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May 31, 2003

dollar bread and flying cars

When I was about ten years old, I grabbed a book off my aunt's shelf in order to relieve the boredom of listening to a bunch of old ladies (they were like, 30!) play Pinochle.

I don't remember the title of the book. It was a musty smelling paperback with yellowed pages and a bent cover. It was a book of predictions.

This was the early 70's. I don't know when the book itself was written, but it had the look and feel of something old.

I laughed when I read some of the predictions.

Bread would be a dollar a loaf! Gas would be over a dollar a gallon!

cloud city, just like I pictured it!Ok, I had no idea about economics at that point so, for someone who was given two dollars to run down to the store for bread, cigarettes and milk and still had change leftover for Bazooka gum, these prices seemed like science-fiction.

Yet I gaped in awe at the rest of the predictions.

Man will fly! Cars would have wings! We would live underwater and on the moon! We could travel, Star-Trek like, to other countries in the blink of an eye!

I had no problem believing that man could fly, yet I couldn't get my mind around the idea of paying a dollar for bread.

So I waited. I waited for the underwater cities and the milk that would never go bad and the pills you could take instead of eating. I waited for hovercrafts and machines that would give me superhero powers and beds that would make themselves.

Right after I finished the book of predictions that day, I made my way into my aunt's kitchen where the women were playing cards and regaled them with visions of the future. Their eyes gleamed at the idea of super powered kitchen that would do all the work for you, ovens that baked everything to perfection, robots that would do your laundry. They giggled at the idea of a hologram Elvis entertaining you in your living room.

And they waited. They waited for Rosie the Robot and Elvis the hip-shaking hologram.

So what happened to all these things? Where did the future go? Why doesn't the world look like Cloud City? Why is it that the only predictions to come true from that dog-eared book were the ones we didn't want to come true?

I want my spaceship, damn it. The scientists and speculators promised me there would be spaceships and mental telepathy. I want my x-ray vision and I want to teleport and I want it now, not twenty years from now when sure, I'll probably get a hologram Elvis, but I'll still have to clean my own damn kitchen.

wolverine v. cyclops

We spent the day doing things that didn't involve the computer.

We saw X2, which I won't bother reviewing because you know I loved it. I will just ask you this, though; given the choice between Wolverine and Cyclops, who would you choose? The guy with steel claws and good looks, or the guy who has to wear those stupid looking glasses all the time? He looks like a reject from a Duran Duran video.

Sure, Wolverine wouldn't be the most dependable boyfriend, and those claws might get in the way during sex, but he's got to be more exciting than that other stick-in-the-mud, Cyclops. That guy's got a huge stick up his ass. Then again, so does Jean.


What? Stop looking at me like that. I know they're not real.

an important ruling on tampons

tamp.gifJudge rules that Playtex is superior to Tampax.

I would love to have heard the witnesses in that case.

By the way, the judge is right. While Tampax has that whole flushable thing going for them, Playtex provides more comfort. Tampax tampons always feel like they are going to pop out when you sneeze.

Of course, you could always be a good pro-environment person and just get yourself some reusable pads and ditch the tampons all together.

Or you can give the tampons to your boss.

Or make your own feminine protection Stonhenge.

Or make a Monica out of your tampon.

And that is your TMI post for this Saturday.

greetings

Happy birthday to the sexy Dr. Grosz.

Happy belated birthday to the Daily Pundit, Bill Quick.

And a very happy anniversary to two of my favorite people in this entire world, Robyn and Todd. Many more to you.

i like to make lists of my lists

Like Solonor, I am a sucker for lists. Solly went and linked this great site, Lists of Bests, and I've been spending some time over there checking off boxes.

You can see my stats here.

Note that on the music lists, I only checked off albums I actually paid hard earned money for and owned or own on vinyl or CD.

I'm just getting started at the movie list. I'm afraid to even get near the books.

Just a fun little time waster, a way to let people know that yea, you actually own a copy of Prince's Purple Rain. And mine is on purple vinyl.

By the way, Lists of Bests is the brainchild of a great blogger, Bill of Brilliant Corners.

freedom v. weapons

I tried to read Sean Penn's whole screed. I really tried. I kept falling asleep.

Perhaps our administration did declare that weapons of mass destruction were the reason for going into Iraq. I never declared it as my reason for wanting this war. Yes, it was one reason, but not all of it.

I have not, as someone in a comment on an older post said last night, been used like a cheap hooker. Those of us still defending this war and its outcome have other things in mind. Like freedom.

Did you really expect that within a month of the war, Iraq would be some sort of carbon copy of the United States, filled with open markets and democratic elections and prospering people? Are you so naive to believe that freedom can come in a week, a month, even a year?

There are signs of a new life in Iraq. An internet cafe has opened. There are more newspapers now than there have ever been in that country. There are people walking free in the streets, admitting their loathing of the former regime. There are children who have been freed from prisons, mother reunited with their sons who they had assumed to be dead.

Uday is no longer raping young women at whim. Heads are not being chopped off in public view. People do not cower in fear in their own homes, afraid that at any moment Saddam's people will rush in and kill them for some imagined slight.

The torture chambers are dismantled. The prisons are empty. The acid baths are gone.

Is that not enough for you? Will it always be for you an argument over weapons? I question anyone who claims this war was unjust because we have yet to find definitive proof of Saddam's weapon making escapades. How can you tell a person sitting in an internet cafe in Baghdad, reading news that he had never been able to view before that he does not deserve that?

How can you tell a child that he does not deserve to be back home with his parents after being freed from a prison because there were no WoMD to be found?

The end does justify the means. It takes time for freedom to flourish. It takes time for democracy to be installed. It takes time for wrongs to be righted and reapirs to be made and for the stench of a rotten regime to dissipate.

Yes, there will always be factions that want to rule in their own way, with violence or threats or an iron fist. We have that here right in our own country. We have domestic terrorists. We have extreme minorities on both sides of politics. We have cross-burners and gay bashers and groups that condone the destruction of private property to get their way. It's the nature of man to oppose, whether that opposition is just or not. It's the nature of man to want a society to be ruled in his own way, according to his own views. Fortunately, in our country, we have a system that enables the people to speak out against those who want to use tyranny to express their views. We have a system where majority rules, where the extreme among us are kept in check, where we don't allow illegal entities to rule our people.

That will come in Iraq. The free United States was not built in a day or even a month. Freedom takes time.

Personally, I don't care if they never find a weapon of mass destruction. What I care about is the people of Iraq. I care that good things have happened because of this war and it makes me angry that there are people who refuse to see that or acknowledge it, that they are so wrapped up in their hatred for Bush that they would deny a tortured Iraqi woman her freedom just to laugh in the face of the president's supporters.

Would you be happier, Sean Penn, if we never went into Iraq? I'm sure you would be.

Would the Iraqi people be happier? I doubt that.

If we have our right to live free, why would you deny that to others? Is freedom only viable when it is attained by an administration you admire?

This is not about Iraq for Penn and his kind. It is about their selfish hatred for George Bush. It is about the craving they have to be able to say I told you so, about their need to be right, always right and to prove everyone else in the free world wrong. They care about nothing but themselves and their self-centered ideology.

I have not been used by this administration like a cheap hooker. But most of you who oppose this war on the grounds of lack of WoMD have been used by the anti-Bush movement, by Scott Ritter and Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore and Robert Fisk. Your slogan should not be "Not in My Name," it should be "No Freedom for Iraq." That's what your ideology comes down to.

ok, one more

My gynecologist's name is Dr. Goldstein.

I tried yesterday to say to my sister, "I'm going to see Goldstein today," except it came out "I'm going to see Goldberg today."

And since then I've had this image in my head of Goldberg as my gynecologist.

He's got some big hands, that guy.

swan song

I'm tired. I'll leave you with a song. But you have to listen to it and tell me what you think, just so I know I'm not uploading these songs for nothing, you know? I mean, do any of actually download the songs I put up?

Glassjaw - Hotel of the White Locust (mp3)

Welcome to Hollywood whore.
Wake up in Hollywood whore.

My dance has passed.

Combine the throb within the head
with the rhythm of my fucking feet.
Say a novena for all those lost
and read the bloodstains on the sheets.
I've whored myself for less than this
and I've prayed to appear to fed.
As I knelt on my pillow God,
I clenched my fists and banged my head.

Who could ever take the place of me?

How I kiss up to God my fists
and I pray to keep my head
though I like your pretty eyes better blackened
and my fists all red.
Through sickness and health
I've kissed up to God two years.
I have focused on the cameos made by the tiger
in the valley of the locust.

Wipe it off you mouth.
Get up off your knees
and make me your god.

It's sexual debauchery.
You cost what you're worth.

Followed by a boy like this.
Re-ignited by all your visits.
As long as your mouth is shut
You'll still be beautiful.

May 30, 2003

horner at the corner

David Post over at the Volokh Conspiracy is dead wrong about the World's Worst Trade.

That honor - in baseball, at least - goes to the Atlanta Braves for getting Len Barker from Cleveland for a player to be named later.

My favorite non-Yankee baseball player EVERNot only did that player turn out to be Brett Butler, but Butler found out about it before he was supposed to and had to play out his time with the Braves knowing that he was being traded for Barker, who amounted to nothing compared to the rest of Butler's careers.

That's when the Braves were full of coulda, shoulda, wouldas. Dale Murphy, Bob Horner, Butler, Rafael Ramirez, Chris Chambliss, Claudell Washington, Pascual Perez....man, I loved that team. They even had a catcher named Biff Pocaroba. What a great name.

Sometime after the Butler fiasco and Murphy's retirement, my love for the Braves turned into abject hatred.

And so it stands.

steal this song!

Ok kids. I got Kazaa open and I'm ready to steal some songs. Start shooting those suggestions at me.

I'm starting off with Justin Timberlake's Rock Your Body. Then I'm gonna dance.

I'll probably trip over the vacuum cleaner at some point. That's why I only do things like this when I'm alone.

the only thing i haven't done yet is masturbate

It's like I don't know what to do with myself now that I'm finally home alone.

I'm multi-tasking. Reading blogs, writing, listening to music on the computer while Akira is running on the tv in surround sound, and let me tell you, I feel like I'm there.

I am vacuuming, doing dishes and reading Transmetropolitan.

Thinking about uploading some more songs. I told Dr. Frank I would review his 8 songs tonight, but I don't think he wants me writing a review while I'm spending the evening with Senor Cuervo.

Oh, I went to buy that Sammy Hagar tequila. Fuck that, it's 40 bucks a bottle. Mr. Cuervo is a cheap date compared to that.

Here's what I'm listening to. It's going to depress me, I know it. But it's so damn good.

Life of Agony
Ugly (1995)
Other Side Of The River

There's blood on the floor and you're not even moving.
Don't really know if it's mine or yours but you ain't moving.

Eyes are wide as you grin at me.
You know there's a place where you rather would be.
If you should die and I survive, how could I go on knowing that I'm still alive?

Here breathing.

There's a beast that's living deep within me.
Forcing me to feed all my needs.
Yeah he's in me.

And he brought us here to end our fears.
To wave goodbye to all of the tears.
To start a new live on the other side of the river.

Well my world would be over.
My world would be over.

Hold on, hold on, I won't be long.
Wait for me, man, I won't be long.

You were such in a rush to reach the other side.
Look at yourself with that look in your eye.
Smiling wide, pre-occupied with that river.

Well my world would be over.
My world would be over.

i'm getting closer to never leaving the house

The Anime Network.

Calling my cable provider now.

raise your cup and let's propose a toast*

Who needs a margarita glass when you can drink from Treacher? Yes, I was one of the lucky ones who ordered from Jim's store before he unceremoniously closed it down, before I could get my hands on the thong. I could have slept with Treacher, damn it!

Of course, now that I have a mug that I can sell on eBay someday when Treacher is rich and famous and girls are chasing him down the street trying to grab his underewear, I have an outdated URL on my cup.

Not for nothing, but I'm sitting here wondering if some skanky broad is sticking her tits in my husband's face right now.

*It's just song lyrics, you don't really have to

Your host this evening for H-O-T

For the person in the comments over here who said rap sucks:

That's MR. Method Man to you.Right now I am listening to Method Man's Judgment Day. Let me tell you, no one gets the groove going like Method Man. I am up on my feet, shakin' my groove thang.

For your listening pleasure: Ice Cube - Wicked (mp3) [lyrics below]



I saw Ice Cube live once. He brough the house down. That man knows how to bring it.

One, two, three and I come with the wicked
style and you know that I'm from the wicked
crew, act like you knew
cos I got everybody jumpin to the voodoo
Pick it, wicked rhymes, picket signs
While me and the mob gotta truck full of 9's]
Play ya and I'll slay ya
I got thug-made dough by the hey-a
Ready to BUCK BUCK BUCK and it's a must
to DUCK DUCK DUCK before I bust
Lookin for the one that did it
but like En Vogue, no you're never gonna get it
Cos I'm the one with the fat mad skills
and I won't choke like the Buffalo Bills
Sittin at the pad just chillin
cos Larry Parker just got two million, oh what a feelin
So shake that nigga and pass me the pill
and I'll slam dunk ya like Shaquille O'Neal
Like it, dig it, maybe and watch that ??? ???
Kick it cos I get wicked

Chorus: (some toaster, once again won't translate to avoid offending)

Verse 2:

Won't say nuttin, just listen
Got me a plan to break Tyson outta prison
Come my way and get served
Still got a duece that'll bunny hop the curb
Nappy head, nappy chest, nappy chin
Never seen with a happy grin
Show the fat foul cos I'm down
Take a look around
and all you see is big black boots steppin
Use my steel toe as a weapon
Kick ya and flip ya, now they want to
label this nigga, tape with the sticker
Kickin out girls that's nicety
Yo, I gotta body count like Ice-T
From here to New York
I get skins and ain't talkin bout pork
Swine, pig, dick
Listen to the flow of a so-called negro
who didn't know I was funky as Wilson Pickett
Dig it cos I get wicked

Chorus

Verse 3:

People wanna know how come
I gotta gat and I'm lookin out the window like Malcolm
Ready to bring that noise
Kinda trigger happy like the Geto Boys
April 29th was power to the people
and we might just see a sequel
cos police got equal pay
A horse is a pig that don't fly straight
Doin Darryl Gates but is Willie Williams
down with the pilgrims
Just a super slave
We'll have to break his ass up like Super Dave
I'm wicked enough to board this
Cos now it's on to the fullest
Gorilla straight from the mist
But I don't miss when it comes to this
Bring the yellow tape
The white cape, cos I'm so straight
Thru with the picket signs, take his job and stick it
Bigot, cos I get wicked

punk's not dead

I had a dream when I was high school that I attended the punk rock academy and no one made fun of me.

I now have a DVD player that plays mp3s. I threw in an unlabeled disc and was greeted by my punk rock collection.

I'm still having a hard time with my kids being fans of AFI. I don't mind sharing my other cds with them - we can rock out to The Ataris or Bad Religion together and it's all cool. But something about the Ataris going mainstream me cry.

I don't begrudge them their fame, their fortune, their masses of sweaty teenage girls and boys rushing the stage to touch them. I just wanted to keep them to myself, I guess. Selfish me. I get very attached to my favorite bands. Not in a groupie sort of way. Never been a groupie. Not unless you count Leif Garret and I don't.

Anyhow, I'm enjoying this cd to the extent that the neighbors can probably hear it.

Hey, this isn't a whole punk cd! My long lost version of Bloodhound Gang doing Weezer's Undone is on here! It's more like an Undone/Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nothin' to Fuck With remix. I need to get this back on my computer. You have to hear it.

I wonder how the neighbors are enjoying The Exlpoited?

teenage fan club

This just in:

Most bloggers are teenage girls!

Interesting people run interesting blogs, but it's remarkable how few of them there are.

So the upshot of all this is it that not withstanding the gems of self-publishing - largely unsung by the A-list evangelists because they refuse to conform to the canon (Cryptome and Indymedia are not considered part of the club, for example) - the field is largely populated by adolescents - of all ages.

Maybe we're all safer this way - thanks to weblogs. Maybe blogs are a way of keeping the truly antisocial out of harm's way. So if you know a middle-aged sociopath, for heaven's sake, point him to a computer and show him how to start a weblog.

At least it will keep him off the streets.

This middle-aged sociopath is way ahead of you, idiot.

Frankly, I think it's people who spend their time writing columns about how tedious weblogs are that ought to rethink their life choices.

Perhaps we are all teenage girls at heart. That's not a bad thing. Teenage girls have passione and verve and the chutzpah to do anything and wear anything they want. They are brazen and sometimes sullen and most of all self-deprecating. They know how to laugh at silly things and enjoy all of life's riches without seeing the gloom that lies underneath. They are at once oblivious and hawk-eyed and just a touch self-centered. Ok, a lot self centered. I should know. I am the mother of a teenage girl. I was a teenage girl.

In fact, I still am. I am a teenage girl trapped in the body of a middle-aged sociopath.

At least I spend my time writing about things that mean something to me, rather than writing about how boring the thing I am writing about is.

Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true

[As referred to in the previous post, this is a story about the song that changed my life]

Once upon a time I was married. I was not a happy wife. Nor was I a content bride. I was, instead, resigned to being the good wife. The one who never complains, no matter how bad things are.

A little background from an old journal I found last year.

She dreamed of her own death but then shook the thought from her head and replaced it with dreams of flying. Sprouting wings and flying high above everything, the taste of freedom on her tongue. She landed in places that were not so dark, not so bleak and when she woke up it was always with the sinking feeling that her wings had been clipped. There were times, in the silvery light of the early morning, that she clung to the idea that the past few years were all a dream and she would wipe the sleep from her eyes and find herself in her parent's house, unwed, umothered, lifted from her bitterness. But it never happened that way and she woke every morning in the same house, the same life, the same bitter bed she made for herself.

And this one:

...she avoids looking at happy, complete families, the ones that come in sets like some Fisher-Price Happy Handsome Family collection; Mom, Dad, smiling kid, smiling baby, matching t-shirts, never an angry word or a tear shed. She has stopped living in the dream where she is part of that collection. She has now become one of the discarded sets found at garage sales; the mom and kid and baby, smiles and daddy missing.

I wrote those journal entries about myself. The last paragraph was a snippet from something I was feeling when I went to Disneyworld - with kids, sans husband/father.

There was a young woman sitting next to us on the bus that took us from one part of the park to another. She had on headphones, swaying her head in time to music only she could hear. And then she sang, softly. One line.

When will you realize, Vienna waits for you

The woman stopped singing and the song played itself out in my head and then started over again. I knew the words well.

The kids dozed off on the seat next to me, one leaning on me, one leaning on my mother, and the motion and bumps of the bus lulled me into a hypnotic daydream.

But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you an just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you

I knew then. I knew what my Vienna was. No, it wasn't a city in a faraway place. Vienna was not tangible; it was more of a state of mind than a location.

I knew this moment was coming. I didn't need a song to tell me that. What I did need was the words of someone else to kick me in the ass and move me towards a better place.

Soon after the burden of my marriage was over. The burden of separation and divorce came next and I rode the wave and waited it out.

And then, there it was. Vienna.

Vienna - Words and Music by Billy Joel

Slow down you crazy child
You're so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you're so smart tell me why
You are still so afraid?

Where's the fire, what's the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
So many hours in a day

But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you an just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you

Slow down you're doing fine
You can't be everything you want to be
Before your time
Although it's so romantic on the borderline tonight
Too bad but it's the life you lead
You're so ahead of yourself
That you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you're wrong

But you know you can't always see when you're right
You got your passion you got your pride
But don't you know only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you

Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook
And disappeaar for a while
It's alright you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you.


I'm ready for my drink now.

take me out to the ballgame, the liquor store, the deli....

I've got a Little League game to go to (and a liquor store stop to make). While I'm gone, if you feel like pondering something before my Friday Night Debauchery starts, Robyn is asking people about songs that prompted a major life change for you.

I'll have mine when I get back. You'll be surprised at what it is, I'm sure. No, it's not Slayer's Angel of Death.

So, ponder.

psa

yellow.jpg

Thanks, Rob.

on feeling like you have to pee even when you don't

Nothing sucks worse than a bladder infection. Just in case you didn't know that.

So here I am at home, feeling as if my insides are going to fall out every time I pee, and I'm going through old boxes of my writing.

In 1979 I wrote a series of short stories about a family-run funeral home. The stories detail the lives and loves of the family members and how fucked up living in a funeral home can make a teenage girl.

I would sue HBO, but I don't think the creators of Six Feet Under were rummaging through my closet recently.

Perhaps, though, this gives credence to my theory that someone is always watching me.

command post now provides entertainment!

Things have been a bit slow news-wise, as far as Command Post goes. And in that respect, no news is good news.

To while away the time and entertain the throngs of visitors to Command Post, we are engaging in a bit of a caption contest.

Go on, go play. You know you want to.

the language of understanding each other

I've been called a lot of things - some of them true and some of them not - but this was a banner week for name calling.

First, my new buddy Vince from Indymedia called me a homophobe. Well, I don't think I have to explain how wrong he is and because he's a cretin and probably doesn't understand things like logic and reasoning and listening when someone else speaks, I won't bother.

Yesterday, in an email, I was called a multiculturalist. This one, I will explain.

I have no problem with people coming here from other countries. America is called the melting pot for a reason. This country was founded by and flourished because of people from other nations who brought their skills and determination to this country.

It's a wonderful thing to acknowledge your heritage, to practice the customs of the place where you and/or your ancestors are from. But once you live here, once you are a citizen of this country, there are few things that should be expected of you and one of them is to learn how to speak the language.

We have cable tv. Of the first 22 channels, seven are broadcast in other languages. Most of them are Spanish language stations. There's one that switches back and forth between Chinese and Arabic. These stations used to be down in the 40's. Somehow over the years they have crept up to the top of the lineup.

There are bilingual signs everywhere. Every company I phone has options for other languages.

There is hardly a fast-food drive-in that I can use around here and be sure my order is going to be right because no one understand what I am saying and I don't understand what they are saying to me.

I don't care if immigrants speak their own language in their own home or to each other, I would never try to trample on someone's language in that extreme. It doesn't even bother me when the nice Korean ladies in the salon talk to each other in front of me in their native language. That is their right and their prerogitave.

What I do care about is the languages other than English being so pervasive in our country that, instead of trying to educate immigrants to get them to speak English, we just do everything in two or three or even four languages.

If I were to move to Germany or Italy or Mexico, I would not have the gall to think that I could just waltz in there and get a job, educate my kids and make friends outside of my home without learning to speak the language of the land which provides me with the means to have those things.

How ingratiated have foreign languages become in American society? In my daughter's school, the term foreign language has been stricken from the books and kids now take classes in LOTE; Languages Other Than English.

Spanish and Latin American dialects are no longer foreign. They have been assimilated into our cutlure, making their culture ours. I see nothing wrong with my stance that if you are going to go to a country to live, breed, work and play, you should make an attempt to not only learn the language of that country, but use it outside of your home as well.

Yes, America is the melting pot. But it is America. It is a country with a language and its own customs and culture. Join us, I don't mind. But don't come here and try to take over our ways and means of doing things. Don't insist that schoolbooks be translated so your children can understand them. Don't get mad when I have no idea what you are saying to me when I order my food or if I am just trying to converse with you at your job. Don't insist on menus and local papers being printed in the language of your choice.

You chose this country. You made it yours. Now get off your ass and learn our language. I would do the same were this situation reversed.

And that, folks, is just one reason why calling me a multicutluralist is just plain stupid.

Y ťsa, gente, es apenas una razůn por la que llamarme un multicutluralist es apenas estķpido llano.

Et ce, gens, est juste une raison pour laquelle m'appeler un multicutluralist est juste stupide plat.

E quella, gente, Ť appena una ragione per la quale denominarlo un multicutluralist Ť appena stupid normale.

cult movies, part 4

I do believe that between all of you who guessed, you got all the movies in the montage.

Special bonus points to Christopher for getting Battle Royale and Death Race 2000.

I'm tabulating the results of the favorite cult movies voting. I've disqualified a lot of the entries. explanations later.

buy comics, save the world

What could be important enough to bring Toren Smith out of hiatus?

Fantagraphics is in trouble:

Bill Griffith's Zippy the Pinhead. Used without express written consent.If you've respected what Fantagraphics stands for and what we've done for the medium, if you've enjoyed our books, and if you want to insure that this proud tradition continues into this new and ominous century, were asking you to help us now in our especial hour of need by buying some books. Put simply, we need to raise about $80,000 above our usual sales over the next month, and the only way to do that is to convert books into cash.

[Read the rest of Toren's entry for the full story]

I'm going to do my part by purchasing some items today. I bet all of you could find at least one thing at the Fantagraphics site that you would love to have.

Sure, there are many charities you could be giving to. There are people who are in dire need of help. So why give a portion of your hard-earned money (or tax credit) to a comic book distributor? Well, I don't have an answer to that for you, just for me.

I view comics and comic related books as viable forms of literature and art and I'll do anything I can to help keep this art form alive and thriving. That's it in a nutshell.

So, what would you want to buy from Fantagraphics? Plenty.

There's Tony Millionaire's Maakies. What, you've never read Maakies? I've linked it here a hundred times before.

There's Chris Ware items, including a Jimmy Corrigan doll.

You've got Robert Crumb reading material and t-shirts.

There's classics like Krazy Kat and Pogo. And greath anthologies with art from Mark Ryden. And plenty of anime and erotica, if that's your thing. And postcards. And Ghost World paper dolls. And Strange Stories for Little Kids, which I already own. And don't forget Zippy!

I think you get the point.

Don't make the baby jesus cry. Save Fantagraphics.

May 29, 2003

cult movies, part 3: visual quiz

My project is finally done, and it's only half of what I wanted it to be. I get bored easily.

Clicking on the link below will bring up a rather large image. The image consists of scenes or poster art from some of my favorite cult movies.

How many can you name? It should be relatively easy for most of you, considering the lists of cult movies some of you left over here.

Montage

the "get dr. frank off of blogspot" movement

I'm working on something interesting in regards to the Cult Movies post.

Meanwhile, everyone should let Dr. Frank know that he should be the next person to move off of the dreaded Blogpsot. I've offered to host him here, he said ok, but not until he "gets his stuff together," and we all know that a punk rocker never gets his stuff together.

Being that Dr. Frank doesn't have comments, I need you to tell him to get off his ass and get moved in with me. Hell, he rarely has permanent links. Sometimes - like now - you can't even load his site up. This is a serious matter. If Treacher can get his act together, so can Dr. Frank.

[This is where I was going to put in the yes/no script for a short poll, but I can't get it to work. So just leave messages in the comments for Dr. Frank, imploring him, begging him and threatening him if need be.]

site news

There's a new thing over in my sidebar called 'round the web. The links will change every day, and will always point to something I found interesting that you might want to check out, be it a new blog, a good post or something completely non blog related!

I like the way this site is shaping up, in both content and style. After over two years, I think I'm finally getting into the right groove.

[I stole the above idea from Aaron at 601am]

cult classics

This is why I love getting email:

After your A-Z contest, I was in the supermarket on Monday and grabbed a copy of Entertainment Weekly magazine, as they had the "50 Top Cult Films" listed in there.

Some good ones were listed (This is Spinal Tap at #1, Heathers, Clerks), but there was also some stuff that I just didn't get (Shawshank Redemption and PeeWee's Big Adventure chief among them).

It'd be interesting to see what your readers could come up with on this
one (hell, it'd also be worth it to see what you come up with, too).

You got it, Steve Mike.

[I would link EW, but their website is only available to AOL users or purchasers of the magazine. So fuck you, EW.]

Now, before we begin, let's define a cult movie.

Todd says a cult movie is one with "a wide popular base that developed by word of mouth, outside of the theatres."

According to cultmovies.info, the definition is thus:

are unusual, unconventional, sometimes controversial films (e.g. splatter movies); are rare, hard to find or even out of print (limited availability plays an important part); are usually watched over and over again by their admirers; were initially forgotten and later re-discovered and hailed as masterpieces (e.g. THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW).

So. nothing as challenging or game-worthy as the A-Z contest, but let's make a list of the blogosphere's favorite cult movies. Give me no more than five. I'll tabulate tonight or tomorrow to get the top three. Keep the definition in mind.

i'll swallow your soul, in d flat

Holy mother of odd ideas, Batman!

EVIL DEAD I & II: THE MUSICAL GENERAL AUDITIONS Beyond Chutleigh Productions is pleased to announce open auditions for the upcoming production of the new musical based on the cult favourite films.

This is both very cool and very, very disturbing.

It also ties in nicely with my next contest/meme sort of thing, which will be about cult films and is coming soon, like within an hour.

via Mindless Chatter

psa for my sister lisa

mm.jpg
Lisa was so happy that she got a bucket of margarita mix as a bridal shower gift.

But Mary Jane just laughed and laughed and laughed because she knew that Lisa left the mix at her sister Michele's house a few days too long and Michele was going to drink it.

[You had two chances to take it. It's mine now.]

talkin' baseball

Today's random groupings: Baseball blogs.

swoosh.gif
Baseball Crank
Baseball Musings
Pinstripe News
Bronx Banter
Bambino's Curse

Of course, this isn't a baseball blog, but I write about baseball often enough to qualify as a blog that sometimes talks about baseball. You know what I mean.

Here's three favorite baseball-related story of mine:

Why do they hate us?
A baseball story
Blowing Roger Clemens

And I'm still getting daily search requests regarding the sexuality of Chuck Knoblauch.

If you have a baseball blog one or know of one, or if you have a favorite post regarding baseball, leave a link in the comments.

rolling your friends. again.

Perhaps I should speak to the blogrolling guru about this.

Yes. I'm going to ask Jason to add a program to blogrolling, one that, when you use the blogroll this feature, will force a huge pop-up to appear on your screen with big, giant, neon letters that say:

YOU ALREADY HAVE THIS BLOG ON YOUR LIST, IDIOT!

What about it, Jason?

in bloomberg's new york

Everyone knows that in Bloomberg's New York, smokers are pariahs.

In Bloomberg's New York, you can be fined for sitting on a milk crate .

In Bloomberg's New York, a pregnant woman will be fined $50 for resting on subway stairs.

In Bloomberg's New York your trash will sit out on your curb longer and your firehouse may be closed.

Bloomberg's New York is looking more menacing by the day. How long before it looks like something out of Robocop?

May 28, 2003

doing warren ellis

So I did Warren Ellis's thing.

Oh stop it, you pervs. Like I would do Warren Ellis.

Ok, so I would, but that's besides the point.

Anyhow, his thing is to touch up a photo so it says Die Puny Humans. Mine is below. I hope my sister laughs when she sees I used her kid instead of one of mine. He's just got that...look.

dph.jpg

you can't get rid of me that easy

I'm back.

Despite the rumors circulating about fires and explosions, the real truth of the matter is this: It was me. A Jedi Mind Trick gone wrong.

Pissed at Acidman for delinking me, I tried to use the force to get his site to go out. I guess the force is strong with this one, because it took out half of the blogs on my blogroll.

Next time I'll just send Boba Fett after him.

I was playing with the button maker to while away the time. Feel free to steal these to link to me (or if you are Acidman, to not link me), or go make your own or take some of the pre-made buttons. Pretty nifty.

asv3.png asv1.bmp

Now, I'll let you catch up with what I already posted today before I post again. And then go see Treacher's new digs. He finally made the big move.

Now go leave me some comments. I missed you all so much today.

If you sent a mail to michele@asmallvictory today, please resend.

blogging psa [where have all the blogs gone?]

For those wondering where sites like Instapundit and Dean Esmay have gone today, Kathy K. has the scoop:

Where'd they go?For those of you who are wondering where some of the blogs on Hosting Matters have gone (or where your own blog has gone), here's the info:

May 28 2003 - 1052 Eastern US time - Current indications are that NAC has been evacuated due to fire. This is unconfirmed and based on the report of someone who did speak to someone on the phone before the NOC was evacuated. We will of course keep updating as more information becomes available.

Read the rest....

If you are on a Hosting Matters site and can't get to your blog, that's why. I guess I'm not on that server because I can see me just fine.

Glenn is blogging here meanwhile.

on being approachable

Iím going to stick my neck out on the chopping block here and disagree with Kate.

Kate doesnít really care for email from her readers. She would prefer that you leave a comment and not send her long personal emails, because she doesnít have time to read/answer them.

Every minute a blogger spends reading e-mails from some lonely individual who hopes to strike up a lifelong friendship by exchanging the minutia of their daily lives is one less minute the blogger has to actually blog, which is presumably what attracted the reader in the first place.

While I may not be the best at answering my emails (I always do, sometimes later rather than sooner), I love reading them. In addition to the slew of hate mail I receive, I get long, detailed letters from people who want to expand on thoughts they left in my comments or feel that what they have to say is too personal to leave in the comments. What Kate says to that is:

...the best way to a blogger's heart is through his or her "hit counter."

Not this blogger. Yes, having a steady readership is nice. Being a Mortal Human in the Ecosystem is good for the blogging ego (and yea, I'm a little perturbed that I fell to #5 on the Blogrolling Top 100, but that's just because I have this need to be above Pirillo). But I don't want my readers to just be a number on my sitemeter. I like to know who they are, where they came from, why they're reading, what they think. Stats mean absolutely nothing if you know nothing about why people are reading you.

Kate gives some tips to people who are considering emailing bloggers.

Next, ask yourself this: 2. What am I hoping to accomplish from this e-mail? If your answer is "to make a friend," then you need to realize that the best way to a blogger's heart is through his or her "hit counter." So comment, visit, and tell your friends about the blog, but let the blogger do what he or she set their hearts on: Let them blog!

When I first started blogging, I considered some bloggers unapproachable. I was intimidated by writers with huge stats. I thought huge stats equated huge egos. I was wrong. Iím glad I took the time to email some of them, because we either struck up friendships or their replies made me realize that being a blogger with a giant hit counter doesnít make you better than anyone else at being a human. I started my blog to connect with people. Iím certainly not going to turn those people away when they want to strike up a conversation outside of my website.


When I wrote about my sonís bullying problem, I received over 100 emails about it, ranging from people who had been bullied in school and wanted to relay their experiences and how they got over them, to people who had been the bullies and wanted to give me tips on how to keep DJ from getting beat up. I got emails from educators, attorneys and people I had never corresponded with before who wanted to reach out, but didnít want to do it publicly.

I get emails like that every day. I am honored that people want to share their stories with me. I donít think they are looking for a life-long buddy like Kate does. I think they just want to share part of themselves with someone who has shared part of themselves with them. Part of the glory of writing in a public place, for me at least, is that I make a connection with people. I like to hear that someone has been through the same thing and survived. I like to read the emails that encourage me, give me strength or send me off in a direction I hadnít thought of.

I have made friends through emails like that. Iíve made very good friends that way. Maybe I will take ten days to answer your letter, but I always will at some point. And you can be sure that I read it as soon as I opened it. I donít delete or discard or throw into a folder to read some other time. I feel if someone has taken the time to write to me, especially if is not hate mail, they deserve my attention. I would feel awful if someone poured their heart out to me and I never acknowledged their mail.

I do get a lot of crap mail. I get people begging me for links, people asking me to help them write their high school essays, people who want to engage me in a flame war that I want no part of. Most of the mail I get in a day, besides spam, is from people baiting me into a war of words that I want no part of. So when I do get long, personal letters from someone responding to something I wrote, I pay attention.

I never consider emails sent to me from readers a burden like Kate does. I consider them a honor. So go ahead, email me. Iím all ears and eyes.

psa from rev. michele

If you have anything that needs to go into the daily Church of the Blogosphere bulletin, please let me know before noon.

Please be sure to attend the weekly gathering of the pulpit over at Dean Esmay's place, which is hosting the Carnival of the Vanities this week.

fear and loathing and michael savage

They say you better listen to the voice of reason, but they don't give you any choice 'cause they think that it's treason, so you had better do as you are told, you better listen to the radioThe radio was already tuned to WABC, the dial set there on my ride home from work where Sean Hannity usually keeps me entertained. So when I got in the car early last evening for a trip to the Dairy Barn (the only store I can go to wearing blue shorts, a green shirt and no bra), I was stunned by the squawking that came out of my radio. For a brief second, I was sure that my nightmares had come true and Crazy Eddie was back.

No, it was just Michael Savage.

I had never heard Savage before. I've made an effort to avoid him at all costs, knowing what I know about him. I long ago stopped listening to or reading things just for the perverse pleasure of making my blood pressure rise so I can then launch into an expletive filled tirade.

I slipped. I usually turn the radio back to FM, back to K-Rock (hey, it's all we have) before I turn the car off. I'd rather be unpleasantly suprised by some crap pop punk than by a gravelly, irritating voice presenting me with a warped view of the world. I don't know what happened yesterday that I forgot.

So there I was, mismatched clothes, braless, already frazzled from the usual events of the day when Michael Savage's voice attacked me.

He was going on about cultures. How, when people come to the U.S. from other countries, they should be told to leave their cultures at the door. For instance, Savage thinks that Muslim-American women should not be allowed to wear face coverings in America. Because, you know, there might be a terrorist man under that veil, pretending to be a woman.

While Savage himself doesn't frighten me - he is just one man - the fact that he has an audience does. There are people out there who think like him, who preach like him, who call him and praise him. It's a cult of hatred that exists only on the fringes of continually blurring political line in America.

What side the voice comes from doesn't matter. Whether it's Savage or Moore doesn't matter. What matters is the rapid speed at which the two screeching trains of hatred are headed towards each other. With each passenger either side gains, their volume is louder, their movements are swifter, their reach extends.

What happens when these two amped-up entities meet head on? Are we coming to that point where they will be the vocal majorities, where America will be nothing but a steel cage match between two cults of extremism and hatred?

When the most hanging-on-the-edge-of-an-extreme people are the only ones being given a huge forum, when they are the only ones to have their voices heard across the nation, do they smother the voices of the smaller groups who are striving for something better, something less acidic?

This is why Michael Savage scares me. Not because he is nothing but a ball of hate and ego; there are many just like him that don't get any attention paid to them. I fear him in the same way I fear Michael Moore, in that they are the conducters of two very disparate, speeding trains that are going to run those of us standing in the middle of the tracks down. And there will be nothing left but them.

May 27, 2003

you can't teach old metal gods new tricks

I have finally heard the new Metallica song.

It blows. Hetfield lost those guttural instincts that made his voice so powerful ages ago. The song starts off like thrash-metal, giving you a surge of hopefulness that Slayer-type metal could be coming back. And then it segues into Hetfield's angst-ridden vocal stylings, then morphs into some nu-metal riffs and grunts reminiscent of Limp Bizkit. Repeat three times. There's your song.

The video is all "Oh, look at us, we are playing in a prison, we're so tough, man!. We're 40 years old and we can still grimace like the young punks of today!" Except the anger looks fake, the grimaces are forced and Lars looks like a weenie in his stylish beanie cap.

Don't do it, kids. Don't download the song. Not because Lars will sue you if you do, but because you'll be wasting good bandwidth. Break out Ride the Lightning if you really long for those Headbanger's Ball days when Hetfield didn't look like he needed a good dose of Metamucil.

On the other hand, the new Deftones CD gets an A+ from me. Review tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's a sample from the cd to get you going:

Deftones - When Girls Telephone Boys mp3 (6,480kb)

Lyrics below.

Always the same old taste just new injury
Well I'll wear the claws if you'd like that
Yeah if you'd like that we can ride on a black horse
A great new wave Hesparian death horse
I can call you when i get back
Yeah when I get back I will call
But don't speak, don't say nothing
In case we ever do meet again
Something's wrong with you
Well I hope we never do meet again
You always sharpen your teeth 'cause you're like that
and you're like that everythime you pull heart back
And her compact's carving deeper in your lay
I would call but I forget where the phone is at
Guess i'll thalk to you when I get back
Yeah when I get back I will call
But don't speak, don't say nothing
In case we ever should meet again
there are some things wrong with you
I hope we never do meet again
I hope we never do meet again
I hope we never do meet again
Something's wrong with you... and I hope we never do meet again

hello, noam? do you have prince albert in a can?

From TV Barn via War Liberal:

WASHINGTON, DC, May 30, 2003 - On Sunday, June 1, 2003 at 12 noon ET, IN DEPTH on Book TV, C-SPAN2's signature author interview program, features a three-hour LIVE conversation with philosopher, political activist and author Noam Chomsky. The program will re-air in its entirety at 6pm and 12 midnight ET.

As Mac said:

That's a call-in show, folks. A three-hour, live call-in show. Beginning noon, ET. Get your questions ready.

I don't even want to ask him anything. I think I'll just fart into the phone.

dump me

Acidman has this nightly Blogroll Survivor thing. In the mother of all ironies, I picked myself to be one of the contestants tonight when I did a random number thing in his comments.

So go vote me off his blogroll. I'm up against JaySolo and Bo Cowgill. I'm gunning for most votes ever. Besides, Bill Quick was the last to go and I say that's good company to be in.

a-z, winner and loooooser

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner, with 80 points, it's Adi.

Andy finished with the low score of 0, because he called the cops on me when I tried to climb in his bathroom window.

Adi's winning list:

Antichrist Superstar - Marilyn Manson
Beers, Steers, and Queers - The Revolting Cocks
Cosmic Dancer - Morrissey
Dirty Epic - Underworld
Epic - Faith No More
Friday I'm in Love - The Cure
Get Down Make Love - NIN (cover of Queen)
How Soon is Now? - The Smiths
Inside - Gravity Kills
Just Like You - Ministry
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang - Specimen
Leave You Far Behind - Lunatic Calm
Megalomaniac - KMFDM
Not Sleeping Around - Ned's Atomic Dustbin
Oh l'Amour - Erasure
Please Play this Song on the Radio - NOFX
Question of Time - Depeche Mode
Roads - Portishead
Stitches - Orgy
Trip Like I Do - The Crystal Method
Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove - Dead Can Dance
Velvet Pants - Propellerheads
Without You - Eminem
X - System of a Down
Youth of the Nation - POD
Zooropa - U2

Adi, congratulations. You can now have as your claim to fame that you won a contest which will ensure that some day, the repo man will be sorting through my rent-to-buy furniture in my shack and he will come upon a CD with your name on it. How lucky do you feel right now?

Andy, when that repo guy finds the CD, in the same case he will find one with your name on it. It will contain nothing but Meatloaf and Avril Lavigne.

Below, you will find final scoring for the late players. (you can see the rest of the scores and explanations here):

Paul:Disqualified. [He did not follow instructions]
Tracie: 10[You know why? Here's why: Copacabana (the most evil song in creation), Flashdance, Open Arms and a host of songs I didn't know. Tracie, I tried to give you some bonus points to help out, but it just wasn't there]
Keith: Keith has been disqualified because he tried to get in there twice.
Kyle: 47 [He had 23, but I doubled it because he went that extra measure to make the artist begin with the letter as well. That one extra point is for using Agent Orange]
Mark: 28 [Mark listed some really bad songs of my youth, but the Public Enemy pick saved him from the minus monster]
Greg G:50 [Bonus for not only using a FNM song, but his Black Sabbath song (War Pigs) was covered by FNM. Misfits, Suicidal Tendencies and Toadies garnered extra points for Greg as well]

and then there was the homily

I donít know if you noticed, but things have changed around here. I donít mean aesthetically - Iíll always and forever be changing the way this site looks. The content has changed. No, changed isnít the right word. Itís more like - reverted.

Iíve gone back to my old habit (a good habit, in my eyes) of mixing it up every day. Not just war or politics or current events all the time. Iíve been getting away from spending all day harping about lefties and Ted Rall and the French.

Much of my war and terrorism stories get posted over at Command Post. If I spend all day looking for stories to post there, I get tired of it when I am writing for here. Sure, I love to lay a good rant down once in a while, but not every day. Not anymore.

I miss writing about life and love and laughter. I miss writing my little vignettes about my kids and my family. Iím going to do more of that and less of the outright angry rants. Oh, Iíll still do them. Ted Rall and Mark Morford will always need bitchslapping, but Iím just not going to make an all day project out of anger anymore. Iíll still bang away at the keyboard, lashing out at politicians and the U.N. and the state of education; it will just be done in a different way, a mixture of all that and the emotions of everyday life rolled into one.

Iím sure Iíll lose some people as the transition becomes more evident, and thatís ok. I understand that many of my readers came here looking for news of the wars on terrorism, Iraq and the loony left. There are many other blogs in my sidebar that are very adept (more so than I) at covering those bases. While Iíll still cover all that stuff (here and at Command Post), it just wonít be the only thing I write about; I wonít feel like I have to make apologies when I write about comic books or our day at the beach instead of the Patriot Act.

I noticed something. I very rarely check my stats anymore. So I wonít really notice if the less I talk about war, the less readers I have. Iíll just be happy to have you still around. Iím not one of those people who will say ďI write for myself,Ē because every since this weblog gained an audience I started writing with the audience in mind. Thatís a good thing, I think. It makes me want to write better and more often.

So, yea. Thatís where we stand. Onward, upward and forward.

You may now face Lileks and kneel.

the church of the blogoshphere bulletin

Good afternoon, dear congregation. Before we begin our service, I'd like to read the announcements for today.

A couple of our members have moved to greener pastures. Please bring some pie or a tuna casserole to the new homes of:

Kevin Parrot
Eugene Volokh
Tim Blair
Damian Penny

Jack Cluth hasn't moved, but he did redecorate his house. Unfortunately, the self-appointed design committee of the neighborhood gave it a terrible review that was laced with antogonism. I'd like to thank the members of the congregation who came out to give Jack support.

I'd like to point out that Mr. Truth Laid Bear has taken on a project to welcome new members and highlight their services to the community. Please take a few moments to peruse Mircobes on Parade and spread the word to the newer members amongst us.

Brother Dean Esmay has announced that he will be hosting a pot luck gathering (or was that pot gathering?) in Detroit on July 19th in celebration of his 37th birthday. If you are in the Detroit area, do stop by. Please remember that in our congregation, the honorary custom for birthday gatherings is to bring a bottle of tequila and some limes.

Speaking of tequila and parties, the church of the blogosphere would like to plan something similar in New York. If you are interested in coming out to Long Island for a night of church-sanctioned debauchery, please contact me.

John Cole would like to announce that he has completed his studies and finally found a timely companion to Godwin's Law. For more information on Gorejack, please visit John.

We regret to announce that Brother Kevin, who is in an Undisclosed Middle Easter Country (tm), was the victim of a fire on his base. He and his fellow soldiers lost almost all of their personal belongings. To help them recover their losses (and, as good members in faith of the church of the blogosphere, I know that's what you want to do) please make a donation through Kevin here. There are also pictures.

If you have anything you would like to add to add to the bulletin, please feel free.

If you would like to prepare for tonight's sermon, go here.

I'd like to end this with the blogger's prayer:

may your links be plentiful
may your trolls fall silent
and may you one day know the glory
of the instalanche

You may now face the potrait of Mr. Lileks as we begin our silent meditation.

burn, baby, burn

So, you're an environmental activist who hates urban sprawl. You want to make that point clear to anyone who will listen, so what to do? How do you, a lover of the environment and the earth, let your voice be heard?

Why, you burn down houses!

Nevermind all that smoke and pollution that the fire has you caused has just created. Nevermind that the poor trees and grass and flowers around the house were just incinerated. You made your point, congratulations!

Remember kids, only you can prevent urban sprawl. Go straight to your nearest ELF headquarters and buy some accelerant and matches. You'll be on your way to saving the environment in no time at all. ELF means Earth Liberation Front, so keep in mind that nothing liberates like flames, destruction, violence and anarchy.

[Here is where I would usually grab some quotes from the ELF website detailing the ways in which they use violence and destruction to make their points but - suprise! - Websense is blocking it as an "extremist and militant" website. You don't say].

a-z song contest scoring update

More scoring updates. Adi has taken the lead by a long stride with 80 points. Justin B. has the current low score, with nine.

I marked off where the newer scores start. You can still play until 4pm EST today. Let's see if anyone can go lower or higher. You should have some things figured out by now, so this is where it pays to be late.

UPDATE: I stand corrected. Andy has the lowest score, by simple virtue of his going out of his way to annoy me and thus ward off my stalker-like obession with him for another day.

Also, I may have to go back and deduct from anyone who used a Ministry song, just for idiot Al's comments noted here by Steve Gigl [I always thought Al was a bit of a jerk, even though I love his music]. However, I am both too lazy and hungry to do that now, so the score stands as it is for now.

Come to think of it, I think he's stalking me.

This is how the scoring went:

Ten points for finishing the alphabet
One point for each song I knew
Five points for each song I have an mp3 of

Bonus points given when I felt like it.

Points taken away for any song that made my skin crawl.

In order of appearance:

Solonor: 27 [Bonus points for Dead Puppies]

Jay Caruso: 45 [Minus points for ďAll of My Love,Ē the worst Led Zeppelin song ever]

Laurence Simon: 33 [Bonus for Ren & Stimpy]

Graham Lester: 45 [Bonuses for ELP, Tom Robinson]

CG Hill: 36 [Bonus points for Sultans of Swing and the good memories it comes with, but minus points for Killing Me Softly, one of my most hated songs ever]

Craig: 62 [I have a lot of mp3s from his list]

Sekimori: 40 [Bonus points for Tori Amos doing Iím not in Love]

Steve Gigl: 75 [He must own the same mp3 collection as me, plus he was wise enough to include a Faith No More song, which got him brownie points]

Keith: 20 [He got bonus points for including Lowell George song, but blew it all by using Leo Sayer, who is the anti-christ, but then I added on ten points because he included the Long Island that wouldnít die, Zebra]

Brendan: 44 [Bonus for Atari Teenage Riot and for a list that reads like the best of rivet head music]

Sunidesus: 25 [Bonus points because we were watching Oh Brother Where Art Thou last night]

Mrs. du Toit: 27 [Bonus for South Pacific songs]
Mara: 25 [Minus points for Bruce Springsteen. Sorry, itís an ex thing]

Jason: 75 [He racked up the bonus points by including: a Faith No More song; Drawing Flies, the best Soundgarden song ever and Unsung, my favorite Helmet song]

Andy: 5 [Andy had it going on - Radiohead, Pumpkins, Hedwig and the Angry Inch - but he blew it by using Meatloaf, which, if he read my blog on a daily basis like he claims he does, he would know that just last week I posted about how much I hate that song]

Ben: 30[I took away points for Wham and Barbra Streisand, but h earned a few back with Tone Loc and Urge Overkill]

Yvonne: 30: [She almost had me at Word Up, but then she blew it with Climax and Madonna]

Webgrrlie: 30[Minus points for reminding me of an era when music sucked the big one]
JustLisa: 22 [I was going to give her a big fat zero for including Creed, but she salvaged herself with Patsy Cline]

Dave: 23 [Kokomo? Do you have any idea how much I despise that song? Guess not]

Faith: 20 [She had Little Feat. She had Volare. She had Up on Cripple Creek. And then she went and included one of the worst songs ever made, Harry Chapinís Taxi. However, she included my parents ďsong.Ē Georgia, and the kept Faith from getting a big fat zero]

Steve B: 30 [A couple of Bonus Points for my favorite Radiohead song, Fake Plastic Trees]

AimeeC: 46[Bonus points for Clutch and Life of Agony]

Ruthie: 28 [Bonus for Bloodhound Gang]

The Real Keith: 44 [Mucho bonus points for Kick out the Jams]

Christine: 27 [Bonus for reminding me of that great Steve Forbert song and another bonus for the aforementioned Zebra]

Sean: 25 [Went and downloaded the Yazoo song. Great memories]

Poppy: 50 [Bonus for including the band Acid Bath]

AC: 50 [Bonuses for my favorite Scorpions song and for the Korn X-mas song which brought me a lot of stupid laughs a few years ago]

Zoe: 38[Got bonus for Dominique, which my mother used to sing to us when we were younger, but blew those bonus points by including Poison]

Shalegrey: 34 [This was a tough one - The Biohazard/Onyx song brought many bonus points, but I had to take some off because creativity does not count here and the song is A Message to You, Rudy and no amount of wrangling will let someone put that under R. However, Flogging Molly got some of those points back]

Buzz: 25 [Bonus points for the aforementioned Georgia]

Chef Mojo: 52: [Bonuses for including Nick Cave and the Damned and for mentioning Love and Rockets on Ball of Confusion]

Lesley: 40 [Bonuses for giving me that 80's new wave vibe and for Temptation, the best New Order song ever]

Kinyada: 50 [Extra, extra bonus points for including Dr. Frankís song]

Jane: 44: [She scored the biggest one song bonus point for including Bobby Bareís Quaaludes Again. I totally forgot about that song until now. Flashbacks. Holy shit, Shel Silverstein wrote that song?!?]

Mike: 45 [Bonus for including Fear and for the Who song 5:15]

Russ: 25 [Minus points for Eddie Money]

roger and me

meet rogerstein, my father's creationI have a love/hate relationship with Roger Clemens. I love the Yankees, but I hate him. Thereís no doubt that Clemens is an amazing pitcher. Heíll go down in history when he gets his 300th win, heíll be elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. But I just canít bring myself to like him.

I hated Clemens when he was on the Red Sox. I found to him to be a selfish, whiny, unpredictable player. There is nothing I despise in all of sports more than a selfish player. Itís why I was never a Rickey Henderson fan, even when he played for the Yankees. So when Clemens donned the pinstripes, I couldnít automatically turn off the disdain I had for him. It stuck. He proved worthy of my venom with the whole Piazza incident. Nothing since or before that has made me think he is anything but a creep.

Yesterday he went for this 300th win, which would gain a bit of immortality and put him in fine company. And there I was not rooting for him. Not rooting against the Yankees, per se, but not feeling awful that Clemens was obviously going to be pulled from the game. I hoped for the best of both worlds; that the Yankees would beat the Sox, but Clemens wouldnít get the win. Oh, I know he will get his 300th win eventually, I just would rather it not be at Yankee Stadium against his former team; let it happen against Detroit, when no one will be watching, anyhow. Or less people, at least.

Iím sure my Yankee Fan in Good Standing card will be revoked for this, but itís not going to break my heart if something should happen that would prevent Clemens from getting his 300th.

As long as the Yankees still finish first, of course.

Hey, itís called a fantasy, so shut up.

i'm a star!

I went trolling the Indymedia boards this morning, looking for something to rant about and what do I see? A picture of me. Yes, me. And a whole post dedicated to me from my new friend, Vince.

See, I wrote about Vince the Indymedia whore and his idiotic rantings and ravings last week. Seems Vince googled himself to see if anyone was paying attention to him and he came across this post.

Apparently things I am this person who goes by the name of Blah and posts ridiculous, hateful comments on all of Vince's Indymedia blatherings.

Apparently Vince didn't take the time to read through anything around here except the one entry he found on Google, because he says "Now I understand her hatred of gays," in referring to me as this Blah person. Sorry Vince, wrong answer.

At first I got upset seeing my picture there, in super large size, and my words slathered across the putrid face of Indymedia.

And then I realized I don't really care.

So welcome, Indymedia readers. Make yourself at home here at the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Headquarters. Have a look around and see for yourself how I use my powers (and sometimes the Jedi mind trick) to draw people into the deep, dark well of neo-conism. I bet Ted Rall sent you.

Now, Vince. I'm waiting for an apology, or for you to admit you were wrong. I'm assuming you will print a retraction and/or take the offending post down. You know, just like you all of your buddies apologized and admitted you were wrong about the looting in Iraq, or that it was sanctions killing Iraqi children, not Saddam.

Oh man, I crack myself up.

UPDATE Mr. Blah has shown up on the Indy post to make himself known and make it clear that I am not he. I'm sure Vince is right now readying a knee-slapping Photoshop of some Zionist conspiracy, so I'll wait a bit for his apology and retraction. And wait.

May 26, 2003

i missed her so

As you can see, Lenore is back. You would not believe how many emails I get a week asking where she's gone to.

I think I've used a variation of Lenore so many times, I really should buy tons of stuff from Roman Dirge just because. Or I could send all of you to Spookyland.com, where you will fall in love with Lenore and her buddies and make Roman richer than he is.

Anyone who emailed me over the weekend asking me to link to stuff, I will make the proper announcements tomorrow.

call me morbid, call me pale

I am completely drained and so very, very tired. The past few days, filled with activity, have sucked the very life force from my body.

Oh, and if the sun doesn't come out soon, I'm going to hang myself. Rain, clouds, grey, cold. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's making me tired, depressed, lethargic, moody and morose.

Oh my god, I'm Morrisey!

In case you missed it, I posted (below) and update on scoring for the A-Z contest. Still time to enter. I'll announce the winner some time tomorrow.

memorial





Today is Memorial Day. We honor our war dead today for the sacrifice they made for us and for our freedoms. Today I also choose to honor Peter J. Ganci, who died in an undeclared war - a war of hatred. On September 11, 2001, Pete died making the ultimate sacrifice.

The war against the United States was engaged long before 9/11. Every act of terrorism is an act of war, so I choose to remember Pete Ganci today in the way that one remembers a war hero.



My father, quoted in the book Out of the Blue: The Story of September 11, 2001, from Jihad to Ground Zero, By Richard Bernstein and the staff of the New York Times.

"Firefighters, the good ones anyway, live to do a good job at the right places - that's all you want to do," said Angelo Catalano, a firefighter who served in the same company as Ganci when both of them were young. "And Pete hated the guys who were skaters."

"Some officers who rise in the ranks have never paid their dues," Catalano said. "You see guys running the show who really don't understand. But Pete paid his dues."

Ganci was the kind of guy that all the other guys wanted to be photographed with. His old collegues at Ladder 124, where he first made his reputation, had bragging rights because they had served with "The Chief" when he was a mere lieutenant. When Ganci went to the national fire chiefs' conclaves in other cities, he was treated like a movie star. "It was as if God himself walked in the door," Catalano said......Firemen see their ladder and engine companies and their rescue squads as their families. "You're close when you fight a fire," McCarthy said. "You'd rather see yoruself hurt than the guy next to you, honestly." And Pete, in this sense, was the perfect familly man.

Looking forward to his retirement, Ganci and [his wife] Kathleen bought a condominium in Florida and they expected to begin using it soon. Ganci planned to play a lot of golf at the nearby East Lake Woodlands Country Club. But up to September 11, Ganci, busy as always, had nevef once visited it. On [one] Sunday when he went clamming with [colleague] Dan Nickola, he was debating with himself about the future, knowing that he wanted to keep going as a firefighter a bit longer, while his family wanted him to retire. But two days later, on September 11, he was up early, as always, and off to work.

Today, weather permitting, I will attend a ceremony where the Farmingdale, Long Island Post Office will be renamed the "Peter J. Ganci, Jr., Post Office Building."

On this day, I will also remember every single soldier who died so I can live free.





md3.gifYes, most of us will have parties and barbecues today after we attend parades and ceremonies and listen to speeches. We wil bow our heads in rememberance and some of us will pray and some of us will give silent thanks.

There's nothing wrong with going home afterwards to spend the day with family and friends, having a picnic or celebrating the coming summer.

Just remember what this day is for. When you raise that first cold one to your lips, give a toast to those who this holiday is for. Remember their families, as well.

When you exercise any of your freedoms today, remember those who fought and died so you can enjoy them.

Remember every victim of terrorism against this country for they too are casualties of war.

As stated by a very compassionate person, "The best Memorial to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in our defense is the one you must construct in your heart; the one you look at each day, however briefly, on your way around the mundane chores, the necessary work, perhaps even the heroic efforts you perform."

And another quote: "They did not fear to give up their lives for our liberty. So in undying gratitude should we be sure to never give up our liberty for fear."

A-Z game update

I wasn't going to blog today, but seeing as how the floodgates have opened and Noah's Ark should be coming along any minute, I have nothing better to do.

Below you will find the scoring so far in the A-Z contest. The scores are in order of appearance, not by points. Sorry.

Please note that while I went wild with the random taking away and adding of points at whim, I always noted why points were given or subtracted and that the person who is in the lead (Steve Gigl) would be in the lead anyhow, even if no bonus points were issued.

For scoring rules, see the original game post.

For complaints about scoring, leave a comment. I'll be happy to explain my mad method. Doesn't mean anything will change, but at least you'll know why.

This is how the scoring went:

10 points for finishing the alphabet
One point for each song I knew
Five points for each song I have an mp3 of

Bonus points given when I felt like it.

Points taken away for any song that made my skin crawl.

In order of appearance:

Solonor: 27 [Bonus points for Dead Puppies]
Jay Caruso: 45 [Minus points for ďAll of My Love,Ē the worst Led Zeppelin song ever
Laurence Simon: 33 [Bonus for Ren & Stimpy]
Graham Lester: 45 [Bonuses for ELP, Tom Robinson]
CG Hill: 36 [Bonus points for Sultans of Swing and the good memories it comes with, but minus points for Killing Me Softly, one of my most hated songs ever]
Craig: 62 [I have a lot of mp3s from his list]
Sekimori: 40 [Bonus points for Tori Amos doing Iím not in Love]
Steve Gigl: 75 [He must own the same mp3 collection as me, plus he was wise enough to include a Faith No More song, which got him brownie points]
Keith: 20 [He got bonus points for including Lowell George song, but blew it all by using Leo Sayer, who is the anti-christ, but then I added on ten points because he included the Long Island that wouldnít die, Zebra]
Brendan: 44 [Bonus for Atari Teenage Riot and for a list that reads like the best of rivet head music]
Sunidesus: 25 [Bonus points because we were watching O hBrother Where Art Thou last night]
Mrs. du Toit: 27 [Bonus for South Pacific songs]
Mara: 25 [Minus points for Bruce Springsteen. Sorry, itís an ex thing]
Jason: 7 5[He racked up the bonus points by including: a Faith No More song; Drawing Flies, the best Soundgarden song ever and Unsung, my favorite Helmet song]
Andy: 5 [Andy had it going on - Radiohead, Pumpkins, Hedwig and the Angry Inch - but he blew it by using Meatloaf, which, if he read my blog on a daily basis like he claims he does, he would know that just last week I posted about how much I hate that song]
Ben: 30[I took away points for Wham and Barbra Streisand, but h earned a few back with Tone Loc and Urge Overkill]
Yvonne: 30: [She almost had me at Word Up, but then she blew it with Climax and Madonna]
Webgrrlie: 30[Minus points for reminding me of an era when music sucked the big one]
JustLisa: 22 [I was going to give her a big fat zero for including Creed, but she salvaged herself with Patsy Cline]
Dave: 23 [Kokomo? Do you have any idea how much I despise that song? Guess not]
Faith: 20 [She had Little Feat. She had Volare. She had Up on Cripple Creek. And then she went and included one of the worst songs ever made, Harry Chapinís Taxi. However, she included my parents ďsong.Ē Georgia, and the kept Faith from getting a big fat zero]
Steve B: 30 [A couple of Bonus Points for my favorite Radiohead song, Fake Plastic Trees]
AimeeC: 46[Bonus points for Clutch and Life of Agony]
Ruthie: 28 [Bonus for Bloodhound Gang]
The Real Keith: 44 [Mucho bonus points for Kick out the Jams]
Christine: 27 [Bonus for reminding me of that great Steve Forbert song and another bonus for the aforementioned Zebra]
Sean: 25 [Went and downloaded the Yazoo song. Great memories]
Poppy: 50 [Bonus for including the band Acid Bath]
AC: 50 [Bonuses for my favorite Scorpions song and for the Korn X-mas song which brought me a lot of stupid laughs a few years ago]
Zoe: 38[Got bonus for Dominique, which my mother used to sing to us when we were younger, but blew those bonus points by including Poison]
Shalegrey: 34 [This was a tough one - The Biohazard/Onyx song brought many bonus points, but I had to take some off because creativity does not count here and the song is A Message to You, Rudy and no amount of wrangling will let someone put that under R. However, Flogging Molly got some of those points back]
Buzz: 25 [Bonus points for the aforementioned Georgia]
Chef Mojo: 52: [Bonuses for including Nick Cave and the Damned and for mentioning Love and Rockets on Ball of Confusion]
Lesley: 40 [Bonuses for giving me that 80's new wave vibe and for Temptation, the best New Order song ever]
Kinyada: 50 [Extra, extra bonus points for including Dr. Frankís song]
Jane: 44: [She scored the biggest one song bonus point for including Bobby Bareís Quaaludes Again. I totally forgot about that song until now. Flashbacks. Holy shit, Shel Silverstein wrote that song?!?]
Mike: 45 [Bonus for including Fear and for the Who song 5:15]
Russ: 25 [Minus points for Eddie Money]


That's where I'm up to now, I'll add as I can.

May 25, 2003

photo op

I've been going through about 700 pictures I have saved on disks, discarding the crap shots, photoshopping some into oblivion and smiling at memories. I'll most likely throw a bunch of them into a photoessay this week - it's been a while since I've done that.

Meanwhile, here's two of my favorite pictures from my wedding. Each one captures the subject in a way that totally reveals their personalities. And they are both bloggers, so go visit them, will ya?

That's Nancy and Chris.

the a-z song game [updated to include new rules]

I'm keeping with my somewhat new tradition of trying to stay away from news/war/politics blogging on weekends, even though several things are lighting a fire under my itchy blogging fingers right now. I'll save it for Tuesday. Tomorrow will bring one post and one post only.

Anyhow, I thought we would play some more games, if you are so inclined.

When I was younger, I had trouble falling asleep (ok, I had trouble falling asleep until I started taking Paxil last year). Instead of counting sheep or chugging NyQuil I would make up games in my head, usually word games.

One thing I did was go through the alphabet and try to name a band for each letter. At one point, it became rote, the bands never changing from night to night. To give you an idea of where my musical allegiance was in the 70's, my list contained the following string of band -Jerry Garcia, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Marshall Tucker - ok, I'll stop embarassing myself now.

When the well ran dry on bands, I went to songs. That could be different every night and usually I would be asleep before I hit the end of the alphabet. Good thing, because It's hard to come up with songs for X and Z.

I haven't played the song game in years. I thought we would play together, and I would throw in a few rules to make it harder.

First, you cannot repeat the same artist twice. So you can't fill up the list with songs by K.C. and the Sunshine Band. Sorry.

Second, when I will score your results. You get ten points for finishing the alphabet, plus one point for each song that I know, five points for each song I happen to have an mp3 of.

Third, we're going on the honor system. I trust that you will not be going through song lists on lyrics sites. I prefer you use songs that you can actually sing or have some knowledge of.

Fourth, the results of this game will be recorded into history. That is, I will find mp3s of all the songs listed in your alphabet and make a cd of it. The cd will be titled with your name. So choose your songs carefully because some day when my next of kin are digging my decomposed body out from years of collected junk in my run down shack and they come across a cd with your name on it and they advertise in the local paper to find out who you are and if you had anything to do with my missing social security checks, you do not want that cd list printed in the paper if it contains the song "Muskrat Love," right?

Fifth, if no one enters or just one person enters I will delete this entry and pretend it never existed. Don't you just love the internet?

UPDATEBecause this is my game and I'm allowed to make up rules as I go along, I decided that I would abritrarily give points to people who remind me of good songs I haven't heard in a long time or include any song on my all-time favorite list and deduct points from those who get really bad songs stuck in my head or dredge up horrible memories of romance gone wrong.

dig that bass!

Holy surround sound, batman!

My Justin's new home digital theater system kicks all ass.

It's making me giddy.

Now, all I need a large screen flat panel tv. I figure if I put one on my Amazon wishlist some rich senile person will come by here, read one of my Anna Nicole Smith posts, think I'm her, and purchase it for me.

And then I'll need a house with a bigger living room. If I watched a big screen tv in here, I'd go cross-eyed.

captain's blog

In case you needed more proof that blogs have gone mainstream, check out these scans from the latest issue of Nickelodeon Magazine:

Aye, matey.

May 24, 2003

brief thought

My thoughts on the Bar Mitzvah ceremony later (I had never been to one, most fascinating).

My one thought right now: If the Catholic churches had cushioned seats like temples, maybe more people would go to church.

Now, off to the party portion of the day.

mazel tov

That's Natalie and Josh. They were about three years old when that picture was taken, laughing in a way that only three year olds can laugh. It's my favorite picture of the two of them together, out of a collection of several hundred.

I met Josh's mother Barbara when Natalie had just turned a year old and Josh was a month or two shy of his first birthday. I had joined the local Mother's Center in the hopes of meeting someone else who wanted to talk about nothing but their baby's bowel movements and which brand of stroller was best. We became fast friends, joined together by a mutual disdain for some of the more controlling members of the Center and we very rarely talked about poop or projectile vomiting. Our friendship was forged not so much on our children, but on our mutual respect of each other's values and goals. Plus, she had the same black sense of humor as me. Laughter solidifies a friendship like nothing else.

That was back in 1991. I didn't imagine then that I would still be such close friends with Barbara, that 12 years later I would be going to Josh's Bar Mitzvah.

It's not the same watching someone else's kid grow up. I keep remembering Josh as a baby, a toddler, a small child. I remember his fascination with Thomas the Tank Engine. I remember his obsession with Power Rangers. The way he was an incredibly fussy eater, how he had a wicked temper, how he was the most stubborn child I had ever come across.

Now, he is this even tempered young man who will eat anything you put in front of him. He's tall and handsome and a gifted athlete. He plays the trombone as well as he plays third base and he is kind, generous and caring.

Josh and his young brother Corey have been like sons to me all these years, as much as Barbara has been like a sister. I yell at them as if they were my own kids. They fight with Natalie and DJ like siblings, but they laugh together as the best of friends.

Today I'll watch Josh become a man, in the parlance of Judaism. It both depresses me and warms my heart to see the person he has become. It's that bittersweet moment when you realize that someone has grown up before your very eyes and you think, he can't be thirteen years old, just yesterday I was watching him take his first step! I'm awfully proud of Josh, and proud of his parents, my dear friends, for raising such a wonderful child.

Congratulations, Joshua. May your journey through the rest of your life be guided by the love of your family and friends.

blogging baby

Birth blogging? Could it be a new trend?

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Bigwig and daughter Ngnat on the newest addition to their family - Colin James Stafford, aka Scotty McSulu.

I hope he takes after his mom.

May 23, 2003

musical interlude

We're going out with the whole family for Justin's birthday in a little bit. My usual Friday night drunken banter will be delayed a few hours.

Meanwhile, here's a real treat for you.

Weird Al - Angry White Boy mp3 (7,115kb)

Ten points to anyone who names all the song in this fine polka medley. I can, even without asking Chris Pirillo. (Hey! Don't look at that link until after you've tried to name the songs!)

the good wife

My husband's birthday is Sunday (the first person who makes a sarcastic comment about his age gets stabbed with a spork).

I went out today during lunch to get his present. I figured since I already bought The Art of Hellboy for him, I'd just pick up a little something else.

So I got this.

And this.

You wish you were married to me.

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men

Michael over at Insomnygen wrote yesterday about the Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory remake ala Tim Burton.

I love Tim Burton, I adore almost everything he has made. Let's not talk about Planet of the Apes, ok?

Image from the novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I can visualize the whimsy with which Burton would remake this classic - it's the casting that worries me.

Michael sees Marilyn Manson as Wonka. I remember hearing years ago that Manson was tapped for a Wonka redo. The thought made my skin crawl.

No, I am not one of those full-fledged Manson haters who thinks he swallowed the devil whole and will eat your children next. In fact, I own almost all of his collection. And while he is an actor above all else (does anyone really believe that the persona of Marilyn Manson is the persona of Brian Warner?), he is not a movie actor. I do not think he can pull off the part of Willie Wonka without turning that character into Marilyn Manson.

I'm sure with Burton at the helm, this version will differ in many ways from the original. I expect it will be much darker, story wise and much brighter and gaudier, scenery wise.

Perhaps we should make the casting suggestions for Burton. Let's cast the movie - as many characters as you can come up with actors for - and I'll fire off an email to him, which will never be read, of course. But that doesn't mean we can't have some fun with this, anyhow.

[Here's the original cast for character reference]

thank you

Thanks to everyone who wrote last night with words of encouragement and good advice. I take it all to heart, and I promise to get back to every one of you today.

I have the kindest, most generous and thoughtful readers and friends anywhere.

Thank you.

Saddam's dead baby parade

Doctors say Hussein, not UN sanctions, caused children's deaths

Throughout the 13 years of UN sanctions on Iraq that were ended yesterday, Iraqi doctors told the world that the sanctions were the sole cause for the rocketing mortality rate among Iraqi children.

"It is one of the results of the embargo," Dr. Ghassam Rashid Al-Baya told Newsday on May 9, 2001, at Baghdad's Ibn Al-Baladi hospital, just after a dehydrated baby named Ali Hussein died on his treatment table. "This is a crime on Iraq."

It was a scene repeated in hundreds of newspaper articles by reporters required to be escorted by minders from Saddam Hussein's Ministry of Information.

Now free to speak, the doctors at two Baghdad hospitals, including Ibn Al-Baladi, tell a very different story. Along with parents of dead children, they said in interviews this week that Hussein turned the children's deaths into propaganda, notably by forcing hospitals to save babies' corpses to have them publicly paraded.

The fighting words of the left, pre-dating the war, were sanctions killed all those Iraqis, not Saddam.

The U.S. starved the babies. The U.S. was killing the children and poor people of Iraq.

Under the sanctions regime, "We had the ability to get all the drugs we needed," said Ibn Al-Baladi's chief resident, Dr. Hussein Shihab. "Instead of that, Saddam Hussein spent all the money on his military force and put all the fault on the USA. Yes, of course the sanctions hurt - but not too much, because we are a rich country and we have the ability to get everything we can by money. But instead, he spent it on his palaces."

How is the left going to spin this? Are they going to call it a lie? Propaganda? Another conspiracy by "BushCo?"

This is what many of us have been saying all along. Saddam killed his own people. Saddam starved them, kept medicines from them. But the left laughed in our faces and scolded us for believing in filthy lies.

Turns out they aren't lies after all. And we were right.

Just as with the teary-eyed people who decried the massive looting of the Iraq museum that turned out not to be a massive looting, the left will react to this news one of two ways; they will either be disturbingly quiet or they will drum up some fantasy laden web of distorted facts and claim that this story is fake.

"Saddam Hussein, he's the murderer, not the UN," said Dr. Azhar Abdul Khadem, a resident at the Al-Alwiya maternity hospital in Baghdad.

Doctors said they were forced to refrigerate dead babies in hospital morgues until authorities were ready to gather the little corpses for monthly parades in coffins on the roofs of taxis for the benefit of Iraqi state television and visiting journalists. The parents were ordered to wail with grief - no matter how many weeks had passed since their babies had died - and to shout to the cameras that the sanctions had killed their children, the doctors said. Afterward, the parents would be rewarded with food or money.

Read the rest, as they say. It's quite telling.

May 22, 2003

thinking

I find that I just don't have the strength, stamina or brain power to write about war or politics at night. Which is fine, because you can't be all vitriolic and indignant 24 hours a day. Well you can, but the sex is really lousy when you spend your entire day fuming about world events.

I've got better things to think about. Like I was thinking about writing more. No, not blogging more. Writing more. On the blog, but in a different way. Ok, I know what I'm talking about. That's what's important here.

I was thinking about finding an agent. Is there an agent in the house?

I was thinking of how I wanted to be nothing but a writer since I about seven, how holding a pencil in my hand at that young age made me feel alive and importannt and how thrilling it was to string letters together to make words and string words together to make sentences and how, if you made enough sentences, they could form a story. It felt powerful then. It still does.

I was thinking how I never did anything with that power. How I dismissed every person who encouraged me, how I blew all the chances that I had because I was afraid of rejection, afraid that my words weren't worthy of being stamped into a book. A book. Only the people who knew how to wield a pen as if it were a syphon from their brain to paper had words set down in a book.

So I syphoned. I wrote. I wrote more. And the letters and words and sentences sat in boxes upon boxes, stuffed under my bed and in my closet where the evetually lost their power because no one read them.

I was thinking of taking all those thoughts out of their boxes. All the stories and poems and twenty page essays on love and life and the funny things that happen when try to witness the world.

I was thinking how I never reallly let myself become the one thing I ever wanted to be because I was afraid I didn't really own the ability to be that thing. To be a writer.

And now that I'm 40, I'm thinking that I might, just might, have that ability, but I left that door closed for so long I don't even know how to begin to open it.

I guess I could start by knocking.

is that guy hot or not?

If I had a nickel for every time I heard a guy say "If I were gay or a girl I'd do him," in reference to another guy, I'd have a couple of nickels. Most of the time I've heard that phrase it was reference to Mike Patton. Today, Treacher said it about Tim Blair.

It takes a special kind of man to say something like that. Women, they do it all the time. We're not afraid to admit that other girls are sexy. We don't even qualify it by saying "if I was a guy...," we just say "Man, I'd do her in a minute."

What are you guys so hung up about that you can't say "Holy shit, that guy is hot!"?

I'm going to triple-dog-dare you men. Come on, don't be afraid. It's just me you're talking to. There has to be at least one guy in this world besides yourself that you find to be really good looking or sexy.

Hey, you gay guys can't answer! This is for straight men only.

Ok, fine. You can answer, too.

There better be at least one brave soul to comment before I get home from work.

gratuitous desk picture

looks like a clear case of steroid abuse to me
[click.large.]


Yes, I'm an adult. Why do you ask?

UPDATE: Here's Kevin Murphy's picture of his desk. You got one to share?

return of the hanging chads

Fox TV will do an internal audit of the American Idol voting after disparate tally numbers were announced on the show at different times last night.

How long before Ted Rall writes a column claiming Ruben was selected not elected?

anyone have a carrot?

I'm joining a gym today. Well, not so much a gym but a fitness center. There is a difference.

My sister's wedding is in 16 days. I need to lose several inches and many pounds before then. Oh, I know it won't happen, but if I lose something I will be happy.

I like junk food. I like everything that is really bad for you and loaded with carbs. I am lazy, tired and unmotivated. I need more than the goal of looking halfway decent in a dress I'll never wear again and at which event I am wearing said dress will coincide with my being too drunk to really care. Besides, the dress has a nice sheer jacket that goes over it.

I need motivation. Give me motivation. I need that proverbial carrot in front of me. A prize, if you will. Even if it's only your undying adoration.

Threats work for me, too.

this war made possible by the following sponsors

My boss received an email from his good friend, who is the Executive Officer of the U.S.S. Teddy Roosevelt.

I'm happy to say this will be my last installment for this deployment. We passed the Straits of Gibraltar yesterday (headed westbound), and we'll fly off our 8 jets off Theodore Roosevelt and back into Jacksonville next Wednesday. The ship will pull into Norfolk on the 29th. We've got quite a few anxious sailors ready to get home and take some well deserved time off.

It ain't over till the paperwork's done, so we're putting the finishing touches on all our end-of-deployment reports and briefs due upon our return. As you can imagine, wars can be expensive. I've attached a picture that one of our industrious computer experts put together. It's a combination of NASCAR meets Navy Air, not sure it's enough to pay the bills, but something worth considering.

He included this photo:


[click for larger image]

Imagine: This moment of Shocke and Awe brought to you by Tide laundry detergent - the preferred method for removing the blood of Saddam apologists from dirty uniforms!

in dreams

photo taken by meIn my dream I could not tell the difference between smoke and clouds. The sky was filled with both, and the columns and wisps of white and gray mingled and danced until one was the other and it didn't matter because either way I was being smothered.

The rest of the dream doesn't matter. It's the same dream I have every so often, the one where it is September 11, 2001 and the sky is falling. My fear brings me here, to the morning after when I wake shaking and catching my breath and for that quick, unreal second I think I dreamed the whole thing. And then I lay in the semi-darkness, listening to the rain pound a beat on the window and I want back that nanosecond when it was all just a product of my imagination and the world is fine.

I laugh at every new color coordinated terror alert. I make jokes at the expense of Homeland security and scoff at the reports of chatter and the news that maybe, just maybe but perhaps not, the target is New York again, and they will come by land or by sea or by plane. It's oh, so easy to laugh in the daylight.

When night comes the haunting comes in the form a a giant gremlin named What If and he brings all of his baggage and hunkers down for the night, refusing to leave.

What if they are right this time? What if the threat is real? What if we are losing the war on terrorism or worse, what if we have already lost and we just won't know that until the sky is on fire and the ground is shaking?

A plane flies over my home, the rumble vibrating my window. It's a huge plane, carrying over 300 people destined for meetings, romance, family reunions. No, no. I am no longer afraid of airplanes. I am afraid of my fear, the fear that comes to me in my dreams in monstrous forms - headless children, bombs, fires, dragons - and strangles me in my sleep.

It brings me here, to the waking world, where I can see the daylight and become distracted by life. I forget the real, deep frights that beckon me at night. War, terror, missing children, loneliness. They all take on a not me, not here form during the day, when life and living is a magical pendant against the nightmares of the night and the thoughts that creep into my dreaming life can be ignored or dismissed or pushed away.

The day is here. Life is for the living, not the dreaming. I have miles to go before I sleep, before I dream and release the fear again.

May 21, 2003

got a favorite charity?

This year's blogathon is July 26th.

Last year I blogged 24 hours straight and raised a nice sum of money for the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Sure, it ended up being a big old boobie blog, but it was all in fun and all for a good cause.

New year, new charity. Suggestions being taken now.

No, you don't count as a charity. Sorry.

honest jim's bargain basement!

I bought something. Did you?

Support wicked humor and stinging commentary. Shop at Jim's.

Ok, so I bought a mug. But I figured the thong would get your attention

game night 2: because i've got no real content

I don't care if you don't want to play a game or not. We're playing.

6 short sound bites. All from cartoons.

Whoever gets all six wins my undying respect and a membership in my "I watch too much tv" club.

One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six

ok, i'll lighten up

Someone told me to lighten up today, so I guess I'll tell some jokes.

Mary Jane was walking through the forest, and a squirrel ran up her skirt. Mary Jane just laughed and laughed; she knew there weren't any nuts up there.

There's more inside, if you dare.

Mary Jane was walking down the street when a man pulled her into a dark alley and started ripping off all her clothes. Mary Jane just laughed and laughed; she knew her clothes wouldn't fit him.

Mary Jane was playing on the swings one day, swinging higher and higher. Her mother came out and said, "Mary Jane, don't you swing to high, the boys will be able to see your underwear." But Mary Jane just laughed and laughed; she knew she wasn't wearing any underwear.

Mary Jane was with her mom at the fabric store when she saw a sign "Felt 10 cents." Mary Jane just laughed and laughed; she knew she could get felt for free.

Mary Jane was walking on the sea shore, and she saw a woman in the water yelling, "Help! Shark! Shark!" Mary Jane just laughed and laughed; she knew that shark wasn't going to help her.

Mary Jane burnt down the barn one day, and her mother said "Mary Jane! You're in big trouble when your father gets home!" Mary Jane just laughed and laughed; she knew her father was in that barn.

Mary Jane was crossing the street with her mother. As her mother stopped to pick up a quarter she was hit by a bus. Mary Jane just laughed and laughed; she knew it was only a nickel.

Mary Jane was walking down the street pushing a baby carriage when she came to a hill with a stop sign at the bottom. As she started down the hill the baby carriage got away from her and dangerously raced towards the intersection. Mary Jane just laughed and laughed; she knew the baby carriage wouldn't stop.

mr. rogers lied. you aren't special.

Much ado about commecement speeches these days. Why talk about politics when you would just offend someone? Why bring up war, peace, or suntan lotion? These kids are graduating from school. They just want to get their diploma and get on with the party and then their lives. Whether it be kindergarten, high school, law school or The School of Television Repair and Installing Illegal Cable Boxes for Cash Payments, everyone should get the same commencement speech.

Thus, I give you The Commencement Speech I Would Give If I Have Had to Give One.

Congratulations.

As you walk out of here in a few minutes, I want you to remember a few basic things.

Life is full of failure and misery. Get over it.

You are not going to be the next great artist or writer. You are never going to be on Oprah. You will not become an overnight success, an instant millionaire or an Oscar winning actor. You will know more failures than successes. Life will eat you up and spit you out on the sidewalk.

You will marry someone you despise at times and have kids you regret at times. Your wallet will be empty and sometimes you will feel your life is empty as well. You will drink a lot and smoke a lot and some day you will be wearing polyester pants and eating meatloaf at the local all-you-can-eat-buffet, bought for $5 with your senior citizen discount card.

You will never sleep with a super model or marry a NBA star. You will have relationships with people that suck the will to live right from your heart. You will be yelled at by your bosses and stabbed in the back by your employees.

Every tv show you love will be cancelled, all your favorite bands will break up and your beloved football team will all go to jail for placing bets against themselves.

But there will pie. There will always be pie. And you will eat it and you will feel better and for a few minutes life will not suck quite as hard as you thought it would.

Your pie may not look like a pie. It may come in the form of a good book, a best friend, a vial of crack or a strap-on and a leather thong. Get your rocks off when and how you can kids, because life is out there waiting for you and itís going to grab you by the balls and squeeze until you scream.

Now, get out there and have fun!

all the unborn chicken voices in my head

Disturbing news via Defense Tech:

The embryonic LifeLog program would take every e-mail you've sent or received, every picture you've taken, every web page you've surfed, every phone call you've had, every TV show you've watched, every magazine you've read, and dump it into a giant database.

All of this -- and more -- would be combined with a GPS transmitter, to keep tabs on where you're going; audio-visual sensors, to capture all that you see or say; and biomedical monitors, to keep track of your health

At the risk of sounding like a genuine nutcase, I'll share something with you. When I was younger, I had this notion that I was being watched. Everything I did, said, thought, ate, watched was being recorded on some giant television monitor in a super-secret control room in a super-secret location. There were people who spent their days doing nothing but recording my every move.

It got to the point where I would make asides to the "camera" or suddenly change the radio station when I was singing an embarassingly bad song.

I don't know why I assumed some government spies or aliens would be interested in the mundane life of a suburban adolescent. Perhaps, I thought, I was part of a great social experiment. Perhaps I was the model child and the beings from another world would kidnap me, suck my brains out and use pieces of my grey matter to create model children of their own. Well, I knew that wasn't very likely, but it still made for interesting daydreams. Every once in a while I would imagine that one of my celebrity crushes was paying a visit to the great super-secret monitor station in the sky and was watching my every move, exlaiming so that's what my number one fan does every day!

Stop looking at me like that. I was a lonely child.

So now this all comes back to me as I read about LifeLog and their ambitions to do exactly what I imagined my watchers doing all those years ago.

Of course, LifeLog is probably meant for criminals. Or would-be criminals. Or supsected criminals. Or people who they suspect might some day become suspected criminals. You know, people who are defiant. Oppositional. People who go against the grain and do it publicly so that anyone may see what they write and then determine them to be a sub-standard citizen and therefore a suspected future problem.

Cut to the not-so-distant future.

My childhood fears/daydreams have come true. I've been identified, tagged and labeled. Somewhere, in a super-secret room filled with super-secret people combing super-secret data, there is a giant monitor where men and women and possibly aliens in white lab coats are watching me throughout the day.

My thoughts are recorded. Every fart, nose pick and fixed wedgie is duly noted in the margins of the Grand Book of Michele. How incredibly boring. Sure, they may catch me performing an odd task here or there. Maybe I've indulged in some pot smoking or drove 60 in a 55 or stepped on a crack even though I knew it would break my mother's back.

What is suspicious? What makes the red lights and sirens go off in the super-secret center of data control? Is that a mysterious package I'm carrying? Did I really just say out loud that I want to kill Mike Bloomberg? Oops. The SWAT team swoops down on my house, rappelling down the chimney, surrounding the garden, waiting for me to come out of my house with an Uzi with Bloomberg's name on it.

This isn't what I envisioned back in fifth grade with my overactive imagination and my desire to make the world know that I owned a Led Zeppelin album. I just wanted to be cool. Having aliens read my mind or government officials keep tabs on my reading list was a way to let someone know I was not a complete nerd. So what if the only people who saw me reading Mad Magazine were figments of my imagination? At least they got the jokes and laughed along with me. Everyone else in my class was reading Goofus and Gallant and finding the hidden pictures in Highlights.

And then it hits me. This is total information awareness. I don't need DARPA to record my every action because I am doing it myself. I have a blog, and the weblog is my reality version of the super-secret giant monitor that showed my life played out before the white-coated technicians in my youth.

Except I'm doing the recording. I've made my own deranged fantasy come true without even realizing it. Here, I tell you when I brushed my teeth. I tell you what I had for lunch and what comic books I bought today and how I feel about the Middle East Roadmap for Peace.

You know what books I'm reading, what music I like, the stores I prefer to shop at and the food I like to eat. You know what I think of war, politics, religion and sex. You know when my kids are driving me crazy and when I've forgotten to take my Paxil and where I'm going for lunch today.

If anyone wanted to know anything about it me, it's all here in black and white pixels. By creating a weblog, I've made the ultimate window to my world. I've taken every paranoid delusion of my childhood and made it come true. Somewhere out there is a person scanning this page to find out what I'll be having lunch or what CD I'm going to listen to today. And, possibly, somwhere out there is a person scanning all these pages to find out if I'm a future suspected suspicious type person who might one day appear at Grand Central Station with a suspicious package.

Are Blogspot and Moveable Type government agents? Are they just part of a big ploy to eventually get us all to record our own moves so the government doesn't have to be bothered hiring the watchers?

Aha! Got you thinking, haven't I?

No? Perhaps you had to have those DARPA like delusions I once had in order to appreciate it.

Careful what you write, though.

May 20, 2003

mqt #4

I'm going to try to make these harder:

quote #4 (55kb)

First was Slapshot, which Kat was the first to get.

Second was Nothing to Lose, which Sarah got but claims she never really watched the movie. Riiiiiight.

Third was Better off Dead, guessed by Mr. Buzzstuff.

psa

chuckorange.jpg

The terror alert has been raised to ORANGE.

I repeat, the terror alert has been raised to ORANGE.

Please adjust your wardrobes accordingly.

side note

I've come to the conclusion that while people are generally very interested in participating in surveys and pontificating over topic of a survey, they are not all that interested in the results.

wolf

Interesting development which will probably turn out to be nothing but I'll blog it anyway.

All trains (LIRR, Amtrack, PATH) in and out of Penn Station, New York have stopped running. There is "police activity" at the NY/NJ bridges and tunnels.

I'm trying to dig something up other than the phone call we just got from my boss's son.

I'm sure it will end up being a false alarm. Goes with the heightened terror alert territory, I suppose.

UPDATE (thanks to Faith)

A portion of Penn Station has been evacuated Tuesday, after police received reports of a suspicious package aboard an Amtrak train.

The train in question, Amtrak No. 174, originated in Washington D.C. and is headed for Boston. During its regularly scheduled stop in Manhattan this morning, officials were notified of a suspicious package and passenger.

Prediction: The box will contain either a)cookies b)some college kid's dirty laundry or c) nothing.

would you like to play a game?

This looks like a fun diversion:

Popdex Game

These links are here so I can get 3,000 points
My Popdex Game Profile

Popdex

Metapop

[via Robyn, who always finds the links that suck my time away]

an ode to love

My sister's wedding is fast approaching - 18 days and counting. As her maid of honor, it is my duty to perform certain tasks. One of those tasks is to make a toast to the bride and groom at the reception.

I want to say something memorable, yet something that speaks of Rob and Lisa's love for each other; something that will capture the essence of their 14 year relationship and encapsulate it in words that the guests at the wedding reception will not only remember for a long time, but will make them realize the true meaning of what Lisa and Rob mean to each other.

Tall order, I know. But I think I've got. I will not write my own words because they cannot capture what I am going for. Instead, I will read these song lyrics, which define their courtship better than I could ever express. Have a tissue ready, folks.

Nerf Herder, Pantera Fans In Love

♥ Dedicated to Lisa and Rob ♥


I bleached my hair just like Vince Neil
Then you made me cut it like James Hetfield
We're gonna put an end to alternative rock
We'll find a way to make the Cranberries stop
We went to Sears for pictures at Christmastime
But they wouldn't let us make the metal sign
No they wouldn't let us make the metal sign

I'll bring the wine you bring the bread and cheese
It's hard to eat when you're headbanging
Makin' out in the middle of the pit
How come Slayer doesn't sing about this
If anything comes between you and me
Then heavy metal heaven, that's where we'll meet
We are Pantera fans in love

What's with these punk rock nerds, they can't even sing
I wish we'd never heard of The Offspring
A candlelit dinner, now we're holding hands
I taught you how to draw your first pentagram
We went miniature golfing but we didn't get far
Because we used the clubs to play air guitar
Oh we used the clubs to play air guitar now

I'll bring the wine you bring the bread and cheese
It's hard to eat when you're headbanging
Makin' out in the middle of the pit
How come Slayer doesn't sing about this
If anything comes between you and me
Then heavy metal heaven, that's where we'll meet
We are Pantera fans in love
We are we are Pantera fans in love

We saw Ozzy on our first date
Our special song is Crazy Train
Makin' out in the middle of the pit
How come Slayer doesn't sing about this
If anything comes between you and me
Then heavy metal heaven, that's where we'll meet
We are Metallica fans
We are Megadeth fans
We are Manowar fans in love
We are Pantera fans in love

the cow says chug!

PETAís new slogan in Wisconsin: Drink Beer, Not Milk.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently revived its "Drink beer, not milk" campaign in Wisconsin, urging college students to forgo dairy products in favor of alcoholic beverages. Milk, PETA says, is bad for the human body and the process of producing it is harmful to dairy cows.

Iím sure college students will take this slogan and run with it. Beer in your cereal, beer in your coffee, beer with a piece of chocolate cake. Who needs milk when you can have an Old Milwaukee to start your day?

"The scientific evidence is conclusive: Beer in moderation is good for you, while even one glass of milk supports animal abuse and harms your health," said Bruce Friedrich, PETA's director of vegan outreach. "You can drink beer responsibly, but the same can't be said of milk."

gotbeer.JPGSure you can drink beer responsibly, but how many college students do? And while you may see some of them get DWI tickets, youíll never see a student getting pulled over for driving under the influence of a dairy product.

But go ahead, save the cows, drink a beer. Who cares if you get behind the wheel or operate heavy machinery after drinking the beer? Who cares if you have to take an exam or write a paper? Not PETA. As long as you arenít hurting the animals, they donít give a damn what you do to yourself or other humans.

Got beer?

DIM WHAT?

Foulmouthed Fox News?

In a story about wedding cakes today, the Fox website showed a graphic of a cake made to look like a box of Chinese food, complete with fortune. And that's some fortune.

Screen shot and close up of offending image:

[click both images for larger versions]

Does that say what I think it says?

I report. You decide.

male/female poll responses: part I

[Disclaimer A:The following data was gathered from 55 comments and 27 emails, in answer to several questions I asked regarding the subject at hand. By no means should this be considered accurate, scientific or proof of anything except that people like to answer questions and I like to ask them.

Disclaimer B: I am not trying to court controversy with this survey, nor is this in repsonse to any slight I feel as a news blogger. It is merely curiousity stemming from an email correspondence with a person who believes that there is not only a lack of female news bloggers, but a lack of good female news bloggers]

I asked the following questions:

1.Do men make better political/war bloggers than women? 2. Do you prefer blogs by males, females or you don't care? 3. Do you find that males and females write differently about the same subjects? 4. Do you have double standards? That is, do you think it's okay when a man makes sexual innuendos and curses in his posts but you are turned off by a female blogger who does the same? 5. Do you find that males or females tend to be more opinionated in their writing? 6. Do you find there is a lack of quality female bloggers who write about politics, current news and world events? 7. Do you find you enjoy male or female blogs in general (on any subject) more than the other? 8. Who is your favorite read for political/war/news commentary for male and female bloggers?

Number 4 was throwin in as a small red herring but produced interesting results nonetheless.

While the participants in the poll stated for the most part that they have no real preference towards male or female news bloggers (which is what we will call the war/politics/news bloggers here for brevity), it was interesting to note that most said male bloggers tend to write with an eye towards detail and facts and females tend to write with emotion.

....it does seem that men tend to be more about facts, and perhaps background, where a lot of women are more about what the current sitution is, and how it's effecting people.

..men tend to me more concerned with rules Ė if theyíre discussing war, theyíll debate about the UN rules, the Geneva convention, etc. more often than women. Women seem to be more concerned about how an action will affect the lives of the people involved, and less concerned with the written rules..

Men make better technical details political/war bloggers. Women make better "how will this political/war issue screw up my life and that of my friends." Neither is better than the other. Apples and oranges.

I think that females and males can both be very opinionated, but that women sometimes manage to be a bit more diplomatic where men sometimes are more "in your face" about their opinions. There's merits to both approaches.

That said, most respondents who volunteered such information declared that they prefer news blogs that stick to facts and stay on topic. So can one draw the conclusion that indeed, when pressed for a specific answer, most newsblog readers would prefer male bloggers?

More people found that there is a difference between male and female newsbloggers than not. Even those who stated in question #2 that there is no difference, went on to contradict themselves in other answers.

While a high percentage of respondents said that there is a lack of quality female newsblogging, one person had an interesting take on that notion:

It's not that there is a lack of good female newsbloggers. It's just that they don't get the attention the male bloggers do. Every mainstream news article about war blogging or news blogging in general quotes the same people all the time, and it's always men. Den Beste, Glenn Reynolds, Lileks, Andrew Sullivan, Charles Johnson at LGF...so maybe people aren't even aware of all the female news bloggers out there. If you look at the sites of the males I just mentioned and scroll through for a few days you'll see that they basically link to guys when they are linking to a news item but some of them not only don't link to females at all, but when they do, it's for a non-news item.

Then there was this emailer who prefers female news bloggers over male:

Most male warbloggers write just about the war, politics and current events. Women cover other things. Andrea Harris writes about Tolkein stuff a lot. Meryl Yourish writes about her religion classes. It's nice to have a good mix and know that when I go to a blog it's not going to be the same stuff all day long. I like that there will be lighter things mixed in with the heavy.

That covers this portion of the poll responses. I'll take on some other issues regarding the answers later in the morning.

May 19, 2003

this is planet earth

You know, I had a whole post here about the mail I received today in regards to my "class warfare" and "elitism" and some other nonsense, all in answer to the Wal-Mart/Target post.

Rather than go into a lengthy discourse on how one's attitude does not necessarily reflect ones monetary status, and rather than explain to people who really don't deserve an explanation that yes, I do know what it's like to be piss poor, I'll just say this:

You people are out of your fucking minds. If you would only get this hyped up about things that actually matter, perhaps your lives would be more fulfilling and you wouldn't have to load up my inbox with your steaming piles of crap loaded with teenage AOL-grammar and spelling and laced with profanities I've heard only on gangsta rap songs. Not that there's anything wrong with gangsta rap, but quoting DMX when you are trying to make a salient point with me just does not fly, flygirl. Now you all go back to your keyboard and write 100 times, "People Who Shop At Target Are Not Elitist Capitalist Pigs" and please try to recognize that I was comparing discount department stores. It's not as if I was laughing at you for shopping at the 99 cent outlet while I was shopping Saks Fifth Avenue.

Now climb back aboard your mothership and fly home, kiddies. I've dealt with enough moonbats for one night.

this evening's music: cover me

This evening musical selection comes in the form a cover song, a totally underappreciated yet much maligned genre.

I have what one could call a cover song fetish. I have an entire mp3 folder devoted to covers only and am always on the hunt for new and refreshing versions of songs. This one is rocking my world today:

Sepultura doing U2's Bullet the Blue Sky

If you like this, let me know and I'll give you the same band doing Jane's Addiction's Mountain Song.

UPDATE: Alrighty - here's Mountain Song.

psa

Several people have emailed asking me to hold off on writing about the results of the male/female blogger survey so they can answer the questions tonight. Motion hereby granted. Results and essay will commence tomorrow morning.

If you would like to expand on your answers, as some people have already, please feel free to email me.


Speaking of women doing things as well as men, Denise Smith has started a blog about Women's Hockey. Very cool. Go check it out.

was it something I said?

In two and half years I've covered just about every subject in this space. Religion, politics, war, abortion, sports rivalries and a delinking fiasco. We've argued about movies, music, comic books and sex, we've had left vs. right fights in the comments. I even started a male v. female blogger debate today.

Yet in all my hundreds and hundreds of posts covering over 700 days and spanning 36,000 comments on this particular blog alone (that's not counting the Greymatter comments that were lost in the ether), I have never experienced such a level of hate mail and fervor as I have today over the Wal-Mart v. Target post.

I think I hit a nerve. I'm sure there is a social statement in there somewhere, I'm just not sure what it is.

The results of my male/female questions will be available later this evening.

I'm going to Target now.

Wal-Mart v. Target

The data is still coming in. I will crunch numbers, stir up potions and Chemical X to the equation later to get the results you are all waiting for.

Meanwhile, the differences between Target and Wal-Mart, inspired by Susanna and Glenn.

The first Wal-Mart opened here a few years ago. Within weeks, the store went from that sparkling, brand-new shine to a dirty heap of cluttered aisles and car-on-the-lawn shoppers. We opined that it was just had the misfortune of being placed in a not so great neighborhood.

Last year, a Wal-Mart opened closer to my house. Within weeks, it looked just like the one that came before it.

Target has been here about two years. It has never looked dirty, never smelled bad, never attracted the same sort of bottom bargain shoppers that Wal-Mart does. Or perhaps it does, but they just dress better when they go to Tar-Jay.

Where Wal-Mart has that dollar-store vibe, Target makes you feel as though you are shopping at some sleek, upscale city shop.

Where Wal-Mart has dingy aisles loaded with cast-offs and marked down boxes of cereal, Target has perfectly packaged goodies all lined up in a row.

Wal-Mart has cashiers who look like they'd rather shoot you than serve you. Everyone smiles at Target.

Wal-Mart has those annoying senior-citizen greeters at the door, who scare the crap out of your teenage daughter when they remark how well-developed she is, or who insist so hard that you take their damn flier that they will follow you around the store and stick one down your pants if they have to.

Wal-Mart is The Weekly World News. Target is Entertainment Weekly.

Wal-Mart is Blogspot. Target is your own domain with Moveable Type installed.

Wal-Mart has two dollar statues of children with big eyes and retarded looking pets. Target has Michael Graves.

Plus, Target has a Taco Bell inside. The best you can hope for at Wal-Mart is to open a box of Mallowmars before you pay for them.

data entry: a male/female blogger poll

Yes, I'm still working on that post about women and political blogging.

I want to know your opinion on something (you can answer with a fake name if you want).

Do men make better political/war bloggers than women?
Do you prefer blogs by males, females or you don't care?
Do you find that males and females write differently about the same subjects?
Do you have double standards? That is, do you think it's okay when a man makes sexual innuendos and curses in his posts but you are turned off by a female blogger who does the same?
Do you find that males or females tend to be more opinionated in their writing?
Do you find there is a lack of quality female bloggers who write about politics, current news and world events?
Do you find you enjoy male or female blogs in general (on any subject) more than the other?
Who is your favorite read for political/war/news commentary for male and female bloggers?

Thank you. I'll be back with data and a post after my doctor appointment. Which may be sometimes in the next century depending on the crowd in the waiting room.

Oh, and feel free to link this post on your blog to get other people to answer it. The more people I cull data from, the more scientific the study will be.

Ok, not scientific. But more...populated.

lust combo?

I'm working on an essay on women and war/politic blogging, but it won't be ready until later. Until then, I leave you with this picture I took yesterday (I was using the solarize setting, hence the weird look)


click for larger image

Perfect juxtaposition, eh?

taken at a Wendy's drive-thru

May 18, 2003

promises to keep

A paid political announcement from the Save Jim Treacher's Life Fund

Sorta not safe for work - not x-rated but not saintly, either. And it disappears tomorrow morning.

jimboob.jpg


You know you love boobies. I'd only do this for Jim. You've got 24 hours to pay his rent. Now go buy a mug or something.

dr. frank's cyber-busking hour returns!

Dr. Frank is at it again. That's good news.

His latest tune up for grabs (that means F-R-E-E) is Institutionalized Misogyny. I suggest you go get it while the getting is good.

While you're there you can throw some change in his virtual guitar case, order an 8-song CD or just email and tell him how much you love his music.

After you listen to the song, post the URL on your site and make all your friends and relatives download it, too. It's cyber-busking in action, as Dr. Frank calls it. You tell a friend and they tell two friends and they tell two friends and so on and so on....

With all the crap music that comes out of radio stations these days, it's nice to give a plug to someone who I not only respect as a person, an intelligent, well-written commentator and a friend, but as someone who makes wonderful music as well.

Don't forget to go buy some MTX cds, too. Maybe if we all buy enough of his music, Dr. Frank can finally get off of blogspot.

Lyrics are below. It may be the only song I ever sing that mentions Chomsky.

I'm not complaining, I'm just figuring out
how everything left us behind
I got my problems, I'm aware of them
I'll take care of them, never you mind


you're still repeating pre-recorded things
they used to say in universities
and books on left wing politics and law
about underlying structures
that so far as they mean anything
still won't support the personal connections that you draw


Institutionalized misogyny--
that's all that stands between my baby and me


now science tells us I'm hard-wired to-- I'm required to--
do it with you
'cause I'm a man, and you're a woman
and that's what those kind of people do


I stole that line from Woody Allen
isn't it amusing?
I wish I could make you understand
what Woody Allen meant.
If there's no such thing as objective reality
why can't we quit our jobs and just imagine
we won't have to pay the rent?


Institutionalized misogyny--
that's why they're charging rent
to my baby and me


Michele, ma belle: ton beau, Michel Foucault
a Foucault dependent is always ready to go
I think we're alone
I might have known
she's got Chomsky on the phone


Institutionalized misogyny--
that's all that stands between my baby and me.

never enough: more bad movies

I've been reminded of some horrid movies that I left off of the "Enough" post last night. I mean, what kind of worst movie list would be complete without Glitter?

For those who wrote in asking why Showgirls wasn't on the list, it's for a very good reason. While the acting was bad, the plot was thin and the dialogue made me want to go deaf, there were some great soft-core scenes in that movie that makes it worth watching again and again. Same with Crash.

I also hated Welcome to the Dollhouse and just about every fake documentary about small hick towns they show on IFC where the kids are all huffing glue and the parents look like alcoholism wore them down when they were fifteen.

I despised Kids as well as Arthur. In fact, I hate anything with Dudley Moore.

Plan 9 From Outerspace should never, ever be on anyone's worst list just for the cheese factor alone. If it was good enough for MST3K, it's good enough for me.

Oh, how could I possibly forget not only the worst musical ever made, but the worst idea for a movie ever - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band starring The BeeGees. Awful. Just....awful.

As for Doom Generation, I liked it enough that I own it on DVD. I found it disturblingly odd, yet fascinating.

To the person who had the gall to write me to complain that Donnie Darko should be on my worst list, I say you probably would like a movie that co-stars Pauly Shore and Carrot Top.

And just for the record, I liked the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Movie. The first one, at least.

dumb like a moose, dib*

My last few words on the Times story (snarky one-liners notwithstanding).

Raines also said that if he looked into his heart, his guilt as a white man from Alabama had something to do with why he gave Blair, a black reporter from Virginia, second and third and fourth chances.

White guilt? That is the most unbelievably appalling excuse for shoddy management I have ever heard. I am dumbfounded that this man runs The New York Times. A man who thinks a stuffed moose can solve an internal crisis of the highest order. A man who thinks the definition of reparation is: give a black man a job and then promote him ever time he fucks up.

As for Blair, don't worry about him. He'll be just fine, in the way that most celebrity liars, cheaters and stealers in this country are.

As the Times meeting was unfolding, Jayson Blair was holed up in an apartment in Manhattan, talking with his lawyer and his literary agent.

Jayson Blair may have lost his dignity, his job and his reputation. What he did not lose, however, is his future. A six figure deal, movie rights, perhaps a few talk shows when the time is right and if Blair plays his cards right he can stow away enough cash so he doesn't have to lie his way through another newspaper job again. How fortunate for him. Crime does pay, after all.

Ted Faraone, a PR agent who worked in the Times newsroom with Blair:

ďIf one thing can be said about this from a literary standpoint, the American people tend to be very forgiving if you come clean. Theyíll watch the TV movie and pay $9.50 to see the feature film. Itís a strange commentary on celebrity in 21st-century America, but in a way thatís kind of how we rehabilitate people after theyíve fallen.Ē

It's disgusting, is what it is. I never plunked down a dollar to read the Times. I'm certainly not going to throw away ten dollars to see a revisionist screen version of the story, where Jayson Blair becomes the victim and Howell Raines is his white knight, riding in to save him on the back of a stuffed moose.

All quotes from Newsweek story Times Bomb


*See, Invader Zim; Bolognius Maximus

what the left has become

I read Indymedia every day for a good reason. I like to know what the oppposition is up to. And believe me, they are my opposition. Even when I was much farther to the left than I am these days, I still thought the folks at Indymedia were moonbats of the highest order.

long, angry rant inside

I discovered one important thing from reading sites like that every day; the only way the left knows how to refute something is to call it a conspiracy. They did it with 9/11, with the TWA Flight 800, with Jessica Lynch (see Dean's excellent post on this subject). They take every major story and turn it into something anti-America, anti-Bush, pro-left agenda. The world is run by Jews, every conspiracy has something to do with them, nothing is at it seems and the left is never at fault for anything.

For a perfect example of the far left in action, look no further than stalward Indymedia poster Vince. Vince makes crude photoshop graphics blaming Bush for everything from 9/11 to New Coke. Vince makes up stories, prints fallacies as if they were truth and lives in a fantasy world so devoid of facts one wonders if he's not just a parody.

Vince uses as a weapon the modu operandi of his kind - the bait and switch. He peppers his posts with references to the fact that he is gay, so when you wrtite something against him, he can cry homophobia. If you don't agree with Vince you are a gay basher! Is that crushing of dissent I see? Here's a fine example of one of Vince's messages:

Thank God and Judy Garland, the brave freedom fighers are killing the occupying zionists dogs in Palestine. They know that this "peace" talks are just a jewish plot to lure them into a bad deal. I'm not sure what i like more: Jamming hot dogs up my ass or hearing about civilians jews being murdered. Got to hit the bathhouses, buh-bye.

I guarantee you that the first person to denounce Vince - even they don't make reference to the hot dogs, will be called a vile homophobe. The issue of Vince being a jew-hater will never be called into question because he -and his supporters- will just keep calling you a gay-basher in response. This allows Vince to print all the hatred he wants without having to take responsibility for it.

Just like the protesters who claim you are trying to keep them quiet when you take them to task for hating the country they live in, or the people who plead free speech when they are questioned about carrying posters that call for the death of the president, Vince will keep on spewing his hatred because he has a built-in defense.

Nothing is at it seems, according to Vince and his friends. Whatever the media reports, they have an opposite story. Of course, they never have proof, just conjecture and most of their cries of wolf turn out to be nothing more than conspiracies brought on by people who are so out of their minds with hatred that they will go to any extreme to discredit those who disagree with them.

But when I dispute their version of the truth and claim that Rachel Corrie died through stupidity rather than being murdered by a bulldozer, I am an evil, uncaring soul. As long as you believe in their version of the world, you are okay. As soon as you step back and look at the Indy lovers through a different lens and you call them on their actions, you are a fool or an idiot or a nazi. Talk about crushing of dissent.

Meanwhile, they decry everything that has gone in Iraq and claim the war was a failure, but they announce with glee that a Baghad Indymedia is now open for business, never once mentioning how this became possible. If the war was such a failure, do you think that the Baghdad Indymedia would exist?

I am tired of people who express their sympathies for suicide bombers, claiming that they are doing their evil deeds only because they are forced to by their enemies. So their way of thinking seems to be - you can claim atrocity and murder when one of your friends gets run down by an errant bulldozer because she was too stupid to get out of the way, but you when a Palestinian or fanatical Muslim intentionally kills innoncent civillians by the dozens, they are not at fault, they are just repressed and expressing their anger through murder.

I'm tired of root causes. I'm tired of the way the left goes to any lengths to claim their innocence and deride anyone who dares to stray from their point of view.

I'm tired of people like Vince, who use smoke and mirrors to make their point and then use their own words against you to make you look like the villian.

I'm tired of people who hold up every word and action of yours, scrutinize it and then find some way to call it offensive. The people who want to water down the world and its languages and its history until it is all one ugly, pale color have got it all wrong. They call themselves multi-culturalists yet they are on the way to making the universe resemeble nothing more than a whiter shade of pale. Beige for everyone. Same language for everyone. Let the melting pot boil away until it is nothing more than crust in an iron kettle and we can't tell one religion from another, one language from another, one culture from another. We will all by humyns and we will never say an offensive word to each other. Unless of course, the person you are offending does not agree with your politically correct views and then you are free to call them anything you want.

The left is full of double-speak and underhandedness and more meanness than I have ever seen in my life. These are people who vent on a daily basis about wanting peace, yet call for the murder of certain people. They wish death upon world leaders, yet they never call for the removal of the very leaders who cause people so much death and anguish.

They live in their own little world, Vince and his gang patting each other on the back for all their deeds and actions when all they have done is make themselves feel so grand and divided the nation even further.

They can spend the rest of their days making up stories and fabricating more lies and propaganda and never once facing the truth: That they purport themselves to be a peace movement, but they are moved by nothing but hatred, bile, violence and antagonism.

If you want to know why we are so polarized, look no further than Indymedia and any of the far left sites that purport to be about freedom and peace. They have carved a little place out on our planet for themselves and some day they are going to die a slow death in that place, drowning in their own venom and hatred.

Good riddance.

Once again, this may be edited later for clarity

why kid's sports suck: when adults act younger than the children

I am so pissed off my eyes are crossed.

I just got a call from my ex regarding the situation on DJ's baseball team. If you remember, last week I wrote about an episode where the coach of the opposing team was being an ass.

I felt like our coach did nothing to stick up for his team. In fact, he pouted like a martyr and sat on the end of the bench while the kids played out the rest of the inning.

Friday night (I wasn't at the game) the president of the league - a squat woman with the ferocity of Godzilla - came over to our team and berated our kids and the parents for their behavior. What brought this on? Our own coach complained about us.

We were pissed at him because he sat around crying that his team was mad at the other coach for bumping a 13 year old umpire and getting away with it. We weren't showing good sportsmanship by asking that the other coach behave in a manner appropriate to the game. What the hell? Is this guy insane? So instead of acting on his players' request that he ask the other coach to please stop his reactionary behavior, our coach sits out two innings while he sulks. Of course we parents were upset at this. And of course we took over coaching the kids.

My ex tried to talk to the bitch woman after the game, but she at first ignored him and then brushed him off, saying that parents who complain are problems she doesn't have time for.

So now the league has branded our team the trouble makers, we get yelled at and censured while the other coach and his rotten, spoiled, foul-mouthed players get a free pass to break rules, sidestep regulations and take cheap shots at the opposing players.

Why? Because that coach has been in the league a long time. He has the politics of the game down pat. He is friendly with the board of the league.

I am so pissed off I can't see straight. And that bitchy man-woman will not hear anyone out. She doesn't want to know anything that's going to rock her boat.

Meanwhile, our kids have lost their desire to play with their hearts. They are afraid of their coach. They don't give it their all anymore. They've lost five in a row. This sucks because at this age - the first year in the minors - is when the kids should really be playing for keeps. The whole idea of "playing to have fun" disappears when you're ten and you're now gearing up to hone your game so when you get to middle school you can make the team. The kids at this age are serious about the game. They solidify their positions at this age. They don't want this crap. They don't need a coach who behaves younger than they are. For kids like DJ, who live and breathe the Little League seasons, this sucks big time.

I am so very, very disappointed in the whole damn thing.

this post will be edited later, when I've calmed down a bit and be more rational

May 17, 2003

enough is...enough

This was important enough for me to ignore the fact that I took the night off.

First there was Kazaam, which reigned as my Worst.Movie.Ever for several years until Jeepers Creepers and then Air Bud, Seventh Inning Stretch took over the helm. That only lasted until I saw Jason X a few weeks ago. I'm sure Jason will be delighted to know that the title of Worst.Movie.Ever no longer belongs to him.

The current champion? J'Lo's ode to revenge murder, Enough.

Enough merits the award for the ending alone, when J Lo greets her oh-so-charming little angel at the airport with hugs and kisses and pure glee at just having killed the child's father. Yes, he was abusive. But the sugary, happy ending was ever so wrong for a movie where someone murders their former spouse, regardless of the circumstances.

What annoyed me more was the following exchange in the airport:

Daughter: Where are we going now, mommy?
J Lo: Anywhere you want, honey.
Daughter: What about Emerald City?

Gag.

I need to revise my list of worst movies of all time. I've re-posted the list below. Discuss.

[From November 4. 2002]

1. Kazaam
2. Air Bud, Seventh Inning Fetch
3. Jeepers Creepers
4. Bicentennial Man
5. Battlefield Earth
6. 3,000 Miles to Graceland
7. Planet of the Apes (remake)
8. Castaway
9. Pearl Harbor
10. Waterworld
11. Bull Durham
12. Dances with Wolves
13. The Bodyguard
14. Little Nicky
15. Volcano
16. Indecent Proposal
17. Pootie Tang
18. The Talented Mr. Ripley
19. Dude, Where's My Car
20. Freddie Got Fingered
21. Eyes Wide Shut
22. Baby Geniuses
23. Anaconda
24. Stop or My Mom Will Shoot
25. Soul Man

still not right yet...

Obviously the brain is not functioning today. That's ok - I always said that posting on weekends is like ninja blogging - no one even knows you're there.

Regular blogging schedule resumes tomorrow, including at least twenty more entries in the Sign contest, which is still going strong.

Hey, someone make a sign to remind that alcohol and hair metal do not mix.

the evidence

Looks like I left most of the disks at my sister's house, so you'll have to settle for this small glimpse of the wild chick party.

Adults only, please.

This picture was a bit of relief. When I woke up I remembered something about a cock ring, and I'm glad this was it.

Gives new meaning to the line rockets red glare. Don't ask why it's on the lamp. I do not know.

The cause of most of the night's mischief. They were made with tequila and vodka, served with whipped cream and went down oh, so easy.

The groom's sister has a lovely bunch of coconuts. Knock on Wood would have been a great song to play while she wore these.


Waiter, there's a penis in my drink!

We all assumed this pose at many points during the night.

What would a tropical-themed party be without Spongebob. Sponge cake! Get it? Hah.

This is my cousin. I'm pretty sure this was taken during the Donna Summer portion of the evening.

A rousing rendition of Cum on Feel the Noize

dickheads, dickheads, rolly polly dickheads...

I'm going to search for those other disks now.

call off the national guard search, please

I am alive, thank you. Please stop calling 911.

I'm still recovering from last night but suffice it to say I have broken up with my long time companion, Mr. Cuervo. I never want to see him again.

I took over 200 pictures. Some of them may make it here, most of them will never see daylight.

A short preview of my details of the night: Barry White, Winger, coconut bras, penises galore. I suppose I'll have to blog the event in picture form so I can remember what happened.

Soon. First, I must find a cure for what ails me.

May 16, 2003

i'll be singing 'sister christian' in about two hours

On my way out to the big drunken girlie bash now.

I stopped at Best Buy and picked up this box set, in addition to this. That should keep us thoroughly mortified through the night.

Now would be the time to start taking bets on what time I pass out.

tiny bubbles?

Posting will be light - and possibly non-existent - until tomorrow as I get ready for my sister's last-gasp girl's night. It's a tropical theme, which is really just an excuse to make exotic drinks and force someone to wear a coconut bra later on.

Rather than listen to Don Ho, we decided to pay tribute to my sister and play nothing but cheesy 80's new wave and hair metal.

Guess who's gonna end up playing air guitar to Poison while wearing a coconut bra and little else? That's right. Me. And when we are all too drunk to stand, we'll sit around watching Sixteen Candles.

I may do a drunken post or two, we'll see.

I'm bringing the camera.

psa

C-SPAN's Washington Journal is covering blogs on their morning show.

They gave an awful lot of time to the guy from Buzzflash. Way to give the conspiracy theorists and tinfoilers plenty of air time!

Scott Ott is on the air now. He rules.

The proprietor of Whatreallyhappened.com just called his site a "fact-based" site. This is the site that has perpetuated every Bush Planned 9/11 rumor, and prints articles describing how the Jews are to blame for everything.

I love morning comedy.

shadow of a doubt

The seeds of doubt are running rampant these days.

People are doubting the veracity of Salaam Pax's claims to be who he says he is. I've not taken a stand either way and I probably won't. As the seventh grade math homework says, there are not enough facts to support an answer.

People are doubting that there are or ever have been weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Of course, they are using that doubt as a soap box to declare the war unjust and false; nevermind the children freed from underground prisons or the uncovering of mass graves. I, for one, am doubting that most of the people declaring the war to be a scam care anything for anyone but themselves.

Joanie doubted Zander's claim to be a very sick boy. Then she doubted that Zander existed at all. And she was right.

Andrea doubts that the flightrisk chick is for real. I tend to agree with Andrea on this one, and for some of the same reasons; one being that it doesn't speak well of the truth to be backed up by a guy known for evading the truth. That would be like Jayson Blair coming to your defense in a perjury trial.

I'm beginning to doubt that Scott Peterson killed his wife. The latest news -that Laci's body was mutilated - has all the earmarks of a deranged, jealous lover. But that could just be my 7am self talking.

I sincerely doubt that George Pataki will be on my Christmas list this year. In fact, I doubt that I wouldn't have the urge to kick him in the balls should I ever run into him. Same for Mike Bloomberg.

Of course, there's the usual doubts. I doubt there will ever be peace in the mideast, I doubt that we will ever find out what happened to Saddam, I doubt that the Red Sox are for real or the Mets will get any better, and I doubt that the dream I had last night about Mark Steyn writing OpEds for Command Post will ever come true.

One thing I don't doubt is that tomorrow will mark the event of the worst hangover ever, as tonight is my baby sister's bachelorette party, which will involve no strippers, but plenty of alcohol and a Spongebob layer cake.

[And I doubt that this man is who he says he is - I have it on good faith that he's really Helen Thomas]

May 15, 2003

six fingers

chiller.jpg

That's the six-fingered hand from the opening of Chiller Theater, which aired on WPIX 11 in the New York area.

For your listening pleasure, Fantomas (yet another Mike Patton band) with some horror movie covers:

Experiment in Terror (MP3)
Rosemary's Baby (MP3)

Watch the opening sequence - six fingers and all!

[does anyone know how I would get that to be embedded on this post?]

more movie madness

I found this page dedicated to the ABC 4:30 movie.

They even have some of the ads!
pitpend.jpg


It's all coming back to me now. Japanese Monster week starring Mothra. Planet of the Apes week. Journey to the Center of the Earth. And The Blob. And Killer Bees!

I would give up my digital cable for a whole week for just a few showings of Terror of Mechagodzilla or Food of the Gods. Sitting on my mom's red, white and blue sofa while she cooked some strange 70's one-pot meal, watching the same thing in the kitchen that I was watching in the living room. Empire of the Ants. The Dunwich Horror.

Yes, I'm done. Or do you want to hear about Channel 9's Fright Night? House of Seven Corpses, anyone?

What a warped childhood I had. My parents were great.

hey, let's buzz the statue of liberty, just for kicks!

How fucking stupid can you be?

apropos of everthing

via Beth:

i'm going to mail this to the last comic shop i was in
[go read diesel sweeties now!]

crowhaven farm!!

Thanks to my astute readers, who apparently watched as much bad tv as I did growing up, I have unlocked the mystery of the movie that my mother thought I made up.

Crowhaven Farm, starring Hope Lange.

I was pretty sure that was it, thanks to Rob. Then Solly left this link and as soon as I saw these pictures, it all came flooding back:

Give us the Child commands one of the witches. No, not my baby, screams Meg. The child is then taken away from her and before her is the large board and Rocks that await her fate. Meg screams in horror as the board is placed on top of her. Finally her fate has come full circle, says the supreme witch. Meg Carey, you are here before us just like you have been before.
[photos from lastdriveinontheleft.com]

This was a 1970's made for T.V Movie and was shown in New York as I remember, on the ABC 4:30 Movie. I remember this movie as being one of the greatest T.V Suspense/Horror films.

Yes, it was the 4:30 movie, not the 4:00 movie. I must get a copy of Crowhaven Farm.

Thanks to everyone who helped me figure this one out (ok, figured it out for me). Now I am going to spend the rest of the night thinking about those cheesy witchcraft/horror movies of my youth.

when vincent price was cool

Three times today I started to write a post about Jayson Blair, the New York Times and future lawsuits. And each time I got three sentences in and my brain screeched to a halt.

I think we'll stick to BlogLite(tm) today.

Back in the good old days of 70's today, there was this show called The 4:00 Movie (I was reminded of this by Joe's post about Afterschool Specials). Every day they would show some cheesy movie, usually an Vincent Price/Edgar Allen Poe creepfest or some black and white sci-fi laugher that really wasn't supposed to be a laugher.

It was on the 4:00 Movie that I first saw The Fly and I dreamed for months after that of being trapped in a spider web. In those dreams I had the face of Vincent Price. I still don't know which fate was worse - the face I had to wear or the fact that I was about to become a spider's dinner.

Every once in a while they would show a truly scary movie, like Devil's Rain, starring Ernest Borgnine's melting face.

There was one movie I cannot for the life of me remember except for one scene at the end. A group of Amish-looking people were standing around a shallow grave. There was a woman in the grave and she was alive. I think she was pinned down somehow. One by one, the townspeople started throwing rocks into the grave, kids and adults alike, until the woman was buried underneath them. The movie ended like that. I don't remember much else except that the woman's grevious transgression had something to do with not belonging in the town, or not acting like everyone else.

Don't say The Lottery, because that's what everyone else says and it wasn't that.

If anyone can tell me what movie I just described I would be truly grateful and I can prove to my mother I didn't make the whole thing up in my head like that movie about the Siamese triplets who folded into each other like stacking cups.

I miss those stupid 4:00 movies.

psa

For the two people who emailed me asking the difference between trade paperbacks and graphic novels, go read this:

What's the difference between a trade paperback (TPB), a graphic novel (GN), an original graphic novel (OGN), and a hardcover (HC)?

thursday fatigue syndrome

You ever just sit at your desk spacing out and when you try to pull your shit together you suddenly feel as if a giant alien made of nothing but gills came down and sucked your lifeforce from you and now you can't do anything but imagine how wonderful it would be to sleep for twenty years like some new-aged Rip Van Winkle except when you woke up from your slumber you would take a look around, roll over and go back to sleep?

observation

Neil Cavuto always looks like he's still got the hanger in his suit jacket.

if only layne staley were available...

Scott Weiland, Slash and Duff McKagan together at last. It's a trifecta!

This is what Guns 'n' Roses has morphed into - Rock 'n' Rehab.

Appetite for destruction, indeed.

via PRP

Big D

Dave DeBusschere
1940-2003

DD.jpg
When I was very young, I dreamed of being a basketball player. Nevermind that I was a tiny, unathletic klutz. I had this dream of being just like Dave DeBusschere.

They called him Big D. In my neighborhood, we called him Double D.

The Castaldo's had a basketball hoop nailed to the telephone pole in front of their house. We gathered there after school and played fast and loose with the rules of basketball. No matter how bad I was, how many free throws I missed, no matter how many times I got knocked on my ass by boys twice the size of me, I was, in my mind, number 22. I was Double D.

I always had a thing for defenders and rebounders back when I loved pro basketball. The way Dave DeBusschere could reject what seemed to be a sure swoosh in such an effortless way made my heart pump wildly. Later on, after the Big D years, my favorite NBA player was Mark Eaton, who reminded me of DeBusschere.

My lasting memory of Big D was not of him as a player. Sure, when I think of him I do think of the ABA (where he was manager of the Nets and then headed the league) and its red, white and blue basketballs. But that's not the image in my mind - it's of DeBusschere the Knicks manager, slamming his fist on the table as his team secured the first pick overall in the NBA draft, earning them a chance to grab Patrick Ewing.

I haven't watched an NBA game in years. They stopped making them like DeBusschere long ago. The league just wasn't the same without guys like him.

May 14, 2003

better late than never?

Damn it. I forgot all about Carnival of the Vanities. I didn't enter anything this week, and Inscrutable American did a bang-up job in presenting the entries.

Go, read all of them. Now.

blue

My blue photo for today (see here)

Denise has sent a gorgeous "blue" photo. See below.
Keith has added his.


This is the hallway at work. I took this photo on my way out, as I was walking - hence the blur effect. The camera was on a very dark setting, but the hallways at work are pretty dark - the County thinks it's going to save money by turning off the overhead lights during the day, but I figure they'll get screwed when someone trips in the hallway and sues them. And yes, the hallways are that blue. The recent paint job must have been the result of a low bidder who had stock in blue paint - the doorways, walls and molding are all several hideous shades of blue. I have to fight the urge every day to paint nursery rhyme scenes on the wall.[click for larger image]





Here's Denise's Blue Pool:

Keith's blue roller coaster ride:

[click for larger]

do not bait me with your hate mail. do.not.

Please be advised that today is not the day to piss me off. If you have a problem remembering that, please check the Handy Dandy Cycle Chart and note that today is Day Two. Day Three does not get any better. The difference between the two is a kick in the ass or a kick in the balls.

one more comic related post

I'm thinking of starting a comics blog in addition to this blog. Maybe it could be a group blog. Maybe. Thinking on it.

For now, I'd like you comic lovers to answer a few questions for something I'm working on, which may or may not see the light of day, depending on my procrastination and avoidance levels in the coming weeks.

Ok basically, it's one question in several parts.. Answer can be anywhere from one word to a thesis. Answer here, on your own blog, or email me. Take your time.

Q: Should graphic novels be considered literature and, if so, should students be allowed to write book reports on them and should they be made available in school libraries (say high school, college) and in public libaries, and (ok so I'm combining several questions into one in order to make it look like just one question) does your public library carry any graphic novels and (last one) do you read comics in public - meaning, do you hide the fact that you are a comic junkie because you feel there is a certain stigma involved in being a comic book reading adult?

Yea, that's about it. And if you are interested in a comic-related group blog, let me know. But I don't want to be in charge.

jayson blair, mark morford and the despair of a would-be writer

While the Times is being raked over the coals (and rightfully so) for Jayson Blair's lying, cheating, stealing and idiocy, SF Gate remains untouched by indignant purists who have amazingly overlooked the fact that the SFG publishes the fantasies and drivel of a man who may not even be from this planet! At least Blair's plagiaristic volumes of work were readable. He wasn't getting paid - like Mark Morford - to throw one retarded monkey into a room with a typewriter and a bong filled with best stuff money can buy and let him have at it.

One one side you have a guy who has obvious deep psychological problems and should never be allowed near a newsroom again. On the other side you have a guy with obvious deep pscyhological problems who should never be allowed out of his straight jacket again.

Really, what's the difference between lies and faked interviews masquerading as real stories a third-grade level name calling pretending to be an editorial?

I suppose the difference is that Mark Morford's near-illiterate syntax abuse calls itself OPINION and therefore is free from scrutiny and obviously free from proofreading or editorial critique.

Turns out it really was all a big joke after all. The war, that is. All a big fat nasty murderous oil-licking lie, a sneaky little power-mad game with you as the sucker and the world as the pawn and BushCo as the slithery war thug, the dungeon master, the prison daddy. You really have to laugh. Because it's just so wonderfully ridiculous. In a rather disgusting, soul-draining sort of way....

No warehouses teeming with nuclear warheads, no underground bunkers packed with vats of boiling biotoxins, no drums of crazy-ass chemical agents that will melt your skin and turn us all into drooling flesh-eating zombies -- unless, of course, you count the sneering vat of conservative biotoxin that is, say, Fox News, in which case, hell yeah baby, we gotcher WMDs right here beeyatch.

I continue to be mystified as to how this guy gets paid for writing this drool. Talk about big jokes and having one put over on you, Morford sits home at night laughing at everyone who buys into the lie that he is a writer. An editorial writer. Even he has to laugh at this great big fallacy.

And who are the people who buy this? How many readers think his crapfest is so worth the paper it's printed on that SFG can justify Morford's existence? Who can he count among his fans besides Ted Rall, whose comics read like picture-book versions of Morford's columns?

I meant to take apart Morford's column and counter-attack his insistence that the war was an unjust failure, but, as usual, I got caught up in the rage that engulfs me every time I get a few paragraphs into one of his screeds. There are so many talented writers struggling to make it in the news business, and people like Mark Morford and Jayson Blair are the ones who make the grade.

Sure, Blair will most likely never work in the news business again, but you can be sure he'll rack up a nice book deal when all is said and done. And Morford, because he's in the moonbat capital of the United States, will forever be that retrarded monkey smoking a bong, pounding on the keyboard and getting a paycheck for it.

With odds like those, I am giving up my dream of becoming a writer. I just don't have the stomach to get rejection notices while Rall and Morford are depositing paychecks.

daily comic post: punish me

They already ruined the Punisher movie by making it look like Punisher's Retarded Brother, so I don't know why I'm surprised that the rest of the casting will suck as well.

John Travolta has been cast to play the villain in the upcoming Artisan feature based on Marvel's tormented hero...Travolta plays a character, created just for the movie, named Howard Saint.

It's moves like this that makes me wish Pulp Fiction was never made. If it weren't for Travolta's cult-favorite-Tarantino-status he would be making Look Who's Talking 6: L. Ron Hubbard Speaks Through Dogs instead of destroying what should have been a good movie with his Vinnie Barbarino grimacing that some people call acting.

I have just about given up on comic book-film adaptations. At this point, I hope Sandman and Preacher never, ever get made because I would only end up horribly disappointed. Perhaps Hellboy will turn me around. Maybe.

In a reverse genre-crossing, I am looking forward to the graphic novel version of Battle Royale, which just may be in my comic book shop right now.

and he's single??

If you're looking for a man, have I got the bachelor for you.

How can you resist this?

So if you are that very special lady who's potbellied, flat chested, left handed, and a smoker... this guy loves you and wants to marry you!!!

You also have to be 6'3". And a virgin.

Then there's this:

I won't kiss anyone on the mouth, so don't ask. And don't even MENTION oral sex to me. I think the whole idea of it sounds pretty bizarre and sick-making

And this:

It would not bother me in the least if my lady is a sloppy eater who enjoys filling her tummy with gooey pizza now and then, giggling and getting tomato sauce on her pretty face!

Apparently he's going to support you with his art. Good thing he disdains money, because I think I saw this one go for 25 cents at my neighbor's garage sale.

What else do you need to know? He looks like Joel Rifkin, he seems to have a thing for his mother.

So ladies, if this describes you:

...a nice sleek, flat little chest and a nicely rounded little poochy tummy! She is not skinny, she has long legs, and she likes to wear shoes that let her feet stand nice and flat on the ground the way nature intended. She doesn't wear jewelry or makeup, and she doesn't vandalize her body with tattoos. Though I confess I find appendix scars on poochy female tummies very appealing....

Here's your man.

Oh, make sure you aren't claustrophobic. This guy has all the earmarks of "dead hooker in the trunk" syndrome.

[found via my new blog obsession, Aaron Bailey]

american idle

Five emails reminding me that I didn't post my thoughts regarding last night's American Idol.

Fine. It will only take one sentence anyhow.

NOBODY SHOULD WIN. I'm rooting for an act of God at this point.

And I'm an atheist.

Call me when they do Death Metal Idol.

his ass is tighter than mike bloomberg's wallet

It seems that Aaron Bailey needs confirmation that Derek Jeter has a great ass.

Thanks to Alan, who took some pictures for me when he was in attendance at Jeter's short minor league stint, I now have proof:



[click for even bigger ass lovin']

[Ed. note: I'm not one of those groupie chicks who only likes sports for the hot babe action. But when a guy's got a nice ass, it just needs to be pointed out. Does that make me sexist? So be it. I've seen you staring at my ass, anyhow.]

check your integrity and your cigarettes at the door

Drudge obtained a copy of an internal email sent to NY Times employees in regards to today's open meeting:

Howell, Gerald and Arthur request that you join your newsroom colleagues at an open forum at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, to discuss the Jayson Blair matter and anything else you might have on your mind. The meeting will be held at the Loew's Astor Theater, the moviehouse just behind The Times on 44th Street at Broadway, across from Carmine's. Doors open at 2:15 p.m.

Please be sure to bring your Times i.d. card. No one will be admitted to the theater without their Times i.d.

You will be able to ask questions from the floor, or write them on cards that will be distributed at the door. In addition, we have set up an email address -- forum@nytimes.com -- where you can send questions, either in advance of the session or afterward.

On Wednesday morning, we will send out a separate email advising correspondents and bureaus outside New York how they may dial into the forum and listen to the session. Unfortunately, because of the short time available to set up the forum, people listening from a remote location will not be able to ask live questions. You may, however, avail yourself of the email address above. If you get questions to us before 2 p.m. EDT tomorrow, we will put them into the hopper. Otherwise, they will be answered later.

Maybe someone should fact-check the email. Is the meeting really at 2pm? Are they sure the theater is across from Carmine's? Will Howell, Gerald and Arthur really be there or will they just pretend to be there and show a fake receipt from Carmine's later?

Start questioning the full truth of the above words if tomorrow we hear that the Times employees asked questions like "What is the air speed velocity of an unladen sparrow?"

That's forum@nytimes.com

Write now. Operators are standing by.

blue photo day

Todd and I are both feeling the photography itch this week, so we've decided to challenge each other with themes. Today's theme is BLUE. Simple, yet room to be creative.

We'll each take our best blue-themed photo of the ones we shoot today and post them here tonight. If you'd like to join us, we'd love to have you. Leave your blue photos here or email them to me.

It's not a contest, just for fun. No rules, regulations or limits on what kind of camera or film you use.

from the ex parte bin

I don't often write about what goes on at work, but I feel compelled to say one thing today.

If you are going to write a letter to a judge in an effort to convince him that he should not send your drunk-driving, girfriend-impregnating, unemployed, substance abuser son to jail, the fact that said child is a "potential professional poet" is really not going to sway your case.

this one has my vote

This sign deserves its own entry. I know it's barely 9am, but I'm sure this will be the best laugh I've had all day.

From Rob at Left and Right:

[Don't click and drink]

fry.gif

I'm going to enter this in Andy's contest.

and yet more signs

Yes, there are even more entries in the sign contest. They seem to get funnier -albeit sicker - as time goes on. I may not want this to end.

Links below to the latest, greatest submissions.

(If I missed yours or you haven't posted yours yet, please post them in the comments.)

Also, don't forget Andy's sign contest, and Jim Treacherhas a way for you to make fun of the New York Times.

From NC:

Cheat
Firewater
Korean

From David Gillies:

Happy Fun

Anti-war

Gretchen Pirillo's (I especially like the Michael Jackson one)

Laurence discovers the Hazmat sign maker

John Huddock

Lone Wacko with three more


Steve B.

Dave added two more

i found this ironically funny because it's 6am

BEASTIE BOYS ARE BIRD KILLERS!

May 13, 2003

special delivery!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the very kind person who bought Sideshow Bob from my wishlist. As you can see from the post below, we have given him a loving, safe home. He seems quite happy even if he is trying to kill that Care Bear with a rake.

my photo muse came for a visit

I was inspired by someone to take some black and white photos today. I used the digital today. Tomorrow I will take the 35mm out. I'm seriously thinking of getting a Lomo before my sister's wedding.

I shot about 30 photos and ended up with a few that captured what I was seeing at the moment.

Not one to leave well enough alone, and feeling a bit creative, I opened up Photoshop and took liberties with my own pictures.

I only played with the coloring on this photo. I was trying to recreate the mood - that weird vibe that surrounds you when a storm is approaching. The whole effect of the moment; stuck in traffic with seagulls screeching by your car and Portishead on the stereo, the wind carrying ominous clouds on by - just can't be captured with film alone. This is as close as I could get.




Same view, different take, this one is untouched. The focus here was not really on the steeple, but on the symmetry of the streetlights against the layers of clouds. I was driving when I shot this. Traffic started moving, the seagulls took off and I snapped the photo just as I stepped on the gas.




I had to stop on my way home from work to pick Natalie up from extra help. I took about 20 shots while I waited, but most of them were ruined by too much wind, raindrops and cars going by. I played around in Photoshop with one of the kids playing on the school lawn. I tried to use filters that would give the essence of kids in motion. The kid with the rope was smaller than the rest and he was whipping everyone who walked by - most kids ignored him. I pinched the photo to give the impression that the kid was the center of attention, but not.


These guys live on top of my computer. I changed the color to bring out the features of each figure a little more, and to invoke a shadowy feeling. Ryu looks pissed, doesn't he?






And then I made my first wallpaper, using a photo of flowers in the rain (800X600).

And that's today's photo musings. Thanks for joining us.

who is that bowtied man?

So, I was watching Crossfire and the oddest thing happened. Maxine Waters said something I agreed with. Yes, let's stop calling the Saudis our friends. They are anything but.

I guess my whole world shifted after that incident and I started seeing things in a different light. As I stared at the tv, I noticed something odd. I moved closer to the screen, not sure if my eyes were deceiving me.

Sure, he calls himself Tucker Carlson when he's on Crossfire, but I figured out who he really is.

tucker.jpg glenn.jpg

Well, have you ever seen Tucker and Glenn in the same room? I thought not.

Maybe I should start doing drugs again. It can only help.

what did they ever do to osama?

Everybody loves a poster contest. And even though mine is still going on (I'm still getting entries), I'm going to plug Andy's.

What?

His contest, you idiot. I'm going to plug his contest.

Basically, it's a "Protest Signs You Won't See From the Far Left Anti-War Crowd" contest. Who couldn't get into that? Try it with the sign generator and you can enter two contests at one time! What a bargain.

So go enter because I promised Andy you would and I sort of owe him. Don't ask for what - I won't answer.

did you hear about the saudi bombing?

Both Jeff Jarvis and Charles Johnson are wondering why the Saudi bombing story isn't getting big play in the media.

I just left these words in Jeff's comments:

I've been covering this story non-stop over at Command Post since it broke. I've been dismayed at how little play it's getting on both television and in print.

This is a big deal. The targets were American. How does that make it different than a terror attack on our own soil, which would get far more coverage?

I've had a hard time getting updates and casualty numbers. It's hard to even find a good quote besides the usual Colin Powell sound bites.

Have we dismissed al Qaida to the extent that we are shrugging this off as them grasping at straws? Or does the death toll have to reach thousands before the media treats it as major news?

I wondered about this last year - what will it take to get the media hyped up about terror attack now that they've covered the biggest one they've ever witnessed? Even the Bali bombing was in and out of the news quickly (in America), too quickly if you ask me.

So is the overall lack of coverage of yesterday's attack simply because the bar has been raised too high and 90 deaths doesn't seem like big news anymore? Have we become so immune to the tragedy of terror attacks that they don't warrant our seemingly endless film clips and soundbites anymore?

Glenn Reynolds says:

I think that this is a desperate effort by Al Qaeda to show that it can still do something. And the target audience is largely in Saudi Arabia and the Islamic world, not here. But the world has changed to their disadvantage. Against the backdrop of (false) security in the 1990s, stuff like this was big news. Now -- next to the war in Iraq -- this looks like small potatoes by skulking losers.

I disagree. It should still be big news. Just because they were able to only kill ninety people this time does not mean it will not be more the next time. This isn't small potatoes next to Iraq - Glenn is comparing potatoes with corn (or whatever the vegetable equivalent of apples and oranges is). If skulking losers can kill 90 people, imagine what they can accomplish if this emboldens them and they are no longer skulking. We need to take this seriously, to cover it as if it were as important as I think it is. We need to give it all the rage and anger we have given to terrorist attacks in the past so they don't think we have become complacent, because that's sure what this coverage looks like to me.

It troubles me that were this to happen here, on American ground, the reaction would probably be different. Ninety deaths would suddenly seem too signficant to throw under the coverage of SARS.

Even though message of the attacks was clearly one sent to the United States, it seems somehow different, or less of an event, if it didn't happen here. That's not my feeling, of course, just the feeling I'm getting from the media.

Have we really become that blase about terrorism or am I missing something vital here, something that would preclude this story from being a big one?

UPDATE

I think Aimee (in the comments) hit the nail on the head:

If we're not focused on what they're up to, what will they do next time to get our attention?

I don't think, like some people do, if we downplay their attempts at terrorism they will give up and go away. I think they will just try to make it bigger and more attention-grabbing the next time. They are nothing if not publicity hounds.

a baby by any other name

A Chinese couple have named their child Saddam Sars to mark the current world events when the child was born.

Imagine if this became a trend. Any babies born around these parts in the next month or so could be named West Nile. Having a baby in New York City? Some choice names would include Bloomberg Sucks, Put That Cigarette Out, Fiscal Disaster or Raise Taxes.

Other baby names trendsetters could use: Hazing Ritual (you could just call her Hazel) or Nuke Happy Kim.

Perhaps you are more concerned with the entertainment industry than world news. Zeta-Jones Fatty would be a good name for you newborn girl. Perhaps Wolverine for a boy, or Not Another Eddie Murphy Movie! The possibilities are endless. Why stick with Emily or Jason when you can name your kid WMD?

If I followed the same rule of baby naming as this couple did, Natalie would be name Kuwait
and DJ would be named Buffalo Bills Get Their Asses Kicked Again.

Iím pretty sure there wonít be a lot of babies named Dixie Chick or Freedom Fries.

psas

1. I'm still covering the Saudi bombing over at Command-Post. Latest reports are 50 dead, ten of those Americans.

2. There are still more entries for the sign contest still coming in, so you still have a day or so to make yours if you want to enter.

I'll be getting the rest up tonight.

nobel prize for anti-americanism

Who knew that standing in front of a moving bulldozer while protecting the home of a terrorist could get you nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize?

As a member of the House of Commons of Canada, and as the International Human Rights advocate for the New Democratic Party of Canada, it is my pleasure to nominate the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize...

...Although this nomination is for the ISM as a whole, three young individuals merit particular recognition for the courage and resolve they displayed in their acts of non-violent civil disobedience in defence of peace and human rights in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

These individuals are Brian Avery and Tom Hurndall, who miraculously survived sniper shots to the head by Israeli forces while they were defending Palestinian civilians from Israeli troops, and Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by an Israeli Defence Force bulldozer while attempting to prevent the demolition of the home of an innocent Palestinian family.

Sincerely yours,

Svend J Robinson, MP

Yes, the Hamas-loving, American flag-burning Rachel Corrie, whose much heralded death tale could have been written by Jayson Blair himself, there were so many fabrications.

Rachel Corrie. Arafat. Jimmy Carter. Koffi Annan. Nelson Mandela.

Birds of a feather.

victimizer or victim?

Glenbrook North moves to expel students in hazing:

And so the debate begins. Does the school have the jurisdiction over these girls needed to expel them for activities that take place off campus?

Over at Bill Quick's, commenter JB (who is familiar with school law) says:

There are conditions in some states' school laws that extend the in loco parentis authority (as well as the responsibility) of local school districts to cover situations involving behavior by student groups, whether on school grounds and/or during school hours or not. It can be (and has been, in some cases) argued that, if school authorities can reasonably be expected to know of activities by students which are primarily engaged in as a result of the students' role(s) or involvement with the school, the school authorities can exert control over the students' behavior - whether before or after the fact of said behavior.

Unfortunately, the parents of these girls can't be suspended or expelled from parenting. While the girls are old enough to be held responsible for their own actions, the parents must also be held accountable for providing their children with the means to inflict harm on others.

By that, I don't mean the beer they drank or the feces they threw at the underclassmen; I mean the mentality.

When you equip your child with the power to inflict cruelty upon others, you do a disservice not only to the kids your child will shame with that cruelty, but to your child herself. She will not gain your respect or admiration by you allowing her to exhibit these horrendous behaviors - but she will gain a sense of arrogance that will permeate her personality for the rest of her life.

Should the school be held responsible? Partly, only because they certainly had to be aware of the event and made no attempt to put a stop to it.

But the real blame lies with the parents who set a very bad precedent by giving their kids permission to act like savages.

Now those very parents will be the ones hiring lawyers and suing the school district, claiming their children are victims. There is no hope for those girls when their parents not only condone, but encourage their behavior and then set further bad examples by not owning up to the wrongdoing and fighting punishment instead, and that's where my anger stems from in stories like this one; we are clearly living in a society where people refuse to own up to their own errors, their own mistake, their own actions.

Instead we have lawsuit upon lawsuit, people blaming restaurants for making fattening food, suing to have cookies taken off the market, going to court because they were too stupid to realize they have to take the Pop-Tart out of the paper package before putting it in the toaster.

What have we become? Is there no one who will stand up and say I was wrong, forgive me instead of running to file motion papers that will ultitmately place the blame on someone else?

May 12, 2003

Link Whore night! (aka self love)

Tonight is Link Whore night. I'll throw you a link of the day, and then you whore yourself out in my comments.

Made a good post today? Got words of wisdom to share? Something to m make us laugh? Got naked pictures of yourself on your blog? Here's your chance to tell a whole bunch of people at once that they should run - post haste - over to your blog and check out the goods.

Before you do that, go read Ravenwood. Because I told him you would and you don't want to make a liar out of me, do you? Besides, he's a damn good read - prolific blogger, intelligent, amusing and opinionated. Just click the link. Then begin the self whoring.

when news breaks...

For interested parties, I've been covering the Saudi bombing story over at Command-Post.

Comic Q & A for Jay

Jay has a question for you all over at my comic book post from this morning:

Ok. If people here were going to suggest a particular comic to read, which would it be?

Just to let you know, I was a fan of Batman (the serious ones not the campy shit) - I still have copies of Arkham Asylum, The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns. For me, it's always been about superheroes that don't turn big and green or can stretch from the top of the Empire State Building to the street below, but about the ones like Batman or another one of my favorites, Daredevil (though I am loathe to see the Ben Affleck movie)

Lately I have been looking at some of the newer stuff (mostly because the art is just amazing), but at the same time I am hesitant to plunk down almost 3 bucks for what could turn out to be total crap.

Any ideas?

Help the guy out.

feeling bad about being right

I've stigmatized my daughter.

Natalie's friend called last week to see if she could go to Adventureland - a smallish theme park about ten miles from here - this Saturday.

I asked the usual questions.

About 12 kids would be going. No, no parents.

I know, she's 13. She's at that age. It's uncool to have parents tagging along everywhere. They want freedom, they want to be on their own.

This is the suburbs, but it's not. It's more like a mini-city, populated with the good, the bad and the ugly. Unfortunately, the bad and the ugly tend to congregate at places like Adventureland.

So I said no.

I've said it time and time again. I'd rather be the parent who says no instead of the parent who says why did I say yes?

Better safe than sorry is not a great consolation to a 13 year old girl who has just been outed as having strict parents.

For once, we are all united on this - me, my husband and my ex-husband. Natalie cannot play us off of each other in order to manipulate a yes answer.

She hates me right now. Her friend - who is not a very good friend at all - gave her grief about it and now they aren't speaking. All the "cool" kids are going and Natalie is not. She seems to have lost this friend, who has now been banned from our home and I am muttering good riddance under my breath. It's a win-win situation for me.

So why do I feel so bad about it?

Nat storms off to her room crying, and I sit here feeling bad that she feels bad and I wonder if I'm holding the leash too tight.

self-link

The compassion of my teenage daughter on display at Raising Hell [it's a really short post this time. And the word compassion can be thought of as sarcastic in this instance].

blogger dreams: bring me the head of eugene volokh!

When I fell asleep last night, Eugene Volokh was on Fox. I'm not sure what he was talking about, as my eyes were rolling in back of my head from exhaustion at that point, but whatever it was, my brain was still receiving Eugene's signal as I slept because I dreamed about him.

Poor Eugene was just a head. He was rolling around my kitchen floor, trying to discuss Jayson Blair with my kids. But they would hear none of it. They just wanted to play basketball with the head of Eugene Volokh.

We took the head and went outside, all the while Eugene going on and on about Jayson Blair and something about Scott Ritter. Once outside, we met Meryl Yourish and one of my bosses, who was wearing his judge's robe. He took Eugene's head away from us, tucked it under his robe and said "Look, I'm Roseanne Barr!"

I apologize to Mr. Volokh for dreaming about his head. I meant nothing by it.

when i rule the comic kingdom

I went to Borders this weekend and, as usual, headed over to the Graphic Novels section. And, as usual, that section was populated by the dregs of the earth.

Is there some code of comic book fan ethics that I havenít received? The one that says you must smell like you havenít showered in eight days and your clothes should look like you slept in them and you should have the personality of a wet mop thatís dripping with both dirty water and sarcasm?

Every time I go to Borderís itís the same thing. Thereís a small crowd of under achievers gathered around the anime books and Marvel collections, practicing their mouth-breathing and crotch-itching while they read. They never buy. They always read.

The last time I was there, I got into it with one of the neanderthals who wouldnít move from his spot even though it was obvious I wanted to get a book from the shelf. I ended up calling him a fanboy, and that was like a stake through his heart. I think he spontaneously combusted.

Iím a comic book geek. I admit it. But Iím not like them. I didnít read the entire Akira series while sitting on a stool at the local bookstore.

In fact, I was trying to buy the first Akira volume yesterday when I was thwarted by a drooling fanboy. I mean that literally. He drooled. The spittle hung from his mouth for a few seconds before it dropped onto the Art of Hellboy. My stomach turned. My appetite for Akira disappeared.

Why donít I just go to a comic book store, you ask?

Thereís three comic book shops within a mile range from my house.

The first is a single-person run shop that was once a used-book store. The guy follows me around the place, repeating the same lines over and over. You like Frank Miller? You like Frank Miller? Have you read 100 Bullets? You like Frank Miller?. The selection in the store is not worth the aggravation of being shadowed by a 400 lb parrot every time Iím in there.

The second is the one we used to call the Star Wars Store back in the day. It was a small shop on a side street that specialized in Star Wars figures and had boxes upon boxes of indie comic books to browse through. They eventually moved down the block to a huge space. They have a great toy selection, but they insist on grouping things together into sets, so you canít buy individual figures. They pride themselves on their glass-shielded displays of old action figures that sell for the price of a college education, yet they donít carry enough new toys at reasonable prices to let you do anything else but stare wistfully at the displays. The comics section of the store might as well have a huge sign that says Marvel Whores. Enough said.

The third store is a small, narrow shop that sometimes carries the indie comics I like to read and has a good selection of figures and back issues. The problem is they are also the Grand Central Terminal for Magic gatherings and Yu Gi Oh! tournaments and whatever other card games the kids are playing these days. I know that in the far reaches of the store there are boxes filled with great back issues, but I donít feel like elbowing my way passed the pimply-faced kids and overgrown teenagers speaking in the language of the Cult of Cards to get through to them.

So Iím left with a 40 minute car ride to Port Jefferson or a 40 minute train ride to New York City if I want to find some Slave Labor items or back issues to complete collections or something besides superheroes.

Iíve been thinking about opening my own comic shop. Iím pretty sure I could find backing. There are plenty of empty spaces available around here. Justin would be more than competent at running the store full time.

I just wonder if there is a call for it. How would I go about finding out how many comic book fans there are around here that would clamor for the indie stuff that canít be found anywhere else?

I would love to have a full anime section that doesnít have Dragonball Z as its main attraction. There would be an imports section and a reading area (with a No Drooling sign) and I would never, ever hold a Pokemon tournament on the premises. I would have a whole area just for comic art. Sure, I would stock all the Marvel and D.C. stuff, but I would carry heavy doses everything else. People would never come in and ask for some obscure title like Creed and have the person behind the counter look at them as if they were crazy. You wouldn't have to watch the salesperon make 100 quizzical phone calls as he tries to find you a copy of Blade of the Immortal - Blood of a Thousand.

I have a million ideas on how to make it work, but right now itís just a huge fantasy rolling around in my head that I like to shake around every once in a while.

why is this day not like any other day?

May 12.

What would have been my 14th wedding anniversary - had I stayed married - is the 4th anniversary of the finalization of my divorce.

My attorney's sense of irony was wonderful. Who else can say they got divorced on the tenth anniversary of their wedding?

Happy anniversary to me, I guess! Maybe later I'll get all introspective and reminisce about the things that led to our divorce and the downfall of our marraige and subsequent years and....

Nah. I'd rather just make silly signs.

signs, signs everywhere signs: results

Making up a contest over the weekend is the best idea I ever had. It means I don't have to kill my brain on a Monday morning writing fresh content. Sure, I have plenty to say today. But it can wait until I've had four of five cups of coffee.

Here are my favorites in the contest so far. You can still make some up if you want (see post here for details), I'm having too much fun to end the contest now. Also, feel free to add your two cents about your favorites.

I'm sure I left a few out, but I've got that job-type thing to get to. I'll add more later. For now, enjoy these.

the usual drinking/eating warning. i'm not buying you a new keyboard.

Tanya's Moltar Crossing and No Pee

Ith's Tribbles

Ann's Heavy Lifting

Avi's Kevorkian

Big Simon's Idiot

Lair's Boots and Milk Factory

Dave's Kennedy Warning and Semen

Stacy's Lightning

Sam's Belt

Treacher's Blood and Butts

COOP's Smelly Ass

Solly's Krypton

Adi's Moustache

All of Jurjen's

FFM's Scott Ritter, Appeasement

Ed's Dog Warning

More Tribbles, from Ed

Lone Wacko's Commies

Erik's Stigmata

Deb's No Ingles

Think by NC

Kevin Parrot's Love, Robots and Pippi (which just may win Most Tasteless)

And of course, my entry for Most Tasteless

May 11, 2003

sign of the times

One more sign for me before I pass out for the night. It's sort of tasteless, so it's below.

ssmith.gif

past and presents

Best Mother's day present ever:

Atari Classics 10-in-1

The perfect stick: hours of joy without all the messThatís right Atari fans, this lightweight, compact, all-inclusive controller is pre-loaded with 10 official and fully licensed vintage Atari titles: Asteroidsģ, Adventureô, Missile Commandģ, Centipedeģ, Gravitarģ, Yarís Revengeģ, Breakoutģ, Pongģ, Circus Atariô and Real Sports Volleyballô. (If youíre anything like us, the titles alone are enough to send shivers of nostalgia racing down your spine).

Check out the screens. I time warped back into the 1970's. I swear that after half an hour playing these games I was wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt and trying to score a nickel bag.

Who says you can't go home again?

I hope everyone's day was as pleasant as mine.

I love my family.

And I won the farting contest. Boo-ya!

and yet more signs

These are the latest entries in the Sign contest (see original post here).

I'm not going to post my favorites until tomorrow as people are still playing with the damn machine. Blame Dave Barry, not me.

UPDATE 2:

Blogger and its evil minions have finally decided to let Kevin Parrott post again. He has a whole collection of humorous signs. [Here's a permalink just in case you catch Blogger during the ten seconds a day it allows permalinks to work]

3 more, all from reader Eric.

stigmata

good drugs

zeus

No Ingles from Deb

Tires, also from Deb

Think from NC

Zone from Mr. MonkeyPants

psa

Happy Mother's Day to everyone of you mothers out there.

Laurence left a message for all of you:

mother.gif

Everyone enjoy your day. I'll be back tonight with more contributed signs for the contest and tales of Mother's Day madness.

the mother of all moonbats

I was all ready to write a heartfelt tribute to mothers everywhere, complete with sentimental statements and words that sprung from the page like so many flowers and rainbows and bunnies.

I made the mistake of reading Jeff Jarvis first. I actually thought he was speaking to me when he wrote:

Happy Mother's Day, you greedy capitalist, SUV-driving, eco-destroying, child-enslaving, bomb-dropping, heartless bitch, you.

I was about to send him a thank-you when I realized he was being facetious in referring to this article at Alternet: Personal Voices: A Mother's Day Manifesto

Forgive my cynicism about Mother's Day. After all, what kind of ungrateful mother wouldn't want to be honored with pesticide-laced flowers, chocolate that depends on children in slavery for its production and cards that deplete our forests and litter Mother Earth? Truly, it is the ultimate insult to honor life-giving with such toxic offerings.

The moonbats have managed to suck the joy out of every single thing on this earth now, including Mother's Day. Lucinda Marshall, author of this story and obvious feminazi, thinks mothers should refuse such gifts today.

In the United States on May 11, as we celebrate Mother's Day, let us refuse the false offerings. There is an urgent need to protest U.S. duplicity/complicity in this sorry web of atrocities that endangers the lives of our children.

So listen up, moms. When your five year old son hands you the wilted daisies that he bought at the school plant sale, refuse it. Don't worry if he cries or is hurt or insulted, you have a responsibility to not make your children complicit in the armageddon that is coming upon us.

And when your daughter hands you the sweet, heartfelt card she made for you with her own little hands, give it back to her. Don't worry if she cries. She will thank you later on in life when she realizes you were just worrying about the rainforest.

It seems quite unbelievable to me that there are people so consumed with the idea of making themselves out to be the be-all and end-all of the Save the World movement that they forget how to be human. They are so wrapped up in making themselves feel virtuous that they eschew all the necessary ingredients needed to be a feeling, thinking person. They become the movement. They become a walking, breathing placard.

It's Mother's Day. Let the pulpit stand empty for a day. Let your cynicism and joy-breaking go for a little while.

Jeff also links to this statement by Anita Roddick:

Forget squishy chocolates, flowers, and breakfast in bed. Mother's Day was established as a radical feminist statement against war and aggression.

So forget going out to brunch or dinner. Forget family gatherings. Go out and protest the war instead. Tuck the family into your hybrid car and go stand in front of the White House and protest. What a great way to say thank you to your mother!

I don't consider Mother's Day to be about me. It's about my own mother, and thanking her for putting up with the adolecscent me and the petulant young adult me. It's a day to say all the things I am sometimes in too much of a rush to say during the year; how I appreciate the things she passed on to me, like a love of reading and music.

It's about my own kids, who have taught me more about myself than I have taught them, who have made my life richer if not crazier, who have given me the gift of unconditional love.

I buy presents. I give my mother not flowers or candy, but the presents I do buy her were in all probability made with the use of oil and trees. I give me kids presents, because I would not be a mother without them. I bought DJ the hugest Supersoaker ever made and I'm sure I would be hung from the nearest endangered tree if a femnazi joy-sucker caught me giving my son a gun as a present. I buy gifts for my sisters, for acting like mothers to my kids, for stepping in when I have to step out. Their gifts are not environmentally friendly and probably not recycleable. And I don't care.

My family will gather today at my parents house. We will eat lots of meat and exchange cards made with the souls of a thousand trees and maybe we will even have a discussion about the war and we'll toast to our troops and our president . After dinner we will have coffee and pass around a box of chocolates that were probably boxed by some oppressed people in a third-world country.

And even though my parents only live across the street, I will send a message to Lucinda Marshall and her cohorts by driving my SUV over there. Maybe I'll drive around the block a few times just for the hell of it.

Happy Mother's Day you joyless, soulless, bitter women.

And Happy Mother's Day to the rest of you, who appreciate a good holiday when you see one.

May 10, 2003

i can't believe i drank the whole thing

Your best friend is you
I'm my best friend too
I share the same views
And hardly ever argue
Eat Spam from a can
Watch late night C-Span
And rock out to old school Duran Duran

every famine virtual

I lied. I'm going to leave you with another song which is, in my opinion the Greatest Song Ever Recorded.

Mr. Bungle - Retrovertigo (MP3)

Let me know what you think.

Lyrics below.

Before you advertise
All the fame is implied
With no fortune unseen
Sell the rights
To your blight
Time-machine

While I'm dulled by excess
And a cynic at best
My art imitates crime
Paid for by
The allies
So invest

Now I'm finding truth is a ruin
Nauseous end that nobody is pursuing
Staring into glassy eyes
Mesmerized
There's a vintage thirst returning
But I'm sheltered by my channel-surfing
Every famine virtual
Retrovertigo

A tribute to false memories
With conviction
Cheap imitation
Is it fashion or disease?
Post-ironic
Remains a mouth to feed

Sell the rights
To your blight
And you'll eat

See the vintage robot wearied
Then awakened by revision theories
Every famine virtual
Retrovertigo

i will marry melody

I'll leave you with this tonight. It's a beautiful song.

Cold - Bleed (MP3)

I'm going to zeta-jones my cinnamon bun from Cinnabon and go to bed.

Lyrics below

I'm feeling crossed
I take it inside
Burn up the pain
My thoughts are strange
Just like the things
I used to love
Just like the tree that fell
I heard it
If art is still inside
I feel it

I wanna bleed
Show the world all that I have inside
I wanna scream
Let the blood flow that keeps me alive

Take all these strings
They call my veins
Wrap them around
Every fucking thing

Presence of people
Not for me
Well I must remain in tune
Forever
My love is music
I will marry melody

I wanna bleed
Show the world all that I have inside
I wanna scream
Let the blood flow that keeps me alive

Won't you let me take you
For a ride
You can stop the world
Try to change my mind
Won't you let me show you
How it feels
You can stop the world
But you won't change me

I need music
I need music
I need music to set me free
To let me bleed

when it all comes back

I bought this book today.

I stood in Borders and cried. I knew the book was coming out - my mother had already ordered several copies from the library where she works. I was just stunned to see it there on display at Borders.

Every time I see Pete's picture - especially that particular picture - it all comes back. It's the picture my dad has hanging in his office. It's the photo that was used at his funeral.

I was just walking through the children's section of Borders, looking for something that would interest DJ. When I came face-to-face with Pete's image, I froze. I eventually approached the book as if I was approaching the ghost of Pete himself. I picked it up. Held it. Opened it very tentatively.

But I didn't read. I stood there, in the middle of a busy bookstore on a Saturday afternoon and cried. Not a noisy, sobbing cry, but a silent one. Just tears.

I hate when it comes back like this, when it hits me like a blindsided punch. Mostly, I hate myself for forgetting, for having these unabashed moment of joy and life when the thought of 9/11 doesn't cross my mind for hours at a time.

Chris Ganci is now a published author and that usually calls for congratulations. But I bet anything I own that Chris would rather have his father around than a book with his name on it.

Next Monday, Memorial Day, the Farmingdale, Long Island Post Office will be dedicated to Peter J. Ganci, firefighter, hero and great friend to my father. I will be there, wishing for all the world that I didn't need to be.

My other Pete Ganci entries can be found:
here
here
here
here
here


Anyone want a drink?

live, from new jersey, it's derek jeter!

So, how cool is Alan, my Command Post partner?

He just called me from Trenton, New Jersey where he is attending a minor league baseball game. Up at bat at the time of his call was none other than Derek Jeter, finishing out some injury related rehab.

Alan:He has a great ass.
Me: Well take a picure of it!

And he did.

I got a live play-by-play on the phone as Jeter grounded out to first. The important thing is Alan says Jeter looks good and healthy.

Alan rocks.

sorry, i can't stop


[click for larger image]

And here's another from reader Ernie G.

it's a sign!

Here's a sign entry from Aaron.


[click for larger image]

If you are having trouble posting your signs or getting them to work, email me.

today's soapbox

Here's a little idea of how DJ's game went:

coach.gif

You do not play cut-throat baseball with 10 and 11 year old kids. You do not, as an adult, try to intimidate a 13 year old umpire into changing his calls. And you certainly don't tell the kids on your team "Everybody slide when you get to home, just to make them happy," when the rules clearly state that the boys are supposed to slide into home if there is a play there or they will be called out.

Everyone knows this coach is an ass. The other teams are warned about him in the beginning of the season. So why do they continue to let him coach? He is a disgrace not only to the baseball league, but to his own son who has to stand there every week and watch his father act like a petulant, spoiled brat. And a mean one at that.

How are we supposed to teach our kids about sportsmanship and fair play if this coach constantly gets away with his cheap tricks and abusive behavior?

/soapbox.

signs signs everywhere signs

I've been out all day and I'm going out again - to DJ's game - in about ten minutes.

I just have to say that all the signs so far have made me laugh so hard I nearly peed myself.

Oh wait...maybe I did.

Ok, gotta go.

Keep the signs coming. I'll be back later with some MP3s and more signs of my own.

warning! danger! contest!


I guess I'll be playing with this thing all day. And being that it's Saturday and I don't feel like coming up with actual content, I'll have a contest.

[You need Adobe Acrobat to participate, but don't most computers have that, anyhow? Besides, it's free]

Go the St. Claire Safety Sign Builder, where I made the above sign, and make your own. I'm anxious to see what kind of sick things you people can come up with.

Prizes to the funniest and to the most depraved sign, which sometimes are the same thing, no? Leave your results in the comments or post to your own site and leave the link.

I'm going Mother's Day shopping. For myself. Because I deserve it.

[link via Dave Barry]

May 09, 2003

high spirits

We watched it in Japanese, with English subtitles. I hate dubbing.

What a beautiful movie. It was every story I made up in my head as a child wrapped into one charming tale. Everything I wanted to experience - magic, dragons, evil henchmen, spirits, worlds where anything could happen at anytime - was present.

I love mystical adventures and fantasy tales. I like to be lifted out of this world and into another, to witness all the things that I thought could really happen when I was six or seven.

Spirited Away had all of that. I think we are going to watch it again. Right now.

after these messages...

The usual Friday night blogging and posting of MP3s will have to wait. I'm about to be Spirited Away.

But what about the babies??

Oops. False alarm.

American investigators in Iraq have found safely locked in vaults almost 40,000 manuscripts and 700 artefacts previously believed to have been looted from the National Museum in Baghdad.

The items include a clay pot from 5000 BC, an inscribed cornerstone from King Nebuchadnezzarís 7th-century BC Babylon palace and hundreds of pieces of ancient jewelery, pottery and sarcophaguses.

US officials said that many items originally thought to have been looted were placed in hidden vaults, discovered inside the museum this week, for protection before the war began. Other items were returned once agents talked of amnesty and potential rewards.

What's that I hear? Is that an apology? A retraction?

No, just crickets chirping.

The clay pots and sarcophaguses are safe and sound. And no babies died in the process! Don't you feel good, now?

mom, can i borrow your feces?

Ah, parental permissiveness.

See, itís not just the schools to blame. Itís the parents as well.

I ask you, what kind of parent would help their daughter collect feces to throw at other girls?

Mom, we have the annual hazing tonight and I need a favor.
What do you need dear..money? Something to wear?
No, I just need a couple of kegs of beer and some shit to fling at the girls.
Oh, thatís fine honey. I can get you some pig intestines too, if you want.
And minnows?
Sure honey, I want your hazing to be the best one ever!
I love you, mom, youíre the best.
Anything for my Heather!

My parents wouldnít even give me shaving cream on Halloween.

Iím just about ready to buy an island and form my own kingdom. This place is out of control.

The LARS-athon is coming!

Start wearing editorial face masks, because LARS (Loathe America Really Severely) is spreading like wildfire. Not only is it mutating and changing course at whim, it has sub-species by the millions that eventually mutate into full-blown LARS.

The most dangerous sub-bug is SABS: Serious Abhor Bush Syndrome. Ted Rall has this one bad. He also has a case of LARS so severe that he should be immediately shipped off to France.

We must do something about this disease. We must put a stop to it. And everyone knows that there is only one way to stop the spread of a dreaded disease: The Benefit Song.

If we could line up a few celebrities to pen a tune and record it We Are the World style, we could donate the proceeds to the research necessary to eradicate LARS.

You love our world
You love our children

They should do it for the children, before LARS reaches them and it's too late. If we are not careful we will soon be raising a nation of little Norman Mailers and Dixie Chicks. Think about it, folks - is that what you want? Won't you lend a helping hand? Won't you do what it takes to make LARS a thing of the past?

Perhaps a telethon would work. We could have bloggers manning the phones while pro-America celebrities burn effigies of Sean Penn. And you know what they say - nothing burns like an effigy!

We could even have an "Adopt a LARS Victim" segment. For just twenty dollars (all proceeds going to Ted Rall's therapy bills) you could adopt say, George Clooney. Bring him home, feed him some chicken soup and Rohypnol and get to work on mind control.

Sure, it's not pleasant work; it's not even legal or ethically correct. But it sure beats having to listen to the likes of Madonna talking nonsense after being struck by LARS.

Together we can do this. LARS is destroying our country. It's ruining tourism and killing the dollar and I think it shot J.R. Call 1-800-BUSHWON for details on how you can help.

Everywhere you look

[the cleats were in my car]

Here's the thing about rumor mongering - you have to hit the person where it hurts the most. What do they have a deep hatred for? What would embarass them to no end? Find out what they have made fun of in the past and turn the tables.

If Meryl thinks I am going to be mortified that she has outed me as a fan of the Olsen Twins and Full House, she is sadly mistaken. I remember when Stephanie hit puberty and hilarity ensued. Or when D.J. tried to find a date for Joey and hilarity ensued. Or when the twins were sold to gypsies by Joey in exchange for some funny jokes and hilarity ensued.

She really has to do better. See, if you want to spread rumors about me - rumors that will enrage me and make me call you out in a fight to the death - you have to know the one thing that I never, ever want to be associated with.

For instance, see today's Bleat over at Lileks. He was shamed by a national radio station who slandered him by suggesting that his favorite band is The Carpenters. If I were him, I would take legal action. That is damning.

If Meryl wants to hit me hard, she has to dig around to find my musical kryptonite. The thing that makes me cringe. The sound that makes me want to stick pointy objects in my ears. If she was successful at starting rumors about that why, I would never live it down.

I've got Meryl's number, anyhow. I know what she loathes. I know what makes her run away in fear. And I have proof that she lived that life before she became Meryl the Blogger.

Oh, the things I know.

Whatever happened to predictability.
The milkman, the paperboy,evening tv?
How did I get delivered here?
Somebody tell me please!

This old world's confusing me.
Clouds as mean as you've ever seen
Ain't a bird who knows your tune.
Then a little voice inside you Whispers,
"Don't sell your dreams" so soon

Everywhere you look,
everywhere you look(there's a heart)
A hand to hold on to.
Everywhere you look
everywhere you look(there's a face of)
Somebody who needs you.

Everywhere you look.
When you're lost out there and you're all alone.
A knight is waiting to carry you home.

Everywhere you look

sperm: the final frontier

As usual, I had a million things to write about this morning (Meryl rumors, Bloomberg hating, school issues and LARS disease - all of which will be covered later), but due to an emergency of epic proportions, i.e, missing cleats, it will all have to wait.

Instead, I will leave you with this gem of a phrase found in a news item this morning:

But in March, according to Marcy Shatner's lawsuit, the semen-exchanging relationship with [William Shatner] her former spouse turned "unacceptable."

And they were talking about horse semen.

Do with that what you will. I'm leaving for work.

May 08, 2003

tonight's ponderance

Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Pinky?
Yes, but I don't think Matt Pinfield will be happy, Brain.

As usual, I'd like to leave you with something to ponder and comment on for the evening. I'm too lazy to make a poll right now, so we'll just have to do this the old fashioned way.

Headbanger's Ball is back. I, for one, am estatic. As long as they don't bring back that asswipe Ricky Ratchman from the first time. And as long as they don't define metal as "anything with a heavy guitar in the top 40" which would leave an hour of Linkin Park videos.

Anyhow, the question is this: Glaringly obvious mistake of not hiring me as the host aside, if Headbangers Ball was hosted by a blogger, which blogger would it be? Oh, you can still give the answer as me if you wish. I'll send them my resume. Hey, I still listen to Slayer! Stop laughing at me like that.

topless! nude! girls!

Kim has dropped a million hints that he would like to see a picture of me topless, so here goes:


click image for supersize

That's me at 8 months - May 1963. Topless, as promised.

Yea, I looked like a boy.

But this one is cute..


I think that's the last time I wore a dress.

old posts, fresh pain

My most frequently searched for and read post is this one on God Bless America Day. It has over one hundred comments, which stopped in 2002. However, I still get a ton of email over that one entry. Not a week goes by when I don't get someone writing me - mostly people who want to pray for my soul.

It makes me sad to look at that post. I read through the comments and I realize just how many people stopped coming here some time after September 2002, when I confirmed that I indeed was slapped in the face by reality and thus became a born-again realist and was leaving the liberal life for good. In fact, I had probably been living a lie all those years.

I see the names of people who were my friends. I don't mean casual friends who would come by and comment once a day and maybe send a friendly email once in a while - I mean people who knew my deepest, darkest fears, people who were invited to my wedding or shared their life stories with me.

I miss those people sometimes. I miss the way they made me laugh. I miss their friendship. I regret that those friendships were forged on bonds made not of trust and care, but of politics and beliefs. Had I known that I would be judged by my ideology and not my ability to be a really good friend, I might not have let myself get so close to some of those people to begin with.

It's interesting to note that almost all the people who unceremoniously (or ceremoniously, depending on how you look at it) dumped me for my views on the war are the people who most vocally agreed with me on the linked post. I still feel the same way about the topic today as I did then.

Some of the lost friends said they didn't like the way I started to treat liberals. But I was always bashing PETA. I was always making fun of the tin-foilers at Indymedia. It's only when I said that I thought we were justified in going to war that they hightailed it out of here.

I only bring this all up again because I got another one of those "I used to like you back in the day" emails and it referenced the God Bless America Day entry.

Oh well. All's fair in love and warmongering, I guess. I'm going to stop looking back at any of my entries from before September 2002. Those people who packed their bags and never came back may think I'm a cold-hearted, unfeeling, callous bitch because I was pro-war, but I guess not because their "dear john" emails still hurt.

and this marks this end of Deep Thoughts Week at A Small Victory. Hope you enjoyed it. Come back for Spork of Anger Week, ok?

talent roundup

I'm sort of annoyed at the whole world right now and I think it's better not to post about politics, religion or sports under the influence of a bad mood. I'll leave my self righteous bullshit for later.

Instead, I'll throw some fluff into this peanut butter sandwich.

What's your little 'talent' in life? Will Leitch writes in his wonderful 'Life as a Loser' column that his little 'talent' in life is hitting his head against solid surfaces and objects without experiencing much pain, which is an interesting revelation:

The poster quoted above went on to describe his own special talent: I would have to say it's being able to 'pop' my right shoulder in and out of its socket briefly, which results in a rather disturbing 'thud' sound.

Such talents I do not possess. I have never been drunk at a frat house party and had someone exclaim to me hey, do that thing where you hit your head against the wall, bleed profusely, but smile nonetheless.

I asked around today and most people, when prodded, will claim that their special talent is farting or burping on demand. One person claimed she could shoot ping pong balls out of her pussy, but I didn't ask her to demonstrate. Another said that he could murder someone and not leave a trace of that person behind. He was rattling off something about Vinny Gumbato's Butcher Store, but I didn't stick around to hear the rest.

And don't give me that crap about tying a cherry stem into a knot. Everyone says that.

I can control my dreams, but I don't think that takes real talent because it's a subconcious thing. I can recite phone numbers I haven't called in twenty years. I can know what my daughter is going to say before she even says it.

But no, those don't qualify as talents, per se.

However, I do have the talent to offend, estrange and piss people off in the time it takes to write a blog post.

There you have it. I can't pop my shoulder or bang my head against the wall or belch on demand, but I can make you hate me in ten seconds flat.

That, my friends, is a special talent.

the wussification of education

[Title of post stolen from Joanne Jacobs because it fits the bill and wussification is such a great word]

I wonder if stories like the one on the peaceful playground (which I covered here and Kimberly Swygert covered here and Joanne Jacobs covered here) are the reason for kids who behave like this (todayís post about the kids burning down our playground).

By trying to wussify our kids we are, in turn, giving them more power. By elevating their self esteem on a daily basis, giving lectures on how wonderful they are, and not punishing them in the classic sense (real consequences instead of time-outs), we make them feel mighty and invulnerable.

Read any post over at Tongue Tied and youíll see why our children are growing up with no sense of boundaries; because there arenít any. The lines between permissiveness and correctness have been blurred to the point where schools and other institutions have become one giant field of political correctness and hand holding.

The programs that have been put into place run in contrast to each other. You can no longer call someone a bum, for instance, but if you do there will be a thorough investigation into why you called the person a bum, if the person deserved it, what that person did to make you feel like you had to offend him and your full psychological history will be written up in an effort to clear you of any wrongdoing because there are no victims, there are no perpetrators. There are only misunderstandings and misused words and any rifts can be healed with a group discussion and perhaps we can put on a play to help you solve your differences.

So you have kids who are shielded from every feeling bad, shielded from behavior or words that may be considered offensive or biased, for instance:

An essay about the plethora of life in a rotting stump in a forest was rejected because it compared the stump to an apartment building and that might make people who live in apartments or public housing feel bad.

While the efforts of the thought/language police may be well intentioned, they are, in effect, creating monsters. A child who grows up thinking that there are no consequences to his actions because he has heard time and time again, there are no bad kids, only bad actions, will think that the kid himself, because he is not bad, will not be punished. In a world where consequence means a time out or thinking about what you did or a walk in a peaceful maze, the strongest and boldest of the kids will invariably become even stronger and bolder.

Like the child whose mother and father are so afraid to punish him for fear of hurting his feelings that he uses this knowledge to get away with murder, a child who goes to a school where there is no real punishment for bad behavior will try to get away with bigger and bigger things.

We are wussifying the kids who were already too quiet and shy to bother getting into trouble. And we are empowering the bullies, the delinquents and the troublemakers.

Political correctness in our schools will reap no benefits. Some day, we will look back at this movement as the worst thing to happen to the education system since the beginning of time.

hey kids, it's riddle time!

Ready?

Q: What starts with a C, ends in a T and rhymes with runt?

A: Madonna!

Gold star for everyone who got it right!

help wanted

The Command-Post is looking for a few good men and women. We will be adding a new feature shortly called Post Exchange.

Post Exchange will serve to facilitate commentary and discussion from both sides of a current issue.

The participants, as well as the issue, will change from week to week.

Each writer will have two shots at the topic, in a point-counterpoint fashion. After the four posts are made to the Exchange, we will open up the comment section to the public for further discussion on the issue.

The Post Exchange will offer ideas and commentary from the greatest thinkers in online journalism.

Greatest thinkers? Arenít you one of them? If you are and you feel you have what it takes to be part of Post Exchange, please send an email to michele@command-post.org.

Please list your name, website if you have one, any writing experience you have (not necessary for inclusion), hot topics in world news that interest you (see Command Post for issues we cover on a daily basis) and what side of those issues you would cover.

self reference of the week

I have a new post over at Raising Hell that I'd like you to read.

Two weeks ago, the playground burned down. What was once a brightly colored source of joy to little kids is now a pile of melted plastic, charred ground and blackened poles.

There Used to be a Playground Here.

the newest disease sweeping the nation

Margaret Drabble is a writer of some renown. She has a problem and she has admitted it.

She loathes America, and what it has done to the rest of the world.

She joins a long list of righteous writers like Ted Rall, Noam Chomsky and Norman Mailer, who have contracted a terrible, brain-shrinking disease. No, not SARS, but LARS: Loathe America Really Severely. (It was best I could come up with on short notice.)

LARS debilitates the thinking process. These writers try to write something clever or deep or profound, but all they can come up with is a million variations of "I hate you America, you SUCK!" Take, for instance, Ms. Drabble's most recent piece:

My anti-Americanism has become almost uncontrollable. It has possessed me, like a disease. It rises up in my throat like acid reflux, that fashionable American sickness. I now loathe the United States and what it has done to Iraq and the rest of the helpless world.

Ah yes, feeling vomit rise into your throat until it causes a burning sensation is quite fashionable these days. It sounds to me like Ms. Drabble could use an exorcist rather than an antacid, however. She has the demon soul of Maureen Down stuck in her esophagus.

Drabble's terrible sickness has caused a bit of amnesia as well, as she has completely forgotten anything good America has done for the rest of the world. In fact, in Drabble's fevered brain, America is the enemy of all, wreaking havoc wherever it goes, leaving victims lying in its wake like a killer tornado. She makes no mention of the enemies that America is actually fighting, like al Qaeda or Saddam or terrorism in any form, instead making the United States appear to be the enemy of all who look upon it.

There, I have said it. I have tried to control my anti-Americanism, remembering the many Americans that I know and respect, but I can't keep it down any longer. I detest Disneyfication, I detest Coca-Cola, I detest burgers, I detest sentimental and violent Hollywood movies that tell lies about history.

I can think of worse things a country could face than Mickey Mouse, soda and Ronald McDonald. Sure, the clown guy is scary and soda might make you burp, but I have a pretty good feeling that oh, the people of Iraq for instance, might prefer a few dwarves and a Happy Meal to being tortured, beaten, stripped of any dignity you once had and left to starve to death while their leader lives in luxury. (Ok, she does have a point about the movies. I hate Pearl Harbor, too.)

Of course, like any proud Brit, Dabble drags Shakespeare into the fray.

Just leave Shakespeare and Shakespeare's homeland out of this squalid bit of revisionism, I thought at the time. Little did I then think that now, three years on, Shakespeare's country would have been dragged by our leader into this illegal, unjustifiable, aggressive war. We are all contaminated by it. Not in my name, I want to keep repeating, though I don't suppose anybody will listen.

Unjustifiable. Tell that to the children who were freed from the prison. Tell that to the young girls who were raped by Uday Hussein, to the familes who lost husband, wives, sons and daughters to unjust torture and murder.

America is holding more than 600 people in detention in GuantŠnamo Bay, indefinitely, and it may well hold them there for ever. GuantŠnamo Bay has become the Bastille of America. They call this serving the cause of democracy and freedom.

So, America is an evil, putrid, sickness inducing country for holding suspected terrorists and enemy combatants in detention, but Iraq is ok for holding innoncent children in dank, airless prisons for not agreeing with his politics? I think the LARS has caused Drabble's loathing gene to mutate and go haywire.

Seriously. She has all but admitted to stalking Jack Straw.

I keep writing to Jack Straw about the so-called "illegal combatants", including minors, who are detained there without charge or trial or access to lawyers, and I shall go on writing to him and his successors until something happens. This one-way correspondence may last my lifetime.

I think Mr. Straw better have the Anthrax and Other Deadly Powders Department check out those letters before he opens them. Even if they are sealed with a kiss, he must make sure that the lipstick stain isn't tainted with cyanide. Those stalkers can be a passive-agressive bunch.

I hate feeling this hatred. I have to keep reminding myself that if Bush hadn't been (so narrowly) elected, we wouldn't be here, and none of this would have happened. There is another America. Long live the other America, and may this one pass away soon.

Ah, there it is! The tell-tale parenthetical reference to the last election. We now know where Ms. Dabble contracted her LARS disease from. She must have been hanging out with Ted Rall.

As for me, I would not want to see the America where Al Gore was president on September 11, 2001.

I do believe there are a lot of grateful Iraqis who would not want to revise history in that manner either.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for LARS, and it seems to be contagious. The most vulnerable people are those who use the word "selected" in place of "elected." If that is you, seek shelter immediately. Preferably in another country.

May 07, 2003

must.change.channel.

I really fucking hate the song Paradise by the Dashboard Light.

Why must every song I ever hated be dragged out of the dustbin and into commercials?

What have I done to deserve this? And where the hell is the remote?

All the pretty girls, in the world - And the ugly girls too

Spotted at Sean Bonner's place:

Hide the kids! Break out the champagne! ODB is back!

Hours after being released from a mental facility Thursday (May 1), the artist formerly known as Ol' Dirty Bastard and Big Baby Jesus announced that he's signed with Roc-A-Fella Records and has chosen a new nickname, Dirt McGirt.

As a proud owner of a Free ODB shirt, I weep with joy at the news of his release.

OK, not weep exactly. But I am smiling.

I love ODB in the way one loves an exploding. village-destroying, civilization-killing volcano because it makes for such pretty sunsets.

out of the COOP

I heard through the grapevine that today is COOP Day.


Happy COOP Day.

If you really love me, you would buy me the book. Or a shirt. Or the coasters.
Well, it is COOP Day. So you should, you know...buy his stuff.

the first adventure

Talk about nostalgia. Lair posts about Atari games today and asks what our favorite game was. Here's mine.

If you have to ask, you're too young to remember.

You can play the game here. Watch that duck. He's evil.

Yes, it was a duck. I've seen dragons and that chicken/duck thing was no dragon. Dragucken?

viva le carnival!

I am so incredibly impressed with the layout of this week's Carnival of the Vanities.

Bravo to the Common Sense team!

tis the season for judaism?

So my friend Barbara went in to Michael's Craft Store today to look for stickers for something she was making for her son's bar mitzvah.

She searched the aisle, couldn't find anything and approached the manager.

Do you have any Star of David stickers?
No, they aren't in season.
In season??
We only carry them at Christmas time.

Never mind how many ways of wrong that exchange is - when Barbara walked back down the aisle she noticed a whole row full of Christmas stickers.

more introspective ramblings

Continuing with Introspection Day (which I promise will be done soon)...

I was talking to Todd today about feeling nostalgic and wistful. We talked about the wonder of being a child, the joys that books brought to us, the days spent doing nothing but looking up at the sky or running through the grass.

We agreed that carefree childhoods are a thing of the past, which prompts me to re-post this entry from last year:

Summer of 12

12 then and 12 now are worlds apart.

12 then was blissful ignorance.

12 now is the weight of the world.

When I was 12 my summer days were spent barefoot in my backyard, alternating between the pool and the sprinkler and the blanket on the lawn. I left the backyard only when I heard the tinny ringing of the ice-cream truck. I would run out to the street, hopping like mad from one foot to the other in an effort to not feel the full scorch of the burning blacktop. Al the ice-cream man would hurry us along in a heavy accent. Sometimes we understood him and sometimes we didn't. And sometimes Al was in a talktative mood and he would show us the numbers tattooed on his arm. We would shrug, not really knowing what the story was. We couldn't understand his accent, and even if we did, it seemed like too heavy a story to carry with our melting cones.

Today, 12 means you have read at least three historical fiction stories about the Holocaust. 12 means you would know what the numbers on Al's arm were.

When I was 12 my summer nights were spent in the street, playing kickball with my cousins. Sometimes we played kick-the-can and we would run through the neighbors yards, hiding in their shrubbery and under their porches. We played until we were too tired to run, and then we would walk down to the candy store to buy soda and snacks.

Today, 12 means you can't play in the street because there are too many cars. 12 means your neighbor's lawn is off limits because it was just sprayed with some chemical to make their grass grow greener. 12 means you can't walk to the store at night, because there are too many strangers.

When I was 12 we went to the beach and for family drives and spent leisurely days at the park. We woke up late and watched morning tv in our pajamas until we were shooed outside. Our days were long and unstructured and lazy.

Today's 12 means summer camp or summer school and getting up with the birds. It is structure and bus rides just like the rest of the year. Family drives and trips to the beach are scheduled events. Time is managed. Soccer, baseball, dance, enrichment programs, swim lessons.

When I was 12 I wasn't afraid of the world. Current events in school meant local news, fluff stories, a few science-related pieces. Health lessons centered around hygiene and grooming. Drug education was non-existent. Learning about the environment meant paying attention to don't litter signs.

Today's 12 is frightening. Current events are happening in their own backyard. War and terrorism are part of the daily venacular. Health lessons include segments on AIDS and condoms and learning how to say no. Drug education is imperative. Today's 6th graders know about ozone layers and recycling and toxins in the water.

Today's 12 is better educated than I was. They are more informed. They are better prepared. But they are not the 12 of carefree childhood and innocence. They are somehow older, wiser and a bit more cynical than I ever knew at 12.

Perhaps today's 12 is more prepared to deal with the world than the 12 year olds of my day were. But I still have to lament that their childhood is almost over at an age when it should be in its prime.

sin #3: pride

Continuing with the Seven Sins parade, today's sin is Pride. I wish it was gluttony, because I'm starving.

So, pride. I am not a proud person. I very rarely take pride in my work or accomplishments and will deflect praise with my own criticism or pawn the bulk of the praise off on someone else.

I do have some sense of pride over the sillier things in life. My comic book collection. The fact that I own Killer Klowns From Outer Space on DVD. My knowledge of Air Supply lyrics.

My lack of pride comes from my overwhelming use of another sin - envy. No matter what I write, I still wish I could write like Bill Whittle or be as funny as Treacher or be as verbally brililant as Alan. I envy Melly's beauty and Nancy's self confidence.

When I do take pride in something, it's usuall second hand pride. My daughter makes the scholastic roll, my son makes the all-star team. Those are not my accomplishments. I don't deflect the praise when someone says that DJ is a great third baseman.

When you spend most of your life looking to make others proud, you generally don't spend a lot of time worrying about whether you would be proud or not.

I don't like to boast. When I do, it's generally in a self-depricating manner, like when I say how nice my boobs are. By my saying that I have nice tits, I am saying that the rest of me sucks. That's just the way I work.

No, I'm not this depressed, sad girl with no self-esteem sitting in a corner. I am just shy and uncomfortable under a spotlight. I'm certainly not going to go through the trouble of calling attention to something I did if I don't want other people to do it.

Perhaps I can be proud of the fact that although I yearn to be like some of the people mentioned above, I never went as far as stalking them, kidnapping them and stealing their identities.

Yet.

i'm gonna miss you

Robyn writes about her earliest childhood memory. Like hers, mine has a soundtrack, as does almost every great memory I have of my childhood.

When I was three, I would spin around the living room in a dizzy dance to The Moody Blues' Go Now.

When I was five and had a terrible cold, my mother put our fuzzy blue blanket out on grass and we laid on our backs, imagining there were castles and princes in the clouds while the radio played Theme From A Summer Place.

Robyn then links to a site for break-up songs.

Summer, 1976. Tony and Gloria had just broken up for the fifteenth time. We were sitting on the steps of the grammar school, in the back by the playground.

We sat there smoking, talking and listening to the tiny transistor radio. Then the song came on.

The deep, husky voice, speaking the words:

This has got to be the saddest day of my life. I called you here today for a bit of bad news. I wonít be able to see you anymore.

After explaining about his obligations, he breaks into song.

I had to meet you here today
Thereís just so many things to say
Please donít stop me till Iím through
This is something I hate to do

Gloria, known in our circles as the drama queen, starts crying. Not the sniffling, chest-heaving cry of the normal junior high breakup. She was bawling. Her cries of despair echoed off the see-saw, bounced into the woods behind the school and carried her anguish to the far reaches of Long Island.

Lori and I exchanged knowing glances. Gloria was part actress, part manipulator. We had know way of knowing whether she was really broken up about the breakup or not.

Many months have passed us by (Iím gonna miss you)
Iím gonna miss you, I canít lie (Iím gonna miss you)
Iíve got ties and so do you
I just think this is the thing to do

Each time the Manhattan's did the hushed "I'm gonna miss you" lyrics, Gloria's cry would reach a fevered crescendo. She stood in the corner of the alcove by the Kindergarten doorway, facing away from us, shoulders heaving.

Maybe you will find, youíll find another guy (Iím gonna miss you)
Letís kiss and say goodbye, pretty baby (Iím gonna miss you)
Please, donít you cry (Iím gonna miss you)
Understand me, wonít you try (Iím gonna miss you)

I stubbed out my cigarette on the blacktop. I walked over to Gloria who, by this time, was a mess of snot and tears. Perhaps she was devastated. Or perhaps she knew that Tony and his crew were right around the corner of the building, playing handball against the first grade wall.

Every time I hear "Kiss and Say Good-bye" it's hot and humid and I'm wearing a silly yellow tube top and cut off denim shorts, smoking a Parliament and secretly wishing that I had someone to pine for.

meryl and bon jovi, sitting in a tree!

We came. We saw. We kicked Zilla's ass.
Dave conceded that my readers were funnier and more abundant than his. Next week is the PottyMouth challenge.

I'm running late as usual but please check back later because I want to spread rumors about Meryl Yourish and I guess this would be the place to do it.

Don't worry, she's going to spread rumors about me, too. Don't listen to anything she says. Not only does she collect kitchsy statues of kids with huge eyes, but she's a compulsive liar as well. And she had big hair in the 80's. Maybe she still does. We'll have to ask WindRider about that.

May 06, 2003

requisite tuesday night american idol post

Hidden for those who haven't watched it yet.

Kimberley - sucked ass
Ruben - Ok, better than the last two weeks
Josh - boooooooooooring
Clay - should be the winner

Clay totally showed his versatility tonight. His detractors claim he is just another Broadway wannabe, but I thought his rendition of Grease proved otherwise.

Though I can totally see him as Conrad Birdie in Bye, Bye Birdie.

Kimberley looks like Robin Givens. Unfortunately, she sang like Mike Tyson. I don't know why Simon loves her so much - her screeching tonight hurt my ears.

Josh does nothing for me. There's no oomph to his act.

Ruben has a wonderful voice. He's just not making me swoon like he did the first few shows.

I was really hoping someone would do I Started a Joke. If you can pull that song off, you can sing.

And that's my four cents.

blogging challenge: davezilla v. small victory

Hello? People?

You have been CHALLENGED. Do not make Davezilla's readers appear to be funnier than mine. Do not drag my site down with your apathetic, lazy, typing fingers. Make me proud. Kick his freaking ass.

See post here for challenge. Let's get funny: Book titles that didn't quite make it.

UPDATE: My readers kick ass. To wit:

Create Delicious Family Meals in Minutes using your Unwanted Children

Psst...post them on the original post, please.

i summoned anger

Itís a publicly known fact that Iím an atheist. Itís not something Iím ashamed of, nor do I feel I should be ashamed of it. Everyone believes - or does not believe - in something different. Even though I may not view the religious world the same way you do, I would never call you an idiot for the beliefs you do have. No one should be able to make a claim on your intelligence based on what your views on religion are.

I started reading this post about plagiarism. What I read into it was that Raving Atheist was not so much plagiarizing Clubbeaux as (weakly) making fun of him. It is easy to see how Clubbeaux thought of it as plagiarism and frankly, if Raving Atheist was indeed making fun of Clubbeaux, he should have either linked to that post or put at least a footnote in saying so.

The more I read, the less interested in the plagiarism aspect I became. What enraged me was both the incredibly racist tone Clubbeauxís original post and the ensuing comments and his insistence that atheists are idiots. A few quotes from Club, taken from both his site and his comments on RAís site:

  • "But I guess if she had any brains she wouldn't be an atheist."
  • 'I have never met Christians who like facts less than atheists do."
  • "Meanwhile Delilah can't understand my "problem" with plagiarism. Atheists."
  • " That's the thing about you atheists, you're always so sheep-quick to believe any old silly thing that makes you feel better."
  • "But as I've said, if atheists could think they wouldn't be atheists in the first place."

And this latest comment from him:

I've noticed among the most religiously faithful atheists a striking tendency to adopt emotionally-pleasing stances on subjects such as evolution, race and whatever, and dress them up as factual, logical, thought-out positions, but when I ask for the facts behind them I always get this bitter blast of invective, and when I look up the atheist's run away.

Ask an atheist who proclaims that evolution is true what his facts are and he'll launch into a lengthy rant against Creationism, pronounce you hopeless and run away. Ask one how she knows for a fact that God does not exist and she'll start yammering about the medieval Catholic Church before she excuses herself.

Same "thought" process, really.

The only invective I see here is his. I'm more than willing to go to the mat for atheism and have a reasonable discussion, but when I get emails like this one:

I can prove that belief in God is more reasonable than belief in atheism, that's fairly easy to do.." I tend to think that an debate with Clubbeaux isn't going to go too well. Not when he considers my belief system unreasonable. That starts the argument off with Club already shutting down any semblance of reasonable discussion.
By lumping all atheists together in generalizing statements such as those above, Clubbeaux is stating that I am an idiot, I am immoral, I cannot think for myself.

Letís try some tenth grade math here. Remember proofs and theorems?

Using Clubbeauxís standards:
Michele is an atheist.
All atheists are brainless.
Therefore, Michele is brainless.

That would be proven true.

Using the standards of the real world, we would then try this theorem:

Some atheists are idiots.
Michele is an atheist.
Therefore, Michele is an idiot.

That would be proven false.

In an email to me, Clubbeaux stated:

I think you can think for yourself, but if you're a self-proclaimed atheist you're not doing so, since it's axiomatic that "There is no God" is not a logically defensible statement. "I don't know if there's a God or not" is perfectly acceptable, but that would make you an agnostic, not an atheist. An atheist is one who states that she knows there is no God, yet who is unable - because it's impossible - to support that belief with any proof, any facts or anything other than her own desire that it be so. You can express the reality of what you really think by saying "I don't know if there is a God or not but I really don't want there to be one," that's honest, but "There is no God" is petulant and unthinking.

Whatís the difference in the statements ďThere is a GodĒ and ďThere is no God?Ē Neither of those statements can be proven one way or the other.

You can look at it another way, as does Todd:

The irony here is that I've always understood atheists to be more intelligent and enlightened than religious fanatics. Since they are able to remove the divine from the decision making process, it takes on a more rational aspect. Invoking extra-human powers to help prove a point has never won any arguments with me. Ever. It just tells me you can't think for yourself. To me, the atheist was someone who had obviously put some thought into the rejection of religion, and therefore was capable of intelligent and rational discussion.

Unless you worship a piece of cement or a potato that looks like Mother Mary, your belief system should not call into account your intelligence.

Blanket statements like ďall atheists are idiotsĒ only serve to make the speaker himself look like the idiot.

covet thy neighbor's blog posts

Well, I tried the angry thing, but I am in one of those "I love everyone" moods today, so that didn't work. I tried serious posting, but was both misunderstood and yelled at. I grieved for my hamster and some weird chick just wanted to see pictures of the headless little ones.

Instead, I'll catch up on yesterday's sin, where I was supposed to covet something. Davezilla has a great post today, and I am coveting that. And not only I am coveting the post in a really strong way, but I'm not even going to ask him if I can have it. I am just going to take it. Just.Like.That.

So, here's Dave's: Book titles that didnít quite make it

The Delicious World of Coffee Additives Wilford Brimleyís Celebrity Workout 16,208 Steps to Financial Freedom The Erotic Life of the Sowbug Sundialing: The impact of cell phones on the Kalihari Bushmen 10,000 Great Recipes with Gasoline The Many Fetishes of Bennett Cerf Healing with Poop The Childrenís Illustrated Satanic Bible

That's just some of them. You have to go read the rest.

And then you come back here and leave your own, and I bet my readers can come up with better ones than his readers. Yea, I am challenging you Davezilla and Davezilla's fan club! Ok, we do have some cross over readers, but you all will just have to pick and choose your sides.

clearing the air

I do not think that gambling itself is immoral.

I let a very personal issue color my thinking on the whole Bennett subject. What I originally set out to write this morning was more about the coverage of the story in the blogosphere and elswhere, rather than the story itself.

They (whoever "they" may be) always say, write what you know. But sometimes what you know, and how you came to know it, can be a hinderance rather than an assett.

this hamster's gone to heaven

Giambi is gone. He is the last of the two hamsters we obtained last August to leave us. In almost a year, we lost Giambi's wife and two sets of children. In that time, our lives were enriched by the site of a headless hamster, the grieving process, a couple of funerals and births and cannibalism.

Rest in peace, Giambi. I'll never forget how you ate Apple Jacks out of my hand, how you spun around on your wheel at all hours of the night, how you liked to hang out on my shoulder.

On the other hand I won't forget how bad you smelled, how poorly you treated your wife and kids and how you never appreciated when we cleaned your cage.

For you, Giambi.

stagedance.gif

speaking of sin

I forgot it was seven sins week over at Acerbia. Is forgetting a sin?

Who couldn't get into a meme that prompts you to watch the special edition of Se7en again?

Yesterday's sin was envy. I missed it, but not entirely. While I didn't follow the rules exactly, I did spend quite a few moments envying the people who were free to get up and pee while I was stuck listening to speech after speech and couldn't move from my front row seat - which basically comes from my fear of getting up to go to the bathroom during comedy performances.

Anyhow, today's sin is anger:

Break stuff. Take all that suppressed rage and focus it on the inanimate objects that are lying around. Stuff you don't care about. That pencil? Snap it in half. That document? Rip it up. That guy who annoys you? Break his fingers... even if he isn't inanimate.

I haven't worked up to my anger phase of the morning yet, but I will. Dave told me to just be myself and and post as usual. I don't know what he meant by that.

Anyhow, I thought you could help me out here. Give me something to be angry about. Leave a link to a story that will piss me off. Give me news that will make me shake my fists at the sky in absolute rage.

I'll go get properly caffienated meanwhile.

Bill bennett, gambling and finger pointing: off on a tangent

I'm not a fan of Bill Bennett. He strays too far to the right for me. He is a moralizer and a preacher; one of those people who thinks their morals should be your morals.

The pieces written for and against Bennett in the past week differ only in their pro and con stance on the issue. Otherwise they are filled with the same stuffing; the let he who is without sin flavor.

On one side you have a throng of smirkers pointing their fingers and laughing at Bennett, screaming in one collective, shrill voice about the man of virtue having less than stellar virtues.

On the other side you have a throng of halo-wearing puritans pointing their fingers at anti-Bennetts, screaming in one collective, shrill voice about the sinner making good on his sin and how that is a virtue in itself.

They are both right in their own ways and both so very, very wrong.

Gambling is not merely a sin. For something to be a sin, you have to subscribe to the religion that holds it as such. For some people, gambling is simply a vice. And for others, gambling is a disease, a home wrecker, a long trip off of a short pier* in which the person who drowns is usually someone other than the gambler.

See, it's not about the millions Bennett poured into the casino slot machines. Bennett is a man who preaches the sanctity of family. A person with a gambling problem cannot possibly practice that preachiness.

Gambling consumes time the way a twister can consume a town. Gambling is an acid that eats away at the very core of your family, destroying it from the inside out.

I know this first hand. I am well-schooled in the life of gambling. I lived it, learned it and was destroyed by it.

No, I was not the gambler. But that is my point. It is not always the gambler who is eaten away by their addiction.

I know how family comes last to the man who is on a mission for money. I know how that next win is always around the corner, how you feed the money back if you lose in an attempt to recover your losses and how you feed the money back if you win in an attempt to double or triple your winnings.

I know the mindset. How everything else becomes closed off to the gambler and they see only the spinning numbers or tumbling dice or point spread. I know about vigs and pushes and despair.

Bennett, a rich man by his own rights, may not have had to worry about his wife needing to cash in the kids' bonds so she can go grocery shopping. The monetary issue of his addiction would never be a problem. As for me, the money issue was clearly a worry. But it was the time that gambling took away from the family, the obession with winning that made all else insignificant, the growls and grunts that came after a loss that mattered most.

I don't know Bennett's wife. I don't know if she barely tolerated his problem or didn't care or wasn't at all affected by it. But I do know that a man who preaches family values should not be doing something that so destroys the fabric of a family, and on such a grand scale.

The fact that he spoke out about his own problem is all well and good. That does not, however, give him back his title of Virtuous Man. The followers of Bennett have made him out to be somewhat of a hero because he was able to come forward and admit his problems.

However, the fact that he was such a huge gambler does not really affect those who are deriding him. Sure, it was hypocrisy in action. Write about it and let it go. The only people Bennett needs to answer to are those in his family. We may never know the toll his addiction took on them. We, as outsiders, do not know if they fought over this, if tears were shed, if threats were made, if their nights were filled with worry and dread.

And on the tail of this whole story comes news that Mayor Bloomberg of New York is thinking about using gambling to recover some of the money the city's budget is lacking.

This is a disaster waiting to happen. Enticing people - most of whom do not have Bennett's deep pockets - to put their hard earned money into slot machines just reaching out to them at their local newsstand is a terrible, terrible idea. It will only make the poor poorer and the rich richer.

That's what gambling does. From dollar scratch-offs to $500 blackjack tables, gambling will suck not only your pockets dry, but will suck the life from you should it be in your grasp too often. We'd all do well not to point our fingers at people, lest those fingers be pointed back at us at some point. That goes for Mr. Bennett as well as those smirking his way right now.


*phrase edited from ass backwards version to correct version. Thank you, Alex.

May 05, 2003

speech therapy

The ceremony was lovely, as those things go. The Chief Judge of New York gave a very interesting speech on Marbury v. Madison. The Lt. Governor gave a not so interesting speech on independent courts and freedom. I had to pee while she was talking and I don't remember much except for crossing and uncrossing my legs and that her voice was not made for public speaking.

I humbly accepted my award, feeling somewhat of a fraud as the program for the day clearly stated that I, Michele Catalano, manage my life with "grace, dignity and humility." I don't know who wrote the program, but those are very kind words bestowed upon me by someone who obviously has never met me.

The program also said that in making my visions (Trooptrax and Command Post) a reality, I have not compromised my other roles in life. Of course, they have not been to my house to see the piles of laundry nor do they know that the registration on my car expired several months ago. I wonder if I can walk into traffic court, show them my plaque and demand to be un-scofflawed.

Probably not.

If you are really that bored, interested or whatnot, I will be reprinting the entire thing they wrote about me here, mainly because they mention Carol and Keith and I want them to know that - although they refer to Carol as "that hot chick from Massachusetts" and Keith as "That GI Stud from Nebraska."

Not really. I did, though.

Anyhow, this is Cinco de Mayo and I have a huge group of family and friends that are taking me out to dinner (ok, so most of them are under ten), and a whole evening full of margaritas to drink. Ole!

please leave a message at the beep

I will be out of town all day today at a ceremony in Westchester where I will graciously accept my community service award and perhaps not so graciously sit through a three hour affair commemorating both Law Day and the dedication of the new Judicial Institute.

Obviously, no posting from me until this evening. Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo.

blind item. sort of.

There is a huge scandal about to break in the world of politics. It seems that some members of the Slutpublican party have been less than...publican. My sources say that it's the two head honchos, the prez and veep, that are in the midst of this scandal and they will be forced to give up their positions in this campaign.

One source cites a best friend's brother who says that one of the people mentioned actually laughed at Ted Rall comic once and the other voted for Ralph Nader in the last election. As if that's not enough to bring the whole party down, one of the politicians also carries a terrible medical secret. Let's just say that the person in question has been to China recently. Or slept with someone who has been to China recently.

Word has it that the party is now looking for two new leaders who will take on this campaign agains the well-financed, scandal-free and seemingly healthy Sluterian party.

That's all I can say right now.

May 04, 2003

pornrolling

There's been some confusion about the whole links thing. See, I use blogrolling, and I have three separate lists, one of which you will never see. So when I took my stroll around blog-land and started adding back all the blogs that were in my prematurely deleted bloglist, sometimes I forgot to do the pull-down menu thing and some of you ended up on my links list of porn and comics. Granted, some of you belong there. Anyhow, that may be the case with you. Maybe I just think you belong right up there with the panty fetish page and Roast Beef.

I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind

I've never done a Friday Five before and now that I'm tackling my first one, it's two days late.

Well, the only reason I'm doing it is because it's about music and everyone knows I love the music.

1. Name one song you hate to admit you like.

Just one? I already admitted it, anyhow. So you grab your girls/And you grab a couple more/And you all come meet me/In the middle of the floor...There I go again.

2. Name two songs that always make you cry.

There's the song that makes everyone who knows it cry (yea, long essay, but it makes the point). And then there's my wedding song, which has meaning beyond our wedding and makes me tear up every time.


3. Name three songs that turn you on.

Type O Negative - Christian Woman/Black Number One
Type O Negative - Love You to Death
Type O Negative - Be My Druidess

4. Name four songs that always make you feel good.

Wouldn't that be the same as turn me on? Oh..different kind of feel good.

1. Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
2. Incubus - Redefined
3. Ultraspank - Where
4. Mr. Bungle - Retrovertigo
5. Dusty Springfield - Wishin' and Hopin'

5. Name five songs you couldn't ever do without.

Dodd did something like this a while ago. I think my songs have changed since then, but this is what I sent in to Dodd - must be over a year ago:

"Helpless" - Faith No More
"Grey Flap" - Pist*On
"Love Will Tear Us Apart Again" - Joy Division
"Hey Johnny Park" - Foo Fighters
"Mayonaise" - Smashing Pumpkins

Have to think about that. I do think that Dodd should start that meme up again.

And that's my Friday Five on a Sunday. If you're interested in hearing any of the songs I mentioned, let me know.

gratuitious baseball pictures

They lost, 10-0.

Tiananmen Scare, anyone?

Jim Treacher has the funniest poll EVER, where he comes up with new names for SARS.

Go vote. Several times.

And hey, if Treacher entertains you as much as he does me, then maybe you can throw him a few bucks while you're over there, so he doesn't have to move into a cardboard box where he'll only be able to entertain street urchins and rats instead of us.

bonjour, monkey brain!

I am a jingoistic, self-regarding conquer monkey!

better late than never

One more thing I forgot to announce. The winner of the Saddam Birthday Poetry Contest is Ryan, for his many wonderful entries.

Please email me with your choice of prize, Ryan. Congratulations.

welcome to the world, fiona

I can't believe I forgot to announce the arrival of the World Wide Runt.

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. World Wide Rant. Not only is Fiona beautiful and looks nothing like Winston Churchill or E.T., but she is obviously a genius because she is blogging already.

hello my name is jimmy pop

Another day, another Little League game.

The Sir Speedy Minor League Team, following their resounding 13-3 win over the orthodonist team on Friday night, take on the second place (5-1) team today.

We really want to beat them.

To make a boring post even more boring, I will tell you that the right bat makes all the difference in the world. After using a 28 inch bat for two years that DJ insisted was fine (yet we could see it really wasn't right for him), I bought him a 26 inch bat and he's been pounding the ball.

So, what I meant to say here was, I'll be gone most of the day, but I wanted to leave a present for Sam of Unigolyn.

Bloodhound Gang - Fire Water Burn (mp3). Lyrics below.

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
We don't need no water let the motherfucker burn
Burn motherfucker burn

Hello my name is Jimmy Pop and I'm a dumb white guy
I'm not old or new but middle school fifth grade like junior high
I don't know mofo if y'all peeps be buggin' give props to my ho cause she all fly
But I can take the heat cause I'm the other white meat known as 'Kid Funky Fried'

Yeah I'm hung like planet Pluto hard to see with the naked eye
But if I crashed into Uranus I would stick it where the sun don't shine
Cause I'm kind of like Han Solo always stroking my own wookie
I'm the root of all that's evil yeah but you can call me cookie

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
We don't need no water let the motherfucker burn
Burn motherfucker burn

Yo yo this hard-core ghetto gangster image takes a lot of practice
I'm not black like Barry White no I am white like Frank Black is
So if man is five and the devil is six than that must make me seven
This honky's gone to heaven

But if I go to hell then I hope I burn well
I'll spend my days with J.F.K., Marvin Gaye, Martha Raye, and Lawrence Welk
And Kurt Cobain, Kojak, Mark Twain and Jimi Hendrix's poltergeist
And Webster yeah Emmanuel Lewis cause he's the anti-christ

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
We don't need no water let the motherfucker burn
Burn motherfucker burn

Everybody here we go
C'mon party people
Throw your hands in the air
C'mon party people
Wave 'em like you don't care
C'mon party people
Everbody say ho
C'mon party people
Everybody here we go

save the silverware!

I was just sitting here reading the news, when I burst into tears. I couldn't help myself. I was torn up inside.

My husband came running in to the living room. As soon as he saw what I was crying about, he started crying as well. We both felt bad. I mean, we do value the hunger pains of starving U.N. workers, but...the silverware. What a disaster.

Hunger pains can apparently turn even the most upstanding diplomat into a looter. At noon on Friday, food workers at the U.N. headquarters walked off their jobs, calling a wildcat strike. The result: none of the U.N.'s five restaurants and bars was staffed. The walkout left thousands of U.N. employees scrounging for lunch ó eventually, the masses stripped the cafeterias of everything, including the silverware.

The U.N. knew this was going on but did nothing. Our troops were too busy with other things to stop the looting. And really, what is more important? Kofi Annan's stomach or the souffles and casseroles and bottles of Jack Daniels?

It's a hard choice to make, I know. What would I have done if I was there? Faced with the dilemna of saving the U.N. linens from the crowd of looters or making sure Dominique de Villepin had lunch, I don't know what I would choose.

One person goes hungry and the tragedy affects those who have to deal with that person. One piece of linen or bottle of champagne is lost, and the loss affects us for generations to come.

Anyone who thinks we are in control of the U.N. is crazy. There is no civil order there. When people are hoarding the knives and forks and tuna sandwiches, there is no order. Our loss is theirs. We suffer with them. I only wish I was there to offer myself as a martyr so we would never know the loss of those beautiful coffee spoons.

last word on links

Sure, I expected email about the blogroll thing, but not the sort of passive-aggressive, I'm never talking to you again kind of mail and comments I got. Oh, you aren't linking to me so I am never, ever coming back here to read your blog again because I only read blogs of people who have me on their links list.

If I stopped reading everyone who doesn't link to me, that means that I would no longer read USS Clueless or Buzz Machine or Ken Layne or Matt Welch or Scrappleface or...you get the point. Hell, Lileks doesn't have a blogroll at all. Should we all stop reading his bleats because he doesn't link to us?

It's a freaking link, people. It's not the end of the world. Just because I forgot to put you on or deliberately took you off doesn't mean I hate you or think you are a bad person or I did some kind of public snubbing of you in the school cafeteria.

Last time I weeded out my blogroll, I didnt' make a public issue out of it, yet people still realized they were taken off for whatever reason (hey, if you update once every three months, I'm not going to bother, ok?). There are people who check Blogrolling constantly to see who's linking them and who isn't.

Get over it.

And yes, I did go ballistic when someone de-linked me last November, but it's a bit different when the de-linker makes a public issue of it and makes you feel like a pariah or the evil thing that crawled out from under the porch.

May 03, 2003

ch-ch-ch-ch

Last night we watched ten episodes of Family Guy. I guess we decided we had too much fun and we must punish ourselves accordingly because we are going to watch Jason X now.

Review to follow.

UPDATE:

Nevermind. I made it 28 minutes before I realized I would lose brain cells if I watched any longer.

The people responsible for movies like this should be tried on some kind of Homeland Security charge. Jason X just might replace Jeepers Creepers as worst movie ever on my list (which replaced Kazaam).

If you've seen a movie worse than those three, I'd like to hear about it.

how prescient

Most of you will get why I cracked up when I got this result on Sasha's quiz:

marschallin
You are the Marschallin!
Rich, elegant and idle, you like your boys barely
legal. If he leaves you for something younger,
shrug, quip "Ja, ja" and move on with
your life.


Which operatic heroine are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

rollin, rollin, rollin

I had two public blogrolls. There were about 350 links between the two.

I now have one list, with 116 links. It shows ten random blogs on the sidebar. The rest can be seen by clicking where it says see it all.

I cleaned, weeded, whittled, whatever you want to call it. I also added, and I will probably add a few more before the day is over.

Steven Denbeste has a piece on links today. Read that before you complain to me that you don't see your name on my list.

However, if you don't see your name there and you are absolutely, postively sure it should be (I've slept with you or had drinks with you or you know my secret identity or about that episode with the Batman cape and the bedspring), let me know because I'm sure what with how incredibly tedious making a new blogroll was, that I left off someone important who will proceed to publicly spank me.

I don't read everyone on my list every single day and there are some blogs that I read once in a while that probably aren't on the list but I get through from someone else's links list, and I don't automatically link to someone who links to me nor do I link only people who link to me.

That should clear everything up before the mail starts coming in. I hope.

i'm the root of all that's evil but you can call me cookie*

Obviously, I am working on the site, as I always do when I am PMS.

The blogroll is on hiatus for the day as I weed it out, fix it up and piss some people off.

Such is life.

And if you don't like the new logo or the tagline or the colors -

Bite Me.

By the way, it's Saturday so it's Tell Lies About Glenn Reynolds Day.

Once again, I am defending him. He is not selling secrets to China, he is not a communist and he was not having oral sex with Chairman Mao. In fact, he was giving the Chinese a cure for SARS. So there.

I think Bill Whittle managed to shed Frank in the proper light the other day. Radiation, indeed.

Oh, the photoessay blog is all FUBARed. Don't know what happened, but for the two of you who actually look at the pictures, I'll attempt to fix it.

*That's just me singing again.

turning nonsense into more nonsense

All you people fooling around with the poem generator, acting like you're so cool and hip. Hah. I used the thing back in February of 2002.

Well, that's not going to stop me from hopping on the bandwagon a second time.

now that silly Maypole
singing and spoil the rights and
it says excitedly. He is acting
up with the Iraqi crisis,
but the President He tilts
back in distress
call Mayday! comes from the role
of the story

Ted Rall:

God
Tell Me A GOP filed a mess
of use
nuclear, biological or Pick
a
comfortable margin, Republicans and for many voters
who did not doing anything
to capture the presidency in first term
as days left

Can't tell the difference between Morford's colum and the poem it generated:

He
also writes the population with
those pulsing extant
scientifically proven energetic vibration to radiate health
and
hurl sticks of sexless ignorance, at this
moment, to convince you realize that gets in other
words, that breath it Millions of
that everything
that you and satisfied
karmic burps.

And this one from ANSWER's page about the oppression of Cuba:

International A.series of air piracy,
several have occurred in
Write the terrorist crime
of Cuba are affiliated
with the submit button when you are imprisoned
in Los Angeles
its blockade against
terrorism against the considerable social and
its citizens from the Bush
Administration to grant
20,03
TENS OF attacks
on Movement S MARCH Against CUBA along
with the U.S.

And maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot*

People keep emailing me, asking why I haven't written about the president's speech or his jet-pilot stunt.

Basically, because I agree with Glenn and he received a lot of negative mail over his views. But here goes anyhow - short and to the point.

It looked like a slick commercial for a future campaign and it made me very uneasy.

And that's all I'm going to say on that.

*Relax, it's a movie quote.

May 02, 2003

tatu you

I'm feeling a bit under the (shitty) weather.

I'm going to do something radical. I'm going to curl up on the couch and do that thing they call reading. Catch up on my graphic novels and finish off The Clash of Civilizations. I'm also re-reading Nelson DeMille's Lion's Game because the last time I read it was pre-9/11 and the book takes on a whole new meaning now.

A rare Friday night off the internet for me. Feels good.

Here, go occupy yourself with this.

spongebob no pants?

Did you know today is No Pants Day?

I am so in. As soon as I get home from DJ's baseball game, that is. I don't want to get arrested and spoil the fun I have planned for tonight.

So get your best panties on, shave those legs and get ready to celebrate.

I'm already imagining the things we can do tonight.

What? Aren't you?

Thanks to Robyn for the heads up

bzzz. bzzz. bzzz. bzzzz.

My T1 connection at work is doing its best to imitate 1996 and my 14k AOL dial-up connection.

I keep waiting for the busy signal.

Speaking of crappy internet things, I have lost one of my email folders. It was the one titled Slutpublican Nominations.

Please read here for an imporant announcement regarding the Slutpublican Campaign.
I mean it. Now.

So. Does anyone want to hear that dream I had?

sinners click here!!

sintease.gif

Join the sinfest. You know you want to.

placeholder

More like a memo to myself. So much blog fodder today, so little time. In no particular order, to take on today:

Bush as stud. The launch of Slutpublican.us and our own presidential stud. Rachel Corrie. Natalie going to see the Dixie Chicks. Segregated proms. Winner of Saddam Birthday Poetry Contest. More playground politics. Free Comic Book Day. Museum looting. My dream about: Charles Johnson, Killians Beer, a light-up walker for a retarded man, a redneck fighting me, a dead basketball player bleeding in my car and cold cuts. Redesigning this site. Why, after getting about eight hours of sleep last night, I still can't keep my eyes open. North Korea. SARS. Etc., etc., etc.

You may proceed with your day now. Move along.

Everytime I come around yo city

Gotta love the Oxford English Dictionary. They've gone bling-bling.

The term, which is used to describe diamonds, jewelry and all forms of showy style, was coined by New Orleans rap family Cash Money Millionaires back in the late '90s and started gaining national awareness with a song titled "Bling Bling" by Cash Money artist BG.

Yes, the phrase is now in the dictionary.

Which gives me an excuse to repring one of my favorite stories.

B to the Ling

I come out of work today and head towards the parking lot. As I'm about to open my car door I'm accosted by a rather haggard looking man. He grabs my shoulder and speaks animatedly, but I have no idea what language he is speaking. I'm trying to make out at least the last word, which sounds like either schwing or bring.

"Excuse me?" I say. "Bring?"

I notice he has no teeth. He may be speaking English for all I know, but it's hard to sound coherent without teeth.

"mumblemumble ling ling"

"Ling?" I think maybe he's asking me for money, but I can't be sure. He's exasperated.

"mumblemumble bling"

I look at him quizically. "Bling bling?" I ask.

He stares for a moment, his hand still on my shoulder. Then he breaks out into a wide, toothless grin.

"Bling Bling!!!" He says, excitedly.

He then reaches into his sweatshirt and pulls out a gold chain. At the end of the chain is a large, plastic, gold colored dollar sign. He tilts back his head and laughs.

"Bling Bling!" he cries, and walks away.


January 22, 2002 03:24 PM

May 01, 2003

we will, we will crush you

The Slutpublican Party now has competition.

Hell, we have Jonno. They don't.

This is going to be a very interesting campaign. And ladies, gentlement and interns, you cannot apply to be in BOTH parties. Choose your sides. Live or die with that choice.

I have had tequila and I am ready to kick some venom ass.

why do they even bother?

Hey, I think they are making a movie about Punisher's retarded brother!

a new low in mets fandom

My father is out of his mind.

I wouldn't know what it's like to be a Met fan. I'm a fan of that other team in New York. You know, the one with all the World Series titles? The one that plays in the Bronx? Yea, that's them. 21-6. Suck it up, Dad.

Yes, that is really sitting on my parents front lawn.

But you already knew my father tends to get a little over the top about the Mets.

ride on the peace maze

[*updated*]

When I rule the world (give me a day or so until slutpublican.us goes live), I will outlaw dumb legistlations, rules and regulations and the school administrators and teachers who enact them in the name of our children.

Try wrapping your mind around this one, reported by Tongue Tied:

Officials at Neshaminy School District will install "peace mazes" at its eight elementary schools. Kids on the verge of violence will be asked to wander through the mazesí seven steps of "conflict resolution" and think about their anger for a spell.

Team captains are banned, as is the game tag. The latter will be replaced with something called "Motion Pictures" in which photographs of different points around the school playground are placed in a basket and kids will be expected to pluck out a photo and scramble off to tag it before returning. Team captains are also banned, as are any sports that don't stress inclusiveness.

"We want to offer lots of options on the playground. We want to say, 'Think about what you might like to do at recess.' "

We are raising a nation of sissies. Our kids will not know how to be competitive. They will not know how to take charge and lead. They will not be able to resolve conflict because the schools have taken aim to see that they never get into any conflicts. These kids will have no coping skills whatsover because they never have to cope with anything.

Unfortunately, too many of these kids go home to parents who think the same way as the school administrators. This all-inclusive, no competition, no winning or losing, no getting angry policy of raising and schooling kids is going to cause great problems for these children in the future.

Now that recess and playtime have been turned into yet another object lesson, the kids in this district lose yet another chance to just be kids. When is free time? When do you get to be aggressive and physically work the kinks out of your day? When do kids get to drop the pretenses of learning, doing, scheduling and obeying by being able to run, scream, shout and play with reckless abandon?

You know what happens when you don't let kids loose, when you take away their right to act their age or be better than someone else at something or be able to win, place or show? Or what happens when kids aren't allowed to feel what it's like to lose or cry or feel bad express their anger?

They don't make for very good adults, that's what.

Neshaminy is trying to tame recess, to make it accessible to nerds, to make it a place where there are no skinned knees or bloody noses or hurt feelings. No one's really better than anyone else at anything. Everyone's "sensitive."

Guess what? I was a nerd. I had plenty of hurt feelings and I was left out and picked last and I sucked at every team sport imaginable.

I learned how to lose properly. I learned how to cope with feeling sad or dejected. I learned how to accept the things I can and cannot do. There were no rules on the playground. We were tagged so hard we fell down, we were kicked in the shins and had rocks thrown at our backs all in full view of teachers. Kids ran here, there and everywhere and used their imaginations to turn the schoolyard into an alligator swamp or a jungle and some poor kid was always the wild animal who got shot by the fierce hunter.

If you are never on the losing end of things, if your life is laid out before you in one peaceful maze after another you will never, ever learn how to handle the grownup life.

[added after another cup of coffee]:

And another thing. If a kid is acting up or hurting another kid or bullying, a walk in a peaceful maze just does not cut it. Oh, you've been a terrible child today, Johnny. Go walk in through that series of winding paths and think about what you've done!

No. You take Johnny off of the playground and sit his ass in the principal's office and you do that every day until Johnny has felt like he received some kind of punishment for his behavior and perhaps he will think twice about doing it again.

And if your kid acts up at home, you don't pull him aside and say "let's talk about your feelings, sweetie. Tell me why you felt the urge to smack your sister in the face the video game controller. Is something wrong?"

No. You tell the kid to apologize to his sister and then you unplug his Playstation for about a week and just to dig it in a little further, you let his sister stay up an extra half an hour past her bedtime.

Someone has to straighten these people out before all of our kids turn into sniveling, whining, spoiled brats.

law day

While the socialists and rebels among us run amok today, the more civilized among us will be celebrating Law Day.

Each year on May 1st, Law Day provides an opportunity for everyone to reflect on our legal heritage, on the role of law, and on the rights and duties which are the foundation of peace and prosperity for all mankind.

It's easy for me. I recognize the day by just showing up for work and doing law-type things. I think I'll go pay my parking tickets as well.

Try to obey the law today, ok?

Ted, meet chad

The state of Florida is in a bit of a quandry. They don't know what to do with all their hanging chads.

Many election supervisors in Florida's 67 counties want to get rid of the ballots because they take up so much space. Miami-Dade's are in taped-up cardboard boxes stacked to the ceiling of a warehouse, while Palm Beach County's 2000 election records sit on three 5-by-5 foot pallets, each of them 6 feet high.

I have an idea. Let's all chip in a few bucks and purchase the ballots from all the counties. Then we can box them up and send them to Ted Rall. If he's so obsessed by that election and the Florida results, I'm sure he would just love to be gifted with six million ballots that he can count and recount to his heart's content.

If anything, Rall will have six million pieces of paper on which to scrawl his increasingly infantile and unfunny cartoons and columns in which he whines about the 2000 election. He could even make a party out of it and invite Bill Maher and Mark Morford over and they could all have a good cry together over how much better the world was when Clinton was jizzing all over Monica's dress and Rall was sleeping with any woman who would have him and Maher had a tv show on a non-cable network. You know, before the thought police arrived and the world went into lockdown and Saddam the Benevolent was still presiding over that peaceful land Iraq. Ah, the good old days that exist only in the minds of those who think that those six million leftover ballots still have any meaning.

I've got $4.60 and Rall's address. Who's in?

The New May Day

May Day is celebrated around the world. It is a festival of happiness, joy and the coming of summer...May Day was symbolic of a return to life, of the defeat of the hard winter, with new hopes for good planting and rich harvests.

Oh, wait...

This year May Day has even more significance. Seemingly unrelated to the occasion, the nautical distress call "Mayday!" comes from the French word m'aidez - meaning "help me" - and is pronounced "mayday." But the people and the planet itself ARE in distress and in need of help. France and other nations tried to work within the framework of the United Nations to resolve the Iraqi crisis, but U.S. and British belligerence could not be overcome. Now Iraq is in chaos and the UN is in shambles....Anti-labor hysteria in 19th century Chicago reminds one of the present patriotic hysteria all over the U.S. The invasion of Iraq, like capitalism in general, encourages religious, nationalist and patriotic illusions and obscures other critical problems like poverty, ignorance and ecological destruction.

Once again, the far left manages to co-opt something as their own. They have the uncanny ability to take every holiday or even the world over and turn it into their own cause. This year, they manage to equate May Day with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. I wonder how long it took them to come up with those words that allowed them to make the jump from labor movement to patriotic hysteria and warmongering.

What if everyone took holidays and memorial days and so forth and marked them as their own. What if we all decided we wanted to turn national days of celebration or mourning or festivals into actions to support our own causes? I mean, why not get a day of your own? Why not take May 2nd and call it "People Against Everything Day" and petition the government of your country to make it nationally recognized?

I'm going to fight back. I'm taking May 1st and making it my own. I will make everyone forget about protests and marches on oil companies and anarchist soccer tournaments and even that silly Maypole singing and dancing, which reminds me too much of The Wicker Man, anyhow.

Henceforth, let it be known that for this May 1st and all future May 1sts as they may occur will be known as Make Your Own Holiday Day. Instead of heading out to socialist demonstrations of violence and anti-authority postering, do something for yourself. Make this day your own. Suggestions:

Blogger Appreciation Day
Drink Yourself Silly Day
Strike Against Cleaning the Bathroom Day
Sexual Expermintation Day
Tip Your Gas Station Attendant Day
Take Out Your Old Gaming System Day

I'm sure you can come up with something of your own. Me, I'm going to make this National Appreciation of Comic Books and Action Figures Day.

May 1st is now mine. Make it yours. Dedicate a day to your loved one, or loved thing. Whatever do with it, make sure it outdoes and outshines what May Day has become. Adopt an Anarchist Day, anyone?

I hated Wicker Man