Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Some of my favorite sayings

  • Once you pay Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane.*
  • A guilty conscience is its own accuser.
  • To mourn a mischief past and gone is the next way to bring new mischief on.*
  • Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.
  • Short cuts make long delays**
  • Where will wants not, a way opens.**
  • There will be water if God wills it; we will find it if God wills it; we will drink it if God wills it.+

*Courtesy of Rudyard Kipling. Shut up, Dan!
**Courtesy of William Shakespeare
***Courtesy of JRR Tolkien
+Take this in an atheist sort of way.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Hey Inventors!

Last night Dan and I went to dinner with some friends of mine from out of state. Somehow, through a nexus of conversation about drugs and 70's children's toys, Dan proposed the EasyBake Meth Lab. That was the funniest damn thing I heard all day.

I'm in my third week at TNJ (The New Job, for those who don't remember), and most of the people there seem OK. They seriously need to discover the wonders of Quark; designing in Word is like trying to tie your shoes while wearing oven mitts. It's strange to go from being the most junior design person to the most senior, but don't take that as any testament to my design skills. A17th-century doctor only looks great when his patients are the Clan of the Cave Bear.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I love the Rules!

Have you ever heard of "The Rules"? These two women, Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, wrote a book of dating do's and don't's for women, known as "The Rules." I'd heard of the book, but not until I paged through it at a bookstore did I realize the treasure trove of fun it truly is. Here's a few of the rules from "The Rules" for your amusement, along with my commentary.

Show up to parties, dances and social events even if you do not feel like it. This is so women can meet as many men as possible, and on the surface it sounds like good advice. Until, that is, you realize that when you attend a party when you'd rather be somewhere else you're not showing yourself at your best. Men will pick up on this, and the good ones will stay away while the bad ones swarm right in.

If you are in a long-distance relationship, he must visit you at least three times before you visit him. I'm not sure why it's three and not thirty, but Ellen and Sherrie wouldn't steer you wrong.

Close the deal; Rules women do not date men for more than two years.
You see, women really just want to get married, so dating and relationships aren't about forming deep emotional bonds or getting to know yourself and someone else alot better. Women date to marry, and thus the walk down the aisle is just like signing the contract.

There are many other rules, of which I can paraphrase a few:

  • You only call him once for ever three calls he makes.
  • You never ask a man out on a date.
  • Never accept a date for Saturday after Wednesday, even if it means sitting home alone.
  • If a woman uses a dating service, she must place the ad and let men respond to her, not the other way around.
It goes on and on, but you get the drift. Essentially, "The Rules" supports a very archaic, sexist notion of male and female relationship roles, summed up as follows. Men pursue women. Women do not pursue men. If a woman pursues a man, he will quickly lose interest and wander. The only reliable way for a woman to bag a man is to pretend to be a mystery and to act like he needs her more than she needs him. Men are not really shy, so if there's one you fancy who seems reticent around you, it's not because he might be intimidated by your wit and charm, but because he's just not very interested. If you ask him out first, you are guaranteeing that your relationship will not work out. Sorry, gals.

Sheesh...isn't dating tough enough without dealing with playing games? Although I come at things from a different angle than women, I too have dated men (have I!) and I know well the challenges involved. Trust me...in my younger days I accepted treatment that, to think about it now, gets me scratching my head and saying, "Wha fuck?" No matter how bad things got I never resorted to game-playing, believing that being honest about myself, with myself, and with others was the best policy. Once I combined that policy with a measure of self-confidence, I found myself dating men whose memory doesn't give me any "Wha fuck?" moments. And I didn't need that crazy book to do it.

By the way, go to "The Rules" Web site and check out the celebrity testimonials. Yeah, right...when you have to get Destiny's Child to talk up your work, you know you're in trouble.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Two too many

Peter Benchley and Andreas Katsulas die in one week? What the fuck is going on? Since my outrage does not good, I'll have to settle for remembrance.

I read "Jaws" when I was, oh, nine or ten, and I liked it then despite the fact that at the time I didn't understand words like "megalodon" from Hooper or "prick" from Quint. (I never asked my mother the meaning of either, which looking back was probably best.) A simple story told well, and in my opinion those are usually the best ones.

"Babylon 5" was a delight I discovered only long after it had gone off the air. Back in June of '03 I had undergone some nose surgery which kept me in bed for three or four days, and those who know me know that I'm not good at sitting idle. Sarcasmo lent me the first season of B5 on DVD, and it not only helped pass the time, it became a new passion. So much so, in fact, that four days after my surgery I hobbled out to the mall video store, pale as a sheet and dribbling blood from my nose, to buy Season Two. I'll bet the few shoppers watching me shamble by thought they were in a remake of "Dawn of the Dead." Katsulas played G'Kar, my favorite B5 character, and he was an integral part of that show. The sci-fi world is poorer without him.

Rest in peace, guys.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What's going on in England?

I am very distressed to hear that the land which contains my very favorite place in the universe is enacting all sorts of strange laws. Currently on the table are proposals to ban speech that "glorifies" terrorism, and national ID cards that contain all manner of biological information (fingerprints, retinal patterns, etc.). Does Tony Blair realize that "1984" is a cautionary tale, and not a government playbook?

All of this is straining my love of the land of Madam George and roses.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Things I Learned This Weekend

  1. Essays written by high school students are just painful.
  2. Snow is fun only when you don't have to shovel it or drive through it.
  3. Starbuck's new 'do annoys me.
  4. "Jackie Brown" is as good on the third viewing as it was the first.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The First Day

I had my first day at The New Job. Since I'd rather not name my employer here, let's just call the company TNJ.

First of all, first days at jobs always suck. No matter how nice and polite and friendly and helpful everyone is, they just suck. You don't know anyone, you get lost easily, everyone's checking out the new guy/gal, all of that. Still, all that aside, it was a decent day minus first-day suckitude.

One thing that stuck out about TNJ was that just about everyone was physically attractive. Seriously. Even the older folks in their fifties and sixties were cute. That made me wonder if TNJ thought I made the grade or if they wanted me around for contrast. Another thing that stuck out was that this was a company that was doing well, which was quite the difference after six years at an organization that spent that time in a slow downward spiral.

Oh, and it's very cute to hear people who think that Microsoft Word is some kind of miracle tool. They're all like, "Did you know you can create style sheets?", and I'm like, "How cute!" The poor suckers.

I've been tagged

PinkHairedGirl tagged me for the following meme, so I dutifully reply...

Four jobs you have had in your life
  1. Foot messenger for a law office. No, I wasn't delivering feet.
  2. Permissions assistant for a medical publisher. This was getting annoying people to do stuff they didn't want to do. Even worse than it sounds.
  3. Production assistant at a university. A job I held proudly for less than two months.
  4. Editorial assistant at a university. A job I held proudly for nine months.

Four movies you could watch over and over

  1. Alien
  2. Carrie
  3. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
  4. Aliens

Four places you have lived

  1. Eep. Compared to Pinkie, I come up woefully short on this one. I'll pass.

Four TV shows you love to watch

  1. Alien Nation. I almost sobbed when this was canceled, and I very much enjoy watching it on DVD.
  2. Battlestar Galactica. The new one, natch.
  3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Seasons 1-3 only)
  4. Babylon 5

Four places you have been on vacation

  1. London, my favorite place in the universe
  2. San Francisco
  3. Montreal
  4. Toronto

Four websites you visit daily

  1. Gmail
  2. Philly.com
  3. Sarcasmo's Corner
  4. The Weather Channel
Four places you'd rather be right now
  1. London
  2. A suburb of London
  3. In a plane on the way to London
  4. In a cab on the way to the airport for a flight to London (Are you seeing a pattern here?)

Four bloggers you are tagging.

Nobody. I'm too lazy.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Copyright is copy wrong

I've been doing some thinking lately about copyright law, and I've begun to think that it's been extended one too many times. Last time I checked, works registered after 1972 (or so) are protected for the life of the author plus fifty years. Naturally, that hasn't prevented heavy-hitters like DC Comics and Disney from getting Congress to extend their ownership of Superman and Mickey Mouse, respectively, which should have expired a long time ago.

What's the point of protecting work so long? I understand and agree that the creator of a piece should be able to exclusively profit from it, but should her children? Her grandchildren? Life plus fifty can be an awfully long time; the thought of having to wait more than a century for an idea to enter the public domain seems to me a little silly.

Also, how does constantly extending copyright protection serve the public? Sure, leaving DC Comics in charge of Superman allows the company to continue to profit from him, but doesn't it also lend itself to a certain stagnation of ideas? Why would DC Comics bother seeking out fresh new talent when they can continue to churn out the same old stuff about the same old superhero? There are countless wanna-be comic book artists out there; I say let Superman move into the public doman so that the comic book companies have to give those artists a chance. Besides, a fresh take on the Superman story might be in order, and allowing the chap from Krypton to become public property might be just the ticket.

This would be an interesting discussion for The Bitter Quill. (Hint, hint).