Archive for October, 2005

As such, we pass the days…

24 October 2005

Sometimes my friends are so brilliant that I just stand back and watch in amazement:

(My AIM profile had a blurb about how we’ve run out of assigned names for Atlantic storms, but global warming is nothing but a liberal fiction)

Doug: this all kind of meshes with general environmental atrocities, such as it’s okay to destroy one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet in the name of making a few oil barons slightly wealthier

Doug: or having the federal government force through a coal fired power plant in southern montana that could feasibly choke yellowstone with smog, or repealing the roadless land acts that clinton put into place so that lumber companies can decimate old growth forests.

Doug: these are all fiction as well. everyone knows that it’s better to be a little bit richer on a defiled planet than slightly less wealthy on one where plants can grow

[Nine hours later]

Doug: in addition to my earlier rant, it’s also important to note
that evolution is a liberal myth used to undermine the morals of children in
kansas

Doug: 3000 year old myths devised by people who weren’t entirely
sure the sun would rise each morning are obviously much more valid

Doug: it’s common sense

Doug: for that matter, lightning is nothing more than god’s method
of smiting the wicked

Doug: electricity is just a crazy theory that has never been proven

Doug: well, it’s a shame that religious freedom is now interpreted
as state mandated miseducation

Doug: but i digress…

Doug: anyway, just wanted to add to my earlier tirade in the
interest of completeness

Doug: time to watch the simpsons

Rainy Days are Tuesdays Too, Apparently

18 October 2005

Is it bad that I’m happy it’s been raining these past couple days? I’ve been missing ‘weather’ ever since I got back from DC a year and a half ago. Wearing a sweater last weekend in San Fran made me all kinds of happy. I love the process of changing your wardrobe over to winter mode, and I like winter fabrics much more than summer fabrics: the wools, the cashmere, the knits, the corduroy. The power went out at my house though, so that wasn’t cool.

The cabin owners association had its first meeting since 2001 on Sunday. Apparently a few of the cabins have changed hands (the cabin…see nature on flickr), so there were new faces. We’re beginning the process of renewing our special-use permits, so the Forest Service has been doing all kinds of inspections. Apparently, out of the 48 cabins in the Millard tract, ours is the only one that will need no modifications. Previously, the other cabin owners have been on our tail about not using it as much as we should (gimme a break, we all work 80 hours a week and we don’t live 10 minutes away like they do). So now they also can hate us cause we’re perfect, too. Heh heh. They had maps of the cabin tracts up there as well. I don’t know if it has something to do with the fact that my family’s owned the cabin since the beginning of time, but our lot is like 4 times the size of the other lots. Ma always wondered whether the horseshoe field across the trail was on our lot. Guess it is. I need to spend a few weekends up there just cleaning and weather-sealing the place. Now that the plumbing has deigned to work again, there’s no reason not to. It really is a lovely place to spend time.

School continues to monotonously trudge on (yes I know I split an infinitive get over it. That rule derives from Latin, since Latin infinitives can’t be split, being only one word. And sometimes it’s necessary to resolve syntactic ambiguity in English). Am much looking forward to DC next week. Must practice swordplay so Knights of Pythias not disappointed in their newest squire.

Off I go to class…wish me luck.

Catch Up

13 October 2005

Mmmm, ketchup.

Whoops, sorry. Haven’t eaten since sunrise.

But catch up, indeed. Since I went to San Francisco this weekend and ignored the responsible voices in my head telling me to do some work, I’ve fallen horrendously behind. I had to present an article on code-switching in anthropology, and as of 18 hours before the presentation I had yet to read the article. Or come up with an hour’s worth of discussion material. Hee hee. I also had a topical essay due today in the language acquisition seminar. What’s that you say? Basically, I have to recap all of the discussion and all of the criticism we’ve done since day one of class. I suppose it’s better than having a midterm, but Christ on a crutch, talk about busywork. It’s amusing, because usually to this professor’s demands of 8-15 pages I submit six and a half. This time, though, I had an attack of verbal diarrhea all over Word. In four and a half hours I managed to crap out 4000 words (12 pages) of what looks like graduate-level writing. I’ll be damned if I have any idea what I said, but hey.

I can’t wait to sleep. The last two days I’ve been going to bed at 3:30 AM, getting up at 7:30 AM and staying on campus until 10 PM. Tonight, a brandy alexander for me!

In other news, San Francisco was lovely. You can see the flickr photos, although for some reason the stupid badge over there on the right isn’t displaying anything but Labor Day. When I finally get off my ass and make this a real website I promise such blatant suckage shall not be tolerated. But back to San Francisco.

Mrs. Thurston Howell III (the Jag) departed at 11 AM on Friday for the Bay Area, arriving at about 4:30, with one stop along the way. The Jag sure does lope along in the 90-110 mph range nicely, although at those speeds she sucks down premium even faster than Karen Walker sucks down gin. I met Irma at her work at got introduced to her lovely coworkers. In contrast to her last job, I got to talk to people and walk around instead of waiting in the lobby while Irmz finished her work. From there we went straight to the taqueria , to the local liquor mart, and swung by her parents house to say hi and have her dad ‘force’ tequila on me. Jen arrived late, but not as late as she could have, given the havoc that the storms were wreaking on both DC and NYC.

The next day (Sat), we went into San Fran proper to partake in the Cheesecake Factory, which is situated on top of the Macy’s at Union Square, affording us a lovely view of th TransAmerica pyramid and the Blue Angels flying by (it was fleet week). While awaiting our table, we decided to have a cocktail. Rather than going the typical mimosa or bloody mary route, we decided to keep it Jesuit and assault our livers with mai tais and mojitos. I made bambi eyes at the attractive barkeep, so the booze flowed like water. Two mai tais and a mojito later (each), we were sufficiently sauced to enjoy our meal and drunkenly wander San Francisco in the broad daylight. Splendid.

After returning and napping off the bad, we went to dinner and had some more booze, which was followed by even more booze at home (brandy alexanders while watching Crash, a movie a highly recommend). Sunday we slept in (duh), and Irma’s mom called to tell us she had made chilaquiles, which was the only thing that could have coaxed me out of bed and into the car at that moment. Irma’s family is too cool. We watched Titi’s quince video and played with Irma’s newborn niece, a happy, healthy and hairy little bundle of joy.

Because no gathering of the F-squad can pass without mole, we went home and made molemolemole, the ambrosia of our time. Sadly, it was then time to take Jen to the airport and lament the fact that we all live in far-flung areas of the continent. Jen having left, though, I got to share the marriage bed with Irma. During the night, Irma cuddled up with me, as she had with Jen the previous nights. I thought, “so this is what it’s like not to have a cold empty spot on the other side of the bed.” Le sigh.

Monday I had lunch with my former physical chemistry lab partner, who’s now doing her PhD at Stanford before gassing up and rolling home. Surprisingly, I made it home without stopping and used only 3/4 tank of gas. The Jaguar hood ornament, a leaping jaguar with an open mouth, did manage to snag a plastic garbage bag though. If you had tried to make that happen it wouldn’t have in a million years, but I got to ride home with a whipping, shredding piece of plastic firmly mounted to the bonnet.

So the trip was worth the insanity of this week, although I still plan on having a cocktail when I get home. Now I need to start planning my halloween trip to DC and my new year’s trip to Vegas. I think planing vacations keeps me from going insane during the boring times.

Till then dahlinks.

Que Semana Tan Larga

5 October 2005

Greetings sports fans (okay, maybe not so many sports fans, given my circle of friends),

This week might just kill me before I can escape on Friday to see the true loves of my life, Jen & Irma, up in San Fran.

On Monday, the roofing company, which has been dicking us around with regard to a start date for our new roof, called and said they’d be there at 0730 on Tuesday. Fan-freakingtastic. It happens that, since I’m leaving on Friday and therefore have to cram everything into four days, I can’t be home much. Ma, similarly, is nursing Kaiser of Southern California through their Joint Commission reaccreditation, so she’s also having la semaine from Hell.

Granted, we could be bougie and not stay around at all, but Jeebus, the roofers need water and a place to pee! And it’s nice to be around when they do things like short out the master controller to our lights (our house is wired with an ancient, defunct system known as RemCon). So the different directions I’m being pulled in are driving me nuts.

Not as nuts as the cat, though. Yesterday, since they were pulling off the roof from the back side of the house, the cat could hide under ma’s bed (in the front of the house) and feel safe. Today they were all over the place, so the poor cat didn’t know what to do with herself. She ended up wedging herself under my bed upstairs for 9 hours. Boy was she glad to get outside when they left.

But on the bright side, I get to see my girls this weekend! I haven’t seen Irma since last September when she, Amy and I went to the Dave Matthews concert in Golden Gate Park. I did see Jen much more recently (July), but any amount of time is too much time between seeing my girls.

In keeping with my aunt’s theory that my car can’t go more than 50 miles in one direction without exploding, she has loaned me the Jag for the weekend. As usual, this has me molto excited. Hopefully this time I won’t spill orange juice all over its exquisite interior made of ever so many kinds of dead animal.

My aunt, brilliant at life as she is, also found silver polish, which I have been looking for at every drug and grocery and hardware store in the county. Watching Desperate Housewives (the scene where Bree gets the call about Rex) reminded me that Great-Grandma’s silver hadn’t been polished in, oh, how long has she been dead? Fifteen years? Crikey. So now I can have the joy of polishing the family silver (no, it’s not kept at the house, in case you were going to whois me and break in while I’m at school).

God, I’m everything I despise. I have a Jaguar in the driveway, several sets of family sterling, and Limoges china. Being a hypocrite feels good! Maybe I’ll become a Republican after all!

(or not…)

For the Record

5 October 2005

If something is not tight, it’s loose.
If you have misplaced something, the verb is lose.

You’re is a contraction of ‘you are’.
Your is a genitive (posessive).
Its is also a genitive (posessive).
It’s is only used as a contraction for ‘it is’.

People with PhDs should know better.

Ah, the NRA…the affiliation I usually hide

3 October 2005

After the comments from JenFred and Res on the meme from a couple days ago, I decided this deserves its own entry.

Yes, seriously, I am a life member of the NRA.

As background, since my Christofascist father feels it important that all youngins have training in how to shoot to kill, I am the proud owner of the Rifle Shooting merit badge from the boy scouts and I surpassed the US Marine Corps’ ‘sharpshooter’ qualification at 13. For Christmas one year, there was a life membership to the NRA under the tree. Attached to that life membership was a special edition of a Browning .22 rifle.

You see, I’m left-handed, so the cartridge ejection from most rifles, being on the right, goes across my line of sight, and is distracting if a Republican or New Orleans Police Officer or oralist educator is in my sights. This special one ejects out the bottom, saving my aim. I don’t know precisely why anyone would want a gun that shoots 300 degree brass into your crotch, but hey. Maybe it was dad’s subtle hint that I shouldn’t grow up liking dick. Oh well, we see how well that one turned out.

But yeah, I have mixed feelings about the NRA. On the one hand, Charleton Heston and Wayne LaPierre piss me off. On the other, I support education as to the safe handling, care and use of firearms. Even though it’s a tired cliché, as DC proves, outlawing firearms does mean that only outlaws have firearms. DC has the highest murder rate in the country. It’s incidence of gun-related violence is, likewise, the highest in the country, which probably means it’s the highest in the developed world.

This isn’t to say I support arming everyone in sight. The notion that ‘an armed society is a polite society’ is bullshit. An armed society means a society with a lot of dead people.

And Florida’s new law allowing the use of lethal force right off the bat in a threatening situation is an extension of that bullshit.

But then, the ownership of firearms is not, prima facie, evidence of a depraved society. Switzerland’s been armed to the teeth its entire history, and yet, it’s the nation-state with the longest peaceful history (The Confederation of Helvetica was incorporated in 1291) and the best record of not being invaded by warring parties. So there is something to be said for the deterrent effect. [by the way, the official name of Switzerland, the Confederation of Helvetica, is the source of its post-code abbreviation and civil aircraft registry prefix, both CH. How the US ended up with N on its aircraft is beyond me.]

In short, this is an issue I have yet to resolve within my socialist rational brain, and the knee-jerk patriarchal brain instilled in me by my father and the larger society.

Thoughts?

Oh, and speaking of patriarchy, give Twisty Faster your love and support. Just don’t suggest anything even remotely related to a pink ribbon.

Just so we’re clear…

2 October 2005

The Guardian has an interesting article about Turkey’s bid to join the European Union. It notes that over half (54%) of the EU in total and 73% of Austrians in particular are opposed to Turkey achieving full membership in the EU.

Granted, Austria remains one of the most horribly bigoted countries in the world (following closely behind my own dear home, the United States). Simon Wiesenthal was regularly savaged in the media for daring to suggest, ::gasp:: that Nazi murderers be brought to trial and executed. So, Austrian public sentiment rightly should not be the basis of a decision even so trivial as what kind of mustard to have with your bratwürst.

But.

But, let’s not forget what Turkey is. I’m not talking about the fact that it’s Muslim. The government there is so secular that even if the majority of the population were Islamofascist (like the Christofascists that run the US), even the biggest islamophobes would have little reason to worry.

I’m talking about the fact that it’s a country where, 80 years later, debate about the murder of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in a systematic manner is not only socially frowned upon, but suffocated by the Ankara government.

Yes, I’m aware a lot of Muslims died during that particular period of the Ottoman Empire, which became Turkey after it was bitch-slapped in World War I. However, the death of Muslims was not nearly so systematic or overwhelming as the Armenian genocide was. And hey, if the gov’mint was systematically murdering your friends, your family, your culture, you’d probably get a little militant about shooting those you associated with the murder on sight.

That doesn’t excuse the murder of Muslims during that period. It just provides the context for the situation. Would the murder of random German citizens during World War II have been justified? No. But it would have been, uh, a little understandable if some Jews or gays or Roma (gypsies) had found a way to pick off a few of the people who were systematically murdering them.

So yeah. Despite the fact that Austria’s opposition to Turkey joining the EU is probably for the wrong reasons, let’s not be ignoring the fact that a state that denies its citizens the most basic right of free press and debate doesn’t even deserve to be in talks to join the EU. It should be in talks with the EU, the UN and NATO to avoid sanctions and military action over its staunch support of censorship and ethnic cleansing.

Thank you, that is all.