February 19, 2009

So thanks for finding me here, but I have moved over to www.SarahSamudre.com!

I’m pretty excited. It’s a lot more aesthetic of a setup, so come check me out over there. I won’t be post anymore new posts here.

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Lost Theories

February 18, 2009

Alright, so I need to write about the rest of my vacation and post my amazing photos, but it can wait, because LOST is on tonight!

If you haven’t seen last week’s episode “This Place is Death”, then do NOT read on because some huge things are discussed.

Below, a picture of Desmond and Mrs Hawking in Season 2, Episode 8 “Flashes Before Your Eyes”


Read my theories after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry »


GOP Governors Support, Legislators Resist Stimulus

February 16, 2009

G.O.P. Governors Support Obama – NYTimes.com

Interesting dichotomy between the two. The fire is fueled by angry DJ’s and bloggers who want America to fail in order to get re-elected in 2012…

But what would be nice is to get past politics for a while while the country recovers. That way, when it does, Republicans could say, “It wasn’t just Obama, we deserve the credit too…” which while Republican governors can say they supported the President, unfortunately, the Republican lawmakers are all about saving face with angry radio hosts.

Steven Colbert suggested that all who voted against the stimulus put their money where their mouths are and refuse the stimulus money on behalf of their constituents.

But hey, before I seem too partisan… most of the Democrats in the House stink too. The whole legislative branch has been the weakest link of our government for a long time. I’d love to see Pelosi removed from her post- having her as Speaker is going to only hinder Obama’s efforts to get bi-partisan cooperation.


Facebook and the Question of Ownership

February 16, 2009

This is not as frustrating as sitting through an English lit lecture on “authorship” but it still managed to cause a minor stir today:

Posted yesterday by Consumerist, Facebook’s New Terms Of Service: “We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever.” – this article picked up on changes made last Wednesday by Facebook on their terms of service agreement with their users. Basically they are saying that they own all the stuff that we users upload: pictures, video, blog posts, comments and messages… etc. Websites like Mashable reposted the article and started surmising what this means for us end-users and why Facebook hasn’t been forthcoming with this change, Facebook: All Your Stuff Is Ours, Even If You Quit. And really, why were they opting instead to change the terms of service quietly, choosing to wait for the oncoming blog-storm to roll in?

So obviously, once the story broke yesterday, it started a flurry of indignant tweets and retweets on Twitter. I first picked up the story early in the day when just the Consumerist story was floating around, but as more and more people retweeted the news, bloggers began writing and by the end of the day, Facebook decided it needed to respond. Facebook: Relax, we won’t sell your photos | The Social – CNET News

I love that CNET cites the impact Twitter had upon Zuckerberg deciding to write this post: Facebook | On Facebook, People Own and Control Their Information. Apparently, Sasha Frere-Jones of the New Yorker, a prominent Twitterer, deleted his account, along with other prominent bloggers and Twitterers in boycott of the poorly handled change of TOS. This kind of response to the TOS prompted Zuckerberg to address the change, but many point out he’s not apologizing at all, and asks us to trust that he and his company are going to be honorable about it all. Social media and tech site Mashable summed up the controversy and Zuckerberg’s response pretty well, Facebook Responds to Concerns Over Terms of Service.

I, for one, would love to see more specific terms of service written up as an olive branch to skittish end users. I just got back from Disneyland and want to put up my photos. I’m holding back. I don’t like the new terms of service, and while I appreciate wanting to safeguard content that users put up, I’d like more direct wording in the TOS about what they WON’T do with my content. All of this adds to a broader debate on the issues of ownership in the digital age- a debate that grows more interesting with every passing day and new development online.


In a related point, I love how useful Twitter has been in making this into a story and pushing Facebook to respond. If the news reports on this tonight, it will be as more of an afterthought, and that is one of the many fascinating features that I love about Twitter.

UPDATE @ 5:53 PM: Twitterer @Mashable passes this article along: What Facebook’s revised terms of use mean for your content | Jacobson Attorneys: the new media law firm, a legal mind parses out the information on this subject.


At Disneyland and Wondering about Writing

February 12, 2009

Vasant and I sat in the Blue Bayou (the restaurant inside Pirate of the Caribbean) and talked about my trouble writing fantasy for nearly two hours today. If you’re going to have a talk about creativity, talking about it at a table right on the edge of the moonlit swamp is the place to do it! I wrote about my problems writing a specific genre a couple weeks ago in a post called “A MESS”, but to be less vague, the genre I have difficulty writing is fantasy. It’s not that I don’t like fantasy. I do. I love it. But there’s something subconsciously blocking me from producing any works of fiction in that genre at all. And the crazy part is- I’m finishing up a novel that has nothing to do with it. A novel I’m incredibly proud of and excited about. BUT… now that I’ve id’ed this problem in me, I can’t get it out of my head. I keep thinking there is a better writer within my subconscious that is being blocked by this mysterious hangup. Why would I love fantasy, have an incredible imagination, but feel frustrated and fogged in whenever I try to write it? And it’s not that I’m trying to write it and I’m just no good at it. I can’t write it. I can’t get more than a paragraph into it- I all of a sudden get angry, ditch the idea and walk away from the paper or laptop. It’s dumb.

I feel like when I can figure out what this problem is, and breakthrough with a completed short story in this genre, I’ll be able to get to parts of my imagination that for whatever reason have been blocked off. I don’t know why I blocked them off, but I know I have and I’m not resting until I solve this problem, open this door and write a fantasy story.

Interesting thought occurred to me today: how I write about normal life, no fantasy, only a little sci-fi… and how it doesn’t represent ME. I’m not normal. I’m a very odd person. If you’re supposed to write what you know…? Maybe I’ve taken that too literally. Maybe it’s not write what you know as much as it should be, write WHO you are. Not in a Mary-Jane kinda way, but in a “be true to thine own self” kinda way.

Anyway, Disneyland is an incredible place to ruminate on all these thoughts. I have an idea for a story, I just have to get rid of the barriers in my head and heart that keep me from writing it. We’ll see if, during the rest of this trip, I have any luck.

Some Disneyland pictures:









I was so upset- my camera died right before he uttered the words, “You could always try MY way out…”

Recharging it for tomorrow. Hope the rain doesn’t spoil chances of getting good pictures. I so wanted to break in my new Nikon on this trip.


Visual Map of SuperBowl Twittering

February 2, 2009

Okay, so I not only had fun at our impromptu SuperBowl party, but I had fun twittering during the game- as I said in last night’s post.

Brought to my attention by Twitter user @mashable, The New York Times picks up the chatter and maps the game visually across the nation. Very cool!

Map of Popular Super Bowl Words Used on Twitter – Interactive Graphic – NYTimes.com.


True Love and Twittering During Superbowl

February 1, 2009

So I was sick all last week, so my efforts to try and blog more often totally crapped out. I had a three day migraine that lasted until midday Saturday. I’m still under the weather, but well enough to get out and about.

While I was sick, I missed a dinner reservation, a haircut, a gym trainer appointment, a paper deadline, and lost 10 followers on Twitter. But I also lost 3 pounds, sooooo…. win?

Sadly no. The loss of 3 pounds does not cancel out tons of mass guilt I feel for letting dozens of balls drop because of a stupid cold/flu. At least the migraines stopped and I can be sick without being unable to Twitter or read or write. Being sick is one thing, but migraines are the worst. (I’m not liking, by the way, that Twitter topped the list before read and write. What’s happening to me?)


Anyway, I found this INCREDIBLE news story on a local news site this morning:

Couple die together after 62 years of marriage | KOMO News – Seattle, Washington | News

The story tells about a couple who recently died, after being married for 62 years, within six hours of each other. The wife had been diagnosed as terminally ill, and the husband basically ‘gave up the ghost’ when she passed away. Their relatives are quoted as saying that “their lives ebbed and flowed” together, and so, as sad as they are to lose both of them at the same time, they’re overjoyed that they died as they lived- completely in love and dependent on one another.

My husband Vasant and I were lying in bed the other night, and I couldn’t sleep- so I was distracting myself by trying to match my breaths to the duration and depth of his (he ALWAYS falls asleep right away). It took a while to slow my breath down to match his, but I kind of felt a “chi”-like energy in my gut breathing with him like that. I felt warm and drowsy and after ten or fifteen minutes fell asleep on his chest.

THAT is how I dream our last moments will be. In our nineties, on a house by the ocean, coming in from the garden and lunch, we’ll lay down together to nap, match breaths and just let go of this world. We’ve talked about that scenario so many times, and this story just kind of makes me feel reassured that it does happen. Vasant’s grandfather gave up the ghost six months after his wife went. Nothing was wrong with him- he just didn’t want to go on without her. The article details how it’s actually quite a regular phenomena, for couples who have been together for an incredibly long time to just “quit” life after one partner dies. Vasant and I read the article today and felt like that ideal afternoon 70 years from now… may be more than just our own sentimental wishes.


In NON-SENTIMENTAL news, I twittered during the Super Bowl. It was fun. A small party actually happened at our place, last minute, which was wonderful, and while we’re all hanging out, I’m also twittering (I’m not anti-social, I’m WONDERFUL at multitasking twitter and live interaction). But man, watching the game was fun, but it was made even more enjoyable by watching it with all the people I follow on Twitter- especially when everyone in the room was yelling the same thing as all the people on Twitter. It was like being at TWO superbowl parties. I’m sure someone somewhere will right an article about that: Multi-tasking social events: Real Life and Twitter Superbowl parties and how they intertwine.

By the way, best movie trailer? Transformers 2. Best non-movie commerical? It was a tie between MacGruber and Alec Baldwin’s Hulu/Alien commercial. Great stuff.