Monday, October 31, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
9. The uglier you are, the easier it is to get some.
8. It doesn't matter if the kids hear you moaning and groaning.
7. Less guilt the morning after.
6. It doesn't matter if they fantasize you're somebody else, because you are.
5. Forty years from now, you'll still enjoy candy.
4. If you don't get what you want, you can always go next door.
3. If you get tired, you can wait 10 minutes and go again.
2. You can wear a Batman mask and nobody thinks you're kinky.
1. You can do the whole neighborhood!
who was just in the mood for a cheap laugh
Friday, October 28, 2005
That was a lame cry for attention.
It's going to take a lot to convince me that this isn't one too.
On a flight from DC to Sacramento tonight, I noticed a completely
empty seat in the last row. I abandoned the CSO and trooped back
there, where I watched "the Apprentice" and fell asleep as we flew
I ended up sort of stranded as I didn't wake up until the "fasten your
seat belts" light came on, and when the plane landed we were told we
would have to wait on the groud for another plane to be moved out of
So I pulled out my BlackBerry and called the CSO on his to say
"hello," then listened to the stewardesses sitting in the back bitch
about what a cranky plane we were.
And now I'm typing on my BlackBerry, sending out a blog post, goofily
delighted to live in this wacky decade.
Time to deplane.
"And she suddenly realized that what she thought was freedom and joy
was nothing but anarchy and sloth."
--Norman Juster's "The Dot and the Line"
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
From a speech Harriet Miers gave ten years ago.
Yes, kids, a lady who thought the pledge of allegiance provides justice ten years ago is about to get on the Goddamned Supreme Court.
I'd have some scotch and go to bed, but Kaiser's website says booze will aggravate my headaches.
No one on this earth has ever felt less like a tiger than headachy, depressed CC, who discovered that her new migraine medication doesn't work on her about halfway through a luncheon for a distinguished congressman from the great state of Virginia and worked for the rest of the day as it's not her company's fault her head hurts and she had stuff to do because she was going to take a vacation, but now it's looking like she's not. (Long story.)
And now she's lying in a dark room giving herself thirty minutes or so to feel sorry for herself before she goes back to being stoical. Because there's no point in being anything but stoical about an undangerous pain that won't go away.
Yes, I know you're sorry. And that's nice to know, thank you.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
TheCSO is off doing his computer stuff. Normally at such times I'd call a friend, but I got home pretty late and the list of friends willing to entertain me at eleven o'clock at night. My feet are too tired to stand in front of the stove and bake something for the Chalicerelative.
So I'm watching "Medium" and trying to relax.
Ps. Sorry about the disappearing Linguist Friend essay. I'll try to get it back up within a few days.
Monday, October 24, 2005
My Immitrex is on order and I start it tomorrow.
Right now, I get one more night of happy, silly, functionally illiterate CC on tylenol with codeine.
who has a lot to say, but can't, you know, say it really. *Giggle*
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Pain hit about a 5 on my pain scale of choice and I made another appointment for tonight, whch turned out to be pointless. They offered me narcotics injections but the pain wasn't the central issue. They couldn't give me a neurologist referral. I will have to come back on Monday for that.
Ps. While I am starting to think Roger's diagnosis of cluster headches was spot on, the doctor sure laughed at me when asked for his suggested medcation. Tylenol with codeine will have to suffice apparently.
Soon I will write about things other than my headache, I swear. I am aware of the degree to which I am being humored in y'all still reading my blog.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
So I'm finding myself having trouble getting excited one way or another about a high school band director pulling it from the school's routine because someone in a local papar complained about separation of church and state. I can sort of see both sides. And mostly, I think it's stupid either way.
Have I mentioned that my head hurts?
My test prep company couldn't find a substitute so I had to teach algebra with huge screaming pain in my head. By the time class was over, I could have fallen asleep right there. Of course now that it's the middle of the night I'm wide awake again.
After a long day at work, I went to check on the ChaliceRelative, then I actually did a pretty good job of teaching despite everything. My minister is preaching on stoicism on Sunday and for a few minutes tonight I actually entertained the thought that I could feel smug as I listened before remembering that I had regaled the entire internet with my tale of woe. Oh well.
I'm trying not to mention it at work (I think it's a good sign that I'm coming off as not too dramatic when people think brain tumor* jokes are still funny. WtF people?)
But I'm being all needy and lame around TheCSO and my assorted pals. And that's not good. Now that I've had it for a week, I am starting to wonder if I should be trying to eatablish a new headache normal. I mean, giving myself special treatment because I have a headache is getting old. Earlier in the week the answer to "How long have you had the headache?" was "a couple of days." Now it's "Since Thursday." On Friday the answer will become "Since last Thursday."
I think by the time the answer becomes "Since October" my friends will be a little tired of me being snappish and bitchy for no reason.
All right, NOW I'm being melodramatic. So maybe that's a sign I should curl up in bed and give sleeping another shot.
*For the record, my headaches are worst in the afternoon and early evening while the warning sign for a brain tumor is when they are worst in the morning, I'm not vomiting, no seizures or weird weaknesses and the optometrist didn't see any signs of increased intracranial pressure. But it still scares the shit out of me that I can't remember recent things well when I'm normally then one who remembers everything. Intellectually, I realize this is because my brain is spending a lot of time these days going "Ow ow ow ow ow ow"but it is still freaky. Upshot: Not funny.
Ps. Apologized to theCSO for being such a whiner recently. He responded "You've been much worse before with less reason." I'm such a lucky girl.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Optometrist says it's not my eyes.
GP says she doesn't know what it is, so she gave me medicine for a sinus infection.
Things I have tried to make my headache go away:
1. Extra sleep
2. Extra water
3. Extra caffeine
4. No caffeine
7. Over-the-counter decongestants
8. Bayer (helped some)
9. Excedrin (ditto)
10. Sitting in the dark (also helped a bit)
11. Talking out emotional stuff (there's a few things up, but not an unusual number or of an unusual intensity.)
12. Prescription decongestants and nose drops.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Lynette is so self-pitying as to be totally unwatchable. I fast forward through her scenes. When I don't, I'm always sorry. What a megabitch. Does she actually give her kids a bunch of sugar so they will behave badly when other people watch them, so that said other people will feel sorry for Lynette? Yes, she does. Can you freaking believe girlfriend was jealous of her kid's IMAGINARY FRIEND? Why, yes, she was.
And every episode had the same Lynette plot for the entire last season.
Susan and Gabrielle are OK, in their way, but I wouldn't watch a show about just them. That I don't hate Susan is a compliment to Teri Hatcher, not the writers.
But I found Bree's attempts to make sense of the world in the early episodes absolutely riveting. She's a person who wants to live an unambiguous life in ambiguous world. I see a lot of depth to Bree and a lot of really interesting complexity. Her character was very consistent, yet never exactly predictable last season. I think she's very well written.
Or, well, I did. I don't know what the hell is up with her now.
I was actually planning a "Let us now praise Bree Van Kamp" post at the end of last season going into some of the theology of her way of dealing with the world. Now it will probably never happen.
Well, we bought our negatives from our wedding photographer last week and she sent them, you guessed it, DHL.
The CSO reports that he fished them out of the puddle just fine and that our always-on-the-ball photographer had put them in a plastic bag inside the soaked cardboard envelope.
They weren't damaged a bit.
1. Her husband has been murdered and she just doesn't seem to care why or by whom.
2. A woman obsessed with propriety is dating a month after her husband died.
3. The new man doesn't get along with her teenage son, and she acts like it is the son's fault and he is being unreasonable for objecting to the above two.
4. She could love someone whom she basically doesn't know anything about.
5. The cops would ask "Do you love George" on a lie detector test and the results would be at all meaningful.
OK, that's it. I think I'm done with this show. The plots were never worth it. I watched for the characters and they are writing my favorite character so badly that I'm just losing interest.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Part of me is considering committing suicide by bashing my head into something and part of me is starting to wonder if perhaps I will miss the headache a bit when it is gone. As I often do, I find myself thinking of Kierkegaard writing "My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known -- no wonder, then, that I return the love."
All of this has put me in an extremely bad mood, which is probably why some things I've dealt with recently are producing this reaction.
Today I am pondering how much we have to tell people about what's going on in our lives. My issue is that I almost never tell anyone (outside a very tight inner circle of friends) about the upsetting things in my life for the simple reason that there are too many of them. My family is a big southern novel and somebody is always getting arrested, getting fired, getting estranged from somebnody else or doing something self-destructive and having to go into the hospital. The only reason that I am not a colossal bore to all my friends is that I do not talk about it. Yes, some individual events are upsetting enough that I write about them or talk about them here, but as a general principal I ask people what's up with them instead.
I don't want to punish people for caring about me, just sometimes I wish they didn't quite so much.
I had told one lady in my church that my Dad hasn't been doing well. Today in front of another lady she asks how he is. Lady #2 says "Is your dad sick?" I mumbled a yes (the truth) and that he would be fine (a lie) and shuffled off, hoping that the whole church wouldn't find out. My parents' church is full of well-meaning people who have a nasty habit of turning church families into community service projects, a tendency that brings to mind C.S. Lewis' comment "She's the sort of woman who lives for others - you can tell the others by their hunted expression."
I really do only announce births, deaths and marriages at Joys and Concerns.
This attitude is fine when it comes to church, but it has created issues for me when friends of mine have been offended that I didn't confide. But those who aren't really close to me seem uncomfortable when I do.
So that's what I'm thinking about today. At least for an hour as I go take a nap before I meet a friend for lunch. My head hurts, you know.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
There are 12 letters in your name.
Those 12 letters total to 57
There are 4 vowels and 8 consonants in your name.
Your number is: 3
The characteristics of #3 are: Expression, verbalization, socialization, the arts, the joy of living.
The expression or destiny for #3:
An Expression of 3 produces a quest for destiny with words along a variety of lines that may include writing, speaking, singing, acting or teaching; our entertainers, writers, litigators, teachers, salesmen, and composers. You also have the destiny to sell yourself or sell just about any product that comes along. You are imaginative in your presentation, and you may have creative talents in the arts, although these are more likely to be latent. You are an optimistic person that seems ever enthusiastic about life and living. You are friendly, loving and social, and people like you because you are charming and such a good conversationalist. Your ability to communicate may often inspire others. It is your role in life to inspire and motivate; to raise the spirits of those around you.
The negative side of number 3 Expression is superficiality. You may tend to scatter your forces and simply be too easygoing. It is advisable for the negative 3 to avoid dwelling on trivial matters, especially gossip.
Your Soul Urge number is: 8
A Soul Urge number of 8 means:
With an 8 soul urge, you have a natural flare for big business and the challenges imposed by the commercial world. Power, status and success are very important to you. You have strong urges to supervise, organize and lead. Material desires are also very pronounced. You have good executive abilities, and with these, confidence, energy and ambition.
Your mind is analytical and judgment sound; you're a good judge of material values and also human character. Self-controlled, you rarely let emotions cloud judgment. You are somewhat of an organizer at heart, and you like to keep those beneath you organized and on a proper track. This is a personality that wants to lead, not follow. You want to be known for your planning ability and solid judgment.
The negative aspects of the 8 soul urge are the often dominating and exacting attitude. You may have a tendency to be very rigid, sometimes stubborn.
Your Inner Dream number is: 6
An Inner Dream number of 6 means:
You dream of guiding and fostering the perfect family in the perfect home. You crave the devotion from offspring and a loving spouse. You picture yourself in the center of a successful domestic unit.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
But there is a cool discussion going on right now about whether the comparison of civil rights for gays and civil rights for African-Americans that so easily leaps to lips like mine is, in fact, an accurate and reasonable comparison to make.
For me, it is a great comparison for making points. In a recent discussion over a restaurant that had a sign up saying “For Service, Speak English,” and has gotten in trouble for it, the comparison to a sign that said “Only whites served” or something like that seemed obvious enough. But the language issue is essentially a racial one as well.
The homosexuality comparison is a little farther off, I’ll admit.
But why supporters of gay rights want to make it seems clear enough. Nobody’s saying that race relations are anything like perfect in this country, but we have gone from a time when blatant racism was perfectly acceptable to a time when far more subtle racism is big-time frowned upon and in many ways illegal. Again, the journey isn’t over, but African Americans have gone an incredible distance and that gays and lesbians would like to go as far seems reasonable enough to me.
Can one hide one’s homosexuality? More easily than one’s race, but one can’t really hide it for long without considerable cost.
Anyway, it’s an interesting discussion and good points have been made on both sides.
Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.
*By far the best is a guy bitching because a woman named Kitty’s church with 225 people “only” raised $5,000 because he says that $22 from every man, woman and child in the congregation isn’t very much. Nothing says “I’ve never worked in professional fundraising” like that.
Kitty, I do this stuff for a liveing and I would kill to make $5000 for every 225 people I tried to raise from. Your church did a damn good job and don’t let anyone tell you different.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
I've always thought that if I were a slave in ancient Egypt, I might rather die building the pyramids at 30 than of old age at 35, so this is a point I have already considered from several angles. Readers of mine who think I make controversial points for sheer shock value or to show my hipness would expect me to leap gladly onto this particular bandwagon. (Item: My points aren't shocking, they just might be different than yours. And I may not know much about hipness, but I know that if I want to be hip, writing a religion blog is not the hobby to have.)
I stopped eating red meat several months ago and am cutting down on chicken and pork. But actually I'm in the large middle ground here with those who find actual mistreatment of animals bad, but don't particularly care one way or another whether a fish gets eaten by a bear or eaten by me. Cecily-with-a-calling is a vegan and her partner and children are too. They are coming for Thanksgiving and she warned me her daughter might ask me why I ate animals. I said I planned to respond:
"It's OK, the salmon I ate was a bad salmon who voted Republican."
(To her credit, C had much more of a sense of humor about this comment than lots of people would expect a vegan to as they have a reputation as a pretty dour bunch. And no, I wouldn't actually say that. Probably.)
That having been said, that the animals fur products are made out of are skinned alive is indeed nasty and gross and the distinction that the animal is crying out not because it completely understands what is going to happen to it, but is instead crying out for its mother is not nearly so significant to me as it is to the writer. I will never look on Linguist Friend's fur hat the same way again, which is not to say I was a great fan of fur hats in the first place, because, well, come on. Look at them. If I wanted my head to look like that, I'd just ask Joe-the-hair guy to cut my hair a little more like Phyllis Diller's.
Up until now, I'd thought animals being skinned for fur were killed by anal electrocution.
I guess when it comes to fur "nasty and gross" is a relative thing.
Monday, October 10, 2005
OK, if I understand the folks who are complaining correctly, they believe that Madonna is capitalizing on Kabbalah mysticism. While she’s obviously no icon of propriety, I have to say that I really don’t understand how this can be the case. When, say, the mother of a dead soldier becomes famous by making a big show of asking the president to pray with her, then giving lots of interviews to newspapers about how he won’t do it and lining up the book deals and speaking engagements, that, arguably, is capitalizing on one’s faith.
But for Madonna to write an album about her religion and praising a historical rabbi doesn’t seem that way to me at all. I mean, it’s not like people are going to pick up the album, saying “I figured I’d get this, even though I’ve never heard of this Madonna chick, because I’m really into 16th century Jewish mystics and Yitzhak Luria is my total fave.”
Call me a Pollyanna here, but as far as I can tell Madonna really believes this and her faith is sincere and deeply felt. I think she wrote the song because she’s into Luria’s writings and I really can’t think of any other explanation that makes sense.
As a member of a small faith, I can assure any of my readers of more mainstream faiths that being a member of a small religion in no way makes you cool. At best, it makes you mildly eccentric, at worst, people look at you funny, then go check cultwatch.com just to be sure. And while I don’t particularly want Madonna to convert to UUism and put out an album about Theodore Parker, I think she’s owed the benefit of the doubt for trying to spread her faith in a sincere manner.
That said, she's probably better off donating a bunch of profits from the album to charity or the church, not that she hasn't been a famously big doner already.
But I still don't think she has done anything wrong.
- The Corpse Bride I've had death on my mind a lot recently and I've seen it twice. Both times I teared up a bit at the scene where the little kid goes "Grandpa!" I amy go see it again. That I'm seeing it multiple times is probably a little psychological dust devil of mine, but it really is a very good movie.
And Victor is quite CSO-like in looks and manner, so much so that it was a little weird.
It's like "The Nightmate before Christmas" but I think it is visually far more sophisticated. It's also a good deal less wacky.
- Douglas Coupland's Hey, Nostradamus It's sort of weird to find usually comic author Douglas Coupland writing about school shootings. I'd only read a little bit of his stuff before and it seemed like it was mostly comedy, not that this book doesn't have funny moments and some weird twists. I like novels that deal with religion without being "religious novels" per se. Also, there's a conservative Christian in it and I began it hoping that somebody had actually written a mainstream book with a really sympathetic conservative Christian in it. (I don't think I've seen one since Clyde Edgerton's Raney.) Reg, the Christian, is pretty amazing by the end of the book, but he's still not sympathetic.
Reminds me a bit of Don DeLillo's White Noise and gives one a similar feeling of having suffered an intellectual asskicking.
- John Hassler's Grand Opening There was a time when I was really into coming of age stories. This book proves that time is over. Well written enough in its way, but overall? Meh.
- W.A. Swanberg's The Rector and the Rogue was in a used bookstore I went to with Linguist Friend in July. Somehow it showed up in the trunk of my car last week. A very strange non -fiction book detailing a late-1800s practical joke played on a New York minister. Nice descriptions, lots of cool backstory and obvious affection for the prankster made this an unusual read. Way the hell out of print, but if you see a copy, pick it up.
- T.C. Boyle's The Human Fly and other Stories was quite good as well. I find much of Boyle's work rather depressing. (Fellow UUs, in The Tortilla Curtain he's talking about us...) These stories were actually a little more varied that Boyle's usual "aren't people ever hypocrites" schtick. (Though of all the people who have that schtick, Boyle is the best I've ever seen at doing interesting things with it.)
- Actually, the book I've most enjoyed all year thus far may be former New York Times food critic Ruth Riechel's autobiography Tender at the Bone, which does have a certain coming-of-age quality about it. I worry about myself liking a book that is so completely about food. The recipies in it look good, and the description of a souffle Riechel got at a Canadian friend's hoouse did send me to a French restaurant for ill-advised indulgence, but what really got me were Riechel's stories about growing up with a schizophrenic mother who inadvertantly poisoned her dinner guests on a fairly regular basis by serving them old food. Now THAT's a coming-of-age story I would like to have read more of. (The book does slow considerably after her childhood, but I still kept reading. She's not quite M.F.K. Fisher, but girlfriend can describe a meal.)
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
In my own defense, lack of mindfulness aside, that sort of thing really doesn't happen to me. I have kind of a knack for being unmindful. I'm good at it. In Geometry class, I frequently confounded Coach Pleasants by turning around to talk to Jenny in the seat behind me, yet being able to call out the answer when he tried to embarass me by asking for it. (I have kind of a knack for Geometry, too.)
I'm finding my quest to be mindful sort of difficult. I feel like I don't know the rules.
1. If I'm eating lunch with a coworker, can I check my Blackberry while she's at the buffet? Please?
2. Do I have to be mindful all the time, or can I, say, write a blog post and watch this week's Boston Legal on the TIVO at the same time when I'm by myself in the morning because it feels good and it isn't hurting anybody and damn Betty White makes me chuckle?
3. What if I'm on the phone with Linguist Friend and he uses a word I don't know or vice versa? Our usual habit is to stop and discuss the word while one of us looks it up. I realize you don't want me at your parties now, but is that unmindful? Perhaps it's more mindful given the attention we are paying to our conversation? But it does get the topic off track...
4. OK, checking my blackberry during the sermon is obviously tacky as hell, but how about during Joys and Concerns? Can we call that civil disobediance?
5. Speaking of the TIVO, is fast-forwarding through the commercials unmindful? That sounds like a stupid question. But I have to think that if I had a TIVO remote for life, I would absolutely fast forward through CK telling me, starry-eyed, what Ann Coulter had to say last night, and that sounds like it would be against the rules, so I thought I'd check.
Lots to think about and puzzle over.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Inattention has been something of a life theme. I didn’t think I got enough attention as a child, though probably every kid feels that way. I've had romances with inattentive people, but to me it has always been funny. My big reaction to one theologically-inclined lover was to write:
A book lover Suzyn once knew
Would procrastinate ere he would screw
"Lust after," said she,
"Pagels, not me,
And the Messiah will come before you."
Pithy verse did little to dispel the problem, but I don't think an argument would have either. I've always thought in lovers and friends that occasional inattention was sort of the cost of hanging out with the dreamy, in their heads sort of people I tend to associate with.
But I have a close friend to whom my own inattention is a big deal, so it's something I've vowed to work on. The situation came to a head this afternoon with a cell phone conversation (had while I was driving, of course) where she announced that my checking my blackberry during meals with her was very rude and I had hurt her feelings last time I'd done it.
To me, a person who checks their phone while waiting for the waiter is not a big deal, but even my snarky self doesn't like to hurt people's feelings, so I vowed to do better.
I arrived at my destination, a restaurant where I was meeting the Chalicerelative and her best friend for dinner, and rang off with my friend, slipping the phone into its case on my clutch purse and vowing not to remove it for the duration of the meal. I came in and sat down and put the bag on the table. The Chalicerelative was away from the table and after her greeting, the first thing the Chalicerelative's friend said was
"Your phone is blinking a green light. Do you need to check it?"
"No," I said, "It just does that."
When the Chalicecrelative returned, we got into a conversation about, of course, the Presbyterian Church and a full five minutes went by before she said,
"Miss Sue," (No, you cannot call me that. Only the Chalicerelative can.) "Your phone is blinking."
Sigh. "It's fine," I said. "It blinks all the time." And we had a good laugh over how her firend had pointed out the same thing.
This is getting predictable, I know.
Naturally, mid-rainbow trout, my phone starts to buzz.
"Do you need to get that?" the friend asks.
"Nah,'" I said, enjoying the moment, fully experiencing my trout.
"Miss Sue, your grandmother is sick. And your father had another fall yesterday. You really should answer your phone when it rings!"
"Guys, that buzz just means I got a text message. It's cool,"
And we went back to dinner.
Can't win for losing in this world.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
I'd say "What the fuck?" sums up my reaction nicely.
I hope to God this is something from the Onion.
whose own parents might not have passed.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
The ChaliceDad and I used to argue about the premises beneath this discussion frequently. He really does believe that language can create thought. He once grandly pronounced "De Maupassant could never have been born a German." That Orwell is on his side would come up all the time in these debates and while I like Orwell well enough and find that a good rereading of The Road to Wigan Pier fixes me right up when I start getting a little TOO libertarian, I do think Orwell is wrong on this issue.
His whole argument is based on the now basically disproved Sapir-Worf hypothosis.
I have always taken the opposite view, that language can influence thought, but thought basically creates language. I don't think there's a person in America who would seriously question the premise that the "Department of Defense" is anything but the old "Department of War" but with a different name. I agree with Stephen Pinker (who admittedly has a lesser mind than Orwell's I'm pretty sure, but one doesn't get to pick one's friends in intellectual arguments.) That using euphemnistic language is only really harmful to discourse when it consists of straight up lying. Ayn Rand's Anthem is on my side, featuring a collectivist state where individualism quietly goes on despite the state's banning of the word "I." (Again, can't pick one's friends in an intellectual argument.)