" /> A Small Victory: March 2005 Archives

« February 2005 | Main | April 2005 »

March 31, 2005

song of the night : making love like the restaurant was closed

Maybe you've heard this one before. I heard it for the first time today and no matter what I do, I can't unhear it. So I'll make you suffer along with me. This really has to be the worst sex song every made in the history of the entire existence of the world. No wonder R. Kelly is chasing the teens....I don't think he's going to get any from grown women with lyrics like this.

R. Kelly - Sex in the Kitchen. (download)

Sex in the kitchen over by the stove,put you on the counter by the buttered rolls

You have to read the words, below. Really. I thought this was a parody when I first heard it. It's like the bastard child of Veggie Tales and Prince.

I defy you to come up with something worse. There's just no way anything out there rivals this. I really want to know what you thought of this song. Sexy or ridiculous?

Girl you're in the kitchen
Cooking me a meal
Something makes me wanna come in there and get a feel
Walk around in your t-shirt
Nothing else on
Strutting pass, switching that ass while I'm on the phone
Cutting up tomatoes, fruits and vegetables and potatoes
Girl, you look so sexy while you're doing the damn thang
I want

Sex in the kitchen over by the stove
Put you on the counter by the buttered rolls
Hands on the table, on your tippy toes
We'll be making love like the restaurant was closed

How would you like it, baby
(How would you like that?)
Tell me right now pretty baby
Hey man, I'm gon call you back

Girl you're in the kitchen, chillin in your robe
I'm thinking to myself she better go put on some clothes
Tickling and teasing
Doing that little dance
Girl, you gon make me lay you down and give it to you one mo 'gain

Girl I'm ready to toss your salad
While I'm making love,I'll be feasting
Girl you're in the kitchen
Sweating up a storm
The oven's on 500
So you know the kitchen's warm
Girl you know just how to get into a brother's mind
Cause here we are still in this kitchen
Doing it for the third time

...fool for a lifetime

Beware the Sid Finch.

Just saying...

Leaning on the pedestal that holds my self denial*

[graphic from here, where there are more to choose from.]

According to Rox, Some guy who calls himself the Heretik says it's National Blog Comment Week and, while I think he's being a bit facetious, why the fuck not?

Besides, this post is a placeholder for something I was going to say, but I'm biting my tongue because I don't feel like bullshit today. I may look like shit, but I don't feel like wading in it.

So I'll just have a nice cup of shut the hell up and implore you all to take part in the psuedo holiday of National Blog Comment Week. Because my blog is the most asshole EVER, I demand the most comments! No lurking allowed. DELURK, DAMN YOU!

God damn, it hurts to bite your tongue this hard.


ohhh pretty colors!

Does anyone else's gmail now have text formatting? I seem to be the only one so far.

Unless my friends really have it and are just lying to me because they're afraid I'll start sending them emails with hot pink text and bulleted lists.


Here's a screen shot for those who think I'm on drugs.

[click for bigger]

Walter Sobchak ate my crocus/
Make me a playlist

I found this lone crocus (at least I think it's a crocus) in my backyard yesterday. I have this craptastic lawn; the grass is dry, hard and doesn't seem to want to grow. So imagine my surprise when I walked to the backyard yesterday to chase away the evil birds and saw this little flash of purple peeking up through the crabgrass.

I had a moment of unmitigated joy. Spring is finally here! I did a little dance - I don't think anyone saw me - let out a small whoop! and ran naked through the yard in homage to the gods of spring. Well, no. But I thought about it, that's how happy I was to see this rogue flower, and with the fact that it was 60 degrees outside.

But spring does make me think of being naked, in a shedding skin kind of way. No more bulky jackets. No more heavy boots. No gloves and scarves. I can open the windows and let some air in the house. I can roll down my car windows and let everyone hear me singing my Spring playlist. Not only that, but opening day (well, night) is on Sunday! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! Yankees v. Red Sox at the Stadium, to usher in spring! Grab a beer and a sweatshirt and throw that hot chocolate and parka away, baseball is BACK!


Oh. Nevermind. Guess my crocus will be dead by Sunday night, eh? Nice trick to play on me, Mother Nature. Get me all hyped up and singing the praises of a 60 degree day and then turn around and fuck me in the ass like that.

You know what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass? Yea, well. There's not much I can do to seek revenge on the weather, is there? I just have to bend over and take it.

I was going to title this post "getting anally raped by mother nature" but thought better of having that in big, bold letters right up top, especially when all the fundies are coming here to gawk at what a unholyheathenbabykillernazichristophobescumbucket writes about. Don't want to be responsible any brain asplosions.


I'm ready to make a playlist for the iPod of "Tunes To Listen To While The Window is Rolled Down and You're Singing in Your Loudest Voice and You Don't Care Who Can Hear You Because You Are Pretending the Weather is Spring-like Because Mother Nature is Going to Fuck Me in the Ass Once Again." Which I will shorten to: The Walter Sobchak Playlist.

Suggestions welcome.

March 30, 2005

Song/Condiment of the Night

[note: download has expired, as they all do in 24 hours]

No reason except that it's probably the greatest song ever made.

That's right. I said EVER.

Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonaise.

Fool enough to almost be it
Cool enough to not quite see it
Pick your pockets full of sorrow
And run away with me tomorrow

We’ll try and ease the pain
But somehow we’ll feel the same
Well, no one knows
Where our secrets go

I send a heart to all my dearies
When your life is so, so dreary
I’m rumored to the straight and narrow
While the harlots of my perils

And I fail
But when I can, I will
Try to understand
That when I can, I will

Mother weep the years I’m missing
All our time can’t be given
Shut my mouth and strike the demons
That cursed you and your reasons
Out of hand and out of season
Out of love and out of feeling
So bad

When I can, I will
Words defy the plan
When I can, I will

Fool enough to almost be it
And cool enough to not quite see it
And old enough to always feel this
Always old, I’ll always feel this

No more promise no more sorrow
No longer will I follow
Can anybody hear me
I just want to be me
When I can, I will
Try to understand
That when I can, I will

love thy neighbor

Speaking of elimination, my prediction for tonight's AI session is up. The others are up too, for the most part. I hope I suffienctly offended everyone I wanted to offend. If you ever want to despair over humanity, go read the comments on the AI blog. The bottom half of the universe (excluding the regulars like Ian and Mike) vents their spleen there every week. It's a car wreck.

And this is for everyone who sent me a unholyheathenbabykillernazichristophobescumbucket email today.

Because I love you even though you hate me. I kiss you. See, love makes the world go 'round. I know this, even without Jesus telling me so. I know this even though I evolved from monkeys. Love, love, love. Love lifts you up where you belong. Love is battlefield. Love is all you need.

I wanted to be tino

I want a do over.

[had to put it in the extended entry because it was screwing up the page]

You scored as Alex Rodriguez. You are ALEX RODRIGUEZ! You're the new kid on the block, just trying to live up to your reputation. You're good, you know it, and everyone that knows you knows it... you just haven't really proved you're "one of the gang" yet. You've got your hopes set on the future, hoping the new year can erase some negative feelings left from the past season.

Alex Rodriguez


Bernie Williams


Tino Martinez


Mariano Rivera


Derek Jeter


Jorge Posada


Which NY Yankee are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Found at the Coalition of the Darkside.

Hey, I'm #2 for Red Sox Hater hat!

mmmmm, lunch

Yes, I may be sitting at my desk, but that thing in front of me? That's a salad. Next to that is a drink. Together, those things make lunch. The act of raising my fork and putting the salad into my mouth means I am eating my lunch. This would, one would think, preclude you from talking to me about your son's bowel movements at this particular time. If you were, you know, not an idiot.

Bottom's Up! It's Blog Cooties Drinking Time!

Today's toast is for people who surround themselves with only those who think and live like they do.

What do you do when someone on your blogroll has a difference of opinion with your? Why, you delink them, of course! Because GOD forbid people of differing opinions be, you know, friends. Damn those cooties, they just won't wash off!

Let me just say, so as to avoid any confusion, that I drink this imaginary beer with gusto and a smile on my face. Because, really, I'd rather not hang with someone who can't stand their buds to not be a hundred perecent like them.

It's all good, anyhow, because I'm going to get my nifty own trash can and start dumping websites that are have animated breaking news gifs and make it FRONT PAGE BREAKING NEWS THAT I DON'T LIKE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE A HEATHEN! You hear that? A HEATHEN! Or Christophobe or whatever someone called me last week. These names get confusing after a while.

Name your poison, Jeff. I'll pour.

You know, I'm thinking of starting up a posse. Not sure what kind of posse it will be, but it will be GOOD. And big. And strong. We'll all have +5 Invincibility.

wanna see something really scary?

"You go first."
"No way. You go first."
"You're both pussies. I'll go first."

With that, Jack scaled the makeshift fence that had been erected in front of the house. He fell onto the front lawn. We hesitated for about thirty seconds, waiting for something bad to happen. When nothing appeared out of the shadows to attack Jack, we joined him in the yard.

I stared at the house. 112 Ocean Avenue. A slight shiver went through my body, the kind of shiver that makes you think there's someone standing behind you, maybe reaching out a cold hand, ready to grab your neck. I pulled a beer out of the brown bag I was carrying and took a few swigs to settle my nerves.

6b.jpgThis was in 1979, soon after a movie had been made about the house. The murders that happened there were the old news; five years had passed and the bloody family siege was all but forgotten in the wake of the tales of hauntings, glowing-eyed pigs and demonic possessions. The new owners of 112 Ocean Avenue had come and gone, leaving behind a legacy that was far more disturbing to some than the tragic life of the DeFeos before them.

We were teenagers with nothing better to do, I suppose. So we sat on the rickety dock in the back of the Amityville horror house, along with many other bored Long Island teenagers, drinking, telling scary stories and waiting. Just...waiting for something to happen.

While my friends were anxious for the moans of the dead to be heard coming from the house, or for a floating pig to appear at the windows, I thought about the real horror that had occurred there. A young man possessed by his own personal demons slaughtered his entire family right inside that home. Not that I was too mature to believe in demons and ghosts; I was just more concerned about the spirits of the DeFeo family members getting pissed off at us being there than the manifestations of some deranged couple's fantasy ghouls haunting us away.

Based on a true story? Sort of. There really was a guy who killed his parents and brothers and sisters one night inside 112 Ocean Avenue. There really was a couple named the Lutzes who moved in to the house shortly after. That's about as far as the "true story" goes.

But as drunk teenagers, we mostly preferred to believe the gruesome tale of oozing toilets and slimed walls because it gave us something to do. I think about it now - we spent nights hanging out in the vacant backyard of a fake haunted house? - and I almost laugh at myself until I remember all the other stupid things we did in the name of suburban excitement.

How often we hung out at Holy Rood cemetery, sitting on headstones, resting our beer bottles on grave sites. I want to reach back in time and smack myself upside the head. How disrespectful we were! But who could blame us, really? The appeal of a dark graveyard, with its prospects for ghostly happenings, seemed downright fascinating in lieu of hanging out in the landfill like we usually did. Even after that one time when Kevin was sure someone - no, something - stole his bottle opener right out of his jacket pocket and then later on deposited it on a headstone of a person who coincidentally had the same (albeit common) last name as Kevin, which scared the bravado right out of all of us, we still weren't quiet scared enough to stop tempting the fates.

There was no shortage of supposed haunted places on Long Island. A quick drive to the North Shore brought us to some spooky mansion that was rumored to have been home to an eccentric man who kept freakish midget elves as slaves. I kid you not. In the back of the sprawling estate were a few tiny little cottages, certainly meant for, well, evil midgets. Right? Of course it never occurred to us that perhaps these cottages were playhouses for the rich family's children. We were much more content to believe that at any moment, we would be chased across the grounds by evil midgets baring axes. Bloody axes.

Another estate had a topiary, much like the one in The Shining (the book, not the movie), with animals shaped out of hedges, said animals which seemed to wink and nod at us or, at other times, snarl and show their sharp, wicked teeth. It's hard to tell the difference between a snarling German Shepherd that's very real and meant to chase you off the premises and a green, leafy giraffe that's meant to be nothing more than a decoration when you are full of mescaline and cheap wine. Just saying.

Farther down the road from the barking dogs was the ancient cemetery where, if you parked your car at a certain angle and turned on your headlights at just the right time, the image of the Virgin Mary would appear on the side of a certain grave and, if you waited long enough, if you were brave enough to stick around after the Virgin showed up, some crazy ghost lady could be seen rising from her grave in a white gown, and one night we were actually daring enough to try it and we might have seen something if Billy didn't lock us in the car while playing the theme from The Exorcist on his tape player, causing one of us (not me, I swear) to nearly piss our pants, all three of us screaming at Billy to just forget it, turn the car around, drive over to McDonald's, get some munchies and call it a night. It wasn't until my sister screamed that Crazy Mary was rising from her grave and she had an axe in her hand that Billy fumbled with his keys, got in the car and peeled out of the graveyard, leaving a trail of dust, dirt and pebbles which may or may not have mingled with the spirit a screaming, ghostly banshee, shaking her fist and yelling "Get off my lawn!" Sometimes the suburban legends just write themselves.

I think that was one of the last times anything scared me quite like that. Ghost, goblins and zombies, while fun and entertaining, are not quite as frightening as electric bills or mortgage rates or the sight of one of your kids choking on a piece of candy. Growing up sucks all the fun out of life, sometimes.

Now that I'm seeing the commercials for the new Amityville Horror movie popping up on television, I keep thinking back to those nights we snuck into the yard at 112 Ocean Avenue. The real horror was much worse than the fictional (passed off as truth) horror from the movie, book and deluded brain of one George Lutz. Remember when you see "based on a true story" that the story it is based on has nothing to do with beady eyed pigs and exorcisms.

Which is a shame, really. I'd much rather be scared of a demon barnyard animal than a living, breathing lunatic. And it's been a while since I had a good scare, now that I think of it (tried with The Ring 2, but that went nowhere). I wonder if the Virgin Mary grave is still there?


The true story of what happened to the Lutz family can be found here. Of course, there will always be people who accept the Lutz version of the truth. Even if it has all been proven as a hoax.

Thanks to Lisa, who left a link in the comments to this site which has more details about the murder and the debunking of the haunted house story.

March 29, 2005

song of the day: I'm boba the fett

[Attention: Downloads expire after 24 hours, so this one is gone. If you do a Google search for "MC Chris Boba Fett" you will find the song available for download elsewhere]

First, overr at SluBlog, there's a new carnival being born. It's the Carnival of the Playlists. Check it out if music blogging is your thing.

And now, in conjunction with this post, I offer you one of the greatest songs ever made, by one of my heroes, MC Chris. I know, we use the term "heroes" so loosely these days.

MC Chris - Boba Fette's Vette - Download

C4165.jpgCruisin' Mos Espa in my Delorian,
War's over I'm a peacetime Mandalorian.
My story has stumped star wars historians
Deep in debate buffet plate at Bennigans.
Rhyme renegade sure to penetrate
First and second defense I won't hesitate.
Got a job to do Darth's the guy that delegates.
Got something against Skywalker someone he really hates.
I don't give a fuck. I'm after Solo
For all I care he could be hiding at Yoda's dojo.
Gotta make the money, credit's no good
When the Jawas run the shop in your neighborhood.
Think you can cook? I got a grappling hook.
Let's make this quick coz I'm really booked.
I'm a devious degenerate, defender of the devil,
Shut down all the trash compactors on the detention level.

My backpack's got jets. I'm Boba the Fett.
I bounty hunt for Jabba Hutt to finance my 'Vette.
I chill in deep space, a mask is over my face.
I deliver the prize but I still narrow my eyes
Coz my time I don't like to waste. Get down.

I'm a question wrapped inside an enigma,
Get inside the Slave One, find your homing signal,
From Endor to Hoth, Ripley to Spock,
I'll find what you want, but there's gonna be a cost.
Say my name is Boba Fett. I know my shit is tight.
Start not acting right, you're frozen in carbonite.
Got telescopic sight, flame throwers on my wrist.
You still don't get the jist? Spiked boots are made to kick,
Targets are made to hit. You think I give a shit?
Your mama is a bitch! I'll see you in the Sarlaac pit.
You just flipped my switch, integrity been dissed.
You scratchin on my itch. You know I shoot the gift.
Got bambinas at cantinas waitin to lick my lusty lips,
So I'll let you get back inside you're little space ship,
Give you a head start, coz I'm the sporting kind.
Consider the starting line the sneaky smile I hide inside.
Hope you have hyper drive, pray to stay alive.
Don't try to slip me a five coz I never take a bribe,
To the beat of a different drummer, bad ass bounty hunter,
Let no man put asunder or else they be put under,
As in six feet. Got an imperial fleet
Backing me up. Gonna blow up any attempt to defeat.
They got the Death Star, got four payments on my car,
Hand it over to Hammer head at Mos Eisley bar.
He used to carjack, now he's a barback
Just goes to show how you can get back on the right track.
As for me that's not an option, can't say that with more clarity.
Me going legit would be like Jar Jar in speech therapy.

My backpack's got jets. I'm Boba the Fett.
I bounty hunt for Jabba Hutt to finance my 'Vette.
I chill in deep space, a mask is over my face.
I deliver the prize but I still narrow my eyes
Coz my time I don't like to waste. Get down.

Slice you open like a tauntaun, faster than the Autobahn,
Or a motorbike in Tron, do the deed and then I'm gone.
Jaba has a hissyfit, contact Calrissian,
Over a Colt, the plan unfolds, no politic is legit.
Back in the day when I was a slave
Living life in the fast lane like in a pod race,
My mean streak tweaked I became a basket case
So this space ace split that place poste haste.
Took up a noble cause called the Clone Wars
Coz life's not all about girls and cars,
Getting fucked up in fucked up bars,
See I'm not a retard or gay like DeBarge.
I'm large and in charge with a face so scarred,
A cold black heart that's been torn apart.
The Sith wish that they had a dick so hard
Coz it's long, long ago in a pussy far, far.
Call me "master," coz I'm faster than Pryor on fire
I no longer have to hot wire.
I'm a hunter for hire with no plans to retire,
And all the sucka MC's can call me "Sire"!

My backpack's got jets. I'm Boba the Fett.
I bounty hunt for Jabba Hutt to finance my 'Vette.

[have i ever mentioned my slight boba fett fetish?]



It's been a while since I posted a dancing banana. I figured this is as good a time as any.

if only cynicism was a virtue

Sell out, with me tonight, sell out...

The parents of Terri Schiavo have authorized a conservative direct-mailing firm to sell a list of their financial supporters, making it likely that thousands of strangers moved by her plight will receive a steady stream of solicitations from anti-abortion and conservative groups.
"These compassionate pro-lifers donated toward Bob Schindler's legal battle to keep Terri's estranged husband from removing the feeding tube from Terri," says a description of the list on the Web site of the firm, Response Unlimited, which is asking $150 a month for 6,000 names and $500 a month for 4,000 e-mail addresses of people who responded last month to an e-mail plea from Ms. Schiavo's father. "These individuals are passionate about the way they value human life, adamantly oppose euthanasia and are pro-life in every sense of the word!"

That story goes nicely with this one:

"They're Going to Kill My Daughter Terri Schiavo Unless Good People Like You Help us Stop Them," writes Bob Schindler, Schiavo's father, in an Internet solicitation letter for the Life Legal Defense Foundation, which helped underwrite the Schindler family's legal fees.
Donors of $100 or more can receive a videotape of Schiavo in her bed, as can anyone who promises to show the tape and the solicitation letter to friends.

Seven days!

I hate you, George Lucas


A part of me just died.

I know it's Lucas's property and he can do whatever he wants with it in an attempt to make money hand over tainted fist, but come on. Boba Fett M&M guy? That's just fucking wrong. Darth Mix? Choose dark chocolate? What's next? Grand Moff Tarkin teddy bears?

God damn Ewoks were a slippery slope. And this is the bottom of the swamp.

Update: Do you people not see the atrocity here? It's not that Lucas is using the characters to hawk M&Ms. It's freaking Boba Fett as an M&M guy! It. Is. Wrong.

Still number one for George Lucas is a fuckwad!

1 more song 4 U

Continuing with my blogging of the songs.

385. Prince - Purple Rain (So it's more like a Prince retrospective than about this one particular song.)

prince.jpg I never heard of Prince before 1982. Apparently he put out three albums before 1999 hit the charts and the man with the royal name became all the rage. To clarify, 1999 came out in 1982.

Prince was obviously a man ahead of his time. He knew all about that Y2K bug before anyone else. He even sang about it:

’cuz they say two thousand zero zero party over,
Oops out of time So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999

Nevermind that the best song on the album was Let's Pretend We're Married, all you heard on the radio was 1999 and Little Red Corvette. Over and over and over. And just when you finally got that damn armageddon song out of your mind, it was really 1999 and it was back all over the radio again and everyone was partying like hell would freeze over when the year ended. And then 1999 came and went, and it was evident we were still partying and not out of time at all. Song over. Thank you.

I'm getting ahead of myself here. Let's take a trip back to 1984. Come on, you know you saw it. In the theater. You paid money, yes you did. Maybe you even wore purple and knew all the words and felt Prince's pain when he was left standing in the Purple Rain. I know I did. I had the purple vinyl picture disc 45 of When Doves Cry and the purple vinyl version of the soundtrack.

Once again, Prince was ahead of his time. With his shorthand spelling (I Would Die 4 U, I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow), Prince foresaw the introduction of America Online Instant Messaging and a million kids were already well-versed in AIM-speak way before it became the first language for millions of illiterate middle schoolers.

And that was it. Anything and everything that followed Purple Rain can be found in the cut-out bin at a Sam Goody near you. Or you can buy them for 99 cents at your local CD swapping emporium.

Did you know that if you rearrange the words The Artist Formerly Known as Prince you get No first-rate workmanship recently? Coincidence? I think not.

Up next: A Michael Jackson retrospective.

March 28, 2005

my new boyfriend

itrip.jpgI just want to make a heartfelt commercial plug for iTrip.

It has changed my life. Seriously. I would make love to it if I could.

Well, I'm sure I could if I really wanted to. I meant that metaphorically. Mostly. It is kind of sexy looking, in that "let's have some fun with the new toy" sort of way, isn't it?

So I use the iPod in the kitchen, in the living room, when I go to bed at night, at work and now, in the car.

The cult of iPod: you can check out any time you like. But you won't.

a new kind of music list

If there's a new music meme floating around, I'm on it. Saw it first at Tanya's and then everywhere, including MeFi:

Songs in List Form.

I thought I'd try it with one of the songs from this post.

41. Flock of Seagulls - I Ran

  • Walked along:
    • the avenue
  • Girl like you:
    • auburn hair
    • tawny eyes
    • the kind of eyes that hypnotize me through
  • I ran
    • so far away
    • all night and day
  • couldn't:
    • get away
  • Above your head:
    • cloud
    • beam of light
    • cloud [nearer]
    • aurora borealis
    • aurora borealis [twice!]
  • I ran
    • so far away
    • all night and day
  • hands
    • reach out to touch your face
  • disappearing
    • from view
    • from view!
  • hands (again)
    • reach out (again)
  • float
    • beam of light
    • beam of light
    • with you!
  • I ran
    • so far away
    • all night and day
  • couldn't
    • get away

It's been a long time since I made indented lists, so don't mind my weird structure.

I dare you - no, I triple dog dare you - to try this.


    • 1982
    • me
  • hair
    • gel
    • aqua net
    • toothpaste
    • glue

Six Days

Six. More. Days.

The most anticipated opening day ever.

I think I'll lay off the friendly wagers this year. I'm still feeling the ramifications of the last time I opened my big mouth.


Depends on who's offering.

And what the wager is.

And just because you want to see my boobs doesn't mean I want to see your weener, so don't even offer.

Six days. Now if only the weather would start acting like opening day was just inches away.

Songs Mean Things

I got bogged down in doing my 500 songs annotations because of my ridiculous notion that they should all be long explanations worthy of their own posts. And it doesn't have to be that way. I don't have to be so damn wordy all the time, right?

I'm going to attempt to put into this post all of the numbers picked today on this post. And I'm going to try to be short and sweet instead of going on and on like I always do.

For those who need a reminder (or who are new to the whole 500 songs thing) of why I chose these particular songs (and so I don't have to rehash the 'but these arent' the best songs in the world, you idiot' arguments), you can find the history here.

111. Soul Coughing - Super Bon Bon
Well. Good songs stay with you. A good song will lodge itself in your head and reappear over and over again, and not in the bad way, like McArthur's Park. In a good way, so when the song starts playing in your mind, you kind of hum along and don't mind at all. So it's fine that every single time I step into an elevator (and this happens several times a day on weekdays), my inner voice automatically starts singing you got to take the elevator to the mezzanine. And how much fun is it to spend the rest of the day saying super bon bon whenever someone addresses you? Super bon bon, super bon bon.

69. 10cc - I'm Not In Love
Maybe it was the breathless way he sang the lyrics. Maybe it was the desperation in his voice. Maybe it's because this part:
I keep your picture upon the wall
It hides a nasty stain that’s lying there

Always made me giggle a little bit because I wondered what that nasty stain was made of.
Mostly it's because when I was a little bit older and listened to the song again, it struck me as profoundly sad, not for the singer, but for the recepient of his reluctant love.

484. B-52's - Give Me Back My Man
485. B-52's - Dance This Mess Around

When you're standing in a dark, dirty night club, drunk on cheap beer and singing I'll give you fish, I'll give you candy, I'll give you everthing I have in my hand and really meaning it, that song wins a place in your heart forever. And when later on that night you find yourself sort of swaying to Dance This Mess Around and on the verge of tears and some guy in a mohawk and Mr. Bubbles t-shirt puts his arm around you and asks if maybe you'd like to go in his car and fuck for a while and you laugh so hard you start you can't catch your breath, well that song worms its way into your heart as well.

42. Split Enz - I Got You.
Solonor just pulled this number out of his ass but it turns out it's kind of fitting that it was this song, as I just found out that one of the members of Split Enz/Crowded House died over the weekend.

I love this song more for the memories than the quality of it. Sure, it was a good tune, but it certainly wasn't the best on the album (I preferred Shark Attack). The best memory of this song, this album and the band in general is the one where we sat in my room for hours on end holding the record up to the light and turning it around and around so we could marvel at the little prisms of colors and shapes that were cleverly embedded into the laser-etched vinyl. Groovy.

[To be updated momentarily. Y'all come back]

Dispensing Morals

An increasing number of pharmacists around the country are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth-control and morning-after pills, saying that dispensing the medications violates their personal moral or religious beliefs.


"This is a very big issue that's just beginning to surface," said Steven Aden of the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom in Annandale, Va., which defends pharmacists.

"More and more pharmacists are becoming aware of their right to conscientiously refuse to pass objectionable medications across the counter. We are on the very front edge of a wave that's going to break not too far down the line."

And I'm sure more and more people are becoming aware of their right to tell their pharmacist they are no longer going to do business with them if this is the way they operate. But that's besides the point, isn't it?

I'm of the school that believes if you can't perform your job to the fullest, you don't belong in that job. Don't want to dispense legitimate prescriptions to women? Find another line of work. Or maybe open up a morally superior pharmacy that is bereft of things like birth control or anything else one finds morally repugnant. Give it a clever name. Open the door to only to those who follow your strict moral guidelines. State your biases right up front, like have a sign on the door that says "All who enter here must be pure of soul and live life according to the pharmacist's guidelines." And then just hope he's not one of those people who think that pain brings you closer to god, especially if you're looking for Vicodin or something of the sort.

"There are pharmacists who will only give birth-control pills to a woman if she's married. There are pharmacists who mistakenly believe contraception is a form of abortion and refuse to [dispense] it to anyone," said Adam Sonfield of the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York, which tracks reproductive issues. "There are even cases of pharmacists holding prescriptions hostage, where they won't even transfer it to another pharmacy when time is of the essence."

I don't know about you, but I find that morally reprehensive. If your moral beliefs interfere with your ability to do your job correctly, find another line of work. To shove your beliefs down someone's throat to the point of interfering with their life is bordering on criminal.

Make a choice. Do you want to be a pharmacist or a priest?

Blogging By Numbers

Serious lack of posting today, for a Monday. All kinds of busy-ness at work and I'm not really in the mood to write anything serious, especially anything that will just end up in a vicious cycle of "I know you are but what am I, besides a godless heathen, that is?" posts.

When all else fails, write about your favorite songs, which I should have been doing anyhow.

Pick a number from 1 to 512.

the waking life

Wakes are perhaps the most bizarre ritual known to modern man. Think about it.

You are sitting in a room with a dead body. You sit in the back, chat with relatives you haven't seen since the last family member died, and all the while there is a corpse on display in the front of the room.

Now, I am Italian. Maybe it is just inherent to Italian people to treat wakes like get-togethers. We talk, we laugh, we tell stories. And while everyone else is doing the meet and greet thing, I am always looking out the corner of my eye at that coffin. I just keep thinking. Dead person. Dead person in room. Yea, that's a corpse over there. Aunt Mary is laughing and Uncle John is cursing the Yankees and some kids are hunched over a Gameboy. And there is a corpse up there on display. Why not just prop the dearly departed up in a chair, put a beer in his hand and everyone could go up and take pictures with him? What? That would be any less surreal than discusing your golf score while leaning on your uncle's casket?

Grandma's wake somehow turned into a party. Sure, I had a hand in it. We were all sitting around the funeral parlor, watching people go up and kiss the lifeless body of our grandmother, and I remarked that I needed a drink. A stiff drink. No pun intended. Really.

Obviously, we had all been thinking the same thing. We broke into action. Within twenty minutes, there were about 40 of us outside in the parking lot, the back of my brother-in-law's truck opened up and stocked like a fabulous bar. Someone ran to 7-11 and got cups. Someone made a quick drive to the liquor store. And we sat there in the parking lot of a funeral home in a cold December drizzle, telling stories about grandma and giggling nervously whenever anyone said She is going to haunt us for this, you know.

I think we do things like that at wakes because sitting in a room staring at a dead relative is a bit unnerving. What's more unnerving are the things people say while staring at the open coffin: (all true)

-Staring at coffin: Oh, he looks fantastic!
-Looks like he lost some weight before he died! Finally!
-Well, he is getting the peace he never got while he was alive. Oh, I didn't mean that as an offense to you. I'm sure he loved you.
-His fly is open.
-So, can I have his golf clubs?
-So is this dress she's being buried in like a last little prank on her?
-Mom! Kevin is checking to see if Aunt Ellen is being buried with underwear on!
[Which are all better than bringing a dog to a funeral, I suppose]

I would like to say, right here in print, preserved on the internet, that when I die, there better not be any wake. There should just be a party with jello shots and tequila and chocolate layer cake and music. Maybe someone will strip and dance on the table by the end of the night. Everyone should just have a great time, not talk about me at all, and be happy that your last vision of me was not my decaying body displayed in a pine box. Unless you intend on propping me up and putting a beer in my hand and taking pictures of yourself on my lifeless lap. Then by all means, go ahead.

March 27, 2005

some bunny loves you!*

he's just a harmless little bunny!

For those that celebrate this day, have a joyous one. For those, like me, for whom this day signifies the real beginning of spring and an afternoon spent with family, eating and drinking and enjoying their company, have a joyous day as well. And if this is just another Sunday for you, enjoy that, too. And if I may offer some sage words of wisdom for you:

Be excellent to each other.

[*i apologize for the terrible pun]
[asv is otherwise closed for the holiday]

March 26, 2005


I stuck my finger in the Easter bread batter last night, meaning to taste just a little of it to make sure I got it right.

While our mind holds all our memories, it is our senses that truly bring those memories forth. The taste and smell of the batter, all that lemon and sugar and butter, was like a one-two punch to my gut. Memories of my grandmother flooded my head. Baking on Good Friday, her hands covered in flour, deftly working the dough. The smell of the lemon zest, the squishy feel of the batter when she made me stick my hands in the mix as she would pour in the beaten eggs, then the flour, then more lemon peel, and I would whine that dough, at first, was gluey and stuck to my hands. The more I complained, the harder she made me work the dough until she threw enough flour in the pot for the batter to finally seem...doughy and it began to feel soft and pliant and I could take it out of the mixing pot to knead it.

Years of memories in one swoop, just from tasting that batter. In every single one of those memories, I am standing in Grandma's kitchen on Easter weekend and we're baking, watching The Price is Right. I'm small, in green plaid pants and a sweatshirt with the sleeves rolled up. I'm a grouchy teenager afraid to get my band t-shirt crusted with flour. I'm an adult and I'm laughing at something Grandma said and I have no idea that it's going to be the last Easter she'll be alive.

I have a picture of Grandma on my fridge. After the memories subside I glance at the photo - she's standing in the kitchen with her sister, Aunt Jo - and smile.

The smile fades later when I open my email and it's kind of strange that today is the day I get this one particular mail - amid a flurry of many, many diatribes calling me many uncharitable things - that says "how does it feel to wish your grandmother dead? Did you smile when she died? Did you want her to die just to alleviate your suffering, you selfish thing?" And I know they are referring to this and I shake my head in disbelief.

I remember my grandmother's last days. I remember sitting in her hospital room in December 1998 and marveling at how her hands were fleshy and bony at the same time and how, even on her death bed, she still smelled like a mixture of cheap lipstick and burned garlic and that may sound terrible to you, but it was grandma to me.

I miss her. I miss her terribly. There are some days I think I see her in the supermarket and I have to remind myself she's dead. There are days I go to my mother's house, across the street from where Grandma - as well as my own family - lived and I think I hear her yelling at me to put a coat on.

Did I want my grandmother to die? At that particular time and place, yes I did. I wanted her to be free from suffering. I wanted her to be with her husband, my grandfather, which is all she wanted after he died, anyhow. I wanted her to stop needing so many wires and tubes to keep her going. I wanted her to have peace.

That does not make me a killer, a nazi, a bringer of death, a terrible person or any of those things I have been called. The fact that I said If I were Terri Schiavo, if I were in that situation, I would want to die, that in my personal opinion she's not alive so much as being kept alive, does not make me selfish or a bad person or spokesperson for the culture of death.

Who's behaving badly here? Who is making death threats to judges, throwing their kids out to the wolves to get arrested, sending horrible emails to people who disagree with them, calling us nazis and Hitlers and killers, claiming that we want to kill the disabled and meek and that only good Christians can understand what's at stake here? Or that if we disagree with you that means we must be ugly liberals at heart or you start attacking us in other ways, dragging people's sexuality into the fight?

I would like very much for my grandmother to be here with me today, baking Easter bread and watching Bob Barker together. But she's dead and I'm not afraid to say that I was relieved when she died. For her. Not for me. Not for anyone else, but for her.

I'm not going to read any more of these emails. I know, I said I wouldn't do that before, but this particular email was disguised as something friendly. What a lovely thing to do. What a Christian way to behave, my friend (and that is directed toward the emailer, not all Christians).

Happy Easter. May we all rise above this.

[See also LGF, Glenn and Jeff]

[Previous posts on this here and here]

in my head, in my head

Posting shall be a bit slow until Monday, lots of family stuff going on in addition to baseball, guitar lessons, mall chauffering and other "I spend my life in my car surrounded by teenagers" things.

The Greatest Rock and Roll Songwriters thing will resume on Monday. Thanks to everyone who offered to write guest posts - take your time, hurry up, etc.

Meanwhile, here's something fun from Brian J: what albums can you sing from memory?

There are quite a few albums I can play entirely in my head, from start to finish, every note, every word, in the right order. On some of them, I can even include the part where the album used to skip. My list is way too long, but here's a sampling.

Faith No More - Angel Dust (and really any FNM album, but this one especially)
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
Far - Water and Solutions
Led Zeppelin II (to this day I cannot hear Heartbreaker on the radio without thinking that Living Love Maid should follow)
Led Zeppelin IV
Grateful Dead - American Beauty
Fear Factory - Obsolete
Stabbing Westward - Darkest Days
Danzig 4
Radiohead - Ok Computer
The Who - Tommy
Weezer - Blue Album
Boston - Boston
Slayer - Diabolus in Musica
Genesis - Trick of the Tail
Brand New - Your Favorite Weapon
U2 - Boy
Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine
Clutch - Elephant Riders

There's many more, but these are the first that came to my mind as albums I could play in their entirety solely in my head. And I've done so, when bored and without music. Most times, there's no effort involved. You just start off with the first song on the album and your brain takes over from there.

Obviously, these would all go on a long (but relatively short, when you think of how many albums I own) list of albums/CDs that I listen can listen to from start to finish without skipping any songs.

Anyhow. Off to baseball. I just loaded Boston into the iPod to help pass the time.

bread fan

March 25, 2005


Excuse me while I do something really juvenile but oh, so rewarding.


I love Michigan State!

Friday Five: 80's Edition

[Note: Your time has come and gone. Links expire after 24 hours. Try back next Friday for more musical mayhem]

Break out the big hair. It's an all 80's edition of the Friday Five. This is the ugly side of the 80's, for the most part. But a side we have to live with if we want to keep pestering our sister about her Aqua Net hair, dyed stretch jeans, Capezio sneaker days. It could be worse. I didn't bring up Jefferson Starship.

Haircut 100 - Love Plus One (download)
A Long Distance Dedication to the lovely Roxanne.

New Edition - Cool it Now. (Download)
Just shut up. I loved this band, man. LOVED them. I may have been banging my head to the big metal sounds of the day on the outside, but on the inside, I was all about Bell, Biv and Devoe.

Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane (Download)
Oh, those crazy Germans. I had this...thing...for Michael Schenker. I don't know what to call it. He wasn't really that hot, but I still thought about him in ways that a young girl just shouldn't be thinking.

REO Speedwagon - Keep on Loving You (download)
This one goes out to legendary New York Islander announcer Eddie Westfall. Some time in the early 80's, this band was doing a stint at Nassau Coliseum and ol' Eddie kept referring to them as REO Speedway, no matter how many times that silly leprechaun Jiggs McDonald corrected him.

Loverboy - Working For The Weekend
Another LDD, sent out to the world's biggest Loverboy fan, James Lileks.

Enjoy. Or not. I just thought I'd do something different from the usual metalupyourass I give you.

everybody sing!

Strolling through the supermarket this morning with the headphones on and Les Miz on the iPod, I had this absurd vision of everyone in the frozen food aisle singing and dancing along to Master of the House, looking up from where they had hovered over the ice cream display or peeking out from the Elio's pizza freezer, voices kicking in on just the right part - Master of the house/Quick to catch yer eye/Never wants a passerby/To pass him by - and then the shoppers quickly going back to what they were doing as soon as the chorus was finished.

This is where I unabashedly admit that I love soundtracks to musicals almost as much - maybe even the same amount - as I love rock and roll. And I guess that my fantasy of everyone singing along with me as they shop for frozen peas would be the equivalent of playing air guitar. More or less.

I'll go crawl back under my rock now. [Where I was listening to Jesus Christ, Superstar and imagining everyone on my block singing what's the buzz, tell me what's a-happening.]


Hey, if singing in the aisled doesn't interest you, maybe a game of Match Game does. That's right, I was so good last week, Mikey asked me back for another week. Or maybe I was drunker than Brett Sommers and he couldn't budge me from the seat. Here's this week's game. Go play and see if you can match my answers.

Easter Blogging: How Eggs Are Meaningful to this Season

I'm sure many of you have wondered why brightly colored, hard-boiled eggs symbolize Spring and Easter.

I'll tell you why it does. For one family, at least.

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. The flowers come out of the ground, the buds peek from branches on trees, bees and hornets come out from wherever they were hiding all winter long to start chasing you down your driveway again.

Those noisy kids from down the block that you haven't seen for months - and hoped that by some miracle they moved to Timbuktu - suddenly reappear with their skateboard ramps and hockey nets and the bouncing, bouncing, bouncing of the basketball until way past any normal child's bedtime.

So what does this have to do with eggs?

Well, Easter comes around every spring. We do the normal procedure of Easter baskets filled with marshmallow bunnies that stick to your fingers and chocolate bunnies whose candy coated eyes appear to be pleading "please don't eat me!" And, of course, there are the obligatory colored eggs.

We spend the night before Easter decorating the eggs in dye that doesn't come off your counter for several months, and writing the names of relatives on the eggs. When we were little, our eggs had crosses and chickies on them. My kids' eggs in the past few years have been decorated to look like Rob Zombie and Marge Simpson.

When the kids go to bed, we hide the eggs around the house even though Natalie and DJ are way too old to believe in the Easter Bunny. They still get a kick out of playing hide and seek with food products, although they wish I would stop video taping them finding those treasures, as my commentary runs along the lines of "Ohhh, how precious, she's looking behind the toilet bowl!" which will only make a 15 year old girl burst out in tears.

Eventually the eggs are rounded up on Easter morning, the video tape is thrown in the garbage and we head out to spend the day with relatives.

Sometime during the week, this scene will take place in the living room:

Nat: Eww, did you fart, DJ?
DJ: No! I was just going to ask you that!
Nat: Well it smells like someone let one out. Mom?
Me: Don't look at me like that....
Hubby: Not me. Not this time.

We all sniff the air and stare at eachother suspiciously. Then, as if we all have an epiphany at the same moment, we simultaneously yell out:


And so it begins. We turn over cushions and move furniture and clear out cabinets. And in doing so, while looking for the rogue Easter egg, we end up doing our spring cleaning.

By the time the stinky, rotten egg is found behind the toilet bowl, we've vacuumed behind the couch, put the screens on the window to get the smell out, rearranged the cabinets, thrown out twenty back issues of TV Guide and generally cleaned the house down to a sparkling, shiny newness.

Our home has been reborn, our sense of smell has been renewed, and all the brightly colored, flowered placemats and curtains have come out of hiding.

And that is how Easter eggs help to usher in spring.

You read it here first.

[revived and updated, from the defunct raising hell archives]

March 24, 2005

Idol Talk

Spoiler below, for you left coasters.

Break out the pig's blood. Mikalah is GONE.

Greatest R&R Songwriters: guest posting [updated]

If anyone would like to write a guest post for ASV on the songwriter of their choice (in regards to this poll), especially if your choice of songwriters is one I wouldn't write about (Lennon/McCartney, Richards/Jagger, you can pretty much figure out who I like or not at this point) please let me know. I haven't had a guest poster on here since Christmas, anyhow. I call dibs on Bernie Taupin, though.

Also, for the AI interested, all the Idol bloggers have posted their predictions for tonight.

Anyone else having Blogrolling problems?

Also, Morty Seinfeld is dead.

Update: Paul Westerberg has been claimed by Adam.
Matt is taking Bob Gould. Excellent choice.
John is taking Tom Waits. John is also having a dork contest. Check that dorkiness out.
I'm also going to cover Trent Reznor.
Spd Rdr has Lou Reed.

And please. Stop with the Paul Anka and Neil Diamond and Hoagy Carmichael. WHAT PART OF ROCK AND ROLL DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

Update: Dave, bless his warped soul, writes an ode to Neil Diamond that must be read to be believed.

Ace begs off the Paul Anka thing.

NF is going to tackle David Byrne. Well, not literally tackle. You know what I mean.

Mark is going to take on Jagger/Richards

Joe is taking Mark Knopfler.

How Many Rings Can One Circus Have?

Gov. Bush Requests Custody of Schiavo After Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case

Damn the courts, full speed ahead. We have an agenda to protect!

See, Andy.

The Family That Bakes Together...

Today is our traditional family baking day. Well, it always starts out like that. Eventually, the kids dissapear, along with the husband, and I'm left standing in a messy kitchen, draped in flour and egg yolk and cursing everyone who comes near me. So they call it Holy Thursday because it's the say when I walk around my house saying "Holy mother of jeebus, how did this much egg yolk get on the floor?" and "Holy shit, the yeast has risen ten feet!" or "Holy shit, you people suck to holy hell. Get out of my kitchen!"

I am not a baker. I hate baking. But this Easter Bread is one of the only things I bake that comes out perfect every time.

The recipe makes below three loaves; I generally make twelve loaves because, as DLR says, everybody wants some.

It's best served warm and smeared with butter, with a nice cup of hot tea on the side.

* 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
* 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 3 cups warm milk
* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 6 eggs, beaten
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
* 12 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon water
* 2 tablespoons butter, melted


1. Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl until slightly frothy.
2. In the meantime, dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in the warm milk. Cool to lukewarm. Once cooled, add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture along with four cups of flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Cover and put in a dark, warm place until the mixture is bubbly and doubled in size, about 2 hours.
3. Stir in the beaten eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, margarine, salt, and lemon peel (note: I have also used orange peel in the past, which adds a nice flavor). Stir well to blend. Begin adding the remaining flour a cup at a time to form a very soft dough.
4. Knead the dough on a floured board until soft and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat both sides. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and allow to rise again for 30 minutes.
5. Divide dough into three parts. Shape into slightly rounded loaves, and place on greased baking sheets. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush onto loaves.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes, or until done. Once they are done, brush the tops with melted butter for a soft crust.

Some people make braided breads instead of loaves, or shape the loaves into Easter bunnies or crosses, which always looks nice. Or they color the dough, which looks kind of funky, and I don't mean that in a good way. Or bears with genitals. By the time I get around to having the dough made all I want to do is get it in the oven. I'm not about to get all artistic with the dough at that point. So I just tell people that my rounded breads symbolize the circle of life.

Some people also put almonds or raisins or those fake fruit pieces that look like plastic kid's jewelry in their bread. Not me. I like my bread to be filled with...bread.

If there are any baking fiascos this year with the bread I'm going to quit this tradition and just start making bunnies out of Rice Krispy treats.

Greatest R&R Songwriters Part 3:

Now we're getting somewhere. I have enough nominations to make an actual poll, which I will do later on. Which doesn't mean you can't still nominate, because you can. I think I'll spend most of the morning (on a mini vacation until Monday) writing a few posts (and repeating a few posts) about some of the nominees.

Roger Waters got a few nominations and I did happen to mention Pink Floyd in this post yesterday (though my son was listening to The Wall at the time, DSOTM has been an overall favorite of his lately). The following is a repeat of my ode to DSOTM, followed by my reason for including both Waters and Gilmour in this poll.

floyd2.gifI was only eleven when DSOTM was released, so I didn't pick up on it until a couple of years later when rummaging through an older cousin's albums. Even then, I just listened to Money because I liked the cash register sounds. Oh yes, I also liked to say the bullshit line real loud because I was under the impression that if you were singing a song, cursing didn't count and God couldn't smite you.

I picked the album up again in high school and it immediately became the soundtrack to our smoke-filled, hazy nights. We sat around debating the whole concept of the record. We had theories and guesses and every lyric was a metaphor for life and death and all the crap that comes in between.

Mary (whose car, a big white boat of a vehicle, was named Floyd) had an egg-shaped chair in her basement that had speakers built into it. Sort of a pre-cursor to today's surround sound, but with an embryonic feel to it. So I would sit there in this womb of a chair, Dark Side playing over and over, the tightly rolled joints and whatever other illicit substances we came up with for the night being passed around and I drifted off into other worlds, worlds where - in the folly of my youth - only Pink Floyd and some nice Panama Red could take me.

I miss listening to music on vinyl because I miss those anticipatory scratches and pops that emitted from the speakers when you first put the needle down.

Crackle. Hiss. Scratch.

Breathe, breathe in the air...

And thus began my journey. Every song held the secret key to life. Every lyric was profound.

Speak to me/Breathe was sort of a desolate song. The words that seemed so deep and meaningful under the cloud of smoke were rather succintly summed up better by the Godfathers many years later: Birth, School, Work, Death.

In fact, the whole album could be summed up in those four words. But unlike my obsession with other bands of the time, Pink Floyd was more than the sum of their poetry. It was the music. My fling with the Doors was based on the words of Jim Morrison; I really didn't care for the music at all. Waters and company changed that. It was the sheer art of the music that lifted me out of that egg chair and into other planes.

The brooding melody of Us and Them often made me feel as if I were drowning in sorrow, as if it were a funeral dirge.

The slow, haunting tune of Brain Damage, the eventual build up of sounds in Eclipse and the feeling as if you had been dropped off of a cliff when the album ended and the pops and scratches faded to black as the needle picked itself up off of the vinyl.

Again, one of us would whisper, and the needle would drop once more and all would be quiet while we each took our own personal musical journeys through the Dark Side of the Moon.

30 years later and the album still holds up well, better than some 30 year old people I know. The lyrics are still relevant, the music is still at once disquieting and soothing, alternating in waves of musical madness that could certainly form the soundtrack to anyone's journey through birth, school, work and death.


I have to add here that I think the Roger Waters solo stuff (and the latter stages Pink Floyd music) is horrid.

But from 1973 to 1979, Waters was partly responsible - along with David Gilmour for putting together a string of four amazing albums (DSOTM, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall) without a bad one between them and that's a major feat in the music world.

So I add Roger Waters and David Gilmour - as a tandem even though Waters was nominated solo three times and even though they broke up, bitterly I might add - to the final list of greatest songwriters. Without Gilmour, there is no Wish You Were Here which is, arguably, the most often sung Pink Floyd song. Especially if you happen to frequent social gatherings where people tend to drink, reminisce and break out into spontaneous bits of song. Also, on The Wall, Waters may have written most of the songs, but Gilmour co-wrote the best song, Comfortably Numb.

You can add your own here.

March 23, 2005

and turn that infernal noise.......up!

I walk into my son's room last night to say good night and he's listening to Van Halen II. Walk into the daughter's room and she's listening to Rush.

Today, the son and his friend have Pink Floyd turned up to 11.

It's all sort of....satisfying.

Strummin' Along
greatest r&r songwriters, part 2

This is working out great. Today happens to be a really busy day, but this greatest songwriters thing is allowing me to break out old posts.

Part 2 brings us to a heavily nominated guy, Joe Strummer. Below is what I wrote after he died in 2002.

1977 was a watershed year for me. Punk rock arrived in the USA and it forever changed the way I listened to music. Though I didn't pick up on it until the following year when I heard the Ramones on a college station, I still recognize 1977 as the year the music changed.

A friend whose uncle owned a record store lent me an import copy of Clash (UK), which hadn't been released in the US yet. It was I'm So Bored with the USA that wrapped itself around my head and never let go. Janie Jones, Remote Control...I listened to the album on my piece of crap record player over and over. I was in 11th grade. 16 years old. My friends were listening to the new hearthrob of the music scene, Bruce Springsteen. Some of them were still doing the hustle, openly engaging in disco dancing while the rest of us wore our "Disco Sucks" pins.

At the end of 1978, a friend gave me a cassette copy of Give 'em Enough Rope. Safe European Home and Tommy Gun were staples of my days and night. Sitting in my bedroom with my newer, yet still crappy stereo, those huge, cushioned, oversized headphones on, bopping my head up and down and humming punk rock tunes all to the annoyance of my parents.

This isn't so much about the songs - I could sit here all day listing which songs played on my stereo during specific times of my life - it's about what Joe Strummer and the Clash meant to me. There were times when the only sounds coming from my room or my car were The Clash or The Jam.

So many hot, sticky summer nights, sitting in my Nova, drinking beer and listening to Joe Strummer's passioned voice.

I had my first major break-up with Clampdown playing in the background.

When I threw up that entire bottle of Boonesfarm wine, Brand New Cadillac was blasting from the speakers we had set up in the park that night, before the cops came, before we were chased through the woods by snarling dogs, smelling of puke and Miller Lite. Every time I hear that song, I can recall the taste of warm beer vomit.

And even though Sandinista disappointed me, I can still recite all the words to Magnificent Seven, and I bet my sister can, too.

By the time Rock the Casbah came around and everyone was a Clash fan, I had earned the right to call myself an old school fan and maybe, just maybe, looked down upon those who thought The Clash were a "great new band."

The most telling memory of what Joe Strummer meant to me, perhaps, lies in the bottom of a box in my bedroom closet. It's a tiny stuffed chicken that someone gave me, I have no idea why. It was just one of those things. When that person, my old friend Chris, gave me the chicken and said I had to give it a name, Radio Clash was on the air and I thus named the chicken Strummer.

I guess I'll fish little Strummer out of the box today and give him a place of honor on my dresser, right next to the tattered photo of Joey Ramone.

I think you all should leave your favorite Clash lyrics here. Just for the hell of it.


Cast a vote if you haven't already.

Idol Talk

Glitches and re-votes, over here.

I also have err..something bordering on absurd fanfic over here: Bo and Connie, 15 years later.

Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'
:greatest song writers, part 1

I need to have a lot more votes over in the Greatest R&R Songwriters thing before I make a poll for it. So don't forget to cast your nomination.

I said I would write about some of the nominees. I'm nominating these guys, so I guess I can drag out an old post I wrote about their band.

cfc.gif Surely you remember Squeeze? A band that is never given enough credit for their talents, Squeeze tends to get thrown into the slush pile of funny looking 80's bands that had a hit or two.

Unlike some other bands of that era that got famous because of their style or gimmick or just because they hit the right place at the righ time, Squeeze was oozing with talent.

Difford, Tilbrook, Holland and all those other guys who didn't matter as much as those three combined to make some of the greatest songs to come out of an era when great songs were not nearly as numerous as their overstyled, synth pop counterparts. Not that there's anything wrong with that; I loved the whole synth pop-new wave thing. I was just able to recognize that while most of the music of that genre was filled with fun beats that you could bop your head in time to after a few shots of tequila in a grungy-on-purpose club, Squeeze was different.

While a lot of people joined the Squeez fan-wagon when East Side Story (1981) came out (and some, not until Squeeze Singles in 1982), I had a head start on the band due to my employment at a radio station in 1980. Ok, I wasn't an employee so much as a phone volunteer, one of those people who answered the 24-7 request line and handled the contests and listened to a lot of heavy breathing and requests for sexual favors that were unheard of in my little, naive corner of the world.

Volunteering had its perks. Lots of free albums, meeting semi-stars, going on the air once in a while (I even made a few commercials) and getting a heads up on the up and coming bands, which proved to be a constant source of jealousy on the part of my friends when a band I predicted would become famous actually did and I could smugly say "I called that one!" Like I did with U2. But that's another story.

This one is about Squeeze and about a copy of Cool for Cats that made it into my hands in early 1980. The record had actually been released in '79, but New York radio was slow to pick up on it. The station I was working at, WLIR, went by the slogan "Dare to be Different," and they held true to that motto by daring to play the title song of Cool for Cats.

It was love at first listen. It was different, so far apart from anything I was hearing at the time. I grabbed a copy of the album and spent that night listening to it for hours, flipping the disc at least ten times. The lyrics to Up the Junction were simple, the rythmn almost monotonous. But somehow those two parts together formed a riveting song. Even Cool for Cats, with its machine-gun presentation of the lyrics (I give a little muscle, and I spend a little cash, but all I get is bitter and a nasty little rash) was just so out there that I couldn't help but love it. If I Didn't Love You (I'd Hate You). was the ultimate in relationship songs:

Singles remind me of kisses, albums remind me of plans .

Well, I thought that was pretty damn deep back then. In fact, I still do. And I still quote it.

I found a copy of U.K. Squeeze. - their first album and the original name of the band- in some dirty record story in the city. While it seemed to be made by almost a different band, it was still some good shit, as we used to say in the 'hood. Take Me, I'm Yours inspired many a late songwriting session on my part, trying to recreate that staccato delivery of passionate-in-an-odd-way lyrics.

Then along came East Side Story and Squeeze became a sensation. Tempted pushed them onto the charts and out of the dark, dingy clubs I had seen them in into Madison Square Garden. Elvis Costello worked wonders with the band, polishing their genius and creating a bigger, more diverse sound. Unfortunately, it was one I didn't love. I liked it, but I didn't love it the way I did Argy Bargy. I gave Sweets from a Stranger, their next album, a chance but was turned off when I found my mother singing Black Coffee in Bed.

Regardless of whether I liked them anymore or not, they were still damn talented. Jools Holland's piano playing always amazed me. Difford and Tilbrook wrote some amazing songs. And those other guys did...other talented-like things. In between the breakup of Squeeze and the reunion of Squeeze, Difford and Tilbrook released an album together, the highlight of which was a wonderful tune called Love's Crashing Wave's.

At one point, I pined for the days when Cool for Cats was considered exciting and new. When new wave finally crashed and burned, that was the one album I went to (ok, that and the 12 inch single of Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy's Kiss Me) when I wanted to sulk in my room and relive the glory days of night clubs, spiked hair and torn, black stockings.

[Go cast your votes]

March 22, 2005

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be..........

Idol night.

And then there were 11. Hopefully, this will be the last night we have to look at this face.

Live blogging as always, over here, starting at 8pm.


Heard the new Weezer song, Beverly Hills, today.

It sort of sounded like Cake and Sublime doing Undone.. In some parts it's very Blue album-ish. But then it's also Green album-ish. What I like is, it's seems very old Weezer-ish. So I like. ish.

what the world needs now is a music poll
greatest rock and roll songwriters of all time

Busy, busy day today. Besides the whole mood like black grunge thing I have going on. Hey, let's take our minds elsewhere for a bit, ok? Let's get into a controversial ranking of musical icons in which some of us will end up wanting to strangle others because, dude, the Stones just weren't that great.


I came across Paul's post on the best rock songwriter's of all time (ok, so I read it last week) and I meant to write something about it, but I just haven't gotten around to it.

Well, that's what you're here for. If you guys come up with a list of the greatest rock song writers of all time, I will write about the top, oh, ten or so. Depending on my mood this week. I'll even offer up some song downloads. And maybe a final poll. Unless the winners are going to end up being McCartney/Lennon, because I just won't abide by that.

I'm just saying, though, that Difford and Tilbrook better make the cut.

So, greatest rock and roll songwriters of ALL TIME. Go.

virus b gone

The virus problem has been fixed.

Thank you to Hosting Matters for their immediate assistance in this matter.

Firefox. It's free, people. And it doesn't have more security holes than a bunker made of mesh.

Plus, it's pretty and has tabbed browsing.

not reading any more emails today, thankyouverymuch

I'm all about the differing opinions. I make it a point to link to people whose opinions differ from mine.

I don't know how it feels to be Terri Schiavo's parents and it's not something I ever want to know. I feel for them, I really do. But let's keep in mind a couple of things here before you keep hurling insults at me: I have said over and over again that my feelings are based on just that: feelings. I have said over and over again the words if it were me, or if I should ever be in that situation that I would rather be dead. I never claimed medical or legal knowledge and I didn't base my opinion on anything but strong emotions.

So please. Stop with the emails. It's really ridiculous. If you think for one minute that I want to form some super pure race, that I want to rid the world of the retarded, the disabled, the mentally unbalanced, the crippled, the feeble or the meek, then you are the one with the problem. If you can infer all that from my feelings, my emotions that I put out in my two posts about the Terry Schiavo case, you're just clueless. Not to mention shrill.

Leave me alone. Isn't there a Hitler Youth Group out there somewhere you could harrass instead?


Once again, ASV has been hit with some kind of virus. I'm not seeing it but I got a few emails and comments about it. I have no idea how it got on here or how to get it off. If anyone has any ideas on this, that would be great. Otherwise I'm going to have to shut the site down until I can figure out what's going on.

One email says his virus detector picked up Bloodhound.Exploit.6.

Bloodhound.Exploit.6 is a heuristic detection for exploits of a Microsoft Internet Explorer vulnerability. This vulnerability was discovered in February 2004.

The vulnerability results from the incorrect handling of HTML files embedded in CHM files. (CHM is the Microsoft-compiled HTML help format.)

Maybe I'm not seeing it because I don't use IE. Also, if you're using Linux or a Mac you won't see it.

I don't know what a CHM file is, so I've never used one or knowingly used one here. I wouldn't even know where to begin to look in my folders to see where it might be. I do understand that whatever this bug is, it has something to do with Outlook Express, which I stopped using about a month ago. Interestingly enough, when I tried to download and install the patch MS offered, it kept telling me that I don't have OE on my computer. Ok, whatever. I'm at a loss here.

March 21, 2005


Fridge. March 19, 2005
[click for bigger]

magnets here

more on the Schiavo story - linking back

I'm trying to read around the blogs in regards to Terri Schiavo, but the sheer number of posts on this story is overwhelming. I do want to point interested readers to some of the posts I have read today, including people who have responded to what I wrote earlier.

Goldstein has a round up of links here.

I was Godwin-ed here, along with Janus and Andy. Janus responds here.

Long discussion thread at Daily Pundit here.

Everything you wanted to know about the case here, in unbiased fashion.

Another long blog discussion at INDC.

Ongoing coverage at Blogcritics.

Judith Weiss
weighs in, as do Ilyka and Andrea.

Another long discussion on a guest post at Roger Simon's.

I'd say this issue is somewhat polarizing, even amongst people who have historically been on the same side of things, politically.

Drop any links you have in the comments, I'll add them on. No matter what side you fall on with this issue, the discussion on most blog posts are interesting and, for the most part, informative.

And you'll never be alone again, Mathilda*

I thought I lost Mathilda. I looked for her Saturday morning and she wasn't in her usual spot in my purse. I searched the house and the car, frantic, panicky and close to calling 911.

"Hello? I'd like to report a missing iPod."

Yea, so not everyone would respond to my dire emergency with the thought that it's a, well, dire emergency.

It's not just the value of the iPod. It's not the accumulated 10.16 GB of songs. It's...it's..the attachment. Yes, the attachment. I've come to think of Mathilda as a member of the family. A child, even.

So imagine my panic when I saw she was gone. It was the same spinning, floor dropping, shaken world effect I had when I once lost my daughter in the mall when she was three. And I lost her for less than a minute. This was going on hours of emptying drawers, cleaning out the glove compartment, retracing my steps, fighting back tears and using telepathy.

I barely slept Saturday night. I slogged through Sunday on autopilot. I missed her company. Her shine. Her winking "do not disconnect" message.

And all the while I was pretty sure that I had committed the unfathomable sin of leaving her at work. Vulnerable to thieves and greasy fingers and prying eyes. Out in the open where any cleaning person or maintenance person could come in and click her wheel or push her buttons. Oh, the violation! I had nightmares about her being used by someone else, maybe slipped into a strangers pocket and he would take her home, strip her of all her contents and fill her up with his own brand of musical entertainment. I couldn't let myself think about it any longer. We had company over on Sunday and then went to a movie just to take my mind off it.

I opened my office door with trepidation this morning. I slowly turned the key, dreading what I would - or wouldn't - find on the other side of the door. I didn't turn the lights on at first. The soft glow of my computer screen was the only light in the room. My eyes followed that glow and I got up the nerve to glance downward from the screen. There, in the faint light, I could make out the circuitous white loop of Mathilda's wire. And connected to the end of that wire was Mathilda herself, her screen gently reminding me that her battery was fully charged. I let out a deep, relieved breath. I held Mathilda in my hands..no, cradled her and restarted the computer.

She's been entertaining me all day, albeit with a streak of anger showing through here or there. I imagine she's not happy with being left alone all weekend. I can tell by her the playlist selections she's making today.

I'm sorry, Mathilda. I'll never let you out of my sight again. Now please, stop with the House of Pain.

*bonus points for recognizing the quote and, subsequently, where mathilda's name comes from

Do I Need a Jacket?

Yes. Because it's misty and it's cold.

It's all I ever wanted or needed in a weather report.

clarifications and whatnot

[I said yesterday that I wrote my first and last thoughts on Terri Schiavo, but I'm diving into the subject again, mostly to defend myself against some rather crude accusations]

One of my greatest fears is of being buried alive. The dark side of my imagination has created a scenario in which this happens and it appears in my dreams every once in while: Imagine being held down, underneath layers of dirt or stone or maybe in a wooden box. You see a pinpoint of light above. Just out of reach. You can hear muted voices above you; there are people out there. Living, breathing people who are going about their daily lives while you are trying to claw your way out of your trap, while you are trying to shout to them. But no one hears you. No one knows you are in there.

When people tell me that Terri Schiavo is aware, that's what I imagine. That's how I envision her every cognizant moment to be. I don’t know that this is true. I’m no medical expert. But no one knows what’s going on inside Terri’s mind, do they? If anything is going on in there. The fact that she has no working cerebral cortex makes me inclined to believe that she isn’t aware of anything. But I try to put myself in that place. Is that a way I would want to exist for fifteen years? Hell, I wouldn't want to live that life for fifteen days.

My post yesterday was not one based on expert witness testimony or facts and figures and data. It was based on emotion and I assumed it obvious that it was a personal view of what I would want if I were in that situation as well as an admonition to make a living will so this never happens to you.

To say - as some other bloggers as well as emailers did - that it would stand to reason then that I would advocate the killing of the retarded, the meek and the disabled is absolutely ridiculous. You may call my desire to see Terri die peacefully a slippery slope, but you’re creating that slope out of fallacies. When I advocate mercy killings, I don’t mean that people should just run rampant through hospitals jabbing all the sick and elderly with needles full of morphine. I would expect that if euthanasia was ever made legal, it would be used only on people who have expressly and legally made provisions for such a thing to be done to them, in specific situations.

A few people asked why I didn't mention Michael Schiavo. I purposely didn’t write anything about Terri’s husband simply because he wasn’t a factor in what I felt yesterday after reading countless news stories and blog posts about the case. I was looking at it from the point of view as someone who has watched loved ones die and as someone who would not want to linger inside a shell of myself for 15 years while my parents and husband fought over whether I may some day recover. My impression of her husband are not favorable, but I don't see why that matters.

And now I'm wondering why the Schiavo case is as famous, for lack of a better word, as it is. Why the lights and cameras? Why the politicians and reporters?

I mentioned yesterday the case of Sun Hudson.

The child was apparently certain to die, but was conscious. The hospital simply decided that it had better things to do than keeping the child alive, and the Texas courts upheld that decision after the penniless mother failed, during the 10-day window provided for by Texas law, to find another institution willing to take the child.

You have here another parent looking to keep their child alive. Where was the outrage? Where were the tv cameras, the Congressmen, the advocates? Sun Hudson's mother had to let her baby die even though she wanted to keep him alive. He would have died soon, anyhow, as do most babies born with Sun's defect. But should that matter? Shouldn't we err on the side of life? Aren't all lives worth keeping until nature runs its course? Then why weren't the same people who have been advocating for keeping Terri Schiavo alive doing the same for Sun Hudson? Why was the hospital able to kill him without a fight?

Honestly, I don't think anyone involved in this case any longer has the benefit of Terri Schiavo in mind. It's way past that. It's all about pushing agendas now. If people really, truly cared about making sure all lives are equal, whether brain dead or not, why weren't they rallying at the bedside of Sun Hudson?

Michael Totten:

I’m not at all impressed with either the White House or Congress right now. This is so obviously not the federal government’s business that I’m embarrassed to even point it out. Whether Terri Schiavo lives or dies is of supreme maximum importance to her friends and family. It’s only important in a symbolic and voyeuristic way to anyone else - and that’s only because the media refuse to let go of it and political activists refuse to stay out of it.

As far as starving Terri to death goes (I'm trying to respond to all comments and emails here), some of you make it sound as if I'm sitting here gleefully rubbing my hands together, mumbling kill, kill, torture, kill! I've tried to read up on what happens when you remove the feeding tube of someone whose cerebral cortex is not functioning. I quoted such a thing yesterday. And if it were me - read again, if it were me, that's how I would want it done if there were no other legal recourse. Obviously, I'd prefer a nice shot in the arm of something that will let me die peacefully, but we only offer that resolution to animals in this country.

Does anyone remember Karen Ann Quinlan?

After three and a half months that Karen had been in a coma, the family decided to authorize the discontinuance of extraordinary procedures. The next day, the doctor decided that he would not take Karen off the respirator due to moral reasons.

Another reason to make a living will.

Karen lived for ten years after they took her off the respirator. Ten years in a persistent vegetative state. Ten years of laying in a hospital bed, unable to communicate. When I say I wouldn't want to live like this, that I advocate the mercy killing of people who would request such a measure be taken in such a circumstance, that is not the same as saying I want to kill the meek, the retarded or the disabled. There is no slippery slope here, people.

It's a complex issue. And an emotional one. It's easy to get caught up on either side of it and it's just as easy to sway from one side to the other. On the one hand, I imagine Terri suffering. On the other hand, I think of the suffering her family is going through in watching her die and I understand - though not necessarily agree with - their desire to not hasten that death.

I'm writing about this on a personal level, like I do every subject here. I'm not touting myself as a medical expert, a legal expert or as someone who speaks for any specific group. If I were in Terri's place, I'd want to die. It's as simple and as complicated as that.

March 20, 2005

simpsons laugh count

We laughed out loud 12 times tonight. Best showing this season.

There might be life left in this series yet.

quickie movie review: The Ring 2

The writer's target audience is, I assume, people who are so dumb that they wouldn't get the first 15 or so reminders that the kid only calls his mother Rachel so he included, for the benefit of the single digit IQ viewers of this film, an additional 755 hints, all dropped like a seven ton anvil on your head in the guise of the most annoying child actor this side of Haley Joel Osment.

Which really takes away from what would have otherwise been a rather generic, uneven, predictable, poorly directed, hastily written, nonsenical ghost story with a couple of moments of suspense but no real peek-through-your-hands scenes.

And I see from the preview of Dark Water that I was forced to sit through that Ring 2 director Hideo Nakata has essentially taken all the elements from The Ring movies and dumped them in more urban setting, with Jennifer Connolly doing the fixed-face-of-bewilderment this time.

Death and Dying
my first and last written thoughts on the Terri Schiavo saga

We've been discussing the Terri Schiavo saga in our house all weekend and it's prompted us to make living wills. I'm of the mind that laying in a vegetative state for fifteen years is not living at all and I would rather my family not try to keep me going in the hopes that one day I'll suddenly sit up and say "Hi mom and dad!" when in fact, if I did wake up, my first reaction would be to yell at my family for making go through that just so they didn't have to deal with my death.

Fifteen years of not being able to feed yourself, think for yourself, form a verbal thought, get dressed, tell anyone where it hurts, plead for medication, read a book, sit at a family dinner....that's not living. That's being kept alive. There is a difference, in my mind.

Obviously, I'm not a medical expert. This is all my own opinion. But I tend to think that even if Terri is cognizant of any of her surroundings at all (which is something I find rather unlikely), she can't be too happy at being who and what she is. Is that a way you would want to live? For fifteen years? Would you want to be trapped inside a useless body all that time, watching events unfold around you, knowing that you are a financial and emotional burden to those you love, that your parents and immediate family have lived every minute of the last fifteen years fighting to keep you in this vegetative state? Personally - again, my opinion - I would want to be dead, buried and a memory.

I hope that if it ever came to a situation like this one, the government would choose to stay out of my business. Who is Congress to step in and make rules and regulations about this one particular person, this one particular life? What about six month old Sun Hudson, whose breathing tube was removed this week, against his parents wishes? Well, there was no mass media coverage of little Sun's death, so why would there be any politicians around?
The political grandstanding going on in the Schiavo case is sickening.

Radley Balko:

Congress? Shamelessly grandstanding? You don't say. You know, for a bunch of "strict constructionists," these GOP lawmakers are awfully eager to crap all over the Constitution when it comes to "activist lawmaking." Laws narrowly tailored to apply to a specific person or a specific case are baldly unconstitutional. As are ex post facto laws. Anything legislation Congress may try to pass to prolong Schiavo's life would fail both of those tests on its face.

Andy says:

If her brain damage has resulted in her being forever incapable of having a rich inner life, that ability to converse internally and appreciate the now and remember and dream that seems to make us distinctly human, then there is nothing immoral in ending her life now.

If she is capable of having "a life," as opposed to simply "being alive," then to end her life would be immoral.

That said, if the goal is to end unnecessary suffering, then to allow her to starve to death strikes me as immoral. If the decision is that her "life" is over, and that she is merely "alive," then there's no rational reason not to actively move to end her biological life through lethal injection or the like.

After fifteen years of being not just a vegetable, but a pawn, and, in some instances, a puppet whose strings have been pulled in order for her to perform little "tricks" to show she is alive (again, opinion, I don't believe any of that), is that living a life?

In Andy's comments, Mike Ditto says:
She won't starve to death. She'll have multiple organ failure culminating in cardiac arrest as a result of dehydration, and during that time the nurses will keep her as comfortable as possible by giving her morphine and likely a sedative such as Ativan, as well as artificial tears, saliva, and a lip moistening gel. A side effect of the morphine will be to suppress her respiration, which will hasten the process. Her body will be comfortable. Her mind won't know the difference, because she has no capacity to experience anything cognitively. I've been through this with five relatives in the past 12 years, including my grandmother last month. It's the most humane way to go given the doctor's legal inability to intentionally provide a drug for the purpose of causing someone's body to shut down. When I go, I want to die instantly; but if I were to suffer an extended illness or be profoundly incapacitated, this is how I would want to go.

Which reiterates everything I've read on that very subject in the past few days. Mike also says at his own blog:

...[T]he torture is being perpetrated on both the parents and the husband, and the torture will continue as long as unethical, unqualified, religiously-motivated "experts" (most of whom have never reviewed Terri's medical records, and none of whom have actually examined her) keep giving patently false advice to the parents that someone with no cerebral cortex is a thinking, interactive human being just waiting to snap out of a light coma.
Again, Radley Balko:
What the hell is wrong with us? Why is it that when it get to the point of letting someone go, we force terimally sick people to die in one of the most agaonizing ways possible? Why is starving someone to death by removing a feeding tube considered humane, but injecting a terminal, pain-ridden patient with a solution designed to let them die painlessly forbidden? I know the answer. But it isn't acceptable. The answer is that removing a feeding tube isn't proactive. Whereas injecting someone with lethal, but merciful drugs is. That's asinine

Yes, it is. I wish I could make a living will that says, please do not let me suffer, do not let me linger in some horrible half-living, half-dead state. Shoot me full of some drug that will allow me to die a peaceful, painless death. Just let me go. Would that we could do that for everyone. Have you ever watched someone die? I watched both my grandparents die long, lingering deaths. Painful, dragged out deaths that made me think at many points it would just be so much more humane to give them a nice drug that would put them into a deep sleep from which they would never wake. It would be over. The pain, the suffering, the agony - and yes, those things apply to both the patient and the patient's family - would be over.

I mention this to people and they say, only God has the right to say when a life is over. Let God do his work. So is it God's design that my grandmother was to spend months in a hospital, floating between consciousness and unconsciousness, breathing on her own and then not breathing on her own, unable to recognize her children, her family called to the hospital time and time again to say good-bye, only to have it stretched out again when she was brought back to life, just to spend another couple of weeks dying? What kind of life is that?

For fifteen years Terri Schiavo has been dying. And these politicians, who don't know Terri, who don't know her family, are clamoring to claim that she not be allowed to die? And our government overall wants to tell us that - all of us - when we are in a similar situation that involves us laying in a hospital in pain, in agony, inches away from death, our families tortured by their constant bedside vigil, our eyes unfocused, our brain not functioning, our limbs not moving on their own, our children watching us die a slow, terrible death, that our loved ones cannot gently put a needle into our arms and end it for us, even though that's what we would desire, that we have no right to honor the wishes of someone who knows that enough is enough, that doesn't want their family to go through this, that doesn't want to go through this themselves, they - our lawmakers, our leaders, have the audacity to determine that there should be no such thing as mercy killing, that we must suffer until some mysterious man in the sky lets our suffering ends, or until our bodies run out of steam and finally shut down, no matter how long it takes - I find that all abhorrent. I would hope that should I ever find myself in a situation like this, one of my family members would have enough guts and enough sense to come into my hospital room in the middle of the night and put a pillow over my face.

Make a living will, people. Today.

[Wind Rider has more]

March 19, 2005

My Obligatory March Madness Post
a/k/a/ Duke Sucks!

I went to St. John's University. I happened to be attending the school at a time when their basketball program was at the top of its game [I also worked in the sports information office at the time, but I'll save those stories for the tell all book]. Final Four, ranked #1 a few times - it was a good time to be on the Queens campus. Chris Mullin. Walter Berry. Mark Jackson. That was some team.

The Big East was a pretty good conference in general, which made for nice rivalries. There was one out-of conference rival, but it doesn't really count because everyone hates Duke. And it was more or less the Duke fans we hated and not necessarily the team. Though I never liked that Danny Ferry character (later, that hatred would be transferred to Christian Laettner). Come to think of it, I hated more opposing players and teams than I liked and/or respected. Indiana? Hah. Given the chance I would have kicked Bobby Knight in the nuts. UNLV? They were like the al Qaeda of college basketball. Kansas? Danny Manning was a sissy boy, I tell you. A sissy boy! A few year later I tried to hate on the Michigan Wolverines and Glenn Rice, but at that point, college basketball had lost its luster for me and all I could dredge up was a mild dislike for any one team. Except for Syracuse and Duke. While vague hatred can dissipate, bitter rivalry never leaves your soul.

Anyhow, back to the 84-85 seaosn. Our real rivals at that time were the Georgetown Hoyas. In 1985 three of the four Final Four teams were Big East teams; St. John's, Villanova and Georgetown. I think I hated Georgetown more than any other team. Oh, I hated Syracuse. I loathed Ron Seikaly. I don't remember why, I just remember yelling nasty things at him from the safety of the behind-the-net seats at MSG. But Georgetown was the be-all and end-all of sports loathing. At that moment in time, I despised them more than the Rangers, Mets and Red Sox combined. So of course, that's who SJU ended up playing in the semi-finals. We watched the game at a fellow student's house. There must have been 100 of us, at least. Drunk, loud, obnoxious and ready to lord it over Georgetown fans when we won. I think we even had the idea to drive down to the Georgetown campus after the game and randomly moon people.

You probably know how that one ended. The hated Hoyas beat the crap out of the Redmen (SJU hadn't changed to the politically correct Red Storm yet) by a score of 77-59 (insert several curse words directed at David Wingate here). It was devastating. I didn't eat for days.

Well, not really. But I was kinda bummed for a week or so, until the day of the big final game came along.

All Big East final. Georgetown v. Villanova. Ewing v. errr.....Rollie Massimino. Damn, I can't think of a single player from that Villanova team. Hang on.

Right! Ed Pinckney!

So, the game. Villanova played nearly perfect basketball. The final score of 66-64 does not do justice to the beauty of the game the Wildcats played that night.

I felt as if justice was somehow served. Georgetown lost the championship, and the title still got to stay in the Big East.

Afterthought: I wonder what ever happened to these guys. Bill Wennington, Walter Berry, Willie Glass...somewhere in my garage is an NCAA basketball autographed by the SJU Final Four team. I'm sure I could sell it, but there's too many good memories attached to it. Besides, it's my ex husband's. It's the one thing I haven't given back to him yet.

Duke sucks! Go uhh....UConn, I guess!

March 18, 2005

he's not gene rayburn, but he'll do

I'm a panelist on Match Game today. Go play. Mikey's better looking than Gene, anyhow. And I'm less of a drunk than Charles Nelson Reilly.

That's all. I'm going to bed now.

Friday Fun: Music by the Numbers

Despite my diet of Augmenten and Excedrin Migraine, this infection continues to wipe me out.

So here's today's fun:

Songs with numbers in the title. Any number, including zero (don't get bogged down in technicalities with me, buddy), fractions, decimal points, years, dates, whatever.

I'll try to post a list up (note: I started one in the extend entry) here of all the numbers that have been used (and how many times). I'd like to see what number ends up being the most represented in song titles. Oh, and the longest consecutive string of numbers we can get. Bonus points for songs with more than number in the title.

Have fun (and maybe I'll do a Friday Five tonight of number songs).

Also: No more than three songs per comment. Just to give other people a chance. If you post more than three songs, I'll delete the comment (not counting Keiran's post, which got in before I wrote this)


on this date in history no one cares about

Welcome to March 18.

Today is Friday. It is the week before Good Friday, which makes it Kind Of Ok Friday.

It is Irene Cara's birthday. You may remember Irene from that time she made you want to live forever and fly high.

Today is also the birthday of Queen Latifah, Grover Cleveland, Jerry Cantrell and Stuart Zender, who once played bass for Jamiroquai.

On this date in 1953, Indiana beat Kansas 69-68 to win the NCAA Men's Basketball championship. Duke sucks.

On this date in 1992, Donna Summer got a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Let us all pause a moment to sing the part from Bad Girls that goes toot toot, hey, beep beep.

Semi interesting fact:

1944 - For the first time since World War II started, alarm clocks went back on sale in the United Staates. The site of this historic moment was in Chicago, Illinois.

Which makes me think of that line in "The Night Chicago Died" - and there was no sound at all, except the clock upon the wall.

Coincidence? I think not.

The Bee Gees' Night Fever hit number one today in 1978. I tell you this in the hopes that it stopped The Night Chicago Died from playing in your head. Of course, now you have the Bee Gees stuck in your brain, but I think we all know which one is less damaging.

March 18 is Supreme Sacrifice Day. I don't know what that means but I am in the process of collecting virgins just in case. Apply within.

If that holiday doesn't thrill you, then wait until March 26, which is Make Your Own Holiday day.

On this day in 2003, I wrote this:

Nothing says "heightened security" like traffic cones strategically placed in front of federal buildings.

"Stop, you terrorists! My magical orange cone will keep you away!"

I feel so much safer now.

Two years on and I still have the same passion for the cause. My fight to bring magical orange cones to every state in the union and nation in the world has not abated, not one bit.

On March 18, 2002, I was strangely obsessed with penises. Peni?

And, on this date in 2005, I had the strong urge to crawl back into bed and pretend the world does not exist. Instead, I'll have a nice breakfast of Augmenten and Excedrin Migraine and wait for the flames of hell to stop nipping at my heels.

Hope I have been informative in my blogging laziness.

March 17, 2005

the truth would be nice


"Do you want to know the terrifying truth, or do you want to see me sock a few dingers?"

[episode 228]


St. Paddy's Day Poetry Contest

Part 6 in today's series of "Fuck me, I'm not Irish" posts. And probably the last, as I'm headed over the 'rents for corned beef and cabbage, prepared by an Italian who can barely make meatballs, let alone Irish food.


It's gotta be a limerick, of course. Any subject, so long as it has something to do with being Irish or St. Patrick's Day or getting drunk or...you get the picture.

The card is just for inspiration. More cards like that here.

[Any non-limerick entries will be disqualified]

(he once wore a green uniform, does that count?)

I'm going to take some time out from my Irish blogging to say a few things about Jose Canseco.

Well, one thing. Which is, I'd like to smack him upside the head. With a bat.

[More on the steroid hearings here]

whiskey in the glass-o

One more hour until I can get to the doctor, get some antibiotics and put the hex on this sinus infection. I feel like someone is taking a hammer to the entire right side of my head.

At least I hope it's just a sinus infection.

irish.coffee.jpgAnyhow, on with the Irish stuff. Part 5 of my "Pretend you care about St. Patrick's Day" posts.

Looking for a special dessert for tonight? Try making some Guinness ice cream.
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Guinness stout In a heavy saucepan whisk together the water and the cornstarch and simmer the mixture over moderate heat, whisking, for 2 minutes.
Add the milks, the salt, and the sugar, heat the mixture over moderately low heat, whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved, and remove the pan from the heat.
Let the mixture cool completely, stir in the Guinness, and freeze the mixture in an ice-cream freezer according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Makes about 1 quart

Or there's always the Irish Coffee thing.

Pour a big cup of black coffee.
Add three or four shots of your favorite Irish whiskey.
Put some whipped cream on top so your non-Irish girlfriend thinks you're just socially sipping a dessert type coffee and she doesn't realize you're on a St. Patrick's Day bender and in about one hour you're going to piss in her closet when you mistake it for the bathroom.

Update: As a special St. Paddy's Day bonus, here's a blog by a guy named Collins. Some of you may have known him before. I'm glad he's back.

This Little Wiggy

Part 4 in my all day "Insult the Irish with stereotypes" festival.

Ralph: [points to large rock] That's where I saw the leprechaun! He tells me to burn things.


You've done grand, laddie! Now ya know what ya have ta do! Burn the house down! Burn 'em all!

See previous posts from today for more "Leprechauns - and, by default, Irish people - are evil" stuff.

[dedicated to Geoff, an australian]

Bagpipes: A Musical Interlude

Part 3 in the St. Pat's day festivities.

I'm not going to offer you the obligatory U2 today. Just not gonna do it. And I don't have any other Irish music, save for one Cranberries song which I'm saving for the coming zombie infestation. No, I don't have any of that Flogging Molly stuff you kids seem to be so fond of.

But I do have some songs with bagpipes and that's as close as you'll get here. Are bagpipes Irish or Scottish? I get confused. Hey, when is St. Scottish Person Day? Then I could drag out my Big Country and Aztec Camera albums and pen odes to Groundskeeper Willie.

Ok, I found the bagpipe song and it has nothing to do with being Irish. The band is from California and except for a few good songs on their first album, they kind of suck. But it's got bagpipes and I promised you pipes.

Korn - Shoots and Ladders.

So, is Guinness a breakfast food?

Update: I told you those Leprechauns are goddamn evil!

Leprechauns: Magically Delicious

Part 2 in the St. Pat's Day blogging festival.

Ok, let's move this sucker forward and get to the real gist of St. Patrick's Day, which has nothing to do with saints and snakes, but Leprechauns. Not sure when it happened, but the little people co-opted poor Pat's day at some point.

Everything I know about leprechauns, I learned from three sources: Lucky Charms, the Leprechaun movies, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

That's from the ATHF episode Escape From Leprauchpolis in which Leprauchauns use Dr. Weird's Rainbow Machine to mug people from afar, apparently for shoes. Altough they don't end up with anything more than a gold chain, a Banarama tape with no case, and rollerskates.

Carl: Yeah, here come the gold! Aw, look at this now, I don't see crap in there. I know this game. This is how they get you. (gets sucked up in the rainbow)
Leprechaun 1: Yes, fat man, this IS how we get you!
Carl: Hey there, where's the gold there?
Leprechaun 1: Flip-flops? What is this!?
Leprechaun 2: What did I say? No money, no job, no taste.
Carl: How ya doin there, bozo. Give me the gold. (Leprechauns start beating Carl)
Leprechaun 1 : Next time you come to the park, fat man, you wear your good shoes!

See why I love that show? Not only is it disturbingly funny, but it reinforces my idea that Leprechauns are evil.


In honor of St. Pat's day, you should make your children watch all six Leprechaun movies, so they don't live with the mistaken impression that the little green guys are nice. A healthy dose of reality is good for kids. So, they'll be afraid to go to bed tonight. Big deal. That's when you go to their window and make some Leprachaun noises. Fear, much like disappointment, builds character.

You know who that is underneath that evil Leprechaun make up? That's Warwick Davis. Warwick Davis is a freaking Ewok. Which just proves my theory that Ewoks are nothing more than leprechauns that are using their cuddly fuzziness to make you think they are cute and harmless, but they are really the spawn of Satan and one day, mark my words, Leprechauns and Ewoks will take over the earth so they can eat your children. That Warwick Davis is one sinister dude.

The Leprechaun movie spawned a whole bunch of sequels, giving Warwick Davis something during standstills in his regular job as George Lucas's minion. By the way, I've sat through the entire Leprechaun series and Leprechaun in the Hood was by far the superior of the bunch, as it had Ice T and Coolio, a pair which beats Jennifer Aniston any day of the week.

Which leads us to the final Leprechaun, the one who is magically delicious.


Mothers, a word of warning about this guy.

See, when my sister was about seven years old, she had a thing for Lucky Charms. She ate them every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner (my mother was too busy playing Yahtzee with the neighbors to notice). At some point, I noticed that her skin was turning a greenish hue. I monitored the situation closely for a few days, until it became apparent that we had a major crisis on our hands. Not only was her skin tone becoming emerald, but her feet started to curl up and she shrunk about five inches.

She was possessed by Lucky the Leprechaun. For five crazy days, she held us hostage in our own home. It wasn't until our neighbor heard our cries for help and went to the local pub to find an Irish priest who would perform an exorcism. It was ugly. For three hours, my sister/Leprechaun vomited a steady stream of pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers. When it was all over, our dog was shitting gold pieces and my mother had turned into a sack of potatoes, but at least I had my sister back. Later, we left the gold pieces under a marked rock in the forest and my mother reverted back to her normal self. She never played Yahtzee again.

Today's movie recommendation: Finian's Rainbow.

A 1968 Francis Ford Coppola directed musical with tobacco growers as the heroes, a leprechaun, Fred Astaire and Petula Clark using magical rainbow powers to turn a bigot black to teach him a lesson.

St. Patrick's Day Blogging Festival of Drinking and Saying Inappropriate Things About Irish People

I'm not Irish. Let's get that out of the way. But we all have a little Irish in us today, no? Or maybe we'd like to have some Irish in us, eh..wink, nudge...aww damn. This is where I would link to a really good looking Irish guy so you would get the joke, but I can't seem to find one I'd make that particular joke with. Andy, are you Irish? No, I think he's Scottish. Well, I could always switch teams and go for this beautiful Irish gal, but that sort of defeats the purpose of the innuendo and...nevermind. Forget I even started this.

Anyhow, today is going to be All Irish, All The Time Day here at ASV. Why the hell not? I like corn beef and cabbage. Guinness is my favorite beer. Did I ever tell you how I used to make the best Black & Tan any bar-stool sitting drunkard had ever seen or tasted? Yea, those were the days.

I'll start the all day Irish festival off with my St. Pat's Day post from last year, a memory-driven tale of hanging out with some dear friends one March 17th. There's so much more to come, including a tribute to Ted Kennedy! Kidding.

The Rock: A St. Patrick's Day Story from my Misguided Youth

The last time I went to the city (New York City, of course) on St. Patrick's Day was in 1980, with a few of my closest high school friends. We were in the home stretch of our high school careers; June would bring graduation, separation and higher education. We decided to make the most of our final months as high school juvenile delinquents and wreak as much havoc as possible.

So on March 17, 1980, we found ourselves on a westbound train at 7:30 in the morning instead of on a bus on our way to school. There was no other place to be on St. Patrick's Day besides New York City.

I don't think we saw much of the parade. Mostly we walked around the streets acting like idiots until lunch time, when we parked ourselves inside the Steak & Brew, a restaurant that gave out free beer with meals. Those of us who were only 17 showed fake ID, which the waitress barely glaned at. We stayed for a couple of hours, drinking and laughing, until the waitress said if we weren't going to order more food, we should leave. It had been a couple of hours.

We decided to walk over to Central Park. Drunk, perhaps a bit stoned, and surrounded by a massive crowd of other drunks and perhaps stoned people, we made our way through the throngs of Irish-for-the-Day revelers. We sang Danny Boy and some other Irish songs that everyone but me - the lone non-Irish person - could sing. We worked the crowd, not caring what anyone thought of us. We introduced ourselves to strangers, shared cigarettes with a homeless man and drank green beer with a bunch of firemen. Kevin shook hands with anyone and everyone, using his signature greeting of "have a nice life!" Man, were such geeks. Such idiots. But we had so much fun.

We closed out the afternoon pretending to scale rocks in Central Park. When we tired of that, we stretched out on one huge boulder, the five of us spread out, staring up at the gathering clouds. And we talked. We talked for what felt like hours about hobbits and pinball machines, about Todd Rundgren and the Grateful Dead, about the Yankees and the Islanders, and all the other all the things that bound us together through four years of high school, things that seem insignificant now, but were so important to us then.

I was the only girl among the five of us. It never felt odd to me, though I know it looked odd to other people. Those four guys were the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I had the greatest times of my life as part of that group of geeky kids. We weren't the jocks, we weren't the burnouts, we weren't the honor students or drama crowd. We were just us, the kids with no single identity, the kids who appeared to be friends with everyone, but were really only friends with themselves.

We talked about life, too, laying on that rock in the park as the sun started to disappear and the day turned cold. We guessed what our futures would be like. We wondered how long our friendship would hold. We made plans, laughed at our own far-fetched dreams of fame and fortune and stayed on that rock until our fingers and ears went numb from the cold. It was as if we knew that we were experiencing one of our last great days together. We hung onto it for as long as we could, and then we made an impossible promise to each other. We promised that no matter where life took us, no matter how far we roamed, we would come back to that very rock on St. Patrick's Day in the year 2000. Twenty years. We'd share our stories, show off pictures of our families, give each other autographed books and albums since we were all destined to be famous authors or musicians. We spat on our palms and gave each other wet high fives to solidify our vow. And then we headed for home.

I haven't seen them in quite a few years. I think it was 1999 when an old high school friend had a bunch of us over to reminisce. Only three of the five of us showed up, and it just wasn't the same without the other two. It wasn't right. And we forgot about our promise - not one of us mentioned it.

St. Patrick's Day, 2000 came and went. I didn't go to the rock, but I swear, I did think of my four friends that day. I wondered if any of them remembered our promise to meet there. I wonder if they still think about hobbits and pinball machines, if they still think of all those parties at my house when they watch Islander games.

Well, Happy St. Patrick's Day to Kevin, Chris, Tim and Jim. Hope you guys are having a nice life. I am.

March 16, 2005

exit, stage left

I'm done here today. Damn sinus infection is killing me.

All the Idol bloggers have made their predictions for tonight's elimination show.

The Yankee blog is up and running.

Fun: NES Letter quiz.

DJ's first Little League practice is tonight. We bought new cleats yesterday. I can almost pretend it feels like spring. Almost.

i could set the building on fire

It was just brought to my attention that someone I work with looks and acts remarkably like Milton.

So now we're calling each other and saying things like "if they move my desk one more time, I'm quitting."

And every time this poor guy passes my office door (which is about every three minutes) I giggle uncontrollably.

The ratio of people to cake is too big.

If I made a list of the top ten quotable movies ever, Office Space would be right up there.

[yes, that's an invitation]


Hurra Torpedo - Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Best cover song ever. Best drumming ever. Best music video ever. Best use of asscrack in a song ever. I could watch this all day long.

Hurra Torpedo photo gallery.


I Should Have Kept The Receipt

I started to write this post at least ten times over the past week. Something was always holding me back - either an unwillingness to share these thoughts or the worry over what would happen when I did. Ultimately, I remembered that the most important reader of this blog is me. Amid all the posts about movies and music and the weather, there are personal stories that read like diary entries because, in a way, they are. I write to purge, sometimes. Which is what I finally do today.

My impetus to finally spit it out was this.

That’s right, personal responsibility. I still believe in that and I’ll be holding myself as well as all my republican friends responsible for getting that guy elected. At the same time, in my defense, I still don’t think Kerry was a viable alternative. Not because he’s a dem. (I voted for Clinton and would have done it again if I could have) but because I just don’t like the guy.

Similar words have been spoken/written by me several times in the past couple of weeks to close friends. Some have reacted with dropped jaws, some have just nods sympathetically.

I've also left similar sentiments in comments on various blogs and, for the most part, they were met with a flurry of clenched fists and righteous indignation, with calls for me to go out and start protesting (or something like that) to prove my regret.

Well...no. It's not like that. First of all, I am not sitting here admitting to the world (ok, just the minuscule part of the world who reads this) that I regret my vote so I can, oh, get a pat on the head or a clap on the back or a wide-armed welcome back to the fold. I'm not going back to any fold and I don't seek anyone's approval.

So what is it that's causing my "buyer's remorse" as it's been called? It's a combination of things, and most of it stems from the fact that I was a one issue voter in 2004. And now, the issues I ignored in order to give my support to the war on terror are coming back to haunt me.

Social Security. Bankruptcy. The insistence of the far right that they have some kind of religious mandate now and we need to revert back to our Christian roots and morals. And yes, Iraq. I know all about the good things in Iraq. I know about the schools and the hospitals and elections. And I love that. I love the slow spread of democracy. I love the trickle down effect of taking Saddam out of power. But more and more, I'm thinking, at what price? Every time another soldier dies, another bomb goes off, another hopeful Iraqi policeman is murdered, another hostage is taken and another day looms on the horizon with no end in sight, I think at what price?

I'm not about to go stand on some street corner and protest the war. It's not like that. But my all-out support has certainly waned. I see no clear exit strategy. I just see more of our men and women dying. I just see more innocent Iraqis dying. Every day, first thing in the morning, I bring up my Command Post editing page and look through the morning news. And the stories are always the same. Car bomb. Roadside bomb. Death. Dead. Soldier killed. There used to be much more good news interspersed with those reports. But my hope for seeing this work has dissipated.

I know some of you are ready right now to send me links, to lecture me on why Iraq will turn out ok, why the spread of democracy will come about, why Syria and Iran and North Korea will all fall eventually. That would be great if it was my only gripe with this administration. But it's not.

And it's my own damn fault. What did I think would happen down the road as a one issue voter? I didn't think far enough ahead, I guess, to see how those other issues - with me as gay rights supporting, fiscally conservative atheist - would affect me later on. That once the smoke from the war on terror cleared, so to speak, I would have to deal with the fact that I voted in an administration that stands for a lot of things I'm against.

Not that I would have voted for Kerry. Just because I'm experiencing this regret doesn't mean I'm going to go running back to the left. I abandoned them with good reason. So I'm back where I was right around September 11, 2001. Standing firmly in the middle, getting a little flogging from both sides. I spent years on the left side of the line and discovered I didn't like it there. And now I spent a few years on the right side of the line and, frankly, I hate it here. I thought the "big tent" of the Republican party would be home. Turns out it was just a temporary shelter, given to me by the party who knew damn well that I was only as good as my support for the war on terror.

There are others out there like me. I talk to them at work. I talk to them in the parking lot of schools, waiting for our kids. I talk to them in email or instant message, people from across the country who feel that twinge of regret. What we all have in common is this: we feel used. We feel taken advantage of. We feel manipulated.

This is where some people are going to expect an apology. Don’t hold your breath. That’s not what this is about. When I made my vote, I did so with the best interest of my family in mind. I honestly believed I was making the right choice. I wasn’t the one who voted a certain way just because I hated the opponent. I believed in the war on terror. I believed in the war in Iraq. I believed that the other issues weren’t as important. So I’m not looking for forgiveness for anything. And this doesn’t mean that I’m going to suddenly sign up for the Democrat party and start carrying around No Blood For Oil placards. There are people who have seen this “confession” from me already who assume this means I think George W. Bush is an evil person, that I’ve finally joined the BusHitler crowd. No. Hardly. I don’t hate George Bush, much as I don’t hate John Kerry. I just don’t think that either of them is what America needs.

That opens up a lot of questions, most of which don’t have ready answers. What does American need? Who is the right person for this country? How do we fix Social Security? Who will make our future fiscally sound? How do we stop the bleeding in Iraq and at the sam time, keep Iran and Syria at bay, without losing more and more of our good men and women in the armed forces? How can we learn to accept people who are different from us? How can we stop trying to legislate someone else’s idea of morality? How can we teach the people of this country to start taking responsibility for their own lives instead of expecting the government (or trial lawyers) to do their decision making for them? How can we make our education system better for our children?

I placed my wager and lost. Unfortunately, there was no real winning wager this time around. Is there a person out there who will make us all feel like winners? Or is that just a pipe dream? Will there every be a candidate who will please mostly everyone?

I’m not looking for absolution from Democrats and I’m not looking to be reviled by Republicans. I’m just voicing my opinion that I think things have gone steadily downhill since November. I find myself in more and more instances slinking away from the right. But I stop at dead center because there’s no place for me to go. Maybe I just don’t know how to make a commitment. Maybe the fact that I’m a gay rights supporter who drives an SUV and is against gun control, who doesn’t believe in God, who is an un-P.C. person that hates the NEA, who thinks faith based initiatives are wrong and the government should stay out of our bedrooms, who is no longer so gung ho about things in Iraq, means I should do some soul searching.

Or maybe it's not up to me where I go from here. What does your party or your candidate have to offer me? I'm up for grabs.

March 15, 2005

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be..........

That's right. It's Idol time. And we're down to the real guts of the show. Top 12, sans flyboy Mario. Live blogging, as always, over here, starting at 8pm.

PSAs/Music Survey

First, thanks very much to Tracey for the Towering Inferno DVD.

And thank you to June for the Incredibles DVD and the ELP Works Vol. 2 CD. I can't wait to get home and listen to that, it's been years.

Also, just a side note that will mean something to about two people who read this site, my husband is going to a Mindless Self Indulgence video shoot tonight. Hopefully, he'll get in the video.

Ok, let's do a survey kind of thing while we're here.

A song you like by a band/artist you otherwise don't care for.

For me: Toxic, Britney Spears


Sausage with breakfast.
Chicken for lunch.
Beef, it's what's for dinner.

What are you doing for Eat An Animal for PETA Day?

I may even kick a stray dog just for the hell of it.

I kid, I kid.

But I did give thought to hunting and capturing my own food. Roasted crow and squirrel ka-bobs sounds just yummy.

Are there any desserts with meat in them? If not, I'll just have to have some umm....man meat.

What's on your plate tonight? And what should I smother my steak in?

democracy, boobs, sexy


And uhh..yay for freedom and shit.

sorry. just had to

What do you call a guy that hangs around a bunch of musicians?
A. The Drummer

"People used to come into the store and say, 'Dude, you're so good with those drumsticks.' "

No matter what I read today, this will be my favorite article of the day.

[title joke shamelessly stolen from fark]

Have A Beer With Fear

Fear is a powerful master. It's not so much what it makes you do, i.e., cower, cry, scream, shake, as it what it keeps you from doing that makes it so strong.

There are all kinds of fears. The common fears - the ones that are recognized and slapped with a latin prefix and phobia suffix - almost make us feel normal when we have them. Find any group discussion about fears and you'll find people sharing their tales of spiders and snakes and tall buildings. Most of the people snicker a bit when discussing these fears; they know that common house spider is never going to hurt them, yet they recoil in horror when they see one, as if some B-movie they saw on the Sci-Fi network is going to be acted out in their kitchen. Creepy crawly...creepy crawly...

But a fear of spiders isn't going to rule your life. It's not going to change your world. Neither will a fear of snakes if you live in, say, New York City. The only snakes you'll come across will be in glass cages in some nature museum. They may even be stuffed. So you don't think about it on a daily basis. In fact, you never think about, until SSsssss comes on tv late one night.

Perhaps if we analyze ourselves enough, we'd see that our common, small fears are just manifestations of bigger fears. Maybe that guy who fears snakes is just afraid of the image of the snake - the forked tongue, the rattling tail, the evilness inherent in the creature. Perhaps this guy is really afraid of the devil. Or not. You could do a lot of reaching if you over analyze your fears.

However, there are fears that don't involve live creatures or other easily identifiable and/or explainable things like the dark, or crossing main streets or Michael Jackson.

I know, for instance, that my fear of wide open spaces is more than just a fear of vast oceans or miles of wheat fields. It's more like a fear of the horizon being too far off - or not being able to see the horizon at all. It's a fear of no end in sight. It's a fear of the uknown, of not being able to control what lies before me if I can't see what lies before me. It's fear of vulnerability. And it's just one of those insidious psychological ploys your mind throws at you just to make things interesting. A mental monkey wrench.

The fear of failure is an interesting thing. It can keep you from doing something you were, perhaps, meant to do. It can keep you from reaching beyond where you are, from stepping up and out, from becoming what you had envisioned yourself as back in third grade when your teacher asked you what you want to be when you grow up. Maybe you thought famous author, but said teacher, because it seemed more plausible and nobody would laugh at the idea. But when you went to bed that night, you still had the same dreams in your head of being an author or a world class chef or a movie star or a brain surgeon - yet the doubt has already crept in and the aura of failure begins to creep up, like a tickle in the back of your throat that eventually becomes laryngitis. Self-doubt is your virus, and you don't tell anyone your dreams and hopes and ideas because - what if you fail? They're all gonna laugh at you, indeed.

At some point, fear of failure becomes fair of success. Maybe you talk yourself into believing that you can become that successful author or singer or third baseman. But what then? If you succeed, they'll only want more. The pressure will be intense. You'll have to repeat your success over and over in order to keep people believing that you are the real deal. Who needs that? So you don't do anything. You keep at your 9-5, or you keep cashing the unemployment checks and you spend the rest of your life wondering what would have happened if you had just conquered your fear of failure, before it turned into a fear of success.

Then there's that fear of not being liked. That can paralyze a person to the point of abject terror. You try to fend it off early. Maybe you buy lollipops for the class or lift up your shirt for the boys because that will get them to like you. You know it makes you feel ugly inside, but hating yourself when you look in the mirror is certainly better than not being liked by the people you spend your whole day with. Right? You compromise, you sell out, you bend ways you weren't meant to bend, just to keep people from saying bad things about you and crushing your spirit or even your will to live. Only you are allowed to hate you. And you never tell Ed that you think he's a creep and you never tell your boss that she's a bitch because you just want to be liked. So you pretend to like the movies they like and believe in the causes they support, just to feel like a part of a whole. Eventually, you get tired of your own charade. So you stop trying to be social with people. You stop accepting invitations. You keep to yourself at work. You don't go out much and you don't interact with other humans too much because you are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. You want to be yourself, but you're afraid they won't like you. So it's better to just be yourself by yourself.

Maybe you do find a group of people that accept you. They like you, they really like you. And then after a length of time hanging out with them, your opinions on things evolve, change. And that fear of not being liked kicks in again, so you leave the room every time the subjects come up. Or you just stop hanging out with them. Maybe they sense that you aren’t completely like them anymore and they do that thing that tight groups of like minded people tend to do and they treat you like you're the head cheerleader who just announced to the school that she doesn't like football. You never do tell them why you don't like football. Instead, you try to talk about other things with them. You try to justify your stance. You try to still remain one of the gang because your fear of not being liked is much greater than your sense of pride.

Sometimes you end up with a sum of all fears. They tie themselves together in loose knots and maybe one thing, maybe two, maybe a series of events pulls the string and makes one unifying, debilitating fear out of all of them. It's only when you recognize that you're being choked with a knotty string of fears of your own making that you can begin to loosen the grip it has on you.

Overcoming fears is not an easy task. Sometimes you have to submerge yourself in the things you fear in order to get past them. Sign up for that chef's class. Get out more. Say what you mean without couching it in niceties and justifications. Get on a boat and stare at the ocean. Open your closet door. Look under the bed. Stand at great heights and feel comfortable with being there.

[File this under Self-Indulgent Posts I Will Have The Urge To Delete Several Times During The Day]

March 14, 2005

again, with the beatles thing

Travellers arriving at Luton Airport are to be greeted with the lyrics of John Lennon's "All You Need Is Love".

The words of the Beatles' hit are to be written on the walls of the arrivals walkway after being voted the greatest words of all time in an internet poll.

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy.
There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be in time
It's easy.
All you need is love, all you need is love,


Also: Hork.

Mario: It's Personal

Or, read as:

My God, man! You mean to tell me that thing with the sheep and the midget clown was being recorded?

Or some variation thereof.

More over here.

question of the day

"God Brought Him to My Door"

So says Ashley Smith, the woman who was held hostage by cold blooded murderer Brian Nichols. She believes that perhaps Nichols was brought to her apartment by God so he could be caught and then spread the word of God to other prisoners.

If God is so interventionist as to lead this homicidal maniac to Ashley Smith's door, then why didn't he intervene when Mr. Nichols was mowing down innocent people in a courthouse? Further, why didn't God intervene when Mr. Nichols was (allegedly) raping his girlfriend? Were the deaths and rape all part of some mysterious plan to get Nichols into prison to preach the word?

Just curious.

Update: This isn't something specific to Ms. Smith, who I think is a very brave woman. You read stories like this every day, and I honestly want to know why people believe God would choose to intervene in some ways, but not in others. For instance, helping a kid through an operation, but not stopping the accident that put the kid on the operating table to begin with. Or why he gets credit for saving mountain climbers, but does nothing to stop the murder of the faithful.

Andy is on the same wavelength.


I think a lot of you are missing the point. I'm not questioning anyone's faith. I'm questioning why sometimes God is shown as being omnipotent, and sometimes he's not. It's really just a curiosity to me, how people can say on one hand that God works in mysterious ways and there are reasons that four year old has cancer, and on the other hand, say that God saved them from falling off a ledge. If God has the ability to be omnipotent, then why not save everyone who suffers? Why keep one person from feeling pain and not another? Why keep one person alive and allow another to die a horrible death? These are questions I asked when I was a church going Catholic. And they are questions I continue to ask. Maybe some day, someone will provide an answer that makes sense to me.

Update again -

An email I sent to Skillzy:

I really should have reworded it. It wasn't a slam on her at all. She is hella brave. I don't think I could have done what she did. And if faith got her through it, then that's fine. But what I don't get is how much of this I see in news stories every day - "God brought him here" "God made me steer the other way" "God was watching over my kid so that when his father ran his head over, he didn't crush it all the way, just a little bit." It seems absurd to me sometimes to put all that on God. Because it makes him come off as random and I would like to believe that if there is a God and he is an interventionist one, he's not random. But as long as there are kids being beaten and starved to death by their own parents, I won't believe that God has anything to do with bringing someone's kitten home safely.

It's always the right time for pie

Today, March 14, is:

Steak and BJ Day
Pi Day (3.14, get it?)
Einstein's birthday
Potato chip day
Day of the Frozen Dead

What a day, eh?

Here, have some Pi(e).



Today is two months since I quit smoking.

There are days when I don't think about it at all.

And there are days when the cravings make me think about doing unspeakable things to those I love, said scenarios involving chainsaws and machetes.

Today is one of those days. But I will get through it, as I have gotten through the past eight weeks.

I could always direct my energies here, and finally post something I've been working on for two weeks that's sure to ruffle feathers and raise some eyebrows. Or not. That machete is sure looking good.

Two months. I hope you don't mind if I congratulate myself. I had no confidene in getting this far without falling off the wagon. I surprise even myself sometimes.

last call for yankee fans

Today is your last chance to sign up to be a part of the Yankee blog, a/k/a The He-(Wo)Man Red Sox Haters Club.

To get in on the action in what is sure to be the most volatile, yet informative and interesting basbeball blog to every come into existence, send an email to empire.2005REMOVETHIS@gmail.com.

For those who already responded, I'll be sending out logins today and we'll hopefully officially launch the blog tomorrow.

Jesus Christ, SuperBar!

I've already been told I'm a hell bound heathen, so I might as well jus go with it. Hence, a repeat this morning (from three years ago) because we (the husband and I) were talking about this last night.


It was Easter time 2001 when the idea hit. I had been listening to Bill Hicks and he was ranting about Easter and how the modern symbols of this religious holiday (bunnies, chocolate) don't really speak the meaning of the holiday.

So, being the sacrilgeous atheist that I am, I began devising a plan to bring Easter and chocolaty goodness together in a way that made more sense.

Of course. A Chocolate Jesus.

I started melting chocolate and figuring out a way to mold it into shape. I stuck a blob of melted chocolate in the freezer and waited until it was not quite frozen and a bit pliable. Then I began working on my masterpiece.

I'm not a very good artist, and I'm sure he looked more like Charles Manson than Jesus Christ when I was done, but lo and behold, two hours later I had myself a Chocolate Jesus.

I had toyed with the idea of making a crown of thorns out of spun sugar, but decided against it. Not because it was improper, but because I haven't the slighest clue how to make spun sugar.

Now, how does one go about eating a chocolate Jesus? With the chocolate bunnies, you generally eat the ears first. So that's what I did. I ate Jesus's ears. The next logical step would be the tail. But of course, Jesus doesn't have a tail. So I started chomping on his lower half. And the lapsed Catholic in me heard the words in my head:

"Body of Christ, Amen."

It was good chocolate. I kept eating.

I ate his head and his arms and the the remnants of his robe.

And then I made another. I decided I would give them out for the holidays. No, no. I would sell them for the holidays. What a grand idea.

But somehow it never happened. I think I ate every chocolate Jesus I made. 20 pounds and one handbasket to hell later, I gave up on the idea.

So now Easter is approaching again. I'm thinking the time is right for a Chocolate Jesus. I just need the right marketing tools. I need a slogan.

Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hymn Book!
Body of Christ: Now available in Krispy!

If it turns out there is a hell, I am sure I will be there. But I'll be in good company at least.

And hey, this really works out for Catholics - what better way to entice people to join your church than with chocolate?

March 13, 2005

Idol News

For those of you following American Idol, big news: Mario has left the contest. More over here.

Update here.

you're all out of order!

So I'm watching A Few Good Men - that court room is scene is probably one of my favorite movie scenes ever. Though not my all time favorite court room scene, which goes to And Justice For All.

We're trying to think of other good court room scenes. So, yea, help us out.

Update: I almost forgot Kentucky Fried Move: Don't you know there is a penile code in this state?

joining the darkside

[repeating from yesterday, moved up top for today]

Ok, here's the Yankee blog. I'm looking at an official launch later this week.

If you= want to join, please you must send an email to empire.2005@gmail.com. Include your name and URL if you have one. Even if you left a comment on the original post about this, you must send an email to the above address in order to be given a login.

They're Coming to Get You, Roger

LDH took a zombie test last night and barely survived. I, on the other hand, came out very much alive.

[I changed the code from the test results because it was too damn big]

Official Survivor

Congratulations! You scored 69!

Whether through ferocity or quickness, you made it out. You made the right choice most of the time, but you probably screwed up somewhere. Nobody's perfect, at least you're alive.
My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender: You scored higher than 74% on survivalpoints
Link: The Zombie Scenario Survivor Test written by ci8db4uok on Ok Cupid

Coincidentally, I was going to write about zombies today, anyhow.

You know how some families make emergency plans for, say, a fire in the house? Well, we made an Emergency Zombie Plan yesterday. At least we tried to (see Obsessive Compulsive Zombie Disorder for background on our history with the living dead).

Me: We should all agree to meet in one place, then.
Justin: Yea, some island that we can surround with barbed wire.
Me: This is an island.
Justin: Well, let's just find some open land and surround it with barbed wire.
DJ: Uh..guys? You're on your own. I'm going hunting when the zombies come.
Me: WHAT? You're going to leave your mother at the height of armageddon?
DJ: I've got things to do, mom. First I'm going to kill a whole bunch of people from my class.

See, DJ figures if the zombies are taking over, then law and order goes right out the window. He can finally seek revenge upon the kids from school who have slighted him in any way. Then, when his enemies lay bleeding and dying slow, painful deaths, he can get to the business of zombie hunting.

I convinced my son that it would be best to come back to the house after he takes care of his business. Justin and I will stock up on the basic supplies and gather some makeshift weapons.

That's when I commit the apparent sin of all things zombie.

Me: I'm going to give up.

Horrified glances from my husband and son. I try to explain. Why fight off the zombies? Why spend days running from them, trying to fend them off, beating them, shooting them, cowering in fear in the basement (shit, we don't even have a basement)when eventually, they are going to win? Once the zombie infestation starts, that's it. It's assimilate or die. You can shoot as many brains as you want, but in the end, the undead will outnumber the living and you may as well just let them bite you early on rather than attempting to put up some brave and noble fight for survival.

I start singing the doom song, then.

Justin and DJ are mortified. They can't believe I would just give up so easily. What can I say? I'm a joiner. I follow trends, I don't set them. And it's not like I don't have experience when it comes to hooking up with a mindless army of droning, single-minded people who want to swallow you whole. It's just so much easier to hold out your arms and accept what fate hands you than to fight it. It's easier to convince yourself that being a zombie wouldn't be so bad after all - no work, no taxes to pay, abundant food supply and, best of all, I could go on the hunt for people I hate and zombiefy them. How cool would it be to sink my undead teeth into Roger Clemens's fleshy neck?

Well Justin and DJ are having none of that.

DJ: You can't just let them take you. You have to fight!
Justin: You don't even want to try to save the world? Or yourself?
DJ: It's just wrong, mom. If I stay, will you fight?
Me: Maybe...I'm just lazy, I guess. I can't see expending all that effort if we're just going to lose eventually.
DJ: But we won't lose.
Justin: What if they are super zombies, though? Like the remade Dawn of the Dead zombies?
Me: That's what I'm saying..
DJ: Oh. My. God. Hello? Let's talk a little reality here? You know, REAL LIFE?
Me: Yea, we were getting a little carried away there....
DJ: I mean, everyone knows that zombies can't run.

At this point we decided that, should zombies attack, Justin would start building a fortress around the house, including a moat (because everyone knows that zombies can't swim), DJ would take advantage of the lawlessness and go kill some 12 year old bullies, Natalie would remain, as always, oblivious to the situation and continue to post quizzes in her LiveJournal, and I would hunker down in the living room with the Zombie Survival Kit, which consists of nothing more than a bottle of Jack Daniel's and a shot glass.

And then we started thinking like the capitalist pigs we are. We would take advantage of the situation. We'd learn how to tame the hordes of zombies roaming the countryside. Then we'd use them to remake classic movies. We cracked ourselves up imagining an undead Tom Hanks, all bloodied face and flesh wounds.... Ruuuuuuuuuuuun....Fooorrrr....essssst.....Ruuuuuunnnnnn.

March 12, 2005

The Saturday Six

[these links have expired - please stop back next week for more music]

I missed the Friday Five this week, so you get a bonus song for Saturday.

1. Taking Back Sunday - Slowdance on the Inside (Download)
Another in a long list of Long Island bands that I like to give props to. You may have heard of TBS - they're that band that makes all the little girls cut themselves. < /sarcasm >

2. Hot Hot Heat - Bandages. (Download)
I once described this band to someone as listening to the lead singer from Mindless Self Indulgence fronting The Cure. While you're drunk. This song is great. Grab a cosmopolitan, put on a swingy kind of skirt, and dance.

3. Danzig - You and Me (Less Than Zero) (Download)
There are few things better than listening to Danzig make sweet, sweet love to his own voice. This song is almost as over the top as the movie it's from, but that's nothing new for Danzig. It's just one of those songs that pops into my head when I'm in the shower and think no one can hear me and suddenly the soap dispenser is a microphone and I'm this stocky, self-absorbed singer and...well, you can imagine how it goes from there.

4. Nine Inch Nails - The Day The World Went Away (Download)
I mentioned to my husband today that I've been listening to Halo 14 almost exclusively at work. He thinks I'm nuts. I think he underestimates this album. It took me years to appreciate The Fragile for what it is. What I first thought was indulgent and overhyped is actually quite beautiful, if a bit harrowing.

5. Snot - Stoopid (Download)
This band would have been HUGE if the lead singer didn't die at the beginning of their career. This was in late '98, a time when Korn, Limp Bizkit and all the "nu metal" bands were gaining notoriety and Snot, while generally lumped into the same group with them, was heads above them as far as musical talent goes. Damn shame.

6. Wu-Tang - Shame on a Nigga (Download)
Everyone needs a little Wu now and then. Personally, I prefer at least once a day. Your mileage may vary. Your babies' mammas miss you, ODB!

Now that was nice and eclectic, eh?

And an extra bonus - Jim's got his jukebox up and there's some GnR to be had!

Apropos of nothing, Fark has been down all day. I'm starting to get cranky.

And even more apropos of nothing, I just want to say that Guitar Center in Carle Place rocks. If you live on Long Island and you're in the market for some music type stuff, go there. The people who work there are knowledgeable and incredibly nice. And I just love the vibe there on Saturdays.


And on a lighter note.

I was in the supermarket yesterday, loitering in the bakery aisle. Yes, loitering. It takes a while for my will power to have a knock-down/drag-out with the chcolate truffle cake.

So there's two young women standing near me, looking at the fresh baked turnovers and danish. One of the woman points out the mini cheese danish.

Woman 1: Mmmm... I love cheese danish. Let's get those.
Woman 2: Ick..no. My mom bought them once and they tasted like cum.

I swung my cart around and exited the aisle quickly so they didn't see my jaw hanging open.

But I went back a few minutes later.

Yes, I bought them.

No, they don't.

on the court house shooting

Because I work in a courthouse, I got a slew of emails in the last 24 hours about the lunatic who killed the Judge and two others in Atlanta.

Every courthouse has different rules and regulations, as far as security goes. What goes on where I work is not necessarily how it works in that particular county in Atlanta, or even specific to that courthouse.

Honestly, I haven't seen that many people go bezerk while in court and the ones who do, oddly enough, usually aren't the people who are there for violent crimes. The nuttiest defendants I've come across have all been in civil cases. My boss told me of one case in Westchester where a guy who lost a civil suit drove by the presiding judge's house and shot him dead while he was gardening.

Anyhow, to answer your questions, I really can't shed any light on this. It's pretty scary, though.

Now it looks like a customs agent was just found dead in Atlanta and his ID and gun are missing - could be connected.

How this guy got away so fast and is still running free is beyond me. I do hope at this point that when they catch him, they kill him.

The agent's pickup truck is also missing. It's a blue truck, license plate APG 621.

And I love this: relatives are shocked -SHOCKED! that this "nice young man" shot people! Uh..he was in court to answer charges for raping his girlfriend. I think he stopped being a "nice young man" way before he killed innocent people.

[And now there's a hostage situation north of Atlanta]

CNN is reporting that NIchols is in custody. ATF has confirmed it.

As far as I can tell, that hostage situation was with Nichols.

More here. Jeff Quinton has updates.

Countdown to Steak and BJ Day!

Steak and BJ Day is just two days away. I hope everyone is ready.

Guys, just in case you want to remind your gal with a greeting card:

The winners of the Steak and BJ Day Poetry Contest - in greeting card form.

There were two winners - J.P. and Mark.

The images were taken from my new favorite place on the internet.

[click for bigger]

Feel free to print out and send to a loved one. Or whoever you make your booty calls to.

Also - as a favor to my brother-in-law - I'd just like to clear up a fallacy. It's Steak and BJ Day. Not Steak From BJ's Day. Sorry, sis. Start doing those mouth exercises now.

saturday morning stuff

Yippee! It's snowing like a bastard, AGAIN! Someone just drug me and wake me up when there's some color outside besides white and gray.

Note 1: If for some reason you are still using my Yahoo email address, don't. I went in there today for the first time in months and deleted 4,325 pieces of mail. Use the contact address in my left sidebar, please.

Note 2: The Voices Project is gone. For now. All the files have been removed from ASV and will, eventually, be put in a nicer, more fitting home. For now, if you are linking to the Voices project, the link will go nowhere. I'll make an announcement when the permanent home of Voices goes up. But it won't be for a while. It's purposely on the back burner.

Note 3: Changed my mind about using Blogger for the Yankee blog. It will be over here. I'll be working on that today. Check out the new banner.

March 11, 2005

you can take your remake and your "re-envisionings" and shove 'em straignt up your ass!



/end screaming jag

I weep for my children. All their movie memories will abominations of MY movie memories.

die, spammers, die. again.

I'm being deluged by trackback spammers today.

I'm on strike until they leave me alone.


Ok. I'm not on strike. I'm just too busy to blog. And sttrike sounded more interesting than swamped with work.

Friday Fun: Your Last Song

So, what song would you want played at your funeral?

I'm not going to be having a funeral, but I think Denis Leary's I'm An Asshole would be nice as background music for my memorial service.

A Baseball Story
(repeat alert)

I couldn't take the pink anymore. Maybe I'll just use this header graphic like a mood ring. Today, we are nervous, stressed and anxious. Well, no we're not. It's just the first color that came up in the Photoshop Duotone thing.

Anyhow, it's another one of those hectic mornings (snow, AGAIN), and because I was asked nicely to repeat an old post, in honor of it being March and baseball season approaching, that's what you get. I'm sure there's one or two of you who haven't read it yet.


It’s March and thoughts turn to baseball.

So, I have a baseball story for you.

It was the summer of ‘86. I had gone back to college the previous spring after an extended hiatus. 21 credits crammed into one semester after not being in school for a while was exhausting, so I passed on taking any summer classes. I was working nights at the time and thought I would spend my summer days sleeping until noon and lounging around the house. And then my Dean made me an offer I couldn’t refuse - a summer job that would entail driving to The Bronx every morning, not getting home until midnight most nights, working a few weekends, all for no pay except a few college credits.

I almost laughed at him until he explained who I would be working for. The New York Yankees. Not as a hot dog vendor or ticket-taker. I would be working inside the vaunted walls of Yankee Stadium. Hell, I would have paid them to let me have that job.

I was to spend my days as an editorial assistant for Yankee Magazine, cropping pictures, proofreading stories and doing advertising layout for the magazine. At night, if the Yankees were on a homestand, I would stay for the games and run errands. If I wasn’t needed I was welcome to stay for the games, anyhow.

I spent a lot of time that humid summer in the cool confines of the archives room, poring through photos of Yogi Berra and Joe Dimaggio, reading scorecards from games played long ago and generally living in a baseball time warp. The room was stuffed to the gills with trophies and plaques and mementos of the greatest baseball team that ever existed. And here was all this history, all this fame right at my fingertips. Ticket stubs, game programs, yellowed articles and dusty photographs were my companions that summer. Each time I left the room - usually after a futile search for whatever memorabilia or picture I was sent there for as the room was incredibly unorganized - my fingers would be coated with dust and grime of the legacy of legends.

I watched plenty of games from the press box. Sometimes I helped keep the scorecard, sometimes I just chatted with reporters or players who were on the injured list and joined the press to watch the game.

I knew I had it made. I ate lunch in the third base seats, legs stretched out, sun beating down and Yankee Stadium seemingly to myself. I parked in the player’s lot, sometimes walking in with the players themselves. I was the original George Costanza.

Late that August the pennant race was heating up and the summer nights were cooling down. I knew my days as a part of the New York Yankees staff were drawing to a close. In a way, I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to make that miserable morning drive on the Grand Central anymore. But I hated give up the perks of a job where I mingled with Don Mattingly and had my name in Yankee Magazine.

It was close to my last night there when I was invited to watch a game from the General Manager’s office. There I was, in this huge office full of baseball impresarios, sharing drinks and glad-handing each other. I stood quivering in the corner, too overwhelmed by the presence of baseball greats to move out of the spot.

One of the employees I had become friends with over the summer grabbed me and dragged me over to the huge picture window that overlooked the playing field of Yankee Stadium. I was watching the game from an office behind home plate, surveying the game as if I owned the team. I looked at the outfield bleachers where I had sat so many times before. I was mesmerized.

My friend excused himself to go get a drink and I stayed at the window, watching the game.

Then a voice from beside me, “Great view, isn’t it?”

I looked up to see Mickey Mantle standing beside me, grinning. I nodded, unable to speak.

Me and Mickey, watching a Yankee game from the office above home plate.

That, my friends, is a King of the World moment.

March 10, 2005


Well, it's been a very long and busy day. And of all the things that happened to me today, this is the one that will, by far, have the most long lasting ramifications:

I have decided that from now on I will call my potato chips crisps. And I'll say it with a Brit accent.

just one hit

I just spent most of the day at work with no internet connection. It was horrible.

Before I go lay down to recover from having the non-connection vapors, I just want to thank everyone who donated to my passive/aggressive fund drive. You all rock my socks.

Ok. One more thing. Remember that new EXTREME Bugs Bunny? Go watch this.

Not safe for work, small children, grandmothers, or the moral majority.

/via joel

[save our looney tunes - some 11 yr old kid who's pissed about the new toons]

playlist for an invocation of spring

[alternately, songs that make me think of open windows, warm breezes, going coatless, Little League games, fresh air and longer days]

Short Skirt/Long Jacket - Cake
Beautiful Girls - Van Halen
Here in Your Bedroom - Goldfinger
Strawberry Letter #23 - Brothers Johnson
No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age
Dixie Chicken - Little Feat
Save it For Later - English Beat
Mountain Song - Jane's Addiction
Beat Surrender - The Jam
Cowboys From Hell - Pantera
Red Hot Summer - Coheed and Cambria
White Zombie - Thunderkiss '65
New Day Rising - Husker Du
Trunk Fulla Amps - Self
You and Me (Less Than Zero) - Danzig
Be Quiet and Drive - Deftones
Fundamental - Puya
New Noise - Refused
Ashes to Ashes - Faith No More
Welcome to the Jungle - Guns n Roses
Spacegrass - Clutch
May 16th - Lagwagon
Bitches - Mindless Self Indulgence
Heresy - Nine Inch Nails
Freedom Like A Shopping Cart - NOFX
So Few - Nothingface
Sidekick - Rancid
Spirit of Radio - Rush
Waiting for my Ruca - Sublime
Chemical Wedding - Bruce Dickinson

And what list would be complete without:

Sister Christian - Night Ranger.

new dress

If winter insists on keeping its death grip on us, then I just have to stave off depression by bringing on spring myself.

I bet you never thought you'd see me in pink.

[see here for explanation of tagline]

Speaking of funny things from that GnR post, thanks to Keiran for sending me the following Photoshop. This made my day.

How Trent Reznor Can Mold Your Child's Life
A Reality-Based Parenting© Lesson Plan

A friend sent me this column last night. He thought being that I write about my kids a lot I'd enjoy this guy's story about taking his kids to Target.

As the author tells it, he's got three young daughters with birthdays coming up. he and his wife take the kiddies to Target to scan the toy aisles so they can make out their birthday wish lists. It is, of course, a horror show for them, resulting in the parents wanting to drink themselves through lunch. Reading this, one gets the impression that these kids have never been in a department store before.

I've never heard of the practice of taking your kids "pretend" shopping for their birthday presents, parading them down aisle after aisle of toys, leading them to believe that the toy department is their own personal shopping mall and if they wish real hard, mommy and daddy will make their Barbie dreams come true! Mr., that's what commercials are for.

In my Reality-Based Parenting© world, I not only streamline efforts like buying/picking out birthday presents, I take every available opportunity to toughen my kids up and teach them the hard, mean lessons of life early on so they don't turn into sissies with a sense of entitlement.

Here's how it works in my world.

You plop your kids down in front of the tv, Nickelodeon being your weapon of choice. In twenty minutes, and without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home, your kids have found fifteen new toys they want, in addition to eight kinds of candy and four brands of cereal and you are presented with the opportunity to teach your kids some valuable life lessons and harden them up for the tough life ahead of them.

After they come to you with their hastily scrawled list of toys and games, you tell them you'll think about it, then you fold up the list and put it in your pocket. The kids are still standing there, wide eyed and shaking with giddy, over-sensitized commercial awareness.

Can we have Loaded Sugar Bomb Cereal?
Can we have Chocolate...
Can we have Donut Breakfast Sprink..
Kool Aid?
Twelve foot long fruit strips?
A pint size, battery powered Lexus complete with vanity plate?
That game with the six thousand marbles?

You keep a harsh edge to your voice. And just wait for it. As if on cue, they howl, they cry, they pout and throw themselves on the floor and kick you in the shins and scream that they never, ever, ever get to have ANYTHING good or fun or new.

So you do what any responsible parent would do. You sit them in front of the stereo, turn down the lights and make them listen to Trent Reznor emoting about something he can never have. You sing along, making sure to pantomime your heart breaking. You make it resonate. When the final, heartbreaking notes of the song fade out, you tell them, If you think it hurts to not be able to get your damn sugar coated chocolate filled breakfast treat, just wait until that hot chick who has been teasing you in math class for three months tells you she's a lesbian.

When you put the kids to bed that night, you eschew the lullabies and put Stabbing Westward's Wither, Blister, Burn and Peel on repeat in their Winnie the Pooh CD players.

The next day, when you realize you've used the last of your 40 pack of paper towels and you make a panic run to Costco, you take them with you. You purposely take them down the toy aisle to see if they learned anything. There's rows of brightly colored packages; board games, mechanical toys, whirring lights and beeping robots and stacks of pink boxes stuffed with busty blonde dolls. You look at your kids and you can see their hands twitch involuntarily. But they keep walking. They don't reach for a box or try to play with the electronic drum set on display.

You can't help but test them a little bit.

"Hey look, Johnny. It's that new gizmo you wanted!"
"Eh. Why bother asking for it? It would only end up disappointing me later, anyhow."

You try to hide your proud smile. And when your daughter sullenly walks past the rows of Barbies, kicks one of the boxes and mutters bitch under her breath, you quietly pump your fist and say yessssss.

[Look for my Reality-Based Parenting© infomercial in the near future]

March 09, 2005

why do you hate me, america?


Why, America? WHY?


The AI bloggers (well, some of us) have put up our predictions for tonight's elimination show.

I'm going to do the Friday Five (music downloads) early this week. I feel like sharing the music wealth. If you've got requests, whether it be specific bands or just genres or whatever, let me know now. Note that I'm in a metal kind of mood today.

I'm working on getting that Yankee blog started. If anyone knows how to mess with the Blogger templates, let me know. Or maybe I'll just cave in and host it on one of my sites. Anyhow, coming soon.

Ok, remember that Guns N Roses post from the other day? I put it up at Blogcritics and the AXL ARMY has come for me! The comments just get sillier as they go on.

An Important Note About those Bunny Suicides

Last week I linked to something called Bunny Suicides (I have deleted the post). It was a bunch of drawings of, well, bunnies committing suicide in hilarious fashion.

Turns out the the page I linked to is nothing more than scans taken from two actual books, with no credit given to the author at all - just someone completely ripping off the artistic work and wit of someone else. Bogus, dude.

If you liked the Bunny Suicides and you would like to help the author, Andy Riley (who sent me an email about this today and to whom I profusely apologize), recoup some of the money he's surely lost because a plethora of websites are now hosting his unaccredited images, you can purchase the books here and here, at Amazon.

If you have linked to the bunny suicide pictures, please consider adding a link to the books and attributing the rightful owner/author/illustrator of the images, Andy Riley.


Eat an Animal For Peta Day: Recipe Bleg [Updated]

We're coming up on the Third Annual International Eat an Animal For PETA Day.

Meryl Yourish, the founder of this holiday and a hero to carnivores everywhere, has more on the history of this day and other need-to-know facts.

[Note that this event has really nothing to do with being against vegans or anything like that - it is a protest in reaction to PETA's horribly offensive marketing campaign in which they likened eating meat to the Holocaust]

These are my posters from last year (modified with the new dates). Feel free to download (right click and save). Meryl is asking for banners, so I think I'll cook up a few today.

Meanwhile, I'm going to solicit recipes. We'll call this the IEAPD Meat Lovers Recipe Roundup. So when next week rolls around, you can come here, pick out a good meal and get all the necessary ingredients and instructions ahead of time.

The only requisite, obviously, is that the recipe must include meat. No tofu turkeys. No soy bacon. No veggie burgers. Just real meat made from real, dead animals. The way nature intended it.

Bonus song: Freegan by Bigwig. (30 second song, lyrics below. I suggest making this the official song of IEAFPD)

Update: I got an email from a vegan who says he thinks I should include tofu or fake meat products because there are a lot of vegeterians and even vegans who hate PETA and their methods and they might want to symbollicaly join us in protest on IEAPD. What do you think?

Well, I'd club a baby seal
But you know I won't ingest it
I'd tell my vegan girlfriend
You know I wouldn't suggest it
All my shoes are leather
And I don't care whether or not
All the cute little animals were to be shot!


Oy. Vey.

I've been putting this off because I just didn't feel like dragging out the political blogging thing again, but I would like to stop the emails, links, etc. because you all are just getting annoying now.

In reference to this Media Matters item:

  • Writing posts on blog and leaving comments on blogs are two entirely different things. Come on, MM. You should know that.
  • Mr. Bray didn't leave his comment as if he was acting in any capacity for the Boston Globe. In fact, I didn't know until this week that he was a writer for that paper at all. In fact, I didn't even remember the comment until I found the link to MM in my referrals and even then, I had no idea who Hiawatha Bray was. WHO CARES?
  • This is not a conservative blog. How can a blog be conservative anyhow? The author can be conservative, but the blog - being an inanimate (albeit shift-shaping, constantly changing entity) object - cannot be conservative or liberal or communist or whatever. Unless it has, like, hammers and sickles on it. Then maybe you could call it communist. In an aesthetic sort of way.
  • The author of this blog is not a conservative. I am Republican, yes that's true. And it's true that John Kerry was not my choice for president in 2004. And it's true that I wrote a screed (many more, actually) againt him in September of 2004. But I actually touched a real, live gay person once and some of my best friends are godless bastards, (oh wait, I'm a godless bastard!) and I VOTED FOR RALPH NADER, so put that in your world peace pipe and inhale it, baby.
  • Mr. Bray's comment on ASV also included this:

The Zucker brothers, by the way, made a much less successful but almost as funny movie called Top Secret! which featured a wonderful sight gag with an exploding Ford Pinto. But I bet you knew that.

But Media Matters saw fit to leave that part out. Why? What are you hiding? Why do you hate the Zucker Brothers, Media Matters? WHY DO YOU HATE FORD PINTOS? I demand answers!

Until I find out why MM brazenly and shockingly decided to leave out that portion of the offending comment, I will not answer the charges against me.

Oh, there are no charges against me. Ok, fine. But I know things that would make your hair curl, Mr. S.S.M of Media Matters.


Glad I got that out of my system.

Also, I think I might have said this already, but please stop calling me a conservative. It really chafes my hide, as they say. And trust me, the last thing my hide needs is more chaffing.

We now return to your regular non-political, non-imporant-news, non-how blogs are going to destroy careers/mainstream media/John Kerry/your mom blogging.

March 08, 2005

ice, ice, baby

This one goes out to you warm climate people.

That's not snow. It's about two inches of crusty ice.

Just in case you were wondering what you're missing.

Die, winter, die.

Idol Stuff

Yes, I'll be doing the live blogging of American Idol thing over here tonight, but unlike last night, you get no long entry from me on the various contestants or who I think will out peform someone else.

Why? Because the girls are one big yawn fest. There is no one I am looking forward to hearing from tonight and quite a few I am dreading having to listen to.

If Mikalah doesn't get booted off this week I am going to hunt her down and rip her vocal chords out so she has no chance.

See you over there at 8. Yea, you. I know you're watching.

welcome to the dark side

So I'm thinking of starting another group blog: Coalition of the Dark Side.

This would be the place to do all your Red Sox/Mets bashing as well as talk about the Yankees, do game recaps, boxscores, clubhouse news and gossip, voodoo spells, bitching and complaining about Steinbrenner, hopping on and off the Giambia bandwagon and whatever else Yankee comes to mind.

If anyone is interested, please say so in the comments here. I've already made the site (it's going to be on blogger) and I'm ready to go. I just need company. Together, we will destroy the Red Sox Nation and make Met fans run for their mommies. You don't know the power of the dark side!

Thanks to Jay Caruso for sending along the image on the right, which is his sister made and, like the Caruso family, I will be printing on t shirts for my whole family to wear. Proudly. I think we will make it the official t-shirt of the Coalition of the Dark Side.

Note to SMFRSF: We've only just begun.

Playgirl EIC Outs Herself as an Idiot


Also known as: Worst reason ever for party affiliation.

How could a member of the media who produces adult entertainment for women possibly side with conservatives from the red states? Zipp spells it out. “Those on the right are presumed to be all about power and greed – two really sexy traits in the bedroom. They want it, they want it now, and they’ll do anything to get it. And I’m not talking about some pansy-assed victory, I’m talking about full on jackpot, satisfaction for all.” “The Democrats of the Sixties were all about making love and not war while a war-loving Republican is a man who would fight, bleed, sacrifice, and die for his country. Could you imagine what that very same man would do for his wife in the bedroom?” asks Zipp.

Wow. You know that saying It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt?

Yea. That.

Continuing Discussion on God and Morality

I really wanted to write a much longer post on the discussion of morality and God from yesterday, but I'm running late and it's going to be a hectic day, so I'll just scribble what thoughts I can now - and some of them are tangential, but important to my own discussion about the existence of God and the ability to live a good life without God.

In the comments on the post, Clark says:

In short, atheists have no idea the blessings an unrequited God showers upon them every day in every good thought, impulse, or tendency they experience. All the while they fail to understand the fact that were it

To those skeptics who believe faith in God is no more conducive to morality than non-faith in God, I would ask which of the two following philosophies is more conducive to morality: Christ’s ‘Golden Rule,’ or the ‘dog eat dog’ of Darwin’s “survival of the fittest?”

In the first paragraph, he is assuming that I have no ability to guide my own morals and that whatever good thoughts, impulses and tendencies a person has are not their own, but bestowed upon them from God.

If that is the case, can I just stop thinking all together? Can I stop weighing options, considering consequences and debating the merits of my actions if God is just going to steer me in the right direction anyhow?

It's an empty way to argue against atheism: "Well, sure you're a moral person, but you just don't realize that God is magically giving you these morals!" How? If I don't believe in this entity, if I don't make room for him in my life, if I think of him as nothing more than a work of fiction, how does he suddenly fill my head and heart with good intentions? And what of those people whose heads and hearts are filled with bad, bad things? What of serial killers and rapists and people who kick puppies? Why does your "unrequited God" choose to not shower them with morals and the ability to make good choices? What about the priests who have molested children? Those are men of God, yet they chose wrong, morally. All the while they fail to understand the fact that were it not for God they would be dead to any propensity toward morality. And what about those who are dead to any propensity toward morality, especially those who claim to be witnesses to God? How do you explain that?

In the second paragraph, Clark offers two philosophical choices. Problem is, whether or not you believe in God, you are not confined to only those two choices in regards to morality.

I point you to something I wrote only a month ago:

When people ask my how, as an atheist, can I honestly raise my children with any kind of faith or morals or values, I give them the short answer: because I still believe in the core teachings of Jesus. ...... Many people find their life's beliefs through historical figures, maybe in philosophers or economists or authors....Wherever you find something that pulls at your heart or your mind and makes you want to be a better person or make a difference in this world, embrace it....

See, I can still find moral ground and not believe in a higher power. The old argument that my morality must be based on wanting to please a higher power is so much bullshit. I want to live a good, moral life and teach my children to live a good moral life because that is what makes the world a pleasant place to be part of it. I answer to me. I am my own higher power. I do not need God to tell me that kicking puppies makes them hurt and that's a bad thing. I do not need a God to know that taking property that belongs to someone else is wrong, that turning a blind eye to someone in need of a helping hand is wrong.

The argument that God is steering us and we just don't know it is not one you can prove. It's rhetoric, effective for those times when an atheist tells you that they just behaved in a moral manner. And it's the smug Ned Flanders way of preaching down to us non believers that makes discussions like this more often than not pointless. You point to an invisible entity, an unproveable higher power and tell me that I am unknowingly being guided by him. Even when there are church going people who behave badly, even though there are murders and rapes and stealing and wife beating and molesting going on at this very second, God finds it in his heart to come on over here and help this atheist make the right choices in her life, without so much as leaving a calling card. I'm not buying it.

Just as much as I don't buy the "God is everywhere" theory. Take Reggie Jackson, for instance, who was in a car accident the other day and is alive and well today only because "the hand of God" was touching him. Well, ain't that nice. But what about the hundreds of other people who were in car accidents the same day? What about this couple? Not only did God decide that they didn't need his hand, but he forgot to shower good thoughts and impulses upon the two drag racers responsible for the accident.

You argue this with someone and they will say "but God is not interventionist." Fine. Then don't tell me he's guiding my thoughts and morals. Conversely, I won't try to convince you that Binky the Magic Space Clown is guiding yours.

Ok, I've already gone far, far off the path I started from and now I'm very late. As always, this early AM post is dashed off quickly and may require some editing later.

Here's some further reading:

Our Godless Constitution

Update: Just to reiterate, I am not belittling people who have faith in God - any God (see here). I am, however, taking issue with those who put forth the theory that because I don't have that faith, I cannot be a moral person, or if I am moral person, it's because God is making me so.

Update: Please see Alex's two parter on the subject here and here.

March 07, 2005

American Idol Confessions: Bo and Con

[The live blogging of tonight's show here]

There's no point in denying it anymore. I've got my freak on for American Idol this season. Past seasons, I always watched with a bemused detachment before, using the show more as a means to spend some time with my daughter than anything else. Oh, fine. I kind of enjoyed it. I may have even blogged about it. But this season, I'm totally immersed in the goings on of the AI crew. So much so, that I live blog the damn thing three nights a week.

bocon.jpgSo let me just get it right out in the open, right now, that I am totally excited about tonight's episode. See, it's boys night out again. And this time, the real battle lies within the war, folks. Pay no attention to the rest of the guys lined up on stage. Mario, Anwar - there's very little they can do wrong at this point. The real steel cage match is between the two rockers, Bo and Constantine.

At first, I was a big fan of Constantine. Oh, I knew this was nothing more than a publicity stunt for him, that he was only doing this to get his band's name out in the public arena. He probably figured he would hang on for a few rounds, each time giving his band a plug, maybe doing one of those adoring Ryan Seacrest interviews where they go and talk to his fellow band members who maybe stage some theatrics and call Constantine a sell out. Makes for good tv, and makes for good PR.

So Constantine endeared himself to the teenage girl in most of us. He winked, he smiled, he pouted, he carried himself like a bad boy of rock and roll and most of us played right along with him. The one thing Constantine didn't count on was having another rocker make the finals with him. And he certainly didn't count on that guy being more talented and more charming than him.

So Constantine became churlish. He dropped the charming veneer and instead started down a trail of petulance and whining that made Bo look all the better in comparison.

The real blow to Constantine came during last week's show when he decided to try some Black Crowes on for size and utterly, completely blew it. He came off like a run of the mill karaoke singer. But his own performance wasn't the death knell. It was when Bo sauntered up the stage and launced into a power packed "Whipping Post" that Constantine had to know he was going to lose the battle of the rockers. When all was said and done, Bo emerged the hero of the night. Not only was his performace better than anyone else's, he totally kicked Constantine's ass.

So tonight, Constantine really has to bring it if he wants to continue on with this show. Not only does he have to whip out something daring, something rocking, something challenging and rise to all that, but he has to put on his best "ain't I cute" face and ham it up for the teenage girls out there, or their fingers will be dialing someone else's number at the end of the show.

I bet you any any amount of money that, for tonight, Constantine doesn't care about his band back in Jersey and his purpose in being on American Idol. This is all about ego and he's eyeing Bo like Superman eyes Lex Luthor. No, that would be the other way around. Can't you just see Constantine whispering to Bo, Doesn't it give you kind of a shudder of electricity through you to be in the same room with me?

So now that I've totally destroyed any credibility I had with any of you by going on for so long about American Idol, I guess I may as well remind you that I'll be live blogging the Bo and Con show over here at 8pm EST.

[I think it goes without saying that, in the end, Mario and Anwar will be the only guys left standing and both Bo and Constantine will be just fleeting memories.]

Open Discussion: No God, No Morality? [updated]

Roy Moore: 'We Have No Morality Without an Acknowledgment of God'

The acknowledgement of God is basic to our society, to our law, and to our morality. Christianity is in a prime position to wake them up. I can't do it alone, and Christians need to be awakened to what's going on in our country. If we continue to let this happen, what will happen is a complete departure from our constitutional form of government. The basis of our morality is being destroyed. We have no morality without an acknowledgment of God.

To say I strongly disagree is a vast understatement.

Discuss, please. I'll have my say later.

Update: I'll start with this comment:

Without some sense of absolute right and wrong we end up in the land of moral relativism. The only valid source for an absolute morality is some "higher power".

Who is judging the validity of this source? There are some "higher powers" that promote death to non believers. So if someone says they get their sense of absolute right or wrong from that higher power, who are you to argue with it? That's their morality, as much as "turn the other cheek" may be yours. With more than one God hanging around, there is more than one absolute morality. Who's to say that yours is right and theirs is wrong? Using a higher power as the grounds for determining what's moral or not is sometimes a cop out, sometimes an excuse.

137 Days Later: Game On, Again

It may only be spring training to you, but it's revenge time to me.

Yanks v. Sox, tonight.

It's never too early to start sharpening the insults and perfecting the ad hominen attacks. Right, MFRSF?

If you are a Yankee fan (or, by default, a Red Sox and/or Mets hater), see the Penguiin about joining the coaltion of the dark side.

Flash Fiction (2)

In accordance with this post here, where I asked you to pick out photos/pictures from this site, and I would write some "flash" fiction to go with them (still taking picture suggestions, by the way).

This picture was sent to me by Todd. I had one thing in mind when I saw it, and another thing came out. I wrote this in five and a half minutes. No editing.



I cross the street and she’s there, in front of the drug store, waiting for me. She knows I had to pick up my meds and she’s there like a stalker, her eyes rimmed with the black of insomnia, her hands shoved deep inside her pockets. She’s staring straight ahead at me and I have to acknowledge her. My first instinct is to turn around and go home, go to the park, go anywhere else but to the place where she stands. But I need my meds and she knows this. She knows I’m not going anywhere but right towards her.

She at least tries to look shameful, bows her head a bit and bites her lower lip but I’ve seen it all before and I don’t let her little acts of manipulation phase me anymore. It’s old. But the mere act of pretending to be shamed tells me that at least she still has the capacity to recognize that what she’s doing is wrong. She knows she shouldn’t be here. For a split second I think about grabbing her, kissing her, pushing her hair back from her face and telling her I love her but then I remember that it’s gone, all gone and I’d be just setting myself back months if I did that.

I reach for the door to the pharmacy. Open it. Walk in. She follows behind me and stands at the counter with me while I wait. I say nothing to her. She grabs onto the sleeve of my parka and pinches it, holds just a tiny bit of fabric between her fingers, as if that’s all it would take to keep me bound to her. Maybe it is. I get my pills, sign the insurance form and walk back out the door. She’s trailing behind me like a pet, stumbling to keep up with my long strides, her fingers still gripping my parka like a lifeline.

Out in the cold air again I take a deep breath, exhale, and blow smoke rings with my winter breath. I fight off a surging nicotine craving by biting down hard on my lip. I draw blood, lick it off and savor the taste of my own blood, which alarms me. My god, I’m so fucked up. I walk east, not even bothering to step around the pools of slush, my sneakers making puckering noises in the melting ice and snow. She’s still there, still holding on and I start crying as I walk, I swear my tears are freezing up the instant they hit my cheek. I don’t care. I’m just walking and crying, walking and crying and she’s fighting to hang onto my coat.

My feet are soaked and my toes are numb and I pick up the pace because I need to shake her off. I turn around. I know better, but I do it. I slow down, baby steps over the sheets of ice in front of the school and I crane my neck and I can see her, black hair and pleading eyes and trembling lips and my heart cracks, bleeds and falls apart right there in front of the elementary school where the little kids put down their crayons and stare at the crazy man on the sidewalk, the man who is kneeling down in the wet snow, crying, screaming, all alone.

Someone comes out to help me and let them, for the first time I let someone help. They pick me up, hands under my arms and I go limp. I don’t even turn to look for her. I know she’s gone. I. Know. She’s. Gone.

She’s gone.

First story in this series here.

You can have anything you want but you better not take it from me

Good morning and happy Monday to you. Today, we are going to talk about Guns N Roses. Why? Because I think this talk is long overdue. Besides, there's a great article in yesterday's New York Times: The Most Expensive Album Never Made. Ah, Chinese Democracy - the long awaited, heavily anticipated and now punch line of jokes album. The one Baseball Crank refers to as "the Waterworld of rock." At least Waterworld actually made it to the theaters.

My history with Axl and company is a long and complicated one. I imagine that most metal fans who hooked on to the early GnR bandwagon followed the same path I did. Think of the seven stages of grief in reverse. From acceptance (Appetite for Destruction = welcome to my record collection!) to denial (I swear to you I never owned The Spaghetti Incident), we watched - and in some ways participated in - the slow death of a once great band. But it wasn't their years of putting out head banging, fist pumping music that was the greatest show. No, it was watching Axl Rose trying in vain to raise the Phoenix from the ashes that offered the most jaw dropping, car-wreck kind of entertainment this side of the November Rain video.1080751049_3675.jpg

Real music fans don't just buy an album, get their groove on and put the album away until later. We invest a part of ourselves in each record we buy. And, by extension, we invest a piece of ourselves in the bands we love. We form a relationship, so to speak, with the band as a whole. And it's a tenuous sort of relationship, because the only thing that ties us together is the actual music. A new album comes out, you listen for the first time and each perfectly crafted song is tantamount to being embraced by a passionate lover. Every lyric that resonates, beat that you feel in your bones, hook that captures your soul - it's like making love to the music and those who made the music (metaphorically speaking, of course). The better the anticipated album or single, the more intense the action is. So each new album we wait for is like the promise of hot, dirty sex after your partner has been away for a while. And in that essence, Chinese Democracy has been a years long cock tease.

My real lust for the band kind of faded right around Civil War. It was then I realized that GnR was the equivalent of the girl who teases you with her perky breasts for years and when you finally manage to get under the hood, you grab hold of three inches of padded bra. All that music before Use Your Illusion II was just a ruse to get us to this point. They gave us the good stuff first so they could later on sit back and make this pretentious, melodramatic drivel that they called art. There was nothing left to them. Empty D cups.

I never held a grudge against the rest of the band like I do Axl. He was - and is - a self indulgent monster whose posturing bravado could never hide the fact that he was really nothing more than a wimp, a nancy boy, a withered soul of a human being who couldn't handle criticism or competition. Yet somehow, he managed to convince himself that he was the king of the mountain and deserved every indulgence he demanded - something the attempted creation of Chinese Democracy has made all so evident, especially since he surrounded himself with people just like himself.

He accompanied Buckethead on a jaunt to Disneyland when the guitarist was drifting toward quitting, several people involved recalled; then Buckethead announced he would be more comfortable working inside a chicken coop, so one was built for him in the studio, from wood planks and chicken wire.

Out of the entire five page NYT article, that excerpt alone is what symbolizes both Axl Rose and the whole warped evolution of Guns N Roses. Ridiculous excess, indulgence, pretentiousness and the penchant for extending the idea of making an album to such ridiculous heights that, somehow, building a chicken coop for Buckethead seemed like a good way for Geffen to spend their money.

And how much money has Chinese Democracy cost to make so far?
[Axl] has racked up more than $13 million in production costs, according to Geffen documents, ranking his unfinished masterpiece as probably the most expensive recording never released.

13 million dollars to make an album that a) will probably never see the light of day and b) even if it did, would never recoup the costs to the label or even be worth listening to at this point. Who wants to hear what a lover has to say after they've kicked you in the back time and time again? At some point, you walk. You don't look back. After all the teasing - the MTV awards, the New Year's Eve show, the inlkings of what the record would sound like, the addition of people like Robin Finck to the band - to still be standing here waiting for some GnR loving is to victimize yourself.

Mr. Rose is reportedly working on the album even now in a San Fernando Valley studio. "The 'Chinese Democracy' album is very close to being completed," Merck Mercuriadis, the chief executive officer of Sanctuary Group, which manages Mr. Rose, wrote in a recent statement.

Mr. Mercuriadis was not very happy with the NYT article and wrote a letter to the editor, in which he called the author of the piece, Jeff Leeds, "the return of Jayson Blair under a pseudonym."

Axl Rose is not interested in fame, money, popularity or what the New York Times or any other paper for that matter might think of him. His only interest is making the best album he is capable of so that it can have a positive affect in 2005 on people who are enthusiasts of music and interested in Guns N' Roses. His artistic integrity is such that he has chosen to do so without compromise at great personal sacrifice which makes him a soft target for the sort of rubbish you have chosen to print. I believe he will have the last laugh.

One has to wonder if Mr. Mercuriadis really believes what he wrote. Or perhaps he is just a victim of Axl's cult of personality. Maybe Mercuriadis and Axl both really believe that Chinese Democracy will be released some day. Maybe they both believe it won't raise the bar on suckitude. And maybe they believe that whatever ragtag band Axl ends up with deserves to be called Guns N Roses. But the phrases "artistic integrity" and "great personal sacrfice" don't really come to mind when I think of Axl Rose. Is it that "artistic integrity" that's causing his old bandmates to sue him?

I prefer to remember Axl the way I first loved him; all swaying hips and high decibel screaming, causing riots, forgetting to show up for concerts, making an ass of himself in ways that are forgivable in rock and roll. The whole Chinese Democracy saga? As unforgivable as The Spaghetti Incident.

March 06, 2005

movie review haiku

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

motorhead. patrick,
in fishnets and fuck me pumps.
ride the hasselhoff


diamond dave. patrick,
nude buttcheeks clenching a flag
ride the hasselhoff

[finally saw it. liked it a lot.]

[upon further thought: this was a rather grown up kind of movie, visiting themes such as getting shit faced drunk and paying for it the next day, and naked buttcheeks.]

[oh, if anyone could find a still of patrick in the fishnets, that would be great, because i can't find one anywhere. just for posterity, sicko.]

[p.p.p.s: Cap Alert gave the movie it's flashing-red-light-make-the=baby-jesus-cry rating.]

[heheeh, mr. krabbs said jackass. hehehe]

Can You File For Divorce From a Rock Band?

After watching Some Kind of Monster, I can't even enjoy Metallica's old stuff anymore.

Master of Puppets just came on my Launchast station, and all I could hear was Lars whining like a little bitch.

Finally - my long, drawn out break-up with Metallica is over.

story time

In this post yesterday, I asked you to go here and find some pictures to inspire me to write some short fiction. And you did.

I finished the first of the stories, this one based on Skillzy's choice.

A thing about the flash fiction: It doesn't always play out like a full story - sometimes it ends up being a vignette, sometimes it it wants to be longer and so it just hangs there at the end. Also, I write these without much editing. They're supposed to work on a stream-of-conscious level, so editing would ruin the flow of whatever my brain was vomiting up at the moment. Hence, continuity errors or ugly, cliched phrases and clunky verbiage remain. Raw stories, if you will. Anyhow, here's the first one: Yellow.

[More fiction here]



Just as they could hear the tires of the pick up truck nearing the house, his mother shooed him into the shed and told him to watch from there. He was grimy, his mother said. No place for grimy children up front.

He hadn’t meant to get dirty, but it was hot and thick outside and all the dust and blacktop had stuck to his sweat. Besides, he really didn’t want to be up front. All the commotion scared him a bit and from the way the other kids were talking, Mr. Jacob would be sitting in the back of the truck, his dead body propped up like he was still alive.

“No, Matthew. Mr. Jacob is in a box. A coffin.”
“Can he breathe in there, mom?”
“He’s dead, Matthew. Dead people don’t breathe.”

Matthew left it at that because he didn’t want to talk about what it means to be dead. That’s all his brothers and sisters were going on about and listening to them made him feel like someone was poking holes in his stomach.

He found a milk crate in the shed and shoved it over to the side window. He wouldn’t miss a thing from there. The shed - once a place where his father kept his tools and now a rotting corpse of crumbled brick - looked right down the driveway and towards the street, giving Matthew a fine a view of all his family and neighbors gathering by the roadside. He settled in and waited. For what, he wasn’t sure. But he knew from the way the older kids were talking that they had done this before and that it was a big deal to have a dead guy paraded down your street. He just wished Mr. Jacob wasn’t the one being dead today. He liked Mr. Jacob. He was the only grown up who ever smiled like he remembered what it’s like to be happy.

Yellow. Years later when Matthew would think about this day he would recall how everything was tinged in yellow. Not the yellow of daisies and crayon suns, but a brownish, dirty yellow that cast an eerie glow on the death circus he watched from the shed window.

For three days after Mr. Jacob died, the sky had been bloated with thunderstorms that wouldn’t budge. Matthew’s mother and father stood outside every morning and said “gonna be a big storm today,” but it never rained, never thundered and the sky just turned yellow and gray and brown like it was rotting. And as Mr. Jacobs's funeral procession approached Matthew’s house, all rumbling tires and crying women, the clouds seemed to sink under the weight of the storm they were holding in and the sky felt lower, like it was pressing down on them and forcing the whole world to bathe in its weird storm-glow. The dirt road, the dry hedges, the gossiping women and stoic men and oblivious children playing by the porch - they were all tinged dirty yellow and it hurt Matthew’s eyes to look.

The pick-up rounded a corner and was headed toward Matthew’s house. Every child stopped moving. Every woman stopped talking. Matthew held his breath, afraid to make a sound and break the spell of revered quiet. There were only a few sounds; tires doing a slow turn over dirt and Mrs. Jacob, held up by Matthew’s mother and aunt, praying and crying. Her whispered sobs carried loud like echos.

Matthew, still holding his breath, watched the trick get closer and only when the noise of the wheels on dirt was enough to drown out Mrs. Jacob, he began to breathe again.

The truck was open in the back and had a makeshift wooden bench on each side of the truck bed. On each bench sat three men and between them, on the floor, was Mr. Jacob, resting comfortably dead in a wooden box. The men were all dusty boots and squinty eyes, dressed in the same hats and flannel shirts and faded work pants. Their expressions never changed as they stared into the crowd of people that followed them on foot. Their faces were worn and filled with lines like etched stone and as the wind kicked up and the hems of their pants ands cuffs of their shirts flapped and fluttered, they never flinched not even as wind-carried dirt settled on their lips and flew into their eyes. Every few seconds the long box would shift and the men would all bend down at once and push the box back.

As the truck moved right in front of Mrs. Jacob, the men all took off their hats and bowed their heads and Mrs. Jacob wailed, a sound that made Matthew’s heart feel squeezed and tight. Matthew’s mother and some other women were trying to keep the widow from running into the street, but Mrs. Jacobs’s grief carried her away from grasping arms and she ran toward the pick-up truck, trailing it, holding up her long funeral skirt as she half-ran, half-stumbled and the driver of the truck sped up just a little and later - years later - Matthew would wonder if the driver was trying to get away from Mrs. Jacob or trying to keep her from reaching the truck bed. His brother would say to him “same thing, ain’t it?” And Matthew would shake his head. “No, not at all.”

Later, when the sky finally cracked and the rain flushed the yellow from the sky, turning it black and brown, Matthew sat on his front stoop with his mother, eating a piece of pie and looking at the very spot where just this morning Mr. Jacobs passed by his house for the very last time. Matthew knew then this would be one of those things he would remember forever, that one day he’d be sitting on the porch like his father before him, telling stories about his childhood, and this would be one of them. Even if as the years went on the colors would change or the pitch of Mrs. Jacob’s cry would get louder or tiny flaws of memories would change the snapshot in some way, it would always be there, hanging like a poster in his mind.

March 05, 2005

comic book motivational posters



It kind of helps if you know who the characters are. The Arseface poster rocks.

/via sore eyes

you're the inspiration

One other thing I'm doing today (I've obviously made this a ME day) is taking about two hours out both today and this evening to do some writing. I'll be working on flash fiction, because that's what gets my engine revving, so to speak.

I could use your help, as always. Go here and pick an image (thanks, Skillyz TDRSF). That is an awesome repository of images.

Pick an image, link to it in the comments and I'll see if I can get inspired to write some flash fiction from the pictures. Whatever I write, I'll post.

[Yes, this post has changed from before]

I love the cigarette cards. And the song cover sheets.

Wow. Now I don't know if I want to write or go shoot some pictures.

This is good. I can't stop.

while i fiddle about

Today is fiddling day.

I put up several new dreams over here, if anyone is interested. I'll probably make a creepy image for the site as well.

I haven't forgotten about the 500 songs annotations. I'll probably get to a dozen or so today. [update: didn't get to it. weather was nice and we ran errands]

I'm deciding what photo to use for the Photo Friday category of obessesion. I'm thinking this one or this one.

I'm thinking of buying Sid Meier's Pirates
. Anyone play this yet? [update: held it in my hands, didn't buy it. it will be my reward when i finish five more chapters of my novel]

decency quirk

I'm not exactly a prude. I'm against too much FCC regulation and I think parents, not militant organizations should be responsible for what children hear on tv. I curse like a drunken truck driver. I talk openly about sex, sometimes in a really raunchy way. The phrase "decency standards" scares me.

So I'm at a loss as to why, when flipping around the channels the other night, I was horrified to hear the phrase "dry humping on the couch" on some sitcom.

It's been bothering me for days that it's been bothering me. I don't think I would have batted an eyelash if the goofy, airhead character said "I was sucking his dick on your couch," yet the phrase "dry humping" freaked me out.


[Also, and completely off topic, if anyone has written a blog post on the McCain Feingold/Blogs thing and you would like it posted at Command Post, shoot me an email or leave a linkylink]

saturday morning cereal and cartoon party

I've decided to have a virtual cereal and cartoon party, as I have no friends outside of the internet, at least none who would be so interested in something like this, as I know you all are.

I'm going to watch Bugs Bunny, Super Friends, Hong Kong Phooey, Grape Ape, Captain Caveman and Johnny Quest.

I'll be eating Kaboom and Quisp.

What are you watching and what are you eating?


and even though I've always been told not to, I'm going to go ahead and apologize for the lack of original or interesting content here in the past week. The brain seems to have shut down and I can't locate the restart buttong

March 04, 2005

♪ The Friday Five ♪

Five songs for you - tried to give you a varied and eclectic bunch to welcome your weekend.

Nick Cave - Papa Won't Leave You Henry (Download)
I had a near religious experience watching Nick play this live. It's the kind of song that should be sung in a dingy bar with 200 drunken sailors all waving around bottles of rum and dancing on the tables.

Clutch - Shogun Named Marcus (Download)
One can never have enough Clutch in their lives, especially on a Friday. I've always described them as Frank Zappa meets early Black Sabbath. It's as close as I can come to defining them at all. (Also, the site's current tagline comes from this song).

Brand New - Play Crack The Sky (download)
No, I'm still not over my obsession with Brand New. This is a five minute metaphor, done acoustically and played out beautifully.

Head Automatica - Beating Heart Baby (download)

UPDATE: Had the wrong song here before - this is the right one.

I love this band because I love Daryl (who also sang with Glassjaw, an ASV favorite). The song itself reminds me of a 70's pop tune, but in a good, Teen Beat-ish way. Makes me want to stand in the audience of one of their shows and scream like a lovesick puppy.

Faith No More - Ricochet (Download)
Yea, it's not secret that I think FNM is the greatest band to ever walk the face of this earth in the history of all time, past present and future, bar none - but I don't think I've really given enough love to the King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime album. It's always funny until someone gets hurt...And then it's just hilarious!

If you do download the songs, let me know what you think. You know - it's got a good beat and I can dance to it - I give it a seven!


Update - All downloads have expired (as they always do after 24 hours. If you really, really want one of these songs, email me. Look for the Sunday Six, which generally follows Friday Five by two days).

Friday Open Discussion

Topic: Zombies

day made

Went to Friday's for lunch. Ordered a glass of wine. Got ID'd.


time out/time in

Frustrated by life today. Which is not fair, for a Friday.

I don't think I'll have anything else for you today, except maybe a song tonight.

I'm going to keep myself busy over here, a blog I started to keep track of all the dreams I ever posted here and where I'll record my dreams in the future. Just for the hell of it, or in case I ever feel like self-analyzing.

Quest for Magic

Driving to work today, I noticed a new store on Bellmore Road. Well, not new exactly. For as long as I can remember, there has been a deli at this location. About twenty different delis. They come and go at varying intervals. One lasted quite a few years. Some lasted only months. I always figured one of these days someone will get it right - they'll recognize that there is a school across the street and start selling things based on the fact that their clientele is mostly mothers with young children and not people who are looking for a ten dollar sub with portabello mushrooms and imported peppers.

So I was pleased to see the new deli sign: Genie's Magic Deli!

What would make a deli magical? Are their pixies and sprites behind the counter? Is the food made by a guy with a glowing sword and +10 wizard skills? And then I had the most absurd thought, one which leads me to believe that I need to put down the video game controllers for a while.

I had a vision of walking into the Magic Deli and looking for a save spot. You know, peeking around the corners, looking for that glowing circle on floor....

You know, no matter how hard I wish for it, life will never be like an adventure game. It's not even close to a Choose Your Own Adventure book. And all I ever wanted was for my life to mirror that of all the grand adventures I ever read about or directed with a joystick or keyboard. Well, I also want life to play out like a movie musical, but that's another story. And I already wrote the "Why Isn't Life Like Zork" post:

When I was about three years old, someone told me that pirates once walked the shores of Long Island, searching for buried treasure. So I took my mother's spoons and headed out for the backyard where I proceeded to dig about a zillion holes in the ground searching for gold doubloons.link-young.jpg
When I was five, I was told that Indians once lived on the very ground I stood on. So I took my mother's spoons and proceeded to dig up the backyard again, searching for arrowheads. I imagined that I was a fearless explorer, searching for remnants of past civilizations. I would be on the cover of National Geographic magazine some day.

When I was seven, I read books about magic kingdoms and dragons and worlds that existed inside of mountains. I dreamed of being small enough to fit into a mousehole and discovering whole new worlds that existed under the ground. I wrote tales of knightly quests and brave princesses and ogres and mean Kings.

When I was ten, I read books about magic coins and wishing wells and mystical wardrobes and I imagined that I would find one of these coins, and wish myself away to fantastic journeys, or ride the back of a lion on my way to save the world.

When I was twelve, I became obsessed with mythology. I daydreamed often of a world of gods and goddesses with the powers of the universe in their hands. I put myself in their world, helping them fight off evil. Sometimes I was evil and I would cast a lightning rod at my enemies here on earth.

When I was fourteen, my mother subscribed to a magazine called Man, Myth and Magic. I read every issue from cover to cover and back again. Dark magic inspired me as much as good magic. I read tales of ancient civilizations and dark powers and voodoo and cultures where quests were a way of life.

When I was older, and had my first computers (a Vic20 and a C64), I spent hours and days and weeks playing text adventure games. I traveled through exotic worlds and dark caverns. I met trolls and ogres and witches and carried secret weapons and magical words with me. I slayed dragons and defeated dark creatures.

In my heart, even as an adult, I wished these adventures could be real. I never stopped dreaming about magical quests. I never stopped wishing that wizards and ogres and were real. I never stopped dreaming that one day I would be crossing a bridge and a talking troll would be underneath. I never stopped exploring the woods for elves and hobbits.

Some day, I am going to go on a quest. I am going to slay a dragon. I am going to save a kingdom. I am going to find a ring or befriend an elf or decipher a treasure map.

Until then, I'll be playing Zork.

March 03, 2005

Song o' The Night - Schmaltz edition

It's a companion song to the post below.

Nick Cave - Are You The One That I've Been Waiting For

Which was our "fall in love over the phone" song, our meeting for the first time song and then, fittingly, our wedding song.

Download. Listen. You will not be disappointed.

Lyrics below.

I've felt you coming girl, as you drew near
I knew you'd find me, cause I longed you here
Are you my desitiny? Is this how you'll appear?
Wrapped in a coat with tears in your eyes?
Well take that coat babe, and throw it on the floor
Are you the one that I've been waiting for?

As you've been moving surely toward me
My soul has comforted and assured me
That in time my heart it will reward me
And that all will be revealed
So I've sat and I've watched an ice-age thaw
Are you the one that I've been waiting for?

Out of sorrow entire worlds have been built
Out of longing great wonders have been willed
They're only little tears, darling, let them spill
And lay your head upon my shoulder
Outside my window the world has gone to war
Are you the one that I've been waiting for?

O we will know, won't we?
The stars will explode in the sky
O but they don't, do they?
Stars have their moment and then they die

There's a man who spoke wonders though I've never met him
He said, "He who seeks finds and who knocks will be let in"
I think of you in motion and just how close you are getting
And how every little thing anticipates you
All down my veins my heart-strings call
Are you the one that I've been waiting for?

[insert growling noise here]

For anyone who didn't read this morning's post and is getting some kind of javascript message that looks like a virus or redirect on this site, please take the advice here. Thanks. Really, all you have to do is clear your java cache and it will go away. If that's too much of a problem for you, then don't come back, k? Stop acting like I ate your fucking babies.

And jesusonapogostick, people. No, I am not "getting paid" for having this crap on my site. Seriously. To anyone who sent an email asking me that, I hope your dick falls off. Or whatever appendage you use the most.

I'm in a seriously rotten mood today and I find myself staring wistfully out the window at the deli across the street and its big ad for cigarettes. I'm having wet dreams about the Marlboro man. I'm dangerously close to lighting up after seven weeks of being smoke free.

I am thisclose to losing it today and this god damn javafuckingvirus or whatever it is on my site is putting me over the edge. I'm in a bad, bad place right now. We're talking water towers, machine guns and several bottles of Jack Daniels.

Must find happy place.

[And listening to Sick of it All is really helping me move along here]

I can name that movie in seven words....(redux)

I am completely exhausted. Every part of me, from m hair to my blood to my brain is tired and just wants to shut down.

I need some fun in my life right now and this movie thing we did a few months ago was a lot of fun - and I think it was long enough ago that we can do it again without worrying about repeating movies. So...

Describe your favorite movie in exactly seven words.

Don't say what it is, either. We'll guess.

Entertain this tired brain with your wit and brevity. Thank you.

Pigs At The Trough:
Living Large on Taxpayers' Money


Top Roslyn school officials and their friends and family siphoned off more than $11 million of district money in an elaborate scheme involving far more people and far more extravagant spending than had been suspected, a state report has found. Those implicated allegedly made mortgage payments on six different homes -- including two in Florida -- paid off personal loans, bankrolled vacations to the Caribbean, leased luxury cars and shelled out thousands of dollars at Tiffany's, Nordstrom's, Sharper Image, Coach and Rolex.

This has been going on for some time - grand larceny indictments of the former superintendent, the former business manager and a former clerk were all handed down previously; all pled not guilty- but it's only now, with the release of the audit report (pdf), that we are seeing the full scope of what went on in the Roslyn School District. Up to 26 people may be implicated when all is said and done. That's 26 people who took part in the systematic plundering of money that was supposed to be used within the school district. How many textbooks, how much lab equipment, musical instruments, playground equipment or supplies weren't bought because the budget wouldn't allow it? Because 11 million dollars was allocated for tropical vacations and four star restaurants?

[The auditors came to Long Island from across the state, accountants turned detectives on a case where much of the evidence was destroyed or missing. They fleshed out what authorities describe as a decade-long conspiracy of misspending that netted district officials and at least 10 of their relatives a staggering $11.2 million.


"Normally when you do a fraud audit the well runs dry," Hart said, but in Roslyn, "it never stopped for us."

"It was an orgy of spending," he added. "It just went on and on and on."

That's a list of misused funds [click for bigger]. Almost $600,000 on food. $609,000 at Home Depot, presumably for supplies for all the houses they were using district funds to pay for.

Those implicated allegedly made mortgage payments on six different homes -- including two in Florida -- paid off personal loans, bankrolled vacations to the Caribbean, leased luxury cars and shelled out thousands of dollars at Tiffany's, Nordstrom's, Sharper Image, Coach and Rolex.

It started with three employees misusing credit cards. Those three people then handed out credit cards to friends and family. Spreading the wealth, as it were. Somebody else's wealth. These people involved their children - giving them cash to pay off student loans and buy cars.

How they got away with it for so long is another story. It was a combination of the corruption running very deep and school officials who just did not do their job.

Taxpayers were cheated. Kids went without. And all the while, these pigs were living a life of largesse, taking vacations, building homes and buying luxury items while honest people worked their asses off in order to pay their school taxes (which are pretty damn high on Long Island - school property taxes for homeowners in Roslyn average $9,700 a year. In four years, the district's tax levy rose by 50 percent, to $69 million in 2004 from $46 million in 2000 [source]). And most of those hardworking people have children that they sent to Roslyn schools, expecting that their tax money would provide their children with the necessary supplies, equipment and staff for a good education. All the while, a gang of greedy grubbers was taking 11 million dollars worth of that money and pissing it away on themselves and showering their families with Playstations, printers and iPods.

Paul Vitello, Newsday:

Since I happen to live in Roslyn, I have calculated that the sum total of my school taxes during recent years has gone to pay for the school finance director's pet food ($14,000), the school superintendent's airfare to London on the Concorde jet ($10,796), and for pocket money that various school district employees had withdrawn from ATMs using Roslyn school district credit cards.

In some cases these withdrawals averaged $30,000 a month, according to a breathtaking audit released yesterday by State Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

Or maybe I paid for former Superintendent Frank Tassone's parking garage bill in Manhattan. That bill, charged to me, came to $42,000.

The thieves include the former superintendent of schools; someone who was entrusted with a position that affects every single child in the school district. The people of Roslyn were raped, and you can bet every last Rolex watch bought with stolen money that Roslyn is not the only school district where something like this is going on. In fact, I heard on the radio today (and I stole the title of this post from the radio show) that other Long Island disctricts will be audited soon.

The audit - which is fascinating reading - makes 27 recommendations to correct the internal workings of the school district. Too late for Roslyn taxpayers, however. And that's what bugs me the most. If I were a Roslyn taxpayer (and as a fellow Long Islander I'm sorely tempted to organize a sympathy rampage), I'd be out there with pitchforks and torches hunting these monsters down. Like the morning guys on WBAB said, bring back public flogging. Frank Tassone and Pamela Glucker - and everyone who knowingly took their stolen dollars and gifts - deserve it.

[insert rant placeholder here]

Bill Would Hold Game Makers Accountable For Players' Actions

I'll have more on this later. Right now, I'm having one hell of a morning. Week. Year. The stress will kill me before I even have a chance to kill someone else (after playing Metal Gear Solid, of course).

and now the blog is sick [updated]

I got an email last night about viruses embedded on this site. I noticed yesterday that when I clicked the site on, some weird stuff was happening (like a tiny little box appearing in the upper left corner), but I guess Firefox picked it up before I could see what it was.

As far as I can tell - a) it doesn't happen every time I load the site up. b) I think the person who sent me a mail about getting pop ups has something wrong with her machine and c) whatever this exploit is, it's not doing anything malicious - no redirect, and it's not trying to install anything.

We're going to run a virus scan on our computer and hopefully that will take care of it.

If anyone sees anything funky going on here, please leave a comment as to what you're seeing and what browser you are using. Thanks.

And thanks, WR, for the helpful phone call this morning.

Update: Please see Stacy's comment and instructions here.

There is a reason I have a shrine to her in my bedroom. Ok, several reasons. But her ability to fix every single one of my web-related problems is one of them.

March 02, 2005

In Tim Burton's Garage

If anyone out there lives in the vicinity of Azusa, California and would like to go to Tim Burton's garage sale.....perhaps I'd could live vicariously through you?

Aw, hell. I'd give my left tit to go to this.

What About ASSFACE?

The 1,121 Naughty Words You Can't Use At The NFL Shop
This is the list of "naughty" words not allowed on personalized jerseys at the NFL Shop. They were extracted by a reader from a java script list found on the NFL Shop site

What I want to know is, what kind of person would even think of putting CROTCH ROT on a football jersey? And that's the least offensive of the list.

I can just imagine a man buying his girlfriend a Cowboys jersey and asking for NASTY WHORE to be put on the back.

I've been reading this list all day and I can't stop laughing. Pearl Necklace. Shit For Brains. Skankfuck. Dick Licker.

Why? Why did they have to make this list? I don't know if it's worse to believe that people really tried to order these jerseys or that the people at the NFL store are completely out of touch with the typical football fan. Cyberslimer. Dick For Brains. Oh,and Rae Carruth.

Please, make me stop. My sides hurt. INSEST. Huh? He Hate Me.

Ok, who ordered the PUBIC LICE jersey?

Via Fark, of course, where you'll probably be able to figure out which comment was mine.

survey favor

[Wording stolen (sort of) verbatim from Wizbang]

Henry Copeland is doing a short survey for the BlogAds network as a followup to last years effort. It's a very short form that gets some demographic information and information on your reading habits. It should only take you a few minutes to complete.

Don't forget to include ASV in item 15 (List up to ten of your favorite blogs...) and item 16 - (Referring blog).

Take the survey now.

Note: As was the case last year, the aggregate question-by-question results will be released under the Creative Commons "attribution license", so you'll be able to see and use the tabulations.



(sick blogging? doctor blogging? disease blogging?)

First, thanks for all the advice and calming words this morning.

We went to the doctor and, bless his heart, he listened to everything Nat and I had to say, nodded his head in all the right places, rolled his eyes in all the right places (mad cow disease? she's a vegetarian!), never once brought up the idea that it's all in her head, and appreciated all my concerns.

He is pretty certain this is a mono relapse and nothing more (which would explain the sluggish immune system, resulting in the strep, UTI and other fun stuff she's had in the past few weeks), but he took lots of blood from her and he's going to run the whole gamut of tests, just to rule out things like Lyme Disease and other too-scary-to-think-of diseases. We won't get the results until Friday but we're just going to go ahead and treat this like mono for now.

So now we have a choice to make. Obviously, she's going to be out of school for a bit. She already missed ten days this year due to various illnesses. If I send her back before her body is really ready, she'll end up getting sick again, she'll fall behind in class again and we'll start the whole roller coaster of getting her grades back in shape again. Nat is a good student, but due to some minor learning disabilities, has to struggle for every single grade. Falling behind, especially in science where there is a lot of lab work to make up, and Global Studies (where she has a teacher who gives about five tests a week) would mean certain disaster for this semester, and a frustrating experience for her.

So I'm considering keeping her out of school for whatever length is required in order for her to get homebound services. I imagine it will be easier for her to maintain her grades if she's getting constant tutoring/teaching at home, rather than staying out of school for two or three weeks and having friends bring home work that she just doesn't understand without the classroom experience to go with it.

This has been a fun, fun day. On the positive side, the doctor doesn't believe that Nat has any of the illnesses I came up with on the basis of Google searches. On the downside, there is really nothing I can do for her, as far as mono goes. There is no antibiotic that is going to make it go away, and nothing to make her stop feeling like shit.

Though she already hinted that the first season of The O.C. on DVD (and Fresh Prince season one, what the hell?) would make her day pass much easier.

She's going to play me. I know it. And I'll let her. For a while.

And again, thank you all. You rock my clock.


[taking my mind off of things until the dr. appt.]

I've been meaning to write about Yahoo's tenth birthday. Go ahead and call me an internet weakling, but I still love Yahoo. While I don't use their search engine anymore, I do have my own Yahoo page as my homepage, I play a lot of their games, and I swear by Yahoo Launchcast. And where else can you find pictures like this?

So for all you registered Yahoo members who want to celebrate the birthday today, go to Yahoo and download a coupon for a free Baskin Robbins ice cream.

There are few things better in this world than the words free ice cream.

Happy Birthday, Yahoo!

[And a totally weird side note: I viewed this Yahoo retrospective today, and when I clicked on the "weblog" link, I saw a photo of one of my best friends. Freaky!]

could it get any worse?

It wasn't enough that I woke up with Guns n Roses (Patience) in my head. No. Now I'm on hold with the Dr.'s office and they're force feeding "Jessie's Girl" into my ears.

Somebody give me a different earworm, quick.

speaking of sick kids... [updated]

Weird that I chose today to post the thing below.

I'm having major concerns about Nat. I know I said I wasn't going to post about the kids anymore, but I'm looking for some kind of help/advice here. We are going to the doctor, but her appointment isn't until tomorrow and I'm starting to become really concerned.

First, she has strep throat right now. This is about the fifth time this school year she has had something that caused her to miss more than one day of school. I think her downward decline, health wise, started when she had mono last year. She hasn't been completely healthy since.

These are the symptoms she feels on an almost daily basis, as transcribed to me: Dizzy, feels like she is going to pass out, shortness of breath (even when not doing anything) constant headaches, stomach aches - just weird - tired, lack of appetite. It's the weird thing that bothers me. She says she can't describe it, she just doesn't feel right.

Before you ask, there is absolutely nothing going on in school that would make her fake symptoms to stay home. She has a lot of friends, her grades are good, no problems with teachers or any other students. In fact, her latest bout of these symptoms - and the worst yet - occurred this past weekend and over two days of the winter vacation. Besides, I can see that her physical symptoms are real. Her face is flushed, her eyes are glassy sometimes. She also gets very tired during the day, but has trouble sleeping at night.

I'm worried about her appetite - she's not a girl who could afford to lose any weight. Also, she's a vegetarian. I don't think this has any affect on her medically, though - she eats a lot of fish, vegetables, fruit, etc. - when she's eating. Which she isn't, the past few days.

Taken one by one, all of these things seem harmless, like typical teenage complaints. But put them all together and I'm gettting a bit alarmed, especially since she has spent much of the past two days crying about how much she hates feeling like this all the time, especially when she can't find the words to describe how bad she feels inside. (Phsyically, that's not a mental thing). And all she wants to do this morning is take some aspirin and crawl back into bed and I'm shoving her out the door because she missed so much school already this year.

Anyhow, I'm not going to spend my time looking up symptoms on Google, because I'll end up in a panic, thinking she has some rare tropical disease that she got from an errant spider that made its way here from some island. You know how that goes.

She was tested for anemia just a few weeks ago and that came back negative. I just want to go into the doctor's office able to say something concrete, without saying "oh, she's complaining all the time about various things" which sounds like a hypochondriac thing.

Ok, rambling, not making much sense. But I'm sending her off to school crying yet again, and I don't know what to tell her because I don't know what's wrong with her, only that it seems like there's a lot wrong with her.

So I'm looking either for some quickie medical advice (Is it possible for the mono virus to mutate into something else?) so I can go into the doctor's office armed with more than just a mother's concern, or just someone to say calm the fuck down, she''ll be fine.

[Update: and now that I'm looking up the symptoms (against my better jugment) I'm thinking she might have mono again. I thought that was one of those things you only get once]

And: I'm not a panic mode person when it comes to my kids being sick. I'm more of the "suck it up, you'll be fine" kind of person. So it's unusual for me to be this freaked out about her being sick.

And my sister thinks Nat has mercury poisoning because she eats tuna every single day. Thanks, Lisa! Those symptoms sure look....familiar!

(Ok, I know it's not mercury poisoning..though...you never know...)

Update: So I just NOW remember that on Friday night Nat complained of a pain in her side/abdomen and I told her it was from moshing at the local band thing even though she insisted she wasn't moshing because she didn't feel good. So now I'm thinking "enlarged, swollen spleen" (consistent with mono) and how I blew her off. Bad, mommy. BAD.

Dr. appt at 1:45, specifically asked for my favorite Dr. of the bunch, who will more likely than not order all the tests I ask him to. Yea, even the ones for diabetes, Lyme Disease and mad cow disease.

Kidding about the cow.

Life Altering Moments II

So I think I'll turn this into an occassional series, which will especially come in handy on mornings like this one, when pulling an old post and reprinting it is all I have time for. (First LAM here)

My "life altering" moment as a mother came in 1994, when DJ was 18 months old. I was standing in the cold, bare hallway of a hospital, listening to my child wail and scream from behind a closed door. He was getting a spinal tap and I swear that the needle they were using was larger than he was. They wouldn't let me in the room. It was 1am and I stood in the hallway, pacing and crying and listening. Suddenly the crying stopped. I panicked, thinking they had done something terrible to my child. I ran down the hallway and looked in the tiny window on the door. A nurse was holding DJ, soothing him, rocking him and singing to him. He was cradled in her arms, wearing nothing but a diaper and a scowl. As she rocked him, the scowl turned to a half grin and he fell asleep, his face pressed against her chest.

It was then I realized a number of things.

That I could not always make it all better. Sometimes, someone else besides mommy would be there for my kids, wiping their spills and putting band-aids on their knees.

That this would not be the last time that I felt that sense of helplessness with one of my children. Motherhood is rife with helplessness. From infancy to adulthood, there are moments where you can only stand by as your children combat broken hearts, broken dreams and failed attempts. And all you can do is hug them and listen to them and know in your aching heart that they are learning how to cope.

That you feel every single things your kids feel. When they are getting a shot, you feel that pain in your arm. When they fall off their bike, you feel their scrapes. Your heart sinks after every missed free throw and strike out, after every break up and denied college application.

That you can only protect them so much. You can keep them from crossing busy streets and make them wear helmets and seatbelts. You can get them immunizations and make sure they wear their hat when it's cold out. You can protect them physically, but you cannot put a helmet or a seat belt on their hearts and souls. You can only hold their hand and offer them worn out cliches about time healing old wounds.

That no matter what, no matter what trouble they cause you, what backtalk they give you, that you will love them fiercely and unconditionally and forever. That you will still walk into their bedroom at 1am just to make sure they are breathing, even when they are in their teens. And you will look at their faces and listen to their soft dreaming sighs and your heart will fill with smiles.

That there will be times, many times, when you hate being a mother. When you can't make it all better and when there is too much whining and not enough cooperation and lost homework and messy rooms, and you run into your room and slam the door and wish you could do it all over again. And then you realize. If you could do it all over again, you would be doing this very thing.

March 01, 2005

idling on a tuesday evening

It's girl's night out on American Idol, and we'll be dishing the dirt over here at 8pm EST.

You really should join us. We have a lot of fun being shallow and dismissive and you never know who you'll meet up with in the comments.

there ought to be a test

Dear parents,

If you raise your kids to be fucking stupid they think "garage jumping" is a valid form of recreation, don't you dare have the audacity to sue the city when one of your idiot offspring gets hurt peforming this retarded stunt.

"The first time I came to the garage after my son's accident, I looked over and I just about broke out in tears," the boy's father Tim Bargfrede said. "I can't believe he actually survived. He looked like he was near death."


Since Bargfrede fell, the City of Orlando erected a partial fence but there's still room for someone to take a dangerous dive.

The family says that's not good enough and that both garages need to take responsibility before a garage jumper loses his life.

Excuse my while I bang my head against the wall.

These parents are enabling their child's stupidity. Instead of saying "Gee, son, I think you deserved to break a couple of limbs and maybe suffer a head injury because that was a god damn stupid thing to do," they are engaging in the equivalent of saying "bad stove!" when a toddler touches the hot oven you already told him not to touch.

Take some freaking responsibility for your actions, people. You are jackasses. The city of Orlando is not resposnible for your stupid children or lax parenting or your child's poor recreation choices. Maybe next time your son won't survive the fall.

Oh, trust me. There will be a next time. Because nobody was taught a lesson here.

And garage jumping? What the hell every happened to hanging out in back of 7-11 smoking stolen cigarettes and drinking piss water beer?

and now i have that better than ezra song stuck in my head

This site is certified 67% GOOD by the Gematriculator

My site is more gooder than Rox's.

Long Distance Dedication - Request

Every once in a while someone will request I run an old piece, for one reason or another. Today, the request line brings you the vocal stylings of one Leo Sayer and my desire to slit his vocal chords. Metaphorically speaking.

Me and Leo Sayer Down by The Mall Courtyard

ohleo.jpgThe year is 1978. I'm in high school, beginning of junior year. There's me and three guys and we are best of friends. We go nowhere without each other, we make no convoluted plots to take over the world without all of us present. We move like stealth bombers in the night, all army jackets and dirty jeans and Genesis t shirts (before Phil Collins ruined the band, ok?) We are the cutting edge of a white-bred community, which really isn't saying much, but we think we are the coolest people on the face of the earth. We listen to prog rock and punk rock and never pop rock or disco or, god forbid, Journey or Bruce Springsteen. We think guitar solos are passe but drum solos rock the house. We think Peter Gabriel is a genius and bands like Styx and Fleetwood Mac need to be silenced. We secretly listen to Van Halen but no one tells the other until years later, when we can laugh at David Lee Roth from the safe distance of many years.

We don't hang out at the mall like the other kids. No, we hang out in Kevin's room with the black lights and Emerson Lake & Palmer posters, or we hang out in Paul's garage, with the drum set and the Ramones "Road to Ruin" playing over and over. Every once in a while though, we are drawn to the mall, because Record World owns us. It is the only reason to get on public transportation. It is the only reason to beg someone's older brother for a ride. To buy records and look through the stacks of vinyl and pray that you will find some obscure punk rock album in the cut out bin for 99 cents, but all you can find is Heart and Blue Oyster Cult, and a 45 of Nazareth's "Love Hurts" that you play 50 times in the next three days.

One of those weekends arrives when there's nothing to do because Kevin's mom won't let us hang out in the house and Paul's mother is having a garage sale so we can't hang out there. We decide to hop the bus and go to the mall, where we will pool our money together to buy an album, and have enough left over to ask Kevin's brother to buy us quarts of beer when we get home. Perfect day.

We get to the mall and the first thing we notice is there's more security guards than usual. This is suburbia. There's not much trouble at the mall. We figure there's some kind of protest going on. You know how those college kids are, always protesting the fur or the man or whatever gets them out of the dorms. So we make our way through the mall, wanting to just get to the record store and get the hell out of there without encountering any cheerleaders or football players or giddy junior high girls that always try to pick up Tim. We are about two feet from the record store when we are stopped by a short, fat security guard and a velvet rope going across the length of the mall.

"You cannot get through this way. You must go around the other entrance to the mall and wait on line." The guard stands with his hand in his pocket, as if he is believing his own lie that he's a real cop and there's a gun hidden away there.
"Wait for what?" I ask him. "What's the line for?" He rolls his eyes at me.
"The show. The concert." I can almost here the "Duh!" coming out of his mouth.
We look beyond the velvet ropes, past the throng of the most hideous looking group of middle aged women and giggling teenagers forming what looked like a huge conga line of patheticness. There's an amplifier set up on each corner of the square the ropes have formed. There's a makeshift stage in the middle, really just a few planks of wood. A concert. A show.
"So, who's playing?" Kevin asks the guard. He rolls his eyes again.
"Only Leo Sayer!" He says this with pride and arrogance. As if we should have known that the most untalented white boy to ever grace pop music was playing in our very mall today.
"Leo Sayer," I say.
"Leo Sayer," The other three say.

We look at each other in the way that only friends who have performed sinister acts of rebellion together in the past can do. The look. The glance. The unspoken words that pass between us. The guard senses something going on. He looks us up and down, sees the clothes and the hair and the patches on the jackets and you can just about see the light bulb go on over his head.

"Hey! You're not here to see Leo!"
"Duh," I say. "We're here to buy some records. Can we go in?"
"No. Come back tomorrow. And don't make any trouble. I know your kind."
"Sure," Tim says. "Sure. We'll be on our way now. You take care, ok?" His words were the equivalent of patting the guy on the head.

We walk around the other side of the mall. We stake the place out, eyeing the set up of the amps and the positioning of the security guards. We synchronize our watches and hatch our plan and wait. We wait patiently. Fifteen minutes until Leo Sayer bounces on to the stage, white boy afro and squeaky voice, ready to rock the world with "You Make me Feel Like Dancing." Wanna dance the night away? Nope. Not with you, Leo.

We must do this. In the name of good music. In the name of Peter Gabriel and Joey Ramone.

Five minutes til Leo.

Finally, we hear a squeal rise out from the crowd. The sound of 200 or more tone-deaf women swooning at the site of a guy who looks like the poster child for geeks. We assume our positions. We wish each other luck in our mission. It's time.

Leo is escorted on to the wooden plank stage by his manager and two mall security guards. The women swoon. The music cues (this is the 70's - he's going to lip sync) - and we run in four opposite directions. Within thirty seconds we have done it. We have unplugged all of Leo's speakers. The music stops. Leo is just about to "sing" the first words into the mic and everything goes dead. He's mouthing words to dead air. Silence.

The security guard who spoke to us earlier spies me as I am walking swiftly away from the northeast amp. "IT"S THEM!," he shouts, pointing in my direction, and then swinging around to see Kevin running the other way. He points at him, at me, yelling at the other security guards, his face red and sweaty and alarmed. I'm having fits of laughter while I'm running, thinking that the guard is acting as if we just killed the president. I keep thinking about book depositories and grassy knolls and this too fat mall cop running after me because some disco pop boy had his amp unplugged.

The four of us meet outside, at the bus shelter and we decide it's too risky to wait another ten minutes for the bus to come so we start the long walk home, stopping every once in a while to roll around on the sidewalks in fits of laughter.

We get home, tell Kevin's brother about our exploits and he buys us beer and let's us drink it in his room. This is the big time. The older brother's secret sanctuary. He holds up his quart of piss warm Miller and toasts to us. "To good music!" We toast back, drink our beer and it doesn't dawn on me until now, 20 something years later, that Genesis wasn't really good music, and that Leo never had a hit after that day.

on the ricochet, it's going to hit you

[the following is a bulk answer to a slew of emails]

No, this is not me, nor do I have anything to do with it. If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked about that over the past week or so, I'd be able to buy a Big Mac meal, super size it, and get the two apple pies for a dollar deal. Twice.

It's not that I never thought of anything like that, because I have. And I bet a lot of you have, too. But I figure if I'm going to take issue with any sacred cows, I'll show my face while I'm doing it. Come to think of it, I have done just that. And the results were not surprising.

I was asked by a kind reader if this bothers me at all and I can honestly say no, it does not. I'd much rather speak my opinion out loud - even if it goes against that grain - and face the finger pointing than swallow what I want to say because it may upset some imaginary apple cart that we're supposed to be riding in.

I think some people - especially a certain few emailers - are forgetting an important fact about me. Well, several really. I am not a conservative. Yes, I am a Republican, but that does not make me conservative. And they forget that I was a one issue voter. So when I get emails saying things like "We need to stick together, not take each other apart," or "It's not in our best interest to be back biting," I almost fall off my chair laughing. What? You don't see the asburdity in people telling me to keep my opinions quiet and stick with the program? I sure do.

When I declared myself a Bush supporter, I was welcomed into the Republican's "big tent" as they like to call it. Yea, yea we know you support gay marriage and you don't really like the President's immigration policies and you're an atheist, but here's your 'Hello, I'm a Republican" name tag and have some punch!

I campaigned for Bush. Hard. I went all out for him because I believed he was the right president at the right time (and I still believe that). But a funny thing happened after Bush won the election. That big tent suddenly got very small and I found there really wasn't an awful lot of room for me in there after all. I got squeezed out, so to speak, by people who think because my views on religion and marraige and education don't coincide with theirs that I should just shut up about those issues and speak only about Iraq and democracy and the war on terror. You know, the things we agree on.

Hell hath no fury like a hard liner being disagreed with. And so I end up coming full circle, back to that place where I'm not on the left, and I'm not on the right and I'm kind of looking around for a place to sit down and eat my lunch, but the cafeteria is looking mighty segregated. And I'm fine with that, because even if I sit by myself, or with other geeks and freaks, I'm at least being honest about who I am and what I stand for. I wear the Led Zeppelin shirt, but I'm not afraid to admit my love for a little KC and the Sunshine Band. Know what I'm saying?

Why didn't I write anything about Chris Rock, you ask? Why? Because, unlike many of you, I wasn't surprised. I wasn't shocked. I just stifled a yawn, had another bite of apple pie and waited for him to stop talking. If you were shocked and appalled, then you need to really reconsider watching television at all, because the thing is rife with Bush jokes. And if you're getting so bent out of shape about what a comedian said about the president that you want to form some kind of campaign against Rock, the Oscars, ABC and the makers of Rock's tuxedo, then I think a little chill pill is in order. Was his act funny? No, not really. Not even the part about Jude Law, and I hate Jude Law. Was it something to get worked up about? No, it wasn't. Free speech, consequences, all that. We've done this before. I don't do boycotts, so don't ask, ok? I mean, I don't own Pootie Tang, so I can't throw it on your bonfire, but you'll pry my copy of Osmosis Jones out of my cold, dead hands.

Anyhow, my potty mouth and loose morals and "abandonment" of my party notwithstanding, I'm still a Republican. Maybe I'm not your idea of what a Republican should be, but then again, you're not my idea of what a decent human being should be. So there.