Saturday, December 31, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
I don't want this to became a big pregnancy blog, but I've pretty much lost interest in current events. So, instead of writing about my daily pregnant annoyances (besides, babyfruit is doing a much better job of it than I would at her blog,) I will again blog about movie trailers that piss me off.
Before I do that though, I will take a moment to complain about the stupid dumbass things men at my job have started to say to me. First, there's my supervisor, who keeps feeling the need to share all the horrible things his poor wife went through when pregnant. I've heard all the stories, from her mood swings after progesterone shots, to six weeks of bedrest (which doesn't sound too bad to me right now) to how she gained 100 pounds, to that time she got toxemia. I'm sure his wife is glad he's sharing this with a stranger, but it's even nicer to be able to hear it all myself!
Then, there's the random comments from all the other men I work with, from "I'll bet your husband is glad to be away from you during the day!" to "Do you feel like throwing up right now?" to "Jeeze, I'm glad I have a penis!" I'm going to start wearing a sandwich board that says 'Yes, I'm pregnant, now just shut up!'
First on the chopping block is Memoirs of a Geisha. Not only does this movie look like the usual smarmy Hollywood pablum, but it casts a bunch of Hong Kong actresses as Japanese. Am I the only one annoyed by this? Do Americans realize there's a difference between Chinese people and Japanese people? These women don't look or sound remotely Japanese. It seems odd. (Not to mention that one of them has blue eyes, but that might be some sort of plot point, I don't know.)
It's not like we don't do this with other nationalities. I never really realized that most French people in American movies have English accents until I saw Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (also a truly horrible film) and noticed the French people had French accents. Weird.
Next: The Hills Have Eyes. Poor New Mexico. Not only does most of the country think we speak really great English for being from Mexico, but now they're going to think we're a bunch of irradiated freaks. Maybe now they'll think twice before building another toxic waste dump here, eh? Really, though, New Mexico doesn't look like this. It looks much more like The 3 Burials of Melquiades Estrada. And I am willing to bet that if there's a gas station in the middle of nowhere it's not being run by a white guy.
Oh well. At least the annoying victim family was on their way to California instead of moving here from California.
How about Mel Gibson's new one, Apocalypto. Dude, bad title. That sounds like a third-tier Spiderman villain. But doesn't it seem to me that this trailer carries suspicious overtones of blaming the un-named South American civilization for being conquered? Am I being too liberal-sensitive? And how much do you want to bet there's a gay villain in this movie?
Last but certainly not least, there's The Da Vinci Code. This just rubs me all sorts of wrong ways. Like, how many History Channel specials debunking this bullshit book does America need to be exposed to before they let it go? What's with Tom Hanks's hairdo? And who keeps paying Ron Howard to make these horrible movies?
Lest you find me too grumpy and hormonal about all this, there are of course some movies coming out I do want to see. V for Vendetta looks cool, although it does have "from the creators of The Matrix Trilogy," written on it. And the trailer for The Fountain has me practically foaming at the mouth, desperate to see this movie. So it's not all bad.
Now, I'm off to have a popsicle.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
You are one of life’s enjoyers, determined to get the most you can out of your brief spell on Earth. Probably what first attracted you to atheism was the prospect of liberation from the Ten Commandments, few of which are compatible with a life of pleasure. You play hard and work quite hard, have a strong sense of loyalty and a relaxed but consistent approach to your philosophy.
You can’t see the point of abstract principles and probably wouldn’t lay down your life for a concept though you might for a friend. Something of a champagne humanist, you admire George Bernard Shaw for his cheerful agnosticism and pursuit of sensual rewards and your Hollywood hero is Marlon Brando, who was beautiful, irascible and aimed for goodness in his own tortured way.
Sometimes you might be tempted to allow your own pleasures to take precedence over your ethics. But everyone is striving for that elusive balance between the good and the happy life. You’d probably open another bottle and say there’s no contest.
What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
The cats handled the move quite nicely. My lovely betta, though, has a nasty case of fin rot and is not looking too well. I've gotten him a clean new tank with the hope of saving him, and have dumped about a dozen different types of fishie medicine in his water, so I'm holding out hope. Our nice asparagus fern also spent a week untended to and is not doing so hot either.
I am recovering from a cold myself and dealing with some big news I will devulge later, so am completely exhaused. Brian is being the hero husband and dealing with most of the unpacking stuff. If I were Ed McMahon I'd give him ten million dollars, really.
I'm glad to be back exploring blogtopia (yes, skippy, etc., etc.) and no longer feel like such a Luddite for not having cable in the house. It will probably take me awhile to get back in the swing of things. Will begin posting mightily soon.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
To me, the jillions of balloons scattered in the air kind of look like a giant sneezed 1970's colored boogers all over the sky.
Plus, there's all of those irritating out-of-state people (mostly from California, you've heard me complain about them before,) bragging about how they got green chilie on their breakfast burrito at the Frontier, just like the locals!
Well horay for you. Meanwhile, my state continues to be exploited by companies from your state and the only job I can get is one in a call center for a company...from your state...that cripples me with carpal and cubital tunnel syndrome causing me to be in constant pain.
Enjoy your burrito.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
There's been a hugely devistating earthquake in Asia, with an estimated death toll in the thousands.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A huge earthquake triggered landslides, toppled an apartment building and flattened villages of mud-brick homes Saturday, killing thousands across a mountainous swath touching Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. The worst damage was in Pakistan, where the dead included 250 girls crushed at a school and 200 soldiers on duty in the Himalayas.Check here for how to help.
The casualty toll from the 7.6-magnitude tremor stood at more than 3,000 by early Sunday and was rising as rescuers struggled to dig people from the wreckage, their work made more difficult as rain and hail turned dirt and debris into sticky muck.
Here are some good places to donate to, always.
Internatinal Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies
Doctors Without Borders
Save the Children, just because I wanted a third one
Friday, October 07, 2005
I may blog on my ill-found day off, but it will be slowly, painfully, and without any bright lights or loud noises.
Monday, October 03, 2005
ADDED: Oh, I guess I should do some googling.
However, nearly a third of the 109 justices in U.S. history were not judges including Chief Justice William Rehnquist whose death led to John Roberts' elevation to the post. The justices now on the court had all been judges.Still, this seems to be another clear example of Bush cronyism. Miers is definitely slavishly devoted to Bush.
Miers, 60, a longtime political ally of Bush's going back to his days as Texas governor, would be the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court if confirmed by the U.S. Senate. O'Connor was the first and Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been there since 1993.So I guess Jon Stewart was right when he said Bush was just being a dick to Alberto Gonzales.
Miers, a lawyer in Texas, was named by then-Gov. Bush to the state's lottery commission, and came to the White House for Bush's first term. In 2004 she was promoted to White House counsel when her predecessor Alberto Gonzales became attorney general.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Meanwhile, enjoy this dolphin from the Seigfreid and Roy secret garden thingie.
Dolphins are cool. Evolution is neat.
(Written 1:30 a.m. September 28th)
This trip has lasted ten thousand years, but I'm certain when I get back
to work on Friday it will seem like I wasn't gone at all. I hate that.
We have just crossed over the Hoover Dam in a frighteningly fast series
of switchbacks overlooking the scarily dry Lake Mead. The giddy
lurching week in Vegas is behind us. Brian and I have decided slot
machines are evil money stealers, but Stan has won plenty. It's good
that one of us has.
I am so tired. My feet are fairly blistered from walking the strip, and
the cartilege in my knees has been ground to pulp. I won't be doing any
walking, drinking, or eating for at least a day. All this hedonism is
I will post the photos I took and links to the photos Stan and David
took as soon as everything is uploaded. For now I'm watching the
highway unfurl in front of us in the darkness and metidate on modern
Monday, September 26, 2005
Ahh Vegas. The only place where you can see fake New York, fake Paris,
and fake Deep Space Nine on the same day.
So far we have lost about twenty bucks to slot machines, not really with
the hope of winning anything but more like a sort of tribute to the city
for showing us such a weird time.
We have been twice awakened by the peircing fire alarm at the
craptacular Hotel San Remo, truly the worst hotel I've ever staid in.
We have had food both astoundingly bad (a gloopy shrimp scampi at some
hotel I have already forgotten the name of) and fantastically delicious
(orgasm-inducing steak at fake Paris).
I have done a good amount of drinking, but am still holding out for the
legendary fishbowl of rum and dry ice at the Star Trek bar at the
Two of the cooler things I've run across have been the circus acts at
the Circus Circus (which was otherwise kind of headache-inducing) and
the Seigfreid and Roy Secret Garden at the Mirage.
I have a new respect for Seigfreid and Roy. They are so cheesy it's
easy to write them off, but their animal habitats were quite nice, and
you could tell they do these things out of a genuine love for the
And as I was walking around desperately looking for something corny to
poke fun at, Brian goes on to tell me about how Roy's strength in
recovering from the tiger-related injuries has inspired Seigfried to recover
from his own concentration-camp related lingering anxieties. Sheesh.
I feel a little bit guilty having such a good, surreal, hedonistic
time. (Ahhh, so there's that liberal guilt I hear so much about...)
Someone should donate to the Red Cross to compensate for me becoming a
total capitalist while on vacation.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
There's something cathartically purging about driving all night and
arriving in another city in the morning. Like, you've beaten the
night's defensenses and have won new territory...
Okay, so that's a little efflusive.
Right now after an interesting night crossing desert into alpine into
desert again we are recuperating at the home of a lovely friend of
Stan's. Check in time at the hotel isn't for a few hours, and right now
I am just happy to be in another place.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I plan to drink and dance and gamble just a little bit. Debauchery will ensue.
It's been a long time coming, this vacation.
I will update from the road. Sidekicks are cool.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Last week, Bush told FEMA director Michael Brown that he was doing a "heck of a job."
Today, after Bush's approval ratings are in the thirties (and how are they even that high? Who on earth is still on his side at this point?) Michael Brown has resigned.
WASHINGTON - Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown said Monday he has resigned "in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president," three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.You have to give him a bit of credit. This is more than George Bush would ever do. But I'm sure now Bush will use Brownie's absence to heap all blame upon him. FEMA has now been set up to be a big fat scapegoat, deflecting any accountability from the president.
Brown, under fire for FEMA's performance in the Gulf Coast, said he feared he had become a distraction.
"The focus has got to be on FEMA, what the people are trying to do down there," Brown told The Associated Press.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
However, nothing can prepare you for what happens when you're homeless, as I was for two brief stints in my late teens. It takes years to get out of that moment-to-moment mindset. When you eventually have to slow down and do things like save money or plan for the future it's weird, because you're so used to not having a future.
If you've never slept in a public bathroom in the dead of winter, or agreed to do some rich kid's term paper so he'd let you into the common room of his dorm to sleep, or flirted with the guy at the deli so he'd give you a sandwich, or had someone shout 'Get a job!' at you while you were on the way to work, or slept in the storeroom of the convenience store in which you work while your friend on the graveyard shift watched out for the manager, or carried all of your possessions in a backpack so huge you knock into people standing behind you without realizing it, or caught your reflection in a plate glass window and thought 'Gee, I'm a bum now I guess,' you really don't know what it's like to be homeless.
I think the moment I really hit rock bottom was at one point (before I landed the valuable Store 24 job) while sparing for change, (something you feel bad about at first but takes just a few days without eating to get over, trust me) I realized that people wouldn't give me money with a sign that said 'Hungry' but with a sign that said 'Need Booze,' people would laugh and with a hearty "Well, at least she's honest!" plunk down some cash.
Coming back from homelessness is nearly impossible, and when you do so you can't believe your luck. Awhile back I got asked for change from a young punky girl in a store doorway and was taken aback because I still thought of myself as the asker, not the askee.
I wonder what happened to the homeless population of New Orleans. Was there any sort of effort to evacuate them?
Found the link via Body and Soul.
Monday, September 05, 2005
About one hundred evacuees (I gotta agree, refugees is too creepy,) from New Orleans have been set up in the Convention Center.
ALBUQUERUQUE, N.M. -- More than 90 evacuees from Hurricane Katrina are being greeted with teddy bears, flowers and applause at the Albuquerque Convention Center Sunday night.To help them out, donate to the Roadrunner Food Bank, who by the way is in need of volunteers to help sort the donations.
Within hours after the announcement that Katrina victims would come, about 150 people had called a city information line to offer space in their homes.
Dozens of New Mexican volunteers clasped the stuffed bears to give to younger victims.
The volunteers cheered and clapped as the first exhausted-looking evacuees filed into the room.
I must admit that I feel a spark of pride at Albuquerque for stepping up to help. Although, I kind of want to warn those people they shouldn't go to UNM, then drop out and get a job at a call center, or else they'll find out why it's called the 'Land of Entrapment.'
Yes, the name is taken from the episode of Friends where Joey buys a boat.
Punk is dead, get over it.
On a layout-related note, I've decided to start using the Blogger title field. Is it too big and obnoxious?
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Even the Fox News guys are turning on each other.
The usually very staid Shepard Smith (who sailed smoothly over almost saying 'blow job' on tv) and Geraldo, of all fucking people, were practically telling Sean Hannity to shut the hell up on Hannity and Colmes yesterday.
Crooks and Liars has the video. I am literally speechless after seeing this.
Anderson Cooper is, besides being kind of a hottie (ugh, did I just say
'hottie?') seems to be having some sort of moral revelation after all of
the hurricane crap he's been hip-deep in the past few days.
This (according to my frantic TiVo rewinding) is Anderson on last
night's Real Time wih Bill Maher:
"All these politicians all this week are saying, 'This is not the time
to point fingers, this is not the time to, you know, quibble about
things.' Well you know what, when is the time? Because I'd be happy to
write it down in my engagement book."
Is this really someone from CNN talking about the Bush administration?
Yes, he did go on to make a weak excuse for the spineless press corps in
the wake of 9/11, but you could really see the glimmer of change in his
I don't watch his show on CNN. But I do remember a sprightly young
Anderson Cooper on the 3 a.m. crazy news on ABC. And I'm telling you,
soon the man will be angrily tearing the shirt from his well-toned torso
in anger, shaking his prematurely-gray-but-in-an-interesting-way locks
at some figurehead or another from FEMA, who will cower in fear.
And then it will be like a scene from Fight Club or something.
ADDED: More Cooper badassery: he lays one into LA senator (ed note: corrected...d'oh) Mary Landrieu when she tries to soundbite her way out of a tough question.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Condi Rice spent the weekend shopping for fancy shoes in New York City.
Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we’ve confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo’s Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice’s timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, “How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!”Meanwhile,
From a photo gallery at the Washington Post.
The caption reads "Jeremiah Ward wears makeshift shoes after his rescue."
How long until someone in the Bush administration literally says "Let them eat cake?"
Link via Cookie Jill at skippy.
Margaret Cho summed up her reaction to the hurricane and flood damage in New Orleans perfectly.
I see a lost and fearful looking Doberman on a rooftop, and I wish I had a giant ark, and I could sail down into the city and save him. Then I would pick up all the other animals and people that needed help, two by two. Two trannies here, two hookers there. A pair of wet and miserable Goths, with black Manic Panic hair dye running into their red, unbelieving eyes. I want to save them all.Exactly.
And while I'm on the subject of Margaret Cho (and I know this is way old news,) let me say it is utterly stupid for Michelle Malkin to try and extract some sort of evil meaning out of a dog's name.
After all, she never complained about Osama fin Laden.
Maybe it's because of a glum state of mind, or maybe it's because I live in a desert and the idea of death by water is absolutely and utterly bizarre to me, but I have become slightly obsessed with the flooding disaster in New Orleans.
The sight of people floating by on rafts made of doors or mattresses, dragging black garbage bags of 'looted' supplies behind them is shocking. The idea of the now-homeless living like animals in the Superdome, or spending the night on the ruined freeway, or rescuers pushing floating bodies aside to try and get to the living is downright apocalyptic.
I actually can't comprehend what this would be like. Life in New Mexico is so stultifying normal, when there's a snowstorm people freak out. This is not a big natural disaster area. The worst thing that happens are summer brushfires, and although a few years ago a brushfire did wipe an entire small town they usually amount to nothing more than a funny smell in the air.
When the tsunami hit Southeast Asia, it was horrifying, but like most Americans, places like Indonesia and Thailand exist only in images in movies and on TV.
It's shallow, I know. The loss of life in the tsunami was astronomically higher and more widespread. But New Orleans is a city I've been to. I've had the beignets at the Cafe du Monde. I've played pool at Molly's. I listened to the Tom Waits-esque piano player in Lafitte's. I took some cool, haunting photographs in the city's cemeteries.
Chalk it up to human nature, but a disaster that is close to you is infinitely more disturbing than one far away. And I am more than a little ashamed to say that.
Anger rises in my blood, too, to hear about the people who literally couldn't afford to leave the path of the hurricane, or the fact that the New Orleans flood control budget was cut in order to pay for our misadventures in Iraq.
But there's some to feel good about, as well. Skippy, (or, skippy as I should more properly say) the Bush Kangaroo has issued a challenge.
the people in louisiana, mississippi and alabama are americans. this is about america. and americans have historically always rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to help out their fellow countrymen in need.This is, of course, awesome.
skippy has donated $100.01 to the red cross for hurricane relief. and now, skippy challenges everyone who writes a political blog, no matter what side of the spectrum they inhabit, to do the same.
but that's not all of the challenge. skippy then dares everyone on his blogroll (who will be receiving an email with this double-dog dare), after they donate, to (a) blog about it, and (b) send an email to everyone on their blog roll.
There are a couple of blogs I've found keeping track of the developing situation. DeadlyKatrina.com, Making Light, and the folks at This Modern World have been doing some fine blogging on the topic.
This is some scary shit going down. Looting is out of control. Lack of any running water or electricity has reduced the already poverty-stricken Gulf Coast to a third world country. The sick and elderly are going without care.
Can you really blame people for looting, though? If you had to choose between breaking the law to help yourself and your family, or taking things from others, can you honestly say you're such an upright citizen you wouldn't choose looting? It's easy to criticize when you're not faced with that choice.
A lot of the looting seems to be for food, medicine, and other necessities. Even when it hasn't been, it's sad that people in this area are so poor that given the first chance they can they get new clothes and shoes. Even something like a TV might be tradeable. I suspect a black market in goods will develop in the area in the coming weeks and months.
I wish I could reach through my TV screen and help these people. It's downright agonizing.
(Updated some after publication as blogging with insomnia often leads to typos and a lack of clarification.)
Monday, August 29, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
A few days ago sexist conservative asshole Reul Marc Gerecht of the American Enterprise Institute appeared on Meet the Press with a statement that nearly shocked me into silence.
Women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of a democracy.Umm, excuse me?
On behalf of the fighting suffragists of the 1900s I'd like to pass on a hearty "Fuck You!" to Gerecht and his ilk.
Is that the type of democracy Lucy Burns went on a hunger strike for, was force-fed and tortured for?
Is this the democracy women like these fought and bled and died for while Reul Marc Gerecht was getting his hair and makeup done waiting to appear on TV? I don't think so.
At least I hope not.
Less than 100 years ago, women did not have the right to vote. It seems like so long ago, but when you stop to realize that women who are still alive today were literally second-class citizens when they were born it starts to get creepy.
Who knows, maybe in 85 years young women will whisper to each other in properly modest, hushed tones about there still being women alive who used to have equal political footing to men. If we don't keep an eye on bullshit like this that might just happen.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
August is my blogiversary. I almost forgot. I've been blogging for three years now.
Whee. It's like Mr Toad's Wild Ride around here.
Everybody buy me a present.
Also, check out the very updated blogroll. Added several blogs I've been reading off of other people's blogrolls for awhile, deleted a few blogs that either haven't updated in months or that I've stopped reading.
Of special note is Leery Polyp, who I started reading after my unfortunate maternal misadventure, and who just had her baby!
She is almost as cute as the baby panda.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Michelle Malkin changed my mind. I was wrong. Racial profiling is really great! It will totally stop terrorist attacks!
Not only does it really, really work...
Essentially, police were stopping more African-Americans than Caucasians but finding fewer criminals among the former. Why? Not because blacks commit proportionately fewer crimes than whites do (the data vary according to the type of crime and other factors) but because police were looking at the wrong factors when they stopped people, Harris says.But really it's so obviously the only solution to the problem of terrorism, because there have never been white, female (no, not female, never female, terrorists are never white females,), Christian terrorists. No, they are all Arab and Muslim and male.
There are no crazy Christian groups causing havoc in the world today, let alone in the United States.
No, all terrorists hell-bent on destroying our government are Arab foreigners.
All of them.
(Whew. Thank the gods for Wikipedia!)
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Because freaked-out white people can't tell their brown people apart.
LONDON - A Brazilian shot to death a day after botched bombings in London had walked casually onto a train before being gunned down by undercover officers, according to leaked footage that appeared to contradict earlier police reports that said the man disobeyed police orders.Emphasis mine.
...A man sitting opposite Menezes saw a man boarding and firing his first shot from a handgun at the Brazilian's head from 12 inches away, according to the report obtained by ITV.
The report also said that, while Menezes was shot eight times, three other bullets were fired but missed.
Not that I can't say that after a terrorist attack by Norweigans, I wouldn't freak out when approached by, say, a Swede, but that's why I'm not an armed police officer.
Jeeze, they shot at him 11 times from 12 inches away! Even if he was guilty of something, in a free society under the rule of law the police do not shoot criminals in the face at point-blank range in front of the commuting public.
As I'm writing this I realize I honestly don't know if this is more of a case of racial profiling gone wrong or just fatally overzealous police work. I don't know which is worse. Would it be less offensive if they had peaceably arrested him (well, he wouldn't be dead so obviously that would be a better outcome...but it would still be offensive, I think...), or if an actually Arab guy had been shot at 11 times from 12 inches away?
I don't know. But either way it is fucked up and shouldn't have happened.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
By sending other people's children to save your own ass!
Over at This Modern World there are two excellent posts ("Support the Troops," and "From the Mailbag") about the hypocrisy of 'supporting the troops' as long as the troops are a faceless idealized mass comprised of no one you know.
The gall of this particular woman, speaking from within her flag-draped halls, drooling over the sight of a uniform, really gets to me.
It was a large home in a well-to-do suburb north of the city. Two American flags adorned the yard. The prospect's mom greeted him wearing an American flag T-shirt.Her kind of people? And exactly what kind of people are her kind of people?
"I want you to know we support you," she gushed.
Rivera soon reached the limits of her support.
"Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people," she told him.
As someone with a family member (my brother-in-law) in the army right now, and scheduled to go to Afghanistan sometime next year, this sort of thing really gets to me. When you see those be-magneted cars (and Tom is right on the money pointing out how insincerely impermanent a magnet is...)you have to wonder. How is that supporting the troops, and, say, Cindy Sheehan trying to get Bush to answer for his deliberate misdirection not supporting the troops?
How is putting a magnet on your car more supportive of the people being sent to die than demanding the government not send them to die for no good reason?
It seems to me the right in this country has a much harder time supporting the troops than the left. If you take supporting the troops to mean more than just saying that phrase. For instance, halfway through Fahrenheit 9/11 I was struck by the fact that this was the most 'pro-troop' piece of media I had seen since the war started.
The best parts of that film illustrated what's going on with the military in this country. The people who are the most screwed by the American way of life are the ones going to defend it, either out of a hope of making a difference (as the boy in the letter to Tom Tomorrow felt,) or because economic realities leave them little choice in terms of a career (as the kids of Flint, MI discovered in Fahrenheit 9/11).
They do it so the flag-wearing suburbanite women of the America can shoo away military recruiters while muttering 'not for my kind of people' under her breath.
Well, she's right. The military is not for coward, hypocrite assholes like her kind of people.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
With hatred and homophobia!
A fringe Kansas church that claims Americans soldiers deserve to die in Iraq because the church was the target of a bombing attempt plans to demonstrate at the funeral of a Moorhead soldier.Fred Phelps...possibly the only person in America who's a bigger ass than Ann Coulter. I don't really even understand why they're protesting this person's funeral...they're not even gay.
Sgt. Bryan Opskar was killed on July 23 when a roadside bomb exploded. A military spokesman says the 32-year-old Marine was conducting combat operations near Ar Rutbah, Iraq.
Ten members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) of Topeka, Kansas, plan to picket for 30 minutes before Opskar's funeral in Moorhead on Tuesday, said Shirley Phelps-Roper, church attorney and daughter of church minister Fred Phelps.
It seems to me this is the natural conclusion of the whole 'Support the Troops' thing. Turn the 'troops' into one big idealized blob of freedom-spreading automatons and it's okay to use them as a platform to complain about slights against you, or to ignore the fact that they're going crazy and torturing people cooped up in a little jail or that they just wanted money for college and now they're fighting for their lives...and so forth.
Support the troops? How are you doing that, exactly, with those little yellow magnets on your giant gas guzzling SUV?
Via Sisyphus Shrugged.
HAVANA - Ibrahim Ferrer, a leading voice with the hugely popular Buena Vista Social Club of vintage Cuban performers, died Saturday, his representative in Cuba said. He was 78.This guy was a serious badass. He even has a cool birth story.
Originally from Cuba's eastern city of Santiago, Ferrer was born on Feb. 20, 1927, during a dance at a social club after his mother unexpectedly went into labor.Seriously. Born in a social club in Cuba in the twenties. What a great start to a great life.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Last week, terrorist cowards set off 3 bombs in London, killing over 50 innocent people who committed the crime of going about their day. They did so in defiance of the teachings of their religion and against general human decency.
The worldwide response was (rightly) immediate shock, horror, and sympathy with the people of London.
Yesterday, a terrorist coward set off a suicide bomb south of Baghdad, killing over 98 people who were committing the crime of going about their day. The murderers did so in defiance of the teachings of their religion and general human decency.
The response? Well, unless I missed it, I don't think CNN made a flashy graphic or anything.
So it seems 100 Iraqi civillians are not worth as much as about half as many Londoners.
What is it about human nature that makes us value some lives more than others? I guess that's evolution, something about apes that share one group of genes stick together against apes with another group of genes. It is kind of sad that we still stick to this behaivor when the chips are down.
Well, anyway, here's my show of solidarity with the Iraqis that sufferred the same fate as the Londoners. Take it as you will.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Friday, June 10, 2005
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Maybe I'm naive. But the stories of children aged 13 to 15 being detained in Guantanamo Bay to be horrifying.
Guantanamo officials released three Afghan boys ages 13 to 15 last year, but the transcripts of the hearings to determine whether prisoners were correctly classified as "enemy combatants" verify they weren't the only teenagers at the prison camp.Seriously, do these kids sound like threats to America?
Although the U.S. government blacked out most ages from the documents, some remained, including the story of an 18-year-old who said he had been at Guantanamo for two years.
"My infant cousin was born. We had a party. We were playing the drums. We were having fun. When they came they broke the tapes, they broke the drums, they took me to jail, they beat me with a cable then they put salt in it — my wounds," he told the tribunal.In the United States, children aged 13 to 15 are not allowed to get a job at McDonalds. In Afghanistan, they are beaten until they join the army, then they are beaten when captured by Americans.
In many parts of Afghanistan, the Taliban regime prohibited music and dancing, imposing a strict form of Islam. They also forced children into religious schools to study the Quran.
Another young prisoner accused of links to an al-Qaida explosives cell said the Taliban came to his village and forced people to work or undergo training.
"At that time I had no beard or facial hair. They told me I was too young to go to war," the detainee testified. "They wanted to train me and then work with them."
The Taliban sent him to a technical school where he received two days of training, but he said "When I returned home after the second day, my mother told me not to go back to the Taliban school because I had no father or older brothers."
The prisoner said he hid from the Taliban each day so he didn't have to go to school. The Taliban stopped looking for him after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, but he was then captured by the Americans, who he claimed abused him.
Maybe a crap girly director will make a reactionary schlock-fest movie called Thirteen: Afghanistan.
So here's a story that would have astonished me three or four years ago.
BOSTON - On April 25, Gregory Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons and fingerprinted Despres. Then they let him into the United States.Because his name wasn't Ahmed Hussein?
The following day, a gruesome scene was discovered in Despres' hometown of Minto, New Brunswick: The decapitated body of a 74-year-old country musician named Frederick Fulton was found on Fulton's kitchen floor. His head was in a pillowcase under a kitchen table. His common-law wife was discovered stabbed to death in a bedroom.
...At a time when the United States is tightening its borders, how could a man toting what appeared to be a bloody chain saw be allowed into the country?
Just a guess.
Let me tell you two stories.
One man tries to cross the US-Canadian border (into Canada, I might add) after a family vacation. He hasn't done anything suspicious on the flight, and is not carrying anything dangerous or illegal. He has committed the crime of knowing someone who may or may not be a terrorist back in 1997. He is sent to Syria to be systematically tortured for months.
Another man attempts to cross the US-Canadian border, into the US, covered in blood and carrying several blood-covered weapons. He has just brutally murdered an old man and his wife. He is sent along his way.
Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt that if this guy were say, a black guy in a nice car drenched in blood and carrying a chain saw driving around in LA his story might have had a different outcome as well.
I just don't buy the reason given by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, honestly.
Bill Anthony, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the Canada-born Despres could not be detained because he is a naturalized U.S. citizen and was not wanted on any criminal charges on the day in question.What regulation did Maher Arar violate?
Anthony said Despres was questioned for two hours before he was released. During that time, he said, customs agents employed "every conceivable method" to check for warrants or see if Despres had broken any laws in trying to re-enter the country.
"Nobody asked us to detain him," Anthony said. "Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out of this country or lock them up. ... We are governed by laws and regulations, and he did not violate any regulations."
How well do you know all of your acquaintances? Can you be so sure that the brother of someone you know casually, maybe who did a favor for you and witnessed the signing of your lease when you were in a pinch, isn't a wanted terrorist? Should you do an in-depth background check on everyone you know?
Sigh. I am depressed.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Via Hedgeblog and Moonshine Highways.
I was born in:
I now live in:
My name is:
My grandmother's names are:
My favorite food is:
My favorite drink is:
My favorite song:
My favorite smell:
My favorite shoes:
Try it, it's kind of fun.
Do a google image search earch for all of your favorite items and post the first or best results.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
I'm in too much of a good mood today to care about things like how, in this day and age, people are willing to kill each other over what may or may not have happened to a book, (not to mention the fact that poorly documented book abuse is a big story, but well-documented people abuse is nothing to write home about....but I said I wasn't going to care about it today...)!
Let me explain...I bought a new computer!
I mean a new one! Not one made out of the parts of someone's ancient WinME-running eMachine bought for 200 bucks...I mean a new computer! With a box and a warranty and everything!
This is a big deal to me.
Anyway, instead of blogging about important issues that make me angry, I will now proceed to blather about movies I want to see, and the trailers that made me love them.
Starting with...is it totally wrong of me to want to see the roller-skating/coming of age movie starring (formerly Lil') Bow Wow? I don't know, something about how he flings his arms open in joy to the line "a lovely daaaaay!" while rolling along with those giant headphone on makes me happy. Makes me want to roller-boogie, a little.
Eep. Weird spider-dollies are creepy. Odd angry Russian demon boys with glowy red eyes are creepy. Giant flocks of evil black ravens are creepy. Luckily, I like creepy so I can't wait to see Night Watch. That is, if I get to see it. It's one of those "select cities" kind of movies. Albuquerque is not a "select city."
Speaking of creepy little dollies, Tim Burton appears to have another stop-motion animation movie coming out this fall. This, naturally, is cool, and hopefully represents a return to form after several crap-tacular films in the past few years. (Not counting Big Fish, which I kind of liked.)
But the more interesting thing will be to see if Helena Bonham Carter breaks up Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis like she did Tim Burton and Lisa Marie after appearing with them in this movie, and Kenneth Branaugh and Emma Thompson after appearing with him in this movie. Let's hope Johnny can hold on to his virtue.
Then, of course, there's the big one. Wednesday night at midnight baby! Look, I'll say it again, I'm sure it will suck. This is not the point of a latter-day Star Wars movie. Opening night at midnight is the only time to see a latter-day Star Wars movie. Seeing it with a normal, non-fanboy audience removes the carnival, cosplay-like atmosphere and draws attention to the fact that these are actually some of the worst movies you'll ever see.
So, I'll be there at midnight. Maybe with even with a towel.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Over at Body and Soul I read about something going on in Iraq that made me, jaded old me, spit my homebrewed beer all over my monitor in astonishment.
An official US audit has unearthed evidence of widespread corruption in postwar Iraq, finding that the occupying authorities failed to keep track of nearly 9 billion dollars (£4.8billion) of Iraq?s oil and other revenues.9 billion dollars??? 9 billion dollars! That's enough to buy chicken mcnuggets for every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth!
Look, even I can admit that the war in Iraq could have been a big opportunity for the country to recover economically from the strain of years of sanctions. There could have been huge financial gain in rebuilding. The fact that there was even 9 billion dollars of revenue to "lose" impresses me (although that probably just means I know crap about economics...).
But this is just crap.
Isn't it bad enough that we gave all the choice contracts to non-Iraqi companies (okay, to Halliburton...)? But the revenue they did manage to make we lose and/or steal? Jeanne is right. This is why they hate us.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Will the truth be revealed?
FORT HOOD, Texas - A military judge on Wednesday threw out Pfc. Lynndie England's guilty plea to prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, saying he was not convinced that she knew her actions were wrong at the time.Sooo...maybe we get to find out how big a conspiracy can get?
...The action came after Graner, the reputed ringleader of the abuse, testified as a defense witness at England's sentencing hearing that pictures he took of England holding a naked prisoner on a leash at Abu Ghraib were meant to be used as a legitimate training aid for other guards.
...When England pleaded guilty Monday, she told the judge she knew that the pictures were being taken purely for the amusement of the guards.
Pohl said the two statements could not be reconciled.
"You can't have a one-person conspiracy," the judge said before he declared the mistrial and dismissed the sentencing jury.
Welcome to Plucky Land...please take your tin-foil hat at the entrance...
Excuse me while I geek out for a moment...
This totally rocks!
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - The Force lands in theaters a bit more forcefully in the final installment of George Lucas "Star Wars" tale.Okay...I probably won't bring a towel to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (ed's note...jeeze, Salon, was it a slow news day or what?) but I will bring one to Revenge of the Sith, to mix a geek metaphor.
"Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" is the first "Star Wars" tale to receive a PG-13 rating. The movie was screened for reporters Tuesday night at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, and the PG-13 rating — "for sci-fi violence and some intense images" — is well-deserved.
Look, I know it will suck. I'm going to see it anyway.
I totally wish I could be a fly on the wall at the Lynndie England trial. Her creepy but honest-seeming former boyfriend is now saying things that directly contradict the 'frathouse fun' guilty plea she entered. I guess the higher-ups bear some culpability after all...
FORT HOOD, Texas - The reputed ringleader in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal on Wednesday contradicted a key part of Pfc. Lynndie England's guilty plea, in which the defendant said she knew she was committing wrongful acts when she took part in the mistreatment of Iraqi detainees.Any moment now you expect Jack Nicholson to delivery a fiery monologue with lots of heavy eyebrow-arching action. I get the feeling that poor, compliant Lynndie England is the opposite side of the same coin on which Jessica Lynch is cut.
The testimony of Pvt. Charles Graner Jr., contending that notorious photos taken of England at the prison were to have a legitimate use, could endanger England's guilty plea to seven abuse charges. Under military law, a judge can formally accept England's guilty plea only if she knew at the time that what she was doing was illegal.
...Graner maintains that he and the other Abu Ghraib guards were following orders from higher-ranking interrogators when they abused the detainees.
Short, chubby, and butch, England will become the representation of everything that's wrong with the military, just like Lynch and her rescue became idealized into everything that's right. Too bad it seems she was just following orders, and if her guilty plea stands it will remove blame from the people on which it should truly fall.
Bad news for the Bush administration...we're running out of armed forces!!!
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military may not be able to win any new wars as quickly as planned because the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have strained its manpower and resources, the nation's top military officer told Congress in a classified report.If I were an able-bodied(ish) person between the ages of 18 and 30, and I am, I would start getting nervous reaaaallly soon...
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the U.S. military as in a period of increased risk, according to a senior defense official, who described the report Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
The spongeworthy scale has just become more lenient.
The over-the-counter Today Sponge will start reappearing on store shelves this summer, maker Allendale Pharmaceuticals said. The company won the needed government clearance of its production facilities, Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Susan Cruzan confirmed.I feel like buying some ust for the kitsch value.
The earlier producer, American Home Products, stopped making the sponge in late 1994 when it encountered manufacturing problems and decided it was too costly to upgrade its plant. American Home Products is now Wyeth .
The sponge was made famous by the television comedy "Seinfeld," when the character Elaine hoarded the devices once they were no longer made. She then used the birth control method only when she deemed a man "spongeworthy."
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Don't know how I feel about the new Albuquerque group-blog Duke City Fix.
Seems cool. Seems a little yuppie-outsiderish, too. (An article on the Frontier? C'mon, that's like saying your favorite rock band is the Beatles and ice cream is really yummy...is that too snobby of me to say?)
Still, it's nice to see some local action. And nice looking design, too.
Congratulations! You're 144 proof, with specific scores in beer (100) , wine (116), and liquor (113).
All right. No more messing around. Your knowledge of alcohol is so high that you have drinking and getting plastered down to a science. Sure, you could get wasted drinking beer, but who needs all those trips to the bathroom? You head straight for the bar and pick up that which is most efficient.
The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on OkCupid
Heh heh...yes, that's me, the chubby ex-punk with the half-empty bottle mumbling Tom Waits songs to herself...lovely, I know...
I am...let's say...a Rubenesque woman. I am not only several inches taller than anyone else in my family, but compared to the tiny elfin women I am related to, I am a stout giantess.
I am not so large that I would have to buy two seats on an airplane, but I possess what is called a "ghetto-booty" by my colorful, slender little sister.
Which is why this story delighted me.
CHICAGO - Packing on the pounds is not nearly as deadly as the government thought, according to a new calculation from the CDC that found people who are modestly overweight actually have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight.So, no more hassle from my mother about being fat. Okay???
Now if only I didn't drink, smoke, undercook my beef, or eat alot of spicy tuna rolls...
Monday, April 18, 2005
Your Linguistic Profile:
70% General American English
0% Upper Midwestern
i should go into broadcasting with a non-accent like that...
Via the Little Hedgehog, queen of quizzes.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
What sort of a hypocritical bastard makes this kind of statement?
"Because I believe that abortion is murder, I also believe that force is justified ... in an attempt to stop it," he said in a statement handed out by his lawyers after he entered his pleas in back-to-back court appearances, first in Birmingham, Ala., in the morning, then in Atlanta in the afternoon.Hey, asshole, guess what else is just like murder? Murder is!
Rudolph, 38, worked out a plea bargain that will spare him from the death penalty. He will get four consecutive life sentences without parole for the four blasts across the South that killed two people and wounded more than 120 others.
The fact that this man was considered some sort of folk hero by those in the deep south makes me wonder whether or not the culture there is as backwards as that of Hamas, or the extremist settlers in the Occupied Territories, or the Talibanis and Wahabbis who twist their religion to oppress 50 percent of the population, or of African societies who mutilate the genitals of little girls with dull razors, or genocidal maniacs in Rawanda, or countless other examples that we like to talk about here in the United States.
America grows its own brand of terrorism. And its own brand of cultural insurgency that is okay with violence. The people who wore Eric Rudolph T-shirts are as evil to me as those who honor suicide bombers as 'martyrs.' Maybe even more so, because at least the Palestinians have an honest beef. What did gay people or women seeking their right to full medical care ever do to Eric Rudolph?
Tsch. It really really burns me up inside.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
I'm sure the Pope was a nice guy if you knew him personally, but seeing his dead body lying there like that, on a pile of pillows, like he's fake 'asleep' really gives me the creeping willies.
Television images gave the public its first view of the pope since his death: lying in the Vatican's frescoed Apostolic Palace, dressed in crimson vestments and a white bishop's miter, his head resting on a stack of gold pillows. A Swiss Guard stood on either side as diplomats, politicians and clergy paid their respects at his feet.To paraphrase Bjork, human behavior is weird. Why do we do this strange corpse-worshipping? Do you think (to anthropomorphize for a moment) animals watch us do these weird things and wonder what the hell we're up to?
Saturday, April 02, 2005
I'm so glad this poor woman finally gets the ending to her life she wanted and deserved. And I totally admire her husband for the bravery it took to stand up for her desires against years of libel and slander
And I know some will think I'm going too far in saying this, but shame on her parents. Seriously. It's one thing to hope beyond all rationale that your daughter will recover from her debilitating injury, but it's another thing entirely to ignore her wishes and beliefs completely.
The Schindlers completely infantilized their daughter, and publicly humiliated and demonized the man she had chosen to spend her life with. They blatantly disregarded how she wanted to live and die. They treated her like a child.
The press also downplayed references to a 2000 trial at which Schiavo's extremely conservative Roman Catholic parents conceded that even if Terri had told them she would never want to be kept alive with a feeding tube, they would not have honored that request (an acknowledgment that goes a long way toward explaining their actions in the case).Emphasis mine. I'm sorry, but it's that sort of smothering parental "love" that probably helped contribute to the bulimia that killed her.
And triple-dog shame on the circus of protesters who not only robbed Terri Schiavo of the sort of quiet, dignified death that she wanted, but also ruined the last hours of other hospice patients who happened to be unlucky enough to be next to the spotlight.
Anyway, it's over, and now we can move on to the next "celebrity" death-watch, or trial-watch, or whatever scandal we like to collectively dwell on instead of what's really happening in the world.
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Dr. Georganna Jones, whose pioneering research lead directly to the development of the home pregnancy test and treatment for luteal phase defects (a cause of recuring miscarriages), not to mention the first wave of American "test-tube babies," died this week.
Dr. Georgeanna Jones, one of the country's first reproductive endocrinologists, was a quiet leader in her field for four decades at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she taught and conducted research.All the women of the world owe her a huge debt of gratitude.
...Dr. Jones is widely credited with inspiring generations of women in medicine. She lectured, wrote some 350 scientific articles and worked closely with many of the patients at her clinic. Slowly progressing Alzheimer's disease restricted her in the 1990's, but she kept an office at the institute and never lost touch with the first crop of children whose lives began in her laboratory.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
The following sentence has been a long time coming.
A comedy remake of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with Ashton Kutcher in the role previously played by Sidney Poitier?
I mean come-on!
That's low even for you guys.
Still, I'll be paying to see the Star Wars that comes out this summer, so who am I to talk.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
This one via dysk-tonic. I am Chaotic Neutral Geek!
You answered 73% of the questions as a geek truly would.
You don't seem to sway in either direction, however you still seem to have some latent geek attributes within you. Maybe you're interested in computers but not a gamer? Maybe you've got geek hobbies but none of the awkward social tendencies. You may be slightly geekier than you thought and in denial!
The simple geek usually has various quirks that friends may make fun of, but in general can be considered a fairly normal person. Your geek attributes make you less likely to conform to society. The popular kids don't hate you but the geeks don't either, so it's a respectable demographic.
In a nutshell, you answered enough questions with geek tendencies and enough questions without geek tendencies that it's difficult to pinpoint your exact alignment.
Link: The True Geek Test written by ambientred on Ok Cupid
Somebody in a position of power finally states the obvious: there is no real reason to ban gay marriages.
SAN FRANCISCO - A judge ruled Monday that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional — a legal milestone that, if upheld on appeal, would open the way for the most populous state to follow Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed.California...if you keep it up like this I may take back some of the mean things I've said about you.
Judge Richard Kramer of San Francisco County's trial-level Superior Court likened the ban to laws requiring racial segregation in schools, and said there appears to be "no rational purpose" for denying marriage to gay couples.
You really have to have worked late night at an answering service to realize how funny this haiku is.
Think you're cool, calm, and collected? Well, we of the (former) answering service workers have heard you freak out when your toilet is exploding, when your heater is broken, and when weird things are happening to your private areas.
Seriously. One of us should write a book about it.
My personal favorite anecdote:
A woman calls a doctor's answering service asking, "Is this the balls doctor? My husband has a balls problem!"
To which her anxious husband whispers loudly, "No, honey, call them testes!"
It almost made the low, low pay worthwhile!
Monday, March 14, 2005
I still kind of have blogging apathy...so here's a quiz!
You are 'programming in QBASIC'. This programming language (of which the acronym stands for 'Quick Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code'), which is so primitive that it cannot easily be used for any purpose involving the Internet nor even sound, was current more than a decade ago.
You are independent, in a good way. When something which you need cannot be found, you make it yourself. In writing and in talking with people, you value clarity and precision; your friends may not realize how important that is. When necessary, you are prepared to be a mediator in conflicts between your friends. You are very rational, and you think of things in terms of logic and common sense. Unfortunately, your emotionally unstable friends may be put off by your devotion to logic; they may even accuse you of pedantry and insensitivity. Your problem is that programming in QBASIC has been obsolete for a long time.
What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Via Hedgeblog, who always finds the funnest quizzes.
This was the view out of the car window during the 2 hours it took us to drive 4 blocks on the way home from work today...
Lousy Smarch weather. Wasn't it nice and sunny the other day? Little flower buds were out everywhere and there was a bird's nest in the tree outside my window.
Then again, it did get me out of work. My supervisor said, "We're allowing certian people to leave early due to the snowstorm," and suddenly all there was was a Vanessa-shaped puff of smoke.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Friday, March 04, 2005
Monday, February 21, 2005
Speaking of women bloggers, Jeanne at Body and Soul is on fire lately (despite accidentally rendering her blog unreadable earlier today...don't worry, I have sooo been there...).
Check out Big gay jpegs and He may be a terrorist, but he's our terrorist to see what I mean.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Once again the tiresome "Why aren't there more women bloggers?" discussion has started up again. Kevin Drum, who I'm sure is a nice guy, makes a big mistake in this article by equating ratings in an 'ecosystem' maintained by a conservative blog as a measure of quantity.
Thus subject has been broached once or twice a year since I've been blogging.
Just because female bloggers aren't "popular" doesn't mean we're not there. Or that we're not as opinionated as the male bloggers.
Personally, I'll take Sisyphus Shrugged or Body and Soul over Political Animal any day.
Thanks to Rittenhouse Review for the link.
There will be more up later on the official website.
For now, though, enjoy: (warning, images somewhat large, and taken with camera of poor quality)
Brian Und-Bjorn winning the Very Large Stone-Throwing competition...
Christopher Tangle-Hair and Brian Und-Bjorn rolling a log...
The three spears of the Royal Council...
Rishi Splatter-Pate and Faust Ring-Dropper practicing a really inacurate form of glima (Icelandic wrestling)...
The three-way duel between Terence the Strong, Christopher Tangle-Hair, and Rishi Splatter-Pate that ended the swordfighting competition...
Faust Ring-Dropper looking glamorous, despite there being a car in the shot...
And Gerald Axe-Bane performing some sort of swami yogic levitation trick during the long jump competition...
Author Hunter S. Thompson Kills HimselfHe will be missed.
ASPEN, Colo. - Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of fictional journalism in books like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," fatally shot himself Sunday night at his home, his son said. He was 67.
"We can't stop here! This is bat country..."
Monday, February 14, 2005
I must say Brian is right on the money with his Californians in New Mexico rant.
Now, for those who have spent little time around the nouveau riche Californian expats who have come to crowd our once-gentle state, they are not the usual breed of what you probably think of when you mention 'Californian.'
They are entirely different from the mother-earth, crystal-hippie type of Californian who migrated to New Mexico decades ago. These people have all either moved to Taos to run moderately successful Bed-and-Breakfasts while sculpting nude goddess figures or some such enlightened, harmless, pricey art on the side, or have settled down in Albuquerque or Santa Fe to raise a generation of children who get really good grades in history and English but are really bad at math because they smoke too much weed. (Wow, that's like everyone I went to high school with!)
No, the new, irritating Californians are the type who talk too loud on cell phones in restaurants. They get mad when customer service people call them 'sir' or 'Mr. Johnson,' and say, "my father is Mr. Johnson!" They think that yelling and humiliating waiters or checkout girls/guys will actually get them respect and better service. They have big, shiny, gas-guzzling SUVs with nary a splatter of dirt on them that might signify they are actually used as utility vehicles. They find cigarettes disgusting but huge stinky cigars manly and cool.
They demand immaculate green golf courses in the middle of the desert. In a city with a dwindling water supply, no less!
These people will actually say with some sense of achievement that they "had a breakfast burrito this morning, with green chile on it and everything!" Well, bully for you. So did everybody else! And no, the Frontier restaurant is not 'quaint' or 'charming,' it is disgusting. In my younger days I pulled a stint there on the graveyard shift, and believe me, once you've tried in vain to wash the sickly sweet stench of cinnamon buns out of your hair, you can never even look at them again.
The new, rich Californians will beam with pride at having gotten up at the crack of dawn to freeze their asses off while oggling cheesy, giant floating spheroids of gaudiness at the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, then pay too much for a stupid T-Shirt or pin with that giant cow balloon on it.
These people are irritating. They are the new yuppies. They're bad drivers. They slap each other on the ass after making tasteless jokes. They're just like the brute they elected governor.
As Brian mentioned, though, Albuquerque still manages to hold on to some of its essential curiousness despite the onslaught. (See Pika Brittlebush for instance. She has a knack for capturing parts of the city that are not faux-adobe stripmalls.) We did not lose Burt's Tiki Lounge to Banana Joe's We have not lost the Double Rainbow (or, as it has actually been called for years now, the Flying Star, but you'll never hear a real local let that escape their lips) to Starbucks. Despite the fantastically overpriced Whole Foods Market, La Montanita Co-op thrives.
And although the fabulous Highland movie theater is now the home of bad Broadway musicals starring the local weatherman, and the Lobo theater (the location of many, many, many debaucherous moments at midnight screenings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show) is now a church of all things, and the drive-in theater got bulldozed in favor of a 24-screened monstrosity built in a style that's half fakey-crap Deco, half fakey-crap Southwest, the plucky little Guild theater still hangs in there.
So all is not lost. I do beg the Californians, though, to leave us to wallow in our poverty-stricken charm and pick on Arizona instead!
Sunday, February 13, 2005
So Iraq held elections and everything is wonderful. But I can't help but be disturbed by a few paragraphs in this otherwise fawning article.
The election results highlighted the sharp differences among Iraq's ethnic, religious and cultural groups — many of whom fear domination not just by the Shiites, estimated at 60 percent of the population, but also by the Kurds, the most pro-American group with about 15 percent.Umm, are we sure this is good news? It seems like it might turn out to be more of a lateral move in the long term...
The results also draw attention to the close and longtime ties between now-victorious Iraqi Shiite leaders and clerics in neighboring Iran. The Shiite ticket owes its success to the support of Iraq's clerics, including Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
As I think we can see from the results of our last three major elections (Bitter? Not me!), voting is not what makes a country 'great.' The freedoms we take for granted in this country are more often threatened by the results of voting than they are guaranteed by voting.
What we seem to have done is created a government in Iraq that will echo the beliefs and values of the theocratic government of Iran.
Great! Because, you know, that's just what the area needs. More fundamentalist religion.
Instead of rushing towards elections (which, by the way, was not what our own founding fathers did), we should have been encouraging the formation of a Bill of Rights-type document, or a Constitution that ensures the separation of church and state and the basic rights of all citizens.
This, I believe, would ensure the unalienable rights of the Iraqi people (all the Iraqi people) to the pursuit of happiness than elections.
But what do I know, I'm just an athiest liberal.
It's too crappy out to hang around outside. It's not crappy enough outside to really enjoy staying in. There are no good movies in theaters. TV sucks. All the stores are so crowded with pink and magenta Valentine's Day crap that it looks like the aisles are covered in dried, bruisey scabs.
I'm so bored I'm starting up on an old stupid video project that I abandoned over a year ago. And yet, I still can't muster up the desire to clean the apartment.
I wish I had gone back to school this semester.
The appearance of Cadbury Cream Eggs at the checkout counter at Walgreen's gives me hope. Spring is coming!
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
In what I am too jaded to call good news (let's say, it's nice news) Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas have declared a cease fire.
SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news - web sites) and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas declared Tuesday that their people would stop all military and violent attacks against each other, pledging to break a four-year cycle of bloodshed and get peace talks back on track.Let's see how long it takes for Hamas to screw this up by bombing some mall or something, or for Israel to decide to send some IDF bulldozers to bury some mother and child.
For now, though, it's nice.