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July 2007 Archives

July 1, 2007

The passing parade

Sorry for the radio silence... yesterday I went to one of those things women do here, a Pampered Chef party. I get these bursts of social feeling every now and then. Also I have an attraction to useful gadgets, and have been wanting to supplement my Walmart kitchen odds and ends with at least something that is made properly for a task. Of course, funds being low, I couldn't get the $70 santoku forged knife or the professional grade frying pan that was over a hundred dollars, but I did get a 75 cent citrus peeler. And then madness seized my brain, and I agreed to host another party at my place. It's not until August, so I have a month to get used to the idea. (Also to clean my place.)

In any case, I'm the sort of person who has to recover from social occasions, so I've been squatting in my cave like a troll. It helps that it's hotter than the surface of the sun outside, and at about 950% humidity. (I only exaggerate a little.) Did I mention I hate summer?

Also, I have made a decision of sorts, though I am sure it has the staying power and likelihood of success as any of my other decisions: I have decided that I am going to try to move out of Florida once my lease is up next May. Tentative destinations: Texas, where I know some people, and Atlanta, where I don't know anyone. I'm sick of Florida -- the way all jobs are low-paying especially. Most available jobs here are either low-paying retail, low-paying "hospitality industry," or in the medical field. I can't do retail, I refuse to work for the tourist industry in any shape or form (unless it's in a back office somewhere where I don't actually have to see or talk to a tourist) and I can't stand anything to do with doctors or hospitals, especially having to see people coming in to clinics and emergency rooms with the sort of scrapes and bumps we used to treat with a spray of bactine and a bandaid.

I really need a real vacation. Being broke and carless sucks.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

You know what else sucks? Growing old. More specifically, getting that old-person sensitivity to delicious, gas-producing foods like garlic. Gas-X doesn't really help all that much.


Stupid statement of the day

... the week, the year... from the comment section of a review of the latest Michael Moore bag of jokes, comes this stunning tribute to the brain-stem-only way of life:

America has fantastic healthcare resources, and some of the best hospitals in the world. The problem is access to those resources. In order to answer your question, you’ll first have to answer this one: why doesn’t everyone in the US go to the Mayo clinic?

Why don't 300 million people all go to one clinic... I am done, people. I admit it: I have finally found the stupid statement that can't be answered, because first I'd have to have my frontal lobe removed in order to think at the level required.

July 2, 2007

Heinlein et al

Meh. When I was a juvenile I read some Heinlein, including The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (I suppose, I don't remember the book very well so I guess I didn't find it all that memorable much less the earth-shattering, life-changing opus that libertarians did). But the bloom wore off, I haven't read any Heinlein since (my favorite science fiction authors are Andre Norton and Jack Vance, if you must know). This retrospective on Heinlein by Steve Sailer reminds me why.

Heinlein seems to be revered mainly by men. I sometimes joke about being a man in a woman's body, but I guess I'm a real girl after all. Jack Vance has a standard manly, fighting-machine kind of hero, but there is a remote, ironic, and philosophical tone to his writing that adds layers to the surface conventions of his stories that Heinlein's lack. Andre Norton was, of course, a woman, but her heroes (and heroines) tended to be anything but weaklings -- yet her stories, even though they all ended on hopeful notes, lacked the rather overbearing optimism that made Heinlein ultimately unpalatable for me. In her more recent books she got into goofy New Age-ish feminist magick stuff, at least for plots, and her stories suffered accordingly. Her best stuff was written in the 60s and 70s.

Oddly enough, all three writers are/were Americans, and wrote or still write (Vance is still alive, if ancient) science fiction, but that is about all they have in common.

By the way, whenever I'm sick (so far -- knock on wood -- with nothing worse than strep throat, or the flu) I read stuff like H.P. Lovecraft. Really, for some reason reading Lovecraft just seems to be the thing when sick in bed. Somehow all that stuff about "unnameable horrors" and the "sunken city Rl'yeh under the sea where dead Cthulhu lies dreaming" is just comforting. I wouldn't read Heinlein in that case -- I think all that stuff about genetically-enhanced Super-Mid-Americans striding surefooted (though wisecrackingly) across space would just make me tired.

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

Update: I wrote all this before reading all the he-manly comments from the manly men on Sailer's blog. Steve Sailer is a normal guy (he reminds me a lot of me, in a way), but some of the libertarians and other... people who frequent his blog comment thread remind me of Florence King's dismissal of macho English majors as the sort of people who "carried razor blades to cut the pages of European paperbacks." Betcha they can drink whiskey straight without even coughing (much).

July 3, 2007

The Call of Cthulhu silent movie

Awesomeness.... In more ways than one. Now I have another reason to buy a tv (and a dvd player).

(Via an alert reader.)

Weird modern art of the day

But don't run away, kids -- it's actually interesting. You'd swear these were alive.

(Of course, your mileage may vary -- if the sight of giant, many-legged skeletal insectoid things give you the creeps you may not be enthralled.)

Via Ghost of a Flea.

Heading for a crash

Great. I think my elderly laptop is finally dying. Considering it's my only working computer (I have an even more antique CPU tower containing a Pentium III, 64 MB of RAM, and running -- or it did when it worked -- Windows 98 that is now no more than a paperweight) this could be a problem. Hopefully I'll be able to make it last until I get my severance pay, which may yield enough extra money to get me a replacement. Otherwise I may have to sneak a few posts in at the demo machines in the Apple store.

Update: I'm wondering if my cooling fan is shot. Something was making a funny noise the other day. I wish these things had a little button so I could test them. Note to computer designers: why can't we turn on our computer cooling fans ourselves instead of depending on the machine? Oh well, there is probably a good reason -- I'm not a hardware expert.

I guess I'll have to take this into the shop. If it's just that fan that probably isn't too expensive. On the other hand, with my luck, it's probably something else. In the meantime, I have it propped up off the desk with a book. I could by one of those cooling stands...

July 4, 2007

Weirdest disaster ever

The Boston molasses disaster. I've never heard of it, but then the history of the early 20th century never was my bag -- there's a lot about that era I don't know.

On a side note, I think that the only more embarrassing death than being drowned by molasses would be to be run over by a Scion. It would be like being killed by a toaster.

(Link to Boston Molasses tragedy site via a commenter on Tim Blair's site.)

But -- but they were inexperienced!

Aren't college kids incomprehensible alcoholics most of the time too?


Update: more on those untrained common folk endangering their lives unnecessarily. Really, they need to stop this sort of thing. It will just encourage us the wrong kind of people.


Those who can't do, preach -- Example No. 5,887

Maybe instead of flying all over the world telling everyone else what to do, Al Gore should try to focus a little more on his own contributions to the environment.

By the way, I can't but help to see this whole thing as a deliberate slap at Daddy and his giant ego: not just the drugs and the speeding, but the fact that Gore Jr. did it all in a Prius -- or "Pious" as people are starting to call it. Gosh, didn't know those things could get up to 100 miles per hour.

(Via a commenter over at Tim's. By the way, Tim Blair's blog is where I get all my news now, except for local news of the weird which I get from Local6.com. Who needs CNN or Fox? Not me.)

Christmas in July

Charles is blogging again! He has many posts! Read! Read!

July 5, 2007

Mixed Blessings

Well, guess what: I just found out I'm staying at the Crazy Place another month. It was like this: "Don't you know you're staying another month?" Me: "Um. NO."

This is both good and bad. Good in that I get a couple more normal paychecks, and I get to stave off the hideous Job Search of Doom for another month. Bad in that it pushes back the time I get my severance pay one more month, which throws a couple of wrenches into some plans I made. But they are temporary wrenches -- I'll just have to hang on a bit more. Those "normal" paychecks aren't exactly helping me do much more than make ends meet.

Another bad is I'll still be at the Crazy Place. I like some of the people I work for, but it's the way you like your nutty aunt -- you wish she'd stop "helping" you by putting the silverware in the bathroom cabinet, asking you if you did That Task for the five hundredth time, and "forgetting" to tell you the really important news that the kitchen is on fire.

And I just know that they "forgot" because they thought I'd run out of the place screaming. Ha ha, they aren't getting out of giving me my severance that easily.

There's only so much I can take

I'm supposed to be enthralled and moved, I guess, by all this:

You are not only a link with something. You are the thing itself; and you are the sacrament, the instrument, by which we learn to love the things that are. Your body is the first object any child of man ever wanted. Therefore dispose yourself to be loved, to be wanted, to be available. Be there for them with a vengeance. Be a gracious, bending woman. Incline your ear, your heart, your hands to them.

My first -- and so far only -- reaction? "Oh, fuck off."

Sorry, I can't be nice all the time. (Of course, the moonbeam who emitted this gush of prose is an Episcopal priest. This open-to-wonder style of Christianity makes one positively yearn for the scourge, the hairshirt, and the Inquisition.)

July 7, 2007


I made the mistake of going out in the punishing heat today. Now I'm good for nothing. I could actually feel my brain sizzling.

July 8, 2007


That comet can hit right about now.

They acknowledge that for some furries, there's a sexual aspect, but most say the adult-themed furries aren't the majority.

"A furry is a person online who pretends to be a humanoid animal, is the essentials of it," furry MCA Jabberwocky. "Because, hey, it's fun. We're human. We know what humans are like. Why not be something else."

Stop it.

(Via Ace of Spades.)

Movie directors are insane

And they should be forbidden to direct movies based on novels until whatever is wrong with their brains is healed, or else until they are all dead and can no longer harm any written work with their misconceived "making the story more cinematic" changes. Case in point: they are now in the process of destroying one of the favorite fantasy series of my childhood: The Dark Is Rising. For one thing, according to the IMDB forums (which I can't believe I registered just so I could read them after having vowed to never register for anything online because I don't frickin' want to), the main character, Will, who in the book is a British child from a large, rural English family, has been changed into an American for no good Goddamn reason that I can figure out. This destroys the entire central theme of the series, which is centered around old British pagan mythology and has fuckall to do with us across the pond. For another thing, far from being the rather sleazy-looking, short, dark-haired and bearded figure with a face like a collapsed beagle like Ian McShane, the character he is set to play, Merriman Lyon (who is actually Merlin), is clearly described several times in all of the books (a fairly decent compilation and summation can be found here) as being tall, gaunt, and white-haired. And last but not least, far from being a member of a band of immortal "warriors" kind of like the ones in Highlander, Will is an "Old One," who is rather more than a mere warrior, instead being more a cross between a wizard and a Celtic god. I have the feeling many explosions and drooling, slavering monsters will be added as well. Dismaying all around.

(I was going to write further on Ursula K. Le Guin and why, even though I mocked her on her reasons for disliking the tv adaptation of her Earthsea trilogy she was still at base right, as I promised Charles here. Think of this as a preface to the upcoming post.)


I'm trying to stave off cramps, and keep my mind going (yes, it's that time of the month again, when I turn into a seeping, bloated, brainless lump of festering womanhood -- well, more than usual). But it's not easy when your brain is attempting a hormonally-induced shut-down -- all I want to do is curl up in bed and gnaw on chocolate. (I did in fact finally finish off the Christmas chocolate, about three palm-sized pieces of dark chocolate with candied orange and cranberry bits that I had bought at Crate and Barrel -- but at least I made myself sit up and drink a cup of tea along with it.) My activities so far: I cleaned out the cat box, sorted the laundry (I'm doing it now -- I shall forego a load-by-load blog account in the interests of your sanity), and moved the desk to the bedroom.

I am having some trouble with fitting my furniture in the new place. I got rid of half my stuff before moving here, and it is clear that I have at least one too many pieces -- yet I can't do without any of the pieces I have. (So I tell myself.) I am also slowly redecorating the bedroom to resemble a picture I saw in a home decorating magazine, those little shiny publications of Satan. I've gotten into the color red -- just when it's apparently gone out of style. The look at the end will be lots of brown wood (provided by the bed, dressers, and desk that I already have), red (confined, however, to one item, a blanket I found on super, we're-getting-rid-of-these sale at J.C. Penney's for fifteen bucks), and touches of black and white in the lamps. I found this hanging lamp at Walmart -- fifteen dollars again -- that is a goth-y flocked black thing with resin "crystals" --- usually not my thing at all, but I can't wait to see it up. I am trying to find someone to hang it, as it's hardwire and I've never done any such thing, and am afraid I'll short out the building or something. Also I don't have a ladder. Perhaps I should buy one. I'm also going to hang curtains over the sliding glass door -- I do have verticals, but they are an ugly putty white, and also my cat keeps moving them about to look outdoors. It's like this -- I'll be lying in bed, and trying to go to sleep, and then:

--- rattle rattle rattle. GLEAM.


---rattle rattle rattle...glint glint GLARE rattle rattle...

Until I sit up and turn out the light and see her at the foot of the bed, staring innocently, as if to say "What? What'd I do?" Then I turn out the light and it starts over again. So I figure with curtains at least I won't have the outside lights stabbing me through the eyelids. Also I won't get the experience of getting undressed, turning around, and realizing she's chosen the moment that I am bare-assed naked to push the blinds open and survey her kingdom.

Speaking of the outside light -- they keep installing a light bulb in the light outside my apartment windows that must be 4000 watts. Someone keeps knocking it out -- it wasn't shining last night. Still, when it's on it might as well be daylight, and the inadequate blinds (which we aren't allowed to replace with, say, one-piece blackout shades) do nothing to block the rays. So I'm going to have to put curtains in the living room too. I was hoping to be able to put up sheers, since the trees keep the worst of the sun out, but I didn't realize we had our own midnight sun. I can sleep with no trouble despite the light, but if I have one of my headaches I want darkness, thank you.

Home decor continued: while walking home from Walgreen's yesterday I found this cool dead branch, actually it looked like a shrub someone had yanked out of the ground, and brought it home. I call it my "skeleton tree." I've propped it up on the cabinet and grouped some of my thrift store finds around it. I also want to get this pepper plant. I saw them at the farmer's market I went to yesterday but didn't buy one even though they were dirt cheap, because I wasn't sure whether I'd be going somewhere else. (I ended up getting heat exhaustion and going home, so I should have purchased one.) Anyway, I plant to get one and put it on the balcony. I also want some dark purple coleus, and some ferns. I guess I'm going goth just a bit again. Also, in this place I get so much green color from the nature outside that I don't feel the need to put green all over the place like I did in the other apartment.

I didn't move the dsl hookup to the bedroom along with the desk. I am sitting on the couch with the laptop on a tray. I got a little tired of being confined to the desk -- also, I don't have a good chair. Not that the couch is much better -- I have sore tailbone problems and this couch's old cushions aren't helping. I really need to get the couch re-upholstered, and I want to change out the three worn-out foam seat cushions for one thicker cushion, maybe made of memory foam. I have no idea how much all that will cost -- it will probably be cheaper to just buy another couch. But in that case I'll want a good couch, and such things are really beyond my means at the moment. By the way, I've never figured out the reason for the divided cushion scenario for sofas. You have three cushions so you can get the piping jammed up your ass when you sit wrong, and in order to lose change and crumbs and so on in the cracks? I don't get it. Anyway, if I won the lotto, this is the couch I'd buy. Look at those awesome legs. (I love those turned conical legs. My dresser set and cabinet, all thrift store finds, all have those legs.) It's also got one cushion. I love that sort of modern design. Speaking of which -- look, they've revived the studio couch. I was looking all over for one of the frigging things when I was moving, but all I could find were uncomfortable folding sofas and futons. My mother had one of these in a studio apartment she lived in when my parents tried splitting up, only it was covered by a hideous seventies-era old-lady yellow-patterned upholstery. Also it was kind of cheap and crappy, not expensive like this stuff.

Okay, that's enough window shopping for now.

I experiment with food

I needed a snack, so I decided to make a cheese sandwich. I took my two slices of nine-grain bread, and put one slice of pepperjack cheese between them, and then I wondered how it would taste with a thin layer of grape jelly added. Verdict: pretty darn good.

I am also drinking ginger ale with half a lime (quartered and squeezed) added. Don't you wish you could live the high life like me?

A blogger dies, the world goes on

Noted political blogger James Capozzola died earlier this week. I hadn't read his blog, Rittenhouse Review, in years, basically because he was one of those political bloggers and such things really bore me. As I said here, I vaguely remember getting into a some sort of argument with him over something that I can't remember anymore, the link is on one of my dead blogs, I think. I had forgotten about him, and didn't harbor any ill will. But other people don't think like me... according to some of his weird fans, he didn't just die of an unspecified "illness" -- the Republican party killed him because he didn't get all the free money and computers and special Health Potions that us Republican bloggers get. These people are crazy.

July 9, 2007

The Further Adventures of Harry Potter

I like the books, but this made me laugh my head off.

July 10, 2007


Just as I came home, a big smash-bang thunderstorm started up, all lightning and thunder, so instead of connecting to the dangerous intertube wires, I lay in bed reading a book. Well the weather quieted down, so I got up and I've been sitting here, with this giant rock or something sitting in my esophagus. Where the hell did that come from? Sure, I drank some ginger ale with lime... maybe I should have skipped the lime?

Off to see if Gas-X will help.

Update: I have lost the recharger cord to my cell phone. Also, the Gas-X is not helping. I must now go kill some puppies.

July 11, 2007

More fun than a barrel full of Baptists

Slow news week/the war is boring controversy: a Catholic Church document states that Protestants are still not Catholic, and for some reason Protestants are angry about it. So what was the whole point of that whole Reformation thing then?

(Via Kathy Shaidle. Also, join the battle here. Remember: it's no fun unless blood is drawn. Or something like that.)

July 13, 2007

Bored with their toys

I have had my problems in the past with Peggy Noonan's often-maudlin columns, but this latest one is the first of hers that I can't bear to finish reading. It is just that bad. I can't even read the excerpt Kathy featured. When I got to paragraph number three, and this:

He doesn't seem to be suffering, which is jarring. Presidents in great enterprises that are going badly suffer: Lincoln, LBJ with his head in his hands.

-- it was all over. Lincoln had a crazy wife, and presided over the American Civil War. LBJ was famous for being a bullshitter, among other things. If an American president sent Noonan an email asking her to give him her bank account number so he could deposit $2,000,000 in it for "safekeeping" would she consider it?

The rest devolves into "everything Bush has done has been a failure blah blah blah," which does indeed make her sound like the Chimpyburtler Impeachanista contingent. I'm no fan of many of Bush's ideas, especially the immigrant-coddling (and was that "failure" such a bad thing? did she want that to succeed? -- and as for Iraq, what "failure" is she talking about? did she really think it would be easy?), but we need to stop moaning about what a "failure" he is just to make ourselves feel better for voting him into office. As usual, it's all about the ego and wanting to feel good about ourselves. Why can't we grow up?

Horizontal hold

One of the most bizarre things about the way Our Betters have decided to rule the world is the way they are apparently eager to return Western society to its most miserable modern decade -- the Seventies. Clothing styles and decor are once again leaning towards the hideous; we have a set of enemies even more dreary, boring, and psychotic than the Soviets; zombielike hippiefreaks are all over the place; and Western educational establishments are doing that "history and facts and stuff are boring, man" dance and focusing school curricula on the dreary, petty, tawdry problems of the present. When I was in high school, we'd sit around and "rap" about our feelings, got lectures about drugs (the same ones the British kids are going to get today, only they'll get PowerPoint presentations instead of mimeographed handouts that the kids would sniff to get high when the teacher turned her back), and had a girl who was sent to a reform school when she was caught taking speed tell us about her experiences there. Then we'd go to biology class where we'd be shown slides of diseased penises and had the Fetus, Would You Keep Her/Him Or Vacuum It Out? talk. People wonder why I stayed in my room until I was eighteen. This is why.

The only people who were happy in the Seventies were rich "former" hippies, and Arab oil sheiks. Well what groups of people are the ones no one dares say "boo" to nowadays? If you will make yourselves into doormats, people, don't be surprised when you get walked on.

PS: at first I had "gays" as part of that group but then it occurred to me that gays were pretty miserable in the Seventies. That was when they were "out" but not yet "proud," and you couldn't throw a rock without hitting a movie or a play filled with miserable homos sitting around lamenting their crappy lives (Boys in the Band, everything Tennessee Williams wrote, etc.). And disco was inextricably bound with both "crap" and "early death from cocaine overdose." I think I forgot this because nowadays you mention the Seventies to any gay person born after, say 1978, and his/her eyes will light up and he/she will sigh "Oh, I just love the Seventies!" Of course they did, they didn't actually have to live through gonorrhea and only three network tv channels (and a few UHF channels that came in snowy half the time). But they refuse to believe me when I tell them those years were the pit of hell.

July 14, 2007

The Good Beginning

A challenge was thrown down. The challenge was met. Conversation (and breakfast, courtesy of Perkin's Restaurant) was had. I managed not to disgrace myself by wiping my mouth on the hem of my shirt the way I've been known to do when dining alone in my cave. Charles didn't seem to mind me yakking my head off (or as he put it "she can discourse on a ginormous number of topics"). I'm glad he could hear me -- I am half deaf from approximately twenty years of rock concerts and no restaurant in the Orlando area has a decibel level lower than that of the average airport (no really, I have been trying to find a quiet place to dine ever since I've lived here and I've been unsuccessful -- I think they play recordings of squealing babies and clattering silverware in restaurants during downtime, along with the blasting of whatever music they think people are unable to eat without).

Then after that nice start to the day I had to ruin it by attempting to Go Places and Do Stuff, instead of keeping my ass at home. Synopsis: there was flooding rain, a paper shopping bag which dissolved as I was walking across a busy intersection in said rain, then a train that wouldn't move and a bus that caught the disease. More later when I can bear to think about it.

Bastille Day

I forgot to say... not because I forgot, though, because I've been thinking about it on and off all day -- that today would have been my father's 79th birthday if he was still living. Both my parents are dead -- sometimes I think as I'm doing some thing or other that either my mother or my father or both would have liked doing it to, or at least they would have liked seeing me do it. This blogging thing, for instance -- that would have interested them, I think.

The reason for the title of this post is because my father, being a history teacher (and all-around history nut), was always careful to remind me that July 14th was also Bastille Day.


I do believe I just heard someone shoot a gun out in the parking lot. Or else that was the biggest plastic bag pop ever.

July 15, 2007

Biter Bit

Michael Moore is upset at CNN about "errors" in a report it did on his latest fictudrama, "Sicko." I can't really add to that. Well, except for this.

The Unnameable

I wonder if this isn't the key to what is wrong with San Francisco: they banned burial of the dead within city limits in 1900, and by 1937 most of the cemeteries had been eliminated and the bodies removed. Of course, I'm sure there were sanitary reasons for this, but I can't help but think there is something wrong with a city without a resting place for its dead.

(Via Joe Sherlock's Car Blog, which does not have permalinks.)

Dear God: earth-smashing asteroid needed RIGHT NOW PLEASE

Here's a story for the kiddies: people who like to get dressed up in animal costumes ("furries") and go to the woods and have sex with each other are being attacked and beaten by people wearing Teletubby outfits. The meetings are arranged online -- with the "Teletubby" posing as a "furry" and enticing their intended victim into waiting for them.

All of these people need to be horsewhipped.

(Via Dan Collins guest-posting, or maybe permanently posting, on Protein Wisdom.)

July 16, 2007

Today again

One thing is certain, after the day I had today: my future does not lie in tech support. My future might lie in strangling some hapless (l)user with his own mouse cord after the fifteenth time I had to tell him to expand the program window and getting a "what's that mean?", maybe, but not in tech support.

Those retail store "help wanted" signs are getting more and more attractive.

July 17, 2007

"It was delicious"

Somewhere a nature-'n'-primitive-people-lovin' activist's head implodes:

Fears that one of the world’s rarest creatures had been driven to extinction have been allayed by a tribesman who told conservationists he had recently eaten one.

Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna, a little-known, primitive mammal that lays eggs, lives in Papua New Guinea. Only one specimen, found in 1961, has ever been seen by scientists.

But fresh evidence that proves the echidna, which was named in honour of the naturalist Sir David Attenborough, is still alive has been found during an expedition by zoologists. Seven people told the scientists that they had seen the spiny creature, which is a relative of the platypus.

One of the villagers said that he had trapped one in a snare and eaten it in the jungle, being unaware of how rare and sought-after the echidna was. “It was delicious,” he said.

I blame George Bush.

(Via Machinery of the Night.)

Who did I piss off now?

This time work was uneventful, more or less. The fun started when I got off the bus, and was nearly run over while crossing the street by a black SUV driven by someone who just HAD to get in front of the bus, lack of passing lane and presence of overweight and tired middle-aged female in his tires' path be damned. Then when I got home I decided to see if the right big toenail that had come partway loose (like the left toenail did a few weeks ago -- both toenails were destroyed months ago by the shoes of doom). To make a long story short -- it wasn't. I applied alcohol, antibiotic ointment, and bandaids to the raw toe and went to apply a different sort of alcohol to my innards, as well as setting some pasta to cook and some sauce, made yesterday, to reheat.

I broke the cork off halfway in the bottle.

Finally I got the rest of the cork out of the wine and poured myself a larger one than I had originally intended. (This evening I also had to get the cat's medicine, and then clean out the cat box. Then when taking a shower I almost slipped and fell in the bathtub, and I sure hope that groin muscle doesn't bother me tomorrow. Anyway, I felt I'd earned a couple of extra drops.) I went to do things, having -- so I thought -- turned the water in the pasta pot to "high" and the burner under the sauce pot down to "warm."

A few minutes later, I said to myself "What's that burning smell?"

To make a long story short, I'm afraid to leave the apartment, and afraid to stay in it. I just hope I make it through the rest of the evening without stubbing my toe.

July 18, 2007

I have a horrible feeling

...that my current employers are going to ask me to stay "just a few more weeks" and sometime around the end of that they'll ask again, and it will go on and on, until I quit because if I have to work at the Crazy Place one more day than I expected to I really will go crazy, and then they'll tell me they aren't going to give me any severance pay because I quit. I'm thinking all of this because I keep asking my boss when my last day actually is and she keeps putting me off.

They are driving me bananas. And I am broke -- I paid for a few things thinking I could make up for it with a nice severance check, and then found out I'd be depending upon my inadequate paycheck for just a few more weeks. In a word: help!

One more thing (a few hours later): the worst effect this situation has had on me is that it's undercut my ability to think about anything else. The whole point of becoming a mindless drone at a large corporation was so I could forget about my job on my free time and engage in the activities I was really interested in, but weren't exactly financially lucrative (or anything) -- such as reading, painting, writing... But by the time I get home at night my head is such a mess that all I can do is stare at this screen for a while and then flip through the pages of some mindless magazine until I conk out. By the weekend I'm usually a basket case, and end up riding the bus to the mall. (I used to be able to go for healthy walks, but now that it's summer, when sidewalks melt, birds burst into flame in midair, and human flesh starts to bubble and sizzle, I can't do that. I can't walk in the evening either -- that's when the really psychotic drivers are out, as opposed to the merely bad ones, and the Orlando area is almost as walker-unfriendly as Miami is.)

July 19, 2007

A life on hold, the ongoing saga

Okay, I finally got the date today -- August 1st. They're doing that so I can have benefits until the end of August. Nice of them and maybe I'll actually take advantage of them -- such as getting my teeth fixed for once and for all -- before they are gone. What's not so great is that after this paycheck coming up I only get paid for three more days. I do have some vacation pay that will be added to that. Also, since I am over 40, there is some stupid law (thanks to my sue-happy fellow citizens), that they have to hold my release papers -- which I have to sign in order to get my severance pay -- for seven days, in case I decide to go insane and sue them for age discrimination. The fuuuu.....! I give up, this country is really in the crapper. Then they have to mail the severance to me after letting Uncle Sam take a huge chunk out of it. I really did want to take a little time off, but I might have to go right into a new job.

However... my boss said something about maybe asking me to stay on for two more weeks. (Then she gallivanted off on a week's vacation.) At this point... I don't know, after the day I had (the week I've been having) my head feels like it's going to fall off and roll across the floor. But an extra paycheck would be welcome, as I am TAPPED OUT (donation links to the right), as crazy as they've been making me. But they are clearly still helpless without me (though the guy who is taking over some of my duties is no idiot -- on the other hand, he's often out in the field and also still has to do occasional Reserves duty so he can be out for weeks at a time) and if it was up to them they'd keep me -- as a matter of fact I had to head off at the pass an offer to replace the recently let-go receptionist. Me -- a receptionist. I had to let them down gently... I can be nice and sociable (in fact, I have surprised myself how many people I have managed to fool into thinking I am human), but if you put me at the front desk in that fishbowl all day they would soon have seen another side to me. One I prefer not to reveal -- yet. But I don't know... we'll see what happens.

And now, back to fun times in the city

Oh thunder, you have returned? You had gone away after teasing me all the way home with scary dark skies, wind, and lightning. Then a big fat nothing. Then you are back! Will you just rain already?

And... Dear People Who Abandon Or Otherwise Leave Your Cute, Fluffy, Frightened Cats To Wander About Yelling Their Heads Off For Someone Please To Let Them Inside: please throw yourselves in front of a truck. No, better yet, jump into a meat grinder so the cat can have something to eat.

She's a sweet, friendly cat too -- I carried her around to see if she recognized any place. She went under a couple of stairwells, but always came out and followed me. Now she is back in front of the door of the foolish neighbor lady who fed her this morning, but who can't take a cat in because she has a dog, and yelping her head off. She has to belong to someone -- she felt quite firm and well fed, and her fur was clean except for one knot of tangled hair (she must be part Persian) which I pulled off. I managed to find the leasing agent (he was showing an apartment) but he didn't recognize the cat. There was also a large orange cat near the pool which she (the fluffy cat) seemed to know -- they did that nose-touching thing -- so maybe they belong to the same person. I wish that person or persons would go find their cats and take them inside before management calls the humane society.

Remember, donation links to the right. And no, I am not adopting a third cat.

July 20, 2007

Scrambled Brains for Breakfast

I was awakened at 4:00 AM by one of the air-conditioning units outside my apartment. It sounded like it was about to fly apart, and the decibel level was on "airplane, taking off." Sleep being impossible, I called the emergency maintenance line and told them to get over here and fix it NOW. A little while later they called me and said they'd be right over. Eventually they got here, and shut the damn thing off.

This meant I could now hear the cute, fluffy, lost cat crying "help me! love me! feed me!" outside the apartment of the neighbor lady who unwisely fed her yesterday, but who can't take her in because she has a dog.

I have no idea how I am going to get through my day.

July 21, 2007

How can you laugh when you know I'm down?

Say what you will, the Beatles wrote catchy tunes. Anyway, as you can see, I'm in kind of a stark, gray mood. In fact, this stylesheet has a bit too much color for me -- I may change it later on to something even plainer.

More writing of substance when the coffee kicks in.


I still have a headache, so read yourself some C.S. Lewis quotes while I figure out how to stretch my remaining few dollars donation links over on th... oh the hell with it, everyone's out doing some weekend thing they aren't reading this pathetic excuse for a blog, and cleaning up this apartment, which is showing signs of neglect. Also, as good as the desk looks in my bedroom (it goes with the color scheme, such as there is) it makes the bedroom too crowded. I still have at least one furniture piece too many in this tiny place, but the desk is going back out into the living room. When I get around to it.

Revelation: I'm Plaid!

According to this personality test thingie, I'm a

Whatever... at least I appear to be most of my favorite colors.

all about me, wonderful me
. The Internet: telling us about ourselves so we don't have to think about it anymore!

(Via various other blogs.)


I'm sitting here wondering which of the old, might-as-well-eat-it-now-before-it-goes-bad food substances I found in my refrigerator and ate decided to have a little fun in my innards. I was hanging the cheap curtain rods ($1.00 each) that I bought at the dollar store, because I couldn't stand the bare windows any more, when I started to feel that "special" feeling. I just took my last Immodium gel caplet so I hope that's all I'll need. Hey, that piece of old bread smelled okay to me... (says the sinus lady).

I'm all out of bread now, but of course a big storm just moved in. We did need the rain, but I can't venture out because I might get my toes wet. I think I'll make some soup. Soup is safe, isn't it?

The drawbacks of living near other humans

You get to see the way they treat their pets. For example, there is a dog howling outside. It is howling because it has been tied up on the patio for hours. I think the people who live in that apartment must have gone someplace and left him tied outside, "so he wouldn't mess up their furniture" or something. The woman who lives there is the same one who fed the lost cat, and was amazed that the cat showed up later to beg for more food.

I wish people who don't know how to treat animals wouldn't keep them as pets.

The Real Manchurian Candidate

Looks like the brainwashing worked. I'd just like to know -- how did they ever keep from losing it down the drain?

The bullet missed us -- this time.

July 22, 2007

Women are weird

I just don't get them, and no, actually being one doesn't help. In the comments to this post of Moxies about her night out at a new restaurant, I commented that it must have been expensive (it was one of those places that is booked until the Second Coming, and such places are usually expensive), and joked a bit about being so poor that my idea of luxe dining was the Olive Garden. Apparently my remarks were taken as catty, or something, and I got lectured to by Amy Alkon on how she budgets herself whenever she's in Paris. Well, I wasn't being catty, it's just the sort of thing I say, as I have money a bit on my mind these days.

Of course I could be wrong and she could actually think that her example of budget living (when she's in Paris she stays in an apartment so she can eat in and thus have extra cash to splurge on a couple of five-stars) has any sort of connection with mine (I live as long as possible on bad food from my fridge and when I finally run out of moldy bread and ramen noodle soup I walk to the bus to go to the grocery store, on the way passing the Olive Garden that I can't afford to eat in).

Anyway, this isn't to start some sort of fight with the woman (even though she called me "the Olive Garden person" when my real name is there at the bottom of my comment). I don't know anything about Amy Alkon except I think that she's some sort of media person, and that once I went to her web page from a link on someone else's page, and her website not only froze my browser window, it caused my entire computer to go into some sort of paralytic seizure. I not only couldn't click away from her website, I couldn't close the browser window, couldn't ctrl-alt-delete, couldn't even shut the computer down. My computer was transformed from a laptop into a black plastic frame holding a picture of Amy Alkon's website.

So this is all just to say that her website really seems to dislike me, or at least my computer.

In conference with Pinky

I'm thinking of ways to run fix the world. Back in a bit.

In the meantime, riddle me this: what the hell is a "crypto-Jew"? Is that like a Jewish Crypt-Keeper? (If so, kewl, heh heh. Via Kathy Shaidle.)

A bit later: wow, it's only 77 degrees (it's currently a bit after 9am). It's only supposed to go up to the mid-80s today. That's practically winter weather -- I'm going for a walk. Back later.

The soft and gentle sounds of nature

There is a squirrel outside, screeching it's head off. That's what they do here: they sit in a high branch and emit the following noise:


For hours. It's very annoying.

On becoming evil

Dr. Weevil has been reading Wilkie Collins -- a rather neglected author, I believe. He seems to have favored the epistolary style of writing, and also the story-within-a-story-within-a-story style, as in The Guilty River. Anyway, I found a copy online. This passage interested me:

"Looking out of window, I saw a brutal carter, on the road before the house, beating an over-loaded horse. A year since I should have interfered to protect the horse, without a moment's hesitation. If the wretch had been insolent, I should have seized his whip, and applied the heavy handle of it to his own shoulders. In past days, I have been more than once fined by a magistrate (privately in sympathy with my offence) for assaults committed by me in the interests of helpless animals. What did I feel now? Nothing but a selfish sense of uneasiness, at having been accidentally witness of an act which disturbed my composure. I turned away, regretting that I had gone to the window and looked out.

"This was not an agreeable train of thought to follow. What could I do? I was answered by the impulse which commands me to paint.

"I sharpened my pencils, and opened my box of colors, and determined to produce a work of art.

To my astonishment, the brutal figure of the carter forced its way into my memory again and again. It (without in the least knowing why) as if the one chance of getting rid of this curious incubus, was to put the persistent image of the man on paper. It was done mechanically, and yet done so well, that I was encouraged to add to the picture. I put in next the poor beaten horse (another good likeness!); and then I introduced a life-like portrait of myself, giving the man the sound thrashing that he had deserved. Strange to say, this representation of what I ought to have done, relieved my mind as if I had actually done it. I looked at the pre-eminent figure of myself, and felt good, and turned to my Trials, and read them over again, and liked them better than ever.

And the thought struck me: this more than resembles the actions of contemporary artists and writers, who supposedly crusade against injustice with their works of art, yet in the face of real injustice are either silent or actually attack those who attempt to actually do something about the injustice in the world. This problem is obviously not unique to our century. Perhaps this is the answer to questions like "what has happened to feminist criticism of the way women are oppressed in Muslim societies?" and "why is the media so eager to portray our military in a bad light but virtually silent on the horrors perpetrated by our enemies on their own people?"


Full confession (like this one is going to be a big surprise): I read the Harry Potter novels and quite enjoyed them, though they were not as well-written or solidly put together as The Lord of the Rings. They were more on the level of the Narnia books, maybe. I also thought the movies (the ones I've seen -- one, two, and three -- they're up to the fifth book now? No? I don't pay much attention to movies) were fun romps with mostly non-painless acting (the sprinkling of British acting vets helps, as at least older British actors know how to appear in something non-highbrow without telegraphing how IRONIC everything is and how they're really IMPORTANT ACTORS who are only doing this fantasy kids gig because they NEED THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THE MALIBU HOUSE -- excuse me, I got a bit off the track.

Anyway, I like the Harry Potter series, but when I moved I gave the books away, because I was tired of carrying about so many books, and they'll be in print for years anyway. BUT -- I refuse to read the final novel until EVERY LAST ASSHOLE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE QUITS JABBERING ABOUT THEIR IMPORTANT NOTIONS ABOUT IT.* And for God's sake, will the last person who knows that the "magic" in Tolkien's world did indeed have obvious and heavy costs and that said theme was in fact one of the central themes of Lord of the Rings please go to Miss Megan McArdle's column (on the Grauniad? WTF?) and set her straight? On second thought, never mind. These people are the ones with "minds of wheels and metal" that Tolkien was talking about -- there isn't any way of communicating with them. Mention "sense of wonder" and they think you're talking about admiring a skyscraper.

One more thing: her "thesis," such as it is, falls apart almost immediately, in the first paragraph:

Why are books about magic so exciting? The lure is almost tautological: magic is compelling because it allows us to imagine doing the things we cannot ordinarily do.

In what way is this "almost tautological"? A tautology is something that is always true because it can't ever be untrue. So is the "lure" of "books about magic" always exciting because they "allow us to imagine doing things we cannot ordinarily do"? I can tell you right now they aren't for me -- I'm not interested in being able to do magic myself, that's not why I read books with magic as one of the plot devices. (You might as well know: I read them for the same reasons I read anything else -- to be entertained by a story with compelling characters and interesting events.) So her "tautology" falls apart on those grounds.

But maybe she doesn't mean that at all. Maybe she means to use "tautological" in the sense of "needless repetition." But she isn't repeating herself here -- she isn't saying "books about magic are exciting because they're exciting." Or maybe she is -- the rest of her column is a boring digression on how magic makes no economic sense, or something -- I couldn't be bothered to read the rest, after that opening. I think she just threw a big word in there because economists = logical and people who read fantasy (and don't worry about how magic fits into a capitalist economy) = fluff-minded dreamyheads who need to be led by the hand to the dinner table.

By the way, why does an economist pre-order a book that will be available for quite some time to come? Fantasy fan that I am, I didn't put myself on any stupid "pre-order get it hot off the press" list because I know I'll be able to get it off the shelf six month or six years from now when I finally have money to buy books. I suppose I can understand the need of some people to avoid learning the ending, because no one knows how to shut up anymore, but I do believe the New York Times already blew the lid off the book, so that ship has already sailed. Anyway, I always look at the end of books first.

*Except for mine, of course. Mine are always important and worth reading.

Bill Maher is an idiot

Like that's a surprise. Anyway, here's an example of what passes for thought in Maher's head:

"Does anybody doubt that if [Clinton] had been president when [Katrina] hit, the people, you know, the actual people of New Orleans, would have been better off? I mean, he would have first of all, that's okay. First of all, he would have read about it before it happened. You know, fag stuff. He would have been down there before it happened. He would have not slept for a week. He would have stayed up working on it. That's who he was."

What the hell does he mean "he would have read about it before it happened"? The fuck? Clinton got special newspapers printed in the future? He had a trio of precogs in the White House basement? (They should have told him that tent in Libya only had a goat in it, then; and maybe they should have warned him about being more discreet in his indiscretions, you know? I'm just saying, they must have been some bargain basement precogs.)

Then there's that bit about him not sleeping for a week. I believe it -- Bubba's insomnia was legendary, it's probably to blame for half the stupid decisions made during his administration. (That "let's go right to gays in the military, it's surely the most important thing on the American peoples' minds" wackiness was probably the product of way too much caffeine.) However -- what the hell good would it have done for him to go without sleep over Katrina? Maher has rocks in his head.

(More stupid stuff here.)

How not to be a pretend conservative

Next time, try not to say things like "the hard right fanatics have claimed the label 'conservative,' [and] seized 99% of the radio & TV airwaves" when complaining about how conservative politicians have supposedly let you, a "Republican in the tradition of RR and GWB who understand political realities and who both had/have genuinely 'Big Tent' mindsets and methods," down. (I am quoting a commenter calling himself "Embarrassed Con" on the Hog On Ice site, but I'm not going to link to the actual post or comment thread, because said site's proprietor, Steve H., is as skittish as a colt and has a tendency to delete posts and comments he feels are getting too much of the wrong attention.)

Update: just to make my meaning a bit more clear, I believe this "Embarrassed Con" person to actually be a lefty troll. There's just something about someone who thinks Fox (not to mention the rest of the tv channels) to be "hard right" that is just too off. Even the most fervent conservative Bush-hater and Fox News despiser doesn't think the entire media has been "taken over" by "hard right fanatics." He should have stuck to radio.

July 23, 2007

Not tagged, just in possession of a vast ego

I have this awful urge to tell people eight (more) random things about me. Must... resist... I babble enough about me. I am just not that interesti--

1. My favorite food is mushrooms. (The food kind, you freaks.)
2. I had my first crush when I was about four years old, on an illustration in a children's book -- the title long since forgotten -- of a Kurdish shepherd standing on a mountainside.
3. I have never forgiven my sister for eating my Krispy Kreme glazed donut. I had left it on the dresser of our shared bedroom. I was five years old and she was three.
4. The toes on my left foot are kind of deformed. They're sort of curled under, and my second left toe has this really tiny toenail that will grow into almost a claw if I don't clip it. The toes on my right foot are more or less normal.
5. When I was a baby my parents used to put me out in the sun because the doctors said it was good for me. We lived in Miami, Florida. Well, I have never broken a bone.
6. When I was a child I took over our family wicker rocking chair. It rather resembled this one, except the seat cushion was blue and there was no back cushion. I used to rock in it all the time, with my little transistor radio held up to my ear. Later, when my parents transformed our unused dining room into a bedroom for me, I moved the chair in there and didn't emerge from my bedroom unless I absolutely had to.
7. I was afraid to drive until I was twenty. (I still lived in Miami.)
8. I was a slacker before slackers were cool. And I believe they are uncool again. And I'm still a slacker.

How about "Mouth Bigger Than Your Brain Boy"?

Islamic Rage Boy objects to being called "Islamic Rage Boy."

Smack My Bitch Up

Well, here's another reason to say "I'm not a feminist." Works for me, anyway.

(Via Small Dead Animals. NSFW, probably.)

Terrible news

This is truly terrible news.

Update: more sadness.

(I forgot: I found out from Ace of Spades.)


Nobody else die, okay?

July 24, 2007

I can't stand it

One more week. One more week. One more week. One more week.

Yes, work sucked, why do you ask?

Update: it's a good thing I installed Scribefire -- otherwise I probably couldn't have written this post, something is wrong with the internet today and I can't load up my blog's interface. Whatever, I'm getting sick of Movable Type altogether -- I've been thinking of changing back to Wordpress, or something else more configurable.


Summer semester must be over or something. The streets and malls and apartments have been filled with the Youth of America, pulling out in front of buses with their Jeep Wranglers, filling entire aisles with their wide-legged pants, and filling the air above and around my apartment with the sound of their parties and their loud, obnoxious laughter. Next place I move to will be one of those towns that young people are leaving.

July 26, 2007


Tim's on holiday. Meanwhile, in a fit of madness (caused by looking into my bank account, which is currently hosting the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep* but not much else) I have agreed to stay at my current job another 30 days.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a straight jacket fitting to go to. I just hate it when they don't have my exact size.

*How'd he get in there?

Those retractable claws are scythes

You know that popular image of Death, the guy with the scary hooded black robe, sharp thing, etc.? Looks like we'll have to be redrawing the brand.

Or you know, maybe the cat just thinks he's about to get a nice fresh lunch.

(Via Tightly Wound.)

July 27, 2007

War stories

I haven't said anything about Scott Thomas Beauchamp, the would-be new Hemingway who thought that going to war would make him a Writer, because better writing has already been done on the subject. Though the idea of a big deal magazine like the New Republic falling hook, line, and sinker for what were obviously tall tales -- and lamely written ones at that -- is beyond amusing. But I will say that when you've lost the kids at Reason magazine's Hit and Run blog, who must still be regretting they did that article some years back on the lack of movies about life under Communism, you've pretty much lost your chance to shine in the Progressive sun.

(Via Ace.)

Update, much later: the discussion over at Hit and Run has become useless so instead read this. By the way, the writer of that article is a leftist. With a head on his shoulders. His must be a lonely world. Oh, and apropos of nothing, "Scott Thomas" reminds me of nothing so much as my ex-boyfriend -- though my ex's sludgy, unreadable prose was a bit more polished, and he was one of those backwards-macho types who think they can achieve manly cred through a pacifist pose (he never got tired of telling the story of how he drove across Texas all alone! in a car covered with "subversive" bumper stickers! And with long black hair! And he saw a burning cross from the highway! And he thought he would be killed by the six-fingered redneck at the gas station! Who looked at his hair funny!), there was that immediate jolt of recognition. (Via Tightly Wound.)

July 28, 2007

"A kind of softening of the brain"

What on earth has happened to Silent Running? I haven't read them in quite a while, and now they're moaning about imaginary "moderate" Muslims being persecuted by us mean old infidels, and banning people from their comment boxes for disagreeing.

(The title, by the way, is from a line of dialogue from Ghosts, a play by Ibsen about a guy who gets syphilis... sometimes I think the urge to be loved for one's cosmopolitan tolerance, even in the face of death, is a kind of disease of the human brain.)

Update: and apropos to this, I find problematic this call for us in the West to study the problem that is Islam and its followers, so we know just what we are up against and especially so we can counter the pretty, sparkly idea of "diversity" (I recently read an article in Family Circle magazine about the "best towns for families" wherein one was praised for its "diversity" -- families "from five countries" lived there, no mention of what countries -- and how one father opined that living in such a place would teach his children to be "more compassionate") that is being sold to us. Not problematic in itself -- anything that helps people to realize that Islam isn't "just another religion, a lot like Christianity and Judaism, they have a special book and a holy day every week" is fine by me. But who is going to take the time out of their "busy" lives (filled with watching American Idol, ferrying kids to and from the ten thousand outside-the-home activities that are apparently necessary these days, grocery shopping, etc.) to do so? Not Mom and Dad Ordinary, who are sure that that nice Muslim couple -- well, there's another lady, maybe she's a sister? -- down the block are just as harassed by every day life and unable to find an extra minute in the day to sit down and finish wiring that bomb vest. And they especially aren't going to run the risk of being called "racist" despite their qualms when their daughter comes home with a list for "Muslim Day" at school including a pattern for a head-to-toe burka that all the female students are going to have to wear that day. Of course, if a similar paper asking for her to wear a knee-length skirt and blouse that covered all of her torso for "Baptist Modesty Day" were in question they'd scream like plucked macaws, but Baptists don't cause that frisson of "foreign, and therefore somehow superior, and enticing" that Muslims do.

YMMV, but this is a nation where people regularly sign their lives on the dotted line without reading the miles of tiny printing so they can get this house or that car, and then they're expected to regularly perform the mental gymnastics needed to suppress the realization that they've signed their financial lives away for five or thirty years. See, they really, really wanted that house, car, boat, whatever. And too many of us likewise really, really want to be loved and admired by the rest of the world, and too many of us are willing to sign away our lives for that badge of approval. What we really need to be emphasizing is the fact that we won't just be signing away our own lives this time.

Reading is the new black

Huh. So why aren't I among the rich, huh, huh? I don't even own a tv! Then again, I get the feeling that I did it all backwards, as usual -- you're supposed to get rich and then spend all your money on books. Oops.

My current problem: lack of shelves. Most of my books are still in boxes. Woe is me. Hey, I'm still short of cash, so if you feel sorry for me and my books feel free to contribute over there, on the right... ;D I'm thinking hanging shelves this time, as the floors in my new place sort of slant this way and that.

(Both articles via Instapundit.)

Growing Up In The Seventies; Or, Why I Refused To Leave My Room Until I Was Twenty

More evidence that the Seventies sucked, as if you needed more.

(Via Dawn Eden.)

July 29, 2007

Bambi must die

Right now the deer situation in this country seems to be I'M IN UR CITYS, TRAMPLEENG YUR PLANTZ, SMASHING THRU UR CARZ, GIVING YU GROSS DISEASES. A nice big cull would not only bring the accident rate down, it would help prevent the spread of Lyme disease -- which is nasty, read the link -- and piss off the sort of "activist" whose incontinent outburst is documented at the above link (and we all want to make obnoxious people even more unhappy than they already are, don't we? Well I do), it would put some nice venison on our tables. Deer are pretty; they are also delicious. I'm too lazy to hunt, I'd rather be able to go to the local Publix and pick up some venision steak.

(Via Transterrestrial Musings.)

July 30, 2007

It all begins with the best of intentions

Read this now: I have reduced my dream of visiting all 50 states in the Union to just 49: I will never ever ever step foot in the state of Oregon.

I now feel free to admit I've always felt a certain repulsion towards (or should that be "against"?) Oregon, or at least Oregonians. Not a very strong one -- I've met few in person because few of its denizens seem to want to leave its pristine, picture-perfect coastline, its incomparable forests, its intensely artistic and cultured cities where all the tvs are turned to Ovation and Trio and the people all talk in perfect iambic pentameter and only drink free-trade organically-grown coffee. The science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin lives there, and though she was once one of my favorites I have had my difficulties with her later works and can't help thinking that some of the problem is that she's lived in the Better Than You state for so long.

And once I was watching some true-crime show on A&E or one of those channels and the subject was this woman who had been convicted of killing her boyfriend. The relationship had gone sour and devolved into mostly drunken fights, but there were (at least according to the not-so-subtle hints the show gave out) more holes in the case than in Swiss cheese.

I can't remember any of the names yet most of the facts remain in my mind. The girlfriend was from the midwest somewhere -- some place where people don't emote on cue, and strike others as bland and rather standoffish. This, one eventually realized, was a major strike against her. The woman was perhaps not of the most sterling character, but something about her struck a sympathetic chord in me. (You know I am usually not sympathetic to convicted murderers.) Anyway, apparently the two had gone on a long night drive to some coastal park to talk and make up, but (this is the testimony of the woman) they couldn't really mend their differences. Naturally -- both being alcoholics by this time -- both had been drinking. The boyfriend decided to take a walk to clear his head. The woman decided to wait for him in the car. The walk was along those high cliffs they have over there. (Great for tossing Republicans, meat-eaters, and other heretics off of, hey?) The woman was deathly afraid of heights -- something that the boyfriend's family corroborated. Anyway, the woman's testimony was that she waited for hours, but he never returned. Sometime later they found his body up the coast, and it was decided she had somehow pushed him off the cliff.

Actually, I can see how she might have done it. She claims she wouldn't go along the cliff walk because of her fear of heights, but it was dark, and she might have been persuaded for some reason. (To seek him out when he took too long to get back? Because he coaxed her to "just walk a little way, you won't see how high it is in the dark"?) Anyway, say they were out on the cliff walk together. And let's say either an altercation developed and she shoved him accidentally off the cliff, or -- I can tell you as a person who is also deathly afraid of heights this is quite a common occurrence -- he decided to tease her a little and pushed her closer to the cliff edge than her instinctual fears would bear. (We all know that to one who does not have them the fears of another can seem so silly, so easily cured if the fearful one would just relax. And admit it, guys -- you like to make your women just a little bit afraid every now and then, just to reassure yourself of her need for you.) I can see her striking out-- and then crawling back to the car alone and terrified to make up her frankly unconvincing (though not, because of that, necessarily untrue either) story about waiting all night in the car.

In any case there were no witnesses and no particular evidence of foul play (after all, a man + a few beers + an argument with a girlfriend + a cliff in the dark doesn't need any help to end up with a body in the water) and they had to let her go. She went back to her own home state. But the boyfriend's family wouldn't let go. Understandable under the circumstances -- but remember, this is Oregon. They found some helpers among the police and the state prosecutor's office, and they concocted a plan to lure her back into Oregon for a trial. And here is where I come to believe she's more sinned against than sinning -- even though she must have known how much the boyfriend's family hated her, she trusted whatever they said and came, and ended up being convicted (not of first degree murder but something lesser like manslaughter, or killing while not Oregonian) and serving time. I can't believe it's simply a case of the overweening pride of a criminal mastermind who thinks she got away with it coming back to gloat over her victim's family's grief and getting hoist by her own petard. I remember there being something about the family that I didn't like while watching the interviews. I couldn't put my finger quite on it, but I got the impression that they had never treated the woman as quite one of them. True she and the dead man weren't married, but apparently that hadn't caused the friction. But it seemed to me that they felt their son and brother had taken up association with someone not quite of their exalted level. And that they were the sort of perfectly nice people who are never mean to anyone they think of as beneath them, but that they will never let that person forget it for one instant. And if you dare to cross them in any way they will stop at no subterfuge to make sure you pay... Fan of Florence King though I am, her sympathy for female murderers usually leaves me nonplussed, but this time I know how she feels.

Anyway, that, and now this story of how they are ruining the lives of children forever for mere fooling around, is why I will never set foot on the soil of the state of Oregon.

(Via Kathy Shaidle. By the way, if anyone knows about the crime above, feel free to tell me in the comments. It was featured on one of those A&E crime shows a couple of years ago.)

Has anyone ever talked to you about Jesus Christ?

-- Oops, I meant Robert Heinlein.

July 31, 2007

Flush this

Well this has been a shit day in what has so far been a shit week and August looks to be a shit month...

Let's start with: my boss got canned today. We sort of expected it, but he's a nice guy and it still sucks. On the other hand, he's out of the CRAPHOLE I can't believe I said I'd stay another month at...

I have six days to pay my phone bill. I'm actually thinking of getting rid of the phones -- I have my cell -- and dsl and getting cable again. I'll buy a small tv maybe as well, and get cable tv. I need some mindless diversion.

I am out of love with my furniture. Everything except a couple of the lamps and the bed I could cheerfully do without, as well as my records, lots of my clothes, and a goodly number of my books. I love books, but on the other hand I love being able to move without breaking my fucking back. I have already made a list -- I'll keep the Danish modern chair and the small round table, get rid of the couch and the big green armchair and the coffee table and the small cabinet. I may even eventually get rid of my big dresser. Eventually the desk will go, but I may keep that until I move. I'll keep the cube bookcase as well, though it will be fit for nothing but the dumpster by the time I leave here...

I can't wait for all the empty space in my apartment. I'm already excited about it. I think one thing that is depressing me is the clutter. I threw lots of stuff out when I moved, but there is all this goddamned clutter all over the place. I can't wait to start getting rid of things. Maybe if I start with the vases and candleholders and garbage like that it will keep my mind off the lease that doesn't end until May 2008.

I have been looking at various different parts of the country to move to. I can't believe how cheap rents are in other places compared to Florida. Nice places too, not shitty falling-apart crap occupied by college students and drug dealers. And it's not as if wages in Florida compensated for the high rent. They have fixed it so you can make just enough to pay your rent (if you do nothing else, like eat or have a phone), but not enough that you can save to leave. This is why I am so eager to get my severance pay. That little chunk will be the biggest amount of cash I've seen in quite a while, and it's going to pay my way out of this dreadful state for once and for all. Though as always, donations do help....

About July 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Victory Soap v. 2.0 in July 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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