Friday, December 30, 2005

Fishing & Gambling - that same feeling


Often when I go fishing, I will see fish jumping around the boat, but do I get one on my hook? Nooooooo.

So, what happened at Vegas? Bratworse and I sit down at one of the old-fashioned nickel slots (they took a maximum of 3 coins. Ask anyone who's been to a casino recently, how likely is that?). I give her $5 and myself $5 and sit down to waste some time. About 8 minutes later, an older filipino lady sits down next to me and within 5 minutes, I hear a gasp and the unmistakable sounds of winnings being totaled up. I glance over and of course, that lady hit the major jackpot (it was a progressive carousel we were at). $212 on friggin nickel slots.

Fishing and gambling: two sides of the same torturous coin.


God I Love Geeks #1

I just said to my pal who's a fellow WoW'er and I meant it literally:

"Have fun storming the castle!" (Quick name that movie - i know, it's an easy one).

He's planning on doing MC runs all weekend.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Happy Birthday, Beethoven (In Loving Memory of Charles Schultz)



Thursday, December 15, 2005

A Good Laugh


Okay, found this on the Huffington Post today. It's an interview with Saul/Paul of Tarsus.

At around 10 years old, I was struggling with this great theological question and to this day, pretty much the only answer given to me was "You just got to have faith."

My question was a reasonable question, though the reactions to it made it seem like it was an unreasonable question. It was, "Why did God/Jesus bother to have 12 disciples but then had to use a weird angry person like Saul to start the church, someone who never met Jesus?"

Think about it, folks.

And on that note, I have a book to recommend to you all: Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Diluting the Washington Post's Reputation

Yeah, I'd say the Washington Post's reputation has been diluted. But not by Dan Froomkin who is my FAVORITE columnist. Try looking around at your biggest star there. Yeah, Woodward. Wouldn't you say that he was the biggest dilution to their reputation this past year? Mr. Bend Over Bob?


Monday, December 12, 2005

Bad Days

I am really beginning to detest November and December. Nothing is ever good enough for either, juggling becomes the fashion and the drums in the background staccato out anger. November & December are the months out of the year that we are driven to unpack our luggage and deal with our moth-eaten garb from the past. Will we learn that the clothes don't fit anymore? Or do we try them on for size, refeeling anxieties of yore? Guess what human nature dictates?


Not Unreasonable

But apparently I am.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Kurtz Poses a Dumb Question (Of Course)

Instead of focusing on the part of Howard Kurtz's article that *REALLY* steamed me, (the part where he talks about the Dems in disarray or the part where the media is biased in terms of Murtha - Hey Howie, how about paying attention to the polls? When America was gung-ho for war, how much did you media types put emphasis on giving voice to those of us screaming that there were NO connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq? Huh? What's that? Less than your paper's giving voice to Joe (I've got my head up Bush's ass) Lieberman?) I'm going to focus on the trivial.

Simply cause it really isn't so trivial.

In this current post, he talks about Jennifer Aniston forbidding photos (through an attorney) that were taken WITHOUT PERMISSION from a papparrazi to be published on the internet nor any magazines

This is what Howard the Yuck says:

Observation No. 1: They're already on the Internet.

Observation No. 2: How come it's okay for her to pose for a topless shot (only partially hidden by an arm) for the cover of GQ?
Okay, Howie. How about I come over and take a picture of your wienie for publication? You have problems with it? Why? Cause you didn't give permission? Cause you don't want people to see it?

Look, it was okay for her to POSE for a topless shot because it was her decision you DOLT! Do you even friggin realize that the equivalent of your inane question is: just cause someone had sex before, it's okay to rape her/him.


Monday, December 05, 2005

Too Good to Last?

So at 3:20 pm today, I glanced down at my watch and realized Bratworse should be getting out of class. Soon after, I realized that a good mood had snuck up on me and that a smile spread across my face. Now at 3:58 pm, I'm starting to think that me in a good mood was a bad sign and it's too good to last and that the next call I'm going to get, instead of being her asking me to pick her up, is the police calling me to identify her body.

So, PMS much?


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Fun Fact #1


Fun little fact I learned recently. Did you know that glass, even in its solid state, still flows? If you go look at medieval castles and if they still have their original panes, the glass is thicker at the bottom (cause of gravity) than at the top.

Cool, ain't it?


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Being An Autodidact

The first time I was called an autodidact, I was insulted.

Then I looked the word up, as any self-respecting autodidact does. And realized the person calling me that, nailed me.

This link (*warning - the link contains all sorts of outlandish moronic assumptions) should explain why I, the autodidact of my family, chose to leave the church and strike out on my own.

I remember being asked once in church, describe God. So I replied, "He's God." To me, the idea of defining the unknowable, the all-powerful, the all-seeing, was rather presumptious of humans. Well, the collective gasp that went through the church as they took turns in telling me, God is good, God is merciful, etc ad nauseum showed me exactly how puny their faith actually was. Why the hell would you want to put God in a box?

Science lets us know that we are part of a whole, not that we are above the whole. Religion on the other hand, tells us we are above the whole. Now that's audacity.


Doing What the President Does

"By not chewing my food enough and swallowing quickly, I will teach those calories that they cannot remain in my body and create fat." - Sep. 12th, 2001

"To teach those calories that they cannot remain in my body and create fat, I will vow that I won't chew my food enough and I will swallow quickly." - June, 2002

"A new policy is set here. We have to teach calories that to stay in the body to create fat, they are terrorists! Therefore, I vow to stay the course and swallow quickly, not chewing enough." - July. 2003

"Of course we are winning the war against calories. We have those calories scared now because we keep swallowing quickly. We have them on the run now." - Mar. 2004

"The report that there has been substantial weight gain since we started swallowing faster has been distributed by partisan operators. In fact, we are winning the war against those dastardly calories also known as terrorist cells. By staying the course and swallowing quickly, we WILL defeat calories. We are in fact, bringing the war to them." - Jan. 2005

"We are setting a new policy today. Once the body can stop processing calories, we with start chewing properly. To take our time swallowing now, would dishonor those taste buds that have fallen in the line of duty. Our new policy will allow the body time to stop processing calories. We will continue to stay the course, which is of course, our new policy." - Nov. 2005

See? I too can be the worst president ever.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Rockin' & Rollin' on the Streets


For our birthdays, my "brother" Shep-dawg and his other got us a Segway tour around San Francisco. We got to tool around on these newfangled vehicles and boy was it fun. On the tour with us, was a wide range of ages from people in their 50's down to our friend Air-bear who is 13 going on 30.

We got looks, we got comments, we got style! It was a lot of fun motoring on these, but the dang thing is, there is NO way you can override the speed limiter. Every time I tried to catch up to Bratworse, the dang segway would gyro itself upright to keep from speeding.

If you all can, get on one of these. Maybe if enough people buy it, the cost'll come down and I can afford one! Yeah I know, keep dreaming.


Rent Review


About 5 weeks ago, we saw the first commercials for 'Rent' the movie and immediately I called up my friend, Abey-Baby to go see it.

You have to understand, Abey-Baby and I are HUGE Rent fans, us having seen the theatre production three times in San Francisco and him seeing it two or three more times on Broadway. Yes, as I mentioned before, I'm a fag hag in drag and I love Broadway musicals. And Abey-Baby is the "fag" I go see plays with. So I contacted him and his husband and made a date for the day after thanksgiving.

The thing you have to understand about seeing theatre productions instead of movies is, all your memories come from the soundtrack and when you have a cast like Rent's, they're all over the stage and therefore, sometimes you have no idea who is singing what.

To me, that was the biggest thing about the movie. It clarified for me, especially at the beginning, who was singing what.


At last count, Abey-Baby and I came up with 3 songs that was dropped from the movie. One happened to be one of my favorites, the Christmas Drug song is what I call it. Another was the fight between Roger and Mark towards the end. Off hand, I can't remember what the third song was, but OH! I remember now. It was the "hot hot, sex sex" song, which was okay cause I realized that in the play, it was one of those filler songs so the set/cast can change.

Oh, and don't believe the reviews that tell you over 30 minutes of dialogue was added. Those people apparently never paid attention to the play. In the play, the dialogue was sung. In the movie, most of the spoken dialogue was sung during the play. There IS however, one scene that was added and I agree with the director that it helped place the song in context... and that's the lesbian commitment ceremony. (THAT dialogue was indeed added). In the play, the song just sort of was inserted in the middle of a bunch of sets.

I HEARTILY approve of Taye Diggs as Benny. In all three productions I saw, I HATED Benny. Benny had no redeeming qualities whatsoever, yet Taye Diggs managed to make Benny likable, especially in the very first scene he was in . Finally, I could see how Benny could live in that loft, and then drive a range rover.

Jesse L. Martin - one of three guys I would actually consider sleeping with. Consider! Not actually do it. Man, he was JUST great as Tom Collins. My two favorite scenes are with him and Angel.

Wilson Jermaine Heredia - The original Angel! I got to see Wilson twice in San Francisco and to me, there is no other Angel. The second I saw him/her on the screen, my eyes welled up with tears.

Tracie Thomas - Okay, I just love Joann. During the song "Take Me for Who I Am," I kept thinking, oh yeah, I'll take you, just sing to me.

What impressed me about the movie:
Well, actually, this is more a testament to Jonathan Larson's ability to put natural sounding dialogue into song. Earlier, I talked about how the so-called added dialogue was in reality, lyrics that were said instead of sung. Well, what totally impressed me was how well the dialogue worked without rhythm behind it, though in my head, I was totally singing the dialogue.

Another thing that impressed me how well the visual juxtaposition between scenes in New York and scenes in Sante Fe worked. But apparently it was only me. Bratworse never noticed how drab and urbane Sante Fe looked visually (with all the pasty white fat tourists in the background) as opposed to the vibrancy and liveliness of multi-cultural New York.

What I was disappointed in:
One of my all-time favorite songs in the play was "Light My Candle." In the play, there was a bit of innocent playfulness in the singing of the song. In the movie, the song turned into pure seduction. I understand the reason behind the change - it's more in character for Roger not to be portrayed as innocent or playful. I got to see the original Mimi and to me, she encapsulated the character. Rosario Dawson is a tad too reminiscent of Irene Cara for me, and though she did a MUCH better job than the third Mimi I saw on stage (who had turned the char. into an unconvincing show girl like person - when she tapped her arm to find a vein, it was like ho-hum, tap tap tap which made me laugh out loud in the theatre), she wasn't Mimi.

The other production I was disappointed in was, "Today for you, Tomorrow for me." Angel in the production, had very little stage space to work with, and it just seemed so much more exciting, real, in the moment. The movie version seemed, well, staged.

Overall, I liked the movie version, but I think I will continue to listen to the original broadway soundtrack. After all, I still get Taye Diggs, Jesse L. Martin and Wilson Jermaine Heredia singing on there.

Oh, as for Mark Cohen, you know, for a jewish boy from Scarsdale, he looks awfully waspy.

And Maureen? I just loved the 2nd Maureen I got to see on stage. This one was just.... too in your face.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Murtha's Speech

I just watched these clips of Murtha's speech on Daily Dissent. I am moved to tears. Cong. Murtha understand the meaning of being a public servant whereas the Bush Administration seems to think that being elected means becoming royalty. (Can you picture Cong. Murtha going shoes shopping or staying on vacation during Katrina?)

Watch it and experience hope grow once again within you. Listening to him makes me proud to be an American. Wow, I never thought I'd utter those words again.


Monday, November 14, 2005

When Stores Go Bad


I think Hindus need to go work for Target's food department next. I mean, why stop at the pharmacy department? (I can so see it - "No ma'am, you can't buy that cause it's my grand-uncle Ali who came back to life as a cow and now is beef jerky.")

Long story short: woman got assaulted, went in to Target for the next day pill aka Plan B. Pharmacist says, sorry 'gainst my beliefs and didn't issue drug. Now, boycott is being called.

Look, I don't like this any more than you. I LOVE Target stores, or the way we call it, "Tar-jay." You think I like them being jerks? Anyway, read this and get a fuller story, plus emails back and forth between Target, Planned Parenthood and another person.

On the one hand, it's admirable that Target plans on standing behind this one pharmacist. But this means, shopping only at Longs Drugs for me for the foreseeable future. Oh, Target? My last three trips to Target resulted in $200+ purchases each time. So, enjoy the many lawsuits and loss of business. When you come to your senses again, I'll come back then.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Unduly Restrictive

BWAHAHAHAHA... that's a good one.
Alito, trying to quell conflict-of-interest issues raised by liberal opponents, said he had been "unduly restrictive" in promising in 1990 to recuse himself in cases involving Vanguard Group Inc. and Smith Barney Inc.
*wipes her eyes*

Okay, let's run this one by the IRS test:

Me: Sir, you know when I said I'd pay last year's taxes? Well, it turns out that I was unduly restrictive towards myself when I said so.

Riiight. So far, Alito doesn't seem to pass the smell test.


Political Compass

I took the Political Compass test and this is my score: Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -5.13
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.05

That means, I'm along the lines of Ghandi or Nelson Mandela. I'm in great company! *beams*


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Weirdness in Trinity County

Here's a screenshot of the results per county from California's own Secretary of State's website. Take a good look at Trinity County.

Wonder why they skipped counting Proposition 75? Or could it be that the whole county collectively decided to skip voting on that proposition?

[Update] The website now shows Trinity at 100% results in and Proposition 75 now has a count. Glitch? The screen shot was of the results from 8:20 pm. The update is from their 8:51 pm screen.


Election Day!

So, have you voted today? Remember, here in California, pretty much vote no on everything. Let's teach those Republicans and Arnold that teachers, firefighters, police and nurses DO NOT qualify as special interests groups. The one thing all four groups have in common is that they are there for the general public.

Wish we could say that about the politicians, but somehow public servant somehow became public lord. We need to remind them that they work for us.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Spontaneity - NOT!

ARGH! Bratworse just called up and said, "Guess what, we're going to the Margaret Cho show on Wednesday."

I said, "We are?"

Now, if she had called up and said, "Hey, I know you're in the middle of Nanowrimo, but do you think if you wrote more today and tomorrow, and on Thursday, we'd be okay to go to Margaret Cho on Wednesday? Cause I really want you with me," I wouldn't feel like my needs weren't being considered.

Ugh I hate this. Now I feel bad cause I told her no. I hate saying no to her, especially when she's excited about things like that. There is absolutely NO reason in the world she shouldn't go. Why do I have to go? The month of November is a shut in month for me. ARGH!

I HAVE to break her of the habit of making declarations like that. There is NO faster way to get me to say no, then to assume I'm going to be doing something, no ifs ands buts about it.



Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ugh. Wrestling with the Muse


I am 6,000 words behind schedule and what am I doing instead of writing? I'm watching the Raiders against the Kansas City Chiefs.

My "n" key is being stuck! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I am so hating life right now and I KNOW it's cause my PMS is hitting hard as well.

I just popped off the "n" key and made Bratworse come over to help out. Between the two of us, we managed to extract a sliver of sunflower seed shell out from under the key. Ah, the perils of using sunflower seeds as a substitute against smoking.

Now, the "n" is working perfectly. THANK YOU BRATWORSE! MMMMM-WAH! I love you!


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Giving Credit (or rather Non-Credit) Where It's Due

I know I bitch about Howie Kurtz. There ARE times when his writing just seems so... one-sidedly snide. (yeah, I know the word one-sidedly doesn't exist. But technically, neither does n00b)

However, today I must give credit where it's due... to Howard Kurtz for NOT giving credit where it's due.

In talking about a WH administrator who is criticizing the media, Kurtz says:
Um, a special prosecutor brings an indictment against the vice president's top aide and that's not a big story? Two thousand Americans die in Iraq and that's not a story? And the Miers nomination, of course, was done in by the conservative punditocracy. This doesn't strike me as a serious critique that an administration official would put his name to. Oh right, he didn't.

Kudos, Mr. Kurtz.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Overheard in the Elevator of the Cruise Ship

"We're from Waco, Texas, y'know, jes' a few miles on down the road from the President?"

Stranger pipes up.

"Whose president? Ain't my president!"

If only that were true.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's Started!

And we're off!

My new novel, (semi-autobiographical) An Act of Balance, can be found here. I tend to write as I post. So everything you see there hasn't been edited, and is definitely in progress. Have I thrown up enough disclaimers yet?

Wish me luck. 50,000 words in 30 days. I think I'm up to 800 so far.

[Update] Chapter 1, the Shanghai Years is done. 1,399 words. Enjoy and feel free to critique.

[update 2] Had to restart. I hated the voice (i had none); I hated the tone (there was none) and it was just all round bad. So I restarted at a different time, with a different voice. Here's the prologue.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

List of Missteps That Led to Poll Results


Let's have a recap of this year to see what led to this month's poll results:

Tsunami in Asia - Bush stayed on vacation; then has an multi-million shindig to celebrate beating ol' Poppy.

Social Security - Bush and co. forgot that people generally aren't as self-centered as they are. Promising retirees that gutting Social Security wouldn't affect them since it'll only be for people under 49 wasn't a home run since people who relied on Social Security could see their children and grandchildren living in poverty without SS. After all, they had a somewhat less hectic life than their offsprings and with more savings too.

Terri Schiavo - Bush interrupting vacation to sign legislature that affects ONE brain-dead person. Millions in America imagine themselves to be Terri or Terri's husband and not liking the result.

Elections in Iraq - would've worked the other way, IF hundreds of soldiers didn't die in the months after, IF gas prices went down, IF a timeline had been set for withdrawal. Instead, people are starting to wonder, were purple fingers worth it?

James Guckert aka Jeff Gannon - having a ringer in the WH Briefing Room just wasn't smart. Calling out to him by name from Bush, well, that wasn't any brighter. Especially when he was found out to be the proprietor of not just one, but three man-on-man prostitute sites.

Denver Three - Kicking out three respectable citizens from a town-hall meeting (they didn't say that it was a town-hall TYPE meeting until after this episode) for fear that they might possibly *gasp* dissent just didn't appeal to American's sense of fair play. People who heard the story started questioning the right of the Administration's use of tax dollars to discriminate.

Preventing the filibuster - Again, this directly flew in the face of American's sense of fair play. Anyone who watched Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, understands the importance of the filibuster. It is the ONLY weapon an opposition party has in this country, and to many, it was like never allowing the other team to come up to bat. That just wasn't fair.

Abu Ghraib - First off, it was torture. And it was the supposed good guys doing it. Secondly, and I think this has much more to do with enlistment, is all of a sudden, family and friends of people in the military began to see the military institutions in a different light. As in, "What the hell are you teaching my little girl to do?"

Tom Ridge admitting that evidence for some terror alerts were flimsy at best - 'nuff said.

An amateur pilot accidentally flying into the no-fly zone in D.C. and the secret police evacuating Cheney, Laura Bush AND Nancy Reagan, but no one bothered to tell Bike Boy? - This, more than anything, made people sit up and wonder to themselves exactly how important is Bike Boy to our administration?

Bush falling from his bike and crashing into a Bobby - how many of us winced while thinking this man represented us.

Bush standing beside Tony Blair after the London Bombings and sounding like an inarticulate frat boy (which he is) and then Tony Blair sounding like a real leader. Again, how many of us winced?

Bush taking a 5 week vacation - (notice that during the tsunami he was on vacation in Jan. and Terri Schiavo in March, he was on vacation. Does this man ever work?) Given this past year, I think people began to resent his taking time off work so much, especially with our young'uns at war.

Ignoring Cindy Sheehan - Oh yes, ignore that pesky mother of a dead patriot during the slowest news cycle month of the year. Though many didn't agree with Mrs. Sheehan, they still thought to leave her out in the heat of Texas by the roadside was no way to respect someone who gave a son to the country.

Katrina - this is recent enough that it needs no recounting.

Plamegate - read Firedoglake for the background on this. Too intricate for me to tackle.

Harriet Miers

And now it looks like Wilma might do a number on this administration too.

So I really don't think his poll numbers are just a reflection on the current situation or just Katrina and Iraq. I think people are now just starting to realize, all this happened JUST this past year?


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ever Notice...

... that the yearbook pictures featured in ads of almost always are white?


A Huge Victory for the Little Guys

And no, I'm not talking about midgets or dwarfs.

I'm talking about the White House caving in to all the House Democrats and 37 House Republicans' demand that Bush's wage cut gift to his big business (Halliburton) pals be reversed. HOORAY!

So, a HUGE thank you to Rep. George Miller (D-CA) for finding the obscure passage in the congressional rules, that he could force a repeal if he had enough votes.

Speaking of Big Business, anyone surprised at this? Gee, who'd thunk? ConocoPhillips, the 3rd largest oil/gas producer in the U.S. posting 89% profits despite Katrina and Rita? I suppose that those $5/gallon can't be construed as gouging, but rather, keeping up the economy?

Friggin Mammon worshippers.


A Perspective of Resigned Idealism


Apparently, this is how my co-workers view my blogging.


Kurtz Blurtzes Again

Argh! Friggin Howie Kurtz does it again. Compares apples to oranges and then tries to tell you a lemon is an orange.

Today's column, Scandal Scorecard has a comparison between the investigation into Clinton and the Plamegate comparison. Two points I have problems with.
9) Most controversial character. Clinton: Linda Tripp. Bush: Judy Miller.

10) Vanity Fair spread. Monica posed while a prosecution witness; Valerie posed while a covert CIA operative.
I mean COME ON! Judy Miller as the most controversial character? I think that to you journalists, she was the most controversial character. To us normal Americans? It's FRIGGIN KARL ROVE! Sheesh. Like that doesn't create a controversy? To out a CIA agent in the middle of the war, by a political operative? Oh, yes, equate not revealing a source to revealing a CIA agent's identity. Make the lesser CRIME the controversy and downplay the significance of outing a CIA agent.

Let's see, a newspaper losing its reputation, or numerous agents on the run for their lives. Howie, when you pull your head out of the metaphorical journalistic ground you stuck it in, realize that ground isn't quite as hallowed as you might think it is.

SECONDLY, Valerie Plame did NOT pose for Vanity Fair while a COVERT CIA operative.

You see, Howie, when an agent gets outed, the word "covert" kinda loses its meaning. I mean, covert means secret and when Bob Novak publishes a column stating that she was a CIA agent, gee, you might possibly surmise that she's not covert any more.

But I guess that's really giving you too much credit.

Why the hell do I continue to read him? Oh yeah, to see what disinformation is being put out there for any gullibles to swallow.


Sounds of Silence


Yeah I know neither of us has posted in a while. Work got hectic for me, school got hectic for Bratworse, and also two words: new games.

Besides, the only thing I'm really observing and paying attention to, are posts about Plamegate. So I'm reading Firedoglake and Americablog religiously several times a day. But to feed this new addiction I've had to cut back on others like Talking Points Memo, The News Blog, and T-Bogg. I still check in on them daily. Just not several times a day like I used to. The readings from Firedoglake usually are long and in-depth which is what I like since Flamegate has so many players and twists and turns.

If Plamegate really does bring Fitzmas around early, there will be such a celebration aboard the Monarch of the Seas this weekend. Bratworse and I are going on a gay cruise (our first real vacation!) and we're going with my best friend and his lover. Can you imagine the festivities aboard this ship as the men who stoked up anti-gay sentiments get indicted? Whoooo-yah!

And then, to top off the trip, DISNEYLAND! Those of you who've known me for years, knows there's a very real disconnect in my head about Disney and Disneyland. Disney at times represents the evil empire to me, yet Disneyland will always be the happiest place on earth for me. Something magical happens to me there. I manage to live in the present and actually be happy. Bratworse can tell you, me and happy doesn't quite go together. Don't get me wrong. I laugh a lot. But if my brain starts to analyze, the happiness dissipates to be replaced by intellectual curiosity.

Let's put it this way. My friend RangerRobb would hit a jackpot on the slots and be giddy for hours, maybe days. Me? I'd hit a jackpot and instantly try to remember all the combinations prior, so I could recognize when the next jackpot might hit. Yah yah, I was never known for my brains.

Anyway, there might be more Sounds of Silence coming up from Cholotto. Again, Nanowrimo is kicking off November 1st. 50,000 words in a novel before November 30th. That just might hamper my writing efforts here, or it might stimulate it. Time will tell.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Outing CIA Agents

Hey, have you heard? Everyone outs CIA agents, that's why it wasn't a crime that the WH outed not just one, but hundreds of them.

I mean, there's no way we can top the WH - after all, who could out hundreds with just a whisper in the right place? "Brewster-Jennings"

Let me get this right. It's a big *gasp* no-no to out gays who actively seek to undermine other gays' rights (Mehlman or Drier, anyone?) Apparently, it's even a big *gasp* no-no to out outed gays (remember the big collective *gasp* over Mary Cheney?).

But outing CIA agents, for political payback no less, is apparently A-OK.

So make sure you out a CIA agent today. Cause EVERYONE's doing it.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Extremism? Or Triangulation

Part of what drove people nuts about Bill Clinton was the way he triangulated. He'd take one opinion, and its polar opposite, and took what he saw was the best of both and created a third way. Apparently, what drove people nuts was, they didn't want just part of what they wanted, they wanted all of it.

The other day, I received a call - a poll asking me a series of questions about a proposition that might be on our November ballot. (You know, the special election that no one wants, that everyone thinks is useless since we're having ANOTHER election next June... the one that we'd prefer if the Govenator would pay for himself out of one of his 25 million dollar paychecks from his real job?)

Okay. Get this. They want an opinion about a proposition that would add $3.50 tax (yes, please pick yourself off the floor now) to a pack of cigarettes. And what would this tax pay for? It pays for emergency rooms services.

Stop laughing. No, I mean it. Stop laughing.

My first reaction? "Now why would you impose a tax on a dwindling supply of income?"

Of course, I had to explain. "Look, more and more people quit cigarettes every day. I should know. I quit six months ago. So, again, I repeat. Why would you try and fund services with a dwindling source?"

I went through the questions with this guy, often getting really mad because I was forced into having an opinion about something I thought ludicrous. (Okay, I know I wasn't forced because it was up to me whether to take this poll, but I just had to know the extent of the absurdity I was facing)

I want a third option on our ballots. Instead of just voting for or against, I want there to be an option of "throw it back." You know, you throw fish that are too small back into the water so that they'd grow bigger and you'd have a better (supposedly) meal.

I want to throw back these propositions and say, okay, you have a point. We need to better fund our emergency rooms. Now come up with a better plan to implement it.

We need a "Come back with a better idea around this central theme: __________________" vote.

Because, you know, triangulation really works. Why the hell should we be dictated by two extreme positions? Sheesh! It's like saying okay, I'll buy this house at outrageous sums, or I'll buy the other house at outrag.... oh wait, people do that here in the Bay Area don't they? No wonder they think they can get away with it.


Trashing the System or Praising It?

Okay, my last post may seem like I'm totally trashing the American system of education but I'm not. Two cases in point.

The first is, my family was a perfect example of how one does thrive here. My sister hated the Singaporean system. There, at most, she'd score between 73-90 on tests. This isn't to say that my sister isn't smart. Au contraire. My sister just didn't thrive on that particular system of memorization, and hard objective tests.

When she came to Los Angeles and enrolled in junior high school here, what a tremendous change took over my sister. All of a sudden, she was engaged, couldn't wait to go to school, became valedictorian.

This from the girl who got so despondent over her grades that she gave up and ended up with failing grades instead of passable ones. I've a feeling that my mother tried that "it's not good enough" shit with my sister and it backfired big-time. It's small wonder my mother believes in miracles.

One of the differences was the co-ed system here. I'm not sure if that made a difference to my sister. Another was perhaps the curve. To be honest, I was rather young and too enamored of my freedom here in America to notice what was going on with my sister.

However, I will say this. I remember a sullen, angry girl in Singapore. Here, she laughed.

Since my mother left her here in that state (it was a mixed blessing; you can ask any of us) there has always been a part of me that wondered, did her happiness arrive because here, she could escape my mother's notice? There were 3 adults, 4 children and one on the way in a three bedroom house. Don't ask me how we did it, we did. Trust me, another part of me wondered if she was happier because pesky me wasn't by her side.

At any rate, she thrived here and has a master's if not three, plus umpteen certs.

Case #2 is what I touched on lightly in the previous post. That America teaches youngsters to think for themselves as well as teach creativity. I am a writer today because of America. I have correct spelling because of Singapore and pretty decent grammar because of Singapore (those my American-born friends and sister might disagree about the decency of my grammar - which reminds me of yet another point I want to touch on).

America gives people the choice in how they should learn. I honestly think that if you can determine how certain children learn, and then send them to a school meant to teach that way, you'd have more people learning.

Oh man, I'm realizing I have a TON to say about the educational system. It's been a hobby of mine to observe it just because of the benefit of dual systems at work within me.

I'm a visual mnemonics type of learner. Give me a weird mnemonic and I'll have it in my brain forever. "My Very Elegant Mother Just Sat Upon Nine Porcupines." That is how I learned how to remember the order of the planets in the solar sytem. "Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto." See? I learned that in 3rd grade I think.

Anyway, time to pick Bratworse up from the BART station. I'd better not get too lost in writing, otherwise I'll forget. She's already fearing it since I picked up the phone and without saying hello, I said, "I'm writing a ton!"

So far, all these thoughts running through my head isn't helping me get any closer to my novel. Oh well.


The Curve


When I came to America for high school, I encountered the term "The Curve" for the first time. As in, getting yelled at by others in my class that I was ruining the curve for them. When I finally figured out that American teachers graded on a theory called the "Bell Curve", and that only a few could get A's, more than a few could get B's, the majority C's, some D's and a few F's - I was at first agreeable.

Then came the shocker to me. This so called curve moved! And it moved due to the people who were able to get A's.

Okay. I came from Singapore. The educational system there was a testament to the powers of memorization, but deductive reasoning and being able to write essays weren't subjects that they concentrated on. And the grading system there went like this.

Everyone was scored on a top score of 100. 92-100 meant an A; 83-91 = B; 74-82 was a C; 65-73 was a D and anything under 65 was an automatic F. I was consistently in the top 5 of my class in Singapore, which meant, nothing less than 92 was satisfactory to me on any given test.

So, when I came to America and was yelled at by my classmates that I was "bringing up the curve" did I listen? Nope. My opinion back then and now still, is why should I dumb myself down just cause you're lazy?

I remember my best friend in elementary school in Singapore. Yee Mei Kew. Her father was a trishaw driver. Every day, he'd bring her to school in a trishaw. I could see my friend's embarassment as she climbed out of the cab, but what she didn't know was, everyone of us were secretly wishing we were coming to school in that cool trishaw. Mei Kew was the smartest of our class, and the quietest. Whichmade her the safest in my eyes and hence our friendship. I wonder if she remembers me.

Anyway, Mei Kew helped out at home after school and yet always got her homework done, and in that pretty small handwriting of hers. The rest of us? Well, we got to goof off after we got our homework done.

I guess the whole point of this post is, there are standards, and then there's looking good. Looking good is, if your class falls into the bell curve quite nicely. Oh, this by the way, appears not to be the standard anymore. Apparently, the bell curve is only half a curve. Teachers aren't allowed to fail anyone anymore.

I must admit, I never felt dumb in my life (well, except in that college physics class but that's another story) so maybe I shouldn't offer my opinion. The only times I got C's or D's was when I ACTIVELY sought them.


Must Keep Repeating...

My nephew is a grown man. My sister is a grown woman. They are responsible for their lives. They can blame me for all their woes, but I don't have to feel responsible.

Apparently, my nephew is living on the street. My family's reaction? Oh, the horror, the shame. My reaction? Good. It's about time he learned the value of the dollar and that he can't keep lying and thieving his way through life.

Yes, I believe my nephew is a thief and a liar. Until his dependence on crystal meth is nil, he will continue to be, in my eyes, a thief and a liar.

I have not known ANYONE who had a dependency on crystal meth, to be NOT a thief or a liar. If your car gets broken into three times in a neighborhood, when you go there, do you lock the doors? Same analogy.

My sister is apparently thinking of taking my nephew back into her house. Every fibre of my being is screaming, No! Don't do it! But, I have to keep repeating to myself, they are adults. If my sister wants to risk her marriage for her son, so be it. If my nephew is bound and determined to ruin my sister's marriage, so be it.

My sister doesn't realize that since the 6th grade, my nephew has had one goal, and one goal only. To hurt my sister as much as his feelings got hurt when all of a sudden, her world revolved around someone other than him.

What my nephew doesn't realize is, that he has hurt his mother many more times and in many different ways than he has ever gotten hurt. He got hurt badly but he is the one who keeps picking at the scab and making it bleed over and over again.

What he's done to my sister is, create a thousand cuts, then pour lemon juice over it.

I don't like my nephew. I do like my sister. I want to bang my nephew's head against the wall and say, you asshole! over and over again until he realizes what he's doing to the family, to himself.

I want to turn my sister's head and say, just apologize to the kid for not realizing he was that co-dependent.

I want to say to my nephew, it wouldn't have mattered if it had been my brother-in-law or anyone else, ANYTHING would've been too much for him, since he was such a selfish kid.

The only thing I fear, is the fallout for the two young'uns. I've been plagued by nightmares the last two nights cause of them. They are the innocents caught up in a game of payback. My nephew, tho he'd like to think of himself as an innocent, isn't innocent, nor a child anymore. I wish he'd figure that one out.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Question to Ask Bush If Ever We Meet

*makes a mental note to self*

Remember to ask how Iraqis magically grew the number of self-sufficient battalians from 1 to over 100 in the span of one night - Was it a miracle from the FSM?


Dell, An Excercise in Frustration

Well, since no one at Dell will respond to me, I guess I have to resort to this. Dell's customer service SUCKS! Here is what happened. My boss ordered two computers from Dell. We wanted extra RAM in it, so it was sent to be built.

Apparently, that's where the problems started. When I went to go check the status, there was NO status after it had been invoiced. At least that's what the order status page on Dell's website said. So, I call Dell, seeing that it was PAST the due date.

First off the ONLY way to get a live person at Dell is to pretend you're buying a new system. I left messages for the person who sold my boss the two systems on Monday. It is now Wednesday and he still hasn't returned my call. His name is xxxx XXXXXXX at ext. xxxxx. So, if this guy changes jobs, and you're looking up his resume? stop by here. Cause this man doesn't return calls, at least he didn't return mine. So if you're willing to field angry calls from irate customers...

[Please note, the name has been removed to protect someone who apparently went to a sibling's funeral - as noted below, that sort of family emergency does tend to drive things like work out of one's head. But apparently, Dell doesn't back up people who go away on family emergencies]

So I pretend to be a salesperson. I get Cynthia, who is a nice person and genuinely tried to help out, and keep a sense of humor. I give high marks for her.

Cynthia works for Amy Haynes, at ext. 7367383. Amy, I never talked to. I left her two messages yesterday to find out the current status of the order since the website hasn't any new information even though it says it has current information. Hmm, she doesn't return calls either.

Cynthia says that Amy approved changing our shipping to next day air instead of ground, and that Amy also approved removing the freight charges. That is fantastic. HOWEVER! I emphasized to Cynthia over and over again, that it's not the cost, we just want the damn computers! We have a new hire that's moving from cubicle to cubicle cause we don't have a working computer for him. WE have an IT guy waiting in the wings on HOLD cause Dell can't get its head out of its ass to tell me when I can expect the shipment.

So again, if you want to hire Amy Haynes of Dell Computers, be careful. I think she lies or at least in this case, she appears to have told less than the truth (hey it works for the WH, why not Dell, one of their biggest $ supporters?)... why? Cause she told Cynthia to tell me that on ONE of their systems, they show that the computers were actually built, and were just waiting instructions on where to be shipped to.

So today, what response did I get back from Dell's oh so wonderful customer service email department?
Kindly note that your order # 580828343 is currently backordered and should ship on or before 10/10/05. Please note that the shipping date given for your order are estimates only and if possible we will ship it sooner than the estimated shipping date given for your order.

Dell Computers, YOU SUCK! Thank you oh so much for making our lives harder when it could take your customer service department an HOUR to ensure that we got our computers in a timely manner. But no, you have to be the corporate monkey don't you. No wonder Michael Dell votes Republican and gives to them. He obviously believes in incompetence as much as the administration does.

Addendum: It is now October 11th. Our Dell computers have finally arrived. Our salesperson, Mr. xxxx XXXXXXX has now left two messages with me yesterday and one today. One of my co-workers spoke to Mr. xxxx XXXXXXX yesterday and was assured that our computers would be shipped out yesterday. I could've told my co-worker and Mr. xxxx XXXXXXX that. After all, that IS what the automated response said, that it was due to ship out on or before October 10th.

Mr. xxxx XXXXXXX has also let me know that he was in the office only one day last week, due to a family emergency. I am sorry to hear about the emergency. It would've been nice if Mr. xxxx XXXXXXX has the capability to hand off his work to someone else, but apparently, Dell doesn't believe in backing people up, only backing computers up. I am still unsure as to why Mr. xxxx XXXXXXX couldn't have someone check his messages (which my boss does whenever he's away for a few days, as do I when I'm away for even an afternoon). Maybe the emergency drove all thoughts from his head. If so, I am truly sorry. The type of emergency that does that to a person is tragic indeed.

But that doesn't answer the question of why Mr. xxxx XXXXXXX didn't have back up.

Dell? Do you have the answer?


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Not Much to Post About But This...

Okay, most of you have heard/read Bill Bennett's comment
But I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could—if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.

Some of you are saying this isn't racist.

Therefore, here goes (and remember, this isn't sexist).

You could abort every male baby in this and EVERY country, and your rape rate would go down, your mass murder rate would go down, your violent crime rate would go down, your white collar crimes would go down, to name just a few. That would be an impossible (maybe not so much since we do have sperm banks), ridiculous (only in a non-logical emotional kind of way), and morally... hmm, wait, why would this be morally reprehensible?

Okay, if you're a male, did your balls just crawl up into their sacs? Gee, why? It couldn't have been that this WAS a totally sexist and presumptive comment.

Just cause you're a male, you're going to rape, or kill, or commit violent and/or white collar crimes? That WAS the assumption of this statement.

Now go back and read Bill Bennett's comments again and tell me it wasn't racist. Go on. Then go friggin abort yourself.


Friday, September 23, 2005



To create... to make a creation.

Magical words, those... and all of us feel the need for it. For some of us, the very words define the human quality.

Procreate, recreate, recreation, all variables of our one need that is not based on biology. Hmm, I guess procreate qualifies as biology.

I am facing November, the 30 short days of Nanowrimo - National Novel Writing Month. Also known as the month of my birth, in which I attempt to create, to birth a novel.

Is it obvious yet I'm stuck?

So many ideas, so many of them bad. Writerboy said once that my talent lay not in creating, but in recognizing which had merit. Trust me, all my current ones stink.

Should I go back to the Three H Foundation? Should I attempt a Nobody novella? Should I throw caution to the wind and attempt something truly absurd? Should I attempt a modern fable? Should I...

Inspiration hasn't hit. All the ideas I have may sound good on the first pass, but when you lift up the boards to see what's underneath, the rot shows. I've been so mad at the world, at myself lately that the story I want to tell feels ham-fisted. Perhaps I need to read some Truman Capote to remind myself at least of the technique I want to employ, the most brevity to convey the widest of action/emotion/subtlety.

But what story do I want to tell? Who do I want to write about? What do I want to say? I work best when the characters talk to me. I stopped with Three H because I never knew Kat as a child, only as an adult. Hmm, perhaps I shouldn't have worked Kat in so soon. The story wasn't about Kat... it was about Tristan. Kat is important to Tristan but only an adult, and yes, Kat's childhood was important to the development of Kat, but was it truly important to introduce just then.

Hmm, maybe I should revisit Three H.

Go back to Tristan and what the... OH

I am stupid.

I combined two of my ideas to formulate what is currently Three H.

Three H worked as background to Tristan, as a foundation to who Tristan became.... but the story is Tristan.

I also threw in a another element from a third story of mine, the one borne of three... as Tristan. Perhaps I tried to ram three pegs into a small hole simultaneously and why I hit a brick wall for the past year.

Oh shit, does this mean I want to tell a love story of Tristan and Kat?

No, I don't think so. Tho Tristan and Kat's love for each other is important, it was never central to the theme. It was almost incidental.

Maybe Tristan as a... metaphor for ... us... and Kat's a metaphor for true freedom?


As always, creation is a series of questions put to the task, and if the answers hold, then a tentative theme is eked out. And, there are always tons of false starts, for even if the answers hold through the first round, they might not through subsequent rounds.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Inflation, Anyone?

It's happening here in the Bay Area, what about your area?

So far, the two examples I've seen: Cases of soda pop are going up by $5 (due to delivery costs going up due to gas prices going up). So my 20 fl. oz. of Pepsi now costs $1.59 up from $1.39 a day ago. That's about a 15% increase.

Then, using my ATM card to fill up the tank today, I notice that the bank charges there went up from $.35 to $.45. No reason was given. That's close to a 30% increase.

Any more examples?


Having Lives

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but life has a curious way of intruding into writing. A lot has been going on in my family of two.

Bratworse started school and is finding that going to Art School isn't as easy as going to college. Reason is, when you get homework for Art School, the completion isn't when you get done, but when you get it right. Therefore, if comprehension suddenly hits, you may find yourself done with the art project in an hour. But if comprehension seeps in slowly, then the homework could conceivably take up to months. Both examples are extreme. Also, her lack of background in art is such a hindrance to her but her improvements are amazing to behold. (Just think, she's basically entering college classes with a 3rd grade education - in Art).

That, coupled with her part time job is causing her to be so pressed for time that she's on the go whenever she is awake. The routine is getting old for her, fast.

As for me, well the whole Katrina mess has really got me asking the following questions:
  • Why do I pay taxes and what do I expect out of paying taxes?
  • If there is some sort of emergency, will I be able to ensure Bratworse's safety?
  • Given that the U.S. is getting deeper and deeper into debt, and the economic forecast in the U.S. isn't rosy, should we stay in the U.S.?
  • If not here, then where would a couple of lesbians live safely?

We haven't quite come to a decision yet. But I'm finding less and less incentive to stay and pay taxes to a country that considers me and Bratworse to be second or third class citizens, that lowers the prevailing wage during reconstruction but gives no-bid contracts to corporations, that puts a POLITICAL adviser in charge of reconstruction efforts guaranteeing that much money will be wasted and ending up in the pockets of people who DON'T NEED IT, that takes over a week to deliver food and water (basic needs) to people who NEED IT, etc.

Writerboy said to me last night, but you'd pay more taxes. Yeah, but I'd get a bigger bang for my buck. Right now, most of my payments to the IRS is for social security, which they're trying to take away. So tell me again, why should I pay taxes - so they can just hand my $ to Halliburton? No thank you!

If you pay taxes, ask yourself why. Then ask, what am I or my community is getting out of it. (for instance, if so much money was spent on No Child Left Behind, then why is my school district still hurting for money? as is ALL school districts except for the rich neighborhoods and I'm talking like Beverly Hills type neighborhoods, not even West L.A. type neighborhoods.)

If you don't pay taxes, ask yourself why the hell not. BTW, if you don't vote, nor pay taxes, you really don't have a right to cheer or jeer about anything the government does.

Why the past paragraph? I'm finding out that out of the few people I know outside of the big cities, quite a number of them don't pay taxes.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Finally! The Perfect Game for Pretentious Geeks (like me)

Hamlet, text-adventure style.

Check it out. Really! Check it out.


Ramming Square Concepts into Round Holes

So the Christian Conservatives have a two-fer today. First comes this: apparently Conservative Christians are making a case for dead beat moms and dads by saying that March of the Penguins is the model that we should be going after.

Why do I say dead beat moms and dads? Cause if you watched the movie (which I have), the film makes it clear that after ONE breeding season, the penguins find another mate the following season, and once the baby reaches adolescence, BOTH parents abandon the young'un to fend for its own. So I guess these (and yup, you guessed it, they're all WHITE GUYS) conservatives want to make sure that when they abandon their wives and children for some trophy wife, they could hold up penguins as their idols.

That's #1.

Number two is the great orator Pat Robertson. I say great orator cause it's just amazing how he manages to get words out with a foot sticking out of it. Anyway, apparently gays and lesbians and the movie industry are indeed powers not to be reckoned with. (I know! I'm not supposed to be ending a sentence with a preposition... geddoffmyback) According to Mr. Robertson, God sent the terrorists on 9/11 and Katrina to the Gulf Coast because the Academy of Motion Pictures made Ellen DeGeneres to be the host of this years (and that year's) host.

All I got to say is, Ellen, you go girl!


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

More Time Please

I have discovered the juggling act of things I want to do, to things I need to do, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, i.e. sleeping and eating, is proving most difficult. There are 168 hours in a week.
I remember high school, and slow days at work staring at the clock physically willing it to move faster, and now... now... I'm mentally willing it to move slower!

I've been enjoying myself though. The greatest of fun is being had, for the stress of deadlines and the note signaling "pencil's down" has yet to strike.

I have been pleasantly happy with all of my progress in nearly all four of my classes. I am still having trouble with Figure Drawing, I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing wrong, and that's partially why it's not getting better. I have taken on studying Anatomy to aide me.

I am in love with the technique of pulling pictures out of the paper through the use of contrast, that I am learning in my Analysis of Form class, and want to do more drawings using it.

Between work, which I am SERIOUSLY one lucky student to be working for who I am working for. If they can put up with me through my college career, they will surely receive my utmost appreciation! I really can't thank them enough, for they are giving me the flexibility I need as a student, and the job security (so far) I need as resident of the U.S.

Aside from Analysis of Form, my favorite class so far is Figure Modeling, who wouldn't enjoy playing with clay?! Which I have tonight, and plan on putting up pics of my work in progress when I get back.

Observations I've made of late:

-Agression a good thing? I noticed that when my buss driver is agressive I make it to class 5 mins early (the school's bussing schedule has them cutting it really close), when the bus driver is not agressive I walk into the class room the minute it begins or I'm late by two minutes, (for those of you who are apt to believe that two minutes is not really bad, let me tell you about that lateness/absentee policy - 2 late = 1 unexcused absence = grade dropped by one grade i.e. A to B or B to C etc.).

-Cell Phones and Driving - How can a person working in public transportation feel comfortable enough to get on their cell phone?! I do not understand, they are responsible for a lot of people! Mostly I have discovered it is when I have a driver that is on their cell phone that I am late to class.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

You Decide

Which is more indecent?


A Pattern Emerges

I'm sitting here watching NFL pregame shows, and I see a pattern emerging. On Fox, about half of the commercials are about a disaster striking - hurricane, flood, etc. and how these insurance people will be there for you when disaster hits. (All together now - riiiight). The word fear was actually used.

My question about this is, can this be considered looting? I mean, they're trying to reach us when our defenses are down, the doors wide open to susceptability and they're taking advantage. Isn't that technically what looting is? So just because this is more subtle (and not so subtle in the case of gas companies), it's acceptable looting but one or two shots of someone taking a tv means all those people should grow gills or drown?

The other pattern emerging is this constant selling of the concept of one America.

You see what's happening here. The powers that be are afraid. They have to keep selling the concept of one America because it's becoming more and more apparent that there are two Americas. It's not black and white. It's not even poor and rich.

It's the indecent vs. the real Americans.

The indecent can dicker around for four days debating whether the local government needs to ask for help first before giving it.

The indecent can pull 100 firefighters who're prepared to save people, and instead use them for a photo shoot.

The indecent can use our fear of terrorists to justify a war to prove Daddy was wrong.

The indecent can take advantage of a bad situation and make it worse by jacking up gas prices when every one else is digging deep to help out.

The indecent can refuse help from other countries just they're afraid of looking weak.

The indecent can put a despised-by-all man into the U.N. under the metaphorical cover of darkness because he didn't like the rules anymore.

The indecent can go eat cake and strum a guitar while thousands stewed in putricity.

The indecent can sell a house for an outrageous price and buy a house for extremely cheap and therefore bypassing a bunch of campaign contributions reporting nonsense.

The indecent can try and sell out our children's futures by saying we should give them "intelligent design" thereby ensuring they won't be intelligent.

The indecent can smear an honored veteran who continues to give despite losing limbs.

The indecent can uphold someone who's a C student, who never finished his duty as a National Guard, who failed at every job he was handed INCLUDING the present one.

What we have here really transcends race, and class. Because unless you're the super-rich, which is about 1% of the population, you are only there for their exploitation.

What we have here, clear and simple, are sociopaths running the country.


Friday, September 09, 2005

Definition of Scapegoat

Per, a scapegoat is:

1. One that is made to bear the blame of others.
2. Bible. A live goat over whose head Aaron confessed all the sins of the children of Israel on the Day of Atonement. The goat, symbolically bearing their sins, was then sent into the wilderness.
No, Mr. Brown. You are NOT being asked to bear the blame of others. ONLY YOURSELF and your lack of action.

Trust me, the accountability is only beginning.

I was speaking to my co-worker about a similar event that happened in the Philippines. I said, "With 30 years of governmental upheaval in the Phillipines, there is NO expectation of infrastructure within the government to handle such a problem." He agreed and said that Japan and Korea helped the most, bringing in cranes and bulldozers to dig bodies out of the mud. I asked if they had pumps to drain the flooding and he said, no, they had to wait for 10 days for the water to recede before digging out bodies.

So, America the Great. America the Powerful. Do we have the pumps and cranes and bulldozers and manpower? I believe the answer to that is yes. Did we have the heart and soul for such a daunting task? Again, I believe the answer to that is yes. We are hearing many many stories of people jumping into their cars to help out, specialists even.

Were they allowed to help? Umm, I think the answer to that is fairly obvious isn't it?

So, why weren't they allowed to help out? Why weren't other countries allowed to pitch in? So far, all roads lead to Rome, or rather, the presidency. We, the American public has to hold Bush accountable for all the budget cuts, all the lack of preparation, all the TALK AND NO ACTION, all the cronyism that led to this PREVENTABLE deaths.

Unless of course, you're a bigot and you're personally profiting from this mess. Then these deaths/flooding were a welcome way to get rid of low-income housing, like this representative of our government says.

Welcome to America where if you're white and rich, you can get away with such odious statements, but if you're a rapper and say what you believe is the truth, you get censored.

Filed under Politics & B.S.

[addendum] HOW THE HELL CAN IT BE CONSIDERED AS SCAPEGOATING WHEN THIS GUY BROWN GETS TO GO BACK TO WASHINGTON TO HIS AIR-CONDITIONED OFFICE AND DO NOTHING! He's not getting replaced. He's just been pulled off this ONE job so he doesn't continue to curb the effort to save people bring water and food to people dig out the dead rejuvenize the falling polls of the presidency. Some scapegoat. Hey BUSH! I'LL TAKE THE BLAME FOR YOU IF I GET A $100,000 A YEAR JOB AND GET TO DO NOTHING. NO PROBLEM. IN FACT, TONS OF PEOPLE IN THE ASTRODOME WOULD LOVE TO GET THIS JOB. CHOOSE THEM.



Fair is Fair

The other day, I ripped into Howard Kurtz for his opening line. I must admit that after reading his column, he did go in and explain that that was what the conservatives were saying but still, to have an opening sentence like that... was just sleazy.

However, in my eyes, he redeemed himself today. In response to a quote from the Conservative Voice,
"'This is a terrible situation and we need to have compassion. The truth is black people died not because of President Bush or racism, they died because of their unhealthy dependence on the government and the incompetence of Mayor Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco,' said Rev. Peterson."

Does not being able to afford a car amount to unhealthy dependence on government? (emphasis mine)
This question, in conjunction with what Americablog found this morning on the WH website
(b) The wage rates imposed by section 3142 of title 40, United States Code, increase the cost to the Federal Government of providing Federal assistance to these areas.

(c) Suspension of the subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code, 40 U.S.C. 3141-3148, and the operation of related acts to the extent they depend upon the Secretary of Labor's determinations under section 3142 of title 40, United States Code, will result in greater assistance to these devastated communities and will permit the employment of thousands of additional individuals.
And, as to such contracts to be performed in such jurisdictions, I do hereby suspend, until otherwise provided, the provisions of any Executive Order, proclamation, rule, regulation, or other directive providing for the payment of wages, which provisions are dependent upon determinations by the Secretary of Labor under section 3142 of title 40, United States Code
kind of stacks the odds against poor people doesn't it?

In case you didn't want to understand that legal gobblety-gook, translated into plain english means that the Federal Government just said bye-bye to State Government's minimum wage. So if you work in a state that has a higher minimum wage than the Federal Government's, too frickin' bad. You're getting a wage cut.

So tell me, this isn't class warfare? Who the hell benefits from such wage cuts? And tell me, what are the gas prices in YOUR town? About half of what the federal minimum wage is, huh?


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Being Envious of the Darndest Things

As a child, I missed a lot of school. Somehow or another, I was the subject of envy with most of my classmates. OOoooh look at resignedidealist, she gets to skip school again. I remember coming back to school and realizing I was being ostracized for circumstances beyond my control. Furthermore, the envy was about the apparent freedom I had.

Well, this is what I did when I wasn't going to school. I was wheezing in the night, unable to catch my breath. I was throwing up every bit of mucus my lungs could dredge up as well as any bit of food that lingered along the path of the hurl. I was bent over, scared that I would die, scared that my family would abandon me for I was so much trouble, scared that being sick again would mean further ostracizing at school. Oh yeah baby, let me enjoy that again. NOT!

But no one realized my misery. All they saw was, I get to skip school again. (BTW, my sister still thinks my childhood was wonderful.)

Fast forward to today. There are some of you *gasping* that the Federal Gov't is handing out $2,000 to each displaced person.

For those of you who think $2,000 is too much (I'm suddenly reminded of the scene in Sense & Sensibility where the half-brother gets convinced by his money/title-grubbing wife to lower the amount of allowance for his step-mother and half-sisters), let me just ask you this. If YOU stood in filth for three to four days, if YOU had gone without food and water for three to four days, if YOU had been packed in like sardines with murders and rapes going on around you (a 7-year old girl was found in a room of dead people in the Superdome - her throat had been cut), does $2,000 seem enough?


End Times


Just read on Boingboing a reader response that said basically, reason why people (as in BushCo) are dragging their feet is cause it's the End Times - y'know, floods, disasters all visiting the earth so why bother doing anything about it. And this is supposed to justify what didn't happen.

So let me get this right. The Christian attitude is, "I'm about to go to Heaven so fuck you all?" or "It's the end of the world and I'm going to Heaven, nanny nanny boo boo, you get to rot in a literal shit-hole"?

I guess "And Good will to men" only applies in Christmas Carols.

Man, I can just see Jesus shivering with pride at you all.

Filed under DISGUSTED!


Sometimes, There's Truth in Television



Heroes DESPITE Our Government

Just so that we have *some* light at the end of the tunnel. (Oh, the best one is the last one)
Thanks to Pandagon btw for the idea.

And this is what our country is reduced to. Even a 6 year old showed more leadership qualities than our Dear Leader and his cronies.


Let's See How YOU Do

I am someone acutely aware of crowds. Perhaps that's cause I'm 5' 1" and being surrounded by people pressing up against me usually means my cheek in someone's back, or my nose being hit by an elbow.

Reading this article about the Thin Veneer of Civilization has driven home the point to me (one that I was already aware of) that it really doesn't take much to turn people into a "me against the world" mentality. In this article, he cites an example of being stuck overnight in an airport and having one or two seats open up. Ever been in that situation? I have. And until I figured out that I really didn't like who I was, I was one of those pushing and elbowing others to beat them to the front.

Those of you who cannot see yourselves as looters or shooters, just remember the Pirates of the Caribbean ride - Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here. That was New Orleans these past 10 days.

Imagine if you will, being without food or water for 3 days and infrequently seeing helicopters above you. Each helicopter that passes, your heart lifts cause you're sure *this* time, there will be food and water. Yet, each time was a false alarm. At which point do you then turn your anger at the helicopter?

Imagine if you will, watching people around you die off slowly, day by day.

Everytime you say, they chose to stay, let them rot, I'm thinking, you know, there's a better choice for my tax dollars. Why should I continue to sink my hard earned dollars into a government that has no problem veto'ing MY right to marry? Why should I continue to sink my hard earned dollars into a government that LETS PEOPLE DROWN, or FORCES PEOPLE IN A DESPERATE SITUATION INTO A BARBED-WIRED COMPOUND?

The government keeps telling me that not to expect my social security to be there. So basically, I'm paying social security for the U.S. to invade other countries.

I'm seriously thinking about the Netherlands. At least there, I know Bratworse will be looked after if I die. At least there, they seem to have a government that cares, albeit a tad too much.


Are You Next?

Last week, black people
This week, gay people

Are you next?


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Finally Figured Out What Bush Meant By...

I'm satisfied with the response; I'm not satisfied with all the results.
He's not satisfied with all the media focusing on the response!


What IS This Shit????

Howard Kurtz returns to the Washington Post from his vacation with an opening line that just.... UGH!
For liberals, this has been the perfect storm.

Oh yes, Howie. We have been waiting in the sidelines for just an occasion. We wanted the deaths of thousands to prove our point that the WH is incompetent.

Actually, Howie, I accuse the MEDIA of having this be the perfect storm. We liberals have been screaming ourselves hoarse for 5 years now about the incompetency and unaccountability of this administration. It took the DEATH OF A CITY, OF SENIOR CITIZENS AND BABIES to wake your asses up!


And No, I'm not linking to it until I finish reading it. If the opening line makes me so angry, why should I lead you to it?


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Another One to Try on the IRS

Hmm, let's see. Bush is going to lead an investigation himself as to why people went without water or food for 6 days.

Let's try this. Send in tax report 6 days late. First give the excuse to IRS that no one told me to send it. Then say that I delayed it cause I was afraid the tax report would get looted. Then, after I send it, tell the IRS that I will lead an investigation myself as to why I sent in the tax report late.

Think it'll fly? Why not? It seems to be working for the (not my) president of the U.S.


Packed and Ready to Go!


<---- 'nuff said


Maybe These Guys Should Be In Charge

Hmm, three COLLEGE aged students, one two-wheeled drive Hyundai (A HYUNDAI, so these guys weren't just idealistic, they were gas-friendly!) were able to make TWO trips into New Orleans and rescue folks.

How many people did you take out of the flooded areas, Mr. Chertoff, Mr. Brown and Mr. Bush? How many did you take out, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld and Ms. Rice?


Hey people, remember that old poem about the Nazis, the first they came for the Jews one. Remember this. First they came for the gays. Now it's the black people. What makes YOU think you're one of them?


Monday, September 05, 2005

The Grand Lake Blogging


I've been meaning to put these up for awhile now. When we drove by today they were in the middle of putting up another line, I'll have to get a shot of it tomorrow.


Figure Drawing Practice


I was practicing my figure drawing. My little figures do not look much like people at all right now. Practice, practice, practice... Hey, but isn't my drafting table cool???

School started last week! I am a student of the artistic kind!

I couldn't believe it when I got the acceptance letter from the bank saying: "your loan application has been accepted." Nevermind the acceptance letters from the schools. This will probably be the only time I will be relieved and elated to hear from a bank.

Blinded by excitement and running full speed I hit a wall when I was told that I was suppose to have coin for supplies. The refund from the loan has not been disbursed to me, and my first class was 01-Sept-05 . I panicked to idealist, who suggested reallocating the funds we do have (I'm still wondering why I didn't think of that).

Off we went to the art supply store, to be declined by every form of payment offerred (we had just changed banks). The impact hit hard and was fatal to my tear ducts. Through the glaze of the onset of a mini-depression a knight arrived. Idealist rushed us over to a friend-of-a-friend's (who happened to have a house full of guests at the precise moment we arrived) and explained the dilemma (I certainly did not have a clear head that day, and am so greatful Idealist's keeps her shining armor on hand).

Everyone of our friend-of-a-freind's guest reached into their pockets, until we had enough coin to cover the costs of my supplies.

Oh! and since Idealist made a post about them, I will use this as another example of the integrity & compassion of hippies.

I am really excited about school and when my work actually begins to resemble my intentions, I will post it up here, so everyone can share in my progress. My Figure Modeling instructor advised us to take pictures of our clay models so that we can see our progression. I am looking forward to posting those pics as well.


Random Useful Info


The Bay Area's way of letting you know how long you're going to be in that car!

If the idea of this sign was to inspire people to find other routes in effect removing some congestion, it's failing miserably. On the other hand, it is some pretty useful information for one who is organized enough to actually make and carry out plans in a timely manner.

I'm still living in a random world, for the most part.


Fog Blogging


Creeping over hills in Montclair


They're So Young

We just got back from watching MurderBall. At the end of the documentary, they showed the players of U.S. Para Rugby team demonstrating how to play to veterans of the Iraq War.

You know, I have to admit, whenever I think of veterans, I think of grizzled old men. But these veterans? They're all so young. God, Tim and Chris... just come back whole in body and spirit and mind, okay?


Saturday, September 03, 2005


"I was only following orders" circa 1941

"I didn't get the necessary orders." circa 2005


Says It All



Friday, September 02, 2005

Raging Anger

I am so angry I can barely contain it. Tears constantly threaten to overwhelm me. I am oh so thankful that my boss gave me a detail oriented job today so I can distract myself with the mundane and fool myself into thinking things are under control.

The callousness and DELIBERATENESS (there can be no other word now, not when the heads of federal departments spent all day yesterday telling lies and saying whoops, there're people there without food? Or water? Wow, we didn't know) of this failure to save lives just makes me so vengeful and angry.

To all of you who say America is the best place in the world. Watch what's going on and tell me that again.

Trust me, this is a shock to the rest of the world too, not just us living here.

How can the U.S. let thousands of its citizens starve and go without water for 5 whole days? Incompetence can justify perhaps 3 days of sloggishness. But five?!? I cannot see it other than deliberate murder now.



You know, I've always puzzled over what Dubya said at a 2002 fundraiser about Saddam, "After all this is the guy who tried to kill my dad."

My initial thought was so what? Then weddaminit, what's he care about that for? I mean, this is a man who cares about beating his father at everything just so he can feel that he's better.... Oh.

It struck me right between the eyes. Dubya thinks he's better than H.W.... and so, if Saddam went after H.W., of course he'd go after Dubya. Therefore, Dubya had to take out Saddam before Saddam took him out.

I have to do more research on this. I gotta figure out if all the things Bush is decisive on, are things H.W. tried and failed.

Hmm wonder if this had anything to do with H.W.'s reaction to Andrew. Maybe he's just trying to show that he could muck it up worse than his father did, and yet come out stinking better, I mean smelling better.

Hope I'm not right.


I'm Not the Only One...

seeing the Federal Government's actions as being deliberate.

Please remember who is in charge now. A president who sees no harm in speaking at Bob Jones' University. A Senate Majority leader who kowtows to the religious right and abuses his hippocratic oath to gain votes. A Speaker of the House whose so tied to corruption his name has become synonymous with it.

So, are they deliberately letting those poor people die of thirst, starvation and/or disease?


Thursday, September 01, 2005

There's a Level of Fear

around the nation tonight. I felt it at work today.

Usually someone would bring up current events and there'd be joking about it. Every time I brought up what's going on in New Orleans, I'd be met with stifled mutters. Except one person brought up that Bourbon Street was still around, that's all that matters.

I just shook my head at that, realizing this guy had no idea that the toxic soup that is still flooding New Orleans has doomed the city to years of detoxification, if that's possible at all. (Shit a thought just hit me. Maybe the whole idea IS for New Orleans to become a toxic dumping site. I mean, why else the flaccid response?)

Anyway, about this fear. I sense that others (and myself) are wondering if this could happen to them. The one co-worker I talk with the most, he had the attitude of well, these people stayed, they should've gotten out.

All I said to him was, You fill up your tank with $50. You try and get out of town, there's a long line, and four hours later, you're empty and the gas stations are empty. What then?

Those of you clucking and shaking your heads, thinking they should've gotten the hell out of Dodge, it's a damn shame what's happening, but they should've gotten out of Dodge. Let me ask you this. How much cash do you have on you?

Cause if a huge ass earthquake hit the Bay Area right now, guess what. The power would be out. Which means NO GAS STATIONS. Which means people would be breaking open those tanks to siphon the gas out into their cars. Let's just say they find the gas since those who could afford SUV's and four wheel drives to drive over the rubble would probably be middle class and white. That wouldn't be considered looting, it'd be securing necessities for survival. (Doesn't that sound *much* better and white-bread?)

I have lived on the edge. We are a paycheck to paycheck family, regardless of how much we try and save up. But what does money in the bank matter if there's no electricity to get it out? That was the point I wanted my co-worker to conclude. It matters not how much money you have in stocks, nor how much you have in your bank account.

Unless you are the super-rich and can procure transportation out to a place where electricity exists and there is food and water, all the money in the bank won't do you any good. Unless you had the foresight to get the hell out of Dodge prior to airports being shut down, roads being too messed up to travel on, mass transit or any form of transit shut down, you Middle America, will be fucked over.

Look at the faces in New Orleans. Now imagine yourself, just due to some unforeseen stroke of luck (car dying, sick relative, repairs to the house that you have to oversee, important meeting at work) you stayed in town. Then imagine yourself going hungry for 2 days even, and thirsty. Can't happen, right?



What Adds Up Stinks to High Heaven

1) Refuse to help strengthen the levees.
2) Send equipment/troops out of the country.
3) Don't upgrade coast guard equipment.
4) Divert budget to strengthen levees, to Iraq instead.
5) Ignore 3 days of warning that a category 5 hurricane is about to hit.
6) Instead, go on tour around country to eat cake and "fix social security."
7) Keep the Secretary of State on vacation so she can shop for shoes.
8) 3 days after disaster hits, send battleship and crews, that is, after the area has been reduced to no water, no food, and no electricity.
9) Refuse help from other countries cause the more that die off, the less complaints he'd have to hear about from the actual people, counting on the fact that others not directly impacted has the memory of a gerbil.

Yes, I'm disgusted. And I see this as a declaration of war against the poor of America. I feel bad for our American refugees. I really thought that the gays would be the ones to suffer.


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Insidious... Simply Insiduous

A couple of well placed articles, and the panic starts.

Incredulous. Okay. Let's start at the beginning.

Hurricane hits. A number of refineries are devastated. Article comes out and says, gas prices TO spike due to hurricane. Note that it says "TO."

Please also note that Hawaii JUST passed a cap on gasoline, not at the retail level, but at the distribution level.

Note also that Bush is supposedly dipping into the reserves to ease the pain of losing those few refineries.


People, despite being told by the president that he's coming to the rescue, are panicking and buying up gas in anticipation of the spike, (to save some money) and are creating a shortage.

See what I mean by insiduous. All they did was tell the journalists, Oh gee, we're going to have to raise prices cause of the shortage y'know? So like lemmings, the journalists rush to their computers and write, "Warning! Shortage coming."

People, like lemmings, are running to the gas stations, and yelling "Shortage is coming" (Please feel free to insert "The sky" instead of "Shortage") Other people hear the screams, and think, "Oh no, shortage is coming" and run to join the lines.

And gee, what happens? A shortage happens. Oh yeah. It's cause of those devastated refineries y'know.

No wonder they run everything. All they have to do is suggest it. We do all their work for them, like gotta have that SUV or borrow so much against your property that most of your life is consumed with work because otherwise, there's no roof over your head.

Six fucking dollars a gallon?

I watched the comics business shoot ourselves in the foot, selling more and more of their souls to the powers that be. I watched California shoot itself in the generators with deregulation. I watched America sacrifice its young to have gas and oil. And all this while they're lining up their friggin pocketbook at OUR expense?


When are we going to realize these assholes care NOTHING about us, whether we're white, middle class, asian, mexican, gay, straight, bisexual, WHATEVER?

All they care is their fucking golf courses are green, their Cayman Islands accounts are getting bigger, that they run the fucking system and the name is the game is rub the loser's face in shit cause otherwise, how will other pricks respect you?

Yes I'm pissed. I am pissed that the oil and gas and electric companies earned record profits every fucking year. I am pissed that every fucking year, they earn more money and I see more and more of my friends agree to more hours at work, more jobs per person, while they owe more and more. That is what is called a diminished return.

Why is a CEO earning 450% more than the average non-manager. And that 450% is an average my friends. Think about what it takes to get a 450% average. Think about what the CEO of YOUR company makes. Is it 450% of what you make? Or even the person who earns minimum wage? Probably not, unless you work for one of the big ones.

Let me explain those numbers. CEO's are not like a bell curve. It is much more like a triangle. The base will be the largest. In order to get a 450% average, there must be a few at the very top who make over 10,000% over minimum wage. Maybe even more.

If memory serves me correctly, then oil companies like Chevron, Mobbil-Exxon made record profits last year. And the year before that. And fancy that, they made profits during the Clinton years when gas was $1.00 at the pump.

Something tells me, last year's records will only remain records for a year.

And, the gas companies will have taught the American public a lesson. Without the gas companies, you are nothing. Your military and police and hospitals, you need the gas companies. Your businesses, your airports, you need the gas companies. And all they had to do to ensure a panic, was to suggest a possible shortage coming up and then watch us panic with the full knowledge that once again, we will come begging.

What, you think the heads of oil companies right now are sobbing over the devastation of an entire city? I think they're rubbing their hands in glee, then calling up BushCo. and chortling.

P.S. Apparently 9 oil companies were unable to ship to markets. It'll be very interesting to see if any of them make record breaking profits.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Timing is Everything


Isn't capitalism great? In the midst of looking at devastation photos, of reading about how dreadful and catastrophic Katrina is with two levees breaking and most of the city inundated, I spy this article.

Isn't capitalism *special*. I mean, look at this, most of America is digging deep into their own pockets, looking up where to donate to Red Cross and other charities, and gee, who spots opportunity? Why, George Bush's old buddies of course. Oil prices to spike after refinery shutdowns.

Gotta hit that profit margin y'know. Gotta satisfy the stockholders.

It doesn't matter that an ENTIRE city just got devasted, that millions got displaced, that thousands of business have lost any remote ability to even function, much less make a profit. It doesn't matter that because of THEIR greed for more commodity, that the equipment needed to help out in this destruction is in a DRY, LAND-LOCKED area when it'd have been better served here where it was designed for.

One would think that in an age of decency, these board members who might've never even set foot on those destroyed refineries, they might forgo profits for a few days (given the record-breaking profits they've made since Bush has been in office. Nah, couldn't be any correlation there.) just even perhaps in the surrounding areas, who've had to swallow up the fleeing refugees.

I have to point something out, since I am a true socialist, who believes the government SHOULD be in charge of some things (utilities, including natural gas and oil). In the wake of Katrina's devastation, wouldn't a state-run gas have lowered prices instead of hiking them up? Just asking. I kinda think I know what Hugo Chavez'd do.


Stop the Presses! Bush to Work...

but first, home to the old ranch to pick up his favorite pillow and oh yeah, his precious bike.

In light of the disaster that struck with no warning, Bush will leave immediately to his vacation home. It's hard work to fly across country without a stop first y'know.

But first thing Wednesday morning with pillow and bike in tow, he'll be heading to dry land where he can get his two hour bike ride and nap. After all, you can't bike in mud .

Oh, those of you without shelter tonight but with wet clothes? Don't worry, Bush will be thinking of you (and how to spin this so that it doesn't look like he pulled the NATIONAL guard out into international territory nor does it look like he took amphibious equipment designed to help out in floods to DESERT land). He's also figuring out a way to send you some of the birthday cake he shared with McCain and he's trying to figure out how to convert his guitar-jamming into an iTunes file so you guys can get it on podcast.


Happy 29th Day of Vacation, George!

I see you're being your resolute self. Selling your bad senior prescription plan and ignoring hurricane disasters and oh yeah, Cindy Sheehan.

You know, 52% of people feel you should meet with Cindy Sheehan. Even those who don't like her feel you should meet with her, just to dissolve some of the growing emnity against you. But nah, that'd be showing the world you aren't stupid stubborn resolute!

So just keep being your resolute self. Show the world that you don't care. Cause y'know, that's what we really want you to continue doing, thereby proving to the world that we were right, you ARE stupid, you ARE stubborn to the detriment of others, you ARE selfish and self-centered and boorish.

I am just so sorry that thousands will lose their homes, lives and limbs just cause we were dumb enough to elect you.


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