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Archive for April, 2006

Aunt B. lays the smackdown on Fiddy. Good thing she did it first, because she got all the salient points in there, including the choice words that I’d use if I knew the likelihood of my mom reading this was slim.

I love how this punk who has glamourised drugs and gun violence and disrespect for women has the balls to make childhood obesity sound like the one unforgivable sin.

My heart breaks for all the chubby little kids who are mocked on the playground. Fat is the last acceptable prejudice. Can’t make fun of the black kids, the gay kids, the poor kids. But slap a couple extra pounds on Bobby and he’s fair game. (Ironically, maybe being able to play with all the other kids on the playground would help with his fitness level. )

Apparently in the 2006 version of the Cinderalla Story, the little chubby kid can dream of growing up to shoot people, get shot, sell drugs, rape women and earn enough money from the whole mess to hire a chef and a personal trainer. Then at last he will attain that pinnacle of all goals. Thinness.

Give me a frakkin’ break.

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Throwing Pots

I think this gal might be on to something.

I think one of the biggest reasons writers fail is because they don’t write…The reason seems to be that the students who had to make a lot of pottery, began to play and take chances on their work since it didn’t matter how it turned out. These risks allowed them to create some incredible work; they were free to create without judgment.

After a year of labouring over Writing my Book, with endless time spent researching such dry facts as sheepherding in Wales, I’ve taken a different tack. I gave myself a “month off” to write any fun fiction thing that appealed to me. I’ve gotten a lot more written, I think what I’ve written is better technically and I’ve enjoyed sitting down to write every day.

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Lovin’ the heck out of this new show. That is all.

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So I had a whole blog post typed about something that annoyed me, but then I realised I was giving it more attention than it deserved so I deleted it.

Since I have the Blogger Create window open, though, it’s a shame to waste it. So I’m gonna tell you what I personally like to read on blogs and don’t like to read on blogs. Keep in mind, I’m not telling you what to do. So all of you who like to pop into the comments and say “but I thought you were a libertarian” can relax. I’m merely expressing my personal preferences.

1. Wry, humourous and witty takes on things. It’s fun to hear other people say what they think about stuff, even when we are diametrically opposed on certain issues. (Me=Bible True. Other Guy=Bible Not True.)

2. Tales about life in the trenches, whether it’s waiting tables, being a nurse, selling Amway. What’s your job like and how does it affect your life? What do you miss about your old job? That’s all part of being human, and I like it.

3. Well-thought out opinions on social issues. Even when we disagree.

4. Good conservative commentary. I’m a conservative, even though some folk refuse to believe it. I like seeing conservative commentary that doesn’t stoop to Hannity bromides.

5. Excellent material on your personal views and how they shape your opinions on economics, politics and religion.

6. Entertaining stories about your life events such as upcoming weddings raising kids and being married.

7. Breakdowns and reactions to popular culture events. TV Shows, movies, songs, whathaveyou.

Now, there are a whole lot of blogs on my blogroll that do these things that I didn’t link. But, generally speaking, if they’re on my blogroll it’s because their blog is like this, in some way shape or form. I just didn’t link them just now because I didn’t happen to have their URL memorised and I’m that kind of lazy right now. But trust me. If they’re blogrolled, they’re good. And two of them, Rex L. Camino and Tim Warner are in a class by themselves. What they do defies description, and they do it better than anyone else I’ve seen.

So why am I going into all of this? Because I keep going to blogs that are just recaps of news stories. Here’s a hint: I and anyone else who uses the Web have Excite. I have Google. I have all the access I could ever want to AP, Reuters and whoever else generates news feeds. Why should I be interested in the news as cherry-picked by some stranger?

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It’s hard to understand hardcore cyclists. Even married to one for 15 years, I scratch my head at the people who like to unwind by “doing a quick fifty (miles)” every Monday and Thursday night. There’s a certain mania to it. My better half writes a column for the local bike club newsletter. I’ll let him tell you about it in his own words:

I readily admit that I get just a little bit insufferable this time of year. I can’t help it. Some people live for Christmas, while others prefer the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving. For me, the greatest, most festive season plays out in the lead-up to the first day of spring. The temperature rises, the days get longer and, like the grass and the trees, I find myself coming back to life. The fact that another cycling season is getting up to speed only adds fuel to the fire. You – and my wife – will have to cut me some slack until I get it out of my system.

Well, spring is here. Our garage workshop, which normally houses five bikes, has been brimming over with new tenants as Tim does spring overhauls, trues wheels, installs bike computers and performs his wizardry in a hundred other ways I don’t understand. Every Monday and Thursday he joins his ride club (which I perversely insist on calling “the biker gang”) for pushes throughout Wilson County, climing up Microwave Hill, breezing down Guelph Rd. and being chased by country dogs. It’s just life as seen by the wife of a cyclist who is also a master craftsman.

This Monday night, however, things went a little diffferently.

A few miles out, one of the women on the ride stopped suddenly, going from 27 mph to 0 almost instantly. She flew over her handlebars and landed on her head. Her helmet did do its job: instead of being dead she is merely suffering from an intracranial bleed, a factured neck, a broken cheekbone, a lacerated spleen and assorted other breaks and tears. They moved her by ambulance from Summit Medical Center to Vanderbilt Trauma ICU, where she’s being carefully observed. In her words yesterday she is “broken all over.”

These things never fail to scare me, and this type of event is why I stick to my recumbant exercise bike in the basement. I’m writing this today for three reasons:

1. Please keep this young woman in your thoughts and prayers. She has a long road back to health.
2. Please always wear a helmet when you cycle. Yes, I’m a libertarian. You don’t have to wear a helmet if you don’t want to. Feel free to risk dying in one of the stupidest ways possible–by falling off your bicycle. It’s your choice.
3. Please remember, when you see someone riding their bike along the side of the road that they are someone’s son or daughter. They are likely also someone’s husband or wife, father or mother. They also pay their taxes and are riding a legitimate vehicle. Please don’t harrass them. Keep in mind how much oil they’re NOT using, leaving some left for your car, truck or SUV.

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I’m not going to get into the abortion debate in this post. It’s already proven far too emotionally charged for me and I don’t really care to go there.

But I think it’s safe to say that regardless of where anyone stands on the issue, no one needs to see things such as are shown in the post linked from this post at Moore Thoughts. Without taking sides on the abortion issue, I would like to ask how it helps anyone to show such graphic things? Whose side is being bolstered? And why do you think anyone is going to listen to what you have to say if you buttress it in that type of gore? I’ll be honest. I wanted to read Mark Rose’s post. But I can’t even read it, nor can I link directly to it because I cannot stand to have the page open even long enough to extract the permalink. So if you are at all interested in seeing graphic depictions, you’ll have to go through the above link.

I appreciate that there are those who can view such things dispassionately. I can also understand that there are some who actually enjoy seeing that level of soul-decaying material. I understand that Rotten.com has made a good business catering to those tastes. But I cannot for the life of me understand how showing those pictures has anything remotely to do with compassion.

I’ve never had a medical abortion, and most likely never will. I have had several early spontaneous abortions and yearn for a child. To this day I will never understand why some in the Pro-Life movement think that the grotesque photos on display here and other places do anything to advance their cause. They are harrowing and foul and cruel to most who view them. Regardless of what side they take in the larger issue.

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One of the strangest things about me are the endless, vivid, story-like dreams I have. Tim will swear up and down that my dreams are the wierdest he ever heard. And he took a class or two in wierd dreams, so he should know. It’s kind of fun because each dream has a real narrative, character development and subtext. One of these days I’ll be smart and start writing them down. Especially since I’ve twice dreamed what (years later) turned out to be blockbuster movies. Five years before Demi and Patrick (WHTO) Swayze were handed their scripts, I dreamed the entire plot of the movie Ghost. Ten years before Gwyneth I dreamed much of the story of Shakespeare In Love. Okay. Fair enough. I just dreamed about Shakespeare being in love with me. There was none of that Victor/Victoria crossdressing hi-larity in my sleep world. Nevertheless, the movie was called “Shakespeare in Love” and in my dream there was Shakespeare and he was in love so I’m going to count it.
I’ve occasionally had the woo-woo prophetic type of dream where a person I love is in trouble and I call them upon waking only to find out that, no they weren’t being devoured by quicksand but yes, they do have a very bad chest cold. Occasionally my dead grandfather will show up for a game of chess or Scrabble. In that one Swedish movie the guy plays chess with death. In my dreams I play chess with a dead farmer who carried the mail in the winter. Kind of the same thing, but more lively.
Yes, I dream in color. Always. I always dream in English, although a few years ago when I was really fluent in Spanish I would have the occasional dream entirely in Spanish. What was weird is that each of those Spanish dreams featured Jesus Christ. It must have been because one of the ways I practiced my language skills was by reading the Bible in both languages. Because I didn’t know any Spanish-speaking men named Jesus. In college when I studied Hebrew and German I had a few awkward Nazi dreams where one half of my language center was at war with the other. Thankfully that lasted only long enough to convince me to drop German. I hate that language. It’s so literal, gutteral and harsh.
Last night I dreamed that a man from my old office stole my washing machine. The wierdest part (yes, it does get more strange) is that his wife was one of those Troll Dolls with the upsticking hair, and she kept pinching my stomach and lower back in a gesture of friendship. I truly don’t get it. If they make a movie of that one I will NOT be there. Troll Dolls are creepy.

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I tried to post this yesterday, but Blogger was a jerk. Blogger reminds me of my high school boyfriend. It’s great because you can say “I have a blog (boyfriend)” but half the time when you really need something done–a couch moved, a birthday post posted–it just doesn’t show up.

Anyway:

Nashville Is Talking is a year old today yesterday. In a lot of ways it’s the “spoke” (hah! get it? Talking=spoke! Hah! That’s Funny!) around which the larger Mid Tenn Blogger world turns. Brittney’s done a great job of getting a cohesive feel to the WKRN blog and making it feel accessible to everyone while retaining her voice.

It’s been cool to have it, and cool to guest blog. I’ve met so many fascinating people through this venture, and I doubt that blogging would be as much fun without some type of central touchstone. So happy belated birthday, NiT.

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I’ve been waiting to see the movie Capote for some time. I don’t generally care for Truman Capote as a person. By all accounts he was boorish, duplicitous and self-centered. But he did write one of the best books I’ve ever read. In Cold Blood invented the true crime genre and reinvigorated American Fiction. It tells the story of the murder of the Clutter family in their home in Kansas. One night, acting on a jailhouse rumour of hidden cash cache on the Clutter property, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock entered the unlocked farmhouse and shot all four residents.

The Clutters left their doors unlocked, as did most of the inhabitants of Holcomb, KS. Of course, they don’t anymore. But back then, doors were not locked. They were simple farm folk who knew all their neighbors and trusted them. Besides, from what we know about Smith and Hickock, we know they had come prepared to break in regardless. The unlocked doors just saved them some time. There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that once they made it all the way to Kansas that there wouldn’t be some bloodlust and savagery.

Did the Clutters deserve to be hogtied and shot? No. But wait! They didn’t lock their doors. So certainly they asked for it, right?

What about Steve Parent? He decided to try to sell a stereo to a casual friend, and was out after midnight. Of course that quite clearly means that he deserved to be knifed and then shot four times by Tex Watson on the outset of their Cielo Drive Helter Skelter murder spree.

Parent was in a very respectable millionaires’ neighborhood. The Clutters were in their own home. Nothing these people did could protect themselves from the blood and demons of fate. Rape is kind of like that. Maybe you’re in the right place at the wrong time, like Parent. Or maybe you’re in your own “home”–church, school, grocery store parking lot. A place of familiarity. Part of being in familiar territory is the comfort of letting down your guard, of not locking your doors. In either circumstances a predator is a predator.

Human nature tends toward self-preservation. One of the first responses we have to tragedy is to wonder what circumstances led up to the fated instance so it won’t happen to us. “Well, they weren’t wearing a seatbelt” and “they shouldn’t have been out that late” are common responses. And to a degree, they’re true. There are things you can do to minimise your risk of being killed in a car or by a crazed stranger high on drugs. And there are things women can do to minimise their risk of being raped. But you know what? Ultimately it’s the other car that hits YOU. Ultimately it’s the violent predator that rapes or kills you. That’s what characterises evil. Life is not a chess game where women can checkmate rapists by wearing bulky sweaters or outflank murderers with artfully arranged bishops. Life is animalistic and violent. So, sure, you can do whatever you can do to protect yourself. But ultimately the one who committs violence is at fault for their own misdeeds.

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ARRRRGH

Blogger is on my nerves. Either it won’t post or it quadruple-posts.

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