Saturday, October 10, 2009

Enhancing the Stars

I know this seems like old news after all the excitement yesterday, but I still want to tell you about it. Wednesday night marked one of my favorite nights of the year here at the Big White:  annual Star Gazing Astronomy Night. tele

My niece,Celia

 

 

Each year we have the girl scouts in for our annual astronomy night.  The Girl Scouts organization has always encouraged girls’ interest in science and technology(which is more than I can say for Larry Summers over at Treasury), so the hookup with NASA is a natural. I’ve served as the unofficial mistress of ceremonies for the past 4 administrations, but this year my little niece Celia participated for the first time as one of the official NASA telescopes. I was so proud.

michelle-obama-girl-scouts

Not only did we get to gaze at celestial bodies through some of the finest optical lenses ever created, but Lady M was named the Honorary National President of the Girl Scouts.  At first she thought she might be too busy to assume these additional honorary duties, but I advised her that, like so many things around here, there aren’t really any duties. And she gets an unlimited supply of girl scout cookies. Done deal.

After the inside ceremonies, we got to go outside to actually use some of the  NASA optics to look at constellations and check for incoming missiles.

Here’s a shot of MO and Bo greeting the little girls. There was a mo star gazingmoment of confusion. They both saw the event listed in their Blackberries as “star gazing at the white house” and naturally assumed it was a dinner for them to meet with some of their biggest donors. Imagine how surprised they were to see all the little munchkins dressed in brown uniforms.

The night was supposed to wrap up with s’mores on the south lawn, but some a-hole in Environmental Affairs said we couldn’t build a campfire. We had to settle for peanut butter and marshmallow Fluff canap├ęs which were really hard to eat, and got all over the lenses of the telescopes. Other than that, they were really tasty. Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!

The Good Old Days of Carter’s Malaise

Although I was just a pile of sand back in the Jimmy Carter years, there has been a lot of comparisons to him and Big Guy lately. And not just because they both bagged the Nobel. I think it’s more about the fact that they’re both associated with  HOPE and/or CHANGE.

In the spirit of the new all-green White House, I thought I’d recycle this from the vault of my favorite blogger, Dewey From Detroit: Welcome Back, Welcome Back Carter.

No wonder Lady M likes those sweaters so much.

argyl 3 

Friday, October 9, 2009

World Readership

We’re all descending from cloud 9 after the surprise announcement this morning. Fortunately TOTUS had a Nobel Peace Prize acknowledgement speech pre-loaded into his hard drive, just in case the occasion ever presented itself.

It was pretty much your standard humble-president-of-the-free-world-accepts-Nobel-Peace-Prize speech, complete with apologies to the others who didn’t win.

"I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations."

I’m not positive, but I think those aspirations include dismantling the United States as the world’s preeminent super power. What could go wrong?

Anyway, I think we have a solution to that embarrassing flap about the copy-cat painting that we had selected to hang in the family room. Out with the fake Matisse, in with the Nobel.

framed world readership-CENTAU copy

Michelle! My Nobel!!!

Can you believe it! What a week. First my Creators, and now, your Savior! o savior Yes you heard correctly. Big Guy won the Nobel Peace Prize.

After last week’s bitter disappointment over the Olympics, this  renews our HOPE. I take back everything I said about the Scandinavians, including those hateful things about their stinky dead fish.

But back to BO’s big, big prize. Everyone around here is simply stunned. No one really expected this for another 3 years. But if you’ve followed Big Guy’s life, it’s always been this way for him. Whatever he wished for, shazam! it was his. Harvard Law degree? Shazam! US Senate seat? Shazam! Presidency?  You get the idea. Lucky. Charmed.

Don’t take this the wrong way: it’s not as if BO (and MO) didn’t work hard for this prize. Remember that  European Apology tour? mo carla1 o european 2

It was grueling. But even the Royals thought they’d have to actually accomplish something before winning the medal. Politics turns out to be a lot more like Community Organizing than we thought.

So we join a very elite club of US Presidents who have won the Nobel Peace Prize: Teddy Roosevelt for negotiating the end of the Russian-Japanese war, Woodrow Wilson for negotiating the Treaty of Versailles and Jimmy Carter for…what was that again? Oh right. Peace in the Middle East. I guess that’s what Big Guy won his for too.

Remember just last week when I told you there would be many more oysters? Well, add to my many high-tech capabilities the more cerebral power of prescience. I also forecast another big date night. Maybe Paris is in the cards after all. And I think Ahmadinajad might be joining the O’s for the celebration.

Ahmadinajad-1

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Art and Soul

We have some new art for our East Wing digs. Actually we’re having a whole art gallery installed in the family wing. It’s a most impressive collection of contemporary and abstract art, if by impressive you mean art that nobody ever looks at.

I know Big Guy’s been taking a lot of heat lately over his indecisiveness regarding what to do about General McChrystal’s request for additional troops to win the war in Afghanistan decisively.I don’t really think this particular selection is going to help him make up his mind, or polish his image as the decider. But it might prove helpful to historians of the future trying to get into BO’s psyche.

art wh8The New York Times helpfully explains;

Another contemporary work chosen by the Obamas is a word painting by the California artist Ed Ruscha. Called “I Think I’ll … ” it deals with the subject of indecision.

But there’s much, much more; some of which might help explain our wardrobe choices. Here are a few samples from the rest of the 47 pieces on loan from the National Gallery of Art. You’ll see immediately how conceptual they are. Much better than the old landscapes and still lifes that were so representational and so last century.

art wh art wh3 art wh2 Unlike many former White House occupants, the Royals are very comfortable with modern art. It's lack of form may lead some to believe it lacks substance, but in fact, it’s form is its substance. Get it?!

There is also a selection of artwork by African Americans. It’s probably just me, but I think if the Bush’s would have had this in the White House, critics might have said it looked sort of, well, racist. In a stereotypical way. But I don’t really know that much about art.art wh4

The painting below, of course, is neither contemporary nor abstract: just diverse. I’m not sure if I should mention this or not to the O’s but the University of Michigan Museum of Art just got in trouble with their Indian dioramas: Native Indians found them offensive and demanded they be removed. Which of course UofM is going to do. After all they’ve been on display for 50 years, it’s probably time to retire them anyway. I only mention it to remind everyone just how tricky this whole diversity thing gets.art indian

And finally we have this very conceptual work "Sky Light," 1973, by Alma Thomasart3

Maybe its just me, but I see a strong similarity to one of Lady M’s favorite dresses.mico2

Come to think of it, life around here does imitate art. Or is it the other way around? I can never keep that straight. The only part I’m sure about is the imitation.

UPDATE: That other Michelle has posted an expose on one of Alma Thomas' paintings. I think it's just another example of racism though. Anyone can clearly see the colors are different.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tripping the Light Fantastic

I am bursting with pride today. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with MO’s selection of art for the Big White. We’ll cover that later. Not that it’s unimportant, but the big news making me swell with pride is the announcement that three of my creators have been awarded a Nobel Prize. Congratulations Dr. George Smith, Dr. Willard Boyle and Dr. Charles Kao!

 They helped develop fiber-optic cable and invented the "eye" in digital cameras — technology that has given rise to film-free photography and high-speed Internet service, revolutionized communications and science, and utterly transformed the way we live, work and amuse ourselves.

Without them and their nanotechnology work with pixels, lenses and sensors would I be able to to this?opra2michelle o photo or this?  mi photoshp2 

michelle arms

Of course, I can use my powers for michelle-obama-armsgood or evil.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks guys. Without you, I’d be back in the Smithsonian and Mo would be on her own. Come to think of it, none of us would even be here.

Update: Al Gore has announced that he’s quite certain that one of these three men is his birth father, stating that he has just recently been presented with the inconvenient truth that he had been adopted by his mother and Senator Gore.

I have two things to say in response to his allegation: Al didn’t have anything to do with inventing the internet. He has invented a lot of things, like global warming, but the internet is – shall we say – above his pay grade. And secondly, I am in no way related to Al Gore.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Leather is Organic, No?

A lot of you have been pestering me with questions about where you can get some of those fabulous belts that Lady M favors.

I think you all know by now that I really don’t feel comfortable divulging that kind of information if it isn’t already public. But since BFF at Rational Jingo has already divulged MO’s favorite spots for snaring these one-of-a-kind gems, I’m just passing it on. You can find much more than Tuscan Kale at organic farmers markets.belts from rational

H/T Rational Jingo

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chicago’s “Good Times” Canceled: DynOmite!

So I’m glancing through the WSJ this morning and happen upon L. Gordon Crovitz’s column, “More Insults, Please”. He’s explaining how the publishing of Muhammad cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten – especially that one with the stick of dynamite in his turban - caused protests, rioting and other mayhem across the Muslim world.

mocartoonsOffending cartoons courtesy of Fausta’s Blog 

I thought they were kind of cute, but apparently some do not share my keen wit and ability to reflect on such images. But I digress.

in a speech he gave last Saturday in New York, Kurt Westergaard, the cartoons’ creator (currently living in Copenhagen under 24 hour police protection), remarked:

"As the Danish tradition is for satire, we say you can speak freely, you can vote, you can speak out any time, but there's only one thing you can't do—you can't be free of being mocked or being offended," Mr. Westergaard said in a speech in New York City. "That's the condition in Denmark."

All I have to say is, where the hell were our international protocol and intelligence teams? Why didn’t someone over at the State Department tell us about this Danish policy before we put everything on the line to bring the Olympic games to the capital of Pay-To-Play cities? We just assumed that we would be treated to the same fawning adulation and deference we get in the USA: the country that invented free speech.

chicago bid-base2-orig

We arrived with soaring expectations, only to have the whole thing blow up in our face.

 

chicago bid-base2 Thanks, State, once again. I’m beginning to think that Hillary didn’t really want that job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blue Duck Down

So, it wasn’t quite Paris. But the Blue Duck on  24 and M Street is nice too. And given the mood of the Royals last night (which I think you can read from their faces), the name of the restaurant was quite appropriate.

Here we are trying to look like we’re having fun. After all, we won - the election anyway. We’ve agreed not to bring up that Olympic thing again. We’re on to happier days.

mobo aniver   mobo aniv3

The first sign you see when you enter the restaurant is a quote from Thomas Jefferson which reads “Taste cannot be controlled by law.” Tell me about it.

And before you get started on the black halter sack dress, let me just show you a few that we rejected – so you can be grateful for the selection we ultimately went with.

 

At least the jewelry was understated. I really thing Carla is starting to have a positive impact, don’t you?

And we had a lovely dinner: a little fois gras, some roasted Maine Scallops with cauliflower and almonds & brown butter, oven roasted bone with paprika crust and country bread, sliced veal with white tuna sauce and roasted organic chicken with buttermilk and herbs.

Everything was delish, but I think the O’s  especially enjoyed gnawing on the oven roasted bones. Such a soul satisfying dish after a long week.