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Archive for September, 2007

The Haunted Mansion (AKA Kat’s Favourite Ride) was rehabbed this summer and reopened last week.

This is the movie (with binaural audio!) of the refurbished attraction!!!

Courtesy of Ricky Brigante’s Orlando Attractions Magazine

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This blog is authored by an INTJ personality.

I know that’s on the “About” page…but I figured after all of the emotive responses to my INTJ 9/11 post I’d better state once again for the record that I am an INTJ.

Yes. That’s correct. One more time.

INTJ.

Are we clear?

What does that mean?

  • I’m not the one to cry at your casket.  I’m the one who helps your widow plan her finances.
  • I’m not the one to be crushed when a game is lost.  I’m the one who figures out why we lost that game by analysing the moves and planning the forward strategy for the next game.
  • I’m not the one to cry at your wedding.   I’m the travel agent who plans your honeymoon.

Honestly, people.  I do spreadsheets for FUN.  My favourite games involve building empires through strategic economic and defensive planning.

I’ve never ever said that the way any of you observe 9/11 is wrong.   I’ve implied (and since then said straight out)  that it is predictable.  And quite honestly, my reaction and the reactions of others who were not into the public mourning scene of Tuesday was equally predictable.

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You never can tell what direction a comment section is going to go on the internet. I should know that by now. Yet I have to admit I was surprised when an MCB thread about a departed friend turned into a slagging-off of open-casket visitations and burials.

Southern Beale on 13 September, 2007 at 6:37 pm #

Is it just a southern thing? I didn’t know that.

We sure didn’t oooh and ahh over the remains of our people. In fact, we didn’t bury our people. Everyone in my family was cremated.

Much more civilized, IMHO.

Well, as I said over there, I’m not Southern.

The first dead body I saw in a casket was Betty Ann. I was six years old, and Betty Ann had been my babysitter for the first year of my life. Her daughter Jeanie was my best friend. And breast cancer took Betty Ann, and my parents took me to her viewing and her funeral. It must have been February, because I had some of those candy hearts with me to snack on. The line to see the body seemed to take forever. When we got there it was obvious to me that whatever made Betty Ann “real” wasn’t there anymore. It was my first object lesson in the difference between the soul and the soulcage. I wasn’t scared by her body, but I was scared of the sadness in Jeanie’s eyes. I remember giving her my candy hearts. I didn’t know what else I could do.

I’ve since seen more lifeless bodies, had more memories and been evermore mindful of the husks of death. I’ve said goodbye to the waxy visages of my father-in-law and my grandfather. It helps to see them, to realise that there is a person who is no longer there, who has gone on.

Viewing bodies is important. I always think of The Godfather. Vito Corleone called in massive favours on behalf of the undertaker who asked that his daughter be avenged. When he agreed to take care of the vengeance, Corleone’s people didn’t ask for money. They simply marked the undertaker’s card with a favour due. “You owe your Don a service…”

The service? To make the body of Sonny Corleone viewable by his mother. That’s how important seeing bodies is. That’s why we do it. It allows us to say “good-bye”. Or, better yet, “see you later”.

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I want to write something if only to have something written.  But I don’t have anything very meaningful to say about most things right now.  It’s been a hard week or two and I’m seriously thinking about many things.

My dog is sitting in the open door staring at the rain.  He occasionally stares back at me accusingly.  You see, in his world it’s my fault that the air is wet, and I should be able to fix it.  After all, I’m the giver of food and petting and chewy toys.   I’m the knitter of blue afghans he likes to tussle with.  So surely I am also the turner-on and off of the weather.   These withering glances are crippling.

I can’t control the weather.   I can’t control anything, it seems.

Do you ever wonder why people aren’t honest?  I do.  I think it has to be hard to live with ones self if you aren’t aboveboard in the way you meet the world.

I really like Facebook, but I haven’t been there in a few days.  I’m sure I owe some superpokes and some wall graffitti, etc.  I was trying to explain FB to Hubby the other day.  He has notoriously little patience for anything like that.   In his words–“If the Internet is one vast universe then Facebook is like the Dollar Store of the Web.”    I guess he’s kinda right.  Although I think it’s more like MySpace is Wal-Mart and Facebook is Target.  They’re both those sort of gateway populist things.

What I don’t like about Facebook is the whole All The Young Dudes syndrome.   I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or life is more tiring or I’ve just spent too many years at the Dot Commerce dance, but it seems like we have created this world where (mostly) young men combine magical thinking with a wee bit of tech know-how in order to come up with The Next Big Business Idea.   Ten years ago it was dot-com companies.  Five years ago it was ringtones.  Now it seems like Facebook is the new frontier for How We’re Going To Get Rich.   Everybody’s got some idea for mining the data that is Facebook and turning it into a php-driven goldmine.   It may work.  It may be the next ringtone company.  I strongly suspect the latter.

I’m starting to believe that the Mass Market is dying, and niche targeting should be the new goal of marketers everywhere.   If there’s one thing I’m learning from Facebook it’s that everyone truly is different.   There are common sets, to be sure, but the best way to target an audience is to play to their difference.    I’m still mulling this over.   Of course, I don’t know if anyone can get rich thinking like this.  Unless they’re Apple.

Oh well.  I guess I’m done with the rambling.   At least there’s a blog post (of sorts) today.   That’s something, anyway.

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Because I’m “special” and “bored”, I’ve been downloading the NBC Season Premieres on Amazon Unbox. What does that mean? Well, it means that I got to watch three shows early–>two of which I hadn’t planned to watch at all, so I guess it’s better early than never in their case.

The third I did plan to watch, and I have to say I think I’m glad I saw it early. That way I’m not disappointed by counting down the days until its release, only to sit 43 minutes later on my couch wondering what happened.

I’ll be honest. I miss the electronic thrum/slo-mo “bionic” effects. I have to say that up front, because I think the lack of bionic noise really affected my like for this show more than I realised. The other thing I have to say upfront is that I was pretty laced with phenergan (anti-nausea medicine) while watching this and was, as Pink would say, comfortably numb. So take that into account when I say

what the frak was that?!?

Apparently the bright, sunny, phonebook ripping days of bionicness are over. And apparently the Boys Who Made BSG are really in love with the whole idea of Robot Blondes Who Torment Mankind. (David Eick is involved in both.) In fact, I’ve developed a handy “Ways Bionic Woman Is A Rip Off Of BSG” chart for your perusal.

bionic.jpg

Now, I’m not kidding myself. I know most of you will turn on for the girl-on-girl. All the same, I still miss the noise.

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I Just Watched The Weirdest Movie

Have any of you dozen people who read this blog ever heard of Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer ?

I know that I hadn’t, and I’m embarrassed to admit that, because it seems like the arty literature type thing I would have heard of.

It’s based on a famous book (which I’d also never heard of until today), and seemed like it might be a nice diversion.  Who wouldn’t love an historical drama starring Alan Rickman, Dustin Hoffman and narrated by (I think) John Hurt?  Of course, you’d think that’d I’d gather from the “story of a murderer” part that it wasn’t going to be all sweetness and light.

But I was not expecting THAT.

Spoiler-y highlights:

  • The antihero’s name is Jean-Baptise La Grenouille, which I think means “John The Baptist The Frog”.  Grenouille is one of those French words which sounds romantic but is really blunt in English.  The only reason I know that Grenouille means “frog” is because of NCIS.  Go, subpar TV! Who says I never learned anything from television?
  • Frogman kills a girl selling fruit in order to obtain her “scent.”
  • Ooops.  I should add here that JBFrog has a remarkable sense of smell, and is driven like a dog by that sense of smell.
  • He boils a cat.
  • He boils a girl.
  • He then kills 13 women, slathers them in lard and then distills their “essences” to make a perfume by which he can control the world.
  • When they try to execute him, he opens his bottle of perfume and the entire town has a naked orgy at the execution square.   I personally was amazed at how well-shaved the townspeople of 1765 rural France were.
  • He then goes back to the Paris fish market where he was born, drenches himself in his world-beating perfume and is devoured by peasants.

Weirdest movie ever.  Did I mention this was based on a German novel?  No?  Well, it was.   Much like The Tin Drum it has that bleaky post-war German feel to it.  I think I’m about as fond of post-war Germanic novels as I am most Russian literature.

Anyway, unless you’re in the mood for boiled cats, boiled women, peasant orgies and light cannibalism you might want to watch something else.

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love passing kidney stones?  It’s become one of my most treasured hobbies.

On that note, I may either blog here copiously over the next few days or I may be a guest of HCA.   You never know.

Regardless, I’m so tempted to not follow blogs at all on Tuesday.  I just don’t know that I’m up for the whole thing.  Besides, I’ve already figured out what it’ll pretty much look like.   And since I’m supposed to increase my fluid intake, I figured I’d come up with a drinking game.  (In my case it’ll be swigs of water, but you feel free to choose your own poison.)

  • “Where I was=In Boise”   Take a big swig if the person had no concrete ties to anyone directly affected, but goes on as though they lost their entire family in the Twin Towers
  • “So Easy A Caveman Could Do It”  Two big swigs if the post mentions how we haven’t found Bin Laden yet.
  • “Heart Of Glass”  A big swig if the post mentions nuking any desert countries.
  • “I Think My Sepllchck Is Borken”  A swig and a half if the post uses the word “Dhimmicrat” or “Rethuglican”
  • “Math Is Hard”  Drink a half litre if the post talks about how we’ve lost X many more soldiers in since 9/11 than civilians who died on 9/11.   Drink the other half-litre if the post uses the phrase War on Terror.  Yet another half-litre if they put War On Terror in snide-quotes.
  • “When Life Gives You Lemons”  Make up a nice batch of Crystal Light Lemonade to keep on hand for when the post talks about Good Things Happening In Iraq.
  • “On The Rocks”   Have you a cold glass when the post sarcastically mentions yellow ribbon magnets.  Have another half-glass if the post mentions that the magnets were probably made in China.
  • “All The Tea In”  Make up a nice batch of sweet tea for when a post mentions that we’re kidding ourselves about the war on terror if we can’t even protect our food supply from China.
  • “No Mixing” Straight up water for every mention of how we’re supposed to be fighting for oil but gas prices are going up.
  • “Heartless Bitch” Drink whatever you want whenever someone proposes turning 9/11 memories into a drinking game.

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I’m not a parent.  I’m only at the fringes of this whole “public school” thing.  I mean, I pay my property taxes every year, and occasionally one of the neighbour children mans up enough to be convinced that no child molesters live in this house and sells me a  scented candle for $34.95.

But I’m constantly hearing about how much you value education and how our Public Schools are worth saving.  Et cetera.

And I want to believe you, because I want to believe that the person running my nursing home will have adequate life preparation.

But all I’m hearing about you caring about is this stupid (and it IS stupid) Standard School Attire nonsense.   And I’ll be frank.   I do care very much that the person running my nursing home doesn’t flip some switch accidentally, miscalculate my medications or fail to properly read my doctor’s instructions.

I do not care what the person running my nursing home is wearing.

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This Just In

Discovery Channel’s “Lobster Wars” is the Skipper doll to “Deadliest Catch”‘s Barbie.

So sayeth I.

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(I can’t get this comment to take over at Tiny Cat Pants, so I’m just putting it here. Also, I’m lazy, and this is worthy enough of being one of those Deep Thinking A la John Stuart Mill posts I was lamenting missing. So whee.)

Ms. Confer,
I’m curious about your background.

Because there are things that we do know about the way brains develop in human beings, the rate with which they develop and the type of processes crucial to full development of the brain.

You say:
<i>Assuming we know best and what we know is that everyone should know a particular set of stuff. Math and literature. </i>

And I would agree that once a brain reaches college level, it has also aged to the place where focus on that the specialisation of that brain is a good idea.

But as long as brains are a certain age we teach them both numerical and verbal language, because those are both skills which grow and enhance different sections of the brain.

That’s one reason why we keep kids in school during their teen years–when they are the most impossible creatures on earth to master.

That’s when we can shape the physically-growing brain organ.

Now, what educational theorists are discussing is the fact that the intake for the information which grows the brain and strenghthens the neural pathways can be modified. Some learn best by lecture, some by guess-and-test, etc.

This is my main issue with the Homeschool movement, I’ll be honest. I fear that many parents look at their children’s strengths and weaknesses and then find it easier to teach to the strengths while tabling the weaknesses. Ironically, because of genetics, that’s probably because the child has inherited the parents’ strong suits. So the verbal family is happy sitting around learning to diagram sentences and talk about Mark Twain, while the Math family emphasises Geometry.

When I hear people–especially Homeschool advocates–talk about “throwing out the old ways” I bristle. Because I hear people saying “don’t make my kid do language stuff–he’s not good at it.”

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