Sunday, January 28, 2007

Some newsy things

  • A guy takes Crystal Gayle's tour bus as an escape vehicle. I'm sure that if Gayle had been in that bus at the time, the man would have turned himself in to police in exchange for a guarantee of a silent cell.
  • Some kook thinks that "An Inconvenient Truth" is a liberal finger-in-the-eye to Judgement Day. This proves that even the anti-Bible Belt has its share of ignorant fools.
  • Life in prison for cheating spouses? And you thought lord-and-master laws were bad.

This isn't breaking news, but I needed to mention it regardless. Did you know that potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are in the family of deadly nightshade? That's right. Go Google this. I'll wait.

What the hell? Did some long-ago salad-maker, whilst looking down at the meal he'd just prepared, think to himself, "This salad looks pretty good, but you know what would make it better? Deadly nightshade!"

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ain't nuthin' but a Hounddog

Heh...nothing like some overblown outrage to make your Wednesday, right? Here's the really choice part:

"The Catholic Church has been criticized for allowing sexual abuse of minors to occur, he said. "Let's see now whether Hollywood will be held to the same level of scrutiny."

He's right! Dakota Fanning acting as if she's being raped by an actor not even in the same room with her at the time, all while surrounded by the director, the camera crew, the makeup people, the sound folks, gaffers, best boys and dozens of other human beings is totally equivalent to Catholic priests using their religious influence to sexually molest boys (and girls). Damn Hollywood hypocrites!

New favorite lyric:

"Watch her whirl, watch her spin
Even the veils pay her homage as they dance against her skin
And I long to breathe the secrets that her hands tell to the air
I think some answer to my soul is waiting there"

Artist: Deidre Flint (Deirdre Flint)
Song: Introduction to Bellydancing
Album: Shuffleboard Queens

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Now THIS is tough!

Check out this story about a diver who escaped a shark by poking it in the eye.

Horrific as a shark attack is, I'm not feeling the horror. I'm feeling awestruck. How tough was Eric Nerhus? The chick in "Jaws" just screamed when she got attacked; this guy decided to bring down the pain. I'm envisioning the shark's thoughts...

"Boy, this water is warm. I want something sweet;
I wish sharks had invented Oreos. Oh, there's a fish...nope, he's too small. I'll look for something bigger. Still wanting Oreos. Oho! Look at that guy! Alone, apparently healthy, and sufficiently tasty, I'm sure. Plus, he's Australian. Man, I hate those fuckers. I'm going to chew on his head."

(Shark attacks.)

"Holy fucking shit! He just poked my eye! My eye! What the hell's up with that? Crap! Crap! Crap! He was supposed to scream uselessly like that chick in 'Jaws.' Instead, he poked my eye! It hurts! And I still don't have Oreos! This sucks. I hate being a shark."

New favorite lyric:

"You might think I'm crazy, so what if I am?
My head is full of good things and not for everyone."

Artist: Go-Go's (Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock)
Song: Beautiful
Album: Return to the Valley of the Go-Go's

Monday, January 22, 2007

Oh the mooching!

I have a rocking new scarf, emblazoned with the logo of the Philadelphia Wings in red and black, which are good colors for me. I got it free on Saturday when the Wings (Philly’s lacrosse team) defeated the San Diego Stealth 9-8. Since I got the ticket for free, too, Saturday evening was a moochfest. I had to pay for the subway ride to the Wachovia Center, tho.

SuperTarzan GMed a great game of The Shadow of Yesterday yesterday, at which my character got to shoot the jaw off a sweet-talking zombie. I’m still chuckling about it.

Our cable service, which we use almost exclusively for Internet access, insists upon kicking out during the one hour a week we watch “Battlestar Galactica.” I’d like to phone Comcast with complaints, but I have a strong feeling I will get the telephone equivalent of a shrug and a rueful smile.

New favorite lyric:

“First it was a question, then it was a mission
How to be American, how to be a Christian
If the law is their cross then the cross is burning.”

Artist: Dar Williams (Dar Williams)
Song: I Had No Right
Album: The Green World

Friday, January 19, 2007

So much already!

Stuff I have seen or learned today, in the order I saw/learned them:

  • I saw a flock of pigeons swirling around a church steeple today, in graceful formation.
  • For the first time I put “pigeon” and “graceful” in the same thought.
  • Judicious use of hood-head can turn a bad hair day into an acceptable hair day.
  • Don’t give a professional presentation dressed in a tight yellow t-shirt and green stretch pants, particularly if you’re significantly overweight.
  • The talent most often found in grad students is the ability to write long, dense paragraphs that say nothing but what they think the instructor wants to hear.
  • I’m not a very talented grad student.

You had a favorite lyric last night, so don't be greedy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It's about time

Say what you will about the Democratic House of Representatives, but they've turned (at least temporarily) government back to considering sane, realistic government policy. Let's review some of the first 100 hours accomplishments:

  • Lower interest rates on federally subsidized student loans
  • Expand government-financed embryonic stem cell research
  • Raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour
  • Force the government to bargain directly with drug companies to reduce prices
  • Require more cargo inspections to thwart would-be terrorists.
  • Repeal $6 billion tax breaks for the oil industry
You can argue, and I think reasonably, that these might not benefit the everyday American as much as might at first be believed, but at least these are solid, bread-and-butter issues that touch millions and millions of lives. Contrast that to Republican initiatives that touch the lives of almost no one, or in no positive way:

  • Federal amendments to ban flag-burning and same sex marriage
  • Allowing Bush to indefinitely replace U.S. attorneys without Senate confirmation
  • Make it more difficult for everyday folks to declare bankruptcy
  • Allow warrantless wiretapping and other eavesdropping
It is a relief to know that, at least for the next two years, those days are behind us.

New favorite lyric:

"All in love is fair
(She'll rip out your hair)
Now I'm declaring war
(You know she's killed before)
'Cause I'm a lover and a fighter, bitch"

Artist: Julie Brown (Julie Brown, Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly)
Song: Girl Fight Tonight!
Album: Trapped in the Body of a White Girl

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It IS easy being green!

My mom gave me a green sweater for Xmas, and I’ll admit I was dubious about it. Green clothing to me is like New Jersey to the Republicans: No matter how sweetly it promises, you never get what you want. Not the case with this sweater, though, which looks good on me both in hue and in fit. Plus I am having a good hair day, so at this point I’m ready for the frakkin' runway.

Now let’s talk cereal

Lucky Charms: Whoever said that multi-colored food is the healthiest never had a bowl of these babies. The queen of all cereals, Lucky Charms are about as non-sublime as they come. They. rock.

Cap’n Crunch: Eating this stuff is an S&M sort of experience. It tastes good, but it wreaks havoc on the roof of your mouth. There’s also a very brief window of opportunity once the milk is added before the cereal turns into a sweet, yellow, gummy paste. The problem’s not so acute in the peanut butter variety, yet it’s still troublesome. Not sure how to feel about it.

Apple Jacks: This is what I eat when I want something sugary and still maintain the illusion of healthy eating. After all, it’s got apples! Good stuff.

Corn Pops: Tasty but not oversweet, gently textured and good with milk, this is the friendliest cereal of the bunch. It’s friendly, non-pretentious, and always delivers, like that boyfriend you kept because he never disagreed with you in any significant way and was fairly good in bed.

Cookie Crisp: Oh. My. Goodness. It’s chocolate-chip cookies! It’s cereal! This marvelous substance is proof that man is indeed the pinnacle of evolution. Yeah, dolphins may be sentient, but you don’t see them at the breakfast table, do you? Also, this leaves the milk pleasantly chocolatey, which for me is great as I am a long-time post-cereal milk-drinker.

Today’s favorite lyric:

“Tea, girls, warm and sweet
Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham suite”

Artist: Murray Head (Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson)
Song: “One Night in Bangkok”
From the musical “Chess”

Friday, January 12, 2007

Here's an oldie

Wrote this a long, long time ago, in tribute to my 1997 kidney stone. Sung to the tune of "Jailhouse Rock", in case you were wondering.


It happened in the morning around 2 am
A pain that gave me nausea and my head a spin
I had to wake my brother and get in the car
And rush on down to Frankford Hospital ER

It was a rock, oh, yeah it was a rock
Everybody in the ER stopped
To take care of my kidney rock

I staggered in the door and went up to the nurse
I thought by then that I was ready for a hearse
They said I was the worst that they had ever seen
But soon I was in bed with my friend morphine

It was a rock, oh, yeah it was a rock
I was tripping ‘til the morphine stopped
And thinking ‘bout my kidney rock

So now I have to drink a river every day
And strain it all before I can throw it away
I hope that someday soon this kidney stone will pass
‘Cause peeing in a bottle is a real pain in the ass

Oh rock, come on pass now, rock
Keep the door on the bathroom unlocked
Until I get rid of this rock

Now THAT'S the Bush administration I know!

Condi Rice has pretty much summed up the entire Bush presidency in her testimony at the U.S. Senate:

Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), during a sharp exchange with her, said he failed to see how the troop-increase plan could work absent timetables and clearly articulated consequences for the Iraqis if sectarian violence was not tamped down.

"What will our government do if benchmarks are not met?" he asked.

"It is a mistake to speculate about what you will do if a plan fails that you are trying to make work," Rice responded.

Exactly! Making alternative plans for the possibility that your best efforts might not be sufficient isn't just wrong, it's defeatist! And possibly treasonous! That's like bringing two #2 pencils to your SAT's, or carrying a spare tire in the trunk of your car. Who does that kind of thing?

Today's new favorite lyric is...

You're like a winter without the flu
You're the best exhibit in the boyfriend zoo
In a Hardy Boys' mystery you're the greatest clue
Though I've always been partial to Nancy Drew

Artist: Bootlickers (John McNeill)
Song: "Sure of You"
Album: Universal Nancy

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New favorite lyric

I think I'll start citing really, really cool lyrics with each post, either I get tired of it or somebody comments and tells me to knock it off. Today's new favorite lyric...

"Hostess for the show and tell, shepherdess of the muscatel flock."
Artist: Jellyfish (Andy Sturmer, Roger Manning)
Song: "Sebrina Paste and Plato"
Album: Spilt Milk

A brief news break

State rep John Perzel, ignominiously kicked out of the speaker's office despite his frenzied attempts to prevent it, is now getting a new title: Speaker Emeritus. Listen to what Gene Stilp has to say about it:

"We are starting the effort to call him 'Speaker Demeritus,' " said Stilp. "For us, he is the best source of material in the world."

Heh. I can't make it any funnier than that.


Apparently, Philadelphia's attempts to enforce the smoking ban are reminiscent of the Third Reich. Check out this comment from bar owner Frank DiClaudio, who was ticketed for $150 for allowing smokers to light up in front of the health inspector:

"We're talking Gestapo tactics, storm troopers," complained DiClaudio. "I guess they're trying to make a point."

Yeah...I'll bet Anne Frank was so relieved to be taken to the gas chamber instead of, you know, receiving a couple of citations.


George Bush is taking responsibility for mistakes made in Iraq, or so he pretends.

"Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me. "

Isn't that on par with saying, "I'm sorry if your feelings were hurt"? In other words, Bush - who's not admitting any mistakes - will take any credit for mistakes that might have been made. Kinda like the Catholic Church admitting several hundred years later that they, gosh darn it, they were wrong about Galileo. Sorta.


You comic-book fans should check out this place. OK, so that's not newspaper-style news, but shut up!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Racing to the bottom

Apparently, USA Today is reporting Bush's approval ratings at 26%. I'm guessing he's jealous and wants to prove he can outdo Bob Taft. Unlike Taft, however, Bush has two more years to prove that a 0% approval rating is attainable.

Utahns stand by the big guy, however; they're not going to let those big-city, small-town, rural-area, coast-and-heartland snobs tell them what to do. They'll even misspell "Cheney" if they want!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

And kinda justice for me

I had attending the hearing today on my conviction (to which I never got a chance to plead!) on driving on a suspended registration, and it's the last time I have to deal with this mess. The long and the short of it is that I pleaded down to a lesser charge with no license suspension, no points on my not-to-be-suspended license, and a return of most of the money I've paid in fines. The D.A. agreed that my situation was a bit more severe than a citizen with an unblemished driving record deserved, but he wasn't so agreeable about returning all my money. (He looked really good in his suit, too, for which I wasn't sure to admire him or hate him.) Anyway, I'll continue to be a presence on the road until my tired but serviceable old Corolla finally shuffles off this mortal coil.

It was kind of a funny scene. The D.A. and I never made eye contact. My attorney would consult with me, go to the D.A. and negotiate, come back to me with an update, and so forth. I felt like one of the nobles in "Rome", who never speak directly of money matters but instead have their servants do the haggling. If I really were a Roman noble I'd make sure I had the nastiest servants breathing, to make sure I got all the best deals. The merchants would hate it, sure, but my servant would have to deal with that, not me. Oh, and I would have a purple toga trimmed with red. You know, if I were a Roman noble.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My Six for '06...and after

Before I get started, big thanks to Feanor and Poppy for their New Year's Eve brunch. Tasty food and good company are the basic ingredients of any enjoyable party, and both were in abundance at theirs.

Now back to blogging. As some of you know, I’ve been reading and, yes, even posting to Initially I read the site simply to do some secret gloating over the 2006 elections, but after a time I decided to actually post there. Not to snark, mind you, but to see if these folks were any more reasonable to deal with than the folks on The experience has been largely the same, except in place of liberal wack-jobs it’s conservative wack-jobs, with a few sensible people to leaven the bread of craziness.

In any case, the whole experience has gotten me thinking about my own liberal views, and how I might best summarize them. Here goes.

  1. I believe in transparent political processes that encourage participation and that tend to result in a spread of power over a diversity of political points of view.
  2. I believe in a transparent political system in which government bears the burden of proof in determining what secrets may be kept from the public and what information may be collected about private citizens.
  3. I believe that any use of government power must be directly related to an objective, rational, achievable public interest, and not based on narrow ideas of morality or propriety.
  4. I believe that taxation is not a burden but an investment in the societal structures from which all citizens, rich and poor, benefit.
  5. I believe that basic, affordable health care and education should not be privileges enjoyed by a relative few but rights shared by all, and that it is the duty of government to make them so.
  6. I believe that just as citizens should expect equality of treatment from society, so should society expect quality of contribution from them.

These aren’t my six just for ’06, though; I pretty much believe them all the time.