Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ack! Naked Harry Potter kid...

A girl I used to babysit, and I use the term loosely, is now a college kid studying theatre.

She's going to London for a week or so. I was talking to her mother the other day and her mom said she had been trying to convince my ex-babysitee to go see the kid who plays Harry Potter in Equus. He's naked, ex-babysittee's mother pointed out.

Now one of the reasons I like the Harry Potter kid is that he sort of looks like theCSO. But the idea of him naked in Equus still kind of freaks me out.

I never liked Equus anyway.

As a good ex-babysitter now with a law job, I knew my role. I sent ex-babysittee a myspace message asking if the money for a ticket to Equus were to appear if she would want to go and would have time.

But geez...


Monday, February 26, 2007

That could have sucked

Close one, huh?


We woke up yesterday morning and the whole world had that wedding cake look that comes from new snow. I decided early on that I wasn't going to church and my test prep company canceled the only other thing I had to do that day. (Which is too bad as I had been originally planning to go see Linguist Friend this weekend and I put off the visit because of this big meeting the test prep company was having.)

So theCSO and my housemates and I hung out at home all day.

Early in the day, I suggested three plans for the day:

1. Get drunk.
2. Have a snowball fight.
3. Get drunk AND have a snowball fight.

Plan 3 was unanimously accepted and a couple-vs-couple snowball fight was planned. Trash-talking was had. As the one in the house who grew up with the most virulent siblings, I suspect I would have had a big advantage. But we ended up putting off the snowball fight for another day. We snuck out to Circuit City and bought a Nintendo Wii and used this bizarre Japanese video game theCSO knew about as a drinking game.

Best evening I've had in a long time. (I should mention here that on the whole I'm a pretty serious person not given to heavy amaretto consumption and Japanese video games, but something about being snowed in brings out the impulsive little kid in me.)

Oh yeah, and the Oscars happened and Little Miss Sunshine and a bunch of movies I haven't seen won Oscars.

Yay Little Miss Sunshine, which managed to have quirkiness without a Royal-Tennenbaums-esque feel of manufactured quirkiness.

I woke up to see if the roads were cleaned up enough for me to go to work. Which they are, so I should go have a bottle of water and take an additional nap.


Neat story on Repressed Memory

The concept of Repressed Memory fascinates me. I'm a skeptic on it, and I found this story really interesting.


Strom Thurmond's Family owned Al Sharpton's grandfather


It would have been fascinating if this story had come out while Thurmond was alive.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hilarious SNL digital short

TheCSO and I have watched this like six times in the last week or so and we still think it's a riot.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Thoughts on my acceptance to Georgetown Law

First off, for months, theCSO has been saying things like "Georgetown's not that great, it's probably not worth the money" and "George Mason is actually a really good school, and you could certainly get well-prepared for what you want to do if you went there."

Since I've gotten in, he has changed his tune completely to "OK, I have a plan for paying for it..." and "I spy with my little eye someone who's going to Georgetown!"

So that's good. Because I'd been worried for months that I would have to have the "Umm... Sweetie, I know you don't seem to like Georgetown for whatever reason, and I know it costs, like, as much as four Miatas, but I really want to go? Is that OK?" conversation. But know, he was just preparing me for the worst.

I'm still a bit insecure on the whole going-to-school-where-I-will-be-constantly-surrounded-with-really-smart-people issue, which, nothing on McLean High School or St. Andrews Presbyterian College, is not something I've ever really had to deal with. Last night I was talking to Linguist Friend and I was like:

"At Georgetown Law, would I be the dumb kid?"

"You had a 2.92 GPA in college and you still got in. That's not the dumb kid. The dumb kid works really hard and had higher grades, but doesn't have the personal statement or the LSAT scores you had." Linguist Friend said.

Ooh, that was obvious.

And I felt like the dumb kid for a minute.

But talking to Linguist Friend can be like that.


CC dreams of a few Chalicesseurs.

Last night, I dreamed that my friend whom I shall dub Jana-who-creates and I were driving around in the rain and we took some wrong turns and ended up going down roads where the waters were rising, but at the same time, it was incredibly fun and we found our way back to the main road without trouble.

I also dreamed that GA was held at the college I went to. Peacebang and I were standing in a classroom I remember well and I was bitching to her about the fact that the Liz Claiborne for chubby girls stores are closing. Philo was there and I remember him going "Why aren't we having any events for bloggers this year?" and I was saying "Was I supposed to do that?"

I had one of those nights where I wake up at three or so and then every hour thereafter. I've had a lot of those recently.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I've mentioned that the most beautiful words in the English language...

are "You've been measuring yourself wrong all this time. You're actually a D cup."

But I have to say "Please accept my warm congratulations on your acceptance to Georgetown University Law Center" would be a close second.

I don't know that I can afford to go.

But oh my goodness, I got in!


Monday, February 19, 2007

Help CC be PC

During the controversy over the (no longer official) Seattle Public Schools' definition of racism*, the Seattle Public Schools statement and one of my commenters assured me that having an individual as opposed to a collective ideology was an example of institutional racism.

I didn't 100 percent buy that, but I let it go.

Over the weekend on my retreat, we asked the youth to respond to an e.e. cummings quote about individuality that said essentially that the struggle to remain oneself in a world that wants people to be all alike is the greatest struggle we will ever face. (I'm a moderate on individuality myself. I think it is very easy, for UUism especially, to turn our love of individuality into a worship of ourselves. At the same time, I'm hardly a collectivist.)

One of the youth pointed out that e.e. cummings might well have written the quote in the 1940s or 50s, a rather conformist era in America, and said he wasn't sure that it applied to post-1960s America. I thought that was wicked impressive coming from a 16-year-old.

Then the same guy mentioned that a hyperfocus on individuality was a very Western thing and, say, Buddhists were less inclined to be hung up on that sort of thing. (Indeed, I think I recall that Buddha himself taught that there was no such thing as an individual soul.)

Later on, some people expressed concern that we shouldn't be talking about other religions we don't know much about and we shouldn't be making assumptions like that.

I'm confused.



*For those who don't recall, this was when the Seattle Public Schools put out a statement giving controversial examples of institutional racism, including having a future time orientation and defining one form of English as standard. I wrote about it extensively here.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lock-ins are for punks

This picture does not begin to do justice to the music room of the 18th century mansion where my YRUU group is having a retreat.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines Day

CC's friend Margaret, who died last year, sent CC a Star Wars Valentine every year.

Because of that and a few other reasons I'm blue today, which is odd since life has been looking up.

Anyway, I'll continue the tradition.


The Farfax County Virginia Cuircuit Court is closed today

I feel the need to tell you this because it took a solid half hour of searching to find out. Why the Circuit court, the Washington Post, and the Washington Times have well-hidden this information I do not know, but it seems crazy to me not to just have an "inclement weather closings" link someplace obvious. The Fairfax County General District court does this. The link gives a phone number. Calling the phone number gives an answering machine that nicely tells one about the General District Court but says nada about the circuit court.

Naturally the local TV stations' websites have huge red "Weather closings!" links, but do not go into enough detail to tell me about specifically the circuit court. (If you haven't guessed, whether CC went to work today hinged on whether the circuit court was open because her boss follows their decision.)

Anyway, it turns out that the Circuit Court information was on the web page for the County Government. Of course, the Circuit Court's page had said they would only close if the County govenrnment closed, and that page reveals that the county government is open and the circuit court is, in fact, closed.

But hey, whatever, at least I know.

Of course, I just started my new job yesterday and was having fun, and since I'm staying home I should clean the house.

Oh well.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Chalicechick accepted at George Washington University Law school


She applied to five schools and it is her third choice, but hey, it's exciting to be in anywhere.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Activists who damage their causes

Example 1:
According to this story, John Gravois of Los Angeles and Karl Neilsen of Perth, Australia, two anti-whaling activists, got lost in the fog and radioed for help.

A Japanese whaling ship came to the rescue and picked them up.

Once they were on land, they threw foul-smelling acid on the ship, getting it in one crew member's eyes.


Example 2:
A state senator who is against gay marriage recently spoke at King Philip Regional High School. According a local paper, he read off a bunch of comments that students had posted on sites about him He read comments, including nasty snipes at his daughter, and read aloud the names of the students who had made those comments, inciting an uproar. Of course, the students' parents consider this really unfair and are making all sorts of fuss about it, but if you're going to be hateful in accusing other people of hate, I'd say you have it coming.

Also, the man supports civil unions. When those kids get out of Massechusetts, I bet they will miss him.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

FWIW, something like this happend to my brother once...

Two Florida teenagers who were above the age of consent have been arrested on kiddie porn charges because they took pictures of THEMSELVES having sex.

The best part of the majority opinon of the appeals court that upheld them getting busted on these charges:

Further, if these pictures are ultimately released, future damage may be done to these minors' careers or personal lives. These children are not mature enough to make rational decisions concerning all the possible negative implications of producing these videos.

Umm... LOTS of damage was done to my brother's career and personal life when he was SENT TO JAIL ON KIDDIE PORN CHARGES.

who should clarify that my brother had pictures of his friend and the friends wife, which she concedes constitutes muddier waters.


[After noting the death of Father Robert Drinan on Sunday, Jan.28, 2007, I realized that he was barely known to many of my coreligionists. The following brief notice draws on his obituaries published on the past January 29 in the Boston Globe, The New York Times, and the Washington Post, which can be consulted for fuller information.]

The Massachusetts summer of 1970 was hot as I walked around the Watertown section of the Boston suburban congressional district where Father Robert Drinan, longtime Dean of the Boston College Law School, and more recently (1969-1970) provost and Vice President of BC, was running against incumbent U.S. Representative Philip J. Philbin, who had occupied the congressional seat for 28 years. My wife and sons were away for the summer in northern Maine, and the activity gave me an evening distraction from concentrating on a scholarly doctoral dissertation of a detailed sort which, as a Polish linguist wrote of his own master’s thesis, might have damaged a young mind. I was canvassing a multiethnic lower middle class district of aging houses, walking up and down rolling streets, wearing a suit and tie which immediately marked me as an outsider but dissociated the Drinan campaign from hippy opponents of the Vietnam war. Among the Watertown residents I met that summer, a U.S. government employee made it clear to me that he could not engage in public political activity. An elderly Armenian woman from Iran gave me tea as we talked politics in French, our only mutual language. A Harvard doctoral candidate in English, working on his own dissertation on Middle English literature, and his dancer wife, startled me with their loving combination of learning and beauty. At one point, whether as a matter of optimism or out of a sense of humor at the campaign headquarters (the chairman of his campaign was the present Senator John Kerry), I was assigned to canvass a nunnery, where I soon encountered the hostility of parochial Catholicism to Drinan’s outspoken Catholic liberalism. I did not need to go very far inside the nunnery to encounter such views; I was not allowed to get much further. Thirty percent of the voters in Drinan’s district thought that it was not appropriate for a priest to be active in politics. With a more positive view of these issues, supporters of the Drinan campaign would refer to “Our father, who art in congress.”

Drinan won the primary, and then in November 1970 he beat both a Republican opponent and write-in votes from the Philbin faction. In so doing, after leaving his administrative position at Boston College over the objections of his superiors, he was the only Roman Catholic priest to be elected as a voting member of Congress, although Protestant pastors had preceded him. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming a member of the 92nd Congress the following January, and stayed in Congress for 10 years, until Pope John Paul II forbade priests to hold a legislative position, and Drinan was forced to either resign or cease to be a member of the clergy, which for him was unthinkable. In a 1992 interview with the Boston Globe, he commented “History will have to judge whether or not that was a wise decision”. You can read public statements from Senator Edward Kennedy and others in the New York Times and Washington Post for Jan. 29, 2007 as to what sort of congressman Drinan was: Kennedy said “The nation has lost one of the finest persons ever to serve in Congress.” In 2004, the American Bar Association awarded him the ABA Medal and described him as “the stuff of which legends are made.” Last year, he received the Congressional Distinguished Service award together with three other former members of the U.S.House. Rep. Edward J.Markey of Massachusetts described Drinan more pointedly, saying “When I arrived in Congress . . . Father Drinan was already serving as the conscience of the House of Representatives with every vote he cast.” An interesting point is that while serving in Congress, Drinan continued to wear his priestly clothing. He is quoted as saying “It’s the only suit I own”, but it is more likely that he saw his congressional activity as very much a continuation of his role as a Jesuit priest. John Kerry has phrased this same thought differently: the Globe obituary quotes him as saying “Father Drinan was a forever gentle, resilient, tenacious advocate for social justice and fundamental decency. . . . He lived out in public life the whole cloth of Catholic teachings.” The Georgetown Law dean, T. Alexander Aleinikoff, described him as “a man without rancor” whose beliefs made him view every human as “deserving respect and possessing dignity”, terms which should resonate with UUs.

Drinan, a distinguished legal scholar and teacher, had been Boston College law school dean and for a year (1969-1970) was vice president and provost of Boston College. He was effective as a member of the house Judiciary Committee. He was the first person “to file the resolution of impeachment against Nixon” (his own words), not because of the Watergate break-ins, but because of the massive bombing of Cambodia. Drinan opposed the draft and had liberal views about abortion and birth control which even now would arouse criticism in many religious circles. After stepping down from Congress, he accepted a position as law school professor at Georgetown University in 1981. “He taught courses on human rights, constitutional law, civil liberties, legislation, ethics and professional responsibility”, according to the New York Times.

Drinan was active for many liberal political causes, and wrote a number of books which were noteworthy more for legally informed advocacy of human rights than for traditional summaries for law students. Before campaigning for him, I had read two of his books on timely issues, “Democracy, Dissent, and Disorder” (1969) and “Vietnam and Armageddon” (1970), the latter of which even bore the imprimatur of Cardinal Cushing, the Archbishop of Boston. In recent years, he published “Can God and Caesar Coexist? Balancing Religious Freedom and International Law” (2005). He would have been teaching this semester, at age 86, if not for the failure of his health, which resulted in pneumonia and congestive heart failure from which he died on Sunday, January 28, 2007. You can find many more details in the obituaries noted above. At our local UU service last Sunday, I commented about him under “Joys and Concerns”, that his passing should be recognized not with grief at his death, but simply with joy that he lived.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Not a cow by GA

Hey, I'm kicking around starting a UU blogger dieting support group called "Not a Cow by GA"

Details to follow, but expect snarkiness, peer pressure and smoothie recipies...

Who's in?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

CC voted Best Lay in the UU blogosphere!

Or something like that.

Thanks, guys

who thought of that joke like day one of this competition and has been saving it all along

Friday, February 02, 2007

A story for Ms. Kitty.

Miss Kitty sounds depressed, so in case she wanders by, I'm going to tell you about my friend's eight-year-old who is married to a stuffed skunk.

He had lots of small stuffed animals, he explained, so when he got this large stuffed skunk for Christmas, he knew she had to be the Mommy skunk. But he was the stuffed animals' Daddy already, and well, all other things being equal, Mommys should be married to Daddies. So the skunk, who goes by Skunkariena, is now his wife.

I pointed out that if he got Skunkariena in a box, she must be a mail-order-bride from Russia. I watched a lot of Yakov Smirnov comedies as a kid and do a credible comedy Russian accent, I brought Skunkariena to life at which point she started to lecture her husband about how he never took her out to dinner. Eventually, this developed into a game where Skunkariena would fall asleep and begin to dream, then would inevitably be woken up and would angrily berate all concerned because she had been dreaming she was a movie star filming a movie with David Duchovney and was JUST ABOUT TO KISS HIM when she'd been woken up by all the racket they were making.

(She also dreamed about buying Prada shoes, lying by the beach and being in a cookie factory. This is a skunk with an active fantasy life.)

OK, this story really doesn't have a point, other than that anyone who isn't cheered up by this story is not imagining it properly.


Ps. Longtime readers will find the storyline of that game somewhat familiar

Pps. Ok, Ms. Kitty has already cheered up