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Archive for January, 2006





I’ve been tagged. Cool. I love being tagged. I consider a tag to be a very self-absorbed writing exercise. I know everyone is interested in my favourite citrus fruits and which dog I would be if I were canine.

When Cheryl tagged me, I thought this would be easy. It’s not the more challenging questions of world hunger and world peace. It’s simply what 8 ideal qualities my mate would have. Then I got to thinking. I already have a mate. If I answer wrongly I could make my mate feel ashamed. “What?!?” he would say. “I only embody 6 of the 8 qualities? How dare you settle for me!” Then I darkly envision a scenario where he decides that he has no business settling for a woman who settled for him, so he packs his bags and peddles off into the night.

How fortunate that he embodies all of the 8 qualities, and then some. Also fortunate is the fact that he doesn’t mind (too much) the constant up-bringing of my prototypes. The men who formed my childish ideas of what I wanted from a mate. The men who are pictured along the side of this post like the fine eyecandy they are. The men that make all my friends from high school wonder about my propensity for having the hots for dead guys. Come to think of it, my current friends also wonder the same thing. So. On to the tag.

Target Partner: Male. This one was easy.

8 qualities of my perfect partner (not necessarily in order)

1. Tall and interesting looking.

All of the men on the list are tall. The shortest is Robert Shaw at 6′. The tallest is Abraham Lincoln at 6′ 4″. Have no idea about metric measurements…sorry. I like craggy, rawboned faces more than blandly handsome ones. Rutger Hauer was really not my type when he was younger, facially. This has been remedied by both the aging process and the knowledge that he’s batcrap crazy. A person looks infinitely more intriguing when he’s batcrap crazy.

Tim is 6′ 2″ and he’s definitely interesting-looking, with piercing blue eyes, strong facial bones and a nice large head. (He doesn’t allow his picture to be taken, so if he ends up seeming to you readers as a jackolantern on a stick he has no one but himself to blame.)

2. Convictions

I find it very attractive when a person believes firmly in something. They can be diametrically opposed to my stance, but if they are firm and resolved then I admire that. Obviously Lincoln fits this definition to a T. About the only thing Shaw seemed resolved in was his desire to drink himself to death. But he did accomplish that desire, so I suppose I must award him full marks. Rex Harrison was very convicted about loving women. He apparently did that well.

Tim is very convicted in both his faith and politics. In the few areas where we disagree (predestination, eternal security–kinda), he has very good and convincing arguments.

3. Gentleness

Honestly is there anything more attractive than a big, strong man who looks like he can fell a tree but then will sooth an injured pup? I don’t think so. Again, Lincoln gets points for this, although at times I wonder if my love is for the actual 16th president or for his archetype as portrayed by Raymond Massey in Abe Lincoln In Illinois.

Tim is very gentle. Any man who will soothe his ailing wife at 3:30 in the morning is gentle in my book.

4. Courage

Obviously if you are a large man who also has strong convictions it pays to have courage. People will expect you to back yourself up, and situations will be desperate at times. Of course Lincoln fits this again. You’ll find that most of what I love can be traced back to Lincoln. Which may be quite sad, when you think about it. Of course, Hauer had courage too, to a point. He served in the Dutch Navy. Then he deserted. So, plus 10/minus 10. Still, he’s a fine looking man. So whatever.
I assume Shaw got in bar fights. He was an Irish drunk. But then again if you’re drunk does the fight count as courageous? I suppose not. Frankly, Rex Harrison has always struck me as a Discretion-better-part-of-valour guy.

Tim is courageous, if only for coming home to me and our wily beasts at the end of every workday.

5. Prosperity

There are different kinds of prosperity. The obvious kind is money, and lots of it. Which little girl doesn’t want to live in a nice house, have pretty things and be able to buy the occasional People magazine? When you’re creating your “ideal husband” list in your head–which I think you must do if you go to slumber parties–this one always comes up. Women love security and are prone to worry. We think a husband with money will provide plenty of the former and tamp down the latter. By the time we’re older, hopefully we realise there are other kinds of prosperity. The knowledge that “enough is as good as feast” and the ability to find contentment with what we do have is actually a much stronger prosperity. Contentment comes from within and isn’t so easily lost as material goods.

It struck me that none of the men on the list were wealthy for long periods of time. Robert Shaw had terrible tax troubles, and spent much of the last decade of his life alternately fleeing and working for the revenuers who were after him. Lincoln was perpetually broke–partially due to the manic spending of his batcrap crazy wife. I understand Hauer is also frequently skint, hence his appearance in strange Bollywood films.

Luckily with Tim I have that lasting prosperity of contentment. When we do have money it’s great. When we don’t, we still have each other. Kinda like that Neil Diamond song.

(Speaking of Neil, he was on the list when I was younger. But he just hasn’t aged well. And he has the disadvantage of still being alive. )

6. Sense of Humour

Honestly, if you can’t make me laugh–what good are you!? This is really the lynchpin of what I find attractive for a long-term relationship. I love to laugh, and I love to crack jokes. If you can’t make me laugh and don’t get my jokes then we really won’t have anything to talk about. Good thing I found Tim. We perpetually crack each other up. Even when we’re tired and don’t mean to.

We were watching Threshold before CBS cancelled it. The character played by Data (I know the guy has a real name but I can’t honestly be bothered to learn it. Besides, I know I’m not the only person in the world who says “Look! It’s Data!” whenever he comes on the screen. He’s just gonna have to suck it up.) was tired of his covert alien-hunting life. As apparently were the executives at CBS. Anyway Data says “I miss NASA”. Tim apparently didn’t hear him and asked me to clarify.

What I said was really funny. Trust me on this one. We’ve been quoting it back to each other for weeks.

7. Likes to Drive

This sounds stupid. It has nothing to do with someone’s Inner Being and all that, but it’s important. For two reasons. Firstly, I am a crap driver. Really. I’m easily distracted, legally blind and prone to falling asleep behind the wheel. The engine noises are soothing and relax me. So I have to be married to someone who can even out the equation. More than that, I love long car trips where we can discuss the nature of the universe and our place in it.

Thank goodness Tim (at least appears to) like to drive. We take the long way ’round a lot. We talk about our days, weeks, beliefs and fears. And get ice cream cones. Our first kiss was in the car. Actually, when I think about it, it was in front of

8. Likes Music

the dashboard light. Just like the song. This is another apparently lame one that has more significance than you would think. I was a weird kid whose life was saved by three things (apart from the smart doctors in the hospital who kept bringing me back to life, literally…). Books, music and Star Wars. Well, books can be enjoyed in solitude, so your mate’s desire to read isn’t really that critical. Star Wars sucks now, so asking any man to be into it during this decade is really setting the bar way too low. Of course, they have to like the original trilogy. I’m sure if Lincoln were around he’d have been a big fan. Rex would have liked Leia’s sexy costumes, and really I think that the fact that Robert Shaw was in Jaws buys him enough sexiness for a lifetime. The whole Indianapolis Monologue is the most powerful aphrodisiac in my life. So Bob doesn’t need to care one iota about Star Wars. He did write books though.

But music. Music saved my life by creating a world where I could be me away from the people who threatened and confused me. It allowed me to dance in my own private space and create oases of strength. If you don’t like music you don’t understand my need to slip under occasionally and be refueled by its power. I can’t create music. Ursula Jarosz (my forlorn piano teacher) will back me up on that. But I do fully enjoy it, and am sustained by it to a remarkable degree.

Luckily I met a fellow Deadhead who fully appreciates “Lady With A Fan” and will crank Bat Out Of Hell as loudly as possible.

You know, now that I check back at Cheryl’s, I think I was just supposed to write a list. Ooops. If you’ve made it this far, though, you deserve some extra points.

Lime German Shepherd.

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Branding is popular these days. Once upon a time the only essential use for a brand was for cattlemen and loggers–to signify the rancher to whom the cattle belonged, or the lumberjack who felled the tree. Then came radio, with its soap operas. People began to identify their brand of soap in tandem with their favourite radio play and the rest was history.

We live in a culture whose parameters are identified by brands. Coke or Pepsi, Ford or Chevrolet. There are the brands at war, then there are the brands that give cache. Are you super cool if you have a bottle of red from the Coppola Vineyards? Do you have Jordache jeans? Okay, these are bad examples. I’ve never been supercool outside the geek world. Where I WAS supercool because of my Commodore 64, my Intellivision and as always, my various flavours of Macintosh.

Brands have become the shorthand by which we try to sniff the pheremones of our fellows and assess their true measure. Isn’t it easier to say “conservative Christian” or “bleeding-heart liberal athiest” than to understand what drives a person? To understand that we are all driven by the same wants, needs and fears? Isn’t it easier to stake a claim on our side of the street, to say “for me or against me” than to understand that we all cry when we are sad, feel lonely and miss our mothers from time to time?

I assume we all do it. I could be wrong. But I do hope that somewhere, at some point we all realise that our differences make us special, but our sameness makes us human.

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I yell at the TV a lot. I have a blog so I can yell at the TV and five people in various parts of the country can read about it later.

I know that technically the dude was a drug runner until five minutes ago, but honestly….

JESUS WAS BORN SINLESS. THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT OF JESUS.

You don’t have to believe that if you don’t want to. But if you are a priest getting ready to baptise a woman and her child, you best not start off the whole exercise with a complete false and blasphemous interpretation of the Lord’s Baptism and the Acknowledgement of the Spirit. And you best not be elevating St. John (the Baptist) to a status above that of Christ. Maybe in between organising Nigerian drug cartels and internet scams Eko simply misread John’s Appelation. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” He was clearly talking about Jesus, not about himself. The idea that John’s baptism cleansed Jesus’ sins is false.

Of course, I know there are readers of this blog who think I’m veering into FSM territory. Good for you. Prove that you’re smarter than I am by deriding my faith. That’s perfectly fine. But the fact of the matter is, this is one more way that what Glen was trying to say was accurate. There are folks in the media who don’t care how religion is portrayed. To them it’s all the same–one brand of hokum is the same as the next. They’ve taken their disregard as an excuse for complete inaccuracy. Even if you choose not to believe in the Grace of the Sacrifice of Christ, surely you can recognise that the writers of a program should know enough about their characters to realise that anyone who has studied the basic catechism of the Church, as Eko appears to have done under the monsignor, understands that Jesus was sinless.

If I were writing an orthodox Jewish character in an episodic program and had that person eating shrimp tacos and getting tattoos I’d be sloppy and ignorant. Sure, I believe it’s okay to eat shellfish and get tattoos. But an orthodox Jew does not, and therefore my character lacks versimilitude. Same thing here.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, but I’m gobsmacked at how shoddily a priest is portrayed on one of the most popular shows in the country.

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Jason has written a very bare and honest piece about his career. He’s one of the few people I know who is able to make money doing what he loves. I’ve given much thought to his piece, and was going to comment over there. Instead, I think I’ll try to place my half-shaped thoughts here, because it fits with the theme of my blog. (Wait a minute? This blog has a theme? Yes, yes it does.)

I love stories. I love to read them, to tell them, to hear them from other people. Someday I hope to make money writing stories, but that’s a dream realised by a rare few. I don’t kid myself that I will make the top of that mountain, but the striving is fun so I don’t always mind. I’ve always had a “real job” in the process because I also love eating, driving, having teeth. I’ve heard that same golden career nugget from Dave Ramsey, from my 7th grade guidance counselor and from freelance writers’ articles in the Reader’s Digest. Yes, it seems obvious. If you can do what you love you will have a good career.

I thought about that one day three years ago as I stood over a copier with a stack of artist contracts. Obviously “what I love” has never included negotiating some painter down to a X% royalty on their picture of a Christmas Tree. Yet that’s what I did for a long time. I’ve also been a travel agent, a bookkeeper, a Marketing Specialist (you may know it better as “secretary in the Marketing Department.”) No, it’s not following my bliss or carpeing the diem. But it’s like the lives of most people I know. What we love is our families, our homes, our dinners with friends. So we learn to love what we do because it enables us, at the end of the day, to be who we are. Wives, Husbands, parents, members of a community.

A few years ago–not long after the copier incident–I started to realise that in a bizarre way I WAS doing what I loved. Sitting in the lunchroom day after day, hearing the very personal stories of the lives of my coworkers and their children was very much doing what I loved. No, I wasn’t sitting at my desk banging away the Great Katherinian Novel. But I was learning how other people experience the marriage of their daughter, the death of their mother from Alzheimer’s. The falling in love with a coworker, adopting a baby from Romania. I consider it a real blessing that I was able to find what I love within what I do. I think everyone can do that. And even if they can’t, they can take pride in providing a life for themselves and the people they love.

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I stole it from Casey, but I put it up at Tangled Up In Blue, cause that lil ol’ blog needs a kick in the pants.

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MouseFruit

I honestly don’t know what to think about it. I love Disney. I love Pixar. I think Steve Jobs is cool. Every geek in cyberspace has an opinion about the deal. Casey told me to blog about it (I think he hates it when I blog about politics, so he sources non-threatening articles for me). Jason posts about it with his usual cut-to-the-chase take.

I am admittedly a full-out Disney geek. Patrick and Lydia have taken to referring to Orlando as “Mecca” when talking to Tim & me. They are not wrong. Whenever Extreme Makeover:HE sends a family to WDW, I have to fanatically pause the TiVo to get glimpses of the park in the background. People talk about going to Disney World and I’m half jealous, half excited. I about hunted Roger Abramson down for more anecdotes about his vacation. But since he’s retiring I’ll let it go.

And of course, how I feel about Apple is no secret.

For me, though, the thought of analysing this deal is similar to picturing my parents in the act of conceiving one of my siblings. You love them, you know there are necessary precursors to their arrival, but like sausages and laws the actual making is kinda unseemly.

I hope this particular mating ritual is a success. Disney badly needs the creative infusion that Pixar will provide and I imagine Jobs will be an ideal majority shareholder. He understands the primacy of a cult brand, and the need to maintain the brand’s vibrancy and cache.

By the middle of last year I was betting that would acquire TiVo by the 3rd quarter of this fiscal year. The release of the video iPod clinched it in my mind, because I could clearly envision the holistic product lines resulting. It would be a great expansion for the video iPod and it just might save the TiVo brand. I can see, though, with Jobs as a majority shareholder in Disney, that there may be a potential conflict of interest. Entertainment rights creators have an uneasy truce with TiVo, because it breaks down their distribution model. I dream that both mergers happen and that the end result leaves all three brands stronger yet still distinct.

I still don’t think I want to see Cars. But whatever.

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He can’t sing, but he records albums. He’s kinda butt-ugly, but he got all the beautiful women in space. He’s the cockroach of actors…nothing kills this guy’s career.

But, and most importantly, he sold his kidney stone on eBay for $25,000 dollars. (I heard this first through Big Orange Michael).

Saturday night at 10:00 I went to bed. Sunday morning at 3:30 I woke up with that ‘my body is eating itself’ feeling I’ve come to know so well. Tim heard the familiar cry of “I need HEEELLLLP” and rushed to my side with the drugs and sympathy. I paced, I cried, I begged the Lord for deliverance. He rubbed my calves, gave me Sprite and answered my unanswerable questions. Tim. Not the Lord. Although if the Lord were in my house in a corporeal state, I’m sure He would have done likewise.

I haven’t passed it yet, but the worst of the renal colic has subsided. I’m left with sore innards, nausea and the grinding of another stone the size of this (o) through my guts. If I could sell the blessed thing on eBay that’d be one thing. I’d prize this experience as a journey toward a greater reward.

But. I’m. Not. Willam…..Shatner.

P.S. If I made NiT an incoherent mess yesterday I’m really sorry. I tried my best to follow through on that committment.

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This is one of those times that I’ve been inspired to write a post based on something I read at someone else’s blog. This is one of the times where what I have to say is too long for a comment section.

Aunt B. says

I’ve come to believe that they really, really don’t get how many of us who are pro-choice view the right to an abortion as the canary in the coal mine of women’s rights in general.

There are many issues falling under the umbrella of Women’s Rights. Equal pay, fair hiring practices, educational accessibility, military service, childcare tax credits–the list is endless. Yet every single issue, apart from abortion on that list is an issue of gain. They are positive steps in the direction of creating and maintaining a whole society. I believe in society as a Gentlemen’s Agreement, the basic premise of which is to better the living conditions for all of its members.

As B. affirms, there are a large swath of pro-choice feminists who view abortion as the bellwether, and that’s a shame. It’s also the main reason I’m no longer a card-carrying member of NOW. I believe that women deserve equal rights. I don’t think a vagina should be a barrier to opportunity. But for so long the Official Feminist Movement has decreed abortion to be it’s prime mover. Why? What does the right to legal abortion gain for women that the right to educational accessibility and childcare tax credits don’t?

The natural response is “say over what I do with my body.” Yet the same feminist organizations fail to be a forceful lobby for legalised prostitution, legalised drug use and other self-directive issues. The one “say over my body” issue that drives feminism is the one that includes “say over the life and death of another human being.” It’s very hard to take seriously the idea of women as a subjected class when the single idea they are most passionate about is the right to subject another class of human being. The right to deny rights to gestational human beings.

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Jesus Mentioned

No. I’m not blogging about Kanye West again. I’m just making the subject line clear so those of you less enthralled with the topic can skip ahead to the next page.

Things have been difficult for awhile now, with Tim’s company changing hands, my illness and the like. We have a great many blessings, but we’ve had an awful lot of trials over the last five or six weeks. Money has been tight, and our patience has grown really thin.

I know many people would attribute the recent good events to chance or fate. But the God I love deserves all the credit, and I’ll gladly praise Him. On Wednesday the company’s sale was official. On Thursday we got an unexpected refund from an old airline ticket. Today I got paid by a company for whom I understood the work to be wholly voluntary.

Life is like this for everyone, and God shows His love to all of us equally. I liken these types of things to the little cheery notes mothers sometimes put in your school lunch. You’re already well-provided for, but the little bit of extra Grace is the most tangible flavour of love.

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yes.

it’s true.

my birthday present to sarcastro is that i will be blogging at nit.

so, if like me…and unlike sarcastro…you have nothing else to do this weekend, let’s hang. and please write something that i can link to.

thank you.

–this post brought to you by e.e. cummings and the lazy typist.

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