Archive for April, 2006

Boy, a bunch of people with leftward sympathies are extremely thrilled with Stephen Colbert’s speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

I admit that I’m most decidedly not seeing this through the most even-handed point of view in the world. While GWB is not my favourite of Presidents by a long (long) shot, I am still really irritated at the constant jabs made in his direction.
This President has had a lot on his plate, and he still seems to have retained a decent amount of his sense of humour.

Earlier, the president had addressed the crowd with a Bush impersonator alongside, with the faux-Bush speaking precisely and the real Bush deliberately mispronouncing words, such as the inevitable “nuclear.” At the close, Bush called the imposter “a fine talent. In fact, he did all my debates with Senator Kerry.” The routine went over well with the crowd — better than did Colbert’s, in fact.

Yet it’s soooo coool to so many people to see Colbert lay into him. I don’t get why the right side of the aisle seems to always be the brunt of these routines. Step back 10 years to the 1996 dinner, hosted by that brave Right Winger Al Franken.

Now the whole point of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot was to satirize the breakdown of civility in our public discourse, which is having a tremendously corrosive effect on society in general. Case in point. Don Imus. And that’s why tonight, I’d like to do my part to move the national dialogue forward, not backward. And in all modesty I really hope that historians will look back on this speech as a watershed event that ushers in a New Age of Civility – which will begin immediately after I tell the following jokes about the Speaker.

Light on Clinton jokes, heavy on rightie-bashing.

And then, of course, in 1998, many prominant folks on the left were quite aggrieved at the very idea of Paula Jones dining in the same room at that year’s WHC dinner.

Arianna Huffington was correct when she stated that

Political satire at its keenest has always been about speaking truth to power — sometimes brutally, always wittily.

What is ironic was that she was lambasting the 1998 dinner for being too deferential to Clinton. So, do I think Colbert should have been more tame in his remarks? No. The WHCDinner has always been about sharp barbs between the president and the DC press. Except, of course, during the oh-so-deferential and fawning Clinton years.

Yeah, Stephen Colbert got a few good ones in on ol’ Dubya. But you know what? Dubya let him. Dubya took it, albeit stoically. GWB didn’t book obvious fanboys like Franken or crowd-pleasing lightweights like Jay Leno and Ray Romano. So next time you cheer on someone for dishing it out against the Right, remember that when the Left was in power, they couldn’t even try to take it.

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Yes, I know my sister is not the early childhood expert that Two Quarters Shy Of A Buck is, but she does have a degree in elementary education and spends all day with about thirty kids. I heed her words of wisdom, elevated from comment status:

They are working on passing a law now that snacks, birthday treats, etc. are not going to be allowed in Indiana schools. As if me teaching my kids about graphing with a mini size bag containing about 10 M&M’s is what is making kids fat-not the 6 hours they spend playing video games when they get home and the drive thru that Mom brings home for dinner!

Lest you think she’s exaggerating about the amount of time 5 year olds spend in front of the t.v.–let me assure you. She isn’t. She’s also had parents tell her during their conferences that 30 minutes of homework a couple of days a week is “too much” for children that young.

I remember birthday treats. The occasional cupcake was a nice change from the routine. Somehow I don’t think disallowing these from the classroom is going to do much for kids’ waistlines.

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? I’ve switched to “Blogrolling” for my blogroll. It’s supposed to be easier to add URLs. It is. I also like the “new post” flag. Unfortunately, this only seems to work on certain blogs. So I’m still stuck actually clicking through to others. It bothers me that they’re all in alphanumeric order now. I had grown accustomed to the mishmash order of before. It was beautiful in its randomosity.

¶ It’s cool if you feel you have to de-blogroll me because we don’t agree on everything. I understand it. I, however, prefer to have all kinds of different people listed. Just like the Small World ride at Disney. (Click for Video! I love Ride-Through Video!) I’m sad that Wintermute thought I wouldn’t blogroll him. Why not? I love lawyers. I’m the spawn of lawyers a lawyer (my mother is not a lawyer). If all the lawyers who’ve populated my gene pool had their way I’d also be a lawyer. But, alas. I’m too eccentric. If I were a lawyer I’d be one of the eccentric friends of the protagonist in a Grisham novel.

¶ Yes, Nashville Knucklehead, the Seifert’s Potato Chip Factory is one of the hallmarks of Fort Wayne Field Trips. That and the Archway Cookie Factory. When I was a kid there was also the Eckrich Meat Factory–but they’ve gone out of business. Oddly enough, childhood obesity was not a problem in the 70s. Perhaps we ought to let young children see exactly how their food is made. That might convince them to eat less.

¶ I’m meeting Ivy for lunch tomorrow in an undisclosed location. But it’s definitely not as trendoid as the places where Aunt B. meets her lunch people. I hope that Ivy can excuse the fact that my hair is not coloured. I mean, yes, it has a colour (brown). But that colour is liberally streaked with “silver”. I’ve had “silver” hair since I was 17. I’m long past the point of colouring it. Except I should to make a good first impression. But I won’t because I’d probably end up messing it up totally.

¶ So glad I didn’t see United 93 in the theatre. Six Meat Buffet linked to some guy’s review wherein he described another patron leaving to throw up. I am not keen on movies that induce vomiting. Come to think of it, I’m not that keen on anything that induces vomiting.

¶ Lee (Digital Nicotine) wrote a good piece on YA novels. I miss the YA novels of yore. Nowadays they’re all boomshackalackamowmow.

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I’m just finding myself so incredibly sucked into the Lost Indiana website that it’s hard to pull away.

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My friend and official blogfather, Patrick has been picked up by NiT for announcing to the world that he is tired of hearing “at the end of the day.” (I personally have steered him away from all performances of Les Miserables, as I can only assume this would cause his head to explode.) Sista Smiff (who is going to be blogrolled as soon as I dare face the template again…) is guest-blogging at NiT and has asked for other examples of phrases and words of which people are tired. As much as I thoroughly enjoy polluting the comments threads at NiT, I have WAY too much to get off my chest. So, “whole post time” it is. Be warned. It’s late and my allergies are bad. So there. (No, I’m not drunk. I’m Baptist.)

a myriad of
Folks. Let me tell you something. Nothing drives me nutsier than this. Not even overu’sed apo’strophe’s. I know that it is technically okay to use “myriad” as a noun but I’m one of those fusty creatures who thinks it should be restricted to adjectival use. Especially since, like “Legion”, the noun form indicating a collective number is archaic. If Tim W. weren’t sick, I’d leave this type of thing to him. He does it better than me. Regardless, ‘myriad’ as a noun bothers me. Or should I say ‘irregardless’? Ha!

I am so tired of this. It sounded clever when I first moved here 15 years ago. Now it is just about as tiresome as that orange-banana knock-knock joke. Or that “pete and repeat sittin’ on a fence’ thing. Either way, it’s the same principle. It’s what people say when they think they’re being really clever and they just don’t get how bald the joke has gone. Every six year old thinks that “orange you glad I didn’t say banana?” is the funniest thing they’ve ever heard. In the same way, people who’ve just arrived and been blown away by the Christian Tattoo Parlour and other gimcrackery think that ‘Nashvegas’ is funny in an ironic way. Not so much, no.

Be Christ To The World
This is the latest popular church-accessory language. When I was a kid everyone had “I Found IT!” bumper stickers. A few years ago it was ‘WWJD’. Now we have “be Christ to (or in) the world.” I like the sentiment behind it–to a degree. I agree that as Christians we are to be living a life that shows the power of Christ’s redemption, compassion and grace. I know that “bCt(oi)tw” is shorthand for saying all of that. But it strikes me as a really nasty shorthand, full of hubris. Frankly, Christ was ‘Christ to the World’. As humans only, without His Diety, we cannot “be Christ.” Besides which, I’ve heard a few pastors say this in such a way as to make “Christ” sound like the latest Coca-Cola flavour. I can’t escape this fear that we’ve dumbed Christ down over the last 30 years to make Him more palatable for human consumption. The fact that our latest bumper sticker makes Him sound so easily-replaced by any one of us bugs the ever-loving daylights out of me.

Gay Slang & Black Slang Used By Straight People or White People
Do you realise how stupid it sounds for a 35-year old white woman to say “Oh, Snap!” or “Oh no you di-int!”? Trust me, Beeyotch. It’s played.

Git ‘R’ Done
I swear to you. I am very close to forgetting my vow of “being Christ to the world” and killing the next person who says this in my presence. There are a couple of reasons. First, I think that Larry The Cable Guy is the most disgusting person I’ve ever heard doing stand-up (and I’ve heard A LOT of stand-up.) I don’t like it when a person’s stand-up routine is reduced to a catchphrase that the audience waits for and then screams manaically upon hearing. (See Also: “Here’s Your Sign.”) Since it’s not funny when the lazy comedian does it, it’s doubly-not-funny when some punk guy wears it on a t-shirt. Second, it sounds kinda like it objectifies women. Okay, it probably doesn’t. I should just remove the giant stick from my butt and accept that the ‘R’ that will be eventually gotten done is not a gender-specific ‘R’. But still. It isn’t funny.

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I really think the Franklin Events Community needs to adjust their dates for the Main Street Festival. Last year was just like this–grey, cold, windy and blech. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I personally don’t find myself in the mood for cotton candy, corn dogs and hippie yarn crafts when it’s like November outside.

Festivals need to be hot and sticky. You need to find yourself so dying of thirst that those handsqueezed lemonades sound refreshing. Otherwise what would compell anyone to drink a beverage consisting of 1/4 cup of ice water and six lemon halves smashed down in a sludge of cane sugar?

My much-missed hometown of Fort Wayne has the monster of all festivals every year. 9 of the hottest days in the year are celebrated with fireworks, fried cheese and seemingly-dangerous carny erections on “the Three Rivers Midway.” Every year we all wait with bated breath to find out how many punk teenagers have pulled knives on their buddies in front of the Tilt-A-Whirl. It’s big news.

I miss having a local festival, and for years happily drove to Franklin for the pale imitation they have there. A stained-glass window in my house stands forever in shining testament to the years when it was bright, sunny and fun. We bought it in 1999 as an anniversary/birthday present to hang in the home we were just starting to build. That day of wandering the booths is still one of my happiest memories of my marriage.

That’s probably why my hopes are too high, and why I was so disappointed at watching two women get in a catfight over a tie-dye shirt last year. Street festivals are no good in the rain.

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The Man Who Hasn’t Seen Jaws raises an interesting point.

Families with multiple children used to survive on one income. Now two people in their twenties who work themselves to the bone can’t barely find a way for one of them to take a year off so they can have ONE kid.

Part of me really wants to agree with him, because I think that Nashville is a city filled with underemployed people. I think the economy here encourages employers to pay far less than the going rate elsewhere. When I was in a salaried position a year ago, I was paid $5K less than the bottom bracket for my job as listed on salaryweb. I wasn’t even making the base amount, and I think that’s typical within the Nashville job market, from what I’ve seen.

But in a larger sense, I do think that my generation and the one immediately following mine have redefined survival. Not to sound all uphill-both-ways-in-the-snow, but things were different when I was a kid. My parents raised four kids on one income. They didn’t have cable TV, internet, cell phones, new cars every two years. We grew our own vegetables, my mom sewed our clothes. Instead of going to the movies we went to the library. Going out to eat was a huge treat that we did exactly five times every year. I know this because there was a restaurant where kids ate free on their birthdays and got a free chocolate cake, so each time one of us had a birthday, we’d go there. The fifth time was when we’d stop at Burger Chef (until it went out of business, then McDonalds) once on the way to my grandparents’ farm every summer. That was it.

I do think it can be possible for a family to get by on one income. It just depends on how you define “getting by.” It also depends on how you define contentment.

I really should link to Ivy on this topic. She and her husband are raising three kids on one income (plus some additional stuff since January or so.) She’s written quite a bit about this. Also, Amy of Lavender Sparkles and her husband made the decision to learn to live on one income from the get-go so they don’t feel deprived once children arrive. I also believe that Heather and her family are a one-income joint. So there ARE people making the sacrifice to live this way. It can be done.

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I really don’t have much to say about this story. I just really wanted to be one of about 90,000 bloggers who will use that headline when talking about it.

I do think the Star Spangled Banner should be sung in English. But if you want to try to hit that ball-busting high note at the end in another language, go for it.

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I never watch “The View”. Okay, there was that one time, but just to see Vin Diesel. And, oh yeah, that other time to see Daniel Day-Lewis. In short, I don’t watch “The View” for its stable of nattering chattering gals, but for its rotating crop of mens.

So, I don’t really care that Rosie O’Donnell has gotten bored with being a mom and decided to fill Meredith Viera’s slot on “The View”.

Reasons O’Donnell Bugs Me:

1. Totally fake “beard” crush on Tom Cruise.
2. Hypocritical anti-gun position. (You can’t have a gun, but my bodyguards for my children can.)
3. Was completely bitchy and rude to Meat Loaf when he appeared on her show.

See, I can overlook the other two, but anyone who disses the Meat is on my list.

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Ivy by way of Malia is playing an alphabet game, and so I’m joining in the fun.

The Rules

Comment on this entry and get a letter. Write ten words beginning with that letter, including an explanation of what the word means to you and why.

The Letter I Was Given
The first letter. A. On the plus side, it’s a vowel so that expands my options. On the minus side it’s a vowel. I don’t like vowels. I think they’re bossy and clicque-y. Always insisting that one of the five of them be included in every word. And then poor “y” is like the gay boy they let pick out their clothes and do their hair. But he’s only in their club when they need a cool gay friend, he’s not an automatic member. Vowels are snotty like that.

The Ten Words

Adultery: No, I’m not a fan of it. Not at all. But who can think of a giant letter “A” without thinking of Hester Prynne and her branding at the hands of the pious? Okay, maybe many people can. But I can’t. That story made an impression on me. A few years ago my former youth pastor impregnated one of the women youth leaders. They had a baby girl. I suggested they name her “Pearl”. No one else thought it was funny. Probably because they were all so scandalised by the youth pastor’s wandering willy.

Apple: Apple Computer is the lodestar of my computing world. I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on a Macintosh. It was at the Tech Fair at the War Memorial Colisseum. I was a baby geeklet, and scoffed at the point-and-click GUI. After all, I had taken “keyboarding” just to enable my constant 10 “Davey is a loser” 20 Go To 10 programming. What were they trying to do? It wasn’t until later that I was fully converted. And now I am a proud member of the Cult of Macintosh.

Asparagus: My all-time favourite food. There is no food on this earth I like better. Not chocolate, not caramel, not pizza. Give me a plate of asparagus and I’m in heaven.

Ambrose Bierce: I love him. Back when I was a swotty teenager with a chip on my shoulder, his Devil’s Dictionary was a constant laugh-out-loud read. Now that I’m a swotty 35-year old with a chip on my shoulder I appreciate Bierce’s work all the more.

Arbor Day: I love trees. I love to plant trees. My acreage is too small to squeeze any more saplings into the earth, but if I had more land I’d be planting more trees. And yes, I’m already reaching for things that begin with “A”, and I’m only half-way through.

Algonquin Round Table: I love the idea of witty people gathering among fine food and drink to discuss art and literature. I love the fact that American society has been able to elevate a group of drunk gossips to near-saintly status. It strikes me funny.

America, The Country: Yes, I know that technically the United States is only a portion of the vast swath of land called “America”, and that it’s short-sighted, isolationist and nationalistic to think that we are the whole of America. Fine. Now that I’ve pacified the nitpickery, allow me to say that I love America. I love the fact that I am free to worship as I choose, speak as I choose and vote. I love the fact that there are so many of us here from so many different places. That we can eat Chinese, Italian, Mexican and Thai food, all brought here as part of other cultures and their people yearning to breathe free air. I love the fact that a bunch of arrogant farmer geniuses risked their lives to overthrow the tyranny of kings. That we don’t have a “House of Commons” and a “House of Lords”, and that we are not governed by anyone but ourselves. I love the fact that I can have a gun in my home, that I can’t be forced to house soldiers by the pleasure of the president. I love the fact that you can drive for days and still be part of this vast land.

America, The Neil Diamond Song: One of my favourite tunes of his, and not just because it’s fun to yell “Today!” in a crowd of people. I like that Neil captured the spirit of why people come here. And I like that this is a much better selection from The Jazz Singer soundtrack than “Love On The Rocks.

All-Night Pancake Houses: My Circadian rhythms are different than many people. I do my best work and living at night time. All-night pancake houses are the refuge of the nocturnal human. Where else can you congregate with the other Shadow People for buttery stacks of starchy goodness? Where else can you play Eucre till dawn and debate the validity of Reaganomics?

The Alphabet: Really stretching it here, but not so much. I’m a writer. Where would I be without the alphabet? It’d be like a carpenter with no nails, no wood, no hammer. I think it’s cool that with near-endless combinations of 26 shapes I can feel the basso pulse of thundering sky, taste the charcoal sweetness of fresh rain and inspire hunger and sexual desire. Pretty nifty set of squiggles.

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