Sunday, December 23, 2007
As it turns out a number of us were able to get seats on a red eye that leaves here at 10:30 and arrives in Orlando at 6am. Those who know me, can imagine how well I will fare meeting my brother, sister, brother-in-law, niece, family friend, and her six year old daughter at 7am or so when we can get from Orlando to Melbourne.
Did I mention the special security screening where they make you walk through this weird CAT-scan-like structure that blows jets of air at you? It's like a waterless jacuzzi standing on end. Anyway, the fact that I was in the airport nine hours early for my flight apparently triggered some terrorist red flag and I was marked for special screening.
In any case, I am excited that it's only a little more than two hours before my flight should depart, and I'll be at my sister's house in about eight hours.
Things I am grateful for:
My ipod shuffle (and Conor's eclectic mixes which are providing most of the contents)
Free wireless at McCarren airport
The Invisible Circus, the Jennifer Egan novel I brought with me
Family like Pat who is willing to drive to Orlando at the ass-crack of dawn on Christmas eve to pick me up
Did I mention my shuffle?
Oh, and the fact that I'm a non-smoker. Big time. If I were still a smoker, it would be a bad, bad, bad scene today.
The woman behind me in line at US Air customer service told me there's this show on the Oxygen network called "Snapped" that's about women who just "snap." I'm here to tell you, that would be me. Add a little withdrawal to this equation and I fear to even contemplate...
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
H. Res. 847
In the House of Representatives, U. S., December 11, 2007.
Whereas Christmas, a holiday of great significance to Americans and many other cultures and nationalities, is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States and the world;
Whereas there are approximately 225,000,000 Christians in the United States, making Christianity the religion of over three-fourths of the American population;
Whereas there are approximately 2,000,000,000 Christians throughout the world, making Christianity the largest religion in the world and the religion of about one-third of the world population;
Whereas Christians and Christianity have contributed greatly to the development of western civilization;
Whereas the United States, being founded as a constitutional republic in the traditions of western civilization, finds much in its history that points observers back to its Judeo-Christian roots;
Whereas on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ;
Whereas for Christians, Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of God's redemption, mercy, and Grace; and
Whereas many Christians and non-Christians throughout the United States and the rest of the world, celebrate Christmas as a time to serve others: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;
(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;
(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;
(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;
(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and
(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.
The Roll Call is here. 372 yeas. I don't even know what to say.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
From Vallen's site: [ Left: Fairey’s plagiarized poster. Right: Original street poster from Czechoslovakia’s, Prague Spring - Artist unknown 1968. The poster depicts a Soviet Red Army soldier in 1945 as a liberator, then as an oppressor in 1968.]
The research on Fairey's iconography is impressive and my hat is off to Vallen for putting the article together and sharing it on his site. That said, I wish the tone were moderated a bit. At times it's hard not to see it as the product of vituperative jealousy. Knowing the little of Vallen's work I do, I don't think that's the case; I suspect Vallens has less of a bone to pick with Fairey's riches and reknown than he does with a postmodern zeitgeist that levels everything to the same meaningless image goulash. I'm sympathetic to that view; I tend to be unconvinced by the third wave of any "ism" (marxism, feminism...) and deconstruction only goes so far. But even with me imputing those good motives to the critique, the article still comes off as too bitter for my taste. Maybe it's the effect of blogs. I am an unapologetic defender of blogs (no kidding), but there's a proper tone and approach for everything and "asshat" isn't a word that should be used outside of a rant (Note: Vallen doesn't use "asshat" anywhere in the article.)
But really, I didn't post about the article to criticize it. I wanted to post about it because it raises some really interesting questions. In this age of remixes and mash-ups, Vallen's article makes me wonder where one crosses the line from re-use and re-contextualizing to just plain stealing. Vallen mentions Roy Lichtenstein by way of contrast, refering to Lichtenstein's "Look Mickey" as an example of a painting that appropriates images but with the viewer's full knowledge of the source material. But then I think some of Lichtenstein's other paintings and they seem more similar to Fairey's to me in that they appropriate comic book panels without crediting the original.
In short, I'm not sure what to make of Fairey's relentless pillaging of images for his own productions. Is it simply plaigarism? Is it postmodernism? Is Fairey some sort of Commie Murakami or is it all just "rebellious patina and ersatz activism"? In my darker moments I wonder if a guy like Fairey really is a kind of radical, packaging fake rebellion and profiting handsomely off of his own particular marriage of leftist iconography and capitalist marketing.
[I'd like to note that in the course of today since first reading Vallen's article, I have come across two stories that are probably each worth their own blog post, but who has time. First, BBC reported a couple of weeks ago on teens who were arrested for stealing virtual furniture in "Habbo Hotel," a 3D social networking site. Apparently people pay real money for this virtual furniture (4000 euros worth in this case) and these kids used a fake site to swipe people's passwords and then take their "stuff." Second, Stockholm's Museum of Modern Art has discovered that its 100-some Warhol Brillo boxes are all fakes, whatever that means.]
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
But the really great news is that I was wrong: the nodule is the same as it was a year ago. It's really big, but no bigger than before. Dr. K just said that she was going to recommend an annual biopsy because that's the safest course of action. I should get results in about a week or so, but it seems like I don't have anything to worry about.
So now I am, headache and all, feeling pretty grateful. I guess that's the best thing about a day like yesterday. On a day like today I can say, "Hey, what a great day. I probably don't have cancer."
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
A little back story for those who were not following along: Last year when I had my car accident, in the course of scanning my collapsed lung, they discovered a nodule on my thyroid. I had it biopsied about a year ago, and they didn't find any malignancy, but my doctor said I should have an ultrasound every year to make sure it hasn't grown or changed. Well, I guess it's grown or changed (I'll get more real information this afternoon) because she wants to do another biopsy. It's a needle biopsy where they numb your throat and then go in and take a bunch of samples from different spots (there is a sonogram tech there guiding the process too). I can't remember how many samples they take (3? 4?) or that much about it (love my ability to block out trauma), but I know it's more uncomfortable than painful--a pretty simple procedure. Nonetheless you would think I was having brain surgery for how I feel right now.
Yuck. I hate this sort of thing so much.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Whatever the occupation, no matter how well-prepared the women, no matter whether they outnumber or out perform their male co-workers, no matter how creative, talented or hard-working they may be, it's the same: Their median pay is sure to be anywhere from $16,000 to $34,000 a year less than that of men holding the same positions.Sigh.
That amounts to about 40 percent less for female physicians and surgeons, for example, 30 percent less for lawyers, 25 percent less for college and university teachers.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity; all the invocations of World War III, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists...
All of it is now, after one revelation last week, transparently clear for what it is: the pathetic and desperate manipulation of the government, the refocusing of our entire nation, toward keeping this mock president and this unstable vice president and this departed wildly self-overrating attorney general, and the others, from potential prosecution for having approved or ordered the illegal torture of prisoners being held in the name of this country.
Radar's Luxurious spa treatment or mind-numbingly painful interrogation technique?
Monday, November 05, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
New research has found that more and more Americans worth at least $1 million want luxury goods such as yachts but otherwise lead family-focused, work-oriented lives.The article, though brief, is fascinating for the way that it tacitly imbricates earnings, values, and spending patterns. These people spend money on their families--and one wonders what this means exactly other than the fact that they purposely live in good school districts. And that apparently defines them as middle-class. There's so much wrong with that set of associations it almost feels unsporting to blog about it. So single or childless millionaires are unable to be seen as middle class because they are not "family oriented"? How stinking rich does a family man have to be before he can be seen as rich or upper class rather than middle class? And what about dirt poor people who invest what little they have in family-oriented things? Are they part of the middle class?
[T]hese new millionaires adhere to middle-class values, earning their money rather than inheriting it, working 70 hours a week, and choosing neighborhoods based on the quality of schools.
"They spend their money on all the things that tie back to family values -- on the health and welfare of their family, career development, and as you move up the ladder they spend on leisure and luxury activities."
You get my drift here.
Though to be my own devil's advocate for a minute, the positive thing that can be said about the article is that it makes explicit what tends to operate under the surface in our culture--that class really is a function of culture as much as cash. My favorite French theorist (everyone should have a favorite French theorist), Pierre Bourdieu, argued as much about French culture/economics. (Note that Bourdieu called himself "left of left," and the tagline of NMTE at present is "left of liberal.") Were I not bone weary and trying to leave work soon, I would give a Cliff's notes version of Bourdieu's Distinction, my favorite book of his, but alas dear readers you are to suffer as a result of my haste and exhaustion. You'll have no such in-a-nutshell paragraph here. And the web is lousy for a decent Bourdieu page. At least I cannot find one. Really what you have to do is read him. It's a commitment, but it's not nearly as punishing as Habermas, I promise.
"The center has shifted in our politics. I'm really at the center. And all the other candidates are to the right of me."
"This Week with George Stephanopoulos", ABC, August 12, 2007 (via Wikiquote)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The tax questions totally skewed my responses. Apparently when you say "scrap it and start over" it automatically adds a bunch of Ron Paul points to your score.
Anyway, have fun.
It's made me start to think that maybe I should come up with some sort of silly putty seminar or an etch-a-sketch workshop. I think there's some real promise there. Charge $500 a head for a half-day, talk about getting buy-in and thinking outside of the box and becoming more nimble... Have existential crisis in six months or so.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
1. Does anyone know when Romero's Diary of the Dead is being released (I know it screened at the Toronto Film Fest, but I just wanna know when can I go see it, y'know, like a normal person.)?
2. What happened to PJ Harvey? Just gave White Chalk a first listen yesterday and...what is up? She's traded in the electric guitars and growly screamy vocals for a piano and a reedy girlish soprano. I figure she must have either gotten clean or fallen in love. Anyone have any insight?
Monday, October 08, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
In the meantime, I leave you with this dystopic movie meme, poached from Annika, because you know I loves me some dystopic movies. The deal is just bold the ones you've seen. (And yes, it is a crime that Westworld is not included.)
1. Metropolis (1927)
2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
3. Brazil (1985)
4. Wings of Desire (1987)
5. Blade Runner (1982)
6. Children of Men (2006)
7. The Matrix (1999)
8. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
9. Minority Report (2002)
10. Delicatessen (1991)
11. Sleeper (1973)
12. The Trial (1962)
13. Alphaville (1965)
14. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
15. Serenity (2005)
16. Pleasantville (1998)
17. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
18. Battle Royale (2000)
19. RoboCop (1987)
20. Akira (1988)
21. The City of Lost Children (1995)
22. Planet of the Apes (1968)
23. V for Vendetta (2005)
24. Metropolis (2001)
25. Gattaca (1997)
26. Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
27. On The Beach (1959)
28. Mad Max (1979)
29. Total Recall (1990)
30. Dark City (1998)
31. War Of the Worlds (1953)
32. District B13 (2004)
33. They Live (1988)
34. THX 1138 (1971)
35. Escape from New York (1981)
36. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
37. Silent Running (1972)
38. Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
39. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
40. A Boy and His Dog (1975)
41. Soylent Green (1973)
42. I Robot (2004)
43. Logan’s Run (1976)
44. Strange Days (1995)
45. Idiocracy (2006)
46. Death Race 2000 (1975)
47. Rollerball (1975)
48. Starship Troopers (1997)
49. One Point O (2004)
50. Equilibrium (2002)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
If you browse the network where I work, you'll find files named things like "AR 2007 Final.doc" and "AR 2007 Final 2.doc" and "AR 2007 Final 2 Rev.doc"
That's sort of what Blade Runner reminds me of. I just found out that Ridley Scott is releasing Blade Runner: The Final Cut [no really] this fall. The DVDs go on sale December 18. I say "DVDs" plural because apparently the film comes boxed in a briefcase in five different versions, which I suppose is only appropriate for a movie that helped herald in post-modernity. Supposedly the film screens in NYC and LA October 5, and while I may mock Scott, you know I have just spent 1/2 hour on the Internets trying to find out where in LA it's scheduled to screen. Avast mateys, no luck. Yaar!
What I did find, though, was this list of plot keywords courtesy IMDB. (And I ask you, how can you not like a movie with these keywords?):
Box Office Flop
Male Female Relationship
Stripper Dancing With Snake
Experiment Gone Wrong
Man Versus Machine
Science Runs Amok
555 Phone Number
Los Angeles California
Run Through Plate Glass Window
Human Android Relationship
Artificially Created Man
Artificially Created Woman
Latest World War
Stabbed In The Hand
Nail Through Hand
Based On Novel
Title Spoken By Character
Monday, August 27, 2007
"Public service is honorable and noble."
George W in accepting Al's resignation:
"Under his leadership, the Justice Department has made a priority of protecting children from Internet predators, made enforcement of civil rights laws a top priority. He aggressively and successfully pursued public corruption and effectively combated gang violence.
It's sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeding from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons."
May the god I don't believe in smite you both. Really.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
In other news:
1. We returned unscathed from my birthday trip to Big Sur and points-north. Some pictures are here (ah the pleasure of dating a great photographer). I'll post more photos and details about the trip here this evening when I have access to the Trav gallery at home.
2. My birthday was yesterday. I am now 42, which seems so unlikely really. Both in the "I didn't think I'd make it this far" sense and in the "but I only feel 23" sense. Be that as it may, it's true. Had I kids, I venture to say I'd qualify for milf status at this point. Ah well...
3. I am getting ready to go to San Antonio next week for a boot-camp-ish week of work. I know I've been a bad blogger--both here and at blogging.la, but I hope to squeeze out some salient posts before I leave town again. In particular, I have one germinating about why LA museums are stupid sometimes, so look for that at blogging.la tonight or tomorrow.
In the mean time, here is me making my mean face with fangs:
Thursday, August 09, 2007
The officer's report said that after peering over the stall a second time, Allen pushed open the door and joined Kavanaugh inside. Allen muttered "'hi,'v" and then said, "'this is kind of a public place, isn't it,'" the report said.That's always my strategy when I feel threatened by the large numbers of Black folks milling around, bust in on a big guy in a bathroom stall and offer to give him $20 and a blowjob. That'll work.
Kavanaugh wrote that he asked Allen about going somewhere else and Allen suggested going "across the bridge, it's quieter over there."
"Well look, man, I'm trying to make some money; you think you can hook me up with 20 bucks?" Kavanaugh wrote in the report that he had asked Allen.
The Republican lawmaker, the report said, replied, "Sure, I can do that, but this place is too public."
According to Kavanaugh's statement, the officer said, "do you want just (oral sex)?" and Allen replied, "I was thinking you would want one."
It was at that point Allen was arrested.
Ironically, Allen was the Police Union's 2007 Lawmaker of the Year.
In the last session of the Florida legislature he sponsored a failed bill that would have tightened the state's prohibition on public sex. He also has been a supporter of amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage and has opposed a bill to curb bullying of gay students.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Here are three things that I would say more about if I had time:
1. the outrage link of the day
2. the really stupid link of the day (via Popgadget)
3. the cool site of the day (via Good magazine) from whence comes the World Clock below
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I miss smoking today.
Nonetheless, I managed to escape all that and go to the Hammer last night to see the screening of Inland Empire. (David Lynch did a Q&A afterward.) My one-word (with hyphen) review: self-indulgent. I will post an explication later today (I hope) at b.la.
Okay, back to my cover essay for the albatross.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
For years, the liberal response to abortion has been to promote more accessible and affordable birth control as well as detailed sex education in public schools.Let's start here and say it's no more the place of such programs to encourage women to have babies than to have abortions. Mind your own fucking business. If a woman is enough of a grown-up to get pregnant, she's enough of a grown-up to make a choice, by herself, without any government mandadated "encouragement."
That's still the foundation of Democratic policies. But in a striking shift, Democrats in the House last week promoted a grab bag of programs designed not only to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but also to encourage women who do conceive to carry to term.
The article goes on to explain that the Dems are supporting an intiative (The Reducing the Need for Abortions Initiative) that funds
1. couseling that encourages women to have a baby and put it up for adoption rather than have an abortion,
2. an ad campaign letting poor women know that if they are "preparing for birth" they can get healthcare and other resources,
3. more parenting education and medical services for pregnant women,
4. day care at federal job-training centers.
Dare I point out the nauseatingly obvious? If these women are getting job training at federal centers, chances are they will not be able to secure employment that will enable them to afford day care after they are trained or medical care for their now non-fetal children or themselves.
Why do I not consider myself a Democrat? Because I'd like to support a party that has a set of ethics and values that are reasonably consistent and not affected by opinion polls. You've got the election Dems. The Republicans have been stinking up the joint for some years now. It's yours for the asking. You need not bend over and let the conservative sector of the electorate have at you again.
This sort of statement makes me want to set my hair on fire:
From a political perspective, Democratic strategists warn that emphasizing birth control gives voters a bad impression--"that Democrats are just about free love, not morality," said Rachel Laser, an analyst for the progressive think tank Third Way.For once, could the Democrats not let the other party set the terms of the debate? If the party (the Dems) knew what it actually believed, then maybe they could talk a little about what a hateful and damaging binary, say, "free love/morality" is. But noooo...instead they say "Hey, we're moral! We don't like abortion or sex either. If those slutty poor girls can't learn to keep their legs crossed, they should just resign themselves to making babies those of us who can afford them."
As if that will even somehow help. Political history even in my lifetime supplies abundant evidence that the more the "liberals" capitulate to the conservatives, the more the political landscape shifts right. You don't find common ground this way, Democrats, you just shift the field of debate farther from where your goals should be.
Take this passage from the article for an example:
Rep. Mike Pence, a Republican from Indiana, sees hypocrisy in the fact that much of the new family planning funding will go to Planned Parenthood. The money can't be used to terminate pregnancies--it's for birth control and gynecology services. But Pence says it's ludicrous to send tax dollars to the nation's largest abortion provider in the name of reducing abortions.I'm sending a big "Fuck You" out to Mike Pence. And an even more enthusiastic "Fuck You" to the candidates who think it's productive to sit down at a table to discuss compromise with people like Mike Pence.
"That's not a common ground I can accept," Pence said.
Okay, I guess I had time to rant about it after all.
I'm now going to excuse myself and get back to work. And try not to spontaneously combust.
Cheese lovers, on the other hand, y'all need to be careful. CNN reports:
In one case last September, a couple in Baltimore, Maryland, checked a plastic bag with a block of processed cheese taped to another plastic bag containing a cell phone charger. Earlier this month in San Diego, California, a passenger checked a bag containing two ice packs covered in duct tape. The ice packs had clay in them instead of the normal blue gel.You think that if you pass enough blocks of muenster through the x-ray machine it will blind security to a real threat: colby...havarti...cheddar...bomb...cheddar.... Admittedly a brilliant strategy, but the gig is up; the TSA is onto you.
Terrorists could be testing the system, or could be conducting repeated operations to desensitize security officials, the bulletin says.
Monday, July 23, 2007
In the course of the show, they played "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd, and I'm not too cool to admit I had to actively work to keep myself from crying. I think "Wish You Were Here" is one of the saddest songs ever, and I'm not even a Pink Floyd fan. I've never even tried to watch The Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon playing or anything. But man, that song wrecks me. I'm sure it's not helped by the fact that I wore the grooves off that record when I was about 18-19 and my whole life was a grief-studded disaster. In fact, when I stopped using drugs and started getting my life together at 20, that was among the albums that I declared "off limits" for at least six months (a list that also includes, Closer and Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division; Pornography, Faith, and Seventeen Seconds by the Cure; and Days of Wine and Roses by Dream Syndicate).
When I hear "Wish You Were Here" it brings me back to those years when I felt like everything was being ripped out from under me and everywhere I turned was death and loss. But I think even if I didn't have the association of the worlds most melodramatic late teen years to anchor it, I'd still think it was one of the world's saddest songs.
I got to thinking about it, and I've narrowed the list of the saddest songs ever to three. Along with "WYWH" I'd add Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat" and "Faith" by the Cure. I thought about "Caroline Says" by Lou Reed and a few others, but I think those are the top three. Though "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen is another one of those I have to turn off if I'm at work so that I don't start getting all leaky at my desk. Right now, I'm listening to Pet Shop Boys so no fears in that department.
What's on your list?
Thursday, July 19, 2007
(Thanks to Chris for the forward.)
The astonishing nature of this event will be lost to anyone who is not a Washingtonian of my generation, no doubt. So just take my word for it--it's pretty amazing. It's like a high school reunion for all the people who got arrested and dropped out. Or something.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
So if I had cable and watched TV, I would check out Shatner's new show on the Biography channel.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Well, this week I've decided that if I were president, I'd make it illegal to own, say, a Z4 if you're going to consistently drive it under or at the speed limit. I think we should just take sports cars away from people who can't find the gas pedal and give them to those of us who would appreciate them. I will happily swap my Scion TC which they will find gets better gas mileage and doesn't perform that much differently than their Audi roadster when they're both going 35 miles an hour.
(And another thing--If you're in a Jeep, you really don't need to brake when you're going over train tracks. Really. Trust me on this one.)
Monday, July 16, 2007
Though, I suppose it could be worse:
I mean, can you imagine finally getting your lust-interest into the sack and pulling off his pants to find that? Who could blame you if you let out a little shriek.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
"...Chronic lack of sleep has an effect on how an animal sleeps," said Fred W. Turek, professor of neurobiology and physiology... "The animals are getting by on less sleep but they do not try and catch up. The ability to compensate for lost sleep is itself lost, which is damaging both physically and mentally."That just seems so unfair.
I know the site is old news (I read about it quite some time ago), but I am posting about it nonetheless for those of you who haven't had the pleasure because it made me laugh out loud yesterday. Enjoy.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
The image comes from Archaeology magazine, who claims it courtesy of the Department of Defense. I for the life of me, couldn't find the story anywhere on the DoD site, and I start to hyperventilate if I poke around there too long so eventually I had to give up before I ended up with my head in a paper bag. The original story apparently comes from the Telegraph, curiously enough. You can see all of the card images at the NavyTimes site. My personal favorite is the five of clubs: "Drive around--not over--archaeological sites." I can just see Private Anderson putting the tank in reverse to avoid the pottery shards. That'll happen.
iPerbole: Claims that the iPhone will change the world are all part of the iPerbole surrounding the cultish company.
I'm too busy today at work to say much more than that, but for those of you who are slacking, I highly recommend the Urban Dictionary site. It's freaking hilarious. You can lose 45 minutes there without even trying.
Another of my favorites:
hostage lunch: Meal purchased by the company, often pizza, and delivered for employees who bosses require them to attend a meeting or work over their lunch hour.
The only bad thing about the site is when you think you've come up with a super-clever neologism, as I did the other day, you log on to find it's actually a "totally-last-week-logism." Oh well. Nothing new under the sun and all that, I know.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
God I sound like such an air bag. I really just wanted to pass along the news about Flickr/Yahoo and to say it's Friday and I'm quitting this taco stand. I'll finish revising that piece about consensus-based decision making sometime this weekend. I cannot possibly stay here another minute.
P.S. Windbag. That's what I meant to say. I sound like a windbag. Not an airbag. I don't even know what airbags sounds like. (Though I do know they smell like gunpowder.)
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Colin is my hero for sending me the link to this clip today. True it made me kind of want to vomit given my anxieties about this current project, but it's funny as shit. All of you English teachers and students and conscientious bloggers must watch it right now. That's an order.
For those of you who are not drowning in report-writing, document formatting, and the like, I pass along Bunnyocalypse, which should help you waste at least 5 or 10 minutes.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
There's an analogy of faith in this. People want to belong to something that makes greatness manifest in our own time, a movement that can show beauty and achievement as more than just traits of the past. If that weren't true, today's masses wouldn't go to the ends of the earth--or, alternatively, blow thousands of bucks after keeping vigil all night on a strip-mall pavement--to it seek out, bring it home and plug it in.
Call me a sceptic. Regardless of its greatness, iphone won't really help you get closer to god. It won't even help you lose weight or develop a better sense of humor. I tried to point these things out to K last night and his response was, "You should just be glad it can't give blow jobs." Indeed I am.
(Cartoon from Joy of Tech, which has plenty more iphone funnies.)
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
My first thought on reading the article was "Duh," but then my second thought was--this is the way to push for nationalized health care--make the case that it saves corporations money.
That may constitute the sum of my brilliance for the day. I have to go get a depo shot now and then go to PT--because birth control and bending knees are both pretty high on my priority list.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Particularly repulsive is the fact that, as Stevens points out, on the same day, the court found in favor of Wisconsin Right to Life, in a decision that weakens campaign finance reforms. Roberts writes, "Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor." Perhaps a "Bong Hits 4 the Unborn" banner would have had more play with the court.
As an aside, my blogging buddy Patrick is drumming for the Furs, so I really need to go to that one if I can because that's pretty damn cool. I've been friends with P for several years now I think but we've never actually met. Why not in Costa Mesa?
And the "something I've learned" which is completely unrelated, but I'm too lazy to start another blog entry for it--is that the only smart people employed at Time Warner/Road Runnerwork at the online chat helpdesk. I still don't have my old RoadRunner email address up and running (deep and heavy sigh) but at least the guy I "talked" to last night understood what the problem is, which puts him way ahead of the average RR bear. If these people were surgeons they would constantly be lopping off the wrong leg or leaving their scalpels in someone's spleen.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Whether the car will start was unknown. The suspense drew Pittsburgh car enthusiast Dave Stragand.Our King Tut's tomb indeed. Hmm...Tut...
"It's our King Tut's tomb," Stragand said. "It's like a fairy tale."
. . .
Buried with the car were 10 gallons of gasoline--in case internal combustion engines became obsolete by 2007--a case of beer, and the contents of a typical woman's handbag placed in the glove compartment.
I'm just sayin'...
And then there's this:
Back on the day the Belvedere was buried, all Bixby resident Marlene Parker wanted to do was find a photographer for her wedding. Catching a glimpse of the car being lowered into the ground was the last thing on her priority list.Yeah.
Unfortunately, not for the photographer: He was shooting the burial.
This weekend, the 70-year-old will celebrate 50 years of marriage and may come downtown to see what all the fuss was about back then.
"Probably across the pond people know about it," Parker said. "If nobody knew where Tulsa, Oklahoma was before, they do now."
Regardless, Belvedere and Bud aside, what really earned this story a blog entry was the aforementioned typical purse contents placed in the glove box:
14 bobby pins, a bottle of tranquilizers, a lipstick, a pack of gum, tissues, a pack of cigarettes, matches and $2.43Love it! Downs, Luckys and Doublemint. What more does a girl need?
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
But even more special is the e-police newsletter that you can sign up for from the same page--the site explains that e-policing will "keep you informed via email on issues that concern your community." But really what it does is send you dates and times for LA protests ("First Amendment Events" in Peace Officer nomenclature). Pretty cool. Gotta love a city that sends you email to remind you of the Immigrants Rights protest in H-wood this weekend
Monday, June 18, 2007
K, looking in the rearview mirror: That's a Confederate.
K: A Confederate Hellcat. They're really rare motorcycles handmade with all carbon fiber. (Further rearview scrutiny) Hey, that's um...what's his name...Ian McEwan...er...Ewan Mc...
Me, looking in the sideview mirror: Ewan McGregor??
K: Yeah, Ewan McGregor. Outstanding.
Both of us are quiet for a minute, preoccupied looking in the mirrors.
K: The gas tank is made from two pieces of carbon fiber. Even the seat is carbon fiber.
Me: Babe, I don't care what the hell he's sitting on--that's Ewan McGregor.
And today when he sends me the picture and I admit that's a sick bike, he says: "That is exactly what I was trying to tell you, that the Hellcat is an order of magnitude greater feat of engineering than Ewan McWhatchamacallhim."
Nic the cat is settling in to the new digs just fine. He's thinking inside the box, for which we are extremely grateful, and he's stopped growling at Shane (which was pretty absurd to begin with). I only have about a half dozen more boxes to unpack--of course, I am at that point of the unpacking where I really need a room of requirement to fit the rest of the stuff, but I'll figure it out.
This weekend (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) is the last workgroup meeting for this project, a bittersweet kind of thing. On the one hand, as with any book project, I am happy to be finishing this one. There's only so many times you can revisit the same text before you start to crave something new no matter how enthusiastic you were to begin with (it's like working at an ice cream shop). But of course, I will miss the people very much. We are a crew that comes from six countries (four continents) so there's little chance of a real reuninion. But hey, now I have friends in Puerto Rico and Norway and ...
We're all getting together for dinner Friday night after we're done working at Paradise Cove. I'm hoping we'll be able to see the sunset.
Three weeks from that meeting is the board meeting where we should have the whole completed book save proofing and indexing.
So all of that amounts to a sort of elaborated excuse of sorts in a way, but also a genuine update for those of you who are wondering about such things. More anon.
London's National Gallery is breaking the fourth wall this season. In a brilliant marketing scheme, over the course of the next few months, the gallery is hanging reproductions of its paintings throughout the West End. Methinks it's tres cool and even smarter that Hewlett Packard is sponsoring it.
There's a photo set on flickr that's worth a visit.
I particularly like this one.
Nice Juxtaposition between the sex shop and Caravaggio's Salome.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
What with my impending move, my bloated dysfunctional kneecap, and my usual level of business/stress at work, I haven't had time to weigh in on the latest criminal activity in our administration--that is to say, Monica Goodling's testimony. Rest assured, my bloggish silence this week in no way indicates a lack of interest.
Though I need to share that the more I read blog coverage of the Justice Department investigation, the more uncomfortable I get. Responses seem to range from vitriolic to smugly pleased. The schadenfreude just feels over the top to me. For my part, I find myself developing some sympathy for the devil. It's not as if, Goodling meant to break the law, and it's not as if this whole
(YouTube clip courtesy of Firedoglake)
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
D-day (moving) is still scheduled for the first. Thanks to my amazingly great friends I am not overly worried about how that's all going to be possible given the fact that I cannot carry a cup of coffee from the kitchen into the living room safely. Six or eight of said amazing circle are coming over Saturday for a packing party. I have sold my refrigerator (it leaves home Friday night) and found a home for my desk. If I can just find a buyer for the fabulous mid-century gold sectional sofa at least some of my movers' bill will be taken care of. [As an aside, those of you who live in more normal places might be thinking "sold your refrigerator"? Don't you live in an apartment?? Yes, I do. This is one of the most retarded things about LA apartment life. Rental units here tend to come fridge-free. I'm not sure what the logic is in that, but it's a fact. So I bought my first real appliance when I moved in and now I have no desire to shlep it across town and have sold it to the nice Persian grandmother who lives downstairs and happily didn't spy the Hannukah candles lurking in the back when she checked it out.]
Aside number two: K tells me I am not a "hipster" anymore, that I now have to think of myself as a kneester. (Good cooking and bad puns, it's no wonder I adore that boy.)
Thursday, May 17, 2007
This is not what you want to be looking at two weeks before you move. It's also why I haven't posted all week.
I could use some help coming up with a better explanatory story. If anyone has any ideas about something sexy sounding but still possible let me know (I don't think anyone will buy a surfing accident, for instance).
What really happened is that i was trying to put the seats backs up in my car after unloading some boxes out of the back and my knee just bent in a way that knees don't bend. It's either a torn meniscus or a torn ligament they think (we are hoping for the former, as the latter means surgery for sure according to the doctor). So they're ordering an MRI, and I'm mastering the art of carrying things in my teeth.
You know, I joke that there was obviously a 40-year warranty on this model, but it's really just supposed to be a joke! Now I'm kicking myself for not buying the extended warranty.
Monday, May 14, 2007
So that's my endorsement. Go Dodgers!
*the best boyfriend in the world
Friday, May 11, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Me: I'm moving the first weekend in June and I'd like to transfer my Internet service from my old address to my new address.
TW Lady: Sure. What is your current address?
We spend 10 minutes or so going through all of the information I'd already keyed into the phone tree (address, account number, new address...yada yada).
Me: Ideally I'd like to keep the Internet hook-up at my old address through June 3rd, and start a connection at my new address on the 1st because I'll be back and forth through the weekend. Is that possible?
TW: Well, no. We actually can't disconnect your old service from here. You'd just have to call on the day you want it disconnected.
Me: You can't schedule a disconnect date?
TW: No, because the technician doesn't need to come out for that, and it won't let me do that from here.
Me: Wow. Well, okay.
TW Lady: Oh, dear. It's not letting me actually transfer the account because you're moving from a bulk account, where your building pays for your cable, to a regular individual account.
Me: Well, I know I have two different account numbers--one for the bulk cable TV and the other for individual Internet access. Does that help?
TW: Well, not really. I'm going to have to treat this as a new account. I'm sorry--can you give me your address again?
We spend 5 or 10 more minutes going through all of the information I'd just told her. Again.
TW: Do you have a current RoadRunner email address that you use?
Me: Um. Yeah.
TW: I'm not sure if you'll be able to transfer that.
Me: You're telling me I might not be able to use the address I've had with you all for years even though I'll be an ongoing customer?
TW: I'm not sure. I'm not able to transfer it here because you're switching account types. I need to call the help desk and ask. I'm going to put you on a conference call with them.
TW2: Hello this is Sally at Time Warner. How can I help you?
TW1: Hi. This is Naisha at Ontario Time Warner. I have a customer here who is transferring from a bulk account...
TW2: Hello this is Sally at Time Warner. How can I help you?
TW1: Hello Sally this is Naisha at Ontario. Can you hear me?
TW2: Hello this is Sally. I can barely hear you.
TW1: Is this better Sally?
TW2: I can barely hear you.
TW1: This is Naisha at Ontario. I have a customer here who is transferring from a bulk account to a regular...
TW2: A what? A bulk account?
TW1: Yes, she's transferring from a bulk account to a regular...
TW2: What is a bulk account?
TW1: A bulk account where her building pays for her cable to a regular account. She'd like to transfer the same email address. Can you help with that?
TW2: No. I can't do that here. Only tier three can do that.
TW1: Well can you transfer me to tier three?
TW2: No. I can't. I would need authorization and I can't get that.
TW1: Is there a number I can call?
TW2: No. You can only reach them through a transfer. But you need authorization.
Me (unable to contain myself): Unbelievable!
TW1: Who needs to authorize it?
TW1: She hung up on me. She just hung up on me. It's no wonder people hate calling here.
TW1: Okay, I'm going to call the technician here and see if she can help...Oh. I don't know what's wrong with my phone. It's telling me I'm going to lose the connection. Quick--what number can I call you back at?
Me: The cell number you have for me.
TW1: Okay, I'm going to try to...
Cell phone rings.
TW: Hello, this is Naisha at Time Warner. I'm sorry about that. I had to restart my telephone program. Anyway, the tech support person here said you are able to access live chat support?
Me: Yes, I've used that before.
TW: Well, I'm going to give you your new account number. You just need to log onto live chat and tell them your old account number and your new account number and that you want to keep your same email address. You can tell them that you called but they were unable to do it for you over the phone because you're switching from a bulk account to a regular one.
Me: Um. Okay.
TW: Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: No. Thank you for trying.
TW: You're welcome. Thank you for your patience. And I'm really sorry you had to witness that call. That girl was absolutely retarded. I don't know what was wrong with her.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Decent military hospitals existed under Saddam Hussein, but they were looted during the war and their doctors fled. So while some seriously injured Iraqi soldiers now receive initial treatment at sophisticated U.S. military facilities in Iraq, they must recover in public hospitals where medicines and highly trained staff are scarce. There is one military prosthetics clinic in the country, little in the way of mental health services and no burn center.And this is from an AP article today about the deterioration of the Green Zone:
Because of the "recent increase of indirect fire attacks" — the military term for mortar and artillery barrages — the order told embassy employees that until further notice, "outdoor movement" must be "restricted to a minimum."This is from Salam Pax's BBC blog:
"Remain within a hardened structure to the maximum extent possible and strictly avoid congregating outdoors," the order said.
Government employees who work outside of a "hardened structure" such as the current embassy building or travel "a substantial distance outdoors" must wear "personal protective equipment," meaning flak jackets and helmets, the order said.
...our esteemed Iraqi politicians were too busy squabbling for spoils or following narrow minded sectarian agendas instead of stopping the Americans from using us as lab rats for their failed experiment in democracy.And this is from a recent White House FAQ:
An old Iraqi song says “If you’ve lost a lover, maybe in a year you’ll forget. If you’ve lost gold, from gold markets you can replace it. But if you’ve lost a country where do you go to find a new one?”
We Are Seeing Positive Indicators Under The New Strategy That We Hope Will Translate Into Positive Trends. General Petraeus has been carrying out this new strategy for just over two months. He reports that it will be later this year before we can judge its potential for success. Yet the first indicators show that the operation is meeting our expectations. While there are still horrific attacks in Iraq, the direction of the fight is beginning to shift.How many years do you think it would take before Bush and his henchmen would cut bait? It's been more than four years, and it still leaves me outraged and dumbfounded.
And then there's the only other news story in LA today... I realize I have shirked my bloggerly duty by not yet mentioning Paris Hilton. Perhaps ever, actually. So, lest I get booted from the blogosphere, here is my obligatory Paris Post with a couple of links.
First, Metroblogging LA responds to the "Pardon Paris" petition that is circulating.
Second, there's this
"Paris Hilton" from Citizens for a Better America. Citizens on Vimeo
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Here's an interesting one: "She stalked" is fine, but "he stalked" comes up "did you mean 'he talked'?"
Anyway, if you're a tweaker like me that should amuse you for a bit.
Via Metroblogging LA comes this fun diversion: the company that scouts Valley locations for porn movies.
Friday, May 04, 2007
"I will veto any legislation that weakens current federal policies and laws on abortion, or that encourages the destruction of human life at any stage," he wrote.That sounds like a commitment to stay out of Iran and to discontinue our current war to me. Halleluyah.