January 27, 2005

Good Friends

Happy Birthday to my very dear friend Liz.  I love you girl. You have been an anchor for me far more than you'll know. Happy 25th! Ooh, can I say that on the world wide web? :)


{We've been celebrating our mutual birthday going on three days now...way too much food.}

For those of you still waiting for pearls of political wisdom (in which I'm drowning:), unfortunately, I've got nothin to offer right now, so the best I can do is refer you to the blogs and sites on my left (no reflection on the political leaning) for words far more articulate than my own, at least at present. :) I'll have something non birthday related in a few days. Scout's honor.

Posted by Portia at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2005

Special Day

Today is a very unique day, for it is the day after "The Worst (or Most Depressing) Day of the Year," according to a British study. This is a day of hope, of new life, of new beginnings, and it's also the birthday of three very amazing people I know.

Happy Birthday Liz! And Happy Birthday Alex!!

Yea for mid-twenties!! I think we're handling this awkward stage, the mid-point between young adulthood and full fledged adulthood, quite gracefully.  May this be our best year yet!


Posted by Portia at 08:44 AM | Comments (2)

January 20, 2005

Great Day


For those living in alternate universes and aren't aware (which obviously doesn't describe anybody reading this site :), President Bush was sworn in his second term today. In case you missed it on television, like me, you can read his address here. It's similarities to JFK's inaugural address 44 years ago are uncanny.

Here's an excerpt for ya:

"We have seen our vulnerability - and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny - prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder - violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom."

Dennis Prager had great things to say about it, and I will blog those later tonight as I take a minute from the music world to enter the wide world of politics. For now, I'm quite thrilled that we have him for another 4 years. It's a great day in world history. More later.

Posted by Portia at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2005

Further Random Musings

I am going to have to apologize once again and again another time pre-emptively. I've been absent due to an enormously busy schedule, and the pre-emptive apology is that I'm afraid I don't see a possibility of posting anything deep or insightful until this weekend. My apologies to my bored friends who check my site 5 times a day. :)

Here are some random thoughts that have occurred to me over the last few days:

1. Josh Groban could sing a Britney Spears song and still sound utterly, breathtakingly profound.  (Though, Josh, please don't ever attempt that.)

2. I now know why the phrase, "Shut up and sing" is so relevant. If one is a good musician, one spends great deals of time, mainly all day, practicing, honing, recording one's musical gift. That leaves very little time, if any, to actually be informed about real goings on. Therefore, musicians should stick to their day job and "Shut up and sing." I say this now with first hand knowledge; I haven't read the news in over a week. That's the longest I've ever gone. All because of piano. And I'm not touring. So how much more informed could the Dixie Chicks really be?

3. Children have to be the best and most annoying form of entertainment in the world. I was at a birthday party with 7 kids all under the age of 9, and I don't remember any time when I've laughed so hard. It was like 7 little sitcoms going on at once. They make such great material for screenplays, which I someday hope to pen, in my spare time, of course.

Well, I'm spent. I literally can't think of anything else to write. This is a first. Have a great rest of the week folks. If you don't hear from me in 4 days....wait longer. :)

Posted by Portia at 10:27 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2005

Precious Moments

I only have a few minutes to blog here, so bear with me if this seems somewhat disjointed, though I have a strong suspicion most people think I always am now that I'm in school (touche).

A quick update on my whereabouts, for friends and any potential stalkers in the mix. I cannot begin to explain how overwhelmed I am with musical input. I fielded many criticisms and pleas for me not to attend my school, but I can look every one of those arguments in the face and tell them proudly they were wrong. Now, they were right in that one gets out of it what one puts in to it, but if practicing a minimum of three hours a day is putting in, then I'll be just fine. No joke, I can sit at the piano for three hours and still have so much left to do. My problem used to be that I never had things to practice; now there's no end in sight. Sometimes I'm not sure if I should laugh, cry, or lay there paralyzed by the weight of all I need to accomplish.

If you know me at all, you'll know that there's been one thing my whole life (other than that nasty demon "procrastination") that has stood in the way of me and success in any area, and that thing is my social nature. I love being around people; it's very hard to turn down invitations. Because of that, last quarter was certainly an adjustment, but I think I've effectively gotten over the "need" to see people and I'm really focused on my investment in music. If I'm allowed to pat myself on the back, I'm doing that right now. Last night, for the first time ever, I was practicing scales and I realized how much I love my instrument. I really love the piano. Everything about it...the sound, how complicated and complex it is, how beautiful and dissonant it can sound...everything. It was then that I actually felt like a real musician...the kind that could spend hours with their instrument. I've always wanted to be one of them, and I think I'm getting there. (I'm smiling as I write this if you can't tell. :)

To all those who haven't seen me or really have any proof that I'm still alive, I will see you in a little over a year. :) Only, now I'm actually considering jumping in the deep end of linguistics as soon as I leave this program. I want to be trilingual at the very least, and I think I'm going to pursue that as soon as I'm able. I'm definitely learning Italian more fluently and I think I'd like to learn German, Russian or Hebrew after that. Not sure which. I love learning; but I also like being out there in the world, so if I can somehow combine being in school for the rest of my life and living in the real world, I'll be the happiest girl ever.

Speaking of being a girl, I'll be one year shy of a quarter century old in 11 days! Agh. Life is catching up to me. There's so much I want to do and I feel like I'm getting too old to do it (sorry to all the above 30's, but this is seriously how I feel...you'd understand if you knew me...I'm just like that.:).

This time of year is always full of reflection for me. Not only is it the beginning of a new year, but it's also the beginning of a new year. lol. In other words, it becomes a new calendar year very close to the time of my turning one year older. So I'm quite introspective this season. I love it. A new year...we'll see what it has in store. I have a feeling this is going to be a very good year full of many new responsibilities, obligations and challenges. I'm up for them. :)

And if you've read this far, you're a better man than me. Hey, I miss all the posts...not feeling loved here people!! Am I not writing about important enough stuff? Should I write about more trivial things? This isn't super cathartic or anything for me; I like interacting with people. Tell me you're reading...it will be your birthday present to me. I'm cheap. :)

Posted by Portia at 03:36 PM | Comments (1)

Decadent Opulence

I'm sure everyone is as sick of that last picture as I am, so I thought I'd update as soon as possible. I've just found out about the world's only 7 Star hotel in Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, called Burj Al Arab. I've never seen anything like it, and that's for a reason...there is nothing like it. You've got to go to the website and look at this place. There are parts of this hotel that are underwater, parts of it that are surrounded by aquariums...this place is amazing, and the rates reflect that (starting at over $1000.00 a night for the smallest room). If you're there and you just want to take a look at the place, you have to pay $75 just to get in the gate. It apparently cost around $80 million to construct and was done so by Europe's top architects.   It's worth a visit. Tell me what your first impression was.


The Band blog has been updated.

Posted by Portia at 12:36 AM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2005

Non sequiturs

(Got tired of the picture, in case you were wondering...which I'm sure you weren't.)

I'm too tired to talk at length about politics, but I will give a few soundbites of my thoughts on recent events.

1. I'm thrilled that CBS is finally being honest about their dishonest reporting. Sweeps week will have new meaning this time around. Burn away that chaff!

2. I'm sure I'll be getting some hits from people searching for Portia DeRossi (or however you spell her last name) as Ellen Degeneres just dumped her last girlfriend for aptly named twig, Portia. Welcome to all those in search of um, lesbian lifestyle information. May you be informed.

3. So the latest outrage of Islam... Americans are including Christian literature in humanitarian packages. Gasp!!! Shriek!! I'd like to see Muslims over there giving money, time and care and talking about the love of Allah. Funny that would be as Islamic spokespeople have said that this was a judgment of Allah for that area not allowing sharia to take place. (like that yoda-esque sentence?)

I don't know, anything that sounds like a venereal disease doesn't sound like a law I'd like to adopt. I think, just to make the proponents of sharia mad, we should name some disorder, say impotency, after it and begin advertising remedies for said disease. Can't you see it? "Gentlemen, are you suffering from 'sharia'? Well, fear not, millions of others like you have found hope in the latest pharmaceutical miracle for impotency called...." You get the idea. Oh, to have money and advertising wherewithall. Someday. :)

4. I HATE DRIVING IN LA!!! There was no rain today, and it still took me over an hour to get somewhere that usual takes 20 minutes. AGH! When I do have loads of cash, I'm designing billboards to instruct LA drivers in proper driving techniques that will lessen rush hour gridlock, such as STOP STARING AT THE CHP OFFICER GIVING SOMEONE A TICKET, for crying out loud!!!!

Okay, I'm done! Off to hone my mad musical skills; those and my skills with a bow staff. :)

Posted by Portia at 09:10 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2005

London Fog

os Angeles is shrouded in a large cloud right now. It is beautiful and something I've not really seen before. I just finished tutoring, and as I  walked out of my student's home, I was so struck by the air that was so still and misty. As I made my way to my car, I noticed the old fashioned streetlights were casting dimly lit spots on the pavement, but their light also caught in the cloud and gave the appearance of a yellow ball. It was eerie and awesome at the same time. I felt like I was in "Jack the Ripper" (God forbid), an Agatha Christie, or a Hitchcock film. Needless to say, I love this weather. It's certainly been unusual this season. To begin with, the leaves on the trees changed. That hasn't happened in my 18 years of living here. Maybe the world is coming to an end. Or maybe we just had a cold snap. Either way, keep it comin!

Posted by Portia at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2005

Wonder Winterland

AP pics of snow in Reno.

Melissa, thinking of you and your Reno relatives.

Posted by Portia at 05:32 PM | Comments (1)

January 06, 2005

Don't Cry For Me...

Poor Barbara lost again. This must be hard. Her attempt to thwart the second term of President Bush, was itself thwarted... by smart people.

President Bush will be inaugurated on January 20, with all the bells and whistles, sparing Michael Moore's post of the parade route won't turn out to be anything other than a few lefties hurling the usual left grenades: eggs. Maybe Al-Pieda will come out and play and launch a few cream pies. It should be fun. A day full of maturity, I'm sure.

Posted by Portia at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

Stop the Presses!!


Hold on...is that Dan Rather in a flight suit of some sort???!!!!

Just checking.... Very interesting.

Posted by Portia at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

Another Epiphany

Spending close to three hours a day in the car gives one a great deal of time to think about life, world events, and of course, the hypocrisy of the left. Michael Medved had Mary Eberstadt on his show today. Mary has just written a book called Home Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Behavioral Drugs, and other Parent Substitutes.  She had many interesting talking points. I'll discuss two.

First, she related the problem of obesity among this generation and attributed part of that problem to guilt ridden parents. She said that quite often, parents who feel bad because they can't be with a child all the time will give them extra cookies, or parents who know their child doesn't enjoy his packed lunch will throw in some candy or some other sweet to make up for it. Consequently, this has taught us that whenever we don't like a situation or we feel neglected or lonely, we should eat bad food. I thought that was fascinating.

Secondly, she discussed the increase in behavioral drug usage (a 700% increase in the last 10 years) and attributed that to the institutionalizing of children--meaning, parents who aren't with their kids all the time leave them with day care workers who can't handle tantrums and recommend the child go on Ritalin because it helped Bobby over there...he never cries uncontrollably anymore. She said it isn't possible that in the last 10 years we've seen a 700% increase in behavioral problems, but that children are written prescriptions so quickly because it's quick fix for the institutions they are left with and is easier than parenting them all the time.

She did acknowledge that many mothers have to work, that many families have to be dual income, and that often it can work just fine, but she did want to raise the awareness of certain problems she sees in the upcoming generation. (STD's in teens was another big one. She said that 90% of teens interviewed about where they have sex all say at their house or their boyfriend/girlfriend's house. Which means, parents aren't there and are likely contributing to their child's psychological and future health problems.)

On air, Ms. Eberstadt sounding very calm and considerate of both sides. However, the left, particularly feminists, are giving this woman the hardest time because they say she "guilt trips" working mothers. {Click on the link above to read the terribly biased review of her book by the Washington Post.} First of all, what's to be guilty of if she's wrong? Secondly, though we all know that's a great tactic for shutting down a dialogue, Eberstadt still maintains that while there are many different circumstances out there, latch key kids are still a problem.

And it occurred to me, as I have plenty of time to think, that these feminists would rather let children become more and more messed up because admitting they're wrong would be equivalent to Chinese water torture. They would rather cling more tightly to their ideas (though they are more frequently proven wrong) than actually let go of them and help others, particularly children who desperately need it. Way to go fems!! Working for that greater good again. May you live long enough to see the fruit of what you've sown.

This is a loaded topic, and I'll most likely develop more thoughts on it and blog them later. And by later, I mean, after this quarter, so don't hold your breath.

Posted by Portia at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

Tort reform

No, I'm not talking about our favorite little pastry.

President Bush is beginning to wage war on the one profession that is destroying more of our personal freedoms and democratic system than any other profession. He's going after trial attorneys, and it's about time. Today, he spoke to some reporters about how class action lawsuits have gotten out of control and are undermining businesses and personal lives. Taking them down will be nothing short of WWIII, but I've got front row tickets, and I can't wait to see it happen.

Posted by Portia at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

Sore Losers

Some people just can't accept the fact that they weren't good enough to win. Our dear hometown senator, Barbara Boxer, is one such woman. {Bill Jones, you didn't do nearly enough to defeat this woman, and I'm highly disappointed we still have her as our representative. If you're going out in the race, run to win, darn it. But I accept her as my senator because I'm not like her. Okay, moving on.}

Still bitter from the 2000 election, Sen. Boxer and Sen. Jones from Ohio are now challenging the legitimacy of the 2004 election. Apparently a loss by 4 million isn't satisfying enough. They are calling the Ohio electoral vote illegitmate and have raised an objection before the senate to stop the formal declaration of President Bush's second term.

If you're familiar with Greek mythology, the story of Sisyphus comes to mind. You keep pushin that boulder, Barbara. Maybe someday you'll get it over the hill. In the meantime, learn to accept defeat gracefully. Surprisingly, your candidate, John Kerry, did so. There is one thing you can learn from that MA senator.

Posted by Portia at 01:10 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2005

Poetic justice

If you missed dear Ashlee's latest flop, click here to view the video.

Posted by Portia at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

Necessary Follow-up

Yesterday I said a headline ran on Drudge about a teenage boy being charged in his girlfriend's "miscarriage." Well, the story is that a 16-year-old boy wanted to help his girlfriend get rid of her baby, so he repeatedly hit her in the stomach with a baseball bat over a period of time, eventually killing the baby. The prosecutor can only charge the boy, though the girl was a more than willing accomplice, because the law in that county prevents the mother of the child from being charged since the fetus was still young enough to be legally aborted.

This is more than repulsive and brings to light more problems with the law regarding the protection of life in vitro. At the most, the boy will only stay in prison until he's 21. I hope he has loads of fun in there with the other juvies. The girl gets off scott free. And the baby? Never had a chance. Some justice.

Posted by Portia at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

Because Pictures say more than UN Reps

This picture is from Lucianne. I just had to share it. Some stingy American, huh?

Posted by Portia at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2005

From One Who Knows

Dennis Prager's weekly article is, as always, brilliant. It's a must read for those on either side of the political and religious spectrum. Possibly more so for those on the left and secular end of it. Here's a sound bite:

"With this first column of 2005, I inaugurate a periodic series of columns devoted to explaining and making the case for what are called Judeo-Christian values.

There is an epic battle taking place in the world over what value system humanity will embrace. There are essentially three competitors: European secularism, American Judeo-Christianity and Islam. I have described this battle in previous columns.

Now, it is time to make the case for Judeo-Christian, specifically biblical, values. I believe they are the finest set of values to guide the lives of both individuals and societies. Unfortunately, they are rarely rationally explained -- even among Jewish and Christian believers, let alone to nonbelievers and members of other faiths."

He even goes on to quote, as he often does, one of the most famous lines by G.K. Chesterton (recently inducted as one of my heroes), "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing--they believe in anything."

Posted by Portia at 10:02 PM | Comments (2)

More Acid Reflux

This just in:

After performing at the half time show for the USC/Oklahoma game, Ashlee Simpson was greeted not by raucous applause, but by loud booing. I just think that's hilarious. That is all.

Posted by Portia at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)


AP miraculously ran a headline first leaked in the blogosphere about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and other parts of the world. However, AP couldn't just report, they had to qualify. The first sentence of the article is as follows:

"A rise in the number of Muslims in Western Europe, many of them poor and uneducated, is contributing to an increase in deeply rooted anti-Semitism there, the State Department said in a report to Congress."

It's not because the Muslim religion teaches hatred of Jews, it's because they're "poor and uneducated" that they hate the Jews. {Oh, now I see.} I laughed out loud when I read the first sentence. That's bad journalism, really. My teacher would have given me at least a "C" for that one. But it's AP, they can do whatever they want, right?

For what it's worth, it is a good article. I commend Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos for pushing the State Department to research and release a report. It's important that we know the trends now so we can stop them before history repeats itself.

Posted by Portia at 09:14 PM | Comments (3)

Manic Depression driven media

You know, if the only reading material you ever had was Drudge, you'd think the world was going to hell, and fast. Two of the most recent headlines are: "Mother arrested in death of baby found in washing machine," and "Teen charged in girlfriend's miscarriage."

Reporting negative news is a benefit in some situations. Drudge exposes much corruption and false thinking among certain ideological and religious groups, and that is information we all must have. It's also important to know horrendous crimes, because it's certainly a sign of the times as well as something to look to prevent in the future.

While not taking on a Pollyanna view of the world, it is also important to remember that it's just not all bad. There are any number of positive stories (and crazy ones too) out there, but they just don't sell like smut does. It's a fact. Recently, a news station was created to reinvent the way news is reported--meaning report positive stories just as much as negative--and it tanked faster than the Titanic. :) {Sorry, I just read a Doug Giles column, and as obnoxious as his overuse of similies is, I had to do use one.}

For example, I just found out today that in Finland, a speeding ticket cost is relative to one's income. Meaning, if you make a modest income, your ticket could be hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars. However, if you are wealthy, it could be the cost of a nice lot in Savannah, GA. The head of Nokia found this out when he got a speeding ticket that cost him $200,000.00. That's right...200 G's. Unbelievable. 

So, that's your crazy news bite of the day.

One more thing...has anyone noticed that hardly a moment can go by without the democrats accusing either Bush or conservatives of something? It must be tiring after a while, and slightly depressing, too...constantly trying to find dirt on people to publically drag their name through the mud. I guess that's one way to live...no thanks.

Posted by Portia at 07:09 PM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2005

A New Year

With each new year, millions of people make resolutions to make themselves feel as though they're contributing to the "greater good." This year, I've decided not to make any resolutions. Rather, I've listed a series of desires I'd like to see come to fruition this year. This is, of course, between me and my journal, but I thought I might share just a few that relate to society as a whole.

Emily's Wishes for the New Year:

1. That people would stop driving while angry. That makes me angry, which makes the person driving next to me angry, and the cycle continues. It needs to stop.

2. That, just once, I'd get a normal waiter at the Cheesecake Factory. It's not every day that I go there, but each time that I have, I either get someone hopped up on Prozac or hyper friendly or unattentive. I'd just like a normal person, for once.

3. That Hollywood would get an epic right. The last few attempts (Troy, The Alamo, King Arthur, and Alexander) were miserable failures. I'd like to see something incredible again...hasn't seemed to happen since LOTR retired. And even then, they were in a league of their own...nothing even in the running against them.

4. That Sinead O'Conner would release a new album. I think the world could use a little more of the crazy former Catholic priestess, or whatever she is now.

5. That Donald Trump would go broke. Oh, I'm only joking...On a practical level, I wish people would stop calling him "The Donald." That drives me almost as crazy as Jesse Jackson does.

And finally....
6. World Peace. :) 

Good luck to all who start school again tomorrow, including myself. Back to the halls of liberalism!!

Posted by Portia at 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

My very first post of 2005.

Happy New Year everyone!

May your year be joyous and prosperous. If you were bed-ridden, Dick Clark style, last night, my friend Melissa has suggested going here to have your very own countdown to 2005. Enjoy!

Posted by Portia at 10:56 PM | Comments (2)