Tuesday, July 31, 2007

May I please have some more pie?

The 2008 budget. Two words: It's fucked.

Thanks to Bob for the graphic.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

At the counter no less

Have I mentioned that I've become addicted to passiveaggressivenotes.com? So excellent.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why I'm not a democrat, installment #812

I don't have time to rant about this right now, but I'm too incensed to wait to post the link (which I guess is sort of the impetus behind blogging in a nutshell now that I think about it). In sum, the article is about the Democrats' efforts to appeal to anti-choice voters:
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.

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.
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."

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.

"That's not a common ground I can accept," Pence said.
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.

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.

Smokers and breast feeders rejoice

Beginning next month, you may take your bags of breast milk and your Bics on the plane.

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.

Terrorists could be testing the system, or could be conducting repeated operations to desensitize security officials, the bulletin says.
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.

You know you're an addict when...

...you're willing to trade your Camry for a bunch of Claritin D.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More moroseness

I had to elevate this from the comments below (thank you Conor). If you're hankering for more on sad songs, check out this Guardian article from a couple years back. I defy you to read the article without laughing out loud. Reynolds describes The Wall as "the one album you can never listen to in its entirety unless you own a bong the size of a mop" and The Downward Spiral as "the perfect album to crank while you're tossing live hamsters into a blender." Inspired.

Saddest songs

Those of you who also read my posts over at blogging.la (all two of you, I know...) have read that K and I went to see Rasputina this past weekend. The show was really, really great. One of those shows that makes you want to stop at the record store on the way home so that you can purchase the CDs you're missing (which in my case, admittedly is all of them, having only recently been turned on to Rasputina by K).

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

That's what I call a cry for help

If you've ever been to a 12-step meeting, you know that folks say things like "I know there's a god because otherwise I wouldn't be here" or "I was running late tonight and I really needed a meeting. I said a prayer on my way and found a parking space right out front." While these sorts of statements might make the more skeptical among us raise an eyebrow, this guy has earned his right to believe the universe is trying to tell him something. You wouldn't believe it if you saw it in a movie--crashes into a rehab having OD-ed, with the spike still in his arm.

Fucking classic.

(Thanks to Chris for the forward.)

Holy fucking shit

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

A confession

I admit, while never having fully understood the lure of Star Trek (in any of its incarnations) I have become a William Shatner fan after he released that album Has Been. I'll go so far as to admit that I find the song "That's Me Trying" genuinely moving. But then it does have Aimee Mann and Ben Folds on board as well.

So if I had cable and watched TV, I would check out Shatner's new show on the Biography channel.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Shot of the day

Provided courtesy of K's phone during yesterday's Trader Joe's outing. It came to me in a file titled nofriends.jpg.

Sports car redistribution program

My friend Jenny says that if she were president she would give citizens the right to slam into one car a year. (It's a corollary to the legal right to punch one person in the nose a year.)

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


This is just wrong. Sick and wrong:I mean, what does it transform into? And they come in adult sizes no less.

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

If I weren't going to the Long Beach Flea Market

I would totally be all over Felt Club at the Ukrainian Cultural Center. I went to Bazaar Bizarre there a few years back and it was excellent. Felt Club, you may know, was once-upon-a-time, a monthly gig and now it is twice yearly. This time they have 250 swag bags. Sigh. I hope the fleas are jumping, that's all I have to say.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

No rest for the weary

This is terribly depressing:
"...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.

Not a William Carlos Williams among them

In the vein of WCW's imagist masterpiece "This is Just to Say," passive aggressive notes.com consists of scanned notes from roommates/bosses/coworkers/etc. on issues such as doing dishes, wiping the toilet seat, or in the case of my personal favorite, being insipid.

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

I'll see your ziggurat and raise you...

Remember those evil Iraqi cards the DoD issued to soldiers back in 2003? Well, now we're apparently using playing cards to promote responsible warcraft. A sort of "keep off the lawn" approach to the invasion of a sovereign nation. From Mark Vallens comes news of an Archaeology Awareness deck of cards issued to soldiers in Iraq and apparently Afghanistan as well.

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.


Urban Dictionary provides the word of the day:

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

One more reason to disdain the OC

Can someone explain this to me? (And I thought those folks who go swimming in Lake Michigan on New Years were crazy.