Friday, May 26, 2006


Desmond Dekker
Oh, man...
LONDON - Desmond Dekker, who brought the sound of Jamaican ska music to the world with songs such as "Israelites," has died, his manager said Friday. He was 64.

Dekker, who lived in England, collapsed from an apparent heart attack at his home on Thursday, manager Delroy Williams said.
That totally sucks. Check out some Desmond Dekker here.

**ADDED** RJ over at skippy's has a Desmond Dekker video up, and also a bit about Hamza El Din whose death was also announced today.

Friday Random Ten/Cat Blogging

Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
This is pretty much the only thing I have the mental energy to blog about, although I will say I've spent pretty much all week reading Pandagon and Feministe, and advise you to do so as well.


1. On My Way - The Proclaimers
2. Soul Kitchen - X
3. I Held Her In My Arms - Violent Femmes
4. Tortise Brand Pot Scrubbing Cleaner's Theme - Shonen Knife
5. Laid - James
6. Flowers - Psychedelic Furs
7. Filipino Box Spring Hog - Tom Waits
8. Shake Your Rump - Beastie Boys
9. I Can't Stand It - Lou Reed
10. Jeepster - T.Rex

As an added bonus, since I'm such a crappy lazy blogger, I include a picture of another cat. Doesn't this picture of Hubcap kind of look like it was taken on the set of some sleazy 70's porn, what with the wood paneling and the orangey tint? My digital camera is old and doesn't white balance very well indoors.


Ever get into a huge panic because your computer is suddenly acting like it has some sort of weird virus, and oh-god-just-what-you-need-on-top-of-everything, and your Trialware Norton Anti-virus just expired the other day, only to look down at your keyboard and notice the 'ctrl' key is stuck down by a huge glob of dried popsicle juice?

Who knew that would cause all sorts of weird crap to happen, like Firefox opening every link in a new tab and the scroll button on your mouse making the font size bigger?

Well, at least I didn't call tech support.

And it's still not as bad as the woman who I spoke to once who had her surge protector plugged into itself.

The popsicle goo scraped right off, btw.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

Charlie is cuter than you
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
Must be nice, sleeping in the window all day. Myself, am pretty much couch-ridden due to hip and pelvis pain. Apparently it's pretty common, but I'm still going to complain and be a big baby about it. I figure I should milk this pregnancy thing for all its worth.

However, I just hope the HR department at my job understands...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Holy Cow

Can't type long as sitting in the desk chair makes my hip throb like a monkey, but I wanted to bring attention to this post, found via the link farm at Alas. (And hey, thanks for the link, Amp!) This part, in particular, practically teared me up.
Before I gave birth, I went on paid maternity leave, as required by the state, about a month before my due date. After I got home from the hospital I had another six months of paid leave at two-thirds of my salary. After that paid leave was up, I continued to get "baby payments" of around $150 a month. I would have continued to get those so long as I remained in the Czech Republic, up to four years after Connery was born.
As someone who is currently doing the maternity leave dance with their employer, let me say, damn.

There's got to be some way to makes this work in the US. In the richest country in the world, this kind of crap is bullshit.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Yep yep yep yep yep

This is me practicing embedded YouTube.

Hey, did it work? And is it sad that the same stuff that cracked me up when I was two still cracks me up? Seriously, I love these stupid aliens!

This is from this huge post at folded space, via daddy types which I was idly browsing looking a ridiculous crap I'd never by but secretly lust for in a way that gives me liberal guilt.

By the way, what was with old school Sesame Street and the number 12? There's the 12 ladybugs in the Ladybug's Picnic song (which is awesome...sounds like a Guthrie to me.) And then there's the super-trippy, uber-funky counting to tweleve song here. (I mean, seriously, no wonder I smoked so much pot in high school if I was watching this as a kid.)

But what does the number 12 really represent? I think it's some sort of Jim Henson version of the Da Vinci code.

Although to me it doesn't come close to the floating, giggling baby head from Teletubbies. Ahhh! The baby head is coming to eat me!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

So I apparently am no longer sleeping...

Yeah, it could be said that I have a touch of insomnia.

It could be the fact that my bedroom is as hot as an oven (and it doesn't help when your big hairy cat wants to sleep on you), or that every time I close my eyes I see the teeny tiny figure that is the amount of money in my checking account, or the instant heartburn I get when laying down, or the ache in my right hip, or the carpal tunnel that's returned with a vengence in my left arm. Or, it could be that this is my first official mother's day (is it? There's no Fetus Carrier day...) and the thought is kind of freaky.

In any case, I am awake. And instead of doing any of the cleaning I need to do, I am blogging. Never say I'm not a procrastinator.

I can't even think of anything important to blog about so it's going to be linkage and movie trailers again.

They've been doing some interesting discussing at Pandagon lately. First there's this post, about dressing like a 'girl.'
That’s why, problematic as it is to buy into feminine drag, it feels empowering for so many women to finally, finally feel free to embrace the skirts and make-up. For me, being able to wear a skirt and some lipstick and even some nice shoes is a victory of sorts, a demonstration that I’m finally self-assured enough about my intellectual equality with men that I can let my guard down and enjoy looking girly. And part of it is no doubt age, too–after you don’t look like a teenager anymore you don’t feel like you have to build a wall between you and the creepy perv patrol so much. None of this is to say that women who don’t enjoy the girly thing are obliged to at all. Just that if you do have that inclination and you avoid it through most of your youth out of fear of being condescended to or worse, getting to the point where you are past that fear can actually feel empowering.
As someone who spent their teen years never wearing a skirt and now owns only one pair of jeans, yeah. I totally get that. Down in the comments someone mentioned cis-vestism, which is like transvestism but instead of liking to dress like the opposite gender, you get a thrill from dressing like your own gender.

That rings true to me. I've often complained that it's not fair that only Drag Queens are able to act like the outrageous ultra-woman I've always wanted to be. I want to name myself Amanda Hugginkiss and lip sync to ABBA songs while hot guys dance in the background. It's my destiny, man.

Then there's this post that addresses something with a similar theme, which is whether or not one feels the need to have children. Now it's weird saying this as a pregnant woman, I know, but for a long time I was very anti-breeding. So I've had this discussion many, many, many times before.

And then read this post where Amanda experiences gestalt and ties it all together.

On a different topic, I was talking with my husband the other day about how terrifying it is that the topic of global warming had transformed into something that will have horrible effects in the distant dystopian future to something that is having horrible effects right fucking now.

The hottest year on record was 2005. The last hurricane season broke all sorts of crazy records, most likely because of greenhouse gasses. Glaciers are melting all over the place.

So you'll forgive me if this movie trailer freaks me the hell out. I recognize it's a little hysterical sounding. (Was the "If you love your children, see this film" bit really necessary?) And Al Gore, bless his soul, still sounds like a total geek. But the before and after images of Patagonia and Mt. Kilimanjaro are honestly terrifying.

Not to mention the thought that it may take the World Trade Center memorial being underwater for the majority of Americans to make any sort of changes in their lives, let alone the government. I think that's the scariest part.

Oh god. The sun is coming up and birds are chirping.

I'm going to try to lay down again. Please send me sleepy vibes.

Or money.

With this, we can achieve world peace...

I was seriously having the crappiest day (started with projectile vomiting, ended with the news that one of my best friends was cheated on...with cop stories and pneumonia in between!) and this video made it all go away.

Seriously, go watch it now.

Thanks to skippy (who coined the term, and screw those dkos people anyway).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Superheroes should be Super, no?

Over at Pandagon and Feministe, there's a hubbub about the new Frank Miller cover for Wonder Woman. The cover image, which you can see for yourself here, is in my opinion laugh-inducingly hilarious.

For one, it hardly looks like Wonder Woman. The colors aren't even right...a green skirt? WTF?

But more importantly, she doesn't look like a superhero, she looks like a stripper. She looks thin, weak, and soft. There's not a muscle on her. She looks more like someone who would be saved by Superman in a dark alley rather than someone who would beat the ass of a mugger in a dark alley.

And don't start the noise about how complaining about this is somehow anti-sexiness. Contrast the weak, spine-displasia Wonder Woman image with this image of Storm, or this image of Black Cat, or Phoenix, or Rogue, or hell, this image of Wonder Woman. Are they sexy? Sure. Do they have ridiculously huge boobs? Definitely. But they are all strong-looking. They have broad, muscular shoulders. Thick, muscular thighs. They look powerful, you know, like they could beat up bad guys. Which is something, last time I checked, superheroes are known to do.

Check out the original Live Journal post to see some hilarious takes on male versions of the Frank Miller covers. Definitely highlights the objectification, but I don't think they touch on the biggest problem with Frank Miller's art. He chooses to depict a character who's supposed to be a hardbodied badass as a soft, weak, ribcage-exposed torso.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday Random Ten

1. Murder in the Red Barn - Tom Waits
2. Rock 'n' Roll - The Velvet Underground
3. Cecilia Ann - The Pixies
4. Out the Window - Violent Femmes
5. Oh L'amour - Erasure
6. Stand and Deliver - Adam Ant
7. Shake your Rump - Beastie Boys
8. Killing an Arab - The Cure
9. Cowboys - Portishead
10. I Like Fucking - Bikini Kill

Pathetic story...I always thought "Killing an Arab" was a weird song until reading over some Camus in college and realizing it was based on "The Stranger."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Revealing Internet Quiz result of the Indeterminate Time Period...

The Ardent Atheist

The results are in, and it appears that you have scored 70%...
You are an atheist, pure and simple. You think God is just one big lie, and consider religious people to be both annoying and beneath you. Ardent atheists will argue tooth and claw for their position, and have no truck with people that won't listen. You think being an atheist is the only way to lead an honest life, and see no reason to accept the pleas of faith. Ardent atheists are the backbone of atheism. Be proud.

The Atheist Test written by chi_the_cynic on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

I am in the same atheist category as PZ Myers, but he is 6 percent more of an atheist than me.


So, that took forever, but I have finally uploaded and organized into sets the pictures from the 2005 and 2006 Taos Aelthing.

Take a look-see and be envious of how much cooler my friends are than you.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Your Guy Fawkes masks are in the mail...

The "Day Without and Immigrant" protests seem to have been hugely successful.
LOS ANGELES - More than 1 million mostly Hispanic immigrants and their supporters skipped work and took to the streets Monday, flexing their economic muscle in a nationwide boycott that succeeded in slowing or shutting many farms, factories, markets and restaurants.

From Los Angeles to Chicago, Houston to Miami, the "Day Without Immigrants" attracted widespread participation despite divisions among activists over whether a boycott would send the right message to Washington lawmakers considering sweeping immigration reform.
One million people! Holy cow! And it definitely seems like they had an effect.
Tyson Foods Inc., the world's largest meat producer, shuttered about a dozen of its more than 100 plants and saw "higher-than-usual absenteeism" at others. Most of the closures were in states such as Iowa and Nebraska. Eight of 14 Perdue Farms chicken plants also closed for the day.

Goya Foods, which bills itself as the nation's largest Hispanic-owned food chain, suspended delivery everywhere except Florida, saying it wanted to express solidarity with immigrants who are its primary customers.

None of the 175 seasonal laborers who normally work Mike Collins' 500 acres of Vidalia onion fields in southeastern Georgia showed up.

"We need to be going wide open this time of year to get these onions out of the field," he said. "We've got orders to fill. Losing a day in this part of the season causes a tremendous amount of problems."

It was the same story in Indiana, where the owner of a landscaping business said he was at a loss. About 25 Hispanic workers — 90 percent of the field work force — never reported Monday to Salsbery Brothers Landscaping.

"We're basically shut down in our busiest month of the year," said owner Jeff Salsbery. "It's going to cost me thousands of dollars."

In the Los Angeles area, restaurants and markets were dark and truckers avoided the nation's largest shipping port. About one in three small businesses was closed downtown, including the cluttered produce market and fashion district.

The construction and nursery industries were among the hardest hit by the work stoppage in Florida.

Bill Spann, executive vice president of the Associated General Contractors of Greater Florida said more than half the workers at construction sites in Miami-Dade County did not show up Monday.
This is both extremely heartening and frustrating to me. On the one hand, Woo! Way to organize and show solidarity! I can't imagine the message is lost on the politicians in Washington.

On the other hand, what the hell is wrong with the rest of us? Why can't we organize million-person, multi-city protests for reproductive rights? Or for gay marriage equality? Or for environmentalism? Or Katrina victims, still neglected?

I know I didn't march or do anything of note for immigrant rights or any of those other causes. What's wrong with progressives in this country? Why can't we be bothered?

Monday, May 01, 2006


I have finally paid for a Flickr pro account, and have just finished uploading all the pictures from last September's trip to Vegas, aka the last time I wasn't pregnant.

Check em out. I will soon follow with the Taos Aelthing pictures, but it took me so long to upload and order the others that I need a break.