30 June, 2006

Eating Conservatives

FLB claims conservatives eat their young. I'm trying to think how that would work. We can't use ketchup, because it's red--duh!--and goodness knows there will be no French's mustard employed. Perhaps it will just be A-1 steak sauce, in honour of our rightful place in the front of the line of the universe. And the preferred draft status.

All kidding aside. Or most kidding aside...
In the "Let's Roger Roger" sweepstakes from Sarcastro's that I'm stirring up again, I see that Terry has said this:
I regularly take fellow Republicans to task for what I believe to be straying from conservative principles.

I've seen this thinking for years among parties of the left-leaning ideologies. Words cannot describe how happy I am to see it cropping up on the Eastern side of the continuum as well.

Politics is not a religion. I don't fear a theocracy, because the probability of any theocratic government in the U.S. is just about as high as the number of pounds I lose over Christmas. I do fear the elevation of party ideology to theosophic standard, though.

Politics is a zero-sum game by definition. One candidate will win, while the other loses. Governance, however, is to be a sum-all proposition. Everyone is to come away served by their involvement, whether by guns or by butter.

The minute anybody starts talking about a political party as though it were an unfailing power, you lose the sum-all proposition of governance. It becomes more about a punch-card binding, a stifling of free thought. Blind party loyalty is the death of reason.

Who Says They Need Lance To Make It Interesting?

The Tour de France starts tomorrow. I had high hopes for Hincapie and Landis before, but now, with the Huge doping scandal breaking, things are really looking interesting for this July.

The only thing bad about being cycling enthusiasts is that is even more brie-eatingly lame than futbol, the Metric System of sports.

Live Blogging A Dead Machine

You know what isn't good? Staying up all night fretting over a computer problem you won't be able to fix until the stores open.

On the plus side, MacAuthority are in my good graces once again. They guarantee all RAM they install for life. So I don't have to pony up for the new DIMM. Which is a very good thing.

On the minus side, I have a "really bad Directory Problem" according to the Genius Bar. I'm running DiskWarrior as a Hail-Mary pass.

Keep your fingers crossed.

29 June, 2006

Does Anybody Want A $2500 Paperweight?

You know it's bad if I get this mad at my Mac. Poor Stitch is sick. He has Kernel Panic and increasingly rapid intervals. I suspect bad RAM, but I don't even know if a bad RAM chip can cause KP.

It seems to happen most often when running Mac-Native software apps. (iTunes, Mail, Safari) I am beginning to suspect a bit of a hiccup in a foundational app like Quicktime.

But at the moment my powers of rational thought and logic (which one need for computer diagnostics) have flown out the window. I see a trip to the Genius Bar in my future.

Watch Me Be Fantastic!

Jamey Tucker has a story today about a missions project involving the Christian band Jars of Clay. It sound like a very worthwhile missions project. Jamey closes the story with an observation about this being what a true Christian band would do.

Rick Warren, the author of A Purpose-Driven Life seems to have told every person in Christendom that he 'reverse-tithes', ie. give away 90% and keep 10%.

Other Christians I've met and whose blogs I've read often make no secret of their giving activities. They'll let it drop casually in conversation that they've paid for the new plasma screens in the church or that their company donated foodstuffs to the homeless shelter. Or they'll share deeply personal decisions to alter their lifestyles and give the proceeds to 'the needy.'

It happens in the secular world all the time. Think celebrities who "donated their time" for high-press events in the wake of 9/11 and Katrina. With mainstream secular folk it's a slightly different story, simply because these people have often made no public claim to the Christian or Jewish faiths, and as such can't be expected to be governed by the same standard.

But in the Jewish and Christian worlds we have several examples about giving. In Judaism you were instructed to bring your offerings to the storehouse, and pool them with the offerings of others. Giving was NOT a personal act. The gifts to the needy were distributed from the communal store, effectively distancing the giver from the receiver. This was to benefit both. The Giving party comes to understand the concept of Mitzvah, or Goodness for Goodness' sake, while the Receiving party has no sense of direct obligation to any human being, but only to God.

Of course, by the time Jesus the Radical showed up, the circumstances had changed. Wealthy believers would loudly announce their gifts as they entered the storehouse. It was roughly the equivalent of someone standing up in a church today and saying "Here I am putting $50K in the offering plate!" In Matthew 6:1-3, Jesus had this to say:
1 "Be careful that you don't do your charitable giving before men, to be seen by them, or else you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

2 Therefore when you do merciful deeds, don't sound a trumpet before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may get glory from men. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward.

3 But when you do merciful deeds, don't let your left hand know what your right hand does,

Even in cases where He Himself performed miracles, he would ask the healed parties to not tell anyone. The good that we do isn't supposed to reflect on us. It's supposed to be a Mitzvah--good for the sake of good. Not the sake of good press.

Blogs I Miss Part Two: Cobb Strikes Back

I confess something. I wrote that last post in part because I was requested to do so by a third party. "Write me a post, you're the blogging gal! Write me a post tonight! We're all in the mood for a quick read, and you've got us feeling alright!"

I knew as soon as I wrote it, I'd be leaving some people off. Not on purpose, but because I didn't have any set definition for what constituted "gone" and "miss". And I am really forgetful.

But there are others I miss, and so I'm going to list them now.

Sharon Cobb
Sharon confuses me. I thought she left blogging, but then I saw her comment from time to time. It kind of reminded me of the ghost of an old sea captain or something. Then she came back a week or so ago, and so I thought "hey! Look! She's back!" But I guess she isn't. I'm still confused. But I do miss reading her interesting take on things. Even though she's such a liberal, and I'm such a conservative, it was always interesting to check in on things in her neighborhood. And always interesting to read a liberal who doesn't sound like a Kosmonaut. When she and John H. were gone, I had a huge gaping hole in my liberal blog-read quotient.

Lacy @ Silverberry
Lacy is one of the first local bloggers I read. Like Pink Kitty, she's busy with relocating her entire life, and I can understand her not being around. But I still miss having her to read.

TV on the Fritz
Some people think they're too good for the blogosphere these days. What with their big media job and all. Sigh. I miss Fritzie.

I know I'm forgetting more people. But these are on the top of my head right now.

Castor, Pollux, And Feline Little Britches

Feline Little Britches wrote me a poem. (I've decided that is her Native American Name.)

Well, I assume it was at least partly to me, if not wholly so.

Which leads me to trying to explain why I spent so much time over at Superman's Fortress of Blogitude fighting over whether or not Terry and Roger can share custody of the Tennessee Republican Party.

Question one: Aren't Sarcastro and I supposed to be libertarians? Why do we care about the Tennessee Republican Party? Let's table that one for further discussion--it involves something about limited options and Tammany Hall. I think.

I was born in May. If I believed in Astrology--once I finished shooting myself for believing in Astrology-- I would think "hey, maybe we're on to something with this whole Sign thing" My sign is Gemini. The twins. Theoretically this means that I have two sides to my personality. While this is true, I think it is mere coincidence and not the fault of May 23rd itself.

Both twins are basically nice, genial fellows but Castor is infinitely more laidback and long-suffering. Castor is the one who says things like "I'm not going to allow this person to have mental and emotional power over me" and other such pop-psychisms. Castor is the one who comes up with good answers in Sunday Bible study and rescues stray dogs and donates money to needy people.

Pollux is the one who gets irritated very easily. Pollux is the twin who says things like "you are the prime evidence of the utter failure of our public school system" and enjoys watching Judge Judy scream at scared teenagers who sue their ex-boyfriends for unpaid cellphone bills. Pollux will point out that "15" does not mean 'multiples of' in the Express Lane, both to shame and annoy the people ahead of him at Kroger.

Castor truly cares about everyone, even the ones that annoy Pollux. I think Pollux cares too, but is far more churlish about it.

28 June, 2006

Providence 14 Theatre Review

Is up and kicking over at Metroblog Nashville.

I'm Off To See The Movies

Today is the Soft opening of Providence 14 theatres.

I'm headed up that way with camera in hand to cover the story for Metroblog Nashville.

Didn't that sound important? Don't you just love the way I made playing-hooky-to-see-CARS sound like I was doing something worthwhile?

At any rate, if I can recover my Metblog password, the story will be up there tonight.

I Call Bulls.....! The Kleinheider Death Penalty Special Edition

I realise that long responses to the Kleinheider are generally the province of Feline Little Britches, but I couldn't pass this one up. (My apologies, fair Auntie.)

Deep in the heart of his reflection on the execution of Sedley Alley (A man who beat, stabbed and repeatedly sexually assaulted a 19 year old servicewoman), Adam ribs us with this little nugget:
I am a bit ambivalent on the death penalty. While I have no problem morally wilth a man dying for spilling blood, I do have a problem with giving the State the power over the life and death of its citizens.

Back to the whole my-mom-was-a-teacher thing from earlier......Her pet peeve was when students would say "Mrs. B failed me in English." Unfailingly, for forty years her reply was always "you got the grade you earned."

American citizens have their own power of life and death. Don't commit a capital crime. If you do commit a capital crime, offer a defense when tried by the jury of your peers. And when going through the many-tiered mandatory appeals process.

The state of Tennessee has no power over the life and death of me or (hopefully) you, because we are not walking into a restaurant and shooting the kids who are there to earn money for their car insurance and college educations. You and I are not going to shove a stick so far up a woman's vagina that it pierces her liver. These actions represent a choices made by free citizens. The death penalty is merely the State's response to those wrong choices.

I Call Bulls.....!

Right now I've just finished straightening the pictures on the wall above my desk and sliding the CDs back in the CD holder. And laughing hysterically.

The ad copy for the Bridgewater Subdivision off John Hager Road begins thusly.
You can live in a peaceful, country setting at BRIDGEWATER, our NEWEST community in Davidson County,

I used to be able to live in a peaceful, country setting at HAMPTON HALL, the TEN YEAR OLD community in Davidson County. That is until the Jones Co. decided to buy the adjacent farm land to grow family homes.

I have nothing against building family homes on farmland. In fact, I'd be a bit of a sanctimonious bitch if I did, seeing as how the house I live in was also built on fallow farmland. In a peaceful country setting.

But these people and their daily tribute to Alfred Nobel have blown this peaceful country setting to smithereens. Surely there is an explosive load they could use that doesn't rattle pictures on the walls in houses at least a half a mile away and create sinkholes in the common area behind those houses.

Who knew that progress had to be so percussive?

Movies They Oughtta Make: Take 3

My mom taught school from 1962-2002 (or 3 or 4...) with just a few breaks to have babies and raise them. One of the upsides of having an English teacher be your mom are the books. My dad built bookshelves in the basement that, while well-crafted, couldn't begin to hold them all. There were textbooks, hardbacks and paperbacks galore. But the best things were the Scholastic Young Adult books that were like a time capsule from the late-50s to the mid-60s. The way the Scholastic Book Club worked was similar to the way Tupperware or Pampered Chef works today. If you shilled the service to your captive audience, then you--the teacher--got an allowance to spend on books for your classroom.

Young Adult (YA) fiction has always been highly topical and slightly didactic, from what I can tell. And these books from the 50s and 60s were no different. They were typical teen romances, but they had the added substance of being about something besides The Big Dance and The Cute Boy. One, whose name I can't recall, was about a school that was newly-integrated and how the various students, white and black, reacted to the sudden sea change.

But the very best of them all was The Golden Dream by Jean Neilsen. This book was so phenominal that I must have read it 50 times, and even (after Mom's original copy was lost several years into my marriage) ordered a replacement from an Antiquarian Bookseller. I still think that it would make a terrific movie.

The lead character, Starli Ryland, is a tomboy on an Orange farm in Southern California. Her best friend and next-door neighbour, Manuel, lives on a vineyard and the story opens on the eve of their Senior year of High School. Starli feels out of place because she's tall and strong, not petite like the other girls. She misses a lot of school to help her father in the fields as they struggle to keep their farm afloat in the face of ever-dwindling citrus crops. Most of the other farms in the area have been experiencing the same blight as the Ryland's orchard, and have sold their land to developers for tract housing. Starli's stubborn father refuses to sell, and insists that the cause of his crops' failures are the oil wells run by the Carter family. His goal is to get a loan from the bank for overhead irrigation that will wash the petroleum from the trees and save his farm. Starli, having put her all into the family business for years, wants to see it succeed. But she also wants to enjoy her last year of high school and perhaps even go to college.

The story continues around the flashpoint of Southern California at its shift from farmland to tract housing. There is a Shakespearean love story as Starli falls for the son of the oil magnate and becomes close with a new girl who has moved into the tract housing up the hill. There are beach parties where the California kids introduce the newcomers to this mysterious food called tacos (it's italicised in the book!), there are fires and betrayals and makeovers and shopping trips and spousal abuse and hope and frustration. And it's a story that is very unique to the time, and very illuminating about something I had never considered prior to reading the book. What happens when there is a massive cultural shift right under your feet? How do you come to terms with it?

Maybe I'm crazy, but I think this story needs to be filmed. Since it probably never will be, if you can ever get your hands on a copy of this terrific book, do so. It's a book for teens, so it's not particularly long or taxing. But it is a fantastic story. And once again I can't find my copy, so I'm probably headed back to the Internet to find another one.

27 June, 2006

Blogs I Miss

It's probably silly to link to defunct blogs, but I'm gonna anyway. These are all blogs that I read on a regular basis that have now become blogs that I can't read. Why? Because they are gone!

The Big Think
Jason's was one of the first 'private' (ie. non-Instapundit/LGF/Powerline) blogs I got into. Now it is defunct. I hope it's just server problems. I think maybe it is, because I emailed him and he's still responding to those emails.

Crap & Drivel
There's nothing like a well-written rant, and he has (had) some of the best.

Glen Dean
How can you not miss Glen Dean? Half the time he says exactly what I'm thinking. The other half he says exactly what you hope he wouldn't actually say out loud. Both halves made for good reading.

Pink Kitty
Yeah, I know she's moving and all. But please! Come back to us! Libertarian chicks are in short supply. There is an even shorter supply of belly-dancing libertarian chicks.

He didn't write often, but what he did write was good.

Bad Bad Ivy
Another busy woman. Sigh.

The Homeless Guy & I Have Something In Common

The Homeless Guy commented that he likes the blog skin because it reminds him of a sorely-longed-for swimming pool.

Homeless Guy, I totally agree. I miss swimming pools. I love swimming pools more than just about anything in the world. They're my favourite way to exercise, my favourite place to read.

I love the sharp smell of chlorine mixed with hot concrete.

I should join the Y. Which brings up another point...Kevin says he wishes he had access to a swimming pool. Does the Y have a homeless fitness program? I would think this might not be an altogether bad idea for the downtown Y--free memberships (or at least day passes) for the homeless.

Because, after all, the "C" does stand for Christian. What could be more Christian than providing homeless people with a place to shower, get some exercise and a bite to eat?

Who The Real Bastards Are

The post prior to this was generally lighthearted and funny. This one isn't. So if you aren't in the mood for not-lighthearted and really kind of twisty, then skip this post.

Grandefille wants us to buy helmets for the soldiers because they are poorly outfitted. On the heels of this comes an article about the equipment costs of the Army tripling because of the war.

That's what I want to talk about. You and I pay those equipment costs, and that's fine by me. As far as I'm concerned the military is one of the legitimate expenses of any government. The social contract of forming a government is motivated in large part by a collective need for defense. Or so goes my philosophy--based on the philosophies of smarter folk.

A few weeks ago we were honoured to dine with good friends. These good friends are in a small way involved in something to do with the military. For obvious reasons I'm going to be oblique. But the sum total of this flimsy anecdotal evidence is that these nice people have had something to do with a widget that is of interest to the military. The cost of the widget is something like $6, that includes the cost to produce it and the money it takes to employ the people who have everything to do with getting the widget made. Yet the widget is being sold to the military for a couple of hundred dollars a piece. Not by our friends, but by someone who is quite obviously beyond greedy.

So yes, out there in an anonymous office park in an anonymous city a group of people are robbing us and putting the lives of soldiers at risk so they can summer in Bora-Bora. That's only ONE corporation that I personally know of. Like cockroaches, I'm sure there are others in the walls, scurrying about in their filth.

Look, I'm not an idiot. I know there are development costs, research costs and some reasonable profit to be made on widgets. But thousands of percents? Thousands? How is this helping anyone?

I'm Just Sayin'

At The Materbarge on Saturday, Tim threatened to collect all the things I've written and erased to hand out at my funeral. He neglected to say what NortonBrain technology he would use to accomplish this, but the threat remains. Which leaves the impression among several kind people that I sit around and have different opinions about them than the ones they know. Not true. But in order to give you an impression of the kinds of things I write but then delete, I've decide to write these things and promise myself to not hit the delete key unless I make a typeo. Typo. Whatever.

So, on with Things I Don't Understand--The Unvarnished Truth Edition

1. Johnny Depp
Everyone thinks he's sexy because he looks dangerous, smokes black cigarettes and makes you strain to hear him talk. I do not think he's sexy. I think it is only a mysterious twist of fate that has kept him from being the guy who makes my sandwich at Jersey Mike's. Then again, he's also got that effete sort of look that has never appealed to me. He seems about as physically substantial as a wad of used tissue. I like my men by the yard. Great towering muscular edifices of testosterone. None of this whispy-hair/can't grow a mustache kind of "touch me gently, Robbie" sort of sexuality. I want a man who looks like he has a blue ox and a paper towel empire. (Lucky I got one already.)

2. Who The Heck Hits Those Paypal Donate Buttons on Blogs
It's the fargin' internet. The only things people pay for on the internet should be nakie butts, books and stamps. Who gives some joker a bunch of money just because they like what that joker yodelled into the keyboard? I mean, geez. Okay, so I've donated a couplea times to people who either entertain me with their talent or woo me with their great need. Yeah, there are times when I'd rather give cash to a friend in need than buy a sandwich at Jersey Mike's (made by Johnny Depp.) But still. I've seen different people with paypal buttons on their blogspot blogs and I think "Dude, you've got a free blog host. Bandwidth is so not a problem. Why with the hand out? Are you the Feds? Get off my land!" And then I realise they're not actually on my land. But still. And then I secretly think "hey, maybe I should put a paypal button on my blog and see who throws the coin my way." And then I feel like the one whore on the street corner that even the drunk guys pass by because I know that people won't donate. And then I think "why do I want to make people think I'm like the Feds and be screaming 'Get off my land' at me? This is a fun blog. It is not Wal-mart. I am not a going concern." And then I think "I wonder if I will ever get paid for published work or if I've let too many people suckle freely at my teats." And then I realise that I just wanted to say "teats" on my blog and tick off my mother. And then I realise that even though some cows give their milk for free, guys eventually buy them. At least in the final season of popular HBO serieses anyway.

3. Who Hires The Boys At My Jersey Mikes?
I live in Hermitage, Tennessee. It's nowhere in the large scheme of things. I don't even think that Australian woman who just married that one country star who needs a bath knows where Hermitage is. And she's all about all things Nashville now that she's got her a real man and not some short gay dude who just wants to beard her out. Anyway, over here in podunk 'Tage Mahal we've got this one Jersey Mike's that I swear hires celebrity lookalikes to make their sandwiches. It started with this one dude who looks exactly like Elijah Wood in a blue apron holding a hunk of provolone. And then the last time I was in there there was a dude who looked exactly like Vin Diesel in a blue apron holding a hunk of cappacoulo. I always called that meat "kapaCOElow" but then I saw Sopranos and they pronounced it something like "Gabbaghoul" and I thought Wow, Italians have a neater way of saying that word, and I've tried to mimic it ever since, but BlueApronVin and BlueApronElijah just stare at me like I'm nuts. And then the last time I was in there they've hired another guy who looks like Eminem the rapper not the candy with feet and sneakers in the commercials. Wouldn't it be funny if the Real Slim Shady was some dude making sandwiches? And how cool would it be to have someone fry your bacon in advance at home so when you wanted bacon on your sandwich you just had to pull a few slices off the wax paper? That's BAEminem's job at my Jersey Mike's.

4. James Lipton

5. Black Market Blue Balls
Whoa. Did I promise not to hit the delete key? I think I did. Man, I wish I hadn't made that promise because when my mom and dad and sister-in-law and brother read this they'll all be like "do you believe what Kathy (they still call me that and I go 'who?' every time because it doesn't sound like 36 year old me. It sounds like 14 year old me. but whatever) said on that blog about Rush Limbaugh?" Cause I know we shouldn't talk about it but how funny is it that he was detained at the airport for having non-perscription viagra? I mean, come on. Dude has like 45 different doctors that he'll scam out of major Hillbilly Herion and other narcotics but is there no medical professional to whom he can spill his woes about the lack of Rush to his Limb-augh? Like, can't you just say "Dr. Dude, I'm stressed and can't get up. Please write me a scrip for the Blue Penis Gold." How hard is that? To say, I mean. Obvioiusly it isn't hard at all, and that's the problem. And why oh why oh why can't I hit the delet key? What was I thinking? Whatever. It's cathartic in a way. But yes, I shouldn't make fun of Rush's Very Serious Medical Condition and I know athletes and Ozzy Osbourne and many other men over a certain age need that little extra bounce in their step. I get it. And I'm pleased for all their wives that these men are still thinkin' about the home fires and willing to swallow their pride and ask their doctors to kick things up a notch. But to get it on the black market, when for years you've had NO PROBLEM AT ALL ASKING FOR SERIOUS DRUGS FROM A JABILLION DOCTORS? Irony is funny. And how much would I have LOVED to be the person who got to say "I'm sorry, Mr. Limbaugh, but you can't take off because of the pills you bought to, er, take off." That had to be a good moment for someone.

Anyway, I better stop now because soon I'll be elaborating on things and get myself all up in the trouble.

26 June, 2006


Okay. I'll stop posting krep after this.

But am I the only childish person who laughs whenever they start talking about this guy??

Harry Potter & The Book 7 Deadpool

Rowling admits that two characters in Book 7 will die. Great. I now have to spend a year and 11 days (yep, my money's on 7/7/07) waiting for the fate of Ron. Boo.

She also says that
She would be willing to kill Harry in order to prevent future authors from writing sequels
She was in denial of her fame for the first three books, shocked when the press made slight reference to Potter
Jo mentioned she is indeed wealthy, but many stats are falsely reported
Jessica, her daughter, is often pestered at school for upcoming book titles, plot details, etc.
Jo has written half of another children's book in her spare time
Her boggart would be that of Mrs. Weasley's: her children dead
She made up the rules for quidditch in 30 minutes after a fight with her ex-boyfriend

So, who is it? Who dies?

My money is, as always on Charlie Weasley, Flitwick and Hagrid, with Hedwig also dying--but I don't think Hedwig counts as a 'person', seeing as she's an owl and all.

Although this interview makes it clear that there were two deaths she didn't plan, with one reprieve. So, swimming down to the deep end of the deadpool, I'm betting on:
Aberforth Dumbledore dying, McGonagall dying and Snape getting the reprieve.

I cannot, even in my imagination, conceive of death for Ron, Hermione, the Twins, Harry, Ginny, Neville, Luna, Remus or Tonks.

Jesus Says All Y'all Fat People Need To Shut Up!

Boy, who stuck the needle in my tired groove? First it was gun rights, now it's fat people. Maybe Monday just means that I'm on autopilot. Or, maybe, just maybe, I have a point.

The Blogstar, a man by the name of Chad Jarnigan, decided to weigh in on the SBC resolution to deny Southern Baptist Convention leadership positions to people who drink. I've never read Mr. Jarnigan before now, so I don't know where he stands on faith. He may be a disaffected former SBC youth. He may be a songwriter who likes to nip at the ankles of the hypocrites in the church who won't buy his records. He may be a freelance writer who does print graphics in his spare time. I have no idea.

What I do know is that he's adopted the HipJesus® refrain that is, like a game of Telephone, fast getting corrupted into a justification for the new persecution.

I first became aware of the HipJesus® refrain about 18 years ago, when I first became actively involved with the homosexual community. That refrain goes like this:
Even if Homosexuality (or fill-in-the-blank-sin, like drunkeness) is a sin, so is gluttony. And look at all the fat people in the Church. They have no right to criticise the sins of gay people, because they're fat.

While I appreciate that my brothers and sisters in Christ are finally taking a bit more of a loving approach to our homosexual friends, they need to get one thing straight. (hah! pun!)

Nowhere, in any church doctrine, is OBESITY a sin. Yes, "gluttony" is one of the Hell's Hit Parade Hot Platters, but OBESITY is not a sin. Obesity can be a consequence of gluttony. It can be a consequence of sloth. It can be a consequence of greed. But obesity, in and of itself, is not a sin. There are Obese people who may have, at one point, been slothful gluttons but have repented of those sins and changed their lifestyles. There are Obese people who have been ill for long periods of time, requiring medications that cause weight gain. [That's not so far-fetched. This PDF lists 35 medication substances that cause weight gain. It doesn't list others, like various hormonal treatments, that have no chemical alternative.] And I'm not even gonna get into genetics again.

I appreciate that people keep dragging out the HipJesus® refrain as a way to say "don't judge lest ye be judged, Fatty!" I get what they're trying to say. But honestly, is perpetuating one stereotype in defense of another ever a good idea? Could we maybe let our Sovereign God take care of business Himself and just do the TWO simple things He asked us to do--Love everyone and tell them the Good News about His Redemption?

On The Pen, The Sword and The NYT

There's been another NYT scandal. The right wing and its neo-con brethren (you all can look up instapundit. I'm not hotlinking it because I don't want to) are upset because the Paper of Record printed something that could be a breach of National Security. The left wing (large swathes of it anyway) are very interested in seeing Freedom of the Press held sacrosanct. Both sides are right. Yes, freedom of the press is as sacred as my freedom to own any gun I want to.

Wait a minute...what? Yeah, you heard me right. I have a freedom to bear arms, but along the last 200 years certain parties have decided that since there were no AK-47s in the Olden Days, then my freedom to own an assault rifle isn't really existant. So let's flipsy the doodle and look at this: There were no Coast to Coast national papers in the Olden Days. Surely when the Founding Fathers and Xenu decided upon a free press they didn't mean 24 hour national media that would reach everyone in the country? They meant to give their citizens power--but not that much power. Right? Right? Surely some regulation would be okay for the Press! Because we, as right-thinking individuals must realise that they didn't mean "freedom of the press" the way we would assume they meant it. Right?

And then on with the gun analogy. My father had several guns from before I was born. I didn't even know that until I was about 12. I don't even know if my siblings know that he had rifles in the the closet. But he did. You see, it's possible to have a gun and decide to not use it because someone could get hurt if it's mishandled. Having the gun and choosing not to use the gun doesn't make you any less free. It makes you responsible.

Having a globally-read newspaper and choosing not to tell a story that could potentially harm millions of people doesn't make the press any less free. It makes the press responsible.

Typhoon Blogoon

Welcome to the summer update, such as it is. I apologise for being a few days past the solstice, but I was busy trying to come up with a good excuse for being 4 days late on the reformatting. Then again, since no one had any idea I was going to do this, you only know that it's late because I'm admitting that it's late. Therefore I've shot myself in the foot. Yes, Katherine, you truly are the cleverest wench of your age.

My weekend started off nice, with the aforementioned unexpected trip to Mothership. Sunday, on the other hand, has not been kind to the Cobles.
See, English-speakers and writers. That's how you right write a collective noun. No FRIGGING APOSTROPHE BEFORE THE 'S'! Do we understand each other? And then there I was having a fit, and I made a grievous spelling error. Log in Eye! Log in Eye!
. Where was I? Oh yes. Bad Sunday. I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say we had good reasons the both of us for visiting the Church of the Holy Comforter. On a completely related note, Doan's Pills make Hubby very sleepy. Not that I noticed, as phenergan makes me very sleepy. Then again, if you need to take phenergan in the first place, being knocked out is a blessing. Speaking of knocked out, that nearly happened to a certain blogger when he posted the forbidden picture of me making a horrible face while reacting to a comment by Mark Rodgers at El Barco de Madre. But bless him thrice for taking it down. Lee, forget you ever saw anything.

24 June, 2006

Go, ME!!!!

Mark Rose posts an interesting statistic.


Knuck has created a monster. Tim, he of the clean plate and general neat-freakiness has fallen in love with Mothership BBQ. He insisted we go down there for lunch today, which also meant that I got to see everyone there for the NiT liveblogging as run by His Royal Funkiness.

Apparently a lot of older folks read the Tennessean and its food reviews, because they were coming in steady all afternoon. Kind of a nice dichotomy between wise-asses in their 30s and the elder statesmen of the city. Poor Sarcastro couldn't decide whether he fit with the wiseasses or the elderly.

Thank heaven John H. came out. I missed him when I spaced on the Mid-Tenn thing last weekend.

And of course the rest of the usual suspects (Aunt B., Chris Wage) were there as well. UPDATE: I'm awful. I totally forgot to add that Mark Rodgers came by as well. Mark briefly tilted the balance into the Right Wing's favour, only to have us lose it once he left and the Wage contingent arrived. Hey. At least the Left can outnumber the Right someplace.

Where were the rest of you people? Sista, I'm talkin' to YOU....

On an semirelated note, I'm beginning to enter my "pass the heavy drugs, please" phase, and so I'm wondering if I might end up missing Sunday School tomorrow. Which would probably be a good thing, seeing as how our Sunday School material went into great depth about Mother Theresa. It's best if I don't speak of my feelings about Mother Theresa. Especially during a time when I'm in a great deal of pain.

23 June, 2006

Insider News For Providence 14 Theatres

I promised an Insider Surprise slated for lunch today. Go check it out at Metroblog Nashville.

Why You Might Need The Fire Dept. Even If Your House Isn't On Fire

I wrote about it at Metroblog Nashville.

Can't Think Of A Title...Please Read The Post Anyway!

Am I the only person who kinda misses Glen Dean just a little bit? And am I the only person who wishes that some people didn't have a big ol' fancy internship taking them away from blogging?

Oh well. At any rate, there's a great new blogger in town. Emmett B., the Psycho Grump is a really interesting guy. I know he's not TV or Glen, but I'm glad to have found him. Yes, he's a former Baptist minister--but I think he's more of a "me" Baptist than a "Dan" Baptist. At the very least I think he may have read Harry Potter So roll on over and tell him what a voyeur he was to that poor little old lady.

And speaking of HP, I have to admit that Short and Fat (or Hot Fat, as I think I'll call him) had a really good point last week, but I couldn't comment because Blogger was acting screwdly.

Is it just me or is this blog post now officially a clip show? Sorry. Didn't mean to do that to you. But as long as we're talking about TV, Big Orange Michael is really making me ill by bringing up certain rumours about Star Trek that I'd rather not think about.

Oh, and Jason, where do I even log in to make comments? I feel so impotent when I read your stuff. Although this post made me feel really old, because it didn't seem to be talking about anything I understood.

And do any of you besides JAG and me read For Better Or For Worse on a regular basis? If not, now is not the time to start. They've begun "animating" the strip online. Lest you think this is a good idea, allow me to explain that it is really just random eyeblinks in various panels. This is the creepiest thing I've seen in a while. *shudders*

So there you have it.

Why Writers Shouldn't Read The News

Whew. Sorry about that whole temper-losing thing down there on the Mulims article. In retrospect I should have maybe calmed down a bit. "Stupid" is one of those words that in my family was on par with slang words for bodily functions and sexual congress. You just NEVER said it. So reading back on me saying something is "stupid" kinda makes me ashamed of my self.

But it does raise a good point. If you write a lot...if you deal in words...reading the news is hard. I know there are many ways to say something. I know that the words you use and the way you structure them can state the same truth but dress it in varied costume. When I see other people being tricksy with their stories, dealing facts from the bottom of the deck, it gets me riled.

Pass the bourbon, Sarcastro.

22 June, 2006

It's There. Six Paragraphs Down.

I'm so sick of this stupid obfuscatory reporting.

So there are apparantly a bunch of people under arrest today for plotting to attack the Sears Tower.

Why? Good question. Paragraph #3 reassures us that
the alleged plotters were mainly Americans with no apparent ties to al-Qaida or other foreign terrorist organizations.

Oh good. We can relax. It's okay. No radical Islamofascists at work here, right?

Read on.

Residents living near the warehouse said the men taken into custody described themselves as Mulims and had tried to recruit young people to join their group, which seemed militaristic.

I assume that "Mulims" is a typo, and that the word they mean to use is "Muslims". Before Chris Wage or any of you others jump on my case, rest assured that I realise not-all-Mulims-or-Muslims-are-out-to-attack-us. Etc. Yes, any person with a brain realises that there are fringe elements of all sects and faiths operating on the perimeter of society.

But are we doing ourselves any favours when certain members of various media seem to take great pains to avoid identifying the Mulims/Muslims who are on missions to bring death to us infidels? I've talked to several people about the whole kindergarten-hostage situation in Russia who think that the Chechin rebels were just "Chechins" and had NO awareness that they were Mulims/Muslims. See, not all Muslims are bad, but many of the baddest on the world stage right now ARE Muslims, folks. Is our blissful ignorance helping anybody right now?

Face it. There are Muslims all around the world who want to kill all non-Muslims. You may have to read past the first few paragraphs, but that's the honest truth.

Movies In Mt. Juliet?

Hop on over to Metroblog Nashville for the full story on the Grand Opening of Providence 14.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think I've scooped the Tennessean on this one.

UPDATE: According to Web Archives, Nashville Metroblog has the story before either the Tennessean or the Scene. Go, Metroblog!

Viral Load

It would appear that the evil Blaine Virus has jumped ship from Ceeelcee's blog onto mine. It appears to be his latest trick....randomly assaulting bloggers from inside the blogosphere!

Why will this man not go away? Whose blog will he he infest next?

Thelma, Louise, Taco Bell, Shrimp Cocktail and Frozen Lasagna

I've always been a night person, and right about this time fifteen years ago I was lying awake thinking of the awful things men did to women and how sad it was that poor Thelma and Louise drove off that cliff together. A decade and a half later I still wonder why we decided to go to that particular movie for my bachelorette party. The fact that it was the dumbest bachlorette party in history may have had something to do with it. It began with a bunch of good Christian school girls trying to figure out how to be naughty. The best we could come up with was Melissa deciding that we should soap my husband-to-be's apartment windows and then drive through the downtown McDonald's for a "beverage." Great Scot, that woman must have said "I want a BEVERAGE!!!!" about 90 times. So we tried the window-soaping thing, got chased off (rightly so) by my almost-spouse and then got that crazy person her coke. We saw Thelma and Louise and called it a night. Who starts off their marriage with ruminations on the evilness of men, anyway?

So the night before the wedding was the rehearsal dinner. We were having frozen lasagne (warmed up), garlic bread and salad. Tim and I went to Sam's Club to pick up the lasagne and had the hugest cold-feet fight in the world right in front of the Sam's. We actually debated calling off the wedding. I think it was something about the lasagne, but I'm not sure. I think it was really about making a life decision in the middle of both our families and scary life and all that goes with it.

The reception was going to be in the side yard of my parents' house, with the pool serving as a lovely backdrop. My mom and her friends made most of the food, although I did spend a couple chunks of time cleaning shrimp in the days beforehand. Because the reception was at mom and dad's I spent a good chunk of the morning of my wedding setting up folding tables in the side yard.

Then we went to the church to get ready. I was not a devotee of Bride magazines and other such stuff, so I had no idea that it's a good idea for a bride to have someone who is not in the wedding per se on hand to do her makeup and hair. I was trained to do theatrical makeup, so I figured I could handle slopping some goo on my face. I had NO idea that having five women making themselves up in a room could be so chaotic. Before they totally remodeled the church, the brides at Brookside Evangelical Mennonite always changed in the toddler's nursery next to the ladies' room. I still remember tripping over those bright plastic primary-coloured toys while trying to find an outlet for my curling iron. The room smelled like animal crackers and baby body fluids--pee and milky drool. And Giorgio perfume, after a few minutes. (It was the early 90s. I liked Giorgio! back then. Or, to be more accurate, Giorgio! imposter perfume.) I remember thinking that the whole brides'-room thing was a cautionary tale. Like "look at what your life will amount to. It's this and then the babies."

Out of the blue my two non-familial bridesmaids (friends from high school) decided that they needed to go to Taco Bell for a beverage. I have no idea what about my wedding compelled my friends to drink soda pop, but there it was. I was flabberghasted that a mere hour before I was to walk down the aisle, two of the wedding party actually made a run for the border. In retrospect I imagine it was a chance for them to talk about me well away from prying ears. Something along the lines of how my 80s wedding dress was gaudy and I had no idea how to be a proper bride. (See above references to lack of makeup/hair help.) I was probably a bridezilla out of ignorance, because I remember snapping at my maid of honour for help with my dress. My poor sister. She stayed with me and didn't go for an overpriced Pepsi.

Everybody got back on time, the service and reception went by in a hot, sticky blur. We had two officiants--my pastor and Tim's father, a retired pastor. (If I ever have babies I'll be glad of that decision because they'll have good professionally done photographs of their father and grandfather. Bernie died of cancer a few years later. ) The next thing I remember clearly was checking into the Hilton (or was it a Hyatt) next to the Grand Wayne Center for our wedding night. We were both famished and ordered room service. I got a hamburger. It came with a jar of mustard, and I remembered thinking that was wasteful. I'll spare you the rest of the details, but it was a nice wedding night.

It's been an even nicer marriage. When we searched for our wedding invitations (man, there's a laugh for you) I would always scoff at the ones that said "Today is the day I marry my best friend, etc..." because they sounded so cornball. But I really did marry my best friend. Fifteen years ago today.

21 June, 2006

Cause I Want Huck To Lose A Bet

Over here they're chatting about Futbol. Lots of people are talking about it. I don't care, but only because I'm an equal-opportunity hater of summer sports (except diving...)

A friend made the apt analogy that I will continue to quote from here on out. Join me, if you will:

Soccer Is the Metric System Of Sports

Santa Liberala

These lists have been popping up a lot lately, like some sort of web virus. They're all variations on the Recitation Of Good Works for the liberal catechism. Somebody posted one in the comments section of this post at Nashville Is Talking.

And I'm just so whelmed by the whole thing. First off, the whole liberal/conservative thing is too simplistic. Most people I meet anymore are a mix of responses along the scale. I'm not into the hive mindset necessarily, even though I lump myself with the libertarians for a sort of shorthand. So these lists about all the beneficient acts of liberalism are kind of strange. But they're a lot of fun to fisk. So I fisked it there and I'm fisking it here. Just because. To all my friends and family who self-identify as liberal, please understand. I think you are as equally valuable a part of the national conversation as I. But just as I don't post long lists about the good things "conservatives" are responsible for, please realise that these oversimplistic lists of yours are just getting a little bit old. And they're consistently inaccurate.

You had to make me do this, right?

Just a reminder, here are just a few things we can thank those g***** godless liberals for.

o Regulation of banks and stock brokerage firms cheating their customers
o Protection of your bank account

Why can't we privatise the FDIC? Why must it be Federal? All these protections do is insure your money at the cost of your money. In other words, if someone robs the bank of your funds, we have to use taxpayer funds to pay you back. And taxpayer funds come from....you. And just a reminder...the FDIC only insures $200K of your money.

o Social Security

Yes, because a governmental Ponzi scheme is always a good idea. I wouldn't be braggin' on this one much longer....

o A minimum wage

Change that to a governmentally mandated wage floor. Because philosophically there has always been a minimum wage, whether or not it's been one that people like. And as with all governmentally mandated things, the Minimum Wage we know today is a whole lot of a bad idea, in many people's opinion. Government redistribution of wealth being a socialist concept and all....

o Legal alcohol

Bob already addressed this. But I may also add that the Liberal President FDR did nothing to constrain Hearst and Ainslinger in their establishment of the Drug War in 1937. So the open-minded liberalism did nothing to ensure the liberty of the people against controlling interests in the case of marijuana.

o Regulation of the stock exchanges

I would argue that this was a cooperative effort.

o Right of labor to bargain with employers

Yeah. That's turned out so well for labour, hasn't it? Let me point you to the town bankrupted by Crystal Lee Sutton Jordan. You many know her better by her movie name--Norma Rae. She fought to unionise her little textile factory town. Now, 20 years after her brave stand she is employed full time by the union. But the mill has shut down and moved operations to Mexico because it can't afford to employ the people of the town at the new union-mandated wage.

o Soil Consevation Service and other early environmental programs

I don't know enough about this topic to comment,so I'll give you this one for now.

o National parks and monuments such as Death Valley, Blue Ridge, Everglades, Boulder Dam, Bull Run, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Mount Rushmore, Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, Cape Cod, Fire Island, and San Juan Islands just to name a few.

Do you live in Tennessee? If so, how can you praise this as a good move without realising how much private land was seized by the federal government to make these things happen? Do you not realise how many East Tennesseans were displaced from homes that had been in their families for more than a century in order to make the national parks? Okay, maybe the rights of a few Appalachians don't matter...

o Tennessee Valley Authority
o Rural electrification

See above. Federal money and displacement of persons is a good thing why?

o College educations for innumerable veterans

Well, they are "numerable" seeing as how the government does keep track of recepients of the GI bill, but I'll give you this one as a good thing.

o Housing loans for innumerable veterans

Again...not strictly innumerable, but you can still have this point.

o FHA housing loans

I have one and I'm grateful for it. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not doing so well lately. So let's privatise this.

o The bulk of hospital beds in the country

Don't think you're right about that. I think they are responsible for the largest single ownership of hospital beds, but the combination of charity hospitals and for-profits largely outnumbers governmental hospital facilities.

o Unemployment insurance

Yeah, they force you to pay the premiums out of your paycheck. Great. Let's not give the folks a choice.

o Small Business Administration
o National Endowment for the Arts

Seriously? Let's include all federal programs. You think they're a peachy idea. Most conservatives and libertarians disagree with the idea of forced contribution to limited-interest organisations.

o Medicare

That's working really well, isn't it?
o Peace Corps
Sure, I'll give you this one, especially in honour of John H.

So how about we stop this Vince Vaughnesque drawing of lines and bickering over stuff and just, you know, work together? Call me crazy, but that seems like the best idea. Weren't there liberals AND conservatives in Philadelphia around the beginning of July, 1776?

Time For Mortal Peril

If I weren't a wee bit superstitious, I'd get me one of these.

Why I Have A Sekrut Crush On Nemesis Boy

Because he always says stuff like this:

"I'm as serious as Lelan on tornado day!"

Hey, mom and others, he uses some 50-proof words, but the dude is still cold-hilarious.

Let's Talk About Summer Vacation

In case you hadn't noticed, we no longer have an agrarian society. Johnny doesn't need to have the fertile months free to help in the fields anymore. So why do we still have summer vacations in the school year? Yes, the nostalgia for long hot days stretching endlessly is nice. But how many of the kids are swinging over lakes on old tires and drinking Country Time, or playing jacks in the sand by the side of the road? I'm betting that Kids Today® are either in day care or some other societal veal pen just marking time until the next life event. They're not picking strawberries or corn or whatever the farm kids picked 50 years ago. After these 8 weeks of leisure they'll go back to school where a teacher will have to refresh them, they'll have to relearn study habits and adjust their sleep schedules back to early-rise mode. Then they'll grow up to work in an office where they're expected to show up 350 days a year, regardless of the weather. And they'll probably sit in the cube next to mine and whine about how they have to work during the summer and that isn't fair and maybe they'll just become a teacher.

Is this what we've made out of our society? That some people actually become teachers so that they can continue to enjoy summer break? Forget the molding of young minds. I'm in it for the extended tanning time by the apartment complex's pool.

Since I don't have kids of my own it does seem kind of lopish for me to have an opinion about changing the school year, but I do. I've watched too many "kids" come out of school and into the workforce with absolutely no appetite for working from June to September. And why would they? They've spent their formative years being programmed to accept those months as extended holidays. A year-round school system offers families the same amount of together-time, but more evenly spaced. It's easier for teachers to stay on top of the material, because the kids retain it better. It creates fewer problems for working parents who have childcare issues. Above all it better prepares kids psychologically for their eventual adulthood.

So let's do it.

20 June, 2006

Welcome Home To The Wilderness Lodge

I've got a Disney vacation jones that is vibrating in overdrive right now. I want to stay in my hotel. I want to hear the particular noise that a heavy metal door makes when it slides closed, followed by that brief click of the electronic lock resetting itself. I want to hear the clang of the metal safety hinge as it claps against the back of the door, pointing to the posted fire-exit map. I want to look at that map and see the little lines boxing me in. I want to count the number of numbered boxes between my assigned temporary home and the ice machine. I want to see Jiminy Cricket reassure me that even though I'm not a wooden boy, it's still a good idea to leave the building during a fire.

I want to hear the hum of the industrial air conditioner, followed by the blast of cold air that smells like its been kept cold inside a clean steel drum. I want to make a dent in the perfectly-taut bedspread with my heavy suitcase, and to challenge the anonymously perfect sterility of the room with bits of my everyday home. Those sweats I wear around the house, the t-shirt I slept in yesterday in my own bed. I want to clutter the nightstand with the juicy chunks of paperback books that I've been hoarding for such a getaway. I want to pile them up in a tempting stack like syrupy hotcakes, or cluster them like ripe grapes.

I want to turn on the TV, flip to the in-room channel and watch the top 10 resort attractions. Chipper music-hall girls sliding down waterslides and dancing with Mickey Mouse in the Not A Zoo. I want to stand on the balcony and look over the freeform pool and hear the boat whistle as it pulls into the dock. In my mind I can imagine that I'll be on that boat several times as I set out to explore the rest of the World.

The America List Business

So I missed out on the big controversy surrounding Aunt B.'s list of American stuff. It seemed to be the wierdest controversy I've ever seen. Because isn't the whole point of the American experiment that it will differ for every individual? Isn't the whole point of our more perfect union the realisation that this place exists for the freedom of Mankind? As Tom Paine once wrote:
Alas! we have been long led away by ancient prejudices and made large sacrifices to superstition.

And that's it for me being pretentious by quoting Common Sense. In this post. I retain all rights to further pretension at a later date. But what Paine says there still makes sense. We've all got these prejudices and superstitions creating false parameters to hem in our experience and misjudge others'. Can you be an American without knowing Hank Williams or Shay's Rebellion? Sure. You'll be a different kind of American from others--and one I wouldn't want to talk to at a party--but I'd bet your America includes stuff I wouldn't have thought about. Things like scrapple and spicy mustard on pretzels at a baseball stadium, or a church revival meeting under a canvas tent. Can you be an American without knowing about flannelgraph? Without having gone to Disney World? Without eating corn on the cob picked out of granddad's truck patch and boiled instantly? Without reading Peanuts comic books from the bookmobile while eating Pixie Sticks and laying on a picnic table in the backyard?

Okay, that last one was wierd. But I swear I did it. Lots. And that's my Americanness.

When I was in Jr. High I found Simon and Garfunkel. I used to pretend that the "Kathy" who kept popping up in their songs was me. It made sense when I was fourteen, but part of it still makes sense now, in a meta-way:

"Kathy, I'm lost" I said
tho I knew she was sleeping.
Michigan seems like a dream to me now.
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
And I've come to look for America.

We're all from somewhere, and we all want to know what America is. And the fact that we get to ask is the most American thing of all.

19 June, 2006

Speak, Girl! Speak!

Tomorrow night (Tuesday) from 8:10pm until 10pm (or whenever I run out of things to say...so, 10:00pm...) I will be a featured guest on Radio Free Nashville's Future Quake program. I will be discussing blogging, the future of blogging and other fun things. So tune in.

Most people can't receive the RFN signal, I realise, because of the FCC tower limitations. If you'd still like to listen you can catch the show on Radio Free Nashville Online, which will play through either WinAmp or iTunes.

You can also catch this show (and all Radio Free Nashville programs) via telephone:
1. Go to .www.mymbn.com, and register the phone numbers of your choice - home, cell, work, etc. Click on the "Members" tab at the top of the home page, and type in the numbers in the window on the page on the left side. Registering is required to use this service.

2. After registering, call MBN at (615) 727-9201 from a registered number.

3. Select "1" from the menu options.

4. Enter the Radio Free Nashville code from your keypad - "9989" - listen and enjoy!

It's free for the service, but cell charges apply per your individual service provider agreement.

Tune in! It'll be fun!

Attention Disney World Junkies

Have I got a present for you....

I've added the fabulous Inside The Magic Blog to the blogroll. Check out the blog,and from there link to the podcast. It's all incredible.

Also, if you (like me) are about 36 years old and grew up going to WDW, visit Walt Dated World for a bunch of nostalgia. Old tickets, ride photos from yesteryear and scripts of now-defunct rides that I (we) enjoyed in the past.

Very cool.

I Should Say Something

Good Morning. Happy Monday. Happy Belated 64th Birthday to Paul "Sucker for A Pretty Face" McCartney.

Currently Reading: To Say Nothing Of The Dog by Connie Willis
Next At Bat: The Hard Way by Lee Child
(I love Jack Reacher books. I also love how there's an endless supply of women who will schtupp a man who hasn't showered in days. Seriously. Each Reacher book prominently features him wandering homeless in search of mischief, finding mischief, getting sweaty and grimy and then playing hide the salami with some hot babe. Ick. Not the sex--the uncleanliness.)

Thing I dread most today: Calling in my perscription to the doctor.
Thing I enjoy most today: The thought of an Asiago Roast Beef sandwich from Panera

Five Reasons Why I'm Writing This In the Form of a LiveJournal Meme:

1. I have a migraine
2. I'm not really in a bad mood but I'm in one of those writing-styles that reads as though I am really grumpy.
3. It's easy
4. I've got a bunch of work to do.
5. I tagged myself.

18 June, 2006

Happy Misandry Day!!

Today is Fathers' Day.

Since Mothers' Day was a scant month ago, it's still fresh in my memory. Let us contrast, shall we?

MD: Special speech about the value of being a mother in Sunday School.
FD: No mention.

MD: All the women get long-stemmed red roses.
FD: Nothing.

MD: Restaurants are full of people taking their mothers to lunch.
FD: The grocery stores have specials on meat so that Dad can grill his own lunch. And everyone else's.

MD: Cards are either sentimental, expressing the value of mothers and what the mean or jokey about shopping.
FD: Cards are jokey about how dads are either lazy (sleeping all afternoon in a hammock) or clumsy (botching DIY jobs, etc.)

MD: Advertised gifts include jewelry, fine apparel, purses, spa days.
FD: Advertised gifts include power tools (to clumsily do DIY jobs, I guess), ties and cheap polo shirts

So let me ask this. Why is there even a Fathers' Day? What's the purpose? Does this society in any way consider a father someone to be either admired or revered? If I were an alien from another planet I would think that fathers these days are buffoons and this holiday is designed to mock them.

It makes me sad. I have a wonderful father who loves his family above all else and has spent his entire life making sacrifices to provide the best for his family. He busted his butt through college and law school, he worked countless hours building up a decent law practice and went into debt to educate his kids, pay for weddings and family vacations. He sacrficed to make sure all FOUR of his kids got to go to Europe. In addition, one daughter went to London and the other to Greece and Israel. He used his precious vacation time for his kids. Instead of sitting in a hammock he drove an unweildy camper through 42 of the 50 United States so his kids could have a hands-on experience of America. He spent most of his weekends either working around the house or taking us on camping trips to see all the State Parks of Indiana. He still sacrifices this day, extending his generosity to the spouses of his adult children, his three grandchildren and three grand-dogs. He is not a buffoon. He is not lazy. I didn't send him a card, and if he reads this blog he will understand why. I hate the cards and their lack of respect for the men who make small miracles for the children they bring into this world.

So happy Father's day, dad. I hope that in time society will appreciate you and your role as much as I do.

16 June, 2006

If I Won The Lottery

I've been speedwatching Windfall on NBC. I can get through the general idea of an episode in 8 minutes on TiVo, because I don't care so much about Russian wives and dead drug dealers. I'm just intrigued by seeing what people would do with $20million.

I like "win the lottery" stories for much the same reason that I enjoy post-apocalyptic tales. There's an element of release and triumph when the protagonist leaves the rest of oppressive society in the dust. In Win The Lottery stories you get to live through the guy who quits his dead-end job, who buys a house on the spot without fretting over contingencies and escrow. Of course all WTL stories have that other schadenfreude component where you see the big winner's life turn to krepcakes. This allows you to say to yourself "hey, I'm still in my dead-end job but at least my limbs haven't been sawed off by the Russian mafia."

During the (frequent) duller moments of Windfall, I found myself wondering what I would do with that amount of money.

First, I think I'd have to find a new church. Because when all those Baptists found out I played the lottery I'd be in serious trouble. Second, I'd have to find a new extended family--for much the same reason. But since this is fantasy instead of reality, let's assume that both my church and blood families decided to forgive me for my poor stewardship in playing.

Some money goes to the church. Other money goes to various missions endeavours. But the first thing I would do is buy back my alma mater from the Mr. Potter the man who bought it and turned it into an odd shadow of itself. I grew up with the constant struggle for money at the school, and have dreamed about "saving" it since I was 8.

After that I want to give every person in my immediate family and my husband's immediate family $100,000. Each. I'm sure they'd find something to do with it...after we all get back from two weeks at Disney World. I'd be paying off my house, putting in a pool and buying a Volvo convertable. I might also get that new lap-band surgery. The rest gets saved or invested.

It's not as fascinating as Windfall, but it's still fun to think about.

15 June, 2006

While You Were Out

Apparently whilst mine attentions were elsewhere, I missed the one day when someone let Nashville's most rapier-witted blogger out in full force. Not only did he kill the guy from Blind Melon, he also molested the honour of Bob Corker's daughter.

Kleinheider, I see where you're going with this, but let me honestly say that if Corker's girl didn't want pictures of her kissing another woman or dancing in her underwear perhaps she shouldn't have kissed another girl or danced in her underwear in public.

I don't want pictures of me dancing in my underwear and singing Jim Steinman tunes into a hairbrush. So I confine those activities to my basement. I don't want pictures of me mixing light and darks for a "catch-all" laundry load. So, again, I don't do that in public.

If there's a questionable activity to be done, I try to do it behind closed doors. The world is a lint trap (can you tell I'm between loads?) and you'd be surprised and what gets caught up. So some men are looking at photos of exhibitionistic behaviour. One might presume that is why the young lady was an exhibitionist in the first place. To be looked at. But whatever.

I can't believe Mike Kopp is weighing in on this. And in such a catty way, too. So do girls only move Kopp to decency if they wave at him? (Speaking of catty....that was a bit of meow mix on my part, huh?!?)

And in other news, my brother called to tell me that Bill Gates is quitting Microsoft. Whatever will he do for money? I can't believe these people who are so irresponsible as to quit one job without having another lined up. I read somewhere a while back that there are those who believe that Gates has Asperger's syndrome. So, man. Way to quit without health coverage, Bill.

Magnetic Where?

Someone just asked me a favour, which I'm more than happy to do. I love to do favours for people.

But this favour involves going to a specific place. Again, happy to do it. But this specific place was described to me as "South of X, East of Y." Yeah. That'll get me there.

My parents give directions like this to me all the time. They've known me for 36 years, and yet they'll describe new places in Ft. Wayne to me as being "East of the Colisseum" or "Southwest of the Courthouse." It both irritates me and makes me kind of sad. Because while I respect people who have a built-in compass rose, I am neither a boy scout nor a druid and couldn't tell you compass orientation of general locales if I were tied to the mossy face of an oak.

I have great respect for people who know direction this way and don't need to navigate by landmark. When Tim and I watched the A&E miniseries Longitude* I was in total awe of the gentlemen who discovered a way to slice the globe into bite-size chunks for easier seafaring. But at the same time it was like watching a movie about folks who could lactate out their buttcheeks. While it's obviously a useful skill in certain situations, I find it slightly offputting and hope to never be in the position to need to do it myself. But I admire those who can.

So if you want me to end up someplace on time and in one piece it's best to tell me that it's "just past the Walgreens on the corner." Then again--you might have to be even more specific.

*This was the first movie I saw Michael Gambon in. He was good in this movie. I have no idea what happened to him between Longitude and Goblet of Fire, but it must have been dreadful. Cause goodness knows his version of Dumbledore was a shipwreck.

14 June, 2006

Banking On Disaster

Ah. There's nothing like government redistribution of wealth.
up to $1.4 billion - perhaps as much as 16 percent of the billions of dollars in assistance expended after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - was spent for bogus reasons. ... The Federal Emergency Management Agency also was hoodwinked to pay for season football tickets, a tropical vacation and a sex change operation, the audit found. Prison inmates, a supposed victim who used a New Orleans cemetery for a home address and a person who spent 70 days at a Hawaiian hotel

That's an awful lot of our money, frittered away by charlatans. Good-hearted liberals often say their problems with libertarianism are rooted in the seemingly callous way that libertarians treat those in need. If libertarians had power, the U.S. would revert to a Calcutta-like state with starving children begging in doorways and diseased limbs rotting off in the street.

As a Christian libertarian, I stand by the claim that individuals and private charities are better-equipped to deal with the business of charity. And this story is a prime example of why I believe that. Churches all over the country collected money and sent volunteers down to affected areas to repair the damage. Churches all over the country found housing and employment for those displaced by the hurricane. Real people with real needs met real people who could, would and did help. Non-religious charities have done the same type of thing.

The government, on the other hand, appears to believe that problems can be solved by blindly throwing money at them, as though disaster relief is some sort of giant parade. If a few people who don't need the goodies thrown from Uncle Sam's big bag of money, then so what? The Government (or so the thinking appears) has more money than they need. We've succeeded in creating a perception of the Federal Government as an entity entirely seperate from the citizens who fund it. Stealing from the Federal Government isn't as bad a crime, so the thinking goes, because they've got it. And my life is hard and I deserve a little joy so why not pass some love my way, in the form of football tickets? Of course, they're really stealing from me and you. I don't know about you readers out there, but I am not likely to spend 70 days in Hawaii any time soon. Isn't it time we found a way to keep more of the money we work for? Isn't it time we invested in better ways to take care of the real needs, without wasting cash on real greed?

UPDATE: Sarah Moore is all over this, too.
UPDATE II:So is John H. of Salem's Lots.

13 June, 2006

What Are You Waiting For?

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is out on DVD and Comcast OnDemand.

It's the best movie I've seen since Return Of The King.

Please find it and watch it. It's brilliant.

Bob Corker II: Junk Mail Boogaloo (Sorry, Rex)

I know that Rex is the owner of the Boogaloo nomenclature, so forgive my borrowing. I realise that he may retain a lawyer, as that seems to be in fashion these days. Rest assured, Rex, that should I receive an attorney's C&D letter regarding "boogaloo" I shall comply.

Bob Corker sent me more mail today. Four-color print, folded tabloid, glossy paper. Professionally designed. Apparently he wants me to be aware that he, Bob Corker, will not let immigrants come into the country illegally. He communicates this resolve by standing at a torn barbed-wire fence with a look of consternation. "Look at this broken fence!" he scowls. "It is the source of ALL YOUR PROBLEMS!!!!" Apparently when Bob is done having his Serious Pictures taken with The Broken Fence he will then set about making sure all of my problems go away.

Funnily enough I don't recall Bob as being overly-concerned with all the immigration problems a few years ago. I appreciate that he is willing to take pictures of broken fences and mail them to me at a very high premium. But I still swear that his attitude of "throw money at it" is going to keep me from voting for him.

These brochures cost a lot of cash.

Send The Man Some Kleenex

Big Orange Michael is reading Dean Koontz' Watchers.

That book bears in my mind the same distinction as Theodore Dreiser's American Tragedy. They are both books I loved but have sworn to read only once. When I read Watchers I wept through 2/3rds of it. I have never since been so moved by a fictional story.

On the topic of books, I just finished reading Robert Charles Wilson's Blind Lake. It was quite good, but I wonder about my dimming interest in Sci Fi. I used to devour Sci Fi books in great fistfuls like M&Ms. I just don't see that many people doing interesting things with it anymore. I've read Dune already, I've read Dick already. I've read Asimov and Ellison. Is anyone doing anything besides watering down these authors? Occasionally I'll stumble across a goodie (Dr. David Brin is a newer favourite) but so much is so uninteresting to me. Stephen King recommended RCW, which is why I shelled out the $7.99. I think I'm glad I did, even though it ended on a strange note.

I miss Sci Fi. It's perfect for reading in the summer, when you're hot and blinded by the sun and want to take a more interesting vacation. I thought I'd try something new, but I see myself re-reading Dune at this point. Stillsuits here I come.


I always try to write about what's on my mind. But everything on my mind is either far too weighty or far too personal to dredge up for the qwerty treatment. Not that I don't consider readers of my blog to be friends--because I do. But frankly I don't think we need to get into the minutae of what's on my mind.

I'm beginning to believe more and more in that Jungian Giant Space Brain (or whatever the professionals call it) where we all share one huge, pulsating mind. So many things I read by other people are like parts of what is going on in my mind. The things that bother me seem to vex countless others as well.

I'm tired of the war. I'm tired of Americans bullying other Americans over differences of opinion. Opinions are one thing, but the words of one local blogger stray from the land of disagreement a bit:
I'll be honest -- I wish for the opportunity to kill you, if you think Ann Coulter has a valid point. I'd love to give you lead poisoning, I swear, because you do not deserve the blessing of liberty. ... That makes you unworthy to be my countryman. You can't die soon enough for my tastes.

As it happens I'm not even clear on what Coulter has said this time, yet I'm sure it's kind of tacky and conveniently timed to promote her latest book. Nevertheless, this reaction seems a bit extreme.

And it's that extremeness of reaction to everything that has left me feeling nothing. It's as though I've sat around and watched right wing and left wing Christians, Athiests and Jews all rev their motors in high gear for too long. Ironically, it's my engine burning out from the friction. Which is strange, because most people's friction actually comes from within themselves.

The other day I read a blog entry by a former columnist where she frothed at the mouth over people who drive SUVs. Her big idea was to Superglue bumper stickers to all SUVs that read: This Car Runs On The Blood Of U.S. Soldiers. That post came 3 days after the picture of her big boat, which I can only assume is solar-powered. On the actual day of the anti-SUV tirade she also posted pictures of her daughter--whose carbon footprint can only be guesstimated--reclining on leather furniture in their family's newly-remodled family room with lots of big windows. Did I mention they live in Michigan? Rooms with big windows are hard to heat and cool in Michigan. They require a lot of oil. Shall I superglue bumperstickers to her leather couch and loveseat?

This is the stuff that leaves me rolling my eyes. The splinters we wave triumphantly while we ignore the logs. And I'm as guilty as anybody for all the stuff I should say but don't. All the stuff I should do but don't. And all the times (like now) that I never shut up.

12 June, 2006

I'm Sticking With 7/7/7

So I was listening to some Harry Potter Podcasts (Pottercast & Mugglecast, if you care to know) and the general consensus is that Book 7 just can't come out on 7/7/07 because the HP:Order of the Phoenix movie is slated for 7/13/07.

So what?

Yes, I realise that a bunch of people with podcasts think that it would be "stupid" and a "promotional nightmare" to bundle the two events so closely.

Personally I think that is exactly what WB/Bloomsbury Group has in mind. They WANT a juggernaut. They WANT Harry Potter to own July, 2007.

Why, exactly, would it be STOOPID, Melissa? Films have product tie-ins all the time. For instance, the Cars toys have been at McD's and Walgreens for at least 3 weeks ahead of the Pixar film. Books, on the other hand, often have to wait until they're officially backlist titles to get a good film tie-in.

The amount of pop-culture noise created by this joint release would be phenominal. Besides which, everyone in HPFandom is making boohoo noise about it "all coming to an end" after the release of book 7. (Another thing I disagree with....) Why not go out with a Grand Finale?

So, I'm sticking with my prediction of 7/7/07.

10 June, 2006

Some Pig

I can't write restaurant reviews. Every time I try they come out sounding wierd, so I've stopped trying. But I had to talk up Knuck's place, because the food is da bomb. (See what I mean? I just said "da bomb." I need to stick to skunks and guns.)

Go over to Metroblog Nashville to read about the food.

Stay here to read about how Ivy and I are like two ships who pass in the night. I narrowly missed her clan, but I did finally get to meet Gunner of No Quarters and his wife Elizabeth of Harelip Frog.

I also finally had a FTF (that means face-to-face, as I finally found out) meeting with ceeelcee and his RUABelle. Their dog is named after an Arrested Development character, so you know they are COOL people.

And wouldn't you know that after a long time of knowing each other on line I got the special treat of finally getting to meet Huck! I was so happy. That was the best surprise.

And of course I met Nashville Knucklehead who owns the joint. I was going to also call him the grand wizard of barbecue, because I've been listening to the Harry Potter podcasts. But then I realised that I should probably call him something else. In the real world a Grand Wizard is not a good thing. And his barbecue is the mostest fantasticist ever. So perhaps "High Overlord" or something. Y'all (see how suthirn I'm getting?!?), please please go eat here. You won't be sorry. And, yes, the High Overlord of BBQ has very blue eyes. They didn't look like contacts to me.

09 June, 2006

I Need A Notary

Anybody have any hints about where in the Hermitage/Airport area I could find a Notary Public?

Update: Duh. Nevermind. I suddenly remembered that I could use "Google" for things other than looking up the private lives of celebrities.

There is a Notary Public service in the Mailboxes Etc. in the Publix shopping center on Lebanon Rd.

You Have To Remember...

I've started regularly listening to a podcast. Shame prevents me from mentioning the nature of this podcast, but suffice to say it is regarding a pop-culture phenomenon.

This is an air-clearing post about the one thing about this excellent podcast that drives me bonker-nuts. One of the 'casters has a verbal tic. Whenever they're discussing an issue, this person says "You have to remember" in preface to an obvious and well-known baseline fact. As in "You have to remember that all cats are felines" or "You have to remember that cars belong on the road."

I know it's just a verbal tic, but it comes off as extremely condescending to the other podcasters in the discussion and the listening audience as well.

Maybe it's just because I don't like being told what to do. Or I don't like the assumption that I haven't factored in this most basic information when forming my opinion about Lucius Malfoy. Oops. Gave it away, didn't I? You have to remember I'm kind of an idiot.

08 June, 2006

The Algonquin Round Pig

I have always secretly wanted to be part of a salon. Cool people sitting around smugly thinking, eating and drinking. Doesn't that sound like fun?

One of my favourite parts of blogging is the quasi-salon atmosphere we've got going. (Yes, I realise it's all in my head. So what. I'm a little crazy....it's part of my 'charm'.)

I personally think it would be just wonderful if we could make the much-vaunted Mothership BBQ the gathering place for our Nashville Bloggers Salon. How hip is it to have your own restaurant-cum-gatheringplace?
(cum being from the Latin meaning to "change or become." Not the other thing.)
This is something that only happens in movies starring Hugh Grant. Yet I would soooo love to see it happen.

How hip would we be? "Mothership. The home of Nashville Bloggercue."

Someday I'll Look Back On This Night And Laugh

I love my dog, Casey. I really do. He's sweet and kind and always has a smile on his face. He's never met an enemy. He's completely friendly and loves everybody. Including, apparently, the skunks that have been using my backyard as a free-range buffet.

It doesn't help that he's a tricolor dog, and just dumb enough to think that perhaps that black and white thing is related to him somehow. "Look, Dama! A Berner Puppy!"

Speaking of dumb, I knew the skunks were out there, because they've been boldly going where this woman will not go for the past few nights. Sunday night the dogs trapped a baby under the hose reel. Tuesday night they trapped on under the Wisteria. But silly me thought if I let them pee quickly in the open area of the yard there would be no problem. Wrong.

The unfortunate facial spraying was at 9:00. Now, at 2:17am I have bathed the dog 3 times (in Dawn dish soap--recommended) and saturated the basement carpet with an explosive mixture of Water, Vinegar, and OxyClean. Seems to be working.

Now I'm taking the dogs out front on a leash. If you are driving by Hermitage and see a grown woman with wet hair, traces of Dawn dishwashing liquid splattered across her old Blockbuster/Winnie The Pooh t-shirt and tears of helplessness streaming down her face, honk and say "hi."

07 June, 2006

Guns Kill People, Gays Don't.

That's the comment left by a commenter below. It's also the gist of the discussion springing from that short post over at NiT. Ah, the stuff you miss when you take your company about town for some tourin'.

I laughed out loud when I read the NiT discussion, because here we had a bunch of "I'm all for the rights of people! Go people! Yay for people!" folks. Underneath all the comments about the rightness of gay marriage and the wrongness of wrongheaded constitutional jabberwockery you could see the flags waving and hear the subtle strains of people hitting that high note in 'above the fruit-ed plaaaaaain'. Yet my ONE paragraph about gun owners enjoying the same freedom from government restriction had people falling all over themselves to justify their firearms taboos.

The thrust of the argument against guns seems to hinge on the one point that guns are blood-soaked rampaging murderers while gays are nice, simple, uncomplicated entities who exist only for the betterment of all mankind. I hate this simplistic view of guns, and I hate this simplistic view of homosexuals. Repeat after me: "Guns do not kill by themselves and Gay People are not just interesting pets." The operative word is not "gay", it's "people". People are wonderfully complex and unique. Many folks seem to have the same view of gay people that they once had of the nice, sweet, darkies on the plantation. Isn't it cute how they sing? Isn't it cute how they dance? I wish I had my own gay person! Ugh. Face it. People are just people. Quit worrying about the adjectives and start focusing on the noun.

People, that most troubling of nouns, kill. They kill plants, trees, bugs, animals and other people. They have a variety of ways to do this. Allow me to list a few nouns employed by People in their quest for killing other people.

Guns--villified for their point & click ease. Yet valuable as a tool for protecting against danger. Also valuable for having fun target shooting and providing food for the family.

Knives--Can't outlaw these, because there'd be no bacon, no sushi and no other goodies. But people are killed by knives all the time.

Baseball Bats--personally I hate the sport, and would love to see these ready-made brainbusters made illegal. Clearly I am in the minority.

Toilets--If we outlaw these handy ways to drown someone then we go back to raw sewage floating down the streets as though this were the Elizabethan era. Gross.

Bathtubs--see "toilets" above.

Cars--Yeah. These kill people, too. Perhaps we should put something in the constitution about you not being allowed to have a car. That'd go over well. Although the more granola set would probably like to use this point as a way to outlaw the dreaded SUV. After spending the day around Green Hills yesterday, I might join in for the heck of it. Women of Green Hills: Your SUV is not to be used to cut a swathe through the traffic while you drink your Starbucks and talk on your cell phone.

Ballpoint pens--You can use these and any other writing instrument (except crayons) to stab someone in the carotid artery. Bloody, messy death. Yet where would churches, real estate agents and insurance brokers be without some way to make sure you carried their addresses and phone numbers in the bottom of your purse next to the gum and pennies?

Duct Tape--cover the nose, cover the mouth and people die. Yet this handy tool is so useful for so many things...kind of like a a a a ....gun.

So yes, guns kill people. So do these other things. So why do we hate the guns, folks? Why?

06 June, 2006

A Humble Request

I would only ask that all of you in the gay marriage debate who've made the very excellent point of disagreeing with the Federal Government's attempt to abridge the rights of citizens please think about that argument the next time gun control legislation is disussed.

That is all.

05 June, 2006

The Controversial One Where I Talk About Gay Marriage

Like many people I sit in the apex of this discussion. We're Christians, from very conservative backgrounds, who consider ourselves to be conservative. But we also have myriad close friends, family members and professional role models who are gay, lesbian or transgendered. We all do a lot of personal questioning and prayer about this issue. It's not one we tend to treat with any degree of blaise.

From my particular point of view I think I can safely say that in all the talk of pro- and anti-gay marriage, most people seem to be talking around the most sensitive part of this issue for a lot of Christians. That's what I'm going to lay out there.

For all the talk of the sanctity of marriage and it's role as a foundation for society, we've done a poor job of walking the talk over the last seventy-five years. The United States in the wake of World War II has been rapidly evolving socially and culturally as well as technologically. It should be abundantly clear to anyone studying the nature of the country that there are about 50 flavours of Christian, about 5 flavours of Jews, several flavours of Muslim, various other religions and those who are wholly secular. "Marriage" is something slightly different to each and every one of those people. Already, many Christians are endorsing the idea of Covenant Marriage as a sort of divorce reform. This is a type of marriage with a religious basis that requires additional counseling to institute and is harder to dissolve with divorce. It's been a way for many people to say "we want to marry according to our beliefs, rules and traditions. What the state offers is not in keeping with our religiocultural definitions of marital union."

After a lifetime of reading celebrity gossip with varying degrees of interest I think it's safe to say that we've already got a de-facto variety of marriages in this country. What marriage means to me is clearly not the same thing it means to Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones and Brittney Spears. So why are so many conservative people against gay marriage?

Because they believe that legalised gay marriage will lead to a reduction of their rights.

In other countries, ministers are being thrown into jail for preaching that homosexuality is a sin. As it stands now in the United States we have freedom of speech. One person should be able to say that homosexuality is a sin, while another should be allowed to say that it isn't a sin. That's what makes us America. But the standard belief seems to go like this:

If gay marriage is legalised, then churches will eventually be forced by law to marry homosexuals. Churches and parachurch organisations can also be forced to recognise homosexual marriage.

Since in many churches, synagogues and mosques view homosexuality as a lifestyle not in keeping with the faith, this idea is an anathema. I can understand that.

I've long felt that we need a legislated two-tier marital system, such as that we've already begun to practice with Covenant marriage. A state-sanctioned union for all citizens, with the religiously sanctioned union in accordance with the practices of ones church being seperate. We've been trending this way for the last 65 years. We may as well just get it over with. Not only would this allow gay people the right to marry for which they are clamouring, but it would allow those Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faiths a safeguard for their freedom of religion.