Interesting Times

It’s been a week since last week’s primaries, in which Hilary Clinton was essentially the presumptive Democratic nominee.  Last Tuesday night, on Facebook, I noted, “Eight years ago, I was so moved to see history made when Barack Obama was the presumptive nominee and I so appreciated Hilary Clinton took it as far as she did then. Now that Hilary Clinton is the presumptive nominee, it’s still something significant that we’re living in history: the first woman all the way!”

(see here for that triscribe post from eight years ago).

I really felt moved by taking a moment that history was made.  I refer you to check out this item at NPR – it has a good overview of women in pursuit of the American presidency.  I realized that this could even go back to when Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John Adams, to “remember the ladies.” It took awhile and we’re still not there yet (like with all the other “isms”); it’s good to be reminded of history (or even “herstory”).

But, then comes the cold, unpleasant reality: this is a hard slog of a long, long campaign season that has made the process so exhausting and more cynical than ever and will continue to be so. In past triscribe posts, I followed the past presidential campaigns with interest, as history in the making.  But, this one has been really something – almost something else.  I credit Bernie Sanders for taking it as long and hard as he could, and reminding Hillary and others of issues that might otherwise be forgotten.  I really appreciated Bernie and Hillary for making the Democratic debates look like a show with adults.

But, the Republicans… their presumptive nominee leaves so much to be desired, in my honest opinion.  I had to turn away from the headlines of the rhetoric from him and his supporters.

Then, over the weekend, the news of the terrible assault at the gay nightclub in Orlando – I’ve almost become desensitized by the mass shooting events.  I’m all for thoughts and prayers, but I really wonder when we will do something effective?

So, in the interest of trying to point to some reasoned analysis of how much that presumptive nominee for the Republicans and how he’s irrational and saying things that don’t make a lot of sense: see Slate’s William Saletan (pointing to the danger of what Trump says), Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick (pointing to the mockery of words from Trump), Slate’s Fred Kaplan (pointing to Trump’s lies and absurdities in his anti-terror speech), and Slate’s Jamelle Bouie (further pointing to the lies and absurdities of Trump’s speech). I went Slate-heavy there, but let’s be real; it outrages me that the presumptive Republican nominee – that Trump – can go this far and could become president, undermining even thoughts and prayers for Orlando, where terror and hate have combined to tragic proportions.

Sunday night’s Tony Awards telecast was a strange relief, moving and enjoyable.  James Corden was a major fun host (not biting as Neil Patrick Harris, but with this odd sincerity and, hey, he already has his own Tony).  I liked the Gothamist’s overview of the Tony Awards, and also liked Glen Weldon’s post on the Tony Awards over at  And i guess I ought to end this post with words of hope and thoughts and prayers anyway.  The creative minds and talents of the Tony Awards at least said so.

I found some words that will mean more to you than a list of names. When something bad happens we have three choices: we let it define us, we let it destroy us, or we let it strengthen us. Today in Orlando we had a hideous dose of reality, and I urge you Orlando to remain strong… We will be with you every step of the way.

– Frank Langella, forgoing the usual thanks in his winning the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

[….] When senseless acts of tragedy remind us/That nothing here is promised, not one day/This show is proof that history remembers/We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger/We rise and fall and light from dying embers/Remembrances that hope and love last longer/And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love/Cannot be killed or swept aside/I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story/Now fill the world with music, love and pride

Thank you so much for this.

— Lin-Manuel Miranda, accepting the Tony Award for the Best Score for Hamilton.

Post Super Bowl/Lunar New Year/Winter Olympics 2010

I’m still not sure of what to make of a lot of the Super Bowl commercials this year.  (check out the coverage by Time’s James Poniewozik reviewing of the stuff) – I mean, really – two consecutive commercials of guys in their underwear?  Has the economy gone that bad to give us this crap?…

But, kudos to New Orleans; too bad for Indianapolis; and guess Miami is a really popular spot for Super Bowl (at least, they seem to keep going back to Florida).

Happy Year of the Tiger! (thought it was cool to see a little of the Lunar New Year celebration in Vancouver on tv; link here for the Canadian coverage of it).

And, Happy Winter Olympics 2010!  The opening ceremony was pretty nifty, I thought.  You don’t have to go all Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony extravagant (but having an LCD doesn’t hurt).  I’ve suggested on Facebook about shipping the snow on the east coast to Vancouver.  Otherwise, I’ve been on massive Olympic watching.  I think I really want to go to Vancouver – it looks so nice on tv (and is where many tv series are filmed anyway, so how cool is that?  And, the food?).

Fascinating story about Vancouver’s ex-mayor, Sam Sullivan, who I remembered was inspirational for waving the flag for Vancouver at the closing ceremony of the Turino Olympics 2006 (inspirational, because he was – and is – a wheelchair user who didn’t seem limited by his disability).  The article was compelling for how Sullivan keeps going, despite losing another term as mayor.

I have to say, Jonny Moseley did a pretty good job explaining moguls as a commentator on NBC; I really wouldn’t understand the sport, but he made it understandable and cool.

Very happy that Canada finally won home gold with moguls skier Alexandre Bilodeau’s win.

I’ve been wondering about those blue lines in alpine skiing; thanks, NY Times, for an explanation (blue dye, not computer-generated for tv viewers; but to guide the skiers.

Seeing Shen and Zhao win the gold in ice skating pairs – that was nifty, since they have come a long way since their first Olympics.

Hooray for Evan Lysacek for winning gold in the men’s figure skating.  There’s a bit of a debate of whether to award the skater for the whole program or for the tricks (or, is it that those who don’t do the quad playing it too safe?  Frankly, when it got to a point where every man was doing a quad and then destroying their knees and getting shorter careers – the quad just didn’t impress me).  It gets loopy, when it’s about difference of perceptions and personalities and techniques and physical capabilities (Johnny Weir – well, he’s in his own category, which means he’s his own skater, make of that what you will).  So, sorry, but I’m for the whole program – be a skater, not a stuntman.  On t v, Dick Button, commentator and two-time Olympic gold medalist, pretty much said that (wish I could find the link to the video), and so have others (including Todd Eldridgebe the better overall skater).

Plus, it is about gamesmanship – know how to get the points and be a sportsman.  Hard work works.  Etc.  If it was about innovation and so-called progress, well, sometimes it isn’t about that all the time.  Plushenko didn’t get me excited; Lysacek did (probably because about the whole hard work and determination and pluckiness – I mean, really – no quad?  And being okay with it (i.e., not arrogant, as Plushenko seemed to be, in my opinion) – that takes a lot of personal guts).

Trash talking Plushenko, amid what is otherwise a nice time (I mean, really – Daisuke Takahashi got to win a bronze to be the first Japanese male medalist – graceful, even though he fell – we should be happy for Japan, but Plushenko – come on – let it go; you got a medal when you came back from retirement) —  hmm.

I think the future of men’s figure skating are: Patrick Chan, Canada; Jeremy Abbott, USA;  and Nobunari Oda, Japan.  They were impressive, even if they didn’t quite get the Olympics they wanted (they’re young; and Chan – well, he had that whole country on his shoulders – not easy!).

The Reed family of NJ – an interesting family of Asian-Americans, as the kids of Noriko and Robert – ice dancing for Japan (Cathy and Chris) and Georgia (Allison – who found a guy in need of a female ice pairs partner – well, that happens far more frequently in ice skating than we realize these days, especially with the Internet as a resource).

Oh that Apolo Ohno.  I’m just glad to be reminded that he’s more than a Dancing With the Stars champion.

Oh, and J.R. Celski – cool that he won the bronze, but the story of his pre-Olympic injury is pretty gruesome stuff.  (J.R. Celski is part-Filipino, so APA’s are being represented on the medal podium!).

Hockey – that Canadian national sport – apparently has a lot of guys named Ryan.

The commercials during the Olympics are actually more entertaining than the Super Bowl’s.  I like the commercial where various Canadian (Canadian-American) celebrities are telling us to go visit British Columbia (Ryan Reynolds, Eric McCormack, Kim Cattrall, Sarah McLachlan, and Michael J. Fox).  The Old Spice commercials where mesmerizing man tells men (via their women) to use Old Spice – hilarious hallucination!

Happy Super Bowl Day!

May the best team win in Super Bowl 44 in Miami.  I’m rooting for Indianapolis, but New Orleans has the feel-good story, what with their own team history and their city’s history.  This Angry Asian Man blog post has some links to great articles about Scott Fujita, who’s a player on the New Orleans Saints; he was raised half-Japanese American, since he was adopted by a Japanese-American dad and a white mom – and cares about civil liberties issues since his Japanese-American grandparents were interned during WWII…. So, even though I’m rooting for the Colts for the Super Bowl, but Fujita sounds like a pretty cool guy.

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick with an excellent analysis about what terrorism and politics have done to us:

But here’s the paradox: It’s not a terrorist’s time bomb that’s ticking. It’s us. Since 9/11, we have become ever more willing to suspend basic protections and more contemptuous of American traditions and institutions. The failed Christmas bombing and its political aftermath have revealed that the terrorists have changed very little in the eight-plus years since the World Trade Center fell. What’s changing—what’s slowly ticking its way down to zero—is our own certainty that we can never be safe enough and our own confidence in the rule of law.

So, are we letting fear win over the idea of and trust in rule of law? (NOT rule of man, but oh, well; humans are humans). My cynicism/pessimism is creeping in.

Friday night: siblings and I checked out Restaurant Week, by heading over to Mesa Grill.  Good stuff!