Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Torture! Or, it's about time.


We now have proof (minutes from a meeting in Guantanamo in 2002, released by Sen. Levin's office) that we tortured,

money quote: (not for even the remotely squeamish, and from among many possibilities)
Yes, if someone dies while aggressive techniques are being used, regardless of cause of death, the backlash of attention would be extremely detrimental. Everything must be approved and documented.

and that there was a coverup.
money quote:
We may need to curb the harsher operations while ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross -- added by transcriber] is around. It is better not to expose them to any controversial techniques. We must have the support of the DOD.

Daily Kos link here.
Good news? Well, Nancy Pelosi has decided that criminal investigations about torture are no longer off the table.
MADDOW: ... you support a call for a criminal investigation, potential investigation.
PELOSI: Absolutely.

From Glenzilla, here.

So, just maybe.....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Republican Distortion

The stimulus bill was attacked by Republicans for having lots of pork and excessive earmarks. One particular complaint came from Congressman Pence.

The stimulus has "$30 million in there to protect mice in San Francisco."
(Mike Pence on Thursday, February 12th, 2009 in a statement on Fox News Channel.)

Senator Boehner's office jumped on the band wagon with this statement,"This sounds like spending projects that have been supported by a certain powerful Democrat in the past. And it certainly doesn't sound like it will create or save American jobs."

A closer look at the actual project tells a different story. According to Angie Drobnic Holan,

But the projects themselves — the South Bay Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project , the Napa Plant Site , and the Napa Salt Marsh restoration — are intended to do more than just benefit wildlife. It's major construction work to create recreation areas and to restore marshland that will resist flooding and storm surge.

"This is bulldozers, front-end loaders, backhoes. These are major earth-moving projects to break down levees, to resculpt the landscape and to make sure nature can do its thing," Ritchie said. "Right now, we just have these lousy little salt pond levees and they break."

"These are real jobs, and these are truly ready to go," he added. "We can definitely spend this money for construction by Nov. 30, 2010."

Given this description of the projects, which were first reported in the San Jose Mercury News , it's a serious distortion to say there's money in the bill to protect San Francisco mice. The bill doesn't even list the San Francisco projects by name. And the funding agencies — the Corps of Engineers or NOAA — could still decide to fund the projects or not. The bill passed a final vote in the House on Feb. 13, with no Republicans supporting it.

So Pelosi did not put an earmark in the bill to save the mice.

I really think there ought to be penalties for politicians who engage in this sort of distortion and outright lying. We can only hope that they will be voted out of office, but how likely is that when stories such as this one get so little coverage?

Epic Fail - Lyrics Version

Check out this site's proud version of John Lennon's lyrics to "Cold Turkey," a lovely little ditty about the pain of heroin withdrawal.

Here's a sample:
Come let's worship him.
Celebrated Christ, the King, the Mighty One.
Come let's worship him.
Let's give thanks to the Lord.

The FAIL is much more poignant as John Lennon ("Imagine there's no heaven") was no big fan of Christianity.

Here's some actual Cold Turkey lyrics:

Oh I'll be a good boy
Please make me well
I promise you anything
Get me out of this hell

Cold turkey has got me on the run
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Think Youv'e Seen Everything?

That's a huge piece of sushi! They say you are always supposed to shove the whole slice of sushi in your mouth to experience the balance of flavors.

The lips are shrimp, and his teeth are fish paste. (Sort of conjures up the spectre of the worst morning breath ever.)

It looks much more like Obama with the ears stuck on. (Found both these pics at Boing Boing

Monday, February 23, 2009

Morality, Stupidity, Random People on Street Corners and Me.

I have had this curious feature, endlessly documented on this blog; my intelligence level has fluctuated for the last three-somewhat years. I'm trying to process this in a way that is at least slightly interesting.

Me, stupid--FUN FUN FUN. CONFIDENT CONFIDENT CONFIDENT, SMART SMART SMART (In my own head, subjectively. Objective results may differ). I have decided that there is an inverse proportion between how intelligent someone feels and how intelligent they are. This makes choosing US presidents and presidents of corporations somewhat problematic. Proof? Turn on the radio or media thingie of choice. Because, of course, confidence, which I have at least a bit of proof about, is inversely related to competence.

Me, stupid--not so sensitive; also great fun; me somewhat closer to my normal level of intelligence? On the way to the Dr's this morning, there was this girl, 20 something, with a sign at a street corner. Sign said "Victim of current Economic Downturn, anything would help. God Bless." I didn't have any change to give her. I'm haunted. If dumbbb, I wouldn't care. It's better to be stooopid.

Relief Is In Sight

Thank goodness for the cutting edge coverage at 'The Onion'!

I had thought that the mortgage meltdown with its seismically destructive ripples throughout the economy would have been enough to quell all the irrational exuberance. But the audacity of hope being what it is, requires that we seek out more advanced solutions.

Finally we have the pharmacological technology to target individual cheery people, so we will no longer have to rely on tsunamis, earthquakes, Republican candidates and financial catastrophes with all their attendant collateral damage.

But take these welcome tidings in stride, or you may need a dose yourself.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grammar Nazi's

I found this clip at a site devoted to grammar.

In spite of their professed enthusiasm for grammar, they entitled their post, "Who do you think you are kidding, Mr. Hitler?"

Ahem,....the correct pronoun would have been 'whom'. This mistake is not nearly as egregious as the improper use of 'whom' when 'who' is called for. I often let this sort of error go by, but at a site dedicated to proper usage? ( I took this screen print of that page just in case they correct it after they see my comment on their blog------I'm so petty).

A most awesome rant

Geebee has posted a righteous rant over at his site, somesense and nonsense. Plus it's funny. You should dash right over and read it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

25 things about Apricot Blossom

1. I'm shy most of the time.
2. I like wearing clothes that are too big for me. It makes me kinda feel like I'm walking around covered in blankets. But I don't like ponchos.
3. I do like nachos.
4. I don't like tomatoes.
5. I like detail work and staple guns.
6. My hands shake.
7. I use my cat as a pillow. Unless he isn't around, then I use a pillow.
7 1/2. That last one is glamourized. I like doing that with facts some times. I can only use Harold as a pillow successfully for 3-5 minutes at a time.
7 3/4. I often lie only to turn myself in a second later.
8. I like non-fiction books better than fiction.
9. I like painting with my hands on walls.
10. I used to love talking about myself, but I don't anymore and I have trouble thinking of things to talk about.
10 1/2. This took me a few days to fill out.
11. I love heights because they scare me.
12. I hate horror movies because they scare me. They make my neck tense.
13. Sometimes I wear slutty clothes, but they make me feel silly because I'm not slutty. So I end up looking silly instead of slutty.
14. I'm glad I've stopped doing that (#13).
14 1/2. Well, it's much rarer.
15. I think I speak really loudly, but lots of people say that I don't, so I guess I have no idea how loudly I speak.
16. I'm really bad at buying clothes that fit me. Most of them don't, so I tell myself that I like wearing big clothes since they fit me better than the clothes that are too small for me. I do, sometimes, but usually I just wish I could figure out how to wear clothes.
17. I hate doing dishes. Like, a lot. Especially washing off tomato-based stuff, which only aids in my dislike of tomatoes. I guess it's a good thing I don't like tomatoes then, because I'd only end up resenting them when I had to wash the dishes.
18. 25 is a really big number sometimes.
19. Once, when I was little, i carried a dead butterfly around on a frisbee for hours and sang to it.
20. I pretend I'm not a sentimental person, but I fail at it. I remember turning 8 and being upset because I missed being 7.
21. I don't like birthdays. I worry about aging sometimes, but I remember that I always have and it makes me feel better because it gives me perspective.
21 1/2. I think I'm going to be an awesome old lady. It's just the inbetween stuff I'm not so sure about.
23. I'm an incorrigible optimist.
24. I cry really really easily, and am constantly having to assure people around me that I'm ok. Happy, sad, angry, any mildly strong emotion will do it.
24. I never meant to end up in the theatre. I wanted to be a scientist.
22. I love laughing. I laugh a lot.
25. I'd be a terrible scientist.

25 things about Snapdragon!

This is Djinn, a trifecta! All the Daughters!

Snapdragon says:

1. I am friends with way too many people on facebook that I wouldn't talk to if I saw them somewhere.

2. When I grow up, I want to either be a pyrotechnician (Do affects with fire for movies), or research alternative forms of energy.

3. I'm not the most social person. Most days, I would rather stay at home and read then go hang out with people.

4. The fact that about a dozen people have been on my class since kindergarten makes me really happy.

5. I have a plog. It's like a blog, but with comics that I make. You should check it out.

6. I don't understand how people can hate their family. Sure, we have our disagreements sometimes, but I'd give up the world for them.

7. I am really excited for college. Like really. Even though I have no idea where I want to go. Not an ivy league though, too much pressure.

8. I like my name. I am one of the few people with out a first name as a middle name. Know anyone named Lyons?

9. At the moment, I'm listening to Os Mutantes. They're great. Go look them up.

10. I'm proud to be a ginger kid

11. Facebook eats my soul. I should really not check it every 30 seconds to see if anything important has happened.

12. Webcomics eat my soul too, but in the good way. I have like 20 That I read on a daily basis.

13. One thing that annoys me is when people don't know their own beliefs, just follow everyone else. I don't believe in a god, and my family has been a big influence, but I've thought long and hard about specifically what I believe. I once asked this girl if she believed in limbo, and her response was "I dunno, we haven't learned about it in sunday school yet." It kind of made me want to shoot her.

14. I liked the first twilight book. Thought the second one was boring, didn't finish the third, and hated the fourth. And don't get me started on the movie.

15. My room is messy. Like really messy. But it's only because I own an obscene amount of stuff, and I don't have room for it all.

16. I collect business cards. If you see a cool one, you should pick it up for me!

17. I miss camp. even though half of the people hated me, the other half more than made up for it.

18. Right now, I'm wearing a pretty green dress. Why? I wanted to.

19. I really like to do all kinds of art, but I'm not patient to stick with one thing until It's finished. I have half finished quilts, paintings, sculptures, etc.

20. It takes a lot to make me cry, but it doesn't take a lot to hurt my feeling

21. I'm one of those obnoxious people who talks about how lame it is that Hot Topic is becoming preppy, but I'd still rather shop there then Hollister or Abercrombie, and I do.

22. I'm a grammar nazi, but I can't spell to save my life.

23. I am having difficulty thinking of anything else to say...

24. I never watch TV unless I'm over at someone's house, and then we talk through it anyway

25. When my dad asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, I answered that I wanted to sleep 18 hours a night.

'Bucketize' Gets A New Meaning

Some say that being bucketized means that you've had your first encounter guitarist Buckethead's music.

In business and computing, it is a way of lumping certain transactions together. (categorizing basically)

But now because of innovations in fashion, a new dominant meaning is emerging. To be bucketized will be a fashionable new way of dealing with bad hair, or poorly tweezed eyebrows. See below. (Left-click to enlarge the images; I couldn't manage to make them the right size.)

And I thought they'd never make a hat I did not like!
I suspect the feckless designer of this headgear may opt to wear it himself to avoid recognition.

Everything I hated about being a teenager

in one simple website! So useful! And who thought so little would have changed after all these years. You just have to click. After taking a deeeeeep breath.

I especially appreciate the scarf-tying examples.

I'm practicing that sultry look. I assume if I master it I can walk freely around town at any time of day or night (picture the poor robber--"Aaaahhh!!!! Run for your life!!!! Did you see that hair?, and why is she strangling herself with some innocent piece of cloth?" This is the point where they fall over laughing.) Of course, we have a higher class of criminal here in Portland.

I'm now wondering if I actually saw this creation walking around downtown Salt Lake and took her for someone in Relief Society drag. Please forgive me, all you unfairly impugned drag queens.

25 things, and excuses for, thereof.

I totally love "25 things," as anyone who has seen my site in the last, oh, you know, 3 1/2 hours can tell. Why? I think because all those random people on the street (OK, not all of them, but let's pretend to be nice) actually have fascinating stories to tell, with just a bit of prodding.

The 25 things allows us to expose those clever/embarassing/mispelled (that would be me)/humerous (is that the leg or the funny thing?) /profundities we all carry inside us but have difficulty working into an average conversation.

Thank you humanity; you rock.

You want your list posted, drop me a line.

Oh, a whine, a fine whine, of course. (Sorry, all) I find Facebooks new notes interface (where the 25 thing are located) pretty much impossible to work with. Bad Facebook.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

25 favorite things from the one and only Calla Lily

My (Djinn's) oldest, and I must say, it's about time prime numbers got their comeuppance.

1. My favorite smells are rain, stone, and dirt. Looove me some dirt.
2. My favorite word is "anthropomorphize" and I try to anthropomorphize things as often as possible.
2.5. My second favorite word is "haberdashery." Say it with me: "hab-er-DASH-er-ree." See? It's good.
2.75. I stole this numbering system from Katie. Very clever, Katie, fitting more things in like that.
3. My mother's apple muffins are the best in the world. This is not an opinion; this is a fact.
4. I'm very fond of transcendental numbers. I think it's because they transcend, although to be quite honest I'm not sure what exactly it is they transcend.
4 1/2. I dislike prime numbers. I know they're "cool" and "interesting," but really, they've been getting a lot of press, and I gotta tell ya, it's gone to their heads. They are very egotistical numbers.
5. I'm not very squeamish, and I've eaten some strange things in my life, but being served shrimp with the heads still on FREAKS me out. I don't know why, I just don't like it.
6. Fuck the FCC!!
7. My favorite quote: "Everything's already been thought. The trick is to re-think it." I think that's how it goes. That's me paraphrasing Newton. Or I'm 80% sure that's Newton. Damn. I have a lot of jokes memorized.
8. My favorite platitude: When life gives you AIDS, make lemonades!
9. I'm interested in the lines between things; life/death, life/not-life, art/not-art, art/porn, awake/asleep, male/female, etc.
9.1 Speaking of art, the reason I love art is because art knows people try to draw lines around it, and it actively (and gleefully) resists, and refuses to be categorized. I heart art.
10. I support Sam Adams!
11. "She read voraciously. I once caught her in the bath, after unexpectedly finishing a novel early, desperately reading the back of a Listerine bottle." Michael Chabon, Wonder Boys (which I'm now reading.) This quote made me laugh because that's me! I've read the back of every item in the bathroom due to boredom.
12. I passed my last math analysis class with an A-. I was drunk the whole time (hey; it's a night class). I'm not sure whether to be proud of this.
13. I found God: a glass of fine Italian wine, fine cheeses, a good cigarette, Ornette Coleman on the stereo, a friend, an interesting sky.
14. I'm delighted by the fact that my kitty has white whiskers except for one, all black whisker on his left side.
15. I have this rational fear I'm turning into my mother.
16. Sometimes, if it's late at night, and the light is just right, and I'm riding the bus, I'll spend the whole bus ride posing in the glass across from me, and think how fabulous I look.
17. (a) Every once in a while I'll pick my teeth in reflective glass on a building and only later realize it's that kind of glass that's only reflective on one side. I know I'm not the only one that does this.
17. (b) Sometimes I'll pick my teeth in glass that I know is reflective on only one side and not care.
18. There aren't many things in life that I truly hate. But I HATE, and I mean truly DESPISE automatic flush toilets. The reasons are too numerous to list here. I also hate genocide.
19. I thought Janis Joplin was black for really long time. Like, embarrassingly long.
20. My favorite activity is walking. I could walk for days and days and days and be happy. I am going to walk from one end of England to the other. This will happen one day. (It's a pretty small country. The routes I've looked at take 1-3 weeks. And you can stroll the whole time. And there are pubs every coupla miles. My kind of 'hike').
21. I once had an Irish man tell me that, yes, indeed, the Irish are the hairiest men on Earth, but don't worry, it's a fine, soft hair, good fer keepin' ya warm at night, and then he made me feel his leg. It's true; the hair was very soft.
22. I don't like chocolate. I don't know why.
23. One day, I would like to see the aurora borealis. I think I might find God there, too.
24. If I saw Buddha on the road, I don't think I'd have the heart to kill him.
25. There is nothing in this world I love more than my sisters.
25.2.0. I would give the world and more for them.

25 favorite things from my one favorite Russian

1. I secretly believe that I am 23 years old
2. I learned to read music scores when I was 5. I learned to read books one year later.
3. My voice is very unpleasant. Thank you for putting up with it.
4. I love to take dance classes , even though I suck badly at dancing.
5.Coming out finally, I think it's time to let the world know. Straight, boring straight, nothing to be done..Gosh, so straight!
6. I dress in black. when you see me wearing something colorful, it means that I had to make an effort. Maybe I need therapy?
7. It's not that I never tried to talk to a shrink. My first attempt ended up with a job offer, the second person got so upset that almost had a heart attack and I had to comfort him.
8. I miss SLC more that I am willing to admit. I think Heaven must look like Red Door or at least the Starbucks on the 4th. Guess I miss my friends...
9.Which tells me that you can make friends at any age!
10. The thing I don't really believe in is a pure friendship between a straight man and a straight woman. But so what ? I still enjoy it every time!
11. I dream in broken English with an accent.
12. I watch TV with captions. Lame!
13. I don't find Jewish men attractive. How do you girls do it? : )
14. My least favorite food is ice cream. ewwww...
15. The only place where I can tolerate classical music ( that is not played by me) is symphony. I hate to drive and listen to the "easy classical" radio station. Another thing that I hate is "smooth jazz station" . The worst and cheesiest pop music ever!
16. My musical vices are ( brace yourself, Genie): Jobim, Cake ( sheep so go to heaven! ) and 60th rock and jazz. My favorite jazz standards is "Round Midnight" and "Night and Day" ( weird, right? ) and my favorite jazz musician is Coltrane. And no, I don't like Bill Evans. I know I should...
17. I want to make a movie for as long as I remember myself. Maybe I will?
18. Speaking of movies - I seriously cannot understand action movies, just cannot tell what is going on! But they out me to sleep right away! I can tolerate a chick flick though - but only if I have moral support from my daughter.
19. I am what you would call a "cheap date" : )
20. My favorite season is Fall ( doesn't apply to Vivaldi) . Fall in MA is magnificent. Come visit me?
21. I have been asked how I identify myself so many times. Jewish I guess - otherwise, why would I find Chagall so disturbing?
22. I always miss "home" but I don't know what and where it is. That's OK...
23. Things I like to buy but never really use are nail polishes ( I have an impressive collection! ) and rings. As for the rest of the material objects- I like to buy them too!
24. Genie, I don't want to mention these devices - they are out of control, and I am mad at them! : )
25. Just so you guys know - Russian version of "25 random things" is "100 random things" . I tried to write it last year, and couldn't get past # 34.

A Guest Post from Apricot Blossom

What God has to say about wall street and other legal loan sharks.

1: Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
2: The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
3: For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
4: The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
5: His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
6: He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.
7: His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
8: He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
9: He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
10: He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
11: He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
12: Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.
13: Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.
14: Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
15: Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.

I think it is interesting to find these gems of pro-poor sentiment that are spattered about the bible. While the psalm says that the wicked don't have fear of God in thier hearts, I believe it equates to the lack of fear of retribution. Free reign for the rich to take advantage of the poor: "He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net." Sounds like evil credit card tricks and bad loans to me. I find it both sad and comforting that these same class struggles have been around this long. Old testament long. This first part is the part I am interested in, but for sake of full disclosure here is the rest of the psalm:

16: The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.
17: LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
18: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

Pete Doherty has excellent taste in hats

And a huge pile of a house somewhere in the countryside. And, with a bit of looking, can find his mail, in a super secret location in front of his mail slot. After some work, he also discovers his bedroom. However, electricity, hot water, not so much.

This post is much more entertaining than, I'm afraid, my precis indicates.

Not another stupid facebook meme

Sorry, (kinda) but after my ear/brain operation (probably only an ear operation but ear/brain sounds so much more dangerous, and koool) thought I'd update my blog the easiest way possible.

These were the rules:

1. Put your iPod... or iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. Write that song name down no matter how stupid it sounds.
4. Tag at least 10 friends (make me #11 so I can see your results).
5. Everyone tagged does the same thing.
6. at least 8 of those people will hate you for it if you are over the age of 15.

My rule is that if you have the time to actually do this, you don't need to answer the questions, I'm just interested in seeing a list of the first 25 songs that pop up on your music player of choice when playing on a random setting. Then I will go in search of the cool music that you guys have that I do not have.

Kizza me -- Big Star

Give me that old fashioned Morphine - Jolie Holland

Evil will prevail -- Flaming Lips

Rebel Girl - Bikini Kill

See the sky about to rain - Neil, who else, Young

I often dream of trains- Grant Lee Buffalo singing a Robyn Hitchcock song

Gimme some truth - John Lennon

Bridges and Balloons -- The Decemberists

Chelsea Hotel No. 2 -- Leonard Cohen

WHAT IS 2 + 2?
Democracy -- Leonard Cohen; I have hundreds of songs, but here's Lenny, twice in a row

I got you (at the end of the century) Wilco

Crayon Angels - Judee Sill

Don't pass me by -- Field Music recordings from somewhere deep in the south

Orgasm Addict - Buzzcocks. I swear. Is this some god-like being in my PC telling me to listen to less (or perhaps more) Punk?

Lines - Okkervill River (???)

There is a light that never goes out - The Smiths!!!!! Totally came up all on its own! My computer may be possessed in a good way, let's wait and see what happens next

Wooden Ships. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Standard Bitter Love Song - The Mountain Goats

Cicadas - Deerhunter

Company in my back - Wilco

Blackwaterside - Beret Jansch

Play along! I was disappointed no 12 tone stuff, no ambient stuff, no African, no jazz came up, and what's with both Wilco and Leonard Cohen (though I can't complain about that one) coming up twice?

Oh, and I highly recommend the Judee Sill. Beautiful song.

Silly Facebook Memes Can Be Fun!

Twenty Five Random things about myself.

1. I am constantly amazed at how amusing my wonderful daughters are.

2. I have always been dizzy, metaphorically. That I have been actually dizzy for the last three years makes my irony meter hurt.

2a. I might no longer be actually dizzy after March. What shall I use for an excuse?

e. I am on disability, but too sick to enjoy it.

3. My boyfriend, George is totally hott, especially when playing the sparkly cherry red fender electric guitar (that I talked him into) with the $60.00 Marshall amp he bought, broken, down the street and then fixed himself.

3.14. There's nothing hotter than a man doing housework, imho; well, there is that guitar.

4. I love living in an actual neighborhood with a few shops a couple of streets over, a place to get amazing tacos, a chocolate/salt/flower/wine shop, and the best wine bar in the world.

5. I miss Utah. I miss my law school friends (you know who you are.) I miss the mountains. I especially miss Allie. I also miss Tracey, Jenn (and Rod), Bernadette, Melanie, Daisy, Jackie, Rory, Claire, Leah, Todd, Ryan (So hott in the suit), Tim (haven't forgotten you), David Jones, Joanna (how else would I be able to mention Schiele in conversation, not that it ever comes up), John and Allyson, Megan, Lark, Susan, Cass, Colby, Amy, Travis, Troy, David the K.... Plus my pretend but no less sincere internet friends Melanie, Sara and Chandelle. Not to mention those not in Utah (heavens!) Sandy and Anna, Erin in far far away lands having adventures which I don't totally hate her for, etc. Let's blame the inner ear concussion,so useful. Also everyone I forgot, but miss deeply--I get to blame the VERTIGO!!!!! Plus those wide, wide streets.

6. I would write patents as a hobby. I need a different hobby, suggestions requested.

7. My daughters: Lis, Katie, and Allie, are the greatest. This should be number one. Oh, they are. Plus my sibs Jon, Jeff, James, Mike, Rick, Lisa, and assorted, but not less important neices and nephews. And spouses. Shout out to Cameron, and Joanna. Thanks for wearing the accessories in my time of need.

8. I got to see our ancestor Lucy, the Australopithecene Afarensis from the Ethiopian rift valley recentlyin Seattle. I found that she was there on the day before we left. I cried. It was a spiritual experience.

8. Cont. We went in spite of my vertigo, and I'm afraid Genie, wobbly, in downtown Seattle stressed George out way more than he deserved. In retrospect (my memory is slowly returning) I remember his complexion as a slightly disturbing shade of gray after I collapsed outside the museum.

9. My totally awesome dad lost my totally awesome mom 5ish years ago; we're all still recovering. My dad is recovering very well--he's got a hot girlfriend 17 years younger than himself. Go dad! You're such a kind, sweet, gentleman. You deserve someone who appreciates you for the amazing man that you are. Plus, I so don't want you to be lonesome.

10. 25 is a big number. How random am I?

11. Uhhhhh... I think everyone should read more P.G. Wodehouse. Sample quote (Sorry, Jackie, I do adore you) (Stephen Fry speaking of Wodehouse) I flip open a book of stories and happen on Bertie and Jeeves discussing a young man called Cyril Bassington-Bassington.

"I've never heard of him. Have you ever heard of him, Jeeves?"

"I am familiar with the name Bassington-Bassington, sir. There are three branches of the Bassington-Bassington family – the Shropshire Bassington-Bassingtons, the Hampshire Bassington-Bassingtons, and the Kent Bassington-Bassingtons."

"England seems pretty well stocked up with Bassington-Bassingtons."

"Tolerably so, sir."

"No chance of a sudden shortage, I mean, what?"

12. I have a deep and lasting obsession with china cups and plates, esp. from Goodwill. And they break! So you can get new ones. If you visit, I will contemplate the appropriate plate and cup for you before serving you dinner, or whatever meal/snack is appropriate. My personal favorite right now are some Wedgewood porcelain with Peter Rabbit scenes that I got at a place called "Rerun."

13. I tend to be a mild, kind, refined sort of individual until matters of musical taste come up. (OK, stop laughing, all those in the front row. I really mean it, man) However, in spite of my deepest desires, my hair turns into snakes and I turn people into stone who play the wrong sort of music; but then I feel badish.

14. I have a secret thing for Pete Doherty, formerly of the Libertines, currently of Babyshambles. How can't you not love someone who missed his wedding with Kate Moss because he was picked up on drug posession charges (Genie learns a new word -- Ketamine) on his way to the airport to fly to Java for the wedding.

14 sub 1. I love all Riot Grrls, and think pre-Kurt Cobain Courtney Love is some of the greatest music of the twentieth century. Drown Soda, anyone? OK, One must also mention Sex Pistols, Billy Childish, the Reverend Gary Davis, god George is hot, oops; the Reverend Louis Overstreet, the Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, the Flaming Lips, the Mountain Goats, Jolie Holland, Deerhunter.... , my fave Mountain goats song: the best ever death metal band out of denton
were a couple of guys, who'd been friends since grade school.
one was named cyrus, and the other was jeff.
and they practiced twice a week in jeff's bedroom.

the best ever death metal band out of denton
never settled on a name.
but the top three contenders, after weeks of debate,
were satan's fingers, and the killers, and the hospital bombers.

jeff and cyrus believed in their hearts they were headed
for stage lights and lear jets, and fortune and fame.
so in script that made prominent use of a pentagram,
they stenciled their drumheads and guitars with their names.

this was how cyrus got sent to the school
where they told him he'd never be famous.
and this was why jeff,
in the letters he'd write to his friend,
helped develop a plan to get even.
when you punish a person for dreaming his dream,
don't expect him to thank or forgive you.
the best ever death metal band out of denton
will in time both outpace and outlive you.
hail satan!
hail satan tonight!
hail satan!
hail hail!
(this is Genie, when singing along you have to make the horn thing with your 2nd and 4th finger when singing the final verse; very satisfying. Hail Satan, y'all.)

Fifteen. I have quite a bit of vinyl made my men named "blind" someone or other. I also have other punk/blues treasures on vinyl which would not be a problem, but I suffer from fear of the record player. Anyone know the cool latin name for that condition? There must be one.

16. What the Fuck happened to Rod Stewart? He went from the best to the worst singer in Rock and Roll between the time I couldn't see him and I could. Fuck. Plus Ron Wood. Awesome in the Faces. Neutered in the Rolling Stones. A sad, sad fate for a water gypsy.

17. I am deeply disappointed (to the point of despair and tears) in the Obama administration for appointing Larry (I hate all Regulations such, esp. those that make me personally less wealthy) Summers, and Tim Geitner (same) to positions of actual power.

18. If anyone hasn't noticed, we no longer have a fourth amendment. If you're searched for an invalid purpose, the police get to use the evidence. No more fruit of the poisoned tree. Thanks Bush and Co. Yeah. Who needs a constitution anyway? Oh, yeah, that would be me.

19. More outrage? Bush should be in chains at the Hague.

19 1/2. Cheney -- waterboarding! You know, it's not torture. He said so.

20. How come my 20 dollar radio is so much easier to use (and keep in tune) that my two hundred dollar one? What's the point of all those beatiful speakers if they only mostly pick up static?

21. I love roses, and, last year, planted a number of 19th century varieties that bloom only once a season. To be beautiful, if only for a brief period, deserves our respect, and small plot of land. They don't seem to be doing so well this winter, cross your thorns.

22. A poem by my favorite poet, Jacqueline Osherow

The way I see it, every season comes through
With a blessing--winter: dazzle; summer: evening;
Autumn: cold; and this particular spring
It's got to be you, monotonous cuckoo
Or whatever you are, blasting that major third
Like a downbeat for the music of the spheres.
And who's to say it isn't, that the stars
And planets aren't guided by a bird?
Your voice certainly seems to carry far
Enough, its two persistent notes so pure
They must keep the air's orchestra in tune.
Who cares if they're the same again and again?
I'll stop waiting for that new, exquisite song.
I've got two notes; even I will sing.

23. I love the pretend glorious western picture of Bierstadt, one of which I saw recently in the Seattle Museum. I also love the pretend glorious pics of Chagall, and his glass windows in the Chicago Art Institute. Should I tell a joke now, to lighten the mood? Two artists walked into a bar. I forgot the punchline, though I'm sure Whiskey was involved. George suggests the punchline "One was framed."

24. I love LOLcats, and not only because their spelling,such as my own, is somewhat shaky.

25. Shoutout to Tamar and Iva, my peeps! And Betsey! For totally understanding how wonderful my little brother is, to the extent of marrying him. Wow.

25.125 I would be lying, at least by omission,if I didn't mention my deep deep sincere and honest love of personal adornment devices. Scarves, rings, hats, hand-knit sweaters with actual lynx collar (don't tell) chartreuse died camisoles, more camisoles with more lynx, an awesome necklace watch with laboradite and an intricate watch (which i can't quite get to work, but time is for cell phones), and that's just what I can remember. Good thing I've been sick for like forever, and too sick to get out of the house, or I could probably barely get into the house. Oh, and that leopard-skin pillbox hat. Ahhh, happiness. Plus, it turns out that I'm deeply superstitious; but all superstitions related to said adornment devices, and music.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A totally righteous rant

Here's the mayor of Lansing ripping a Fox commentator into little bloody threads for Congress giving billions (billions!) of completely unaccountable money to the finance industry , while shafting the middle class that actually makes something.

Suggestion, watch. hat tip DailyKos

Sunday, February 15, 2009

John The Revelator

In the comments somewhere, the subject of blacks and the priesthood withhin the context of the Mormon church came up; Mormons specificaly disavowed the presence of people with black blood beinig able to reach heaven. Specifically another commentator wondered if other Christian denominations held similar views. Considering the wealth of blues songs which implicitly expect heaven as a potential reward, this seems unlikely. This series of videos is my (kinda wandery, off topic) reply.

Blind Willy Johnson, he wrote the song, as far as I can tell.

Others noticed its awesomeness. Unfortunately, my favorite verion, by Mississippi John Hurt, does not appear to be available through Youtube.

But Nick Cave, who appears to have roughly the same emotional response to the gospels as I (but with, what do you call that? Oh, yeah, talent) has a version.

This is Bukka White (the youtube caption is wrong wrong wrong.) I just love him (at least the itty bits I've heard) and his fine, fine, national guitar. So, an excuse. A random song of his. If I get really really energetic I'll post some of my personal collection, as far as I can tell otherwise unavailable. But, of course, it's all on vinyl.

What The Diddly? (So To Speak)

It's a.....a.....uh....a finger light, of course! Who wouldn't want that? Better yet, they could make it a phone too----so good to 'phone home' with. And just in case people don't want a noisy ring-tone shouldn't it really come with a vibrating setting? These product developers and marketers better get on it.
This product release seems premature and unsatisfactory.

Video Response to Charo Post

When I heard Charo's strong accent while singing in English, the first thought that ran through my head was "Ken Lee". For those of you who don't follow Bulgarian Idol----that's right, the Bulgarian version of American Idol-----this is part of what you have missed. You should really watch up through at least t=50 or so; you don't want to miss "tulibu dibu douchoo". By the way what do you make of the uncanny resemblance of the adjudicating panel to their American counterparts?

The singer did not make it through to the next round, but was invited back to sing on the season closer, and she has become famous throughout Bulgaria.

The various 'Idol' franchises round the world, from Bulgaria to Malaysia have proved that no country has a monopoly on amazing talent or inconceivable self-delusion.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Evolution of Breakdancing .

Check this out. A mash-up of the Russian Army circa, uh, very early 19th century breakdancing (or however you say that in Russian) and Run-DMC.

Evolution, not just for mosquitos, fruit flies and bad pop music.

Thanks to neuron culture for the link. Science. So useful, in so many ways.

Nationalize, baby!

Now the Washington Post, that bastion of Socialism is saying:

The U.S. banking system is close to being insolvent, and unless we want to become like Japan in the 1990s -- or the United States in the 1930s -- the only way to save it is to nationalize it.

We're all Swedes now. Except for the long legs and blond(e) hair.

Social Conservatives--made not born?

Here is an article that compares Israeli chidren sent to orthodox schools compared those sent to secular schools.

The kids who thought that god created race, ethnicity, and gender were significantly more likely to think that this categories were created for a purpose and also that they were stable (you can't change from one to another). Although they thought that socio-economic status and animals were also created for a purpose, but weren't more likely to think that these categories were stable.

[Modified for a stupid spelling error.]

More for Valentines' day

First, Ann Margaret plus Hot Elvis.

Added bonus, here's a very young Ann Margaret dancing.

If love doesn't keep you together, try the cuchi-cuchi

Charo says "Happy Valentines," sorta

Love (fringe, bongos, more fringe, and a few extra bongos) will keep us together.

Now you know the secret. Pu-pu-di-do.

Lies and the Lying Liars About to Lose to Franken!

Of course it may take a bit more time, but a recent court battle has gone Franken's way making him one step closer to his Senate seat.

Former Senator Coleman is widely acknowledged to have lost the election, but is refusing to step aside.(When the first election results seemed to favor him, Coleman told Franken to bow out for the good of the state.) Now his legal challenges seem designed to draw out the controversy as long as possible and deprive the Senate of an additional Democratic senator.

But it's not enough for the Republicans to drag their feet on this matter. They are also lying about Franken and smearing him the entire time with completely unsubstantiated accusations of him "stealing" the election. Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Dick Morris and Ann Coulter have been putting these lies out there for months. But the truth is that the panel in Minnesota that has handled the recounts is anything but left-leaning.

All the usual suspects have echoed these false charges across the airwaves and the Internet. What they invariably neglect to mention is that the Minnesota Canvassing Board, whose decisions have so displeased the Republican right, was impeccably nonpartisan. Nobody in their right mind in Minnesota believes that the board was biased -- and, in fact, Powerline blogger Scott Johnson, no friend of Democrats or Franken, has specifically spoken up to defend it. "There was no noticeable partisan division among the board," he wrote. "Minnesotans are justifiably proud of the transparency and fairness of their work."

Two of its five members are Supreme Court judges appointed by Tim Pawlenty, the state's conservative Republican governor, each with a long record of loyal service to the GOP; a third is a nonpartisan elected judge; a fourth was appointed by former independent Gov. Jesse Ventura; and only one, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, is a Democrat. At the outset, Coleman's own lawyers accepted the panel's membership, as did everyone else, including Franken, who might have protested that his own party had only one member.

Their decisions against Coleman, which led to Franken's provisional victory by 225 votes, were unanimous. It is this group, composed of distinguished judges with spotless reputations, whose hard work has been described in odious terms by the likes of Morris, Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

Unfortunately, since Franken is a public figure, he faces major legal obstacles in silencing the lies.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Yet Another Hurdle For Over-Stressed Realtors

Just Quoting Sullivan

13 Feb 2009 12:37 pm
If The Right Were Intellectually Honest ...

"This Manzi post would be their argument going forward. Here's why they are not being intellectually honest, and Manzi's post includes the relevant facts. The GOP has passed what amounts to a spending and tax-cutting and borrowing stimulus package every year since George W. Bush came to office. They have added tens of trillions to future liabilities and they turned a surplus into a trillion dollar deficit - all in a time of growth. They then pick the one moment when demand is collapsing in an alarming spiral to argue that fiscal conservatism is non-negotiable. I mean: seriously."

Read all of Sullivan's post to appreciate the cynical partisanship of the Republicans in Congress.


I revealed utter ignorance in a comment thread where I discussed 'ORP', the notion that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny"( the idea that embryological and fetal development summarize the evolutionary history of an organism). I goofed when I assumed that the first proponents of such an idea were modest in their claims.

Interestingly enough, French embryologist Serres and his cohort, German anatomist Meckel noticed a link between developmental stages and a "pattern of unification" in the organic world before 1830------before Darwin had come out with his Origin of Species(1859). ( Many scientists of the time already recognized that evolution had occurred; Darwin's main contribution was to identify natural selection as the prime mover in the process.) Serres and Meckel do not appear to have over-claimed anything, and many other scientists of the time embraced their thinking.

Enter Ernst Haeckel who in 1866 proposed the actual 'ORP' phraseology. Haeckel rather misrepresented the relationship suggesting that during development 'adult' forms of ancestral phyla were exhibited. His work included drawings that were over-stylized to enhance his theory, and his idea became associated with Lamarck's ill-fated theory. Because Haeckel was the first to declare "ontogeny re......" the idea was swept into the dustbin even though many reputable scientists continue to believe that Serres was onto something.

Although Haeckel's version of the theory has been discredited, it is interesting to note that as soon as I typed "ontogeny" into the search bar,".....recapitulates phylogeny" was the very first thing to pop up. When I typed in "Darwin", "darwin awards" was the first result. So much for survival of the fittest!

(The pic above is a painting by Haeckel, an accomplished painter-----a useful skill for naturalists. To give Haeckel his props, in addition to the phrase he remains famous for (ORP), he also coined the terms ecology and Darwinism.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Looks Fun!

(I came across this on The Daily Dish/Andrew Sullivan.)

A birthday present for Darwin, proper Victorian Gentleman, he.

Surf punk, wasn't that his secret obsession, besides barnacles, I mean?

In such very very very bad taste. You will be amazed. Warning. Warning. Warning.

Happy Darwin Day!!!!

Today Darwin (or at least his bones in Westminister Abbey) turns 200. It is also the 150th anniversary of the publication "The Origin of Species," the book above all others (there might be a bit, but just a bit of hyperbole here) that changed my life.

I grew up Mormon. To save the feelings of family members that might, just might, read this blog, I will not mention the nightmare that this was for me as a child, but basically, I could not get the world to make any sense at all. Here I was, a child, faced with a world controlled by a nightmare of a supreme being (any surprise that I was afraid, among other things, of my closet?)--God has a tissy fit and drowns everyone but a single family? God hardens Pharoh's heart? Then why, if God caused it, is it Pharoh's fault? And what's with Job? That, combined with my father's rather more than dangerous line of work (he was a navigator in the air force, friends of mine regularly disappeared off of the air force bases we lived on when their fathers died) gave me a vision of a world that was a darker place than I could handle.

I was 10ish. And severly depressed; which my parents, due undoubtedly to the time and their own fanaticism, didn't recognize as an illness; rather, I was trouble. An honest assesment for a mormon family, which has a very narrow range of "trouble." In their own defense, I think I read much more fundamentalism into my childhood than actually existed. But, you see , I paid obsessive compulsive razor sharp attention at church ( a feat that has served me well in other aspects of my life, just not this one) and believed that my parents must believe all the wacky stuff I heard over the pulpit. I also didn't trust them enough to ever (ever! My mother died without a heart-to-heart with me) tell them my difficulties, due to the fear I had of being thrown out of the house if I dared express any sort of insufficiently rah-rah-nature to the totally alien world I was born into--I was a coward. I blame myself.

But, my parents had a copy of the "Great Books" in its own bookshelf in the house. This saved my sanity, or quite possibly my life. One of the volumes included both "The Origin of Species" and "The Descent of Man," by the man--Darwin-- himself. I read them. I devoured them.

It was odd, my uber religious family was so pleased that I'd pick up and actually absorb such awkward tomes. Perhaps they were more accepting of my plight than I understood at the time. I'd sleep with the two books and wake up with bruises.

Those two books changed my life. Evolution! The world was beautiful and finally made sense. Monsters there certainly were, but understandable non-omnipotent fickle ones without an odd taste for goat meat smoke and a hankering for smiting.

Thank you Darwin, thank you Mom and Dad.

With all my love to the living and those that have passed on;


Controversial Elephants

It all started with a cartoon by Nast in the 1800's. Since then the symbol became quite stylized.

Around 2000 the logo was altered with the stars pointing downwards. (And there are a few conspiracy-themed blogs that speculate about Satanic infiltration of the republican party.)

One controversy regarding the GOP Logo is it's trademark status. Fairly recently the Republican National Committee registered a trademark for the party symbol, and has been contacting unlicensed users (such as the specific t-shirt company in the linked article) and telling them they can't use the logo.

“It’s not a political statement – it’s a commercial statement. They’re moving merchandise,” he said........

......Legal experts said the company has a stronger case in defense of its anti-Republican shirts, which could be protected under long-standing law and under a specific amendment to trademark law that exempts parody.

Ironically, the pro-Republican shirts could more plausibly be subject to the claim they’re “diluting” the GOP brand and could be mistaken for products of the committee itself.

Since altering the logo satirically is safe from trademark infringement litigation, people of both parties engage in this sort of fun. Some of the best I have seen are from a new book called Deconstructing Dumbo. (Click the link to see many other funny ones.)

Overall I found the conceptual humor of these creations more sophisticated and varied than others I encountered. (Scrolling downwards after clicking this link reveals an astonishingly narrow range of humor!)

As for the future of the symbol, who knows?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Ephemeral "Art"

I could not help but laugh when I saw this preposterous cake at cakewrecks.
It seems like the baby is bursting directly out of the pregnant belly a la Alien.

But wait, there's more!
This one was really intended to portray a baby erupting out of the pregnant belly! Yikes!
Another amazing cake really looks like a newborn, but I'm not sure who would be willing to slice this cake.

The cakewrecks blog includes cakes with many different themes. A few are simply gorgeous and well crafted.

Others are simply ghastly, but might appeal to zombies.

One thoughtful contributor even crafted a crow cake for Edgar Allen Poe's birthday.

Wonders really abound at this site although there are also a lot of cakes with simple spelling errors and whatnot. The blogger's witty commentary makes it a really fun spot to visit. Enjoy! (And thanks Gee Bee for making me aware of this blog.)

Looking Forward to Warmer Weather, Happier Times

It's that point in the Winter when it's finally noticeable that the days are really getting longer. But I can't imagine the days will get ever long enough to give people the idea that they have enough time to make creations such as these. These sand sculptures are incredible! Too bad they crumble so swiftly! But at least we can enjoy these pics. (This first one features lots of storybook characters. Do you see Rapunzel with her braid out the window? ) Puss-in-boots can be better seen from this other angle. Such meticulous crenelations on the castle! Don't you just want to wander through that tunnel on the right?

I just love this dragon wolfing down someone digging in the sand.

Perhaps it would be nice to have more public art in the stimulus package. It might seem like a frill, but at least it would employ people while creating things of lasting value (one would hope).

To see more of these marvelous creations, click here!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A happy post; it could happen.

As I have mentioned George and I (in a totally boneheaded move, considering my physical condition, but I SIMPLY COULD NOT BE TALKED OUT OF IT) went to Seattle to see Lucy, our bipedal ancestor. Marvelous.

The other awesome thing we did was go to the Seattle Art Museum. Due to my annoyingly delicate condition, it required staying another night. the Art Museum itself was rather sadly and disturbingly predictable -- there is a canon. They had one of each. A Rothko, a Warhol, a Cornell, (oddly 2-d) etc. But, but, but.... besides the Bierstadt I believe I've already mentioned, and adore, there, right across the street, visible from all windows facing, uh east? is some 24 hour porn palace that had advertized in that unmistakable pink porn font "BIG BUTT SHOW." Best part of the museum. Well, it tied with the pottery and the Bierstadt. You have to understand, the juxtaposition between the marquee and the over-botoxed over-dressed, seriously anorexic, under-uh, fashion-charming clientele was, let us just say, a delight.

FDR's New Deal worked, work well, and worked quickly.

I have heard this canard being bandied about that FDR and the New Deal just deepened the recession; that it was WW2 all by its lonesome that got us out of the great depression. The simple graph, above, (thanks, Devilstower at DailyKos) shows that FDR's plan worked, worked well, and worked quickly.

Here I go again

As a democrat, I feel upset by my lack of enthusiasm for the current stimulus package. Sure, where roads are bad, fix them, but we shouldn't build a bunch of new roads and bridges we don't actually need just for the sake of employing people. All those new roads will increase our future financial obligations because we will have even more roads to maintain.

I just saw Senator Frank explaining how important it is for the federal government to send money to the states to help maintain the employment levels of policemen and the like. Usually I agree with the senator, but having lived in Massachusetts for a year recently, I was struck by the pervasive presence of police in his state. It seemed like every time anyone backed up a big truck, they had to contact the authorities in advance and have a squad of police supervise the procedure. Sooooo wasteful of tax dollars! Bloated state and local government should be cut back where possible. With the national debt the size that it is, we need to be careful what kinds of stimulus and investments we make. We need to choose projects that we will be glad we spent money on down the road.

We should invest even more in alternative energy sources. ( They tout that this plan doubles our current capacity for alternative energy, but doubling almost nothing is still almost nothing!) Scientific research-----originally included in the package, but now removed-----is a good idea for a nation facing energy problems, global warming, sick bees and an epidemic of diabetes. We could employ more people in the cleanups after natural disasters to restore economic activity promptly. And surely we could stand to improve educational programs and fund services that focus on keeping people out of the prison system. (Incarceration, even in a low-end state like Florida, costs about $20,000 per inmate per year. In Nevada it's more like thirty grand!)

I am all for a lot of construction projects, but I suspect the only thing really alluring about road construction is how much faster that is to get started than, say, nuclear power plants. I sure hope the final package strikes a good balance between the conveniently prompt projects, and the smart choices that take more planning.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

More on being stupid.

Such a popular topic. I've been doing some reading, and it turns out my very condition (let me assure you, the word (the world) miserable scarcely does it justice) can be brought on by being in a car accident where airbags deploy. The medical treatment is lagging far, far behind the illness incidence. Dr. Epley is old. I see no friendly, frisky dr's in training eagerly trotting after him... I will need treatments every three to six months; what shall I do?

Hey, you doctors, vertigo. Lots of us have it. You can find us inside sitting very quietly annoying the innocents on the internet. Think what a service you would do to not only those whose life you would save (i'm effectively in house-arrest, not fun) but all the ill-advised comments you'd keep of the magical intertubes!!!!!!!

Requesting appropriate pics,

I remain,


Saturday, February 7, 2009

On being stupid.

I have a very curious disease. Officially, it's called either "inner ear concussion" or "Post-traumatic vertigo."

How does this affect me? The smarter I feel, the stupider I am.

I am much more likely to spuriously match patterns stupid than smart; that is, I see correlations where none exist. For example,I somehow figure that George is acting mean to me when he's just trying to get coffee and wake up.

I'm also, I belive, not as nice when stupid , but feel more justified in my meanness.

This this totally uncalled for, but my inadvertant experiment has proven to me that being intelligent is really stupid. That is all.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

RIP Lux Interior

Way back in 2004, I went to see the Cramps at the Crystal Ballroom (in Portland, OR) directly after leaving work (I'm a lawyer.) I was wearing a suit, nylons (boring as all get-out) and mid-length heels. Three people; three deeply worried interested, serious people asked me if I were "OK," or "All Right." I assured them, that inspite of no obvious, uh tattoos, piercings, latex, pink hair, etc. I was fine. But I felt bad. I blame myself.

Lux Interior in his 60's at that show totally totally rocked his python print spandex tights/pants. Poison Ivy, also was hottt. It gave, and continues, to give me hope.

Lux died, after a good life. May angels play you random guitar riffs to your sleep.

Enjoy the commentator's perfectly correct (for some other venue) pink jacket. Enjoy Poison Ivy's perfectly correct (for this exact venue) rather too fluffy to be believed pink bra/shirt.



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So, what's spinnin' with Djinn?

As you may remember, I've been suffering from some strange, undiagnosed dizziness, nauseous, vertiginous, exhausting disorder that a veritable raft of supposed medical personnel have been unable to sort out. I've been to one GP (numerous times, wonderful), two ENT's (take your pick, either ear nose throat DR's, or for extra spelling points otolaryngyologists (or something, too lazy for spell-check, besides I blame all those wanker 18th British Oxford-educated gentry totally obsessed with Greek, so we don't have an actual English word--misspell ho!))

Anyway, they both sucked. One diagnosed me with BPPV (Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo), let's call him Physician not so bad and the other (Let's call her Physician You Totally Suck) diagnosed me with nothing, after running a gazillion tests that made me sick as a very sick dog--never quite understood this metaphor.

After weeks of begging, crying, harassing phone calls, ineffective voodoo doll treatment and general hysteria, Physician You Totally Suck transferred my records to a Neurophysicisian of her choice. She worse than totally sucked and decided that I had silent migraines. I have not had a migraine constantly since Nov. 2007. Really. However, I listened (what was I thinking?) I tried her anti-migraine medicine for three weeks, (in spite of my rather horrific history using such substances) but as can be expected, such meds just kept making me sick so I threw it, and her credibility away.

Now, if you haven't been following this story from the beginning, I've been constantly dizzy (constant as in all the time) since a serious attack of vertigo in Nov. 2007. Yet, I kept on dragging myself to work every day, working hard enough to actually make a small bonus. But, every day was horrific. Dragging myself out of bed, walking (by closing my eyes and feeling my way down the hall) to my office, leaving once a day for a bathroom break (same procedure) Why? Fluorescent lights make me very ill, etc. Sometimes, I couldn't work for one or two days at a time. I'd spend them in bed. So happy. Then back to work furiously to make up for the lost time.

You have to understand, I had no diagnosis. I couldn't quit work, or go on disability, because.... uh, the medical establishment said there was nothing wrong with me in spite of my obvious agony. Fun times.

I received, in late November, my yearly approval rating. It was both horrible and strangely good. My main boss said that objectively I had performed superbly (which they found deeply confusing and didn’t seem to give much credit to), but in every subjective measurement I sucked. Of course. I was too sick to go to the bathroom, let alone spell. In their defense, I’ve now read some of the work I did when extremely sick, and it does not shine with the light of stellar intelligence. However, under all the grammatical and spelling errors, the logic is correct, hence, the success. I understand their confusion. They have been nothing but decent since my diagnosis.

Anyway, my most dear and sweet boyfriend, and Fiancee, George, discovered that the leading specialist on inner-ear disorders lived in Portland. Dr. Epley. Why didn't anyone of all the specialists I talked to even bother mentioning him? A question for someone much more intelligent than myself.

I immediately called the Epley clinic up, was quizzed for 20 minutes by a nurse of his, and was given an appointment for Dec. 11, 2008. The last day I was able to drag myself to work was Dec. 3. Miracles of Miracles, he gave me a diagnosis on Dec. 11th, and I was able to get disability. What happened? I fell down a flight of stairs Dec. 2004, and gave myself an inner-ear concussion and bppv (benign positional paroxymal vertigo—don’t ask, except to notice that the word “benign” could not be more incorrect.) Even though head trauma is a leading cause of vertigo, did any other physician ask me about same? That would be no. What?

By the time I quit work, all I could do is sleep, lay quietly in bed, and fail to keep down liquids. A couple more weeks, and I would have been in the hospital for dehydration.

Unfortunately during my appointment, sweet, sweet brilliant Dr. Epley took my nausea meds away and for some reason, did not give me a replacement.

My next appointment is Dec. 22. I am so excited!!!! However, an ice storm swoops in Dec. 22, closing the entire city, including my Dr's office. I cry. They fit me in Jan. 15th. I deal, lying in bed mostly.

Jan. 15th comes around, I show up at his office and am sent away as being too sick. !!! What!!!!!????? I told him and his nurse that I was ready for whatever they wanted to do, but I must have been that lovely shade of Wayne's world "I'm goona hurl!" green. I blame popular culture for not getting my treatment. However, I am given nausea meds. Yeah!

On the 23rd of Jan, 2009, finally, things started happening. It was like astronaut training, they stuck me in this special chair to treat my BPPV. They swung me to the right, to the left, upside down several times, put some shaky device on my ear; quite a thrill. This fixed my left ear. I'm now scheduled for Feb. 16th to treat the right ear for inner-ear concussion. My Otolith organ (it tells my body my orientation in space) is inflamed and giving random, yet always incorrect info to my head about my balance. The body sees (we are such odd spindly organisms) not falling over as perhaps the most important function it can perform. As my ears have failed me, my eyes have taken over.

What does this mean? Well, my cerebrum, usually used for functions such as speaking, thinking, short-term memory, and figuring out patent applications, is spending all of its cycles keeping me upright. Fun. Or just lying down, I get disoriented lying in bed—I fall behind my eyes even though I can feel my body on the bed. Can’t convince the head that I am safe and sound.

This wouldn’t be so bad, but the vertiginous effects are always accompanied by panic attacks. My heart goes pound pound pound; my head goes eek! My fight or flight response goes into red alert (I’ve been trying to talk it into orange, so much my style, but no such luck.)

On the 16th of February, some magic substance is to be titrated into my right inner ear. If it works, dizzy (actual) no more though I claim metaphorical dizziness as my right.

Love, Djinn

My heritage. My People.

Up until yesterday (Feb. 2, 2009), the Mormon Church directly lied about its contributions to the "Yes on 8 campaign designed explicitly to strip existing rights from perfectly decent humans who happened to have genitalia of which you (that's you all my Mormon friends, family, and random readers) disapproved. Congrats.

Here is a report with a spokesman from the Mormon church, from Nov. 9th, after the election, saying that they spent no money at all on Prop. 8.

Money quote: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints put zero money into this," Eaton added." Turns not not so. The donations start in June and continue until the election. All previous to the date mentioned by the Mormon spokes-liar.

The Mormon church's point is what? Lying is just hunky dory unless actual financial or criminal penalties are attached? Good to know. I'll keep that in mind.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Contrary to popular belief, teenagers are not complete idiots.

This report (hint, read) by the New York Times shows that Teenagers don't engage in sexually risky behaviors any more than their predecessors did. Trust your kids, as long as you raise them to not be idiots.