if dreams were lightning & thunder was desire, this old house would have burnt down a long time ago.


It would be easy to think of Scott McClellan's new book as a piece of dish, designed for sales, pitched for controversy, packed with juicy detail. And it is that, of course. But it is also something more. It is an argument by a man very, very close to the president, and deputed to be his spokesman for many years, that the president deliberately deceived the country about the reasons for going to war. We're not talking mistakes here; we're talking about a deliberate shading of the truth to hide the real motivation for risking the lives of thousands of soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians:

In Iraq, McClellan added,Bush saw "his opportunity to create a legacy of greatness," something McClellan said Bush has said he believes is only available to wartime presidents.

The president's real motivation for the war, he said, was to transform the Middle East to ensure an enduring peace in the region. But the White House effort to sell the war as necessary due to the stated threat posed by Saddam Hussein was needed because "Bush and his advisers knew that the American people would almost certainly not support a war launched primarily for the ambitions purpose of transforming the Middle East," McClellan wrote.

"Rather than open this Pandora's Box, the administration chose a different path — not employing out-and-out deception, but shading the truth," he wrote of the effort to convince the world that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, an effort he said used "innuendo and implication" and "intentional ignoring of intelligence to the contrary."

"President Bush managed the crisis in a way that almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option," McClellan concluded, noting, "The lack of candor underlying the campaign for war would severely undermine the president's entire second term in office."

If this is true, if the president intentionally ignored data refuting the existence of Saddam's WMDs, he should be impeached.


It was chaos in the Hamptons as cops crashed an A-list Memorial Day weekend gala, dragging the owner of a tony art gallery to jail for serving drinks without a license.

Longtime gallery owner and East Hampton fixture Ruth Vered was hauled off in handcuffs after she refused to stop serving drinks Saturday evening - and then balked at cops' orders to follow them.

"People were screaming, 'Leave her alone,'" Vered told the Daily News Sunday. "It's disgraceful."

She dismissed the East End cops as big-muscled toughs with too much time on their hands.

"I told them I've been doing this since before they were born," fumed Vered, 67. "They have some nerve."

She was taken away from the wine-and-cheese shindig in front of her granddaughter and the 200 elbow-rubbing fashionistas and socialites gathered at Vered Gallery for the opening of an exhibit by celebrity photographer Steven Klein.

East Hampton Mayor Paul Rickenbach said cops were just enforcing state alcohol rules.

"It's standard operating procedure for the police," Rickenbach said. "It's not something that's new and out of the blue at all."

The beach town brouhaha began as bold-face names like leggy blond Kelly Killoren Bensimon and Kelly Klein, Calvin Klein's ex-wife, sipped white wine and cocktails while they scanned the sexy shots.

The exhibit includes photos of Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. There were also Polaroids of gay men in various sexual poses.

Just before 8 p.m., two police officers arrived and told Vered to stop serving drinks. When she refused, they told her she would have to come with them to the police station.

"I said I'm not going anywhere," said Vered, who recalled telling them she would only discuss the issue with a higher-ranking police official.

"There were about eight of them with big muscles."

Moments later, up to nine police cars and more than a dozen officers descended on the gallery and arrested Vered. Then they carted out crates of fancy Champagne, wine and Grey Goose vodka.

Vered was identified by cops as Ruth Kalb, but she told The News she prefers using only a single name, Vered.

She blasted the small-town cops for having too little work.

"They really have nothing to do so they pick on me - it's harassment," she said. "You'd think someone was murdered."

Gallery customers said the police response was totally out of proportion to any problem caused by the reception.

"There were about nine cops there for one woman," said Lou Contino of Huntington, L.I. "It seemed like a gross overreaction."

Vered was fingerprinted, photographed and handcuffed to a bench for more than two hours at the East Hampton Village police station before being given a summons for serving liquor without a license. She has a June 25 court date.

Cops didn't return calls for comment.

But the mayor insisted they did everything by the book.

"It's unfortunate the atmosphere was the way it was, but the police operated in a professional manner," Rickenbach said.

Cops also shut down a reception at the neighboring Walk Tall Gallery.

Witnesses said cops confiscated bottles of wine as a woman who worked at Walk Tall began to shake and cry in fear when she was handed a summons.

"It was like a drug bust," said Wendy Wachtel, owner of Walk Tall.

Artsy types said it's going to be a long hot summer in the Hamptons if the cops decide to crack the whip on wine-and-cheese parties.

"This is a dog-and-pony show," said Jim Hayden of the East Hampton Artist Alliance. "It's outrageous."


Gallery owner Ruth Vered is cuffed and put into an East Hampton police car.
I wish BedStuy had Taco Bell.
Though I have to admit, I don't know that I'd ever eat Brooklyn fast food. Sigh.

Tonight I had a surprise dinner waiting for Dan when he got home.
I made burgers (veg for him) and corn on the cob and veggie baked beans and spiked lemonade! I also bought a big bag of kettle cooked bbq chips..mmmm.
AND i had fresh baked chocolate chip cookies hiding in the oven for afterwards.

I'm really doing well with this whole wife thing, I think.

Clean house, good dinner, letting him watch the pistons games....

He's taking the dog for a walk right now, so I'm watching American Idol.
David Cook is totally my new celebrity crush...shhhh...
but I think David Archuleta is going to win. I honestly would be thrilled either way: they both deserve it so much! And I'd hands down buy either one's album. Don't tell any of my friends...I'll lose all my indie Brooklyn cred. Ha.
This is the first year I've ever paid attention to the show, but I got so HOOKED. Man.
But I wish they'd just ditch all this time-filling nonsense and just announce the winner already.

I spent all afternoon beefing up our registries (Target and Bed, Bath, & Beyond, if you're curious.) because I realized that I had far less items on the registry than guests invited to the reception.

OH: My friend Allison made our invitations for us...and they are breathtaking.
This is the outside:
This is the inside:
I cannot wait to see them all printed up. My mom is printing them out at work and shipping them to me to address and stuff.
Dan's mom has purchased our centerpieces, picnic tables, and most of the decorating components, secured the park and the caterer, and is about to order the plates and napkins i wanted so badly. She's been amazing about all of this...I'm so grateful.

Man, i'm finally getting back into the habit of this blog thing!
So on Saturday, after I came home from my last day at the salon (which I ended up not having to work), I cleaned the HECK out of our apartment.
Uusually I just do a surface clean, or a "straightening up", and somehow it's messy again an hour later. This is infuriating to me.
But we got our new tv delivered- a 42" flat screen HDTV...and it is a beauty, let me tell you- and I wanted our house to look like it deserved such a luxury.
So I dusted and swept and windexed and organized and rearranged and made our home look better than it has since we moved in in November. We also bought some more candles and placed them all over the living room, and opened all the windows so it spells like fresh spring air instead of puppy breath and sleep.
I am so happy with how clean it is- and here's the best part: IT'S STILL CLEAN.
Dan and I have made been making a conscious effort to put our shoes in the hall closet and our laundry in the hamper and wash every dish when we use it and not let any clutter even hit the coffee table or the end tables. And it has been so easy, and the house still looks fabulous. 4 days and counting, haha...
Erin- you know how big of a deal this is for me, as you had to live with me and my absurd messiness.

Tonight I have to dust and sweep again just to keep ahead of the game, and we really need to do laundry. I usually don't mind doing laundry, but I'm so sick of dragging all of our clothes down 3 flights of stairs and then 3 blocks to the laundromat to wait for a big enough machine, blah blah blah. I just like the smell of clean laundry when I'm folding it.

I woke up in the middle of the night because Dan had been sleeping fitfully, thanks to our witch of a kitten running laps around the bedroom at 2am. This means across our faces and over our legs and onto the dresser and up on the window sill, etc. When he got up to lock her in the bathroom, she got away from him and took off into the living room, where she ran on the walls practically, knocking everything over (INCLUDING dan's macbook!) in her wake. I have never seen such an angry bear of a husband. Whoa. He was yelling and cursing at her and trying to catch her, and she put up such a fight when he finally did. I was afraid she was going to lose her tail, or he an eye.
Of course, the dog woke up because of the commotion, and WOULD NOT go back to sleep. He kept stirring at the foot of the bed and pacing around and stepping on us and chewing the blankets...and Dan was already furious with not being able to sleep, so he kept sitting up to yell at the dog to go to sleep, which wasn't working (obviously, because dogs dont understand english). We finally had to put the pup in his cage for the night...but then he couldnt stop fidgeting and his nails were skittering all over the plastic floor, and I could feel Dan's heartbeat racing against my back, and he was actually letting out a low growl. My house is full of animals.
So Steve finally falls asleep..and of course the FERRETS start to chime in by scratching on their water bottle and rattling the cage. By now it's like 4am. I'm exhausted and emotional, and Dan is infuriated and so weary, and we're both just desperate to fall back asleep.
Somehow we do.

And then I wake up. Again.

Dan and I always sleep on our right sides, with him as the big spoon and me as the little. His right arm extends out and fits perfectly under the crook of my neck, and i hold that hand with my left. Cute, yeah.
But I never knew how deadly...until last night.
I don't know WHAT he was dreaming about, but I woke up with stars in my eyes because he had suddenly jerked his right arm towards him and held it there, almost snapping my neck and cutting off oxygen flow to my brain. I seriously had pinpricks in the backs of my eyes from the speed at which he had put me in this headlock. I woke up and gurgled something like "GAH! ACK! OWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!" and he didn't move. I couldn't get him to let go. Finally I elbowed him in the side and he sort of rolled over.


So my husband dreams of strangling me.
Guess he doesn't like cleaning as much as I thought.
Dan and I booked our Honeymoon, finally!

We leave September 28th from Tampa for a 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise with Carnival cruiselines, on a ship called the Legend.
We'll get to see Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras!

Our best couple-friends, Scott and Terra, are coming with, too.
I know it's unconventional, but so are we.
And this way I have someone to lay out with and get spa treatments with, and Dan has someone to gamble with. Ha.

Anyway, I did a little cruise shopping this weekend at Target.
I got two bathing suits:
(though I'm not crazy about these bottoms. They had plain red ones that tie on the side- I may go exchange them for those ones.)
and a new dress!
I've already cheated and worn this. But I tied a metallic gold sash around the waist and wore it with teal flats and skinny jeans, and scored myself a new job!
I decided to quit the salon because I was so exhausted from working 11 hour days there with barely any pay. The owner was temperamental and unprofessional- and didn't pay hsi stylists for haircuts?? What the heck.
So I (hopefully) got a new job as a nanny (again), starting June 16th.
I'll be making 600 more a month than I do now, which will be a huge stress relief...plus I'll be getting 2 weeks paid vacation and a Christmas bonus...oooo!
I got along so well with the mom, whose name is Anna. She and I mostly just chatted during my 2 hour interview.
She has two little boys: Max, age 2- who is a SPITFIRE! and will keep me quite busy; and Micah, who is only 6 months old. He was so quiet and precious, he just slept in my arms the whole time...and when he was awake, he was smiling every moment.
She kept telling me how hip and fun I was, and that I'm going to be an astonishing mother someday (to which I BEAMED!...but it won't be anytime soon).
She lives on the Upper East Side, so I'd have millions of places to take the boys during the day, and I'll be able to get lots of sun and exercise this summer!

Let's keep our fingers crossed, shall we?

Also: I'm going back to school. More details on that to come...but I know I'll be studying elementary education. The application process commences this month. Gulp. And let's home that FAFSA I submitted comes back with only the best news, ha.
From the Associated Press:

The California Supreme Court has overturned a gay marriage ban in a ruling that would make the nation's largest state the second one to allow gay and lesbian weddings.

The justices' 4-3 decision Thursday says domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage. Chief Justice Ron George wrote the opinion.

The city of San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples and gay rights groups sued in March 2004 after the court halted San Francisco's monthlong same-sex wedding march.

The case before the court involved a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn a voter-approved law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

With the ruling, California could become the second state after Massachusetts where gay and lesbian residents can marry.

"What happens in California, either way, will have a huge impact around the nation. It will set the tone," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of the gay rights group Equality California.

California already offers same-sex couples who register as domestic partners the same legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses, including the right to divorce and to sue for child support. It's therefore unclear what additional relief state lawmakers could offer short of marriage if the court renders the existing ban unconstitutional.

A coalition of religious and social conservative groups is attempting to put a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine California's current laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution.

The Secretary of State is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signature to qualify the marriage amendment, similar to ones enacted in 26 other states.

The cases before the California court were brought by the city of San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples, Equality California and another gay rights group in March 2004 after the court halted San Francisco's monthlong same-sex wedding march that took place at Mayor Gavin Newsom's direction.
So the following is a conversation held within the Spanish department at my work.

Exxxx Bxxxx says:
Ok this is my history for today... Yesterday I went to the bank and the employee was a brazilian guy, and I speak Portuguese, so I started to speak in portuguese with him and he congratulate me for my good spoke
Dxxxx Hxxxx says:
that's an awful story
Dxxxx Hxxxx says:
add something
Dan Erck says:

Senator Hillary Clinton talks to the press on her campaign plane leaving Minneapolis for Weschester to vote in the Super Tuesday Primary .

For all her talk about "full speed on to the White House," there was an unmistakably elegiac tone to Hillary Clinton's primary-night speech in Indianapolis. And if one needed further confirmation that the undaunted, never-say-die Clintons realize their bid might be at an end, all it took was a look at the wistful faces of the husband and the daughter who stood behind the candidate as she talked of all the people she has met in a journey "that has been a blessing for me."

It was also a journey she had begun with what appeared to be insurmountable advantages, which evaporated one by one as the campaign dragged on far longer than anyone could have anticipated. She made at least five big mistakes, each of which compounded the others:

1. She misjudged the mood
That was probably her biggest blunder. In a cycle that has been all about change, Clinton chose an incumbent's strategy, running on experience, preparedness, inevitability — and the power of the strongest brand name in Democratic politics. It made sense, given who she is and the additional doubts that some voters might have about making a woman Commander in Chief. But in putting her focus on positioning herself to win the general election in November, Clinton completely misread the mood of Democratic-primary voters, who were desperate to turn the page. "Being the consummate Washington insider is not where you want to be in a year when people want change," says Barack Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod. Clinton's "initial strategic positioning was wrong and kind of played into our hands." But other miscalculations made it worse:

2. She didn't master the rules
Clinton picked people for her team primarily for their loyalty to her, instead of their mastery of the game. That became abundantly clear in a strategy session last year, according to two people who were there. As aides looked over the campaign calendar, chief strategist Mark Penn confidently predicted that an early win in California would put her over the top because she would pick up all the state's 370 delegates. It sounded smart, but as every high school civics student now knows, Penn was wrong: Democrats, unlike the Republicans, apportion their delegates according to vote totals, rather than allowing any state to award them winner-take-all. Sitting nearby, veteran Democratic insider Harold M. Ickes, who had helped write those rules, was horrified — and let Penn know it. "How can it possibly be," Ickes asked, "that the much vaunted chief strategist doesn't understand proportional allocation?" And yet the strategy remained the same, with the campaign making its bet on big-state victories. Even now, it can seem as if they don't get it. Both Bill and Hillary have noted plaintively that if Democrats had the same winner-take-all rules as Republicans, she'd be the nominee. Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign now acknowledges privately:

3. She underestimated the caucus states

While Clinton based her strategy on the big contests, she seemed to virtually overlook states like Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas, which choose their delegates through caucuses. She had a reason: the Clintons decided, says an adviser, that "caucus states were not really their thing." Her core supporters — women, the elderly, those with blue-collar jobs — were less likely to be able to commit an evening of the week, as the process requires. But it was a little like unilateral disarmament in states worth 12% of the pledged delegates. Indeed, it was in the caucus states that Obama piled up his lead among pledged delegates. "For all the talent and the money they had over there," says Axelrod, "they — bewilderingly — seemed to have little understanding for the caucuses and how important they would become."

By the time Clinton's lieutenants realized the grave nature of their error, they lacked the resources to do anything about it — in part because:

4. She relied on old money

For a decade or more, the Clintons set the standard for political fund-raising in the Democratic Party, and nearly all Bill's old donors had re-upped for Hillary's bid. Her 2006 Senate campaign had raised an astonishing $51.6 million against token opposition, in what everyone assumed was merely a dry run for a far bigger contest. But something had happened to fund-raising that Team Clinton didn't fully grasp: the Internet. Though Clinton's totals from working the shrimp-cocktail circuit remained impressive by every historic measure, her donors were typically big-check writers. And once they had ponied up the $2,300 allowed by law, they were forbidden to give more. The once bottomless Clinton well was drying up.

Obama relied instead on a different model: the 800,000-plus people who had signed up on his website and could continue sending money his way $5, $10 and $50 at a time. (The campaign has raised more than $100 million online, better than half its total.) Meanwhile, the Clintons were forced to tap the $100 million — plus fortune they had acquired since he left the White House — first for $5 million in January to make it to Super Tuesday and then $6.4 million to get her through Indiana and North Carolina. And that reflects one final mistake:

5. She never counted on a long haul
Clinton's strategy had been premised on delivering a knockout blow early. If she could win Iowa, she believed, the race would be over. Clinton spent lavishly there yet finished a disappointing third. What surprised the Obama forces was how long it took her campaign to retool. She fought him to a tie in the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday contests but didn't have any troops in place for the states that followed. Obama, on the other hand, was a train running hard on two or three tracks. Whatever the Chicago headquarters was unveiling to win immediate contests, it always had a separate operation setting up organizations in the states that were next. As far back as Feb. 21, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe was spotted in Raleigh, N.C. He told the News & Observer that the state's primary, then more than 10 weeks away, "could end up being very important in the nomination fight." At the time, the idea seemed laughable.

Now, of course, the question seems not whether Clinton will exit the race but when. She continues to load her schedule with campaign stops, even as calls for her to concede grow louder. But the voice she is listening to now is the one inside her head, explains a longtime aide. Clinton's calculation is as much about history as it is about politics. As the first woman to have come this far, Clinton has told those close to her, she wants people who invested their hopes in her to see that she has given it her best. And then? As she said in Indianapolis, "No matter what happens, I will work for the nominee of the Democratic Party because we must win in November." When the task at hand is healing divisions in the Democratic Party, the loser can have as much influence as the winner.


And this, from Reddit:

"Hillary Clinton: The Psycho Ex-Girlfriend of the Democratic Party

Despite all the math counting her out, Hillary Clinton fervently remains in the race to become the Democratic nominee for president in 2008. She has become the Democratic Party's psycho ex-girlfriend, and she's not going away without a restraining order.

It's 2:31 AM. The Democratic Party is sleeping peacefully when it hears its phone buzz on the night stand. It rolls over and sees "Hillary" on the caller ID. It pauses briefly, considering pushing "END" and not dealing with this shit tonight. The thought is appealing but the Democratic Party knows that if it doesn't take this call, another one is only minutes away.

DEMS: ...Hello?

Hillary: Hey baby.

DEMS: C'mon Hillary. Enough with this.

Hillary: Don't you get it? You NEED me.

DEMS: No, I don't. It was fun while it lasted but I'm with Barack now. I made my choice, it's done.

Hillary: You can't really mean that. How can you say that after all the good times we had?

DEMS: To be honest, I started hanging out with you because Bill's pretty awesome.

Hillary: But I'm just like Bill!

DEMS: No, you're not. Bill is charismatic, inspiring, and gets me really good weed.

Hillary: F*** you. You're elitist!

DEMS: I'm going back to sleep.

Hillary: No, no, wait. I'm sorry, I didn't mean that. Listen... there's still got to be a chance. Remember when people told George W it was all over. When the numbers were against him?

DEMS: Yeah but...

Hillary: Remember?! And remember how everyone said America didn't really want to be with George W? But they stuck it out anyway?

DEMS: Yeah and they're really f***ed up now, Hillary.

Hillary: But WE'LL make it work. Forget Barack, baby. Just take me back and we can forget this ever happened.

DEMS: Look, I think you're a really good Senator... let's just keep it that way, OK?

Hillary: ...I'll see you at the convention.

DEMS: No! Hillary I told you...


DEMS: Dammit. Crazy b****."


Also, i'm super pumped about the country bear jamboree. This is what it's going to look like.


this is the inspiration board for our wedding reception in Michigan, which will be on June 28th!

more details to come. :)
So "My Fox DC" posted an article this morning about a Judge who is suing the Office of Administrative Hearings for $1 million and his job back. The wacky part of the story is, this is the same judge who sued a dry cleaners for $54 million when they lost a pair of his pants. The story is one short click away .

What gets me, though, in the midst of all of this "wacky sue crazy American" bullcrap, is how terribly this Fox News website has edited their story. I had to re-read it a few times to understand what was actually going on, and even at this point it was so convoluted and poorly constructed I had to go to another news source to see exactly HOW the two lawsuits were (if at all) related. You'd think one of the most powerful news conglomerates could afford to hire competent editors (even if it was just a local affiliate. A DC affiliate, no less!!!)

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- A former judge who lost a $54 million law suit against a dry cleaners over a missing pair of pants is suing to get his job back and at least $1 million in damages.

In the suit filed in federal court, Roy Pearson he was wrongfully dismissed for exposing corruption within the Office of Administrative Hearings, the department where he worked. In court
documents, Pearson said he was protected as a whistle-blower and that the city used the fact that he was being "vilified in the media" to cut him out of his job.

In a response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press, the city's general counsel wrote that Pearson's term as an administrative law judge expired in May 2007, and the D.C. Commission on Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges voted not to reappoint him.

Pearson's lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court claimed Custom Cleaners did not live up to Pearson's expectations of "Satisfaction Guaranteed," as advertised in store windows. Initially, Pearson calculated his losses at $67 million but lowered his request to $54 million."


The second story is about fat monkeys.

Fat Monkeys who live behind THIS LINK