Saturday, June 27, 2009

Prosecution and the Media

Robin has posted a couple of posts that got me thinking. Hers were more about celebrities and people who are overly affected by the celebrity culture. Or something like that. And as I wrote my response, I thought of Jackson's cases where he was accused of child molestation, which in turn led to thoughts on prosecution and the media.

When he was accused of child molestation for the second time, I wrote him off. I held my judgement the first time—after all, he was my biggest childhood crush, and despite his eccentricities he seemed like an extremely kind human being, something I really admired as a constantly teased kid—but a second time? Come on. There's only so many times you get to play the I'm a Targeted Celebrity card (that is, once). I do still sometimes wonder why someone so savvy in business matters (at least, during his Thriller days and several years after) would be so incredibly naive (to say the least) to put himself in a position to be questioned after what he went through the first time. But who knows? He was on pain medication and possibly drinking a lot. Maybe he just made a bad judgement call.

The thing is, I've since learned only too well what a determined prosecutor can do with little or no evidence. It's not always like on Law & Order, where Jack McCoy realizes he's wrong and shifts gears in mid-stream, and winds up nabbing the real killer. You'll notice, of course, McCoy never had political ambitions. But many prosecutors do, and they're the ones who just blunder right on, no matter what. The so-called Good Guys aren't always good, and they're not always right, either. In fact, I'm astounded at how often they get it wrong. (But kudos to the Jack McCoys and McCoyettes.) When the media is on their side (as they often are), watch out. I can think of two cases off the top of my head where the prosecution and the media got it wrong. One was that Senator whose girlfriend went missing and was found dead. Everyone I knew was sure he offed her, myself included. It just seemed so obvious. But he didn't. It was just some random attack. The other was the rape case involving Duke students. I was only too willing to believe the media reports of stereotypical racist frat boys out of control. But that turned out not to be true, either. Sometimes the truth is wrapped inside an enigma and then placed inside a lie. Sometimes the truth is anything BUT obvious. 

These days I'm not so quick to judge. I don't know whether MJ did what he was accused of doing. I do know, from personal experience, that people don't trust a person who is too helpful and too kind. I now wonder whether it was his kindness that eventually did him in. 

And that is the only post I will make on the matter. I promise. 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How to Win Friends and Influence People

On Chapter 3. So far it's a great book. Expectations wildly exceeded. Will report back. 

So far the advice is pretty simple: be kind. 

Oh, Thriller

I can remember when Thriller came out when I was eleven or twelve. I babysat for a family in the neighborhood, and the dad had The Making of Thriller, and I must've watched it 150 times. This was back when I wanted to be a video dancer. Or a pop star. But even then I knew I couldn't sing.

I'm more bummed about Michael Jackson than I thought I would be. I'm listening to some songs from the album. I gotta say it was an innovative album for its time, and that's no small part to Jackson's talent. I also gotta say the recording and production is stellar. And that is no small part to Quincy Jones.

When I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than Michael Jackson to sing Lady in My Life, one of the few songs on the album that wasn't a single, and I think its sole ballad. Hah. What a crush. But this was back when he was hot. And you know, PYT was kind of a sexy song. 

Oh well. There's still Quincy Jones. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm a Crappy Aunt

So I was supposed to send out a letter to my niece at camp LAST Sunday, only I spaced it until Wednesday morning. She left camp Friday, only her letters from me and my brother (her dad) hadn't arrived. Damn. But I hope she was having such a fine time that she didn't care. I don't know, though, yet. 

This may seem like a small thing. If she'd had a normal upbringing until now, it would be. But it seems her life is fraught with disappointment. She has her dad, whom she adores, and she has her grandparents (my parents), and she has me. My mother is basically a second mother to her, and I'm the crazy aunt who comes into town once in a while to visit with her. But it seems we're always late on everything. (Except for my mother, who is the most anal retentive person on earth, and I mean that in a good way. I wish I inherited more of that. A lot more.)

I spend a lot of my time with her when I'm home, and I helped her set up an e-mail account, which I'm hoping will enable us to keep in more frequent contact. I vow to do better by that kid. She deserves it. 

So . . .

D is off to Australia today for a work-related trip. I'd be jealous, but I have two weeks with the apartment to myself. Nice.

Moving out soon, though. Signed a lease with a classmate where the rent is a heckuva lot cheaper. I don't know how we'll get along, but it's only ten months. I'm bummed to be leaving this great apartment and stellar neighborhood, but I suspect once I stop seeing the ungodly amount of cash leaving my bank account every month, things won't hurt so bad. I'll really miss the cats, though, who are staying here. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Schuyler's Monster Blog and other updates

In my blog roll there's a new blog I discovered recently. I forget how. But this blogger is a fellow writer who has written a great deal about his autistic (?) daughter. (Autism is what I've gathered from the admittedly few posts I've read. I hope to read a lot more soon.) Informative and educational. And Schuyler is adorable! Once I get my school funds or a job (whichever comes first) I hope to pick up his book, Schuyler's Monster. Given his blog posts, he seems like a very good writer. And hey - I remembered how to spell Schuyler's name twice without looking it up. 

EDIT: Oh yeah. It was Neil Gaiman's blog, which for me, is pretty much my Center for Finding New and Interesting Things on the Internet.

I've also downloaded XCode for Mac/iPhone to try my hand at developing an iPhone application or two. I started one of Facebook, but even a student submission is $175. NO. Just NO. I don't know if iPhone charges as well, but at least I know there's a chance of recouping my fee. And bonus - new mad computer skillz. 

Sunday, June 14, 2009


So I play my first wedding tomorrow. A little nervous, but it should be fun. I'm being put up in a hotel for two days, which helps with the relaxation factor and will probably mean I'll get to work out in the hotel gym.

Happy for my friend, too, who insisted I play her wedding. I was reluctant, and financially it isn't helping at the moment, but it does give me a little repertoire for weddings. I'm hoping to play more. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Following Your Instincts

Over the course of my life I've learned how detrimental it can be for me not to follow my instinct - both personally and professionally. EVERY time I've gone against my instinct, I've paid dearly. I can't think of a single exception to this.

For a long, long time—years, in fact—I was so out of touch with my gut feelings, I was like a sheet in the wind, blowing whichever way the wind blew. School—composing, really—has been one long (and expensive) exercise in learning to follow my instincts again. I've not yet found the right gris-gris with my composing, but I am getting better about pinpointing what my gut feelings are. Progress, then. The same is true with writing. I'm getting better about honing that instinct, knowing what's wrong with a story before I send it out for critique. It seemed for a while there I was totally dependent on others' opinions. But now I'm beginning to see my opinions reflected in critiques on the stories I send out to beta readers. 

I hope I'm wise enough to know there will be situations where my instincts will be challenged, that there will be moments where I'm unsure—and most of all, that I'm not always right. But maybe a person's instinct is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. I think it is. I hope so, anyway.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ana - Legion of Online Superheroes Story

Hey all - this is the start of my series on the Legion of Online Superheroes. I know some of you have read this already, but I thought you wouldn't mind listening to the author read in her monotone voice. Ish.

Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


So it seems I discover this stuff long after the excitement has died down. D owns the first season of Heroes. I started watching it while I worked out on the treadmill in the hopes it would make the time go by faster (it did).

Now I'm totally enamored with the series. It's a great story. The guy who plays Dr. Mohinder Suresh is, shall we say, extremely pleasing on the eyes, and that doesn't hurt. Damn. I didn't know they made men like him anymore. 

Watch it, people, even if it's just the first season. Great stuff.