been able to process it even if I was stone cold sober.  Hours ago, when I read the emails, my brain said, Good Night!  I'm over it for now!  Closed for any further input this evening.

If what they say about confession is true, that its good for the soul, Richard was ready for the Rapture.  Soul all freshly scrubbed, spic and span!  If he was hoping for me to contribute more to our conversation, he was extremely disappointed.  The only emotion I remember is empty.  I know, that's not technically an emotion but, that's all I felt, a big, black hole inside.  Void of any feelings.  I think I even thanked him for finally loving me enough to speak the truth.  The Xanax and wine had worked like a charm.  It served two purposes, I didn't flip out or lose it.  I didn't collapse or go ballistic and Richard was able to survive the night, but not in our bedroom, of course.

Copy Cat Design: Wallpaper in the Bedroom

Colleen's back at it with another great room, recreated for less! (PS We're getting ready for some trips this summer, and I'm DYING for this orange swim suit Colleen shared this week. So cute!)


This bedroom from
Traditional Home is deceptive--at first it looks like it has a lot going on, but with the exception of statement-making wallpaper, it's a very neutral room. Let's take a closer look.



The skinny white lamp looks crisp against the cobalt wallpaper.


If you're fortunate enough to have a yard, bud vases are your very best friend for decorating. Add a few blooms from your yard and put them in every room.


This bed is such a find. Going neutral shouldn't mean boring, so pick something with interest, like tufting or a scrolling shape.


The original roman shades use a Kravet fabric, but I quite like a wide neutral stripe too.


The wallpaper is absolutely the star of the room, and the saturated color is key. This Chinoiserie pattern is an economical alternative to the original Osborne & Little.


If wallpapering isn't an option, this blue paint will look stunning with white trim.


Consider replacing the glass doors with mirrors--it's pretty and functional.


Crystal pulls will add a little sparkle to a plain white wardrobe.


The bedding repeats the blue in the embroidery, on otherwise bright white sheets.


Just a simple white table for pretty things.


I'm a tchotchke person. I need my pointless pretty objects, thus a blue ginger jar.


A feminine and neutral pillow completes the bed.

If you have a room you'd like interpreted, email us at jenny at jennykomenda dot com.

Why endorse Romney now?

Last night Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, endorsed Mitt Romney for President. This endorsement came on the heels of an announcement that George H.W. Bush (the Elder) is going to endorse Romney as well.

Now that Romney has all but clinched the Republican nomination, what is the value of endorsing him now? To convince him that you were with him all along?

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey endorsed him back when the outcome was still uncertain, when to do so was to risk being excluded from a possible Gingrich or Santorum administration.

But now? What's the point?

Rubio of course has had great incentive to wait and then go with the winner, as his is the name most often mentioned as a Vice Presidential pick. But for the other latecomers, backing Romney seems to show a certain lack of courage. And a certain pointlessness.

In the same spirit, I hereby boldly predict that Barack Obama will win the Presidency in 2008.

Reader DIY: Metallic Wall Stripes

One of the best parts of writing this blog for me is getting to share ideas I might never get to use myself, but that some of you might get to try. I LOVE getting emails with photos of your interpretations!!


Caroline wrote in to share a couple photos of a bookshelf she fancied up using this post as her inspiration. Caroline said:

"We're renting a quirky midcentury ranch with plenty of oddities, one of which is a badly-proportioned shelving built-in in my daughter's nursery (it used to be the room's closet). I needed to liven up the space and your stripes were a perfect idea. To make the project really easy, I sourced 3-inch wide metallic gold tape online (they have various colors and sizes). A little measuring and taping later, the job was done! The only drawback is that the metallic surface does reflect the old wall's flaws, but overall it is extremely stunning, adds dimension and brightens the space."


Such a beautiful nursery, right? And I'm loving the tape source Caroline found. The two-inch tape is about $30 for 72 yards and the three-inch is $40. That's pretty cheap wallpaper!


If you have a room or project you'd like to share, email us at jenny at jennykomenda dot com.

The Natural Life: Illness Facts: Chickenpox (Varicella-zoster) Virus Information

What is chickenpox?
Chickenpox is a common illness that causes an itchy rash and red spots or blisters (pox) all over the body. It is most common in children, but most people will get chickenpox at some point in their lives. Even if they have been vaccinated.

Chickenpox usually isn't serious in healthy children. But it can cause problems for pregnant women, newborns, teens and adults, and people who have immune system problems that make it hard for the body to fight infection.

After you have had chickenpox, you are not likely to get it again. But the virus stays in your body long after you get over the illness creating a natural immunity to further infections.

What causes chickenpox, and how is it spread?
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It can spread easily. You can get it from an infected person who sneezes, coughs, or shares food or drinks. You can also get it if you touch the fluid from a chickenpox blister.

A person who has chickenpox can spread the virus even before he or she has any symptoms. Chickenpox is most easily spread from 2 to 3 days before the rash appears until all the blisters have crusted over.

You are at risk for chickenpox if you have never had the illness.  If someone you live with gets chickenpox, your risk is even higher because of the close contact. Even if you have had the vaccine, you should treat chickenpox with caution as the vaccine does not protect 100% and weakens over time.

What are the symptoms?
The first symptoms of chickenpox often are a fever, a headache, and a sore throat. You or your child may feel sick, tired, and not very hungry. The chickenpox rash usually appears about 1 or 2 days after the first symptoms start. Some children get the chickenpox rash without having a fever or other early symptoms.

It usually takes 14 to 16 days to get the symptoms of chickenpox after you have been around someone with the virus. This is called the incubation period.

After a chickenpox red spot appears, it usually takes about 1 or 2 days for the spot to go through all its stages. This includes blistering, bursting, drying, and crusting over. New red spots will appear every day for up to 5 to 7 days.

You or your child can go back to work, school, or day care when all blisters have crusted over. This is usually about 10 days after the first symptoms start.

Other illnesses can have symptoms like those of chickenpox. For this reason, you may think you have had chickenpox twice when instead you have had two different infections.

How is chickenpox diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and will examine you. This usually gives your doctor enough information to make a proper diagnosis.

Healthy children with chickenpox symptoms may not need to visit a doctor. You may be able to describe your child’s symptoms to the doctor over the phone. Then your child won't have to leave the house and risk spreading the virus to others. But it is important to check with your doctor to find out if he or she wants to see your child.

Teenagers, adults, pregnant women, and people with health problems need to see a doctor for chickenpox. This is especially important for pregnant women, since chickenpox during early pregnancy can cause birth defects. Call first to make an appointment and to discuss whether you need to take any steps to avoid spreading the virus when you arrive.

Room Tours: Callie's Home

Are you ready for photo overload? Callie emailed me a couple weeks ago and I saw a little peek of her house. I practically begged her to show me more! And I'm so glad she agreed to do a full tour here. I think her home is the *perfect* way to do neutrals. I'm always harping on the finding balance with warm and cool tones in a room. That's true for neutral rooms too! This means you should mix your black and brown tones, your creams and grays. And if you want to throw in a random splash of color by way of a vase or small piece of art - well that's all the better!

I hope you enjoy Callie's house tour as much as I did. Here she is sharing some of her approach to decorating her lovely home (with a list of sources at the very bottom):

We built our home about a year ago, and I really took a lot of time to think beforehand about the look I wanted, both in the design of our home and in decorating it. Looking at images on blogs really is what gave me inspiration for my home, and I spent A LOT of time doing it. Images that I kept on coming back to were rooms by Ryan Korban and Mary McDonald. I really didn't want an overload of anything TOO bloggy or trendy though, because I knew I would get tired of looking at it!






-I signed up for emails from a bunch of sites... then I waited for the sales to happen. :) Because I live in an area where there aren't a ton of different stores, I bought a lot of items online. And because I was (mostly!) patient, nearly everything I ordered online I either got on sale (sometimes MAJOR sale!) or free shipping. Even the items I picked up at local stores were mostly on sale.





As much as I love the look designers create, I LOVE getting good deals! Nothing is better than telling someone, "Originally that was $XXX and I got it for $XX!" I've tried to see decorating my house as a marathon, not a sprint.





-I really only tried to purchase something that I could see in a specific spot in my home-- what I found was that when I didn't have a particular place in mind, I ended up not really liking what I picked up and felt like I wasted my money.



-Antique stores! And antique stores! And antique stores! I typically found a similar look to what I had seen online by going to a ton of antique stores... sometimes it took a little digging and patience, but I usually found what I was looking for at a fraction of the price I would have spent online (and usually even cheaper than on etsy, eBay, or One Kings Lane, although I have found some awesome deals there). AND I love the fun little things I came across as I was looking for something specific! That is where I got my instant gratification as a reward for all that waiting I'd done for online purchases. :)





-Where I really saved-- accessories (by doing what I typed above), artwork (Hobby Lobby does custom cut mats for really cheap and I did most of the artwork by myself... and I am NOT an artist by any means!!), drapes (discount fabric sewn by my mom), and dressers/consoles (again, mostly all from antique stores and painted by my me or my dad).








I splurged on both of my sofas and on my coffee table-- I saw the Hutton sofa from Room & Board and immediately knew it was the one because of its look and length (even though I looked for a cheaper version for about five months), and my husband sat on the leather sofa from Restoration Hardware and there was no changing his mind. I'm still a little uneasy about those splurges though!





ENTRY
navy dresser- antique store (paint is Benjamin Moore, pulls from House of Antique Hardware)
gold mirror- craigslist
W mirror- Pottery Barn Kids
black lamps- Target
white shades- Target
greek key trim- Walmart
gold Asian bust- antique store
zebra wood frame- Pottery Barn
blue bowl- World Market
silver plated bowl- One Kings Lane
navy rug- One Kings Lane (Thom Filicia)
drum shade- Andrews Lighting in OKC
bird box- Anthropologie


LIVING ROOM
media console- antique store (painted by my Dad with black automotive paint)
gold lamp- Horchow
blue vases- antique store
antler- my parents' barn
pink orchid- TJ Maxx
small sunburst mirror- Hobby Lobby

coffee table- Horchow
burl wood tray- ebay (Williams Sonoma Home)
horns- Jayson Home and Garden
silver lacquer box- One Kings Lane (can buy at Plantation Home)
foo dog- etsy
blue vase- Goodwill
gold bamboo frame- One Kings Lane (Lunares)
floral notebooks- Anthropologie
lucite nesting tables- CB2
foo dog lamp- Tuesday Morning
wood root- antique store
horse statue- etsy
burl wood box- Teavana
Chiang Mai print tray- Furbish Studio

gold vintage chair- antique store
mink fur pillow- Restoration Hardware
leopard pillows- made by my Mom from fabric from Interior Fabrics in OKC

cream nailhead chairs- Gilt and Overstock (Safavieh)
blue handblocked pillows- West Elm
greek key side table- One Kings Lane (Worlds Away)
grey ginger jar- Williams Sonoma Home
Asian gold horse- antique store
zebra wood box- ebay (Williams Sonoma Home)
white vase- Mockingbird Manor in OKC
leather tray- World Market
white coral- Pottery Barn
blue vase- antique store

velvet sofa- Room and Board
pink Insignia pillows- Furbish Studio (Windsor Smith fabric)
wool and coral cotton pillows- Anthropologie

large gold sunburst mirror- Williams Sonoma Home
black jars- Pottery Barn
coral ginger jars- Williams Sonoma Home

silver task lamp- Williams Sonoma Home
brown rug- Wisteria
cream drapes- my Mom made from fabric from Interior Fabrics in OKC
curtain rods- Target
black frames and grey mats- Hobby Lobby


DINING/KITCHEN
dining table- Williams Sonoma Home
chairs- Horchow
silver ginger jar- One Kings Lane
graphic rug- Williams Sonoma Home
cream pendant- Horchow
black frames- Target

black bamboo dresser- craigslist (paint is Rustoleum, pulls from Lee Valley)
cream porcelain lamps- Williams Sonoma Home
Asian ladies- antique stores
gold box- antique store
green vase- Pottery Barn
gold bamboo frame- antique store
white vase- Pier 1
lines paintings- me, frames from Garden Ridge, black mats from Hobby Lobby
eagle mirror- antique store

lucite counter stools- CB2
blue vases- Wisteria
silver rim utensil holder- Pottery Barn
circles painting- me, frame from antique store
coral butter dish- Anthropologie
blue pot- TJ Maxx
Silver bamboo frame- TJ Maxx
Cream frames- Target
fuschia orchid- TJ Maxx
copper greek bust- etsy
white pineapple- White Barn
ikat bowls- Anthropologie
various white, glass, and metal serving pieces- Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Target, and antique stores
black and gold mums paper- Paper Mojo
silver sphere pendant- Horchow (Solaris pendant from Crystorama)


MAN ROOM
leather sofa- Restoration Hardware
red plaid pillows- Ralph Lauren
wheat rug- Pottery Barn

round coffee table- Pottery Barn
brown leather tray- Pottery Barn
decanters and glasses- Pottery Barn, antique stores
vintage National Geographics- antique store
patch- Rugby by Ralph Lauren

wood side table- made by my brother-in-law Roger
silver lamp- picked up by my husband Russ somewhere before we met!
marquetry frame- Williams Sonoma Home
metal R on wood stand- Anthropologie
silver microphone- from my Dad
small white H letterman's patch- antique store

duke painting- antique store
vintage baseball print- antique store
large red H letterman's patch- antique store
fox hunt print- etsy
black mirror- Target
small black and white print- picked up by my husband Russ somewhere before we met!
metal W- Anthropologie

NYC Census Bureau map- One Kings Lane (Barbara Cosgrove)
subway sign- Pottery Barn
curtain rod- Target
cream drapes- my Mom made from fabric from Interior Fabrics in OKC
all books are from random places

Sponsored Post: Electrolux Laundry Makeover



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Contest Alert: A Laundry Room Makeover Could Be Yours

When it comes to the well-designed, modern home, often one of the places most neglected is the laundry room. Hmm… maybe that’s why doing the wash is such a drag sometimes? Kelly Ripa and Electrolux want to change all that by encouraging you to focus on your best moments (instead of all those missing socks!), and enter to win a dream pair of laundry appliances.


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Spring Giveaway!

Springtime is one of my favorite seasons and always puts me in a good mood. In celebration of Spring and my love for Crew, I am having my first giveaway - a $25 Jcrew gift card.

To be eligible for the giveaway:

1. Become a follower of Crazy for Crew and leave a comment on this post with your email and **what you would use the gift card for at Crew**.

2. You can receive an extra entry for referring to this giveaway in one of your blog posts. Please reply to your first post or leave an additional comment!

Entries are valid until midnight EST, Sunday, 4/8/2012. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Monday, 4/9/2012. International bloggers are eligible as the gift card will be an e-gift card emailed to the winner.

Happy Spring!

Sympathy for the media

You've got to feel sorry for the mainstream media. They try so hard to come up with stories about bad white people brutalizing innocent black people, and so many of these stories seem to backfire.

The latest in this long list seems to be the Trayvon Martin story. At first it appeared to be a simple gun-toting-white-racist-shoots-innocent-black-child story, so the networks quickly converted to all-Trayvon-all-the-time coverage. Much was made of the fact that Trayvon was unarmed and his shooter was not arrested. Those two stalwarts Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have made their appearance, thus giving the narrative their stamp of approval. The New Black Panther Party has declared that if the police don't "do their job," they will make sure justice is done in this case. Even President Obama got a piece of the action, stating that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon. (Signifying what, exactly?)

My initial reaction was the same as everyone else's, that a misfit had gotten away with a senseless murder.

But now the story appears to be more complicated than the one the media was so eager to portray.

Turns out that George Zimmerman, the "white" man involved, is half-Hispanic (and looks all-Hispanic). He tutors children, including black children, for free in his spare time. And Trayvon assaulted him, punching him in the face and then, once he was on the ground, slamming his head into the cement a few times for good measure. Zimmerman yelled for help, then shot Trayvon in self-defense. When the police arrived, they noted that Zimmerman had a bloody nose, grass stains on his back, and lacerations on the back of his head consistent with his story. On top of that a witness has now come forward to corroborate Zimmerman's story. (I can't swear this new version is the real one, but my guess is that it is.)

Starting with Tawanna Brawley, on up through the Duke lacrosse case, and now with Trayvon, there have been a lot of incidents where the media has inflamed passions, provoking protests and black outrage, yet the facts just haven't panned out the way they were supposed to.

Oh well. Better luck next time.

You'd think the media would learn. But, it seems they don't want to learn. They merely want to show white people as racist oppressors, and black people as innocent victims.

Meanwhile, black people are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites than vice versa. But that fact is one the media prefers to bury.

The real "Wedding Crashers"

http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/party_over_crasher_guilty_KPzOVB42K0bQmKJ04Bt1xM

Maybe Hollywood can write a story about this obvious sociopath.

They can gloss over the fake credit card, the bad checks, the fraudulent bank accounts, the impersonations, the desperate social-climbing, and the falling asleep at fancy parties (sociopaths are so relaxed they can do that).

And they can make him seem charming, sympathetic, and underneath it all, a very decent fellow.

That is, after all, what Hollywood normally does with con men.

Mint Wool Chairs in Action

I got the Italian MCM chairs back from the upholsterer this weekend and I think I'm in love. The room needed a shot of cooler toned color (either blue or green) and these totally did the trick for me.


I can't decide if I'm going to make a pair of little lumbar pillows. I worry the pillows would partially cover the split between the arms and the back, which is the part of the chairs I like best. Hmm.


PS Here's a wider shot of the gallery wall, which is still a WIP. I took out a lot of the smaller pieces from the old arrangement we had up in the dining room, in favor of less and bigger art. I also added the Gossip Girl sconces into the arrangement, and that I'm totally loving. I think I might try DIYing some black conical shades. Though to get the sizing right I would need to buy a soldering iron which feels really intense for some reason. :)

Those damn microphones will get you every time

By now most people have heard of Barack Obama's classic gaffe:

http://news.yahoo.com/president-obama-asks-medvedev-space-missile-defense-election-101729176--abc-news.html

His crucial, revelatory line regarding The United States' missile defense capability was, "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility."

There's really no editorial comment necessary here.

But I do want to make one prediction: The New York Times, which would make any such gaffe by a Republican front page news, will bury this story tomorrow.

Addendum, next day: the Times did put a picture of Obama and Medvedev on the front page, but seemed to make light of the story with the caption "For You Alone (and to All the Ships at Sea)"; they put the explanation on page A14.

Old scores

Coach McLachlin:

I'm just writing to let you know what a huge error you made in not putting me on the starting five at Punahou. You never considered me varsity material, but guess what? I now play basketball with NBA stars.

You may not believe me, but I regularly have top NBA players like Joaquim Noah and Carmelo Anthony over to my crib. And every time they visit, we have a pickup game. The last time those guys were here, I scored 28 points on them in a 3 on 3 match.

I know what you're thinking, that they're just letting me score on them because I'm President. Well, that's what I thought at first, too. But I've asked them about that any number of times, and every single time they've sworn it's not the case.

Just the other day Lebron told me I guard him better than some of the guys in the NBA. That's Lebron James, as in the Lebron!

I feel strongly that I could have been another Jeremy Lin, if only you hadn't held me back. You've probably been following the Lin story. Well, he had the same problem that I had: coaches who didn't realize his potential, who didn't realize what leadership he could show as a point guard. But eventually he got a coach who was smart, who saw his potential. I never did.

I don't think I need to tell you the kind of leadership I've shown elsewhere. It's high time you admitted you screwed up. That's all I want to hear, for you admit that you should have started me. I never got enough playing time.

You just never gave me a chance. If only you had, I could have gotten a basketball scholarship to college and then gone on to a career in the NBA.

It still makes me furious to think that you made me a bench warmer. Coach McLachlin, I play with NBA stars now!

Just a little word of warning. I have power, you know. And if I don't think someone is doing their job wright, I can do something about it. I fired the President of General Motors. I can fire basketball coaches too. Bear that in mind.

Yours Truly,
Barack Obama
44th President of the United States

DIY Picture Frame

I'm always looking for inexpensive alternatives to custom framing. I'd rather spend the money elsewhere in a room. I've mentioned before that I like to pick up cheap art in good frames from thrift stores and flea markets, and later I switch out the art.


When I finished the chinese wallpaper panels a couple weeks back I moved over the gallery wall to the tv area in our living room. I wanted to included this peony painting because I like the dark shot of blue color. I've been meaning to frame it for a while now but it was painted on a European canvas which won't fit in standard US frames. It's not easy to make a frame from stock moulding you buy at the lumber yard, so I had an idea to repurpose one of the old frames from my collection.



I tucked the painting into the corner of the old frame and marked the edges on the frame. I did this twice - using the two best corners with the least amount of damage to the plasterwork.


Then I used a miter box and a hand saw to make four 45-degree cuts. If you have a miter saw, this step would be super fast, but even cutting the angles by hand wasn't bad. The trick to fast, straight cuts is keeping the frame moulding flush with the miter box edge. It's helpful to have a second set of hands here.


Four simple cuts later and we have the beginnings of a new frame!


I smoothed the cut edges with a sanding block until the two cut edges fit perfectly together.


Then I ran a bead of wood glue along the edges and stapled the two pieces together, right down the corner line four or five times.


Not bad, right? Pretty seamless.


While the glue was drying, I touched up the highlights on the frame with my trusty gold leaf pen so that the gilding would be a brighter yellow.


Gracie got in on the action too. She's my little budding artist.


I forgot to take a photo, but I simply stapled a few times on the back around the perimeter of the painting at an angle to keep the canvas secured in place. Then it was done and ready to hang.


I'm so thrilled with the results here. Even if I had dropped $300 on custom framing, it wouldn't have the age or patina this old frame has. I'm dying to cut down more unwanted frames for the other canvases I have in storage!


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