happy holidays, California style:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, best wishes for an environmentally- conscious, socially-responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally-successful, personally-fulfilling and medically -uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee. By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Or, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



As of 26 minutes ago, Gov. Schwarzenneger denied clemency for Stanley "Tookie" Williams, which means he will be put to death by lethal injection tomorrow morning at 12:01.
One of our reporters is a media witness.

This case has been very controversial, especially here b/c San Quentin Prison is only an hour away, due to the fact that although he murdered 4 people in the '70s and started the Crips, in his 24-year incarceration he has written numerous children's book denouncing gang life and violence and has even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. So many people, including Tookie, say that he has proven rehabilitation and should not be executed.

Here's what I think...
What say you?


Dave Eggers and me

That's right.
I just met Dave Eggers.
Met him in the lobby.
Took him to Studio D to record a piece.


DC, or, The District of Contradiction

Recently Ren said she has this thing about moving to DC in her lifetime and when I went to comment about the city on the post it made me think to write my own post on DC.
Like, duh.

Living near DC all through high school it seemed like just another big city but a big city that had "all of this important stuff there, too." I didn't know what to expect when I moved there. Well, that's a lie. I thought I was going to get a job at NPR, finally securing a paying job in public radio.
But I didn't know what to expect out of the city itself.

Going in, I had two conflicting opinions...each from friends who are very hip in an unhip way, very aware of music and pop culture, and whose views on 'what to do' I would generally trust. One was convinced DC was lame and that it 'hasn't been cool since the '80s.' The other told me it was one of her favorite places ever.**

Needless to say, DC ended up kicking some major ass and I would totally move back later in life once I get California out of my system.
And it wasn't just because they get good shows, have fun bars, have cool people, blah blah blah; those are things I could find in any city, or even a small, one-horse town, which I have done many times before. (sans the horse).

Nope, you. DC, in my opinion, was cool because:

-Unlike, ahem, San Francisco or Berkeley, DC isn't heavy on the diversity self-promotion. Like, they don't have a "We're SO Diverse, It's Fuckin' CRAZY, Man" Day. That being said, I lived in the one of the top 3 most-diverse zip codes in the whole country (20009).

-When you think of America, for whatever reason (school, history class, car commercials) you probably think of: The Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Viet Nam War Memorial. If not, you're just not an American, goddammit.
JK, of course, but the point is that DC is THE quintessential symbol of the US of A. Funny thing is...it looks more like a European city than, well, most European cities. (Oh, you know...circles with fountains in the middle, neo-classical architecture on every street, bridges, rivers, etc.)
Take that, you RW&B-Tshirted rednecks!

-Despite being the nation's capital--the hub of international and domestic news and policy--I frequently forgot that that whole part was even there. Then once in a while it would strike me, like, "oh yeah! I live in the hub of international and domestic news and policy!"

-That whole taxation-without-representation thing.
In the world's center of modern democracy.

I worked in a French bistro right across from where Abraham Lincoln was shot. I saw the cherry blossoms--a gift from the Japanese earlier last century--in full bloom. I lived blocks away from every embassy from every country you could imagine, big or small.

Thing is, I've never felt more...American.