Monday, December 29, 2003
We've gone from "Bert" to "Ernie." I refuse to panic until we reach "Elmo."
A friend who lives in New York City uses what she calls "fashion-forward" colors. This would, according to her scheme, be a "pumpkin" shade.
Die, terrorist slime.
12/29/2003 02:20:00 AM
THERE'S NOTHING BETTER . . .
than making up with one's spouse when there are Unspoken Things hanging in the air.
Nothing better in the world.
12/29/2003 02:09:00 AM
Sunday, December 28, 2003
THIS IS MADNESS
It's forty-five degrees here, east of Los Angeles. As in the caliber. As in vinyl singles in the old days. As in, freaking cold: I had to button my jacket tonight while walking outdoors, and I wore a hat, scarf, and gloves. As if I lived in a Real City.
I am not impressing the East Coast readers. Nor those in the Upper Midwest. But . . . if you were here, you'd know. It still gets hot during the day. And the sun penetrates everything, making it Darn Hot in cars. But we have to carry all these layers around with us because when the sun goes down it's . . . I dunno, Man. Like, winter or sumthin'. Freakin' unreal.
12/28/2003 12:48:00 AM
Saturday, December 27, 2003
HO FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Well, we drove back from Tempe, Arizona yesterday after an interesting visit with my sister-in-law.
It's almost over. I would so love to get over my hatred of Christmas. Once in a while I get a whisper-thin snippet of hope that things will change--that Christmas will be a happy time like it was when I was a kid--but then something happens and I find that the loathing returns.
I'm sure things will fall into place once we adopt a child. Either that, or they will unravel completely.
We've tried having people here the holidays, and that led to my feeling horribly stressed because of my perception that I was expected to be a perfect hostess. We've tried going to my husband's sister's place--a strong possibility because that's where he always used to go before I came along 13 years ago--and that's rocky going at best, because I don't have that much in common with my sister-in-law, or her friends.
I'm trying hard. My husband's trying hard. But there are no easy solutions.
I remember my father telling me when I was ten years old or thereabouts that my mother clearly had a big guilt complex. After all, it was always on weekends and during vacations that she would lose her temper. But I suspected then--and know now--that the pressure on a woman is enormous around the holidays. My mother always wished her own mom had been the kind who made cookies, and had them waiting when the kids got back from school. She always worked herself, but tried to do some "motherly" things for my brother and me. I think it cost her a lot: maybe too much.
We were evolving, my bloodline. I was the generation that was supposed to achieve perfection. And I dropped the ball somehow. I'm not really any better than my mom. Even though feminism came along in time to "save" me.
Beyond all that--all my self-defeating thinking, all the neuroses, all my complexes--I really do have faith that two creative people can come up with a way of surviving (perhaps even enjoying) the period between Thanksgiving and the new year. We will find it or invent it in the next few years. And that's that.
Happy new year, everyone. It's getting better for all of us, however slowly.
12/27/2003 01:09:00 PM
Sunday, December 21, 2003
SEE DICK RUN.
I promised myself I wouldn't blog about penises--or anything related thereto--for another week. After all, it's unseemly for a woman my age to come across as that sex-obsessed.
What's Toyota's strategy, here? Is it conscious, or unconscious?--Doesn't "Prius" sound an awful lot like "Priapus"? Are they attempting to imply that driving a fuel-efficient car will make you studly? My recollection is that the cult of Priapus was essentially devoted to phallus-worship, and their icons were large penises.
E-mail me. Tell me I've just got a dirty mind. Or that Toyota's marketing folks are brilliant.
12/21/2003 05:09:00 PM
SPAM BY ANY OTHER NAME
The latest in spam names made out of words: I just deleted something that was apparently mailed by "Vituperative G. Contrive." Do these people just pick random words out of the dictionary, and think they sound like real names? One of life's mysteries.
12/21/2003 05:07:00 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2003
JUST SENDING UP SMOKE SIGNALS:
ATTILA THE SEX EXPERT SPEAKS
If you ever want evidence that men are still in control of many aspects of our culture, check your in box.
If women were in charge there would be advertisements for ways to reduce the size of the penis, rather than enlarge it. But a lot of men don't even realize that if they are well-hung, it significantly increases the chances that the woman will find intercourse painful.
What does this mean to heterosexual men? Well:
* If you're large, make sure to use lots of foreplay. Delay insertion until the woman is good and turned on. If this session is clearly for you and you only (we all get freebies now and again--and this needs, BTW, to work both ways), be open to alternative means of getting off. Oral is one option, but women who have small pussies are also likely to have small mouths. How about a handjob with lots of lube?
* If you aren't large, then you still want to be lavish with the foreplay. If both people aren't having a good time, you might as well save your girlfriend or wife the time and simply masturbate.
(I'm so glad that some of my friends' parents have my web address. Note to self: start lying about blog URL when people from "real life" ask for it.)
12/20/2003 02:47:00 PM
Thursday, December 18, 2003
CONFESSIONS OF A B00KWORM
Right Wing News is apparently soliciting book lists from his readership, along the lines of "Top Ten Influences on Your Thinking and Life." Fact is, I couldn't find his original post, so I think I'm answering the right question. (He might want "most influential in the world at large," a much less-interesting subject. All one need do there is round up the usual suspects.)
Since I haven't annoyed anyone lately (at least, not in my online life), I submit this:
1) The Long Winter, Laura Ingalls Wilder
2) A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
3) The Tightwad Gazette, Amy Dacyczyn
4) The Fat of the Land, Michael Fumento
5) Race and Culture: A World View, Thomas Sowell
6) The Dream and the Nightmare: the Sixties' Legacy to the
Underclass, Myron Magnet
7) Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
8) Call the Darkness Light, Nancy Zaroulis
9) Hamlet, William Shakespeare
10) Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W. and Bob S.
And I'm prepared to defend them all.
12/18/2003 10:05:00 PM
Blogging could be light for the next 24-2400 hours. The husband is having oral surgery early tomorrow morning, and I've got commitments the next three nights (mostly social nonsense). After that, we're driving out to Arizona on Monday the 22nd, and returning the 26th.
So if it seems quiet around here, that's why.
12/18/2003 10:00:00 PM
It's always nice to find out which philosophers one gravitates to, though they are never the ones you expect:
1. Epicureans (100%)
2. John Stuart Mill (99%)
3. Jeremy Bentham (88%)
4. Aquinas (82%)
5. Spinoza (77%)
6. St. Augustine (68%)
7. Kant (68%)
8. Aristotle (61%)
9. Jean-Paul Sartre (58%)
10. Ockham (53%)
11. Ayn Rand (49%)
12. Cynics (45%)
13. Prescriptivism (43%)
14. Nietzsche (38%)
15. Thomas Hobbes (38%)
16. Plato (31%)
17. Stoics (30%)
18. David Hume (28%)
19. Nel Noddings (23%)Â Â
Via Angel Weave. And here's the quiz.
12/18/2003 01:42:00 AM
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Stephen Green has the skinny on Saddam's interrogation.
12/17/2003 02:09:00 PM
Monday, December 15, 2003
AH, THOSE CRAZY LEFT-LEANING
PUBLISHING INDUSTRY TYPES
MediaBistro sends out the following in its media update "news feed":
HAVE YOURSELF A BLOODY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
Frank Rich: War movies hit the theaters, perhaps to rally hawks.
Unbelievable. The implication is that supporters of war (presumably, the war in Iraq, and/or the more-nebulous war on terrorism) like to see war movies. I have nothing against people who like war movies; I'm married to one (and I'm personally a dyed-in-the-wool fan of Band of Brothers). But the insulting suggestion here is that those of us who support the war in Iraq (I'll pick that one because it's more controversial) are doing so because we're vaguely bloodthirsty. Because we are entertained by watching people lose limbs and die.
In fact, I have a hard time watching violent material, unless it's very cartoonish (or integral to a well-written plot, as with The Sopranos). I supported the war in Iraq partly for emotional reasons. Let me explain: I understand that we are not the world's cop, and we cannot topple every brutal dictator on the planet. But if we already have a set of sound intellectual reasons for going in, and it will save people from the plastic shredder--let's go.
After all, the arguments for opposing Hitler were that 1) he was guilty of genocide and mass murder, and (2) he was dangerous and on the move. The two were intertwined--enough that we briefly allied ourselves with another mass murderer (Stalin) in order to defeat the Nazis.
I guess I'm just a bleeding-heart conservative. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Imply that I'm bloodthirsty at your peril.
12/15/2003 01:34:00 PM
Meryl Yourish interviews Saddam in captivity.
12/15/2003 02:35:00 AM
GIVE 'EM ENOUGH ROPE
Steven at Poliblog--originator of the excellent Toastometer, for measuring the Democratic candidates--does a little speculating on how Saddam's capture could affect Dean and the Dems. He concludes that the Good Ship Howard is still afloat.
I hope he's right.
I mean, the Dems could conceivably make it easier. They could nominate Carol Mosely-Braun, for instance.
12/15/2003 02:12:00 AM
Yesterday, in Iraq, our special ops teams and soldiers surrounded a pair of farmhouses outside Tikrit, and conducted a search of the two structures. Finding the houses empty, they scoured the grounds and discovered a hiding hole on the property. There, at gunpoint, they failed to capture Osama bin Laden, who's still at large.
I'm so ashamed.
12/15/2003 01:56:00 AM
BAD U.S.! BAD, BAD! PUT IT BACK!
N.Z. Bear asks the $64,000 question.
Via Amish Tech Support.
12/15/2003 01:25:00 AM
AT LEAST IT'S HONEST
When I talked to my dad, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, this afternoon, he hadn't heard about Saddam's capture. When I told him, his first reaction was, "oh, no. This sounds bad for Howard Dean."
"You got that right," I replied.
This could be good for the Democrats, though. If they ditch both Dean and Clark and nominate a grownup, such as Gephardt or Lieberman, they might actually have a chance against Bush in '04.
Fortunately, you can't talk sense into people, and those who are energized enough to vote in the primaries will do so because they hate Bush, hate the establishment, hate the miliatary, etc. They'll nominate a good lefty, and he'll get trounced.
The more so now.
12/15/2003 12:58:00 AM
Sunday, December 14, 2003
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES . . .
that Laura Bush gets laid tonight?
(This observation courtesy of my husband, but it sounds about right. For that matter, I'll bet Barbara Bush gets some. That dog is old, but I'll bet it still hunts.)
12/14/2003 01:21:00 PM
Thursday, December 11, 2003
So, let me get this straight: if the legislature passed a law saying "law enforcement can stop anybody at any time and search him/her with impunity, taking any of his/her possessions for any reason or no reason," the Supreme Court would, in effect, reply, "cool with us. Have a nice day, now."
Un-fucking-believable. It's one thing to reject the "money is speech" argument: I disagree, but I can at least wrap my mind around the concept that money could be considered as more than mere speech in the political realm. Or--perhaps--how the concern about undue influence could lead the Supremes to err on the side of limiting campaign finance contributions. I'd be pissed, but I could live with it.
But upholding the ban on political advertising before an election? What have these people been smoking?
And, of course, O'Conner and Ginsberg were on the side of the devils in this. So glad I went to consciousness-raising groups in the 70s, so women could get more of a voice in government. Like the worst Attorney General in U.S. history and a couple of airheaded bimbos on the Supreme Court.
Sorry. I'm still in shock. I've got to go throw glass jars against a stucco wall and see them shatter into pieces.
12/11/2003 03:00:00 AM
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Apparently, Xrlq got into an accident on his motorcycle, and he's now in the hospital; he'll be there at least overnight. He's okay, but he did have a severe concussion. Please put him on your prayer list, burn incense, light candles, think good thoughts, sacrifice virgins. You know.
Mrs. Xrlq checked in as a guest blogger to update his readers, and she's already joking about the mild temporary memory loss typical of concussions ("he promised to buy me a large diamond ring last night"). Definitely a good sign.
(For my readers who aren't familiar with Xrlq: he's a local boy from Southern California, and the accident took place on the 405. The name is actually pronounced "Jeff," and there is--naturally--a long, convoluted explanation for the moniker. Available on his site, natch, but right now it's a topic for another day.)
12/10/2003 03:19:00 AM
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
THE SPANISH PRISONER
I really do read blogs other than Iberian Notes. Honest. But check this out: it's a nice little roundup of thoughtful pieces about the war in Iraq. John frames one single paragraph of a Christopher Hitchens essay, and asks: just how much of a disaster did the antiwar crowd want to see in Iraq? How many American casualties, how many Iraqi refugees, how much incapacitated infrastructure, how much suffering? That's really the $64,000 question. A lot of anti-war folks wanted to see all this occur when we went in. A lot of them want to see it now.
In the middle of the night, when there's no one else around, what do you hope for in the news the next day? Tell the truth.
12/09/2003 01:01:00 PM
NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
For a while, our little spamming friends were using common first names, like "John," "David," or "Keith," to try to trick us into opening their love missives. (Fortunately, the subject lines bore no resemblence to anything my real-life John, David or Keith might have wanted to say.)
Then there was the linking of common first names with last names of famous actors, models, musicians, and even politicians. All designed, one assumes, to give us the impression that the names were famiar to us. That we'd heard them before. (Yes, I recognize that "Beth Lewinsky" has a familiar ring to it. But I don't want to open any mail that purports to be from her. Gosh knows what's stuck to the envelope, metaphorically speaking.)
But now our impassioned suitors, feeling the fire of unrequited love, are fanning the flames so we all might burn with their desire for our attention (okay--our money [and I'll apologise for that confused, effusive metaphor]). Now they are using ordinary words to try to create identities we'll want to open mail from.
In the past few days I've received mail from:
* Basted I. Uncountable
* Freakish Cox (you'll never guess what he was selling)
* Wilburn Hatfield (I'm waiting for a creative "McCoy" to come forward)
* Amanda Youngblood (who got her surname from a Ricki Lee Jones song)
* Comebacks H. Patel
* Neoclassioc R Pioneering (who needs spelling lessons)
* Servant L. Fertility
* Hearkened M. Bidders
* Holly T McCauley (Shades of Breakfast at Tiffany's)
* Plurals F. Psychiatrist
* Exampled H. Ngaliema
* Freeloader H. Justification
It's a wonderful world we live in. I've come to think these clumsy spam identities are a sort of art form. Make some up: maybe we can create quality among the spammers--call the identities SpamArt. Then while they use them as return addresses for spam, we'll be writing poetry and fiction about what Holly McCauley's life is really like.
12/09/2003 03:30:00 AM
STUDLY IS AS STUDLY DOES
The Evangelical Outpost has a list of "conservative studs" that's worth a look. (And so are a few of the bloggers listed therein.)
The Little Miss Attila poicy on studliness: to be a True Stud, one must be either a magical writer or good-looking. If you are both, your studliness is magnified. (And if you are both, you are probably either VodkaPundit or my husband. But I digress . . .)
The one category missing: best overall blogstud. That, of course, would have to go to James Joyner, who tipped me off to the list in the first place.
Gotta go; I wanna click on some more "boy blog" pix.
12/09/2003 02:21:00 AM
Despite the confusion it causes, I need to send you to Photon Courier right away, for an important point he's making about when it takes courage to participate in a demonstration, and when it does not. You might also check out the two subsequent posts re: trucking/shipping efficiency, and those who facilitate genocide. All good stuff.
12/09/2003 01:25:00 AM
THEY WERE NEVER SMALL ENOUGH FOR THAT
Anton Shrek has me listed as an "exotic dancer" in his blogroll. Ain't that the bees' knees?
12/09/2003 12:56:00 AM
AND NOW FOR AN ODE TO HALF-HEARTED QUIZMAKERS
Yes, I did try to "game the system" and get California. But that's harder than you might think: if you go too southwestern, they think you want Arizona or New Mexico. If you get too beachy, they figure you belong in Hawaii or Florida. I wasn't asked if I wanted to live near the entertainment industry.
New Mexico is your state. Yes, that's right. New
Mexico. Even though it's a desert climate, it
gets kind of cold in the winter. But I
probably won't even publish this quiz anyway
since this shit keeps on freezing so who cares!
What State Is Perfect For You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Via Candy Universe.
12/09/2003 12:22:00 AM
Saturday, December 06, 2003
HOW DO YOU LEARN TO GO ALONG TO GET ALONG?
The Blog Electric tries to talk sense into management at McDonald's over the issue of their attempting to quash the term McJobs. The point being that many people's first job was at McDonald's or a similar place, and that's where we learned to show up on time, subordinate ourselves to a work environment, smile at customers even when we felt shitty, and generally get along in a workplace. Mine happened to be a Christmas season temp gig at a local department store, but the principle is the same: McJobs are an essential part of socialization. As someone who knows a few people who have such massive Work Issues that they are chronically on the verge of homelessness, I can vouch for the importance of learning these basics.
A tip of my gray fleece ski hat, styled vaguely like a cylinder, or perhaps one of those traditional Russian fur hats, without the flaps:
Damnum Absque Injuria.
12/06/2003 02:13:00 AM
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Josh relates that the best line he's heard in a political argument is "sit down, Josh. I want to berate you at length."
I believe this might be rivalled by a woman (either real or imaginary) who once accosted James Thurber at a party and said, "I have wanted to argue with you since 1951."
"You have shown remarkable restraint for your impatient sex," he replied. "Here it is 1961. What is it you want to be wrong about?"
12/04/2003 12:42:00 AM
IN WITH THE CAL CROWD
Thanks to Claire and Justene for making room for one more chair at the Bear Flag League table.
Watch for more posts on California: I'm a Golden Stater, born and bred. And I do love this place.
I have to go now: the Grateful Dead's "Estimated Prophet" is playing.
12/04/2003 12:02:00 AM
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
THE HIT PARADE
Hi again to all my little porn-seeking friends. By the way, my Google-baiting was a joke: you know. Mention Paris Hilton a lot in one post. Pretend you're seeking traffic. Who knew?
Here's a little tip: in the future, you don't have to specify "Miss Paris Hilton" in your searches. It'll work just fine without her title, thank you very much.
And, really, I mean it: thank you very much. Make yourself at home. Set a spell. Did you notice my Amazon button? Studies show that women who get payments in their tip jars are much more likely to post sexy pictures of themselves than women who don't.
12/03/2003 11:49:00 PM
IN THE LAND THAT OUR GRANDCHILDREN KNEW
Go read this post at Photon Courier. It's about the body of knowledge the average forty-something possesses today, versus that he/she might have in generations past. I think some of this might depend upon his/her sex, but I could well be wrong there.
Check out the Courier's ultra-cool blog design while you're in the neighborhood.
12/03/2003 11:31:00 PM
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ABSINTHE
John at Iberian Notes has a thing or two to say about Bohemianism, permissiveness, crime, and punishment. But refill your coffee cup first, and get a pastry: it's long.
In my opinion the bohos of yesteryear are equivalent to a lot of "Hollywood Liberals" today. This is why I don't plan on engaging in any sort of boycott of the entertainment industry any time soon. Well, okay: there are two reasons. 1) If I boycotted people with silly political ideas there wouldn't be any movies or TV shows to watch, as I'm uninterested in a steady diet of Schwarzenegger/Bruce Willis flicks. 2) I don't pay those people to think. I pay them to feel. And it's been so at least since the days of Keats and Shelley. I listen to Cheryl Crow; I just don't go to her for serious analysis.
Come on, come on. You read William Butler Yeats' poetry. But do you follow his mystical mythology? Of course not.
I rest my case.
12/03/2003 10:58:00 PM
Monday, December 01, 2003
DON'T HAVE TO LIVE LIKE A REFUGEE
John at Iberian Notes doesn't want any "mercy Thanksgiving invitations." I'd ignore this if I were in Europe or he were here, since I just don't like to see people spend the holidays alone.
But while spending the holidays alone he made a great point about Iraq: if we are failing so miserably at rebuilding that country, where the heck are the refugees? If it's awful over there, people should be leaving the country in droves. They are not.
12/01/2003 03:29:00 AM
BAND OF BROTHERS SHOW BROTHERLY LOVE
Phil Carter at Intel Dump relates a wonderful tale of courage in WWII: a black army officer who hid and cared for two holocaust survivors, contrary to his orders.
I love Phil Carter, who as I understand it lives in my adopted hometown of Santa Monica.
Sometime, BTW, we need to get all the Southern California bloggers together for a blog bash. If they can do it in the South and in the Rockies, we can do it in the Southwest.
12/01/2003 01:15:00 AM