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Archive for November, 2008

I get an email every morning from Sam Davidson at Change Is Cool. I often think of unsubscribing, but there are many times where his email, which usually hits my inbox at around 5:15am, is the thing that lets me know I’ve missed another night of sleep. In other words, it’s become a part of my routine.

The times I do think of unsubscribing are mornings like this one. It’s already Monday, which is bad enough. Then I’ve got a sick husband and other trivial gripes and groans. Nothing earth-shatteringly blogworthy but all of it very Mondayish and unappealing. So I don’t like it when my email tries to castrate the eight inches of joy I get in my life.

The purpose of CiC is to let you know the little ways in which you can ‘make a difference’ in the world. Most of the tips are harmless–you know, they’re like those little public service announcements on the television where people tell you to use reusable shopping bags and CF lightbulbs. Ain’t no big thing.

But this morning I am told that Thanksgiving burns a gajillion barrels of oil what with the trucking turkeys from farm to forehead bullet to feast. I am further advised that the eating of meat is another scourge upon mother earth and will be the death of not only us but our kids and our kids’ kids as well. I’m supposed to have a Vegan Thanksgiving–something that sounds as unlikely and ridiculous as a Virgin Birth. In fact, I pretty much view Vegan Thanksgiving the same way I view the Virgin Birth. Someone has done it once and thus the exception already exists to prove the rule. So I’m sticking with the old-fashioned ways of doing things. I like my sex and my thanksgiving both meaty and hot.

Besides, I have no idea how the vegetables in the Vegan Thanksgiving make it to the table without burning the same gajillion gallons of oil in transport (or some large fraction thereof.)

Well, I guess I strayed far from my thesis statement as advanced in my title–which is this.

I happen to think that it is cool to gather with loved ones, prepare a meal in honour of both them and the God who makes it all happen and just bask in the glow of love. It may not save the earth but it does remind you of why it needs saving in the first place. For the continuation of love.

As always the libertarian in me says that you all can feel free to do whatever. I’m making a 13.5lb turkey, portabella stuffing, sweet potatoes in a buttercream caramel glaze, real mashed potatoes glistening with butter and perhaps even one of those green bean cassaroles with the crunchy onion dealies. Oh, and dinner rolls.

Cool.

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At first glance it may not seem so. I’m not stunningly beautiful–although I’ve been known to turn a head or two in admiration. My breasts are large, even though they’re fighting a war with gravity. My hair is liberally gray and I refuse to colour it (in an odd nod to my Mennonite beliefs coupled with a lack of love for that icky brown hair dye stains that always show up even when you think you’re careful.)

But I’m of an age where I no longer have student loans, have some disposable income–knock wood–and I’m pretty connected. People listen to what I have to say. Sure it’s only about 300-500 a day, but I’ve got a blog people read and friends call me and email me.

SO WHY, FOR THE LOVE OF MONKEYS, DO YOU KEEP CANCELLING THE SHOWS I WATCH ON TV, YOU FRAKKING GOATBRAINED GO-ALONG-TO-GET-ALONG CAN’T SEE THE EMPEROR’S SCHLONG PIECES OF SCAT?!?!?!

No, it’s not like I’m pissed off about you cancelling Pushing Daisies or anything. It’s not like I’m a pathetic nerd who contents herself with rewatching Arrested Development, The Wire and From Earth To The Moon DVDs.

Oh, wait. That was my point. This is how I and my friends and others like me consume our entertainment now. Sure, we occasionally tune into something that’s good on TV. We also tune into things that aren’t bad. When our days have been long and we need to have some comfort noise we’ll plop down on the couch and watch your basic colourful-cops-catch-clever-criminals piece of lightwaves. We’ll bedoop all the commercials, too. So even if we are getting a glimpse of the Geico gekko or the Wal-Mart sphincter* it glances off without making an impact.

But give us something GOOD–something we want to think about and laugh with and watch and rewatch–and we will pay for it. We will even pay twice and thrice, as with the cases of some wonderful things like Arrested Development (Got it on DVD AND the iPod) and The Wire(Rented them all twice from Netflix and will buy them ASAP). I’ve asked for Season 1 of Pushing Daisies for Christmas and when I get it I’ll watch it again and again and again. In fact, I think I like the recent episodes of PD more than anything I’ve seen at the movies in the last six months. That includes the poor raped Indiana Jones. What does that mean to you? That means that I’d pay to see episodes of Pushing Daisies. I’d pay to see them in the same way I’d pay to rent a movie.

So maybe now is time to rethink your business model. You will never again have twenty million people tuned into an average program. There are too many other things for us to do, up to and including watching the archived versions of the shows you skid marks*** have cancelled. So get busy and work up some sort of distribution model that keeps the good shows coming. If I have to keep watching nothing but cops and psychics and fake cops and fake psychics taking an hour to solve a crime I solve in the first 8 minutes I may just forsake you altogether**

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* I personally don’t see it. Then again I’ve not spent much time with my eyeballs in that particular area anyway.

**Hush, Jason. I know you threw out your TV, but I call shenanigans on you because as long as you’re still watching TV shows via the web or the Netflix you haven’t forsaken the realm of TV as far as I’m concerned. It’s like saying you don’t do heroin if you only snort it instead of shooting it up. The content is the key, not the mode of delivery.

*** I know, I know. But I’m really really really upset here. And my husband has been sick all weekend so I’m not able to be nice right now.

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Today’s entrant in my own personal contest of Younique Names is the defendant on Judge David Young. Her name is Toprecious.

I’ve long been convinced that there is a set of dice floating around out there. Instead of dots or numbers, the faces of these dice are phonemes. You simply roll them to come up with a name for your child like (almost) no other.

I’m sure Toprecious’ mother didn’t need the dice, however, seeing as her name is basically just a wooogirl expression chanted over many babies, puppies, kittens and pairs of expensive shoes. (“that is just too precious!”). The greater irony is that her name is indeed too precious by far. It definitely beats out LaTrina in the overall standings.

Sadly, the word nerd in me is mostly upset by the fact that her name is misspelled. Shouldn’t it be Tooprecious? Ah well.

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Last night the rabbits invaded my dreams, and I have no idea why.

At one point in my dream world I looked down at the book in my hands and saw it was Bunnicula. Then I looked over at the bookshelves in the library where I was hanging out. All the books on the shelves were about rabbits. Every one except for one, which was a coffee table art book type thing. It featured the photographs of a native Nashvillian man who took his infant son to London and shot photos of him in front of various British landmarks–the way people do with those ceramic lawn gnomes.

Later on I was in my childhood bedroom pawing through dresser and desk drawers in search of something. Everything I saw had bunnies on it. There were bookmarks with rabbits saying quippy things about reading, wrapping papers with ditsy prints of fluffy white bunnies, pajama tops with Peter Cottontail.

Even later on I was at a junk dealers looking at old innertubes to go tubing with and saw a stuffed rabbit mounted on the windshield of an old car.

I’m not pregnant–far from it–and have absolutely no idea why about a million bunnies invaded my sleep. I’m a little paranoid now.

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I got an email today from someone nicely checking in on me. In that email she brought up a point that rubbed me the wrong way because it touches so pointedly on the sore spot I’ve been trying to avoid.

I have always been suspicious of the folks who are anti-church. Not the atheists and the agnostics, but the people who are against big church buildings as houses for worship. It seems to me that just as God made folks with skills for doctoring (so we shouldn’t avoid doctors), God made folks with skills in architecture, stained glass, flower arranging and all the other things that are associated with Church In A Box. Why should we as worshippers deny those people an avenue in which to honour God with their talents? You can’t read Pillars of the Earth and not appreciate church buildings as a sort of offering to God.

More and more lately, though, I’ve come to question how I feel about Church In A Box. Last Friday everything sort of came crashing in together and I’ve been stuck mulling for several days now. I read on another blog about the high infant mortality rate in Tennessee. Now this is something I’ve known about for awhile, and done research on. I know there are many causes for it, but I don’t see what Christ’s church is doing to effect a solution. That same afternoon I read through some emails and saw a blurb about a bit of spending that part of Christ’s church is doing which doesn’t really seem to benefit anyone except the person receiving the money. Pardon if I don’t go into details–the specifics are somewhat confidential. But it’s yet another way in which we as Christians spend money without helping sick women and their dying babies.

I don’t believe the churches you see on the streets in your towns are there for those who are not believers. I strongly believe that the first purpose of those churches is to minister to the members of the family of believers. These believers, strengthened and grown in Grace, are to go ye into all the world preaching the gospel. By “preaching the gospel” i take that to mean the act of showing the world the face of Christ. Feeding the hungry. Clothing the naked. Doing unto the least of these. Church buildings and congregations are a necessary part of the food chain. Just as you have a home where you rest in between your work days, Christians have a church home for solace in between the times of their mission on earth.

It seems to me more and more, though, that we’re too busy turning these church homes into palaces and doing nothing more with our tithe dollars than recycling them through the wealth of the church. I somehow don’t think that’s the point of it all. Just look at the dying babies of Tennessee.

So yes, I think I’m becoming one of those people. One of those who questions the way God’s money–because that’s what tithes and offerings are–is spent. Is Christ more glorified by a new sound system or by the rescuing of one lost sheep?

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It used to bug me a little bit because you didn’t see it very often (unlike people saying “PIN number” and “ATM Machine”). But now that there’s a whole store dedicated to it I have broken and vented outloud to my husband.

We were on our way to the Dr. in Franklin this morning. It’s a long drive and I needed to say something. So I started talking about my first-ever visit to Whole Foods, why I only stayed in there for 30 seconds.

I know that word usage has changed and I’m now outmoded and outpaced. But just as much as I refuse to call Illegal Aliens “Illegals” I cannot cannot cannot stand

Organic Food

ALL FOOD IS ORGANIC. IF IT WEREN’T ORGANIC WE COULDN’T DIGEST IT. IT WOULDN’T BE FOOD. IT WOULD BE ROCKS.

Yes, I know the lazy among us are sticking to using “organic” as shorthand for “food grown as they grew it in Little House On the Prairie days before we invented fertilizers and insecticides that made nutritious food available to the masses.”

I know they are using “organic” as a shield for their elitism. They can afford to pay nine dollars for a tomato so that tomato must be better for them, thus sheilding them from the woes and mortality affecting all of us cheap asses who buy the cheap “non-organic” tomato.

But honestly. Organic Chemistry was one of my favourite classes of all time. I stand by what I say. If you can eat it, it’s organic.

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Rheumatologist* to me: Do you use email?

*btw, if you call information looking for Vanderbilt Rheumatology you have to realise that they are spelling it “roomatology” and that is why they can’t find your doctor.

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Feel Good Friday

I know this is not supposedly about feeling good. But as the man says “choke those bad days down to nothing”.

I always listen to this song when I’m having a week of feeling misunderstood, sick or disenchanted with life. (This last week was all three, so I spared you out there in my blogience.)

I’ve now listened to this song 8 times in a row and I DO feel good.

So I’m passing it along to you.

I never link to other fgf’ers because for the longest time I didn’t know I was supposed to. But I think you’ll find other videos at Newscoma, Ginger and Slarti

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In the comments at SaysUncle

But I am going on record:
I will be up early on January 21st and if the Magic Rainbows are late delivering my gold-farting Unicorn there will be consequences.
Promises have been made.

I laughed all the way from upstairs to my desk. Heck. I’m still laughing.

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Now that the election is over, I’m back to talking about politics. I wasn’t going to have a mud-wrestling fight on behalf of a bunch of candidates I couldn’t even stand to mention. So I waited until the dust settled so I could see which of the many wrong-headed dudes I’d be arguing with in my mind for the next decade. Congratulations, Obama! You’re my new president. And yes, you are MY president. Like it or not, you won and we’re stuck with each other like a bad evening at TGIFriday’s on Love Connection.

So I’m re-reading your various plans for putting America “back together” and most of them sound like what you would argue with if you were conservative and bold. I myself am not going to argue against tax breaks for the poor because then I’ll sound like some cartoonish pig. As I merrily skimmed through most of what I already knew (“working Americans” is code for “we’re not going to tell you whether or not you’re in the planned bracket for the taxcut until after we get your vote”) I came across this and about pooped myself.

Simplify Tax Filings for Middle Class Americans: Obama and Biden will dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes. Obama and Biden will ensure that the IRS uses the information it already gets from banks and employers to give taxpayers the option of pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return. Experts estimate that the Obama-Biden proposal will save Americans up to 200 million total hours of work and aggravation and up to $2 billion in tax preparer fees.

Cute, isn’t it? How they make the consolidation of private information a plus. Look at how simple it is for us to look your information up for you!

Go right ahead and get accustomed to it, so when we take the next steps and pre-fill in all your healthcare information from a national database you won’t mind. You won’t even question why there is a central database storing all of the information about your doctor visits, medical treatments and prescriptions.

If knowledge is power and libraries are the repositories of knowledge, then databases are for the easy access and retrieval of knowledge. Any time your information enters a database you are granting that database holder knowledge of you and power over you. I say that as a person who has spent years building databases. I know exactly what they’re for and what they can do. Yes, they can make your taxes easier. But they can make the rest of your life–and your children’s lives–hell.

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