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Archive for March, 2009

My Husband

Is a jork.

I just emailed him that something wasn’t going to be ready for pickup after work as we initially thought.

He called me.

“is it something I can get at another Walgeeen’s?”

“no, it has to be special-ordered and I already took the backup pills instead. “

“well, that’s okay then. It’s just that I know I promised you I’d stop for it on the way home and I wouldn’t want to welsh on that.”

A-hahaha

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I’m watching one of my infamous court shows. I just saw a black judge ask somebody why she welshed on an agreement.

It’s racist. Just like saying you feel ‘gypped’ or someone ‘jewed’ you down on the price.

There is a lot of anti-Welsh sentiment in Britain. Even if you weren’t aware of it before, now that you are please stop saying that someone who didn’t honor their word ‘Welshed’.

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  • Some kid on the Web has stolen my nick (Mycropht) and it’s ridiculous how much it bothers me.   I feel like at 38 I shouldn’t care about petty geek stuff.   Then again I also feel like at 38 I’ve used this nick for so long that it should be durned clear to everyone that the name is freakin’ taken.   I’ve had it for more than 25 years in computer circles.  I came up with it for a good reason–a better reason than this. Granted, the origin is the same–Sherlock’s older, fatter, smarter brother–but the derivation and addition of the ‘ph’ is a heck of a lot more thought-out than “it isn’t an ‘f’”.  Sad how I am bothered by this, isn’t it?
  • I don’t blog as much as I used to, and I don’t read as many blogs as I used to.   But I’m glad I read Aunt B. on a regular basis.   She  linked to an article about a dude and the Slow Food Movement which convinced me that even though I am unable to maintain a full-fledged garden at present I can still do some little pots of plants on my deck.   I’m so excited  at the prospect of planting something again that I can barely keep from bouncing up and down in my chair.
  • Speaking of the Slow Food Movement–how much do I hate it?!?   The general idea is okay, I suppose.  For those of you who don’t know what it is, the super short version is that it is the idea that it’s better for the environment and economy if you grow your own stuff instead of importing it from around the world.  Want a tomato?  Grow it yourself.   This saves the gas used to transport tomatoes from, say, Chile and also saves the Chilean workers the torment of picking tomatoes for nineteen cents a day.    Where I think SFM goes off the rails–besides the name, which begs a poop joke–is that it is yet another of these Lefty Plays Po’ And Brags On ‘Emselves deals that is so freakin’ insufferable.   I happen to think it is a good thing that we can enjoy tomatoes in November.  Free Trade Ends Wars.   Free Trade Builds Economies.  Tomatoes Are Yummy.   I mean, I do see the general upside of not burning the gas and not encouraging what we in this country would consider slave wages.   But why is it that the wealthy seem to think it’s so cute to play poor?   I’ve frankly spent a lot of years busting my hump to get to the place where I can afford November tomatoes.    Until I got ill I did do a lot of my own gardening and it is not an inexpensive hobby, frankly.    I get that you may feel guilty about having a little money.  But don’t go around to the rest of the world demanding that they pay a penance for your guilty conscience.  Just grow your food and shut up.   Phew.  I feel better.

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I have an iPod Touch, and it has ‘wallpaper’. All that seems to mean is that you have a neato picture when you first turn it on–unless you have the phone feature the Wallpaper function is barely necessary. But I’m a lover of pictures and so I decided to go online to find some that express me. That way if someone ever picks up and uses my iPod they will think “golly, what a clever/ironic/sardonic hip woman the owner of this iPod is!!!” Or something.

I first looked for Books, found a few shots and then moved to Reading. Found a few more. Then on to Nude Women Reading. And here is where I need to explain something. I am not a lesbian. If you held a gun to my head and demanded that I be a lesbian I don’t think it would work. (But let’s not test that hypothesis.) I like men and the parts they come with–whoa. I just read that and it really is a lot more risque than I meant it. I really did mean “arrive” and “are born with”, but I guess I’m a perv.

Anyway, I like artistic female nudes. I always have. I find them beautiful in a way that is hard to describe–there is something satisfying about the roundness of a well-done female nude study which speaks to me. It implies bounty and power and fulfillment. Mystery and genesis, wisdom and desire. Male nudes don’t say the same thing, and I’ve never found the male nude study to be as appealing. All of this to say that I like classical female nude art. I have one such painting in my guest bathroom, and my husband I were so used to it that we didn’t understand why some teenage boy visitors to our home were constantly having to pee.

Boy, I’m rambling. Let’s cut to the chase. So I’m looking at Nude Female Reading pictures and then I see….me.
sym_beautiful_nude_woman_odalisque_reading_a_book_by_francesco_hayez

Seriously. That is me. Painted 300 years ago. It looks so much like me that my husband did a double-take when he saw it.

What’s even more freaky is the title of the painting. “Beautiful nude woman odelisque.” In the 19th century Odelisques were romanticised geisha-types. Similar to what Bond girls are today. (Hmmmm. Actual Odelisks are slave girls. And today’s hot girls are “bond” girls. That much hasn’t changed, at least subconsciously.)

I confess that I’ve been a bit haunted by this whole thing for the last couple of days. I know I’ve read at least one actual novel that has something along these lines as its premise. I can’t help but wonder about my 300 year old doppleganger and her life. Not to step on the toes of the Girl With A Pearl Earring, but there has to be a bit of a story there. Was she the painter’s mistress? A local prostitute? The widow of the artist’s friend? What was it like to look like me and live 300 years ago?

I wonder if the men in her life loved her. I wonder if she had children. I wonder if she knew how to read the book she posed with. Most of all I just want to know her name.
Feel Good Friday

In honour of the events of this post I present my entry for Feel Good Friday:

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I just started watching ‘South Park’ in earnest about 8 months ago. Prior to that I’d seen a few episodes in the first season, most of which struck me as more juvenile than truly funny. (Cherokee Hair Tampons, Mr. Hanky, etc.) I got started up again by watching the episode which nailed the WGA on the futility and nonsense of the Writers’ Strike. During that strike it was very difficult to find people who held my opinion and I enjoyed seeing an actual TV show state the same thing I was saying. Plus, due to the strike there wasn’t anything else on.

I say all of this to make clear that while I really now love about 72% of the episodes of South Park I’ve seen, I’m not one of those who can claim to have been a die-hard fan for years. I have, though, now seen most of the episodes as well as the movie. And it seems to me that they are about saying what we’re all not supposed to say. At least half their humour is from ‘I can’t believe they are actually saying that!’ sort of reactions.

So when last week’s episode criticised President Obama and had a useless ‘superhero’ called ‘The Coon’ I immediately figured it was a satirical commentary on the Obama presidency. ‘The Coon’ talked about how bad things are and how he was there to save the city. The only real things he did were marketing himself and trumping up a non-issue into a ‘crime’ so he could theatrically stop it. Seems about the same as what I’ve seen so far from the Can’t Fail President.

Yes, the usage of the term ‘Coon’ is racist. Very racist. But if you’re surprised to see it on South Park, then you’ve not watched a lot of South Park. Either that or you don’t mind it when they make fun of Jews, Christians, Homosexuals, Mormons, Scientologists, the WGA, Canadians, Oprah, Potheads, Disney, The Jonas Brothers, Illegal Aliens, The Chinese, The Mexicans, The Handicapped…and about a dozen other things I’ve missed.

Frankly, I’m not thrilled that they used the word, because I agreed with what they seemed to be saying. The fact that they muddied their statement with provocative language bugs me only because it gives people an excuse to write off the truth of what they’re saying.

I know that people need hope to survive. I know that the economy is very bad in parts of the country. But I think a lot of people don’t realise that Obama is little more than a triumph of marketing at this point. There’s a word I can’t think of right now that basically means that someone is a useless figurehead in whom people misplace their hope. ‘Idol’ isn’t quite right.

I lived through eight years of the Bush Presidency. I voted for him twice and ended up pretty disappointed in a lot of the things he did. But what was harder for me than watching him spend money that didn’t exist on things that didn’t require government intervention was watching the relentless name-calling and vitriolic assaults on his actions and character. I swore that in the very likely event we would get a President ideologically opposite me that I wouldn’t become that. I wouldn’t constantly attack his character. That being said, he’s not doing much other than posturing, massaging vain hopes and robbing the future blind.

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Mamma Mia

My brother can attest that I loved ABBA pretty much since I was ten. I used to blare Gimme!Gimme!Gimme! and dance my butt off in high school. That’s how I spent a lot of Friday nights, because I still claim that a night of Loud ABBA is a better cure for Life than just about anything else.

I hadn’t watched the movie because I knew I had to see it without my ABBA hating husband.

I watched it today and it is definitely the film equivalent of cotton candy, pop rocks and fresh squeezed lemonade.

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Hack Alert

Yes, it’s Monday. Yes, I’m having a not fantastic day.

But there is something very freeing about cutting your own hair.

I’ve been putting off getting a haircut for ages now, but I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I was starting to feel weighed down, and it was getting to the too-long stage where you lie on it in your sleep and can’t get comfortable.

The last straw was seeing someone with my exact hairstyle on ‘The Wire’ yesterday. Once I realised I had Baltimore Dope Fiend Hair I figured I’d better do something about it. So out came the scissors and off went about four inches of hair.

I still haven’t made my peace with how much of my hair I’ve lost since I started the Better Living Through Chemistry program. Now that it’s shorter, the New Skinny Hair is even more obvious. I’m just hoping the haircut works and that I haven’t traded Dope Fiend Hair for Mental Patient Hair.

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I’d like to take this moment to apologize to my many atheist friend and to offer them comfort. I’d also like to apologize to and console my many cynical friends and those skeptical of mysticism.

BSG’s finale sucked for you guys.
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
Okay, it kinda sucked for me, too. But at least I have already invested in a paradigm that accepts the unknown. I’ve already gotten accustomed to the whole ‘it’s God’s plan’ non-answer.

To drag us through the galaxies and raise about a thousand questions, only to non-answer at least a third of them with spectral mumbo jumbo is bad writing.

Yes, I cried through most of the last 40 minutes. But that thing at the very end with the two Slut Angels and the Dawn Of Earth Robots ended the show on the note of everything that has been wrong with it. The cold didactism, the We’ve Got Us A Peabody self-importance that sacrifices story and character for message.

Overall I’d call the last two hours ‘alright’ and just move on.

But boy do I feel for Chris Wage, Sarcastro and all the other nonGoddies watching.

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Everything I’ve read and heard about this huge economic downturn attributes the mess in large part to people doing stupid things with credit. I’ve read more than a few stories about waitresses, dental hygenists and administrative assistants* getting lured into house flipping, only to find themselves staring at million dollar losses and complete ruination. All from credit–from believing things that are impossible, like that the market will never turn.

And now the President Who Can Do No Wrong seems to think that we can fix these problems. By putting the nation into debt. By doing…stupid things with credit.

The Congressional Budget Office figures, obtained by The Associated Press Friday, predict Obama’s budget will produce $9.3 trillion worth of red ink over 2010-2019. That’s $2.3 trillion worse than the White House predicted in its budget.

The latest figures, even worse than expected by top Democrats, throw a major monkey wrench into efforts to enact Obama’s budget, which promises universal health care for all and higher spending for domestic programs like education and research into renewable energy.

As warm and fuzzy as those ideas make most people feel (I personally could have a very expensive heart attack whenever someone mentions government-sponsored universal health care), it is clear that we can’t pay for it. The government is less able to pay for your health insurance than you are. That’s what those numbers mean.

So why, when we know that this mess was born out of credit abuses, are we trying to fix it by abusing credit?

What am I missing?

——
* I’ve been remiss in writing up a post on this because I haven’t completed all the research I want to throw at it. But in all of the numbers I’m getting while researching it seems to me that something missing from the equation of the downturn is how anti-woman the whole thing was. By the time the market was starting to turn, investors already spread thin by risk were bringing on non-traditional risk-sharing partners. That means that single mothers with passable incomes and good credit were lured by the thousands into the increasingly dangerous flipping schemes right at the end game. Some of those worst hit are those who could least afford it. There’s a story there begging to be told in the right way.

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I’ve not got as much going on in the gardening department as this lady over here. But I will say that I was just out in my backyard and noticed something….

Flowerbuds on the Wisteria.

My friends, that is the first whisper of spring, and it is right there all soft and green and purple-grey.

I’m so excited!

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