But regarding Hurricane Katrina, I don't. Folks have it bad--no power, no water, no sewage system--and they need help. Lots of help.
If you need a list of charities, here's one.
I am, however, mad about a couple things. One: The looters. I've seen it suggested that they're all just "poor and desperate," and doubtless some are. But you don't get gunfire from men and women who just want to feed and clothe their families. I imagine you get it more from people like this guy:
On New Orleans' Canal Street, which actually resembled a canal, dozens of looters ripped open the steel gates on clothing and jewelry stores, some packing plastic garbage cans with loot to float down the street. One man, who had about 10 pairs of jeans draped over his left arm, was asked if he was salvaging things from his store.Yeah, this is really the dawning of the age of Aquarius. Mind the dead!
"No," the man shouted, "that's EVERYBODY'S store!"
So that's . . . disgusting.
Two: This idea that New Orleans is impractical and not cost effective and therefore should not be rebuilt: Neither's New York. Should we get rid of it?
Look, I lived somewhere where the highest priority in city development was what's cost-effecitve and business-friendly and practical to maintain. And I am here to testify that Dallas, Texas, while not the ugliest city in the world, is for damn sure one of the most soulless, aesthetically speaking.
Don't argue with me, Dallasites. You know it's true. It's got all the worst of a big city--dirt, crime, and concrete--sprawled all 'round with the strip-mall jungle of the suburbs. When people use the word "quaint" with regard to Dallas, they're talking about a few tiny (expensive) neighborhoods and enclaves--Lower Greenville, University Park, Highland Park, maybe Turtle Creek or Lakewood--they're not talking about where most people live, which is out in Mesquite or Plano or Allen or Frisco, where everything looks exactly like everything else. And most people live out there because . . . ?--They can't afford the quaint. Even if they could, who needs it when a couple blocks down you've got bars on all the windows? When you could get mugged walking just a block or two out of your neighborhood, just down to the corner store, that's a little too quaint.
I read an article in D Magazine once in which Virginia Postrel went on at length about how Dallas doesn't need to pursue an aesthetic identity; that maybe being only a collection of quaint little neighborhoods was just fine, because look at New York! And just you never mind that Dallas has nothing in common with New York, historically, geographically, or otherwise.
That article proved to me two things: Dallas doesn't need any more Postrels moving in, and Virginia's apparently spent precious little time in Oak Cliff, another quaint neighborhood just full of ambience (and crack). It suggested a third thing: Not every shiny, happy libertoid excited about the future is worth paying attention to--but there, now I'm just being petty.
My point, before it's buried underneath all this gibberish: If all you worry about with a city is what's practical you get something that looks practical. And when's the last time you admired something with the word "practical?"
"Your dress, I love it! It's so practical!"
"Nice Altima you got there, Dan. Looks really practical."
"Their pizza is just the most practical on the block. I love it."
So to hell with practical. You go on ahead and rebuild however you like, New Orleans--because you will anyway and you certainly don't need my blessing, or anyone else's, to do so.
Hurricane Katrina forced the evacuation of Cotillion ringleader Beth, but did that stop the Cotillion from happening this week? Alllllllmost, but not quite. Emily of An American Princess threw an impromptu bash anyhow.
That's dedication. Do you see why I'm not really qualified to hang wtih this crowd?
My goodness, but I suffered through some awful music in my youth.
Stolen from Michele. Here are the instructions:
1) Go to musicoutfitters.com and, in the search box provided, enter the year you graduated high school.
2) From the search results, click the link for the top 100 songs of that year.
3) With the resulting list:
a) bold the songs you like,
strike through the ones you hate
c) underline your favorite
d) and ignore the ones you don't remember/don't care about.
Lotsa strikethrough below the fold.
1. That's What Friends Are For, Dionne Warwick, Elton John, and Gladys Knight
2. Say You, Say Me, Lionel Richie [Shut UP!--ed.]
3. I Miss You, Klymaxx
4. On My Own , Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald
5. Broken Wings, Mr. Mister
6. How Will I Know, Whitney Houston
7. Party All The Time, Eddie Murphy
8. Burning Heart, Survivor
9. Kyrie, Mr. Mister
10. Addicted To Love, Robert Palmer
11. Greatest Love Of All, Whitney Houston
12. Secret Lovers, Atlantic Starr
13. Friends And Lovers, Carl Anderson and Gloria Loring
14. Glory Of Love, Peter Cetera [I SAID, shut UP.--ed.]
15. West End Girls, Pet Shop Boys
16. There'll Be Sad Songs, Billy Ocean
17. Alive And Kicking, Simple Minds
18. Never, Heart
19. Kiss, Prince and The Revolution
20. Higher Love, Steve Winwood
21. Stuck With You, Huey Lewis and The News
22. Holding Back The Years, Simply Red
23. Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel
24. Sara, Starship
25. Human, Human League
26. I Can't Wait, Nu Shooz
27. Take My Breath Away, Berlin
28. Rock Me Amadeus, Falco
29. Papa Don't Preach, Madonna
30. You Give Love A Bad Name, Bon Jovi
31. When The Going Gets Tough, Billy Ocean
32. When I Think Of You, Janet Jackson
33. These Dreams, Heart
34. Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone), Glass Tiger
35. Live To Tell, Madonna
36. Mad About You, Belinda Carlisle
37. Something About You, Level 42
38. Venus, Bananarama
39. Dancing On The Ceiling, Lionel Richie
40. Conga, Miami Sound Machine [I really need something more violent than strikethrough for this--ed.]
41. True Colors, Cyndi Lauper
42. Danger Zone, Kenny Loggins
43. What Have You Done For Me Lately, Janet Jackson
44. No One Is To Blame, Howard Jones
45. Let's Go All The Way, Sly Fox
46. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On, Robert Palmer
47. Words Get In The Way, Miami Sound Machine
48. Manic Monday, Bangles
49. Walk Of Life, Dire Straits
50. Amanda, Boston
51. Two Of Hearts, Stacey Q
52. Crush On You, Jets
53. If You Leave, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
54. Invisible Touch, Genesis
55. The Sweetest Taboo, Sade
56. What You Need, INXS
57. Talk To Me, Stevie Nicks [I actually don't remember this one, but I struck it on the general principle that Stevie often gives me a pain in the tuchis.--ed.]
58. Nasty, Janet Jackson
59. Take Me Home Tonight, Eddie Money [The boyfriend hates this. And you--shut up.--ed.]
60. We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off, Jermaine Stewart
61. All Cried Out, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force
62. Your Love, Outfield
63. I'm Your Man, Wham! [No, you are not.--ed.]
64. Perfect Way, Scritti Politti
65. Living In America, James Brown
66. R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A., John Cougar Mellencamp [Makes stabby motions with fist--ed.]
67. Who's Johnny, El Debarge
68. Word Up, Cameo
69. Why Can't This Be Love, Van Halen [They mean Van Hagar.--ed.]
70. Silent Running, Mike and The Mechanics
71. Typical Male, Tina Turner
72. Small Town, John Cougar Mellencamp
73. Tarzan Boy, Baltimora
74. All I Need Is A Miracle, Mike and The Mechanics
75. Sweet Freedom, Michael McDonald
76. True Blue, Madonna
77. Rumors, Timex Social Club
78. Life In A Northern Town, Dream Academy
79. Bad Boy, Miami Sound Machine
80. Sleeping Bag, ZZ Top
81. Tonight She Comes, Cars
82. Love Touch, Rod Stewart [More stabby motions.--ed.]
83. A Love Bizarre, Sheila E.
84. Throwing It All Away, Genesis
85. Baby Love, Regina
86. Election Day, Arcadia
87. Nikita, Elton John
88. Take Me Home, Phil Collins
89. Walk This Way, Run-D.M.C. [Nothing against Run D.M.C.--I just don't like any version of "Walk This Way." It's a dumb fucking song.--ed.]
90. Sweet Love, Anita Baker
91. Your Wildest Dreams, Moody Blues
92. Spies Like Us, Paul McCartney
93. Object Of My Desire, Starpoint
94. Dreamtime, Daryl Hall [I don't honestly remember this either, but come on, it's DARRYL HALL. It HAS to suck.--ed.]
95. Tender Love, Force M.D.'s
96. King For A Day, Thompson Twins
97. Love Will Conquer All, Lionel Richie
98. A Different Corner, George Michael
99. I'll Be Over You, Toto
100. Go Home, Stevie Wonder
There it is--100 reasons why I stayed home a lot building kitschy shrines to Joe Strummer.
UPDATE: I shouldn't ask this, seeing as how I just admitted to liking a Lionel Richie song (I had a dream! I had an AWESOME dream!), but as there are now a couple lists up from 1980, I've got to ask:
Am I the only person who does not want you to take me to Funkytown?
And I not only like disco, I admit to liking disco. If we did one of these lists from '77 or '78 it would be boldapaloozza up there. I am pretty pathetic, generally, about the disco.
But, no. No, you may not take me to Funkytown. Don't even try it.
NOT KIDDING ABOUT THE DISCO: You thought Lionel Richie and Peter Cetera were terrible? This is terrible. From the top 20 of 1978:
1. Shadow Dancing, Andy Gibb
2. Night Fever, Bee Gees
3. You Light Up My Life, Debby Boone
4. Stayin' Alive, Bee Gees
5. Kiss You All Over, Exile
6. How Deep Is Your Love, Bee Gees
7. Baby Come Back, Player
8. (Love Is) Thicker Than Water, Andy Gibb
9. Boogie Oogie Oogie, A Taste Of Honey
10. Three Times A Lady, Commodores [But I'm glad this song exists, because it works perfectly in that one scene in Election.--ed.]
11. Grease, Frankie Valli
12. I Go Crazy, Paul Davis
13. You're The One That I Want, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
14. Emotion, Samantha Sang
15. Lay Down Sally, Eric Clapton
16. Miss You, Rolling Stones
17. Just The Way You Are, Billy Joel
18. With A Little Luck, Wings
19. If I Can't Have You, Yvonne Elliman
20. Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah), Chic [Even I have my disco-lovin' limits.--ed.]
I admit it gets too cheesy even for me after that, though--including one of my picks for Worst Song of All Time, Dan Hill's "Sometimes When We Touch." I can't even type that without shuddering. I'm not kidding. I can feel the hives rising up on me already.
Oh yes, dude. Yes she IS. And do you really want to be leaving that alone for long in a college town? I don't think that you do, darlin'.
(Thanks, OHNOES!--'preciate it.)
You know what the worst part is?
Well, looks like none of us are ever running for President now.
MoveAmericaForward.org is an organization that is countering Cindy Sheehan's protest movement. I saw an ad on TV today asking for people to join them in a caravan to Crawford Texas this weekend. The ad included a mother who had also lost a son in Iraq.Her answer to that is my answer to that. The Sparkly One has it exactly right here.
. . .
This will just be painful and not necessary. We all know that there are two sides to this issue. We all know what those sides believe. It is really necessary to make a spectacle out of grief????
Check it out, y'all: I've been up to a little something lately that's yielded the most fascinating results. I've just got to share:
I've been studying with a medium lately, and he (yes, mediums can be male, silly) has taught me to channel the spirits of those who have passed on to the other side.
It's mind-blowing. Seriously. You can't even imagine how cool.
At first, I couldn't remember the results of my channeling sessions. I'd come out of the trance and have to ask my medium, Chaucer (what? That's his name!), whether anything had happened. And then Chaucer would relate the results of my session.
"You talked to Nefertiti, girl. It was amazing. She said I should go with the granite countertops when I remodel the kitchen this fall. Oh!--and she said that turquoise blouse you bought last month needs to go and she means like immediately. 'Burn it.' Those were her exact words, girl."
But as time has passed I've got better and better at this whole channeling thing, to the point where I don't need Chaucer to summarize the results afterward. I'm actually remembering it on my own now! Which is great, because I was starting to wonder what the odds were that every famous dead person I channeled would have an opinion on Chaucer's upcoming kitchen remodel.
Anyway, here's what it all boils down to: All your dead relatives and like every dead president, prime minister, king, queen, etc.--they all want you to vote Republican in 2008.
They say it's very important. "Vote the straight Republican ticket"--those were Winston Churchill's exact words. Your grandmother's, too.
What? Why are you all scowling like that? What's offensive about this?
An old topic, but an "evergreen" one: Common Sense Runs Wild notes that the weblog-related firings will continue until morale improves.
You see why I stick with the silly name? See?
D.C. residents, your commute just got a little lighter: I'm that bridge named for Woodrow Wilson.
Did you know there is one? It's true! Can't have an opinion 'bout the war unless you've met your dead kid quota.
It's like Chris Rock's bit about white girls:
Got to get a white girl. You're not a successful black man without a white girl. They won't even let you buy a mansion without a white girl.The antiwar have zoning restrictions, too--only theirs are not (intentional) comedy. Reasoned Audacity takes a peek into the quota-ruled world of Salon's Robert Crook:
BLACK MAN: Here's your million dollars.
REAL ESTATE AGENT: Where's your white girl? We have zoning restrictions.
it becomes clear that what's really bothering Robert is that some of thoseDon't kid yourself that Crook quits there, either--read the whole thing.
"morons"Americans who support both the President and the war have had a front row seat for the "mess in Iraq," and have come away with a pretty different account. Robert is not too happy that many (most?) in the American military do support the war, specifically, military mom, Tammy Pruett:
"Of course, Tammy Pruett isn't really the Anti-Cindy because none of her immediate family members have been killed in Iraq."
Where's your dead kid? We have zoning restrictions.
In Afghanistan, warlords continue to brutalize the populace. In Iraq, insurgents daily do the same. But in Yemen, a marvelous country blissfully free of American cultural imperialism and military occupation . . . ah, yes, in peaceful Yemen torture comes from the government:
The Yemeni government threatens to behead journalist for article on corruption. Also beats him for four hours, threatens to cut out his tounge, shoots at him, threatens to throw him off a cliff, and threatens his kids if he discloses the incident or continues to document the rampant corruption among the very top officials in Yemen.You'll want to keep close watch on Armies of Liberation for comprehensive updates. And then you'll want to scratch your head trying to figure out why the editorial pages of America's newspapers are routinely against our interventions in a part of the world that seems otherwise inclined to torture and kill their compatriots. And then you'll want a good, stiff drink.
Here's a simple test to help you determine whether an action is really "hateful" or not: Check the direction from which it came.
Did it come from the right?--That's 100% certified genuine hate you got there, baby.
Did it come from the left?--Go home and administer extra beatings to yourself, you fascist, racist, neoconservative JERK.
Do you suppose this will be prosecuted as a hate crime?
Check the direction.
(Via Ace of Spades.)
You people who like to retire from blogging, then come back; retire from blogging, then come back; retire from blogging, then brag about how it's like you've earned a "blogger pension"--okay, not that guy. But the rest of you in love with the idea of weblogging retirement (and hey, we've all been there at least once)?
This is how to announce your comeback:
I’ve decided to come out of retirement. My loathing of the masses in general is fairly unhealthy and needs an outlet. I’ve also noticed a lack of quality blogging lately. What’s happened to the scorn and disgust in the blogosphere? Wherever I look I see cats and quizzes. And that’s not fucking good enough. Where’s the humiliation? The honesty? The name calling?That's exactly what I ask myself every single day.
I never really read this dude before. Will I read him now? Let's ask him:
Welcome me the fuck back.All right, then! Welcome back.
(Via Snoozebutton Dreams. Man needs to come out of retirement himself is what I say. Oh, wait, he just did!)
Work hard, play hard: Some of those crazy Cotillion chicks got their work up a little early! Impressive. And they say women have no sense of time . . . pah!
Checking in so far are Holly Aho, A Soldier's Angel; Cassandra of Villainous Company; and Emily of An American Princess. I'm sure Fausta at Bad Hair Blog will be in soon--can't hardly blame her; she was up dancing all night.
NICE themes this week: Holly's eschewing screen ditzes in favor of our women in uniform . . . Emily's got a little something-something to get your motor running (that's a hint, classic car fans) . . . and Cassandra, well, look out, 'cause one of these days her boots are gonna walk all over you. And you'll like it.
(To be updated later, naturally--I gotta see what Fausta came up with. She's in some divine company here.)
UPDATE: Yes, mu.nu was down much of the day; that's why you couldn't get here and I couldn't get here either. Never mind. Seems fabulous Fausta has psyched everyone out with her classic "no-theme" theme. Go check it out!
This, however, is something. This is the sort of woman I could work day and night to become more like without ever doing her justice.
Just . . . daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmn.
(Via Kesher Talk. Boy, she's not kidding with that "must-read" business!)
What interests me (well, one of the things that interests me) is the collapse of political debate that's so often reflected in these discussions. On conservative blogs and boards, criticism of the President is tantamount to High Treason (unless it's Michelle Malkin going after him for his stance on immigration reform. She gets a pass for some reason). And then discussion between the "sides?" Forget it.I understand where Amy's coming from about the breakdown in civil discourse. At the same time, though, I'm puzzled why every blogger I see wringing hands over this neglects to mention who turned up the furnace full blast to begin with, starting all the way back at Afghanistan.
Of course, since Afghanistan did play more like the ideal war movie Andrea describes so perfectly in her post, everyone has since had complete amnesia about it--and now you can't find anyone who will admit opposing it, even though many on the left did at the time. Have I mentioned my cousin . . . ? Note the date: September 24, 2001. There's another one out there I'm too lazy to hunt up from an organized protest held at Oberlin (the Guardian does love talking to my cousin--or he's just an expert at positioning himself in front of a microphone, I don't know which) on October 11 that same year.
Nope, my cousin didn't waste a minute agitating for peace. Neither did the socialists who organized the October 11 event.
Of course, every time someone on the right suggested the antiwar crowd disengage itself from radical leftist organizations, that person was met with the rebuttal that just because you share a sandbox with shady characters doesn't mean you are a shady character yourself. This came as quite a shock to any Republican who'd ever been hit with the "racist" tag, and that's most of them. Oh!--Or are we saying no one on the left would care if conservative leaders let a bunch of neo-Nazis organize a pro-war rally? Because bullshit.
But back to mourning civil discourse: I used to cry over the inability of either side to really "debate issues" myself, but lately it seems I'm on my last box of sympathy tissues. It's been a gradual process, one I think plenty of others have gone through during the last four years as well. Some burned out quick, some burned out slow, and some are still going strong. It varies from person to person, but the trend is ever downward.
What the left can't or won't learn in this country is that seething, full-throttle anger is subject to the law of diminishing returns--it gets less and less attention paid to it as it's used more and more often. Thus I find I have no more sympathy for either the antiwar left nor the can't-we-all-just-get-along? right, even though I've previously counted myself among that last group.
No more. If the antiwarriors had wanted their message discussed and debated with respect and civility, they should have turned the volume down from 11 literally years ago. They shouldn't have shot their wads in an orgy of Bush Derangement Syndrome--the stolen election! the impending theocracy! the torpedoing of the economy! ANWAR! KYOTO! the brutal Afghan winter! the crushing of dissent! Tell me one thing: Is crushed dissent always this loud?
And you wonder why no one's listening now?--It's because we can't; we've gone deaf from all the screaming and intolerant from all the silliness. It's going to take years of kinder, gentler, and (dear-please-God) smarter Democrats--none of whom seem to be forthcoming (or, well, even in existence) at the moment--before I'll listen to anything from that party.
You've blown it. You've taken a legitimate opposition party with an inspiring heritage of standing up for the oppressed and you've turned it into the party of toddlers. You're in time out. And as far as I'm concerned, you can stay there until you're 45, or until your leadership has the sense to take deranged frothmasters like Oliver Willis and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga off the payroll, whichever comes first. Right now I'm forced to bet it's the former.
I'm going to regret posting this. It's about sex. That's not a topic I, ha ha, do normally.
But tell me something: Why do people always judge a fellow's equipment by its appearance when it's not, uh, on active duty?
I'm asking because Meryl helpfully provided a link to a picture of Jude Law's . . . you know (geez, why'd I get mad at Hubris when I thought he was calling me a prude? I am a prude! But also I do not want to be a search result for "so-and-so's wiener."). Of course, as the link is from The Superficial, one could summarize the post in which it appeared (you search it up, pervy) as "Ha, ha, Jude's willy sure is awful small."
Maybe it's just my experience--and we're certainly not getting into the extent of that today--but what a dude looks like when he's at ease does not matter. I've seen some amazing . . . personal growth from some guys, guys you wouldn't expect it from if you only looked at the "before" shot and not the "after." Like, if the starting measurement was some number between 1 and 10 and the final measurement was also some number between 1 and 10, the start would be in the subset 1-3 and the end would be in the subset 7-. . . 9. I've never actually seen 10 except in, ah, cinema. If you've seen 10 in the flesh, for Pete's sake please keep that to yourself. Don't make the rest of us feel bad. That isn't nice.
Also, little story: There was this guy I knew who--well, everyone knew what his package looked like, because he was fond of exposing it at any available opportunity. (Somehow I managed never to see it myself, but it wasn't for lack of trying.) Anyway, the guy really was an exhibitionist, so when people would start talking about his dick (which happened more often than you might think, actually) you could tell they knew what they were talking about because it would match all the other stories you'd heard about it. You know, it's like how if one witness says "The robber was about 6'2" with dirty-blond hair and glasses," that might be accurate--but if four other witnesses come forward and say the same thing, you've probably got a good description of the criminal.
I don't really know how I just wound up comparing some guy's thang to a criminal. Sorry. Where were we?
Oh, right. Well, reports from witnesses at the various scenes were that the guy was endowed . . . generously.
Eventually this one girl ended up bedding this fellow, and then it went kinda bad later, and as women will do when things turn sour sometimes, she immediately went around providing everyone else with an erection report, which I'll just give you the abstract of here:
"I mean, it grows maybe another inch is all--if that. I've had guys who start smaller who outsize him in bed. Seriously."
Naturally this girl was very beloved after that by all the guys who'd ever had to pee at a urinal next to this guy, or had otherwise been exposed to his unit (I mentioned he was fond of exposing it, right?). I imagine the reaction went something like, what a relief! So it ultimately made no difference that this guy was so hung after all! Fantastic!
So we've got my experience and some secondhand reporting from the field, so to speak. Any other ladies want to back me up on this?
Hey, what are ya, a prude or somethin'? We're all adults here. We should totally be able to talk about a man's . . . you know . . . without embarrassment.
ONE NERVE LEFT: AN UPDATE: What is wrong with people?
I never said Jude was that small, yet every joker on the internet apparently thinks this is the place to discuss whether he is or he isn't and/or post links to pictures of it.
So let me clarify: I'm not talking about Mr. Law. One might think that would be obvious from reading this post, but apparently there's an epidemic of dumb going around lately, and I'm not real super-pleased to notice some of you have come down with it. See a doctor or something! That shit can kill you!
You know how some people with weblogs get very protective about their trackbacks and guard them like Fort Knox, i.e., "Why did you send me a trackback when you only mentioned my brilliant post in passing, then spent the rest of your post serenading your cat?" You know the kind of kvetching I'm talking about, 'fess up. Those of us who were not born perfect--we've all sent what I'll just call The Ill-Advised Trackback* before, usually receiving the How Dare You Track Me Back email in reply.
So drop her a link. Especially some of y'all, you know who you are, who I think are underappreciated. Pull yourself up by them bootstraps now, come on.
*Especially if you're me and you've never quite figured out how to turn off trackback autodiscovery.
Basically a Married But Looking group, we do allow singles. If you can't keep from "preaching" to married but looking folks, please do not join.The hell . . . ?
I'm sure a fine, high-minded case could be made for expanding our minds (past the point they'd continue to fit in our skulls) to revisit our traditional concept of marriage to include partners who are wholly, deeply committed to one another, yet also enjoy--
No, screw that! Listen: THERE IS NO "MARRIED BUT LOOKING." That's just a cute little euphemism you came up with to keep from calling yourselves LYING, CHEATING WHORES AND BASTARDS.
So obviously I can't join, right? Because no way could I keep from "preaching" to them. And we all know preaching is the very evilest thing you can do of all. It's way more eviler than preying on lonely singles when you've already got a partner at home.
Damn me and my intolerance.
UPDATE: I will call my counter-group RIMSHOT: Revive Intolerance of Married-Single Hookups (Obnoxious Twats). No . . . ?
Mine are . . . well, look, how about I try just to pick out the five least repulsive? Would that be okay?
1. I hate showering first thing in the morning. Or . . . the afternoon. I have sometimes put off taking a shower until 8 or 9:00 at night, to be honest. The best I can come up with is, taking a shower first thing means I'm doing it because I have to be somewhere, and I hate starting my day having to be somewhere, somewhere outside my cozy little house, somewhere I might actually have to do things. The showering is just the launching pad for everything I hate. The only time I'll shower relatively early is after a workout, so I've actually been better about prompt showering lately, because it's not that I like to be filthy and disgusting--and baths do not freak me out like this at all. So I don't think it's the bathing so much as it is what the bathing stands for. I hate the symbolism of showering! Or, I'm a freak. It's one of those.
2. I make schedules for myself. This is funny because there's never that much to get done. What would happen if I actually had very much (or even anything important) to do, I wonder? I would probably waste three days on just the scheduling.
So I make schedules, and they're the lamest things in the world: 10:20 a.m. Sort laundry 10:25 a.m. Start laundry 10:30 a.m. Dress 10:35 a.m. Workout 11:35 a.m. Change laundry. But if I do not make the schedule, nothing gets done. I have to write it all down or it doesn't happen.
3. I fly into a killin' rage if you hang up a towel with the tag showing. I won't cut off the tags because it leaves an "itchy spot" on the towel. Also, I think it looks bad. BUT THE TAGS! MUST! NOT! SHOW! when the towel's hanging from the rack. Actually, I think I just have a thing with towels in general; see the "About" page, item 11.
4. I do not eat fruit. I will not eat fruit. This is where someone always goes, "Really, not even strawberries?" or suchlike, but listen: Name your fruit, it doesn't matter, I won't eat it. There's something sickly-sweet about most popular fruits--oranges, melons, and bananas, ugh, especially bananas--that triggers my gag reflex and I literally can't swallow a bite of the stuff. If I'm feeling nauseated and like I need to throw up, but I'm having difficulty, all I need to do is recall the one time someone got me to try cantaloupe and whoops!--Thar she blows! I will eat applesauce, and I will eat apples or blueberries baked into pies only. But that's IT.
As for the people who like to get preachy about the Vitamin C deficiency I so obviously must have due to my fruit aversion, I would remind them that I consume mass quantities of tomatoes, peppers (THREE times as much vitamin C as citrus fruit! Suck it, orange lovers!), and chiles (TWICE as much vitamin C as citrus!). I'm not getting
rickets scurvy (thanks, Rob!), so relax.
But could you eat that banana in another room please, because I can't stand even the smell of it. Thanks.
4. My bed-sharing etiquette with men leaves something to be desired--basically I make all the rules and they are permitted to make none. For example, I will hold them. Under no circumstances are they to attempt to hold me. I can't STAND being held while I'm trying to sleep. The only purpose of a man in bed beyond the obvious one, as far as I'm concerned, is to function as my personal life-sized teddy bear. The poor man who attempts to turn over during sleep is inevitably met by me violently shoving him back into position, facing away from me, so I can keep an arm slung over comfortably. I have heard the complaint "my arm still feels asleep, I must have slept on the same side all night" many a morning. I say "Oh, that's too bad" and nothing else.
5. Input I cannot control makes me insane. I had to sit (well, not sit exactly) through an episode of Celebrity Fit Camp 2 and--AND--an episode of Hogan Knows Best recently in the workout room, because that's what the bitch who got there before me had the television set to, and several times during the hour I literally bit my tongue to keep from screaming, "Please! I'll watch anything else! Bowling! Golf! Poker! CROSSFIRE! Just turn it! Turn it to something else before I lose my mind!"
But of course if you heard a stranger at the gym bust out with that speech you'd conclude that person had already lost her mind, wouldn't you? So I didn't say it. The problem with someone else's bad television habits (we won't even mention the radio) is, I cannot tune it out. Believe me, I try. I know people who can tune things out effortlessly and I'm so very very jealous of them, but I can't do it. So the result is, I can tell you everything--everything--that happened on that episode of Celebrity Fit Camp 2, even though I never wanted to know. Now my brain's storing all this information and for what? For what? (Though for the record, I am rooting for Victoria Jackson. Go Victoria!)
We will not discuss the time I suffered through Tommy Lee Goes to College, except to say that compared to Hogan Knows Best, it is marginally less likely to drive me to suicide. Tommy Lee, for all his haggard pierced-and-tattooed vileness, has a certain charm, and he does not have a vapid twat of a hyperbreasted daughter a la Hogan.
As always, feel free to share your own.
UPDATE: Ilyka never said she could count, y'all. Maybe I just really like the number 4; did you ever think of that? Maybe it's one of my idiosyncrasies.
You know, I said originally I wasn't gonna comment on Cindy Sheehan. And I'm not gonna comment on Cindy Sheehan.
But the parasitic puppeteers hoping to turn her into a "galvanizing, iconic figure?" Fair friggin' game.
MoveOn.org is leaving nothing to chance as it tries to make Sheehan into a national icon. It supplied demonstrators with advice on media relations. ("When talking to reporters, it is OK to keep repeating the same message over and over. It may feel strange to do that, but the reporters are used to it.") . . . ."No, your "children," ages 18 and over, are only required to serve in the military if you're for the war--and really, it'd be better if you went yourself, ya dumb chickenhawk.
"We're also asking that you bring pictures of children," MoveOn.org requested, and it didn't matter "whether or not you have a child serving in the military."
Well, it takes a beast like MoveOn to tempt me to start using "infantilize" in my everyday vocabulary--but that's what we're doing to the young men and women serving in the military when we label them children. If some on the loonier edges of the left haven't made the Children's Crusade comparison yet, be patient: They will. (And if they already have, that just shows how out of the loop I am.)
Nonetheless, I do wish some on the right would have stayed home from the counterprotest:
As the taunts continued in this vein, one of the antiwar crowd, Jerry Stein, tried to make peace. "We recognize your right to demonstrate," he offered.Yeah, that helps--the anonymity, the ad hominem, the diplomatic effort met with overt hostility--thanks, Freepers. Thanks for getting that on the record for us. They've got "the next Rosa Parks" and we've got Just A. Nobody. Fantastic.
"We recognize your right to be an ignorant moron," replied Just A. Nobody [from the Free Republic group].
The Washington Post also says the numbers for the counterprotest were very small--"outnumbered 50 to 1" by the antiwar protestors. Leaving aside the standard jokes about that being because conservatives actually have jobs, etc., I'm going to guess (and that's all it is) that it's also because most on the right really don't want to be seen as anti-Sheehan . . . because they aren't. They're anti-anti-Americanism, anti-appeasement, anti-antiwar protestors, but few are actually anti-grieving mother.
And that is exactly the "compassion loophole" groups like MoveOn exploit.
The bright spot, I guess, is that reporters are human beings (oh stop that) who don't like being jerked around any better than the rest of us do. I think that "press kit" MoveOn handed out is what led to the unflattering tone of the article and the faintly cynical headline, and for that I pray the Sorosites never develop a taste for subtlety.
Don't ever change, baby. I loves you just the way you are.
Seriously, then, all rhetorical force aside, what are the answers? I have searched and searched, spent literally hours on the media and reading blogs, and I can honestly say that (1) I do not know why we invaded Iraq (all of the answers so far have been lies), (2) I do not know how anyone can justify the fact that George Bush’s daughters are not volunteering to join the armed services and do their duty in this “noble” cause, and (3) I can plainly understand the arguments for staying in Iraq until some kind of order can be reimposed on that sad country, but believe that there are rational and persuasive arguments to the contrary. Given the history of this fiasco, I believe that, in questions of judgement, those who oppposed this pathetically misbegotten war should be given the benefit of the doubt. The other side’s judgement has already been shown to be laughably poor.The remainder of that comment is a kicker, too--Visualize World Atonement!--but I'm more interested in the thought process, such as it is, demonstrated above.
The commenter begins by begging the question:
I do not know why we invaded Iraq (all of the answers so far have been lies)
You don't search for answers with the conclusion that "they're all lies" foremost in your mind--not that this commenter would admit openly to doing such. No, no, he or she is an honest truth-seeker who just can't help it that this is the lyingest president EVER.
What, exactly, were the "lies?" I can name a few of them:
1. Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Well, our intelligence services thought so. The British intelligence services thought so. The U.N. inspections teams thought so. The Clinton Administration--everyone bow your heads and make the Sign of the Cigar, now--thought so.
It's speculated that Saddam Hussein himself thought so, being apparently unaware that asking your scientists how it's going down at the lab when you've earned a reputation as a guy who doesn't take bad news well is unlikely to generate honest answers.
And then there's the possibility that Saddam knew damn well he didn't have any weapons of mass destruction and was, you know, just kidding.
In short: There are multiple alternatives to the conclusion that the Bush Administration deliberately misled the American people about the justification for war in Iraq, each more plausible than positing a massive--and it would have to be massive, involving multiple agencies throughout multiple countries--coverup.
2. Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda!
Whether there was any collaboration between the two had been questioned even back during the Clinton Administration. Because our commenter is so fearlessly seeking answers, he or she will, of course, have noted these remarks by Clinton's ambassador to the U.N., speaking in 1998:
Ambassador Bill Richardson, at the time U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, echoed those sentiments in an appearance on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer," on August 30, 1998. He called the targeting "one of the finest hours of our intelligence people."Of course, two wrongs don't make a right, so observing that prior administrations thought a link possible doesn't absolve this administration of wrongdoing--if they knew a link was nonexistent but claimed one regardless; in other words, if they deliberately misled the populace about the issue. The Memory Hole thinks they did just that:
"We know for a fact, physical evidence, soil samples of VX precursor--chemical precursor at the site," said Richardson. "Secondly, Wolf, direct evidence of ties between Osama bin Laden and the Military Industrial Corporation--the al Shifa factory was part of that. This is an operation--a collection of buildings that does a lot of this dirty munitions stuff. And, thirdly, there is no evidence that this precursor has a commercial application. So, you combine that with Sudan support for terrorism, their connections with Iraq on VX, and you combine that, also, with the chemical precursor issue, and Sudan's leadership support for Osama bin Laden, and you've got a pretty clear cut case."
What they unambiguously admitted is that there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden/al Qaeda. You may recall that bin Laden and al Qaeda are officially blamed for hatching, plotting, and carrying out the 9/11 attacks. That's who the British reporter was referring to. Now the President and Prime Minister have said there is no link between them and the government of Iraq. Could it be any simpler?And that's a wrap, right? But here's what the reporter asked:
Q One question for you both. Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?I have cut it off just where The Memory Hole did; apparently those earnest seekers after truth would prefer you not read the Prime Minister's response in its entirety. Blair continues:
THE PRESIDENT: I can't make that claim.
THE PRIME MINISTER: That answers your question.
The one thing I would say, however, is I've absolutely no doubt at all that unless we deal with both of these threats, they will come together in a deadly form. Because, you know, what do we know after September the 11th? We know that these terrorists networks would use any means they can to cause maximum death and destruction. And we know also that they will do whatever they can to acquire the most deadly weaponry they can. And that's why it's important to deal with these issues together.Again: Note the reporter's question--
Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?
You find me a world leader who'd claim such a thing without notarized correspondence between Atta and Hussein right there in his hot little hands, and I'll show you your liar. It isn't Bush.
It's a crazy question. Must we assume that there needs to be a direct link between the September 11 hijackers and Saddam Hussein before we consider any action against Hussein Iraq? Or can we consider Mr. Blair's argument? No, we cannot. He's President Bush's lapdog only, don't you know.
Here's how I understand the rationale being put forward by Mr. Blair in this press conference, GOD FORGIVE ME FOR LYING:
Al Qaeda attacks, but doesn't produce the means to attack themselves. They're the actors. They didn't blow up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with their own weapons; they used existing technology to their own wicked purposes. That's their modus operandi.
With a group like that loose in the world--one that attacks using material produced by others--it is reasonable to try to thwart their plans by limiting the activity of hostile producers; that is, entities which create the materials and are also antagonistic towards Al Qaeda's favored targets.
Saddam Hussein fit that bill.
That's one reason I think we invaded Iraq. There are other theories, of course. Here's the difference: I don't read those other theories and pronounce them "ALL LIES."
Enough! Moving on, our intrepid commenter says:
I do not know how anyone can justify the fact that George Bush’s daughters are not volunteering to join the armed services and do their duty in this “noble” cause
And no, I don't know how this commenter can justify the fact that he or she is not volunteering to move to France and do his or her duty to pacifism in the noble antiwar efforts. Do you?
I can plainly understand the arguments for staying in Iraq until some kind of order can be reimposed on that sad country, but believe that there are rational and persuasive arguments to the contrary.
Then make them!
Given the history of this fiasco,
It is taken as given that the intervention in Iraq is a "fiasco."
Tell it to Mohammed, addressing Cindy Sheehan:
Ma'am, we asked for your nation's help and we asked you to stand with us in our war and your nation's act was (and still is) an act of ultimate courage and unmatched sense of humanity.Or tell it to countless others. Even when they are down:
Our request is justified, death was our daily bread and a million Iraqi mothers were expecting death to knock on their doors at any second to claim someone from their families.
Your face doesn't look strange to me at all; I see it everyday on endless numbers of Iraqi women who were struck by losses like yours.
Our fellow country men and women were buried alive, cut to pieces and thrown in acid pools and some were fed to the wild dogs while those who were lucky enough ran away to live like strangers and the Iraqi mother was left to grieve one son buried in an unfound grave and another one living far away who she might not get to see again.
We did nothing to deserve all that suffering, well except for a dream we had; a dream of living like normal people do.
I lost nearly all the optimism I had regarding the future of Iraq, it's now a battle zone, everybody wants to try his arms or see the 'paradise' comes to Iraq with a welcome on the borders and a push behind the borders.They are not out:
I see everybody is dying ..losing friends..losing hope..and I would lose myself if I stayed there.. We want to live… We want to build our lives.. We want to build a future to our children.. Will they leave us do that? And will others really help us?Incidentally, "Will they leave us to do that?" isn't a question directed at the evil babykilling coalition forces. It's directed at fundamentalist Muslims:
One might say that those fundamentalists do not represent Islam and they are only a small group..blah..blah..blah..Or just read Riverbend, The Only Iraqi Blogger Ever to Tell the Truth, Ever EVER.
So why there are a lot of their silent supporters in many Islamic and Arabic countries and others who feel proud of OBL and Zarqawi..I watched religious men and political analysts on the TV who stand side by side with those terrorists and give them the right to do whatever they do.
Hey..Muslims: Sunnis…Salafis..Wahhabis…etc..from those who keep a beard full of ……… just wake up..you are destroying us and destroying yourselves, stop inspiring morale among your brainwashed guys to kill.. we are human beings..do you know what is the meaning of human beings? I doubt it.
Back to the truthseeker:
I believe that, in questions of judgement, those who oppposed this pathetically misbegotten war should be given the benefit of the doubt.
This is of course contingent on accepting the commenter's premise that the war is a "fiasco." Because it so evidently is a fiasco, runneth the argument like so much diarrhea, those who opposed it should be given "the benefit of the doubt."
Do you mean . . . are you asking for . . . a pass?
Do you know where this kind of thinking begins? School:
I know I got all the answers wrong, but I worked all the problems and I showed all my work and this test was really hard/I was out sick/my grandfather died/your pantsuit had chalk smears and scared me . . . so can't I get at least a B?
You go looking for answers, having previously made up your mind to believe not one of them. Now you want the benefit of the doubt.
You know something, I'm done trying to construct any arguments; I can't handle that level of arrogance.
So go fuck yourself.
UPDATE: Or maybe Jeff's commenter is right. After all, I did just get a hit from this location.
That totally proves Bush lied.
UPDATE II: And remember: Having the right party affiliation means never having to say you're full of shit, as Cassandra's finding out.
1. You've all heard that the secret to success is to prepare, prepare, prepare, right, kids?! Well, it's true! It's never too early to prepare for success, success, success!
2. So start early! At least four weeks before your thank-yous need to arrive--
4. I can't hear you. What's that, now?
5. --needed to arrive four weeks ago? Like four weeks before now?
6. YOU ARE AN ABOMINABLY LOATHSOME PERSON!
7. Go wallow in shame for a few hours. Go, hurry, right now! You've wasted eight weeks as it is! Get back to me when you've finished crying.
8. You really disgust me, you know that?
9. All right, get in the car. We're going card shopping.
10. I know letters are more proper, but how are you going to fill up an entire page to that one relative you scarcely speak to? See, that's what I thought. You really should--what now?
11. "Oh dear sweet heaven above absolutely every card in this store repulses me?"
12. "The Christian ones especially?"
13. Do you know what that means?
14. YOU ARE AN ABOMINABLY BAD CHRISTIAN.
15. Oh knock it off. There's no crying in Wal-mart!
16. Maybe just a pack of the little ones that have "Thank You" embossed on the front.
17. I know they're ugly.
18. I know they're just the size of elementary-school party invitations.
19. I know you didn't receive many of those as a little kid.
20. THERE IS NO CRYING IN WAL-MART!
21. Look, just grab a packet of them and let's get moving. We're already--
23. Over the years you've bought so many of these? Uh-huh . . . so--
24. --and you always end up using three of them and losing the rest in the bottom of a drawer somewhere?
25. Where you find them so many years later they look like something from a time capsule?
26. "Something Lileks would put in a book to make fun of"--yes, I see.
27. And then you have to buy new ones all over again?
28. What's your point?
29. "I want real individual cards"--okay. So pick some out.
30. What do you mean, "I can't do this today?"
31. When exactly were you planning on doing it? Another four weeks from now?
32. What do you mean, "Maybe?" That was sarcasm, you asshole!
33. Oh, for--
34. If you're going to keep doing this we might as well pick up some Kleenex while we're here.
35. Not that this furthers our goal at all, or anything.
[Editor's note: Steps 36-62 omitted for brevity.]
63. Did you write those cards yet?
64. I mean, they're right there.
65. "I don't have that one relative's address"--look here, that's what the internet is for.
66. You spend enough time on it, one would think you might know that.
67. What are you doing?
68. Address labels?
69. You want to make address labels. Because . . . ?
70. "I can't write straight without lines." So . . . ?
71. "The address always looks slanted." You're kidding me, right?
72. For fuck's sake, no it is NOT "a serious issue."
73. It's an ADDRESS.
74. Three lines, maybe four. Who cares if they slant a little?
75. "The Post Office will care"--I don't believe this. I'm not hearing this.
76. "I'll care"--okay, finally, some honesty.
77. Could you try not caring? Just to, you know, speed this up a little.
79. I don't think diskette labels will look right.
80. Particularly not with that little diskette icon at the--fine, okay, I'll help you find the address labels.
81. That's a shipping size label.
82. Hell, no, I don't know why you bought them. Obviously you didn't do it on my recommendation.
83. What is it with you and the crying?
84. You remember now? Remember what?
85. Why you bought them. Uh-huh . . . do I want to hear this?
86. Does it have anything to do with writing thank-you notes?
87. Uh-huh . . . your grandfather's funeral . . . labels for hymn books . . . right, I remember that.
88. You misspelled "hymnal" on them.
89. Here, just--just take the whole box of Kleenex. Honest to--
90. Sure, I guess file folder labels would work.
91. Yeah, see? Those came out great!
94. Okay yeah, it's a little cut off at the top, but are you sure . . . I mean, do you really need the barcode?
95. You know something? You are an abominably loathsome person, but so help me, I defy anyone to find me another American who cares this much about what the USPS will think of her mail.
96. No, really, it's kind of nice. Just . . . completely counterproductive to the task at hand.
97. So try a lower top margin then.
98. Yeah, the first two come out better that way, but the other four--oh teriffic, now you've got me obsessing about this.
99. Could we just . . . could we just print the labels now?
100. Hmm, yeah, okay . . I guess tweaking the vertical pitch might line up the--
[Editor's note: Steps 101-133 omitted for brevity.]
134. Why are you checking your email?
135. It's late! Everyone's gone to bed already.
136. Everyone NORMAL, I mean.
137. See? No new emails.
138. Of course no one loves you. Do you want to know why?
139. Because YOU ARE AN ABOMINABLY LOATHSOME PERSON.
140. Why are you--no, no, absolutely not, I forbid it.
141. You are not blogging this.
142. So, shame: Do you have any?
143. Guess not.
144. Do you know, in the time you've taken to list all this out, I could have written thank-you letters to the entire population of Rhode Island?
145. Well, no, I can't think of anything particular to thank them for either. That's not the point!
146. The point is, YOU ARE AN ABOMI-
[Editor's note: At this point the critical inner voice was taken out with a swift kick to the head, delivered in the form of a vodka tonic.
The thank-you notes, as of this writing, have been "rescheduled for a more appropriate time," according to our source.
Our source adds that the labels work best with a top margin of 0.58" and the default vertical pitch of 0.67".]
The themes get more creative each week at the Cotillion: This week we have RightGirl serving it up Elvis-style, Stacy of Not a Desperate Housewife hilariously detailing all the work we do to look good (worth it for the mud-bath picture alone), Mary Katherine Ham of Townhall C-Log presenting the leading ladies of one Cary (SWOON) Grant (SWOON), and Tammy of A Mom and Her Blog taking cover from Hurricane Cotillion.
The sum total of what I think about this Cindy Sheehan business:
Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. I don't think anyone's really disputing that Cindy Sheehan has a right to hang around Crawford making a pest of herself. She does, I do, you do, we all do, that's America, blah blah blah. She can do what she's doing; I hope we're all clear on that score.
Doesn't mean she should.
Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. I don't think it ought to be disputed that Cindy's fellow citizens have a right to get on the web and call into talk radio shows and hang around the water cooler, saying what they think of her behavior. Unfortunately, that part is being disputed; I'm reading a lot of "You can't judge her!" sentiments out there. Not "you shouldn't" judge her--"you can't."
So listen up: YES, I CAN. I have a right--some would even say a moral duty--to decide what I will think. If I don't "process the input," so to speak, no one else is gonna do it for me. To put something on public display and demand that I not evaluate it, or, worse, demand that I simply take on faith your evaluation of it, is horribly offensive. It is just as anti-American as demanding that Sheehan be silenced.
I can make up my own mind. I can judge. Thanks to the country in which I live, I can even share with others what I've decided. I can totally hand down my judgment.
Doesn't mean I should.
One the one hand you have an adult man who not only volunteers with the military, but reups when his tour of duty is finished. On the other, you have a brain-damaged woman killed by the state by dehydration because her husband claimed for the first time after receiving a huge settlement for her injury that years ago she casually remarked in passing that she wouldn’t want to be kept alive in that state.I do love when Judith brings the sarcasm. Anyway, those of you who don't want to hear my mushmouthed mutterings are hereby directed Kesher Talk-ward. You should be visiting regularly anyway. Oh, and apropos of my recent "feelings" post: Note how Judith completely fails to break down in tears or wail about trolls when confronted with a commenter who begins, on a respectful note, "You have shit instead of brains . . . ." Nice!
Obviously exactly the same!
Anyway, I'm not seeing what Cindy Sheehan has to do with the Schindlers, but it seems some people still insist on linking the two cases. (Incidentally, Mr. Dunne, Bush has taken "five minutes" to meet with Ms. Sheehan. A little research--it's a beautiful thing.)
I have mentioned that I like Las Cruces a whole lot, yes? Good, good. Because I do have just one complaint:
(Pic from the Purdue University Urban Center.)
So I guess in a sense I have not one complaint, but many.
The little, and not-so-little, bastards are mostly outside, which is not that much of a problem, except that they've made it known how much they'd really, really like to come inside, and that is a problem. I'm not going so far as to say cockroaches are my Room 101 item, because unfortunately I can imagine fates far worse than being locked into a face-cage full of cockroaches; but would it be fair to say they're up there in the top 10 of things I loathe and fear?
Yes. Yes it would. They don't make me scream and they don't me cry; they make me blisteringly angry and they make my skin crawl. If I see one, dead or alive (though admittedly alive is worse), I will twitch uncontrollably for hours. In fact I'm sitting here right now covered in phantom cockroaches, with every itch making me jump, and if you're sitting there right now thinking "Thanks for sharing, Ilyka" all I can say is YOU'RE WELCOME. If I have to suffer and twitch, you have to suffer and twitch. That's the way things operate around here.
If you are wondering whether I knew about las cucarachas ahead of time, before I moved, the answer is kind of, but no, mostly not. I mean, the boyfriend said his student apartments used to have them pretty bad, but hello? Student apartments. I knew I wouldn't be living in student apartments, so I didn't worry about it.
If you are wondering whether the pests are something of a deal-breaker, i.e., enough to drive me back to Dallas, the answer is a firm but sliiiiiiightly wistful "of course not." For one thing Dallas had, ah, the ones that fly, the kind that wicked lying Southerners try to convince you are not actually cockroaches but merely "water bugs," which, no offense Southerners, is a lie that would not fool a three year-old.
But do I sometimes think back fondly on the militant pest control service my former apartment complex employed, the one that sprayed with such joyful abandon it's a wonder I'm still alive? Do I sometimes wonder how much it would cost to lure them here?
Yes. Yes, I do. Because here is the number of cockroaches I ever had in that apartment over a five-year time span: 0. Before someone brings up the old blog and that post I think I called "Palmetto Ghetto," please recall that the nasty creature was outside. Outside! Not inside.
Anyway, I wish I could say that the number of roaches I have found inside this apartment is 0, but it is not. It is some number greater than 0 and less than 10 and that is as much as I feel like telling you about it.
Here's the thing: I recently enjoyed two weeks 100% cockroach-free, outside AND in, plus one week following that was, say, 92% cockroach-free, during which I only found the occasional belly-up corpse (are they not especially putrid-looking that way? The cockroach wins for Most Disgusting Thorax, definitely) on the patio. The patio, i.e., outside.
But the reason I had those 2-3 weeks of relief is that I am horrible person who deliberately dumps toxins into the helpless, sacred environment. See, I had swept the patio--which you have to do a lot here as it's a very dusty, very windy environment--and then I thought, I know, I'll bleach it too, and then after the water/bleach solution had evaporated I thought, wait, what if I washed off all the pesticides? and then I, ah, sprayed every conceivable surface of my patio with copious amounts of Raid.
So what I'm thinking happened is, the washing of the patio carried off lots of pesticide residue into the ground cover around the patio where it proceeded to kill bugs dead, bugs who would not live even long enough to crawl onto the patio in the first place, hooray. And then, yeah, the part where I applied a fresh layer of poison on top of that, I figure that couldn't have hurt either.
For all my seeming irresponsible disregard for The Environment, however, I'm not actually into infusing the soil with toxins--what happened was more a result of me not being very bright than a result of me being in a murderous rage against cockroaches (though for the record, I generally am in a murderous rage against cockroaches. That is fairly normal for me). I'm just saying, bathing the patio and surrounding areas in pesticides is not my preferred method for eradicating pests; no, not even such foul creatures as cockroaches.
So if anyone has any suggestions for methods that work, I would appreciate hearing them. Before anyone says "Combat traps," though, be advised that I have Combat traps; I'm just trying to figure out a way to deposit them around the patio without making it so that every time I step out for a cigarette I am greeted by a perimeter of Combat traps which in turn have perimeters of cockroach corpses. Also, did I mention that it's windy and dusty here? It is windy and dusty here. If I go the Combat traps route I'm probably going to have to Krazy Glue them to the concrete. You may think I'm kidding, but I'm not. It is that windy and that dusty.
Oh, one other thing: Anyone who says "boric acid repels cockroaches" will be flown to Marin County, allowed a brief reunion with his or her former commune mates over a last meal of soy protein and wheatgrass juice, and shot. Boric acid doesn't do diddly-squat dick, so don't even.
Something that works. Please. Thank you.
UPDATE: This really deserves to be promoted from the comments. Ms. Lauren is much braver than I am, and probably braver than you, too:
Hey, I go to Purdue. I'll bet that pic was from one of my old profs, Tom Turpin. When I had to take his class ("Bugs: Friend or Foe?" Foe!) I had to bring home a madagascar hissing cockraoch and keep it alive IN MY APARTMENT for the entire semester. Blugh. I named him Max.So maybe if I put a little boom box on the patio . . . ? They could listen to Gwen.
The worst part is that whenever I turned on music, Max would go crazy. He lived in a piece of Tupperware and would crawl all over the thing hissing and cracking up against the side of plastic.
UPDATE II: I love Geek Empire because dude's got a way with imagery. Of course, given that the subject is cockroaches, some of that imagery's pretty disgusting; but he backs me up on the uselessness of boric acid against a true infestation, and he's definitely had 'em worse than I do:
This is nasty: one of their primary entry points into our apartment was through a hold behind a broken tile at the far end of the bathtub. This meant that, every once in a while, you'd be taking a shower, the water backing up a few inches in the bottom of the tub, and all of a sudden a giant cockroach appears out of nowhere and does a slide down your bathtub like he's at a fucking waterpark and is swimming around in the water, trying to grab onto something not porcelain, like, say, your feet.Gaaaaahhh! But do read the whole thing. He's got a Martha Stewart reference in there that just slayed me, and when you can grind fresh material out of a subject as stale as Martha, that's impressive.
My first apartment was like that. I'd tell you all about it but I'd like to be able to sleep tonight without nightmares. For the people who think I'm freaking out over "baby" cockroaches, though--you're right, but you're wrong. These I'm waging war against now are mostly the American cockroach, just under 1" long, exactly like the picture above. In my first apartment, though, my roommate and I had the Yew-nited Nations of cockroaches. We had all kinds, but mainly little German browns and the occasional--but not seldom enough!--big, black, 2-3 inch ones. Those nasty things don't slow down with their size, either.
I didn't have a car at the time; every day after work I'd bike the four miles home, and sometimes by the end of that ride I'd really have to pee. Well, I dashed into the place one evening under just those circumstances and that's how I learned to, ah, look before I leap, so to speak. Because there is nothing like the sudden realization that you're crouching with your nethers exposed maybe all of six inches away from a cockroach the size of a damn hamster. Nothing like shrieking and racing out of the bathroom only to discover your roommate's just got home himself, either.
Before you've pulled up your pants.
Too much talent in one carbon-based life form: Now Hubris is cartooning. Brilliantly.
I'm having this problem lately, where someone will write something I want to object to, but they'll write it on a so-called personal blog. where I know if I object to it, I'm just going to get a bunch of their fans whining "Oh my God, how could you? You are such a troll! Where do you get off criticizing Saint Personal Blogger, I mean do you have any idea what she's been through?"
I've thought about this a lot and this is what I've decided:
I don't mind if someone mixes the personal and the political. If you ask me that's normal. I don't equate the personal with the political, but I think expecting someone to choose one route or the other and stick to it is just dumb, and really says more about your expectations as a reader, and perhaps your inability to switch mental gears, than it does about the weblogger.
But this is what I'm not down with: This thing where someone switches tacks into the political and the minute he or she encounters any disagreement at all, squeaks, "I'VE GOT TROLLS! HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? I THOUGHT WE HAD SUCH A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY!"
And maybe you do have a supportive community with respect to the personal stuff. Good for you! Everyone likes a supportive community.
But if you get into the analytical, I expect you to bring some, uh, analysis into it. That is, thinking. I'm going to laugh if your idea of expressing your political stance is sentence after sentence beginning "I just feel that . . . ." I just feel an acute pain in my posterior when you run amok just feeling everything instead of using the brain God gave you for half a minute, okay?
I say all this because lately it seems every third site I visit is drowning in feelings, and I don't mind that so much as I mind the part where all this drowning in feelings is leading the writers to try to argue shit based on, yes, their feelings. Maybe it's just my view, but argument seems to be more effective when engaged in as dispassionately as possible. Or maybe that's not even what I mean--as I think I've mentioned numerous times before, Andrea Harris is one of my perennial favorites, yet I wouldn't say she writes dispassionately most of the time.
I think what I mean is that strong feeling needs to infuse the thought, yes, but damnit, there must be thought. A lot of folks I'm reading lately seem to be skipping the "thought" part and just suffering emotional incontinence in HTML. Which is fine, if you're talking about personal, subjective stuff, but it just loses me when you cross into more conceptual material.
And yeah I know I know "maybe you should read other weblogs." No kidding. I think everyone could stand to branch out more, but me especially.
I don't know. Maybe it's the heat? Everyone hates the hell out of this time of year.
YOU PEOPLE ARE EVEN WORSE THAN I AM: Let's just clear this up right now: It is not Helen. It is not Margi (I love that you blog about your pregnancy, Margi! Sheesh!). It is not Carol! It is none of y'all. I can't decide whether to sign you all up for confidence-building exercises or to berate myself because apparently, my reputation as something of a vicious bitch is so cemented that many of you fear I would actually dis a site I have linked.
For future reference, everybody: If you're linked, you're cool, and I have nothing bad to say aboutcha. I read vastly more blogs than I actually provide links to and it's these other blogs, many of them very fine sites, don't get me wrong, that nonetheless sometimes give me dyspepsia.
Again, it's not because I disagree with something I read. It's not the ideas, not the concepts--it's the delivery.
And, it's this foolish, foolish notion that somehow a weblog is a "safe space" where everyone nods in agreement and supports you. A weblog is a lotta things, but it's not a safe space unless you make it one--which, incidentally, I am all for. If people want to lock down or password-protect their blogs, by gum that's their perfect right and hear hear, etc. If they want to implement a crush-all-dissent comments policy, go them--that's what Andrea's got and I love it.
I believe site owners need to do whatever it takes to guard themselves. It's the only logical conclusion: Ultimately if you, the site owner, aren't happy, then what on earth was the point of your having a web site to begin with?
I get irked, though, when people make public their varied opinions and then CRY when a few readers come along and go, "Wow, that's dumb." I'm not even talking anything that mean--I've seen blogs where if you even timidly suggest that there might be another way to look at something, it's up in flames you go. But don't cry when people call you dumb; ban the assholes! Insult them! Gang up on them! Make them wail for Mama! Send me over to them! Come on, you know I've got those anger management issues; I can always use another outlet for my rage.
I don't care what you do, but do something besides . . . the crying thing. The putting on the victim hat, it annoys me. There are, of course, always extreme cases: If Carol had wanted to shed a tear or two in public about "Calli," I think we'd all have understood. Notice, however, that she didn't do anything of the kind. Carol's got more gumption than that.
I think Jim Treacher was going off once on Jon Stewart's Crossfire appearance, about how while it sure was fun to see Stewart call Tucker Carlson a dick on the air (and it was, it was), on the other hand it was kind of dirty pool of Stewart to simultaneously (1) demand that his opinions be taken seriously because of the serious subject matter, yet (2) deny that his opinions could ever matter to anyone else or have any influence on public discourse whatsoever because gosh, he's just a comedian for crying out loud! "Clown nose on, clown nose off" I think Jim called it.
That's sort of what I see some personal bloggers do. "Personal blog on, personal blog off" you could call it. When they're making their highly emotional cases, you're supposed to take it seriously because of the serious subject matter; but if you do treat it seriously and you happen to disagree with them, all of a sudden it's "Cor, why pick on me guv, I'm just an 'umble ol' personal blogger 'ere." As the Church Lady used to say, how convenient.
Of course, that's just how I feel about all this stuff. Big deal, huh? Now repeat after me:
I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!
Especially me. I like you all bunches and bunches. So relax.
You know, I never liked No Doubt. Underneath the vaguely--and I mean vaguely--alternative packaging, it was pretty obvious that what you were hearing was a band fronted by a woman who'd never quite got over failing cheerleading tryouts.
And don't leave me some nerdy-ass fanboy comment saying "Actually, I saw the Behind the Music on them recently and Ms. Stefani, far from aspiring to make the cheerleading team, was actually captain of the chess club." I DON'T CARE, for one, and for two, I refuse to believe that.
In any case cheerleaders, both actual and frustrated, are born, not made. It's a state of mind, or state of absence thereof if you prefer. I mean, listen to just one round of that chorus:
Few times I been around that track
So it's not gonna happen just like that
'Cause I ain't no--
--wait, what? What's that now? You have your hands over your ears and are trying to scream "STOP THAT!" through gritted teeth? Really? ME TOO. It doesn't work, though. You have to unclench your jaw to get a really good scream going.
Anyway I've been giggling over this write-your-own comic (fifth one down the page) that references, you know . . . off and on since I ran across it . . . and the problem with that is, it's a laugh that costs me every time, because it results in yet more hours of hearing, you know, on the mental jukebox, until I kind of wish I had a gun myself.
It is indeed your shit, Gwen. You did not need to explicitly state so for us to be able to tell that. And I'd like to know when it's getting flushed off the airwaves because already, ENOUGH.
(If you can stand it, though, this analysis of the deeper meaning of Stefani lyrics is pretty good.)
I like this week's Cotillion. You get Baldilocks, Darleen Click, MaxedOutMama, and Kate of Small Dead Animals (also known as one of my favorite weblog titles ever). So check it out. And say something nice to Baldilocks, who could have insisted I drop and give her 20 for not submitting something this week, but didn't.
Mentally, anyway. When surfing the internet starts to feel ennervating instead of enjoyable, you know, you have to take a break.
Besides I've clean run out of things to say. So Peter Jennings died and I suppose people will have some things to say about that, but I just . . . don't. I could say that the media didn't waste a minute turning it into a "SMOKING KILLS" story, and that I loathe this because (1) we know and (2) Jennings knew and (3) for Pete's sake, I was not fond of the man, or at least his public persona, but could we let him rest in peace for a minute before we go all Surgeon General on his dead ass? No, that's right, we can't, because journalism is a sacred trust and a higher calling and a public service and DID YOU KNOW SMOKING WILL KILL YOU?
The best ones are the outlets that claim people are quitting because Peter Jennings died. Firstly, I doubt that. People will say any damn thing if you man-on-the-street them. Secondly, how nauseating. Why turn an ordinary human being into St. Jennings of the Blessed Pall Malls? Wait, I know the answer to this one: Because if it helps save even one life, it will be worth it!
I'll tell you why I want to quit, myself: It's not the death part. It's the home oxygen-dependent part, the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease part--it's all the little and not-so-little health aggravations you go through before it kills you. It's knowing that the health care providers treating you think you're being nothing so much as a stupid, obstinate, waste of their time. Seriously, would you want to be putting smokers on ventilators all the time? Wouldn't that feel a little Sisyphean after awhile? Of course it would. I imagine it wouldn't be long before you'd be thinking, "You know something, Mrs. Kravitz, you're 82 and being intubated for the third time this year, and you want a medal for finally kicking the habit a whole six years ago. Well, screw you. I'm not giving you a medal because we don't give medals to idiots. Shoulda quit 40 years ago, idiot."
And what do you say to a headline like this besides, "Duh?" Teenagers don't think anything can kill them. I know; I'm the one who used to go skulking around the neighborhood at three in the morning, deliberately staying off the main roads and looking for dimly-lit streets to avoid . . . the cops. Oh yeah, teenagers are just fulla smarts like that. You can't get an addicted 40 year-old smoker to face the realities of lung cancer; now we expect teenagers to do it?
But I'll fall in line for a minute: You shouldn't smoke. You're better off stopping sooner rather than later. But I'm going to argue that you should do that not so much because it can kill you, but because of everything it screws up in your life in the meantime. Can't date nonsmokers. Can't sit through three-hour movies without missing a few scenes. You get weird pains all the time, everywhere, and every time, I mean every time, you think "Oh no, this is it--here comes the cancer." It's not worth it to smoke because of the anxiety it gives you alone--never mind the cost and the hassle and the nagging, the nagging, the neverending will you please just STOP it already nagging, from people who want you to quit.
So thank you, news people, for adding to the nagging. Because when it comes to turning smokers into ex-smokers, nothing else has been proven so effective. That's why nobody smokes anymore, right? Nobody smokes and we're all eating our vegetables and loving our bodies, ourselves. And listen, I made that up about Jennings being dead. Really he's having a great time on the Riviera right now, and he hopes to catch up with you all later, maybe this winter in Gstaad?
I'm not the average girl from your video
I know I ain't built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen
"Video," India Arie
Okay, so maybe we've traditionally had a beef with royalty in the U.S. Maybe we even had some good reasons for that beef--like, say, taxation without representation, and having to put up smelly Limey soldiers in our humble little abodes and suchlike. Doesn't mean we can't celebrate truly royal women once in awhile, does it?
But of actual queens, we don't lack examples. Some queens transcend mere royalty by virtue of being unforgettable, like Queen Esther of Persia:
Equally unforgettable: Sondra K. implores you to remember our military in this spectacular photo essay from Camp Remembrance in Iraq.
Queen Soraya Shah of Afghanistan used her influence to abolish slavery and restrict child marriage in her part of the world. In a time and locale in which women were, like children, considered better seen than heard, she provided a voice for liberty. Join Little Miss Attila on her trip to the Liberty Film Festival. I know what you're saying: "The what?" The Liberty Film Festival, that's what! Yes, there actually is one! And Attila Girl can tell you all about it.
Sometimes the pursuit of liberty requires speaking truth to power, and that's where Helen Thomas, intrepid White House reporter, comes in--at least, in her world. Mamamontezz has a somewhat different interpretation as she provides us with breaking Helen Thomas suicide watch news:
In a related story, one bystander was killed, and several mental health workers and an ambulance team were hospitalized this afternoon after a failed suicide intervention on Ms. Thomas.
"It was awful, like something from Jason and the Argonauts," claimed EMS worker Bartholomew Sandusky of Georgetown. "We thought we had her convinced that it was for her own good when suddenlly she turned on us. She pulled off that wig and there were vipers and... We didn't think we'd make it out alive."
That fair lassie above is Queen Margaret of Scotland, a woman devoted during her reign to feeding the hungry, particularly orphan children. Would that modern Britons felt such concern for the hungry, says MaxedOutMama, speaking on a recent U.K. court ruling:
In other words, it would be expensive to care for Leslie Burke, so Leslie Burke will be starved to death when he can no longer speak. He will be conscious and aware of his suffering.Thank you, MaxedOutMama, for speaking out on an issue I'd like to see get more attention.
I have to say, perhaps we should leave [kidnapper Fernando Aguerro] in Mexico. He was already a convicted sex offender walking the streets in the U.S. Perhaps Mexico would actually *keep* him in prison. Oh, and Mexican jails aren't known for their amenities either. However, he could receive life in prison without parole if convicted of kidnapping here in the states. I'm not convinced that's realistic, given the rash of sex offender cases that have popped up where a child (or children!) ends up dying because a sex offender, even with multiple instances of molestation, is still walking the streets.Hear, hear! There's a time for mercy and a time for justice, and when it comes to pedophile sex offenders, I vote for justice.
Next up is Beth of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, one of the Head Honchonettes of the Cotillion. Shoot, how'm I gonna do justice to Miz Beth?
Obviously, we have to go with a Queen of Queens for this one:
And it's fitting enough: One wonders how Cleopatra would feel about the rise of terror and evil that has visited her former domain through Islam. Beth points to a piece by Michael Graham--a piece that has the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for Graham's resignation--that makes a very valid point: America would never tolerate this sort of muddled, sometimes-terrorism-is-okay talk from, say, the Boy Scouts. Beth includes a mighty list of contacts for those of you who feel moved to defend Graham's right to freedom of expression. What, you mean we can't just leave the defense of free speech to the ACLU?
Ah, the seemingly magical power some wicked men exercise over women--who does this remind me of? Right: A woman of royalty who took her own life rather than become unfaithful to her husband and her subjects:
Alexandra, the wife of Nicholas, was captivated by Rasputin. She felt as if he were sent by God to help with her dying son. Did she have a sexual relationship with him? Don't know. But in seeking to save her son she feel prey to a false prophet. The relationship that the Romanov family had with Rasputin was in part, the beginning of the end for the great czars of Russia. The Bolshevik revolution followed the assassination of the family and Stalin and his communist regime gained control.Also on matters of faith and loyalty: Portia, meanwhile, wonders to whom some members of the British press have sworn their allegiance:
This is a lesson in understanding the power sexual relationships have over us. It's a lesson that there is indeed evil in our world that often comes diquised as good.
There have been a few strange stories regarding the London bombings, and the most comical I've seen was this one: "Ex-IRA Bomber Warns British Shoot-To-Kill Policy Only Provokes Terror." I could not stop giggling when I read this headline. I think that is one of the funniest statements I've read in a long time. The article is quite biased against the strategy of the British Police, as you could fully ascertain from the title. The number one source quoted in the article is a former murderer. Great reporting.I'll remember this the next time a Brit wants to sneer at me that "plenty of you Yanks" supported the IRA. Listen, mate, your own press is sourcing the damn IRA.
Ever wonder where Bill Frist's loyalties lie? Over at Reasoned Audacity, Charmaine Yoest applies a dose of logic to Frist's recent statements on stem cell research, and finds his analogies, ah, conflicted:
In fact, the difference between an organ donor and an embryo is radically significant, but apparently the Majority Leader of the Senate, Dr. Bill Frist who is himself a heart transplant surgeon, thinks they are basically the same thing. In his speech to the Senate Friday morning which called for more federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, he began by implying that using embryos for scientific research is the same thing . . .I admit I don't quite follow his reasoning myself. "Life begins at conception, except when it doesn't," is how I'm reading it.
Times of war demand warrior queens, of which one fine example is Zenobia of Palmyra:
Rightwingsparkle, on the other hand, has been forced by recent correspondence with Muslims overseas to wonder at the priorities of those whose first instincts are always to blame the Jews:
But I have to wonder how we deal with people who believe such nonsense? I mean A CABAL OF RICH JEWISH PEOPLE??????? It's like those suicides a few years back who believed that an alien ship was passing by as they died to pick them up.Oy. Conspiracy theories are for entertainment purposes only, kids.
We have become so obsessed with conspiracy theories in this world that if one was to actually occur, we might dismiss it.
We'll wrap up with a personal favorite of mine, fearless Queen Marie of Romania:
In 1918, writing for The Century, William T. Ellis profiled Marie, Queen of Romania, as her nation prepared for war east and west. Marie truly earned her title of "Soldier Queen:"
In all the terrible days of last winter, when plague and death ravaged the remnant of Rumania, she visited the hospitals, going among the smitten ones, indifferent to infection. Always she rides about without an armed escort. Her laughing disdain of the antiaircraft shrapnel which rained about us from the skies on the motor ride is of a piece with her complete disregard of all considerations of her personal safety. Two days after my visit with the queen at the Regina Maria Hospital I went to the front-line trenches, though with endless difficulty, because the commanders did not want an American killed while their guest. It chanced that I saw the very trenches where a few days earlier her Majesty had approached to within fifteen yards of the Prussians, so that her companions conversed with them, without betraying, of course, the presence of visitors. For a journalist the venture was right and proper, for it is in his day's work; but for the queen it was too grave a risk. The road by which she approached was under fire and torn by big shells. I found that she had gone not only into the first-line trench, but also out into the observation-posts. How constant is the peril was illustrated by the fact that when the Germans heard an officer and me talking, they exploded a hand-grenade to try to catch us. Yet on speaking to me of her visit to the front, the queen had mentioned only its interest, never its danger.Danger? What danger? There's a time to be afraid, and a time to be brave, but some would have us choose the former every time. Sissy Willis names names for the upcoming Who's Who series on fearmongers in America:
Speaking of "simplistic thinking" and "deformed cravings for fame," you've probably heard about useful idiot Jane Fonda's plan for a "pretty exciting" road trip "to call for an end to U.S. military operations in Iraq." Encouraged by her cluelessness, Osama & Company are probably working on some plans of their own.And that, we said dramatically, invoking the royal "We," is that.
Wait, but it isn't! There's still more dancing to be done at Kellipundit, Portia Rediscovered, and Sisu--or catch the whole affair at The Cotillion hub site, where all Cotillion merriment is eventually cross-posted, documented for future generations, and harvested for use in the drafting of royal edicts.