Thursday, March 23, 2006

Best email paragraph all week

From B:
Jakarta was incredible--never seen such crowded streets--just walking is terrifying--it smells like shit and jasmine and there are dogs and horribly poverty-stricken people everywhere--an average block goes like this: Gucci flagship store, tin shack, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Mosque, tin food stall, Chanel, pile of poop, beautifully painted food stall, brocade umbrellas, tropical flowers, pile of poop, dogs, dogs, dogs....

What do you mean, "we," white man?

Dr. Bitch brings us the inspiring news that Cecilia Fire Thunder of the Oglala Sioux says she is going to open a Planned Parenthood clinic on Pine Ridge Reservation. You go, Ms. Fire Thunder!

If you're inspired to donate, Prof. B has the info:
The mailing address is:

Oglala Sioux Tribe
ATTN: President Fire Thunder
P. O. Box 2070
Pine Ridge, SD 57770


PO BOX 990
Martin, SD 57751

For donations specifically for the Planned Parenthood clinic, make checks out to OST Planned Parenthood Cecelia Fire Thunder. General donations may be made out to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
(On a related note, all of the sudden it seems like half the women I know are having babies. Odd. I would say it's something in the water, except they're nation-wide. Congrats to all you mommies-to-be.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What people say about blogging

If you're a blogger, you know that one of the things people often remark when first seeing your blog (and understand here that while I seem to have become the sometime-blogger lately, there was a time when I was more consistent and blogged at a greater volume)--anyway, one of the things people say is "Gee, you must have a lot of time on your hands" or "I wish I had that much time on my hands" or the like. (Nevermind that these same folks watch several hours of TV a night.)

Well, I just want to set the record straight. Relative to some other people, we really don't have that much time on our hands.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Grief bacon

Vidlit has a new piece for The Meaning of Tingo, one of those books that talks about extraordinary words in all different languages. As tends to be the case, my favorite is from German. The last time such a book was being promoted, my favorite word was korinthenkacker, which means "raisin shitter." I only wish I'd learned the word before I was done with my PhD (read "committee"). My favorite from this piece is kummerspeck, a word that means the weight you gain during times of emotional stress, it translates to "grief bacon."

Monday, March 20, 2006

Looks like a solar system; acts like a supernova

Marc sent me this cool link illustrating where our taxes go. I mean, just in case you were feeling cheerful or something.

I do believe this is the leather anniversary

Today is the third anniversary of the war in Iraq. Survey says:

An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows.

The poll, conducted in conjunction with Le Moyne College’s Center for Peace and Global Studies, showed that 29% of the respondents, serving in various branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq "immediately," while another 22% said they should leave in the next six months. Another 21% said troops should be out between six and 12 months, while 23% said they should stay "as long as they are needed."

Different branches had quite different sentiments on the question, the poll shows. While 89% of reserves and 82% of those in the National Guard said the U.S. should leave Iraq within a year, 58% of Marines think so. Seven in ten of those in the regular Army thought the U.S. should leave Iraq in the next year. Moreover, about three-quarters of those in National Guard and Reserve units favor withdrawal within six months, just 15% of Marines felt that way. About half of those in the regular Army favored withdrawal from Iraq in the next six months.
If it were a marriage, well, we'd be divorced by now, I'm thinking.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Humor that is so very not funny

So they just had the annual Gridiron Dinner where reporters and politicians get together and yuk it up. Here are some excerpts:
From young Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, making fun of his fellow Democrats: "Some say Democrats don't stand for anything. That's unfair; we DO stand for anything." And ending with a joke about himself and his own soaring, but unsubstantiated ratings: "Most of all, I want to thank you for your coverage in anticipation of a great career. When I actually DO something, I'll let you know."

From President George W. Bush, saying he told huntsman Dick Cheney, "Dick, I've got an approval rating of 38 percent and you shoot the only trial lawyer in the country who likes me."

. . .

Then, on stage, there were the musical and sometimes dancing skits -- all with original words written by the 65 journalist club members and sung by members and a few semi-pro singers. In one touching, dark and foreboding satire, a Polish peasant comes out wondering, "An American prison in Poland. Sounds crazy, no? But here it is, in our own little shtetl, our own little village." The answer is "Rendition!" one of the many secretive acts of this administration in which prisoners are taken to other countries where they can be tortured or mistreated without American fingerprints.
I wish so much I were making this up folks; I really do. Truly I am flabbergasted.

Myself I've always favored "dumbfuck"

Pew's latest poll has Bush's "approval rating" (a funny thing to call it at this point, really) at 33%, a number that has this citizen smiling. That's pretty damn low, folks. I mean, if the presidency were a golf game, he'd be in pretty good shape because he's coming in well below par, I'd say.

Even better--how can you not be cheered by a report on public perceptions of Bush (and Congress) that has a section titled "In a Word...Incompetent"?:
Until now, the most frequently offered word to describe the president was "honest," but this comes up far less often today than in the past. Other positive traits such as "integrity" are also cited less, and virtually no respondent used superlatives such as "excellent" or "great" ­ terms that came up fairly often in previous surveys.

The single word most frequently associated with George W. Bush today is "incompetent,"and close behind are two other increasingly mentioned descriptors: "idiot" and "liar."
Hee hee.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Why people think Hollywood is filled with commies

Because of moments like this one on Boston Legal. I don't watch the show (or really honestly much of any TV these days) but I may have to start.

Documenting the atrocities

Salon has the entire collection of Abu Ghraib photos online along with the rest of their coverage. I have neither the time nor the stomach to go through all of it. I began to and just couldn't do it.

A metaphor for so much

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We all came from somewhere else

Tomorrow you should call Arlen Specter's Judiciary Committee Office ((202) 224-5225) and tell him you are opposed to his proposed "gold card" immigration legislation. NAOC has more on the legislation itself and what to say. Among other things, the legislation proposes to give immigrants a "gold card" enabling them to stay in the country as long as they are working but not putting them on any kind of path to obtain a green card.

My friends in the know say this: "Specter is still mainly hearing from rabid anti-immigrant zealots, and he's actually movable if he hears enough from level-headed folks. Everything we're hearing from our DC allies is that personal calls are making a significant difference."

More on my job

So I just got forwarded a super-serious email thread where one of my coworkers is responding to an upset person about a very serious issue (I'd call the upset person's tone acrid). The upset person was using this sig line "Actus non facit reum nisi mens est rea," which I asked about (since my Latin teacher died in the middle of the school year), and was sent this explanatory URL. Yeah.

Why I love my job

My conversation with a coworker just now:

Me: So when is she due?
S: June.
Me: Are you excited?
S: Oh yes.
Me: Are you afraid?
S: Afraid? Afraid of what?
Me: You're so pragmatic. Just afraid. I'd be afraid.
S: Well, sure. The first time you do anything you're afraid, right?
Me: I guess.
S: I mean the first time I went to jail I was afraid. But after a few times, it got easier.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

You know you live in LA when...

You find yourself saying "stupid Armenian drivers."

One thing about this city--you'll fight prejudices you didn't even know existed before you moved here.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Since I already know I'm going to hell...

I wasn't going to blog this one because it seemed too sick even for me. But I do love it and so I sent it to a couple people and Andrea says I really should so here.

Those crazy Norwegians

Courtesy of After School Snack comes the video of the week. If last week belonged to those crazy VW people (thanks to Yelladog), this week belongs to Hurra Torpedo. What joy really.

On a personal note

I think it's got to be a really bad sign that I'm listening to Godsmack this morning on the headphones. What's up with that? I hope I'm not turning into some kind of death metal girl.

Non sequitor:
And another thing--this weekend it occured to me that the older I get the more I become easy to please. Most of my life I kind of prided myself on being hard to please (like that somehow distinguished me from the oh-so-easy-to-please hoi polloi). And this weekend I realized, I'm not that girl anymore. I mean, why not be easily pleased? Perhaps it's the creeping corrupting influence of the west coast--I don't know.

Update: Okay, the moment passed. Back to PJ Harvey. No one needs to worry.

Smack on

The Onion has the most cogent story covering the Dems I've seen in some time (it's from last week)--"Democrats Vow Not To Give Up Hopelessness":
In a press conference on the steps of the Capitol Monday, Congressional Democrats announced that, despite the scandals plaguing the Republican Party and widespread calls for change in Washington, their party will remain true to its hopeless direction.

. . .

"We can lose this," Reid added. "All it takes is a little lack of backbone."
It's a thin line between reality and parody sometimes, that's all I'm sayin'.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hee hee

Someone found my blog by googling "best location to hunt feral pigs in wisconsin"

A gradual, noxious creeping

Is how Robert Byrd described the erosion of freedom on the occasion of today's passing of the Diminishment of Civil Liberties Act. Ten Senators, just ten, voted nay. Of course, that's ten times the one (Feingold) who voted against the Patriot Act at its inception. So let's thank:

Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Jim Jeffords (I-VT)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)

If only it weren't so cold in Vermont.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What is it about Florida?

First Celebration, now Tom Monaghan has plans to build a 35,000-person Catholic city--no porn on TV, no contraception in the pharmacy. No fun, my babe, no fun.

Words to live by

So one of my friends (oh let me lament the paucity of the English language) told me his ten life mantras, and it got me to thinking about mine. Which got me thinking about the things we say to ourselves in general through the years.

Here are some of my mantras:
Nature abhors a vacuum.
There's no wrong reason to do the right thing.
It's never as good as you hoped or as bad as you feared.
If you can't change your life, you can at least change your hair.
I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.
And said friend's:
1. It's great to be alive and in the city.
2. If you're careful enough, nothing good or bad will happen to you.
3. The journey is the destination.
4. Nothing makes sense anymore except for art.
5. Panic is not an option.
6. Stay free as long as you can.
7. This area is as safe as the fears you possess.
8. Hesitation is the enemy of spontaneity.
9. What would you attempt to do if you know you could not fail?
10. Be audacious.
Once upon a time I dated a guy whose mantra was "Do it until it doesn't feel good anymore...And then do it one more time just to make sure it doesn't feel good." Fun times.

So what about y'all? What are some of your life mantras? I've become sort of interested in this. I'm thinking it could make a good book. Sort of like postsecret only for inspiration. (I mean, if you're the kind of person who gets how "I could get hit by a bus tomorrow" is actually quite inspiring.)