Sunday, April 30, 2006

Did anyone see this movie?

Before I get to the movie part, I realize I have abused my exclamation point privileges in my recent blog headers. I acknowledge your unspoken scorn.

Now with the movie. Dan was off in the wilds of North Jersey today, so I had opportunity to claim the sofa as my own and watch movies most of the day. (This was preceded by a five-mile walk in gorgeous can anyone stay inside on a day like this?) Has anyone seen "The Grizzly Man"? Am I uncharitable for thinking Timothy Treadwell was mentally unbalanced? First of all, he was the most nelly-sounding straight man you're likely to run across. Second, he vacillated between peace-and-love nature burbling and voice-cracking near-hysterical rage at the federal park agents who were apparently his nemeses. Third, he interpreted smiley faces on rocks as threats. Admittedly, the first thing doesn't indicate unbalanced, but the others definitely put Treadwell in the I'll-boil-your-rabbit category. Except I guess he wouldn't boil your rabbit, being all naturery.

While I'm blogging, can I say how much I am enjoying Galactic Civilizations II? Now that I have the chance to captain a galactic power, I understand how Dan and Sarcasmo got so evil playing Sim City. For example, when in one game the Terran Alliance failed to respond to my best efforts at diplomacy, I let my space marines take over negotiations. Nothin' like blowing up sixteen frigates to get someone's attention. One game before that I played paladin by liberating planets conquered by the Iconian Refuge and giving them away for free to the other, less powerful races. Of course, I made sure to place historic enemies next to each other to ensure they'd fight each other and not me. That's why the sun never set on my empire. The other night I won a technology victory, which means our tech got so good my people just turned into energy beings and floated away. That was nice, but what I really wanted was to go all Vorlon and influence the other races into fighting for my edification and pleasure. Stupid lesser races.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Again with the Sex Dwarf!

Another great night of dancing at Sex Dwarf, this time with a B-52's theme. Babyraven was a knockout in a black velvet dress, high boots, and a blonde hair extension that, in her words, made her a cross between Jeannie (as in I Dream Of) and Madonna in her "Blonde Icon" days. Truth be told, she was in good company; there were lots of fine-looking women there. Either I'm getting straight or else the male beauty quotient was pretty low that night.

(Don't all rush to comment that it must have been the latter. I already know.)

Anyway, part of the B-52's theme was wigs, big wigs, and lots of 'em were pink, so every time I turned around I saw Cyn. It was both sad and disturbing, and I shared this with Babs and Mouserobot. MR said they were Cyn-posters, and I upped the ante by calling them Cyn-thetic. Babs just shook her head and said, "That shit ain't right."

What is right, however, is that next month is the Sex Dwarf prom, and I'm all drooly over it. (This is due in no small amount to the fact that the only way I was going to my senior prom was if I could sit in the rafters with a bucket of blood.) So many unanswered questions! Will we slow dance to "Eternal Flame"? Will we pose for pictures under an ivy-entwined trellis? Will we get to elect a prom queen? Probably not, but it will no doubt still be a blast.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Me in Print!

Yay! The Winter 2006 issue of Rhapsoidia was finally released, which marks the first print publication of my short story "Sidney's Gift." Trust me, that sucker was rejected many, many times, but I guess persistence (or outright stubbornness) a single contributor copy, anyway. I'll order more when they're available for sale, as I am certain my mother will be all over me for one.

I'd thought of having a got-published party, but that seemed a bit forward since it's only a small literary rag that maybe 300 people will read, and for which I was paid zilch. If I'm to celebrate that kind of milestone, I had as well plan the somebody-breathed party, or the day-that-ends-in"y" party. Still, it's nice to finally see that story in print; it really is the strongest thing I've ever written. Of course, when I look at it these days all I can see are the mistakes, but I suppose that's natural. Still...yay me!

Monday, April 10, 2006

I saw Mr. Sulu!

As you know, George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu on "Star Trek", recently outed himself, and since then he's been doing speaking tours for the Human Rights Campaign. Tonight was the inaugural speech, and Dan and I were there. It was great! Takei was a great speaker, and he has a really infectious laugh. His speech was short (about 10 minutes) but stirring, and he had Q&A for nearly an hour afterward. There were about sixty or seventy people there, and they by and large asked great questions. He then hung around to speak with folks, sign autographs, etc., but we cut out at that point. I'm a bit leery of asking celebrities for autographs; it always makes me feel intrusive. I realize Takei does this for a living, but I still can't shake the feeling.

Takei talked about his childhood growing up in the Japanese-American internment camps, and he was so eloquent I couldn't help but feel a sense of shame for my own country. (Interning American of Japanese decent was not good...suck it, Michele Malkin!) Still, he spoke mostly of his sense of pride in America, and it was a good reminder that, even with a country under such fucked-up leadership as ours, that the US is a great place to be.

Oh, and can I say it's awesome that a sister was driving the Enterprise?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Yay for the Bay State!

As it has in same sex marriage, looks like Massachusetts is trying to lead the way on health care for all.

It's about damned time, I say. Experts say that, in the not-too-distant future, the US will spend 40% of its GNP on health care, and I just heard on NPR News a study that concluded that Americans spend more on health care and get less than about ten other nations, including Canada, England and New Zealand. Call me crazy, but I don't think the world's remaining superpower should rank behind New Zealand in anything, and particularly not something as basic and critically important as health care. The time has come for a universal health care program.

In response, I'm always hearing, "I don't want to spend my money taking care of others' health." Newsflash: We already do. Who do you think picks up the tab for those homeless people who nearly freeze to death and wind up in the ER? Or the indigent people who can't afford preventative care and wind up using (much more expensive) emergency care? That's right...the taxpayer foots the bill for all of it, except we do it when it's most expensive. Let me propose the following example to illustrate my point.

  • Scenario A: Insured Tracker comes down with a nasty case of a sore throat, which unbeknownst to him is strep throat. Tracker goes to his primary care physician (at a cost of about $150), finds out the nature of his illness, and gets a prescription for an antibiotic (at a cost of about $15 to the pharmaceutical company) that clears up the infection within two weeks.
  • Scenario B: Uninsured Tracker, who can't cough up the $150 for the visit, tries to wait out the sore throat, hoping for the best. When his illness becomes life-threatening he goes to the ER to find that he had strep which, having gone untreated, has now turned into a dandy case of rubella. Tracker is admitted to the hospital, which spends tens of thousands of dollars trying to save his life.

Most of you reading this are U.S. taxpayers, so I ask: Which scenario is the most cost-effective? If you said "Scenario A", you are correct; if you said, "Scenario B", you're lying because it's obvious that answer's wrong.

Gotta do it, folks, if only for economic reasons. I'm not advocating that we abolish private health care; those who can pay more should be able to get more. However, every citizen deserves at least the protection of a catastrophic health care plan. It's not just morally wise; it's fiscally responsible.