Archive for February, 2006

As promised, I have decided to use today to start a Bible Meme. Although since as the Good Book itself says, there is nothing new under the sun, I imagine there is already one floating around out there somewhere. Oh well. This is mine. For the record, I’m referencing the Christian Protestant (sans Apocrypha) Bible, but feel free to do otherwise.

1. Who is your favourite Biblical personage, other than Jesus?

For me that would have to be Peter. I appreciate the fact that he’s headstrong, stubborn, loyal, faithful and full of self-doubt–all at the same time. Let’s just say I relate to him.

2. What is your favourite book of the Old Testament?

Probably Exodus. There’s so much humanity in that book. I also constantly learn from the way Moses and the Israelites react to the provisions of God.

3. What is your least favourite book of the Old Testament?

That’d have to be 2 Kings. As a child I was struck by the gruesomeness of the cannabilism. As an adult I get frustrated by the litany of kings and their failures.

4. What is your favourite non- gospel book of the New Testament?

This is hard for me, because each of the books has real significance to me. I’d have to say that it’s probably a tie between Hebrews and 1 Peter. Both strongly emphasise faith and grace in the real world.

5. What is your life verse?

1 Peter 1:6-8

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have suffered grief in all kinds of trials.

These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.

6. Tag 5 people who might want to play

John C.; Malia; Big Orange Michael; TV On The Fritz; Lacy

Of course anyone else who wants to join in, feel free!

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Paging Kat

This is my lucky Monday. I’ve been tagged by Sarcastro. (Frankly, it surprises me, because he doesn’t usually go in for the Meme thing.) Is there anything better than being tagged when you want to blog but don’t have anything really cheery that you want to write about? Okay, so there are probably a thousand things that are better, but why quibble?

The best part of this one is that I’ve already answered the first question in detail.

So…on to the juiciest, happiest meme I’ve had in a long time.

1. Name 5 of your favourite books

Check it out here..

2. What was the last book you bought?

The Exile by Allan Folsom.
It’s the best “light read” I’ve had in a long time. It’s suspensful and fast-paced, but still dense and intelligent. It’s also on my kitchen counter, waiting patiently to be read by Tim.

3. What was the last book you read?
Just finished re-reading The Winds Of War. I need to buy a new copy of this book, hopefully one printed on better paper. The edition I have now is one of those that leaves black smudge-marks on your thumbs when you hold it open. I feel like I’ve been arrested.

4. Name 5 books that have particular meaning for you.

I’m not gonna say “The Bible” because that’s just a cop-out. Yes, the Bible does have particular meaning for me, but honestly. I get so tired of everyone always saying “the Bible”. I think I will start a Bible Meme later, though. You know what…yeah. I’ll do my own Bible meme tomorrow. Anyway…

Mere Christianity
Hah. I probably should have just gone with “The Bible”. In all seriousness, I love this book because it presents such an eloquent and intellectual defense of the faith. There are different types of Christian, and so much of the paraliterature of the Church of the twentieth century was written for and directed by the emotional side of the faith. In this book Lewis turns Bertrand Russell topsy-turvy. I’d actually recommend reading both books back to back for a good formation of the central intellectual argument regarding Christianity.

A Girl Of The Limberlost
When you grow up in Indiana you are pretty much convinced that nothing interesting happens there aside from car races and basketball. This book is a must-read for any little girl who grew up there. It celebrates the beauty of an Indiana that has mostly disappeared. It’s also one of the best stories ever put to paper. I try to read it once a year, but I’m in the sad position of not knowing where my copy has ended up.

Tom Jones
I waded through so many of those sprawling depressive epics that try to suss the nature of love through the lens of despair that I actually wanted, several times, to wash out my brain. When I found Tom Jones I was thrilled to find a book that examined the same themes so worn by the Russians, but with a decidedly Celtic joviality.

Anno Dracula
I’m not one for the whole “Vampire Chic” that became so popular with Anne Rice. On the whole I think vampire literature (aside from Bram Stoker’s original) is goofy, self-important and sexually infantile. I don’t know how or where I found this book, but I read it because it featured Sherlock Holmes. It’s one of the most inventive and well-researched pieces of populist fiction I’ve ever read. Why does it have particular meaning for me? I don’t know, other than it provided some much needed entertainment during one of the most dull periods of my life. And any book that features Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes, Jack the Ripper, Bram Stoker, Dracula and Queen Victoria all coexisting happily is always going to be in some “favourites” list of mine.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes
This is a cheat, because it’s me including 4 books and 56 short stories as “one”. But if the Conan Doyle estate can do it, so can I. I came to Holmes late–I read A Study In Scarlet when I was 14–and was enthralled by the language as much as anything. I admit, though, that I fell a bit in love with Holmes. He was such a jerk, but he had all the physical attributes I find attractive and he was smart as a whip. Come on. You know I’m not the only woman to fall in love with Holmes. Honestly. Stop rolling your eyes.

But the glory day was when I first read The Greek Interpreter. That’s the first time we hear of Mycroft, his brother. Myrcoft Holmes is smarter, fatter and older. He solves mysteries from his comfy chair in the Diogenes club while Sherlock does the legwork. In short–Mycroft Holmes is my idealised fictional self. Yes I know he’s a fat old man. No, I have no idea what that says about my psychology. I just know that when I started programming in BASIC at 16 and had to have a cool “hacker name” just like all the other 2600 geeks, I chose Mycropht. (Also in partial tribute to Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress) Hence my blogname and all the other stuff just floating out in the ether for the last 20 years with that sig. So, yeah, the Holmes canon are significant to me.

Three books you are dying to read but haven’t yet.

Harry Potter Book 7

Angels by Marian Keyes
I’m kind of saving it for a rainy day.

I honestly can’t think of a third one, but I’ll take recommendations. I’m kind of in a book lull at the moment.

Who’s Next?

Lee; Connie Lane; Kerry Woo, Amy, Muffy

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Here’s a little hint.

If you’re already slightly blue about the passage of time, the cloudy Monday and your bad hair day–DO NOT LOOK THROUGH OLD PHOTO ALBUMS.

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When I was a kid my mom subscribed to Good Housekeeping. I didn’t realise until this evening how much the articles I read all those years ago influenced my thinking.

I was 9 years old when Jean Harris shot Dr. Herman Tarnower. Since the case involved money, drugs, sex and death it was natural fodder for a magazine. It seemed to me–very young at the time–as though that was all anyone ever thought about. Stories about the murder were in almost every issue. The issues that didn’t feature Scarsdale Murder coverage carried letters to the editor about the Tarnower coverage in the previous month.

I was a little girl in a fairly homogeneous community. We were white middle-class midwesterners who went about our business. There was nothing like the Scarsdale murder in our boring town (at least not for a few years, anyway. More on the Osbornes another time.) My love for stories compelled me to cannibalize all the details as printed in the Ladies’ Magazine.

Except that I was a little kid.

I came away with definite ideas about men, drugs, women and murder. In short, don’t date anyone cruel, arrogant, dismissive or unfaithful. Don’t take any drug unless you know what it is and what it is supposed to do. Don’t get a fancy job (such as the headmistress of a school) because it can only lead to trouble. Sometimes there are people that flat out just need killin’.

I had learned all these things from the Good Housekeeping coverage of the Scarsdale case, and over the years forgotten where I had learned them. But I kept them in storage as part of my worldview. Some of them are good ideas, some of them are not such good ideas (like the “killing people”one, for instance). Which leads to my main question about myself.

I was allowed to read anything I wanted. I read so much that I think my parents were probably powerless to keep up with me. I read my first murder mystery (Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None) when I was 7. I’ve never given it much thought one way or the other. It’s just what I do. I read.

But now I’m beginning to wonder. If I have a child of my own, will I let that child enjoy the same unfettered reading style that I had? I mean, is it really good for a ten year old girl to have such negative imprinting? It freaked me out today as I watched that HBO movie and realised that my lifelong insistance that I know everything about EVERY MEDICATION I TAKE stems from a few magazine articles I read as a child. It further freaked me out that I realised I had long ago made a negative mental correlation between having a career (as Jean Harris did) and being abused by a man (as Jean Harris was). Is this a good thing? I don’t know. I know that everyone gets their ideas from somewhere, and I know that I was an unusual child. Heck. I’m still an unusual child.

I think I’m still Pro Information. I’m just pretty gobsmacked by what my kid mind did with adult information all those years ago.

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Tim, examining the new bike he inherited from a friend: “Well, the components are mostly shot, but the frame is pretty decent. If I strip it down I could build up a pretty good single-speed.”

Me: “For yourself?”

Tim: “Yeah….”

Me: “ooooh! What are we gonna name it?!?”

Tim: *Rolls Eyes at my insistance that every object in our lives have a nickname*

Me: “OH! I know! Since it’s a single speed, how about ‘Lance'”?

Tim: Silence.

It’s tough being a biker married to a smart ass.

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Outing People

The only person I believe should be outed is Tom Cruise, and only because he’s so insufferable about everyone else. Once you start talking crap about people with a real disease it’s time for some truth-tellin’ from your bench.

For the record, I know who Aunt B. is. I know where she lives. I know where she works. We’ve met face to face on two occasions. We agree on almost nothing, but I do like her.

I have no idea what your problem is with her. I could venture a guess.



Sarcastro, another mostly-anonymous Nashville Blogger has politely volunteered to pound you into oblivion. (See comments below.)

I’ve met him too. He could do it.

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Since the Olympics have devoured TV programming, Tim & I spent the last two evenings rewatching the BSG miniseries. It was interesting to revisit that bridge, with so much water having passed under it. It does raise some questions though.

1. What happened to Boxey?

Not that I mind, but he was front and center during the mini. He was also a BIG part of the original. I sort of miss the idea of having the Ship’s Mascot be a little boy. I don’t miss the robot dog, though. In general I think robot dogs are tiresome. With one exception.

You wanna know what’s sad? The kid who played the original Boxey has grown up. The highlight of his life, according to his IMDb Bio is apparently that”He has tended bar at several LA clubs and has several tattoos.” Child stars. What a parable of joy attained and subsequently dimmed.

2. Abortion. Really? Are we gonna go there for the rest of the series?

Someone, somewhere likened this new version of BSG to “West Wing in space”. Maybe it was Big Orange Michael. I honestly can’t remember. So far I’ve made my peace with it, even thought I’d like to see more well-done civilian stories. (But you can feel free to keep your Black Market Mob stuff to yourself.) Honestly, though, I don’t think I want to see any more Earth-based controversies given the Pigs In Space treatment. Yes, the birth rate has to be a concern. The whole “start having babies” line of Roslin’s turned into the impetus which swayed Adama’s entire thinking about the war in the miniseries. Given the fact that the Dry-Erase Board Of Life is an everpresent part of the ship I cannot believe that prior to this moment the government hasn’t incentivised childbirth. How dumbass IS this schoolteacherpresident? They’ve already dealt (badly) with the shadow economy of the black market. Now they’re outlawing abortion. Take those lemons and make lemonade, you jerks. Pay people to have babies. It’s an economic reality that they must be born for the species’ survival. So follow through. I get that the abortion issue was all a Maguffin to make the Crazy Masturbator a serious political candidate. But they can stop now.

3. Are we still even looking for Earth?

There’s a map. There’s a genius but crazed scientist. There’s a need for resources and land. Plus, there’s the entire premise of a show behind the search. I get the feeling we’ve stopped looking for Earth, now that there’s a map. Which seems bassackwards, if you ask me. It’s like losing the desire for sex once you find the condom. Highly unlikely.

4. Speaking of sex…

Aren’t there other men who are capable of having sex besides Apollo? Does he have to inseminate every woman in the fleet? Granted, perhaps he’s making a play for Repopulation King, but it’s still getting ridiculous.

5. Thirteen at dinner…

I’m frankly quite stupid at times. It just struck me during the re-view of the mini that there are 12 colonies AND 12 Cylon models. They are looking for the missing 13th colony (Earth), and awaiting the birth of the Miracle Baby. The thirteenth cylon. I see all kinds of interesting parallels to be drawn here.

6. Wouldn’t this be a cool plot?

With the Resurrection Ship vaporised, that puts a lot of Cylon bodies offline. What happens when there are more downloadable Cylon consciousnesses than available wetware to house them? How about a Cylon plotline where we see multiple consciousnessess struggle for ascendency in the same body? That could be cool.

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I didn’t mean to lie. I just didn’t realise that I would have more to say. Not that it matters in the great scheme of things, because what I think about the operation of the major theatres of the world has really proven to not matter in the least. People still go to prison for years and have their homes seized because they choose to cultivate illegal plants. Yet we will hand the keys to our front doors–and by extension a vast majority of economic well-being–to just any guy with a company. I worked for an importer for several years, and wasn’t a big fan of the idea of the Ports being managed by anyone outside the government. When I first heard about it the infrastructure of the ports from a man I worked with I was floored. I had just assumed that being ports of entry and all that the government was in charge. Hah! Naive girl.

Yes, I’m a libertarian. But that’s the thing. There are things I think are the business of the government and things that I think are NOT the business of government. What you grow, what you smoke, who you sleep with and what you watch are not the government’s business. Protecting the safety of the nation is. Face it. Ports have dual duty. Because we are a vastly more “butter” nation than “guns” right now, the ports are vastly more Butter in nature. That in no way alleviates them of their Guns responsibility. A port of entry is still a strategic asset. Contracts should be awarded solely to U.S. firms on that basis alone. Sure, these other fellows may run crackerjack operations.

I. Don’t. Care.

Israel has a great army. I still wouldn’t outsource our armed forces to the Israelis. Britain once had a great navy. I don’t know anymore, because I don’t follow the Navy. But I still wouldn’t outsource our seafaring operations to them.

In Neal Stephenson’s excellent Snow Crash he describes a near future where the U.S. is a loose confederation of corporate fiefdoms. Stuff like this port deal continues to convince me that Stephenson’s world is frighteningly prescient. Everything will one day be a business, we’ll cease to have any pride in ourselves or our workmanship, and the only voice individuals will have is inside a computer-networked Metaverse.

Yeah. Like that’d ever happen.

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I received in the mail not one but TWO full-color flyers advertising the ease of buying stamps online.

Some things to note:

–Two? Why need I two useless ads?

–Although touting the ease of buying stamps, neither flyer actually bore a stamp. Ironic?

–The ad featured the timely comic strip Cathy. Lest you fear that our grande dame has entirely sold out, worry not! She still has her famous “anxiety sweat droplets”, viewable in Panel Two.

I anxiously await the 5 circulars that will come next month, no doubt featuring a pantsless Ziggy.

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It is to my everlasting shame that I engage in the occasional missionary-eating. That’s right. I buy Ben & Jerry’s. Yes, I know they are flannel-clad communists bent on destroying our way of life, Sarcastro.. Yes, Hubby, I realise they burnt Bush in effigy. But I have decided that if I continue to purchase their product I will yet woo them to the glories of capitalism while at the same time enjoying delicious frozen treats. Hence the “missionary-eating.” *** For those who didn’t grow up in Campus Crusade/Youth-For-Christ culture, “missionary dating” refers to the act of a Christian dating a non-Christian. The rationale is that the Christian will convert their beloved (usually hot) non-believer amour. The reality is that the Christian usually ends up either pregnant or getting the non-Christian pregnant. Depending on the gender of the parties involved.***

I have decided that although it is extremely unlikely for me to turn Commie after a few pints of B&J, I still do wince at funding El Revolucion. Mildly. But not a lot.

As for the new flavours for 2006, I’m excited about some, less than thrilled about others. Beer Ice Cream? No thank you. Vanilla Ice Cream with Turtles and caramel swirl? Sign me up, Che.

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