Friday, November 14, 2008

Musical error messages and fundraisers

Today my friend Mo emailed me this great downtime message he came up with. The lyrics are from "Epic" by Faith No More, which, much to my embarrassment, I didn't recognize. That proves that Mo is way cooler than I am, but I digress. Anyway, Mo also came up with some great ideas for OHSU fundraisers starring various 80s bands:
Bret Michaels, for the Oregon Poison Center
Billy Squier, for the Oregon Stroke Center

That inspired me to come up with a few more for OHSU and beyond:

  • Warrant for the Public Safety Dept.
  • Anthrax for Infectious Diseases (not sure of the exact dept. name)
  • Def Leppard and Glass Tiger for the Oregon Zoo (with a special guest appearance from Whitesnake to fund a new reptile house)
  • Firehouse for the Portland fire dept.
  • Great White for the Oregon Coast Aquarium
  • Faster Pussycat for the Oregon Humane Society
  • Guns ‘N Roses in a joint fundraiser for the NRA and the International Rose Test Gardens

And Mo countered with:

  • Quiet Riot for the Oregon Hearing Center
  • Ratt for the Primate Center

My response:

  • Ratt for Laboratory Medicine
  • Black ‘N Blue for a domestic violence shelter (yeah, I know - I'm tacky)
  • Kiss for some oral health dept in the School of Dentistry
  • And add LA Guns to the NRA one and Def Leppard to the Oregon Hearing Center one

Yeah, I know -- we shouldn't quit our day jobs. But c'mon... it's Friday. Everyone needs a little silliness on Friday.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm a hopeless Harry Potter nerd

OK, so I'm listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks for what must be the gazillionth time, and I noticed an inconsistency (yes, there are a number of inconsistencies in the series, but I'd never noticed this one before). In Chamber of Secrets, Ginny's eyes are described as green (last track of disk 1 at about 1:10 if you want to check for yourself), while in Deathly Hallows they're described as brown (when Harry notices that Mrs. Weasley's eyes are the same shade of brown as Ginny's).

Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I need to get a life. But if I could only learn to use the Imperious Curse on my co-workers, my work days would be so much more fun.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Making history on Election Day

*I wrote this piece earlier this evening but am just now finding time to post it.*

As I write these words, election returns are coming in fast and furious, and it looks like Barack Obama will be our next president. No matter which candidate you support, there's no denying that this election has been a groundbreaker. I started to say that it marks a turning point in our history, but it's really the fruit of many turning points in our history, the result of battles large and small fought in the streets, in schools, in courtrooms, and even in families, all of which add up to 40+ years of social change. Without the civil rights and women's movements, we could not have had an election season that featured two women and an African American as serious candidates for the two highest offices in the land. I know we have a long way to go to reach full racial and gender equality, but this election clearly shows how very far we've come. That is something to celebrate on this historic election night, no matter which candidate wins.

My parents were older than average (39 and 45) when I was born 41 years ago. Both of them grew up in an era when an election like this one was unthinkable. My mother was and remains open-minded, but my father was an unreconstructed Southerner deeply prejudiced in just about every way a person can be prejudiced--and a diehard Democrat. To him, the Republicans were the party of the wealthy. I don't think he ever forgave them for Herbert Hoover, whom he blamed for his and his family's suffering during the Great Depression. Dad died 22 years ago, but I wish he had lived to see this election. I would have enjoyed watching him figure out how to vote for an African American, because I'm pretty sure his political beliefs were stronger than his racism. (And no, I don't think there's anything funny about racism, and I never could abide my father's beliefs. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't have found his internal struggle entertaining had he lived to cast a vote this year.)

I'm looking at my son, who is watching the election returns with me. I'm delighted that, to him, it will be perfectly normal for African Americans and women to run for president. When I explained to him why this election is so significant, he was confused: He doesn't understand why anyone would have a problem with a president who wasn't a white male. I've never understood that either.

As I was thinking about how to end this post, CBS News announced Obama's victory. That seems like a good ending to me--and hopefully the beginning of a new era in our nation's history. God Bless America.