Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Shock of Prejudice

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I watched it happen today. I saw someone come face to face with prejudice, full naked undisguised prejudice, and walk away shaken to her core. She had never seen such brutal honest prejudice before.

She told me she felt less than human, which was exactly the intent of the words. The words told her in no uncertain terms that she was NOT one of us, but rather, one of them. This poor woman couldn't understand how someone could be like that. All I could tell her was I understood.

It's never easy, but the first time you're faced with such blatancy, it DOES make you question yourself. We just have to keep remembering it's them that's the deficient ones.

 
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

In Support of the Writers' Strike

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Guitar Hero!

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Well, this household's been rocking out the past two weeks. Our pal, Pogoboy, (he's a programmer that makes games for Pogo.com, hence the name) has been talking it up weeks to us, and we finally got one.

Both Bratworse and I can't wait to obtain a second guitar and we can BOTH rock out at the same time instead of taking turns.

Boy, do I wish all music was written the way Guitar Hero is written; I might've been a much better violinist now. It's truly fun and you do feel like you're playing a musical instrument which is the best part of the game.

Imagining you're a rock star with hordes of fans, certainly is a nice getaway after work.

Oh, btw, Danceteach just happened to engage me in video-chat the other day, and burst out laughing when he saw the wii-guitar slung around my neck. He said that it looked just like a ukelele and that "Ukelele Hero" just doesn't have the same ring.

Friends are those who mock you straight to your face.

 
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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Doddmania?

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Went down to stay at my best friend's house this weekend and was talking to his boyfriend about politics.

When I mentioned I was leaning more and more towards Chris Dodd, he said he answered a quiz online to see which of the candidates best matched his views, it was Chris Dodd. However, we both agreed that it was looking more and more like Hillary may be it.

He then said American politics is such that the front-runners get punished for saying or doing the "right things" or suggesting change which is why Hillary's campaign has been oh so careful.

All I know is, Americans want stability again. These past 6-7 years have been an exercise in instability (from oil prices, to Katrina, to budget deficits, to a weak dollar) and they know they knew it when a Clinton was in office.

Part of me wants Hillary. The other part knows that with her, it's going to be a game of calculations, instead of doing just what's right. She learned her lesson well with the universal healthcare package.

 
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Very Rich

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Yah yah, I know it's been a long time since I wrote.

Get this. Per ThinkProgress.org, Rove is given a IM'ing device, IMs Moveon's president and adds "Have enjoyed listening to your [MoveOn?] calls!"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Nice try, Rove.

You're not dealing with people who are scared of you, so your psych out tactics won't work on this crowd.

Wanna know why?

Because your words work on the surface. If people think twice or thrice about what you say, they really have nothing to fear, but that's what you count on, that people DON'T think twice or thrice. That's why your tactics work with the general public.

Thinking twice about your IM, "Have enjoyed listening to your [MoveOn?] calls!", that DESPITE your enjoyment of said calls, your party is on the decline, some of your respected members are heading for jail or soon will be or should've been and the public knows it (See Abramoff, Cunningham, Libby, Kerik, who knows, maybe you Rove?) AND your party got routed last election and the next election is looking much of the same.

So, enjoy listening to other people's phone calls, Rove. Snicker away that you got away.

You're the grand poobah of a rapidly declining, insanely corrupt, inhumanly uncaring bunch of saber rattling imbeciles. And your tactics was exactly what this country needed to understand the above sentence.

 
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Friday, October 19, 2007

New Beginnings

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I know it's been quiet around here the last few months, but honestly, there's been a lot to absorb in my world.

It almost seemed like there was a clear demarkation the day I left my last job. Here's what happened. I left my job on a Thursday, and on Friday, I interviewed for a job that I'm now working for, and on that Friday as well, Bratworse was given a completely clean bill of health.

It almost seemed like, I basically had to endure working at the job I was at, the past three years, so that the results of the flooding from last year would have a positive result (despite some shirking of responsibilities from responsible parties) AND Bratworse's health problems were taken care of. Everything seems so shiny and new at this point.

My new boss, the poor guy. We're in the middle of a move and he's having employee turnover and it's the heavy season for him. I'm still unsure about the position, but every day the position fits a little better. One thing for sure, my Chinese is going to improve tons.

Gettiing older has its advantages. Things that I would've accepted as part of the parcel, I now speak up about. Hopefully, this will make me a better manager.

I'm feeling good about the future. Whether or not that future includes an XBO 360, and a 50" tv, remains to be seen. Bratworse is hard at work, trying to convince me this will be a great thing. The dang thing is, she friggin' found a 50" tv for less than what we paid for one new computer. I'm having a hard time justifying saying no to a TV when I so readily said yes to new computers. But that's the big advantage of being a DINK, isn't it. Wondering what foolish purchase you'll buy next.

 
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Into the Lead

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So far none of the democratic candidates have leapt to the forefront for me, but today, Chris Dodd just did. He's decided to filibuster the FISA bill due to the poison pill amendment that the Republicans have put in. You know, the amendment that basically says that IF the telecoms companies (and that's no if, there's already proof they have) broke the law in the past three years, they basically can get away scott free, yeah, that one.

Well, I've been leaning towards him for a little while now and with this, it's definite. Sorry Hillary. If you had been the one to take the lead on this, I'd been so happy to leap behind you in support.

Thanks for being brave, Senator Dodd.

 
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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Interesting Phenomenon

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Over the past weekend, I visited my family. Both my aging mother and my aging uncle (through marriage) said vehemently, "That woman" in reference to Hillary Clinton, and both said it without prompting.

It appears that Hillary brings out the hatred in conservatives - both of them qualify for that title. My uncle Wayne, a survivor of two sinkings in WWII, is a staunch republican, and my mother is somebody whom I'm very very glad, doesn't vote.

I'm pretty sure that my mother hates Hillary for reasons totally unpolitical. This is a woman, whose husband was cheating, but she seems to have gotten him back in line. That's just something my mother cannot forgive, for she was unable to do it herself. But Uncle Wayne? Part of the reason for his utterance was to provoke a response from me, and because I had been warned by my mother not to participate, I just ignored it.

Just what is it about Hillary, that brings out the rawr in these old souls? I really wonder.

 
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Think Our Government Supports the Troops?

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Then explain this.

In short, the Minnesota National Guard was brought back from Iraq after 729 days. Why the odd number? Why, gee, after 730 days in Iraq, the Guardsmen would've qualified for higher education under the G.I. Bill.

Now, they don't qualify. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Oh yes. Wearing a flag lapel and having bumper stickers on your car show support. If only these poor Guardsmen could turn those bumper stickers and lapels into cash for education.

Sheesh!

 
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Friday, October 05, 2007

Neglect

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It's kind of sad, watching the ruins of a business trying to pick itself back up from being neglected. I hear the blame is falling on some who are leaving and have left. But honestly, how can anyone expect someone else to treat the business as if their own? Especially when the ones in charge are missing? And the ones below aren't being compensated enough?

This new company I'm joining - three weeks paid leave a year, from first year on. Now that's making sure your employees know they're valued.

 
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bein' Neighborly

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Yesterday, there was a knocking on our front door. Bratworse looks at me and says, "That doesn't sound like the Manager's knock, wonder who it is." She looked a bit hesitant to answer the door because we have one rather rude neighbor who allowed her offspring to, well... it wasn't neighborly, let's just say.

So I got up and as I walked to the door, I queried, "Who is it?"

A muffled voice came thrrough the door. "It's your neighbor who parks right across from you!"

"Oh!"

I opened the door to see my silver-haired wonderful neighbor who chats with us all the time. "Hi!" he said, with his arms full of lightbulbs. "I'm getting rid of these and thought you guys might be able to use them." I saw that they were the special type of bulbs that go into our bathroom light fixtures.

"Yes!" I said, beaming at him. "I always forget to buy those and so we have tons of them that have blown." He smiled knowingly and said "I just changed over to flourescents and thought that might be the case with you two." He then waved and went on his way.

Damn I have some really great neighbors. Have I said how much I love living in Oakland?

 
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Friday, September 14, 2007

Is Your Job a Horcrux?

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Last night I was reading one chapter out of the latest Harry Potter book to Bratworse (she had been reading the others to me but last night she was tired). In that chapter, there were long descriptions about how the Horcrux around Harry's neck made him tired, felt heavy and just made the wearer a grumpy asshole.

Well, I've been applying to other jobs lately and this morning, I woke up with a song in my heart and a feeling of anticipation towards the future.

I had NO idea my current job felt just like a Horcrux.

Part of me is still hoping to just maintain the momentum but the other part that is singing today, wants to bolt out the door.

We shall see what the future brings.

 
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Changes...

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Well, Bratworse's cyst turned out to be a tumor and while the prognosis is good, there's always a feeling of Damocle's sword when the big C is being bandied about.

The tumor hadn't mestatacized into an actual cancer, but it seems likely if we hadn't taken it out. I told Bratworse that our being together was meant to be. If she hadn't been with a hypochondriac, she probably would still have the tumor inside her.

In all actuality, I probably have a higher chance of getting cancer than her since I was a smoker for almost 30 years. But that's neither here nor there.

This helps focuses us a bit. We don't ever want to waste time being miserable or unhappy. I look at people around us, like some of our neighbors and just wonder how they manage to go on with their own misery hanging about them like a cloud.

There may be other changes in store as well. The wedding may be moved up now to next year instead of 2009.

By the way, our friend the Panamaniac told us that catching this tumor at this stage was like a blind outfielder catching a fly ball. :)

 
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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Out of the Woods

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I haven't been posting much because the main thing on my mind, Bratworse didn't want it to be discussed anywhere until after the fact. And now, it's after the fact.

Bratworse had surgery on Thursday to remove a cyst, an ovary and a fallopian tube. The surgery went well. However, she has some resultant pneumacitis. Since then though, every day she's gotten better. *Whew!*

She's well enough to enjoy some of the Wii games we have, so I'm not too worried anymore.

 
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Monday, August 20, 2007

O My! Is that an O-Line I Spy?

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It's only the 2nd pre-season game, but everytime the Raiders have the ball and it's snapped, I hold my breath. And these last two games, I've actually had to hold my breath instead of letting out immediately.

Could it be... Do I dare hope that the Raiders have fixed the O-line problem and we stand a friggin chance? The defense looks like it's ready for opening day already.

We shall see, won't we?

 
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Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Nice Space

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Oh my, Bratworse has created a really nice space here to call home. Today, we worked on cleaning out part of the guest bedroom and the rest of the living room. And gosh, does it all look nice.

We put the weight bench in front of the aquarium and now the kitties are perched there watching the fishies swim about, occasionally leaning against the glass to get closer looks. We put the coffee table in front of the fireplace, leaving a much emptier space in the middle and now we've got plenty of room to play with the kitties or play the Nintendo Wii.

I accidentally shrank the red cover to our couch, so we're back to the original beige, but we're keeping the cushions red.

The spare bedroom's coming along too. Just not there quite yet.

We definitely have a nice space.

 
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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Playing to Win

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Once, I was watching Mythbusters when Adam and Jamie had to shoot each other with air rifles for some reason. The deal was, after each shot, they inched closer until one of them cried "Uncle."

Adam's the doofus and he's the one everyone likes. Jamie... on the other hand, is very cold and methodical. Guess who won?

Jamie had the great (and not very nice) idea of shooting Adam in the same spot over and over again, and if you've ever been hit in the same place a few times, you know that the tenderness multiplies with each subsequent hit.

Needless to say, Jamie had Adam crying "Uncle" before Jamie even got a tear in his eye from the pain he received.

Why do I bring this up?

The administration and the Democratic Congress. THAT'S WHY!

Grrrrrrr! The administration is like Jamie, shooting in the same spot over and over gain. And the democratic congress gets one pulled over them. And in this case, who loses? The American Public.

Gee thanks, Congress. We really have to make sure those assholes don't get near power again, don't we, since you guys can't be trusted to stand up to them. I'm so disgusted!

 
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Monday, July 30, 2007

kd! kd! kd! We love you!

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Went to see k.d. lang and Lyle Lovett in concert last night.... boy howdy, does k.d. still have a set of pipes on her.

At one point, I turned to Bratworse and I said, "On our honeymoon, I want k.d. singing in the background."

We went with our good friend Lone Wolf. I was all ready to leave after k.d.'s portion but I knew both Lone Wolf and Bratworse were enjoying themselves so I settled back to enjoy it too. I swear, Lyle Lovett looked 40 at age 8.

k.d. seemed happy and a tad hefty but geezus, can that woman send me into orgasms with her voice. There are only two singers in the world who've made me cry with their vocal acrobatics and one was Placido Domingo and the other is k.d. lang - Listen to her version of Cole Porter's "So in Love" and you'll maybe begin to hear what I hear... the smoky sexy low notes, climbing to controlled high notes that seem to go on forever.

k.d. lang still does it for me... I don't think I've held a crush this long in my life, ever. Thanks k.d., this is like the 6th time I've seen you live and each time, you bring tears to my eyes.

By the way, I miss you doing Johnny Get Angry and Crying. Will you ever do those two in concert ever again?

 
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The End of An Era

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There's a part of me today that's sad and wistful - I had finished the last of the Harry Potter books last night.

There's too many things I want to know more about - I kind of hope there is a follow up book.

What do I think of it?

I think it was decently done and fairly well thought out. I was surprised at some of the twists and turns, and half-expected the rest. One was a pleasant surprise, the others made me cry. Heck, even the pleasant one made me cry.

I started the series when the first book came out, based on several friends' recommendations. And today, I find myself drifting among the reeds of memory, reliving bits and pieces of Harry's, Hermione's and Ron's life. I will miss the opportunity to live with them for a few days every few years.

 
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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So, anyone reading this? I am, but because life's been fairly busy since Sat., I'm only about 2/3 of the way through.

If you are reading it, are you enjoying it? So far I've cried like three times and I expect I will be crying a few more times before I finish it.

 
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Monday, July 23, 2007

Busy Weekends

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I'm too used to having my weekends to myself. I forget that summers, people like to get together and just hang out.

Saturday night, we went to celebrate our friend's 40th birthday. It was a nice quiet affair, quite unlike our raucous youth. There were, of course, rugrats running about with the oldest being 3 and the youngest being around 8 months old.

Bratworse kept claiming that the 1-1/2 year old got her drunk, because we were teaching the child "Cheers" and clinking of glasses. Since she was sitting on Bratworse's lap, it was Bratworse's bottle that she kept clinking. The rest of us were telling Bratworse that in order to teach properly, she HAD to take a swig after every clink, and Bratworse complied.

On the way home, Bratworse got a really bad case of the hiccups and since I was trapped in a car with her, I decided the joyous experience must be shared; so we called up her mom to torture her with the hiccups. I can be an ass.

Sunday, we had the pleasure of spending time with my best college buddy. It was so weird seeing her with two pre-teens because I kind of dropped out of her life for 10 years and missed her pregnancies and the children growing up. We went swimming in our condo pool and all of a sudden, time melted away and it was my best college buddy and I in HER pool back in college.

Her two kids are so well behaved and so... innocent like. I took out some DVDs for them to watch... and the oldest kept saying, "No, that's scary." We finally settled on The Sound of Music and both kids sat transfixed to the TV.

All in all, it was a nice time - and if you're an Asian Animal House member, it was Elephant who came by with her two kids. Teddy Bear and Cat couldn't make it up. Elephant met up with Teddy Bear and Cat later for dinner, but I didn't make it there.

 
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

None of the Above

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BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

This couldn't happen to a nicer political party (not!).

In a poll from the AP/Ipsos poll, the top republican nominees get at most 13% of the tally. Guess which answer got 25%?

No, not even Not sure at this time.

NONE OF THE ABOVE got 25%! Bwahahahaha!

Oh, one thing I'll say for Bush/Cheney - they are the anchor to a sinking ship.

 
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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Strawberry Fields Forever

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Went and saw my two little friends today. They both launched from the sofa the second I walked in and the youngest basically wanted to be in my arms most of the day, which I happily accommodated.

Their mom had decided we were going to be joining up with the eldest's best friend and her family, to go pick strawberries from a farm fairly nearby. It was a gorgeous day for this activity. The farm had lots of animals on it, which fascinated all four kids. I, unfortunately, was plagued the whole time by thoughts of the boy sticking his stubby fingers through the cage of the goats, and the goats thinking the fingers were sticks of carrots.

The youngest and I do have a little bit of a bond going. I hope it lasts for a very very long time. I am SO enjoying the time we spend together.

 
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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Implosions?

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I was thinking about Watergate and how Nixon had to resign. Basically, there were people in the Republican party who could see into the future and was able to convince Nixon.

Who, in the inner circle of the Administration would 1) dare to or 2) want to. The advantage to having a vice-president who doesn't want to be president is, he's got nothing to lose. And that's a detriment to the American public.

Right now the Republican party is floundering, and because most of them has kowtowed to this Administration for so long, any standing up they do now looks feeble. Bush is driving the U.S. off a cliff and Republicans have given the green light AND permission to accelerate at each juncture. The sight of them putting up paper cops to try and slow down the impending disaster is pathetic.

Hence the hopeful eventuality of the Republican Party's implosion.

 
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Friday, July 06, 2007

Obsessions

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So, it's been two weeks since we found New Worlds and though it's boring at times, we can't help but log on.

It's gotten so that I think I want to give up my WoW fees.

Within a day or so of us joining New Worlds, there was another player, Sabana who had joined up. By the end of week, I wanted to know who this person was. And I found out.

On the old game, my character had an affair before she got engaged (to Bratworse's character). It turns out that Sabana WAS that character I had an affair with. Talk about small world.

I hope she comes back (It's been around a week since she was last sighted). I enjoyed playing New Worlds with her.

 
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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Curtain Falling for Sad Sack

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Today, Josh Marshall of TPM suggested that it was the 2nd demise of the immigration bill that makes Bush look like a sad sack in his speech today.

I wrote TPM with "Might I suggest that it is not the demise of his immigration bill that is causing the president’s current funk, but rather, all these revelations about Dick Cheney as the wizard behind the curtain. After all, he’s been going around telling people within the last year the he is the decider, the commander in chief. It is, so to speak, the curtain falling for Bush and he’s beginning to realize it."

Dick Cheney is almost daring the U.S. to stage a coup to get him out of the OVP. The bastich!

 
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here We Go Again

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Long time readers here know that Bratworse and I met through a MUD. Soon after she and I got together, we left the MUD we were playing and didn't look back.

Last week, we started a search for a new home to MUD in. And through trial and error, we finally hopped into New Worlds, a MUD run by a former player and pal of ours. Because so many of our friends play on New Worlds, we decided to tell no one of our plans - we wanted to see if we get recognized.

New Worlds is an RP world, which means the second you log on, you create a story for your character and you have to stay in character. Many people think this means talking in Rennaissance Faire language, like 'How art thee, Miss' but that's just not true. It means if you create a Centaur (like I did), you have to remember that you're a Centaur at all times, and if you're a peasant, you have to act like a peasant. If you want to act all high and mighty, then choose noble as your background.

Anyway, Bratworse and I thrive in this type of environment. We get to use our imagination, giggle and interact with other people. One of my character's quirks is, she nods to herself all the time, and she quotes her Ma's sayings all the time.

But here's what gets to me.

The first night we log on, we meet up with one of my best friends from the old MUD. I know who she is, but she has no idea Gryssic is me. And yet, within 15 minutes of rp'ing with me, she already knows it's me, and she tells the designer of the game that it's me. I figured out she knew it was me when the next day, she made me go apologize to one of her guildmates for interrupting his talk. She normally wouldn't make a person new to the game do that, but since she had a feeling it was me (the feeling was getting confirmed with each action I took in character), she had no problems humiliating me.

I confirmed everything with her today when I let her know Gryssic's me. But truth be told, I have missed her tremendously and I am soooo glad to be playing with her again.

I remember when she was just starting out in the other game... and how shy she seemed. I didn't know that she was just getting to know English (she's greek) but when I did, I used to translate for her. Now, she's an ex-GM (Guild Mistress) of this game.

I think we're both hooked.

 
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Friday, June 22, 2007

Why I Wish I could Draw

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There are times I really wish I could do a comic strip called Life With Bratworse. I noticed her pants was loose. I thought about telling her, "You must've lost weight, the jeans look loose." But if I did, I know what would be the result which is why I want to do a strip called Life With Bratworse.

Panel one: Bratworse walks past me with me gazing after her. Me: Didja loose some weight? The jeans look baggy in the ass."

Panel two: Bratworse comes back to face me, tugging at the seat of her jeans. "Really? They look loose?"

Panel three: Caption: 4 Hours Later. Same panel as panel 2. "How much weight you think I lost?"

Panel four: Caption: 8 Hours Later. Same panel as panel 2. "Think anyone else noticed?"

Panel five: Me in bed with pillow over head. Bratworse is looking in the mirror all happy. "I DID lose weight, didn't I?" I'm mumbling something incoherent under the pillow.

 
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Hmmm

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You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

 
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Replacement MUD

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Bratworse and I met through a MUD - a Multi-User Dungeon. 'K, get your head out of there - Dungeon as in D&D as in Dungeons and Dragons, NOT Dungeon as defined in the S&M world. (Man, that image really gives a whole new meaning to dungeon crawl - we gamers think of that term as going into dungeon after dungeon fighting creepy crawlies.)

This particular MUD sucked both of us, and we lost about four years each of our lives to this virtual world. Oh, what is a MUD? It's basically a D&D game that's text-based so everything is based on your imagination. When a Giant Hornet comes out of the Forest after you, you basically just see the words. The terror comes from your imagination AND the consequences from your character dying.

Both Bratworse and I miss MUDs terribly. It's very much participating in an on-going novel on which your character has to react to others. For instance, when my character used to walk into a room she pounced on people playfully. In my head, I could picture my character doing that and trust me, I wish I could do that in real life.

We spent about 5 hours last night searching for a replacement MUD. We wanted one that you could level a character up, that was 18+ so we could engage in MUDsex (trust me, there's a lot of that going on) and that was roleplay intensive. Nothing spoils the imagination like having a character all decked out in medieval armor come up to you and say, "Yo dude, whazzup?" or even worse, "BRB, AFK for 5."

So far, we've found roleplay intensive MUDs that allowed 13 year olds. We found Adult-Only MUDs that was ONLY about sex. We've found adult only roleplay intensive MUDs, but we didn't like the races or classes offered. UGH.

Our search goes on because both of us refuse to believe there was only one MUD out there like the one we were on. Neither of us want to go back to the one we met on, me because I ended up hating one of the Admin and some of the people there, her because hmm I'm not sure. I think she didn't like the Admin too.

 
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

See?! Anti-Bacterial Soap Breed Super-Bugs!

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Vindicated, at last! Scientific American has an article out about how anti-bacterial soap may end up doing more harm than good.

If I find out new parents are using anti-bacterial soap around their newborns, I get so pissed. How are the babies supposed to develop immunities if you kill every germ around?

 
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Digby Revealed & OMG! He's a She!

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On behalf of political bloggers on the left, Digby accepted an award from the Take Back America conference yesterday. Who is Digby you ask?

Digby has the blog Hullabaloo and although I have Talking Points Memo as my home page, Digby is easily my favorite writer/blogger because she has a way of putting complex thoughts and issues succinctly and in such a no-hold-barred, straight-forward way that's just breathtaking. Only reason why TPM is my home page is because on any given day, about 15-20 new articles appear on TPM whereas Digby tends to have about 5-8 posts in one day, half of which are written by others.

Do yourself a favor and go listen to her acceptance speech. Perhaps then, you'll understand why most bloggers tend to quote her words at length, or why she was chosen out of all those thousands of bloggers, or why when quoting her, most bloggers use the term "inimitable."

I've guessed for a while that Digby was a woman, because of clues (well outright claims). The first time I read that Digby was a woman I did a double-take. Since then, I had hints from various bloggers and was fairly certain Digby was female. It just made me want to read her more.

Anyway, Digby, just wanted to say thank you and it's wonderful to see your face finally.

 
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Local Fish Stores - a Review

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There are several fish stores within a 15 mile radius of Oakland and I think we have a new favorite, though we have to cross the bridge to get to it.

The Octopus Gardens is where we purchased Ossie, our 75 gallon tank and various asundries. We love Erin, the owner because he has a dark humor, is very sarcastic and dry and ... well, we just like him. Sadly, the Octopus Gardens has closing its doors officially and will be operating out of Erin's home. You can still purchase from Erin at berkeleyaquarium AT yahoo.com however, be forewarned, the prices can be fairly high.

New Alameda Aquatics is another local store I like. They've changed their store hours and their website recently. I've always found their staff to be very knowledgeable and helpful, plus their prices are very reasonable.

Amazon Aquatics, I don't know much about. I've been in there twice and liked what I saw but I haven't really spoken to their staff nor hung out there. There's a lot of space around and maybe that's why I don't hang out there - there just doesn't seem to be as many tanks as some of the other stores.

Lucky Goldfish is really close to our house and rather spacious inside. Because this store deals primarily with freshwater fish, we tend not to go here.

Our latest find is through one of Bratworse's schoolmates. He told us about a store in San Francisco that has a sale every Sunday and so we visited it - twice! It's called the 6th Street Aquarium and it's crammed with fish and fish tank supplies. We took the 3 year old and the 1 year old there this past Sunday because the 1 year old LOVES fish (or at least loves to sign fish). The 3 year old was a tad freaked by the smell, the people and was hanging onto Bratworse's leg almost the entire time. The 1 year old, we tried to keep in our arms, but she struggled hard to get closer looks and finally got her way. She was in hog (or is that fish) heaven!

Anyway, this aquarium gives us an excuse to visit the city.

 
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Almost There

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Oooooh, it's so close now I can taste it. The windows (double-paned) have been put in and the sliding glass door. This weekend was fantastic in the living room. Bratworse skipped the 2nd half of her class and came home on Friday night. I cooked a couple of hamburgers for us and enjoyed our new living room. It was nice and cozy.

Saturday morning, Bratworse cleaned out the bedroom and rearranged some stuff so that the bedroom looks fantastic now. My honey!

The cats are happy, everything is great. AND I managed to thwart Bratworse's attempt to purchase a shark for our tank. (My thwarting may only be a procrastination maneuver at best; I've a feeling within the next three weeks we'll have a shark in the house).

Oh, and Fluke perished last night. Bratworse says that because we were able to catch Fluke by accident proved that Fluke was probably weak and destined for a short lifespan anyway. She's probably right.

Towards the end of this week, we'll have the kitchen and bedroom windows put in and construction on our unit will finally be done! YaY!

The living room is starting to look really nice.

 
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Friday, June 15, 2007

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Those are three additions to our new tank. We'll probably experience a territorial fight between all the damsels we got, since these are fairly territorial creatures. We named the domino (the black one with white spots) Domino (how original I know), the 3 stipe damsel - Zee, and the blue devil damsel - Neon. There's another fish that we got accidentally, so we named it Fluke. The original damsel we got, we named Cat. It's a blue-gold damsel.

 
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Gonna Wash That Shampoo Outta My Hair"

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See this shampoo here? It's my beloved Aussie Shampoo. Only about 4 years ago, they discontinued this and produced a new version of this. It comes in a god-awful purple bottle, I guess so you can spot it immediately down the shopping aisle.

Back then, I tried out the new "improved" version of this shampoo. First off, the nice non-offensive yellow-cream color was changed to a pearly white color. Secondly, they improved it by getting it not to lather. Just a dab of the original shampoo would lather up my short hair quite nicely. With the new "improved" version, I needed 5 times as much shampoo to get the same lather. I instantly saw what the improvement was: it was an improvement for the manufacturers and retailers since you had to replenish the shampoo more often (5 times more often!).

Apparently I bitched about the new "improved" shampoo so much that Bratworse went on a shopping spree when she went to visit her mother. She went into EVERY grocery store and drug store near her mother's house and bought me 5 bottles of the original shampoo.

Four years later, I finally used up the last of the shampoo about two weeks ago. *SNIFF*

I'm on the hunt for new shampoos. I've tried out Garnier's Fructis and BOY! I DO NOT LIKE this shampoo at all.

Aussie Mega Shampoo left my hair feeling light and responsive. Garnier's Fructis feels like it's still in my hair after I rinse, leaving the hair heavy and unresponsive. Of course, it's that pearly white that the new "improved" Aussie Shampoo is - I am now totally prejudiced against that color of shampoo.

Manufacturers of Aussie Shampoo: I understand you needed to up your profits some. But why did you have to come up with something that's FIVE times worse? Why not just twice? I really miss your shampoo - when I tried it out in the 80's I visibly relaxed because I no longer had to spend minutes in the shampoo aisle trying to figure out what I kinda liked.

Ugh, I hate how my hair feels because of this Garnier Fructis.

Oh, by the way, Bratworse? When you bought me these 5 bottles, you did something no one else in the world has even come close to matching. I love you so much and thanks!

 
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A True List of Hotness

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Recently, a co-worker brought in a Maxim at work and showed it to me thinking I'd be interested. *YAWN*

Apparently, Maxim ran a top 100 list of hottest women recently and so, AfterEllen.com - a favorite website of mine that caters to lesbians - decided to see what lesbians would pick as their hottest 100 women.

Can you imagine Queen Latifah (she's #55) making ANY of these straight idiots' lists? I find her TOTALLY hot (a wistful sigh escapes my lips every time I see her onscreen).

But what's funny about this list is, it's like a who's who of every woman who's ever kissed a girl onscreen. Notable exceptions were Laurel Holloway (which is UNBELIEVABLE since she played the ultra-cute Randy in The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, a GREAT lesbian coming out flick AND she's in the L Word albeit as a bisexual bitch right now) and Denise Richards (which straight men find hot, but not lesbians which is why Neve Campbell made the list and not her though they had one nice hot lesbian scene together in Wild Things).

Also surprised that Mariel Hemmingway didn't make the list since she was soooo great in Personal Best.

BTW, all three of these actresses from the L Word made it onto the top 100 with Leisha Hailey (the blonde on the right) being number 1! It helps that Leisha is the ONLY actress on the L Word to be out as a lesbian.

 
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Older Than I Thought

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The other day at work, we were comparing ages. I insisted I was 42 until someone asked what year I was born in. Turns out I'm turning 44 this year.

This is weird for me. In the past, I've always thought of myself as older - I was 28 from 25-28 just cause I liked the number. I was also 36 for 3 years from 34-36.

Maybe I'll start declaring that I'm 48. But I know Bratworse would hate it.

 
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View from the Train

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Went to the zoo on Sunday with my 3 year old friend and my 1 year old friend. One of the first things we did was go on the Carousel which my 1 year old friend LOVED LOVED LOVED. In fact she loved it so much, she headed back to the carousel without prompting, prompting me to run between people after her. I'm not sure what fascinated her more, the circular motion of the carousel itself, or the up and down motion of the horse.

When asked what she wanted to do next, the three year old shouted, "The Train!" There is a small track inside the zoo, that runs past a few exhibits and makes a couple of loops. Judging from reactions from both within and without the train, there seems to be an unspoken rule that if a train with youngsters go by, both riders and observers need to wave. We waved at every passenger on the train, twice (since it loops). When it was our turn, we waved at every passerby, some twice (since they have the liberty to walk away and to the train, I've no idea if we passed all of them twice).

However, the most memorable thing for us adults on the train was, as we rounded the first turn and came upon the Tapir exhibit, we caught sight of a very long and slender schlong, dangling fully extended from the male Tapir, who was halfway onto the female's back.

Of course, every adult on the train cheered. After all, the train was filled with products of such unions.

 
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Setting up an Aquarium

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YAY! Our 75 gallon tank FINALLY has sea water in it!

The day the flood happened in our condo, was the day we were set to start our 75 gallon tank. It is now a year and a month later and we finally were able to get started on this project again.

To cycle our tank, we got one of these guys, an arrow crab, one new live rock (our $500 worth of live rock didn't survive the year. Neither did our $100 of live sand), a scoop of live sand, and one blue/gold damsel.

Welcome to the family guys and thanks for helping to cycle our tank.

 
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Fire Alarm

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Ugh, nothing like a 1 AM fire alarm going off in your building to truly disrupt your sleep. Both Bratworse and I were fast asleep when for some strange reason, the fire alarm went off. She managed to wake up and get us out of bed. I was in a dead sleep, you know, when your limbs feel immovable? My first thought was, the cats! Then I realized 80% of these alarms are false and before I should try herding cats while stumbling in the dark, I should see if the alarms are real.

Sure enough, it was a false alarm.

There's only been two times when the alarm was real, in the past 14 years I lived there. Once, the alarm went off during a Raiders playoff game (when Gannon was quarterback) and most of us Raiders fans had to really fight between watching the final few minutes or leaving for safety. Guess what most of us opted? We watched until the game was a fairly foregone conclusion (pretty much but with the Raiders, we've been known to blow huge leads) then we went outside to talk about the game while firefighters put out a fire.

The other time, it was set off by someone's bad cooking and that was in the middle of the night. I was the only one to respond (it was again about 1 or 2 am and everyone was asleep). When I smelled smoke and realized no one had left their condos, I ran around pounding on people's doors. This time about 20 people gathered outside, though there was no sign of smoke or anything.

Needless to say, I had a really hard time getting up.

 
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Friday, June 08, 2007

That Sound You Hear...

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... is the sound of energy execs scrambling to offset their losses in this new and cool technology.

Apparently those real geniuses over at MIT have discovered wireless electricity!

The big question I have for when this techonology becomes available to the public at large is, are we going to trudge up cables from underground to keep them from polluting the earth more, or will we just leave them for some future generation to worry about? If I know human nature, I'd put my money on the second answer. *sigh*

But hey, wireless electricity - cool shit, no?

 
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Yes, Cap'n!

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Our really good pal, Bryan the Fireman just made Captain! It's been a long time in coming since he's been acting captain of his firehouse for a few years now. This promotion just makes it officially real.

Before deciding on becoming a fireman, he was a drifter in jobs, going from carpentry to computer systems to I believe even a bartending job. Being a fireman was literally his calling.

Congrats, Cap'n! Should we salute you when we see you next?

 
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The End of the World

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So over the weekend, we go and visit Bratworse's Mom, Sugarmeesweettt. Sometimes, things that come from Sugarmeesweettt's mouth really amuses me.

One of the things she declared to us was that the world was going to end on December 12th, 2010. As we're rolling on the ground laughing, she claimed that she saw an old china-woman on TV say that the Chinese calendar ends abruptly on December 12th, 2010 and that indicates that the world is going to end.

"But," I said weakly as tears roll down my face, "how can that be when the Chinese calendar ends and begins usually in January/February? It makes no sense that they would stop it before the year ends."

She rolled her eyes at me as if I was naive. "The world ends of course. Why would they continue it when the world ends."

Of course. What WAS I thinking?

Anyway, I think this is what she was referring to: (courtesy of Wikipedia)
December 21 — The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, notably used by the Maya civilization among others of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, completes its thirteenth b'ak'tun cycle since the calendar's mythical starting point (equivalent to 3114 BC August 11 in the proleptic Gregorian calendar, according to the "GMT-correlation" JDN= 584283).[1] The Long Count b'ak'tun date of this starting point (13.0.0.0.0) is repeated, for the first time in a span of approximately 5,125 solar years. The significance of this period-ending to the pre-Columbian Maya themselves is unclear, and there is an incomplete inscription (Tortuguero Stela 6) which records this date. It is also to be found carved on the walls of the Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque, where it functions as a base date from which other dates are computed.[2] However, it is conjectured that this may represent in the Maya belief system a transition from the current Creation world into the next. The December solstice for 2012 also occurs on this day.
Sugarmeesweettt, it's the Mayan calendar, not Chinese and it's December 21st, not December 12th. Whew. We'll have an extra 9 days to have fun and enjoy ourselves before the world comes to a screeching halt.

 
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Monday, June 04, 2007

Sub-Conscious Meanings

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Through BoingBoing I find out that Ray Bradbury has repudiated the notion that Fahrenheit 451 is about censorship.

With all due respect, I think Mr. Bradbury is wrong. I once read a review of Nobody where the reviewer noticed that the main character, Jessica got hurt worse and worse every time she cared. When she didn't give a shit, she succeeded.

I marvelled at this reviewer's insight. In some ways, because I have such trust issues, I wasn't making my protagonist pay for every time she trusted or cared.

Whether we writer/artists like it or not, themes come out through our creations, ones often deeper than the more conscious and intended themes.

 
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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gizi & Omega

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That's the best photo I could get so far today of the two kitties. Our building is having worked done on the outside, right next to our unit and so both cats are a bit freaked about the noise. They won't even be out here in the living room with me right now because of the noise.

The short haired one to the left is Gizi. We've had her since November of 2006 and we think she's about a year old right now. She has a cold, poor thing. Last night when I went to the bathroom, she followed me in to get some lovin's and sneezed icky snot all over my foot. As you can see, she still looks like a kitten and we think she won't grow any bigger than her size now.

The one to the right is Omega. See all that pretty red hair? She is the first kitty I've known to have really red hair, not the dumb orange (every orange kitty I've had, I haven't gotten along with). Her fur is amazing AND she doesn't shed much.

She's starting to know her name but damned if she'll come when you call her. Gizi, on the other hand, keeps hoping for food or play when you call so she'll run to you every time.

I think Gizi's mine and Omega is Bratworse's but we'll see. Right now, Omega's been sleeping next to her and Gizi next to me but that might change in the future.

I'll try and get more pictures of the two to post up here.

 
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Raiders Fan, Not a Football Fan

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"You're only a Raiders fan, not a football fan like me," declared Bratworse to me at the end of last season. I tilted my head for a further explanation. "You only care about the Raiders and you don't care to watch football unless it's Raiders related."

I wanted to disagree with Bratworse. I wanted to declare myself a true fan of football but you know, she's right. I figured this out a few weekends ago when I flew down to Long Beach for DanceTeach's graduation. On the flight back via JetBlue, two PBA (Professional Bowling Association) tournaments were on ESPN and ESPN Classic. The first one was Professional Women's and the second one was a tourney from 2005 which featured a showdown between Pete Webber and Walter Ray Williams, Jr. Throughout the flight I was fascinated and cheering in my seat for every strike, groaning for every missed opportunity and just loving the experience. When I got off the plane, I said to Bratworse, "I'm a bowling fan - I like to watch ALL bowlers. And you're right, I'm just a Raiders fan, not a Football fan."

Being a Raiders fan, last season was particularly hard. But with a new coach, the number one draft pick JaMarcus Russell, with Moss gone, it's hard not to feel hope rekindling again. It's only about 6-7 more weeks until pre-season and honestly, I can't wait.

 
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Why We Went to War

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Damn, but boy howdy, did Atrios (Duncan Black) totally nail the many varied reasons for us going to war. Hope he doesn't mind but I'm going to quote the first part of it and you can go there to read the rest of it.
The answer is unknowable because there isn't one. There are a variety of powerful actors who have different motives. It's as true, if not more true, for the continued occupation as it was for the initial invasion.

George Bush started the war because Saddam tried to killed his Dad and because he wanted to prance around on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit. He later got stubborn about the whole thing when those mean Democrats started criticizing him, and he began to buy into the transformational rhetoric due to his increasing messianic bent. And, now, it's about his "legacy."

Dick Cheney started the war because of his insatiable lust for the black stuff. Dick Cheney keeps us in Iraq because of his insatiable lust for the black stuff.

Don Rumsfeld went to war to prove that he could achieve any military result with 3 marines, an armed aerial drone, and his left pinky. He stayed in Iraq because George Bush told him to and because he still needed to prove his awesomeness...

Democrats went to war because they were scared of losing their elections. They stay there because they're scared of losing elections.
And these are only some of the reasons why we're fucked in Iraq.

 
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Waaaaay Too Cool

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Found this video through BoingBoing and just had to share with you all.

This guy, Eggman913 made a video of about 500 pieces of artwork, all featuring women's faces, morphing into each other. I spotted Da Vinci, Picasso, Monet, Mucha (two of them), and others I recognized but didn't know.

I want this as a screen saver now!



Enjoy this as much as I did!

 
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Assessing the Kitty Situation

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Last Saturday, we passed by the Oakland Animal Shelter and looked at each other before screeching to a halt. Went in and looked at three kitties. One was a lover but she was also a major shedder. Knowing Bratworse’s inability to deal with loose strands of hair, I gently suggested another. Bratworse was insistent on the lover and only when we discovered that she hadn’t been fixed yet and we had to wait a week did she change her mind. We had wanted the kitties used to each other before we went away.

Another one we looked at was a playful playful kitty. The animal shelter now does this really cool thing by tagging their cages with personality tags. This one had Party Animal underlined three times (the other one, the lover had "Follower"). While we thought it would be a good match for Gizi who is also this party animal, we thought the havoc wreaked upon our place might be too much.

We instead chose one whose fur is SOFT SOFT SOFT! I thought Ashley’s fur was soft. This one has Ash's beat but not by much. We’re calling her Omega (Meg for short – she reminds me of Disney’s Hercules’ Meg). It turned out to be a really good choice.

We had thought Gizi would be an alpha cat but it turns out that Gizi’s just a playful oblivious kitty. (Bratworse says Gizi's like me, always wanting to play, often oblivious.) Omega’s got a stronger personality and will nudge Gizi out of the way for food. Omega is more playful by herself but will let herself get chased around by Gizi. We’ve been letting them out into the living room when the construction workers weren’t there but when they gather in the bedroom at night, we lock them in. Last night was the first night they had the freedom to roam the entire condo in the middle of the night and boy howdy, am I glad. Last night, I don’t think I woke up once to a cat for the first time in 6 weeks.

I can't wait to post pictures of our new family member.

 
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lack of Political Posts

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Don't know if you've noticed but I've been slacking in the political posts department lately. First off, being without an internet in the evenings really has hampered how much I post. Secondly, the main topics in politics these days are the U.S. Attorney scandals, the immigration reform bill, 2008 presidential candidates and of course, the Iraq War.

I haven't posted much on these topics because I'm realizing in the U.S. Attorney scandal, either you get it or you don't. And if you don't, you don't want to really know. People who don't think that this affair was scandalous will tell me, "What's wrong? They work at the pleasure of the president and all presidents fire U.S. attorneys."

Basically these are the types of people who believe in slave labor - where else can people be removed without justification? In a meritocracy such as the U.S., there really should be NO instances of firing due to political reasons. Trying to explain why the firing of these 9 attorneys (yes, I said 9 and that's cause I DO keep up with the news even though I'm not blogging about it) just fires me up until I see red, so why bother?

I don't know much about the immigration bill so I won't post about it.

As for presidential candidates, I'm not passionate about any of the choices right now so I'll wait until after the primaries to really start making noise.

And the Iraq War? Until Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice are behind bars for their involvement in the run-up to the war, why else bother? It certainly looks as if people in congress (the majority that is) are too worried about getting back into office to vote against the war.

I'm going back to work on my WoW chars. It's certainly more fun that looking at the future of this country.

 
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Soooo Close Now

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Well, we got the internet hooked up on Saturday, as well as the new iMac. Also new to the house is our cat Omega who has the softest fur I've ever felt on a cat, even softer than my beautiful Ashley's. I'll put up photos of Gizi and Omega later.

The last bits of the construction should finish today or tomorrow. Yay! Then new windows time! WOOT! I've been wanting double paned windows for my place since I got it and they should be installed in the next few weeks.

I will be so happy when all this is done and we can start tossing out things. It's sooooo close now.

 
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Friday, May 25, 2007

Praise for M.B. Jessee

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Bratworse had done a wonderful sponge paint job in the living room and of the walls affected by the flood of last year, one of them had the faux decorative wall paint on it. So we hired M.B. Jessee to paint this wall to match the other walls.

Well, because the job has taken so long, and the house is in complete disarray, the paint that was used as the base for that wall, was completely wrong. It was waaaay too pinkish (we have a blue/purple motif throughout the living room).

Brian Sweet (sp?) is M.B. Jessee's faux painter and oh man, did he do wonders!

He had called up saying umm, did you know that the base paint is waaaay off and we told him yes, we knew it, but please just do the best in matching the wall with the rest of the unit.

Expecting the worst, we came back to the house yesterday to inspect it and lo and behold, we were blown away. The result is only slighty more pinkish than the original. We are ECSTATIC!

So, if you are in the Oakland/Alameda/Bay Area and need a good decorative painter for your house/office/etc.? Hire Brian Sweet of M.B. Jessee! Outstanding work!

 
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Coming Together

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Well, the progress on our house is coming together nicely. I'm picturing some time next week being able to enjoy our living room again. Of course, this is dependent on whether we ge† flooded again. Can you believe that during this past year, nary a word from Shirker? Can you imagine the type of lessons this type of parent might teach? No wonder people like our president abound.

Well, over the next month, we should have our double-paned windows as well. My new iMac is in a box waiting to be opened and after the dust has settled, we'll be getting our new kitty too.

I'm just a tad impatient right now. There's so much work ahead still but at least starting next week, we won't be cooped up in one room anymore.

AND it's the three-year old's birthday this weekend. We'll be partying with a bunch of rug-rats and screaming 2-3 year olds. Should be most excellent!

Life just can't be better.

 
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Suggestions of Plotlines for Women Super-Heroes

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I occasionally go over to read some blogs about comics like "The Roar of Comics" or "Written World". Today, I found out Marvel is putting this cover on the sales rack.Way to go Marvel. [NOT!]

Since some (most) comic book writers seem to be at a loss to provide good plot lines for the women in comics, here are some suggestions as to what not to do.

1) No rape. C'mon writers, you call yourselves writers? If you are writing too many books a month and have to resort to this as a plot device, then you need to give up one of your monthly books. No matter how well you might be able to do it, it's been done - over and over and over again.

2) No rape survivors. Again, stop being lazy. If you want your heroine to survive something, survive a heinous mother situation. That's at least a tad more realistic.

Covers like this one above, makes me REALLY glad I'm out of the business. With that and MJ Watson below, Marvel Comics shows how their audience is made up of prepubescent angry men who can't get dates. Grow up already.

 
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Monday, May 21, 2007

After 29 Years, It's Celebration Time!

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My best pal, Danceteach just graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills with a Summa Cum Laude in Interdisciplinary Studies. I'm pretty sure he graduated high school in 1978. Needless to say, (but I'm saying it here for the record anyway) I'm dang proud of him.

Now, I'm pushing him to go to law school. It's been a constant yet far-off desire of his since high school. Now, it's not that far-off so why not go for it?

His only two (supposed) obstacles? He'll be 52 when he graduates and $100,000 in debt. Pffft I say to all that.

I hope he does go for it and I'll be attending his law school graduation in 2012.

 
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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Where's the Live Q&A for Dan Froomkin?

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Aware that it's Thursday, I wondered whether I missed a live Q & A with Dan Froomkin, auther of my favorite column in the Washington Post. So I check the transcripts and lo and behold, Dan Froomkin hasn't had a Live Talk since March 28th.

WTF?!?

Washington Post, give this man his Live Q&A's back. He's the best thing you have.

[Added]

So I dropped Dan Froomkin a line asking if his Live Q & A's are still around since I couldn't find them on the archive page and [JUMPS AROUND LIKE A FAN GIRL] OMG! He wrote back!
Hi and thanks for pointing that out. There was a glitch on the archive page. It's been fixed now. My chats continue apace!

D
I've a feeling if this wasn't a virtual mail, I'd be grasping the letter with both hands and bouncing up and down, re-reading and re-reading his words. Gawrsh, I feel like *such* a fan girl.

 
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wii Wireless Sensor Bar by Nyko

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Remember the stir-crazied cat I blogged about earlier in the week? Well, while we were at the hotel room, she decided the wire to the Wii's sensor bar was a good way to quell the time. To thwart her chewing capabilities, we splurged and bought a Wii wireless sensor bar by Nyko.

I finally had a chance to try it out the other night.

OMG! I am LOVING this bar. It is much more sensitive than the original and much less annoying, due to the lack of wires. (The original had like a 25 foot cord! Okay, I'm exaggerating but only a little) With the original, whenever I played Cooking Mama: Cook Off I had to reset the controller to make sure it was synched with the sensor bar correctly. With the new wireless and sensitive sensor bar, I just plunged into the game with no adjustments needed.

Bratworse is looking forward to getting our Rayman back from Writerboy and his wife so she can drum without worrying that the sensor didn't pick up her movements.

The only two drawbacks to the sensor bar? It uses four AA batteries, AND you have to either turn it off physically yourself, or put it on a 1 hour or 2 hour timer to shut it off.

If you own a Wii, consider plunking down $20 for this. Also, invest in rechargeable batteries. Your Wii remotes and your wireless sensor bar will love you. So will the environment AND your pocketbook.

 
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Wii Moving Up?

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Well, lookie here. Gamestop must've decided that the Nintendo Wii is coming up in this world. I remember that it used to be XBox 360, then PS3, then Nintendo Wii or something else. But now look at the order. PS3 has dropped down to 4th place, behind Nintendo DS even.

By the way, in the past two months, our pals Robbie & Kitty, E&B, RobnRoger (You have to say their names together like that and honestly? I've only just figured which was Rob and which was Roger about a year ago, after 8 years of knowing them), Writerboy & his wife, have all gotten Wiis. Only a few more of our friends to go and then Wii'll take over the world. [rubs her hands with glee]

 
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Why There's Scorn Towards Comic Books

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Once again, the comic book industry answers the question, "Why is there scorn towards comic books?"

The girl is MJ Watson. This is a figurine from the movie Spider-Man 3. This is supposed to be Spider-Man's wife. Yes, those are thongs peeking out from under her pants above her child-bearing hips. Yes, she's barefoot. Yes, those boobs are nearly popping out of her shirt. Yes, she's washing Spider-Man's costume by hand! No, surprisingly, she isn't pregnant (but those child-bearing hips sure give that inference, don't they?)

Straight men used to be astounded that I wouldn't be appreciated of such "art" work. After all, wasn't I gay? But I wonder what in "gay" or "lesbian" implies that I would like cheap, tawdry, exhibitionist shows like this.

I'm sorry MJ Watson. Your character deserved much better than this.

 
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Precipice of New Beginnings

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Remember waiting for Christmas morning? Remember wanting to run everywhere, then realizing no matter how fast you run, Christmas morning wasn't going to come any faster?

Life has been like that for us for the past three weeks, ever since they started fixing our place.

In two weeks, everything we've put on hold for the past year will come to fruition.

We will be able to use our living room again. How cool is that?

We will be able to start our new aquarium and figure out how to get our dead rock alive again. We will be able to raise octopus again.

We will have the space to walk away from each other in a fight.

We can stretch out and not stumble over each other or the cat.

We will be able to bring a new kitten into the house.

We will be able to work upright at a desk instead of being in bed all the dang time.

We will have the sunlight of the living room with all the beauty of the neighborhood gracing our vision.

But until then, we still live in one bedroom. Our stuff scattered in boxes, piled into two rooms. I'm so excited... this is the precipice of new beginnings for us.

 
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Monday, May 14, 2007

Fascinating

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I normally make copies of incoming checks for my boss. Well, today, we got cash instead of a check and so off I tottle to the copier. I put the $20 and the $5 next to each other on top of the invoice and push start. Three seconds later (our copier is very fast) a black sheet comes out.

Hmm, I think. This shouldn't be the case. So I readjust the bills and the invoice and hit the start button again. Again, a black sheet spits out.

I call a co-worker over and together, we experiment.

Apparently, this copier thinks its okay to print out a copy of the $20. It has no problem with a copy of the $5 either. Furthermore, if the $20 and the $5 ARE NOT next to each other (like having a space of an inch between them), the copier spits out copies of those just fine too. However, place the two bills together and something in the copier tells it to spit out a black page.

Fascinating, no? Hmm, don't answer that.

 
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New Term

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Was IM'ing with a pal and he was describing a crazed woman he was dating. My advice to him?

"She sounds like a Dramaddict."

His response? "Yeah, and I was feeding her habit."

Dramaddict. I like that term. It's appropriate for a number of my ex's.

 
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Outwaiting Desires

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This past three weeks as our condo was being fixed, Bratworse and I have had to share a small studio suite in a hotel with our stir-crazied cat. We brought the Wii but stupidly only brought one game. Somehow we ended up with all three laptops there (we originally only brought one) but mostly shared the Macbook Pro.

For a geeked out family, this was akin to pure hell. *GASP* Only one decent screen to share betwixt us?

After three weeks of sharing the Macbook Pro, I started checking out iMac and Mac Pro towers.

I think I've decided on the 24" iMac. Now to outwait this desire so I won't really have to spend the money. Any odds that I will actually succeed in thwarting my wishes?

 
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Friday, May 11, 2007

Warning Amount to Empty Words

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Priceless!

So, you know those 11 moderate republicans I was laughing at yesterday? The ones who think telling the President (btw, while Cheney was out of the country... hmm think these 11 found their balls then?) that the Iraq War is harming the future of the GOP?

Yeah, the delusionists.

Well, guess how many of them voted to tie Iraq's budget to progress - that is, if there's progress made in Iraq, then funds would be approved, but if no progress, no budget. Seems like a rather fair proposition right? And you'd think that since these people who warned Bush that they cannot support him for much longer, would vote for something like this just to prove there's actions behind those warnings, right?

Go on, guess how many of them stood up to the President in action, not just words.

Now, HOW in the world did you guess that NONE, ZILCH, ZERO voted to tie funds to progress in Iraq.

Republicans - Their squeaky barks aren't worse than their bite. And the president/Cheney/Rove knows it. Vote for Democrats - Nancy Pelosi's got more balls than these 11 put together.

 
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Thursday, May 10, 2007

As If He Cares

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So, I go to Washingtonpost.com and what headlines greet my eyes?
President is Warned the Iraq War is Harming GOP


BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

Pray tell, oh moderate Republicans, please, pray tell WHAT in the President's history has prompted you to even think that this idiot boy-king cares about anyone else or anything else but himself and his own desires/wants?

You guys decided this asshole would make a great head-of-state. You guys cheated and bought your way into the presidency. This man-child has NO regard for anyone, so why would you think your candid remarks at this particular juncture would have any effect? Asking him to care about 2008 elections would be akin to asking a two-year-old to care about letting you sleep enough to have a fruitful work day. Fat Chance.

Bush is your Frankenstein's monster. Deal with the consequences. This monster's isn't going to care any more than the original Shelley monster was capable of feeling.

 
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Road Oddities

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Here in the Bay Area, there is a section of freeway (conveniently just outside my condo) that doesn't allow 18-wheelers and other large trucks. It's a stretch of probably about 10-15 miles.

Sometimes, especially right now with detours causing much confusion here in the Bay Area (an oil tanker truck exploded two Sunday's ago, causing an overpass to collapse in a much trafficked intersection of freeways), a big rig will find itself on this particular section of the freeway.

It's an amazing sight to see because this one lone truck, is usually surrounded by slowing cars, whose drivers slow down subconsciously. A general sense of "One of these things is not like the other" permeates the freeway and as each driver finally recognize what is causing this feeling, the cars peel away from the lone truck and resume normal speed.

I know when I first moved into this area, I wasn't aware of this law but the first time I saw a truck on this section of freeway, I got annoyed without realizing what was causing my annoyance.

Isn't it weird how your mind registers that something is askew but it takes you a while to figure out exactly what?

 
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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

YaY! It's Done!

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No, not the work that Major Coward was supposed to take care of (and probably never will since she is, by nature a major coward). I'm talking about adding labels to all the posts.

Finito! Now onto new posts!

 
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Alternating Moods

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Woke up today in a good mood. Maybe it's because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and within a few weeks, we will be able to use our living room again after a year.

Maybe it's because Bratworse and I are actually talking about what we want in a wedding and it's seemingly more of a reality than before.

Whatever is causing my upbeat mood, it's a good thing because Bratworse woke up RAWR'ing. Unable to find her shoes this morning, she finally found them under a recliner. As she slips them on, she growls "Gee thanks for moving the chair on top of my shoes and not bothering to move them." I didn't bother pointing out that if lights were on (she hates them on, I love them on) I'd have SEEN the shoes to be able to move them but since I moved the chair in the dark, there's be no way to spot them.

See how this works? Me good mood, her bad mood. Me bad mood, her good mood. If both of us happen to be in a bad mood, we let the person who hasn't been in a bad mood recently get the dibs. The other has to try to be in a good mood.

It usually ends us with both of us giggling at the other. It's a good relationship.

 
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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Remember Your Fifth?

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Your fifth birthday, that is. I'll be attending a friend's third birthday party soon. Have you recently been to a child's birthday party? How many children attended?

Well next time you go to a child's birthday party, or see a bunch of them playing in the neighborhood playground, take a closer look.

Then close your eyes and imagine that life was so rough, that out of eight children, one will have died by disease or by violence.

That's apparently what WE did to Iraq.
"One in eight Iraqi children died of disease or violence before reaching their fifth birthday in 2005, according to the report by Save the Children."


Oh yeah, we're exporting democracy. Apparently, that's not all we're exporting. ONE IN EIGHT under 5 years old. How would YOU react if someone came to your neighborhood and reduced it to that statistic?

 
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Monday, May 07, 2007

Service Completed!

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Both Bratworse and I were called for jury duty today, but in separate courthouses. I just found out that no juries were called for today and my service is now completed for the next year.

Bratworse is hanging out at her courthouse, presumably to let them know how intensive her school is. (Was that splitting an infinitive? Thanks to The Mother Tongue I no longer care if I split one or not. Thanks Bill Bryson!)

Strange, whenever I talk of being selected for jury duty, everyone's first reaction is to coach me on how not to get selected. But I view jury duty as my civic duty; if it weren't for the financial hardship, I'd gladly serve on one. (It helps that I'm sorta narcissistic LOL)

One day, I hope to serve on a jury and be as fair as I possibly can under the law.

 
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Friday, May 04, 2007

Comic Relief or Did My Memory Make That Up Too?

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Along the same lines as my previous post, does anyone remember why Comic Relief started on HBO? You know, where Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg got together and proved that for all Whoopi's talent, she couldn't ad-lib the way Robin and Billy could?

I know, we all killed MANY many brain cells back then ESPECIALLY when the special was running, but does anyone remember the reason behind Comic Relief? It was because in the 80's, many many people had to move out of their homes because of foreclosures and the homeless population exploded.

Does anyone remember some of the consequences of that many people homeless? One small offshoot was that mail theft was constant.

Two weeks ago, the post office put up red warning stickers on our building's mailboxes warning of mail theft.

Just wait, as more and more people get desperate over their living situation, more theft, more mail theft, more vandalism etc. will occur. It's just human nature.

Just as it's human nature to forget events 20-30 years ago. *sigh*

 
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Moonies or Did My Memory Create That?

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At what point in history did Sun Myung Moon gain legitimacy?

I remember growing up in the 70's and having the Jonestown Massacre unveil itself through the media.

I remember hysteria about cults and how the Hare Krishnas and the Moonies and communes were out to brainwash you.

I remember TV movie after TV movie about vanloads of people creaping up stealthily behind you, throwing a burlap sack over your head and whisking you off to parts unknown. Then your parents had to hire some unkempt private investigator who then kidnapped you back and had to reverse the brainwashing.

And then the 80's happened. And talk about cults, kidnappings et al. slowed to a trickle.

And then the 90's happened... and suddenly with his foundation of the Washington Times, Sun Myung Moon, cartoon figure and cult leader, somehow magically became legit.

Can anyone explain to me what happened? Please?

 
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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Political Enemies Writing Bios for Time

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WTF? I'm reading Time's 100 and come to the entry for Nancy Pelosi, then realized Newt Gingrinch wrote Nancy Pelosi's bio. AND in the first paragraph, he SLAMS her for going to Syria, totally ignoring the fact that Condaleeza Rice just went.

WTF?!?!?

Why didn't they let Madeline Albright write Condaleeza Rice's bio then?

Stupid friggin mainstream media.

[later] It's not just me pissed off at Time's 100. P.Z. Myers of Pharyngula noticed that Michael Behe (a Creationist) wrote the bio for Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary scientist. Let's hear it for the "liberal" media, who decided that liberals and liberal thinkers should have their bios supplied by the opposition whereas conservatives and conservative thinkers should have their bios supplied by fawning sychophants.

I used to read Time from cover to cover between 1992 and 1997. I am SOOOOO glad I stopped my subscription.

 
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Impressions of Glenn Beck

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The other day, I was flipping through channels and stopped to watch a strange show.

Why did they get a wrestler to host a talk show? I wondered to myself. The host, was belligerent and "in your face" so to speak, that is, he was leaning forward into the camera talking with his head tilted and gesturing wildly with his hands.

If you ever watched a wrestling show, (I used to, back in the days of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant) you will see the same style of talking. Trash talkin' is what I believe they call it. It's usually some beefy guy (somehow the skinnier guys just can't seem to pull it off) whose neck is the same width as his head, tilting his head so that it's at a 45 degree angle, eyes bulging, veins in his neck popping, and pointing his finger into the camera bellowing some belligerent spit-flinging phrases that seem cobbled together with duct tape.

To my eternal surprise, this talk show was showcasing the same idiotic type of guy. I glanced at the name of the show. Ah, The Glenn Beck Show. Apparently, CNN thinks that Americans would appreciate this type of "intellectual" discourse.

I did what most Americans seem to be doing, judging by the Nielsens. I turned the channel.

 
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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Rocket Has Landed!

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Yay! Our pals, Writerboy and his wife was blessed with a baby boy yesterday. Today, we'll get to meet the Rocket in person for the first time. There had always been a wall of flesh and amniotic fluid between us before.

Can't wait to meet the wee one. If he takes after his parents at all, he'll become a wonderful, well-rounded, full of trivia geek-type who can talk about almost anything with anyone. Can't think of a better start for anyone.

 
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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

10 Years of No Convictions Isn't Enough?

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Assemblyman Pedro Nava of Santa Barbara? SHUT THE FUCK UP.

You DON'T know that the freeway collapse was due to the trucker's actions. Gee, it could be his brakes failed.

Yes, this man had conviction after conviction but can you see that he's been clean for 10 years? TEN FRIGGIN' YEARS!

To me, 10 years of staying clean is MUCH more representative of a man than one accident. I hope you're a Christian, Nava, and I hope that God will judge YOU as harshly as you are judging this man.

Goddamn politicians, grandstanding and vowing to change laws that don't need to be changed. You all make me so sick sometime. Why don't you do something useful for California instead of stupid publicity moves? Asshole.

 
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Meeting Online in Comments

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Pandagon just did a review of Stuck Rubber Baby and so I made a comment there about how we'd snatch up the pages in the office when Stuck Rubber Baby was being produced. A day later, I went back to check the comments and lo and behold, there's Eddie, Howard Cruse's partner saying hi to me.

This is just one of the cooler things about the web... that you'd find an old acquaintance through a comments thread and chit chat for a day or two through it.

I like.

 
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Puritanical? Indeed

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Apparently, this picture from MySpace was enough for this young woman's university to decide that she wasn't teacher material. The photo shows her wearing a pirate hat, drinking from a cup that says drunken pirate.

Y'know, I had a few nuns teaching me in high school that was so sloshed, we called one of them Rudolph cause of her shiny nose.

I'd rather have a drunken pirate than a drunken nun anyday.

 
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Monday, April 30, 2007

Fictional Heroes

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It's early still but I've been keeping an eye out on Democratic candidates for the '08 elections and so far, I've been watching Bill Richardson for possibilities. But this past weekend, it seems that Richardson's been saying stuff that leaves people like me wondering if this is for real.

More and more, it seems like Richardson, while having a great resume, won't be a standard-bearer for more leftist leaning voters like me. That's too bad because I really wanted someone in the White House who had diplomacy background since I think the next four years will require someone there who has some insight into world tensions. So now, I'll have to cast my eye towards the big three: Clinton, Obama and Edwards. And of these, I have to say I think Clinton's the one that can handle World Events. I just hope she can win.

Oh, the title of this post? I was just wishing that Josiah Bartlett was running.

 
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