Saturday, May 30, 2009

a situation that pisses me off

remember when i told you that i like to study media bias in political news reporting?

here's a great example:

Obama made note of the LGBT protestors outside the Beverly Hilton hotel when he spoke at the DNC Benefit held on may 27th.

The NYT reports:

"A gaggle of sign-waving protestors milled around outside The Beverly Hilton, the sprawling hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. They must have caught the president’s eye when he arrived at the hotel from an earlier stop in Las Vegas because he relayed one of their messages to the crowd.

"'One of them said, 'Obama keep your promise,’ ' the president said. 'I thought that’s fair. I don’t know which promise he was talking about.'

"The people in the audience – who paid $30,400 per couple to attend – laughed as they ate a dinner of roasted tenderloin, grilled organic chicken and sun choke rosemary mashed potatoes."

Which promise? How about starting with the repeal of DOMA, the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', a federal hate crimes law, and above all, the promise to be a "fierce advocate" for all the LGBT people who voted him into office?

The AP posted a slightly different report on the remarks:

"While many Obama supporters waved and cheered as his motorcade approached the Beverly Hilton, some protesters decried Tuesday's California Supreme Court ruling that upheld the voter-approved gay marriage ban. Some of them also urged Obama to repeal the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for gays. Obama said he could not hear the protesters' exact words, but he agreed with one who shouted that the president should keep his promises."

do you see the difference?

amazing, isn't it?

a perfect semester

Scheduled Courses
Course-Id Sched. No. Type Days Time Location Units Instructor Grade* Textbooks

SEM T 1810 - 2150 HUM 285 M Golden


SEM TH 1810 - 2150 HUM 113 G MERRIGAN



all the gray hairs and sleepless nights were totally worth it.

4.0 after a completed year of graduate school.

anyone else completely freaking out?! no?

just me then?


Friday, May 29, 2009

a visitor post doctor's visit

this has been quite overdue, but i attribute that to a lot of things. papers, stress, interviews, other visits, etc.

so when my dearest sarah came to visit i knew i only had a few days to show her as much san francisco as possible. the two of us were part of a journey across the country a few years back, but our time in san francisco was brief and we were quite lost most of the time. this time around, we had more time and proper knowledge about where and what to do.

first things, first, she had to make herself comfortable in my apartment, a simple task of course

see? totally comfortable.

now, with only 5 days available for sarah's exploration sensation gyration inspiration vacation, i had a lot of ground to cover in little time.

i showed her:

the pacific ocean

delores park

haight ashbury

the golden gate bridge

the de young, including the andy warhol exhibit

pier 39, the embarcadero and fisherman's wharf

hayes valley

the castro

the aquarium

the california academy of sciences

the mission district

all the while introducing her to good friends, tasty food and very colorful townspeople

all in five days time.

we even had time to have my friends lukas the lebanese, stefan the german and kad the frenchman, prepare our dinner. being the culinary genius that i am, i allowed them to do the most of the work while i played happy cooking tunes and documented the experience

we barely slept, and it was one of the best weeks of my california lifetime.

i think she had fun too.

love and loyalty

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

a bad day

my blood is boiling

A Sad Day in California: Prop 8 is Upheld, But Not Retroactive
by: Be_Devine

Building off the earlier open thread - In a 6-1 decision, the California Supreme Court upheld the validity of Prop 8. It held that a bare majority of California's voters has the right to single out an unpopular group and strip them of fundamental rights.

The only justice on the right side of history is Justice Moreno.

The Court held that a constitutional revision occurs only when it makes "far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan." Anything else is an amendment an can be passed by a bare majority. The court held that the effect of Prop 8 is "only" one of nomenclature, and thus it does not make any changes to the nature of our government plan.

Justice Werdegar was the only justice in the majority who is intellectually honest enough to call a spade a spade. She didn't hide behind the majority's false argument that California's law on revision/amendment distinction has always supported the decision to uphold Prop 8. Instead, she wrote her own concurring opinion specifically to point out what the majority hides: that the California Supreme Court had to make new law in order to reach its result of upholding Prop 8:

until today the court has gone only so far as to say that “a qualitative revision includes one that involves a change in the basic plan of California government, i.e., a change in its fundamental structure or the foundational powers of its branches.” (Legislature v. Eu, supra, at p. 509, italics added.) Today, the majority changes “includes” to “is,” thus foreclosing other possibilities.

* * *

The history of our California Constitution belies any suggestion that the drafters envisioned or would have approved a rule, such as that announced today, that affords governmental structure and organization more protection from casual amendment than civil liberties.

This is judicial activism. Today, the Supreme Court significantly narrowed the definition of what is a "revision" that has been California law since the 1894 case of Livermore v. Waite. They invented a new definition only because it would suit the result they wanted.

Today is a sad, sad day in California's history.

i can't believe we still have to protest this crap

Friday, May 22, 2009

a big piece of news

The California Supreme Court will announce its decision on Proposition 8 Tuesday, May 26th. If it follows past practice, the court will make its announcement at about 10 AM Pacific Time (1 PM, Eastern / 12 noon Central).

biiiiig news, right?!

that night, california will either rally in celebration or in protest. ill be there.

a less than big piece of news

i stressed myself sick. surprised? a grad school lifestyle doesn't equate to a healthy routine.

by the way, i can't believe that i didn't take my underwear down from the wall.. it's how i dry them without using a dryer, alright? no judgment, please. embarrassing, yes i know. let's just recognize that it happened and move on.

two papers- one 18 pages, the other 33. one presentation. zero errors thanks to consistent proofreading and panic.

i have no idea how it happened


now if you'll excuse me, i have to go to the airport and pick up my friend. i will get over this little sickness and party my face off, thank you very much.

love and loyalty, and much needed rest.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a new night - a random craving

all i can think about is distancing myself from my bed and laptop.

3000 or so miles.

to be more specific - i just keep picturing benitos II on mulberry street in little italy. my whole family is there (my father even found parking without the usual few laps around the neighborhood) and we're drinking wine and eating spiedini and mussels and we're all laughing and enjoying the atmosphere.

absolute perfection

(no one has truly lived until they have experienced the spiedini at benitos II. i am being 100% serious. i will not eat all day in preparation to stuff my face at this little low-end haven.)

and then i realize im in my bed, still writing this paper and eating small curd cottage cheese with a spoon.

this week has got to end...soon.


Monday, May 18, 2009

a rapid update pt. 2

it's 5:05 and i am pretty sure i just finished half of the paper i am working on.

the birds are chirping
still dark, no sun to be seen
someday i will sleep

look at that! a haiku before breakfast.

back to work, michael
before slumber takes over
love and loyalty

a rapid update

im not done with my paper yet.

it's 3:07 am


Sunday, May 17, 2009

a piece of my heart

i am clearly still procrastinating

i've been getting a lot of questions from friends about life in new jersey as the majority of them have never really experienced the garden state.

one of the major questions is always about the infamous "jersey shore" and whether or not it is really that obnoxious.

in response, i present to all of you yet another documentary on the courting rituals and social etiquette that exist "down the shore" which continues to jeopardize the nation's opinion on living in new jersey.

my favorite part of this trash heap is when the dudes in their finest meathead attire give pieces of "jersey insight" ... enjoy

and to all of my jersey brethren, i apologize as everyone i associated with over there does not fit this stereotype whatsoever ... well except for a few people that come to mind, now that i'm thinking about it. crap

"it's dirty jerz, baby"

"we don't pump our gas, we pump our fists"

i understand that these girls that they follow around are incredibly annoying and frankly, quite boring, but the real gems are the montages of drunken jersey kids talking (tauwkin') about how great it is to be a jersey kid. it's priceless

jersey insight part 2 around the 4:30 mark - they're asked about the last book they have read

christ, a montage of moron's describing how they do their "blowouts"

i have to get back to work now, dawg

a run on sentence/ stream of consciousness

it is another beautiful day outside and i am typing a major paper due tuesday so i can get back to work on another major paper due thursday so i can have a nice sleep on thursday to go pick up my friend from the airport the next morning to help me forget that i missed out on a beautiful weekend to deal with writing seriously time consuming papers that very well could have been dealt with prior to this weekend if i had only gotten more schoolwork accomplished as opposed to painting pictures and going on internship interviews.

wait, what?

i need espresso

Friday, May 15, 2009

a piece of magic

myspace graphic is done on

i am clearly engaged in procrastination.

love and loyalty

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

a warning

it's time for finals.

i have two incredibly huge papers due by next thursday.

i've been dying to get some photos up here and document how sarah murphy's trip was. sadly, the photos have not been uploaded yet.

however, i would like to let you all know that i have not been stressing myself sick this semester. as you may or may not already know, i have been doing quite well in the health department these days.

i promise you that as soon as i get the photos, i will be happy to take some time off from typing papers and have some fun reliving one of the nicest weeks i have had in san francisco.

for now, i will leave you with a jam that i like to play every once and a while when i need to escape from the stress and just sway back and forth a little.

doesn't this album take you back to a time when stress wasn't so intense?


just me?


love and loyalty, i guess

fine, love and loyalty

Saturday, May 9, 2009

a token of <3

i don't know why i have a lisp in this. i blame the microphone.

happy mother's day, moms of the world.

but especially mine.

love and loyalty

Thursday, May 7, 2009

a threat

sarah has been here for two days.

i'm keeping her.

you can't have her!

o also i ran into dustin lance black.

you know, this guy

it was such a random encounter that all i could think to say was, "thank you."

he seemed pleased.

more sarah murphy photos and fun stories in the near future.

it's 72 degrees right now. it's time for a trip to the haight ashbury for some shopping.

love and loyalty

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

a probe

today i had a colonoscopy. well, i don't necessarily remember it. i was heavily i've been told.

my friend spent the night and drove me to mt. zion at quarter to 6 in the morning. twilight in san francisco really is beautiful. upon arrival, i was wired up and taken into the room with the television and long camera tubes. i could only expect that pretty soon i'd be the main attraction on the big screen. thankfully, i wasn't tuned in. i can really only remember being asked to lean on my left side.

when the nurse woke me up, i was told that "this was the last time i'm waking you up and your friend will here in a few minutes."

i got dressed, apparently found my way into my favorite breakfast joint, apparently bought my friend brunch, apparently came back by 9:30, apparently fell back asleep and apparently woke up at 3 to call my family, kristen and eric.

i woke up at seven thirty and got all the details from my call history and text messages. i have excellent grammar skills under the influence...apparently.

the best news of the day was that i no longer had to take pentasa any longer. i went from 16 pentasa pills to 8 to zero.

i am in remission!

love and loyalty

a preview of my studies

although the semester has yet to fully end, i am really looking forward to the next few semesters.

for instance, this summer i will be taking a course in political communications with joe tuman... i've been following him for a bit and now i finally get to study with him.

here's a brief bio:

"Joseph S. Tuman (just ‘Joe’) is Professor of Political and Legal Communications in the Department of Communication Studies at San Francisco State University, where he has taught and researched for twenty years. Having published extensively in the field of political and legal communications, his work includes books such as the critically acclaimed Communicating Terror: The Rhetorical Dimensions of Terrorism (Sage Publications, 2003), and Freedom of Speech in the Marketplace of Ideas (St. Martin’s Press, 1997, co-authored with Doug Fraleigh), as well as a large number of articles published in national and international scholarly journals. His newest book, Political Communications in American Campaigns (Sage) will be released in early fall of 2007.

A past recipient of the Jacobus tenBroek Society award for teaching excellence, Professor Tuman has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley, St. Mary’s College, The New School for Social Research, and Paris II—the top law school in France.

Tuman is also a Political Analyst for CBS5 news on television and KCBS for radio, where he has offered commentary since 2004. Prior to that time, he was locally a Political Analyst for KGO television (2000 to Fall of 2003). His work in television began with the 1984 presidential election, during which time he served as one of CNN’s two analysts for all of the presidential debates, and extended over the next two decades to regular appearances on national and local news programs for political commentary while he also worked as an academic.

His analysis has frequently been cited in articles for major daily newspapers in New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, St. Louis, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco, and he has often contributed editorial essays to both the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Tuman has also periodically appeared on NPR nationally, and BBC radio internationally.

Joe is also an unrepentant runner and triathlete, with eleven Ironman races to his credit and nearly forty marathons. Students are always welcome to join for a run—a good time to talk!"

i may have to join him on one of those runs, because students are in a constant struggle to participate in his classes and get a moment of his time... good thing i started running.

in the fall, i'll be taking two courses

first, a seminar in rhetorical and communication theory that offers, "issues in rhetorical and communication theory and practice from the classical period to the present."

on top of that, i'll be taking a course outside of the department called policy '
Political and institutional settings for policy making. Concepts and techniques of policy, planning, and administration.

consider this proof that i am actually enrolled in classes and i am not just fooling around in san francisco.

love and loyalty

Sunday, May 3, 2009

a protest

on friday i was immersed in my studies when out of nowhere i heard chanting, marching bands and helicopters...

must be another protest.

i was right.

i ran down to the end of my street where octavia meets market to discover ...

it was may 1st, so may day was in full swing.

at delores park, not only did the anarchists of san francisco throw a "raging picnic" to celebrate international workers's day, but labor leaders with ilwu local chapters 10 & 34, the "workers without borders" and "united in struggle" all met to march downtown and protest...well, working with borders.

when i made it down to the end of the street, i had asked what was going on. the man i asked told simply said, "communism."

i went home.

another day in san francisco

a bike

this is my bike. kad used to call it "jean luc" because he himself is french and so he assumed that the bike should have a french name. until i come up with something less ridiculous, the bike will remain "mike's bike."

i took it out to the pacific ocean through golden gate park a few days ago. then, i took it in the opposite direction to the bay.

love and loyalty