Thursday, November 29, 2007

If it is wrong to love this music video, I don't want to be right

Hat tip to Peacebang

CC reality TV report

(I'm only watching two reality shows, so this will be short.)

America's Next Top Model- It is becoming very clear that Saleisha will win. The judges love her and are apparently totally unable to see the blantant fakeness of her asskissery. I was amazed at how happy I was that a girl who was merely bitchy won the challenge. For two straight seasons, my favorite model has come in fifth and been kicked off at the go-see episode.

Project Runway- The only way Sweet Pea could annoy me more would be if she were to tell the world she's UU. (Don't know that she is, but she seems like the type.) I'm rooting for Kit, partially because she reminds me of Veronica Mars.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Things that are hysterical at 3:00am when insomnia strikes

GreenPeace adopted a whale. Greenpeace had a contest to pick a name for said whale.

There are 30 remaining entries.

29 of them are spiritual-sounding and inspirational, referencing great people or spiritual ideas from other cultures. (I'm fairly idealistic as law students go, and even I wouldn't name a whale after Atticus Finch.) These twenty nine names range literally from "Aiko" - which means 'little love' in Japanese to "Yarrindi" - which means 'song' in the Wagiman Aboriginal language of Australia.

The other suggested name?

Mr. Splashy Pants.

Greenpeace's voting site urged me to vote for my favorite name and encourage my friends to vote for it, too.

Go for it, kids.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

CC the Coke Fiend

It all started with a bottle of Dasani and a dull Civil Procedure class.

We were talking about work product and I was sitting there reading my spring water bottle. Hey, it said, look under the cap and text the code you find there to
"2653". Start saving for rewards!

Ok, I thought, I like rewards. I texted it in. "Congratulations!" It said.

I had three points!

Now go online and register! Start saving for rewards!

Ok, I thought. I popped over to register and took a quick look at the available rewards. There was a bitchin' designer purse for several thousand points. (CC has a weakness for designer purses.)


But the next time I had a coke product, I texted in the code. And when my housemate had a 24 pack, I asked her for the code. (That one was 10.)

A few weeks later I have 60 points.

And I can't pass a recycling bin without looking. I eye the diet coke bottle in my boss' hand, wondering if she would mind if I asked for the cap.

I'm becoming sort of weird about it.

So today, I decided to google "My Coke Rewards promotional codes" to see if they were giving away extra codes somewhere on the internet.

I got a promotional code worth a few points out of it, but I also got a disturbing revelation.

My Coke Rewards people are crazy.

There are passionate blog posts on the subject.

Message boards with hundreds of postings.

Over 100 ebay sales

Wow. I had no idea.

Sigh. I don't want to become one of those people. My habit will remain a casual thing.

At the same time, if anybody has a 24 pack of a coke product lying around...


A response to Peacebang's depression thread

PB reacted to this article and asked about depression/medication stories. She got lots of people who didn't like loosing the emotional extremes depression can bring.

I've mentioned before that my Dad is schizophrenic. He has never believed in medication. I should baldly state here that different people with different mental illnesses take their mental illnesses out on the people around them different amounts. (But yeah, I do hope that everybody in the "Brilliant sadness" chorus has examined the effect of the depression on the people they live with.)

Anyway, my Dad was beyond volatile when I was a kid. The things that set him off always seemed to have just enough of a pattern that figuring out a plan to never freak him out always seemed just out of mental reach.

Growing up with a Dad who was essentially human nitroglycerine made my thinking really, really Dad-centric. "How would my actions affect my dad?" was constantly on my mind. I to this day retain a large list of Dad reactions to various things, assembled when I was desperate to figure out why thing A upset him and closely-related thing B did not. I can remember sitting in front of the TV as a very small child, doing mental drills. Which commercial would set him off? Which one would be fine?

Depression was like having Dad in my head all the time even as an adult. It was a head full of nitro. It was having to spend ridiculous amounts of energy on not getting depressed. "Can't think about thing B, because it's closely related to thing A and I might set it off" is the basic pattern, but in my near three decades of life I'd spun off many variations.

The affect of medication for me was to take away the inherent volatility and give me a little bit of power over the situation. I am still sad over big things, but for smaller things or things that don't affect me, I can say "Boy, that's really depressing" without letting the depressing thing be the center of my life and attention for some undetermined period of time.

I am having to learn how to pay attention to things now, having spent a lot of time as a kid learning to keep things in my mental peripheral vision so I could look away quickly if they started upset me. It sucks, but it's progress.

A Yakov Smirnov voice in my head is saying "In Russia, depression has you."

No interest in going back to Russia, kids. None.


Friday, November 23, 2007


I haven't forgotten the Chaliceblog. I'm just busy studying.

And recovering from studying.

And planning to study more.

And reading books and taking a tape course about how to study more effectively.

I'm not saying that I won't post before my property exam on December 11, but I won't be myself.

who is thinking of how, upon hearing that I had brought my property textbook to Renn Faire, a friend of the CSO's said "I used to hate you because you got into GULC. Now I'm cured."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fausto's thought-provoking post

Check this out.

I have a response brewing, but it isn't ready yet.

And I forgive you if you skim the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem. I'm into Victorians, but he's a little much even for me.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wow, it's like the Chaliceblog, but in Finnish and set to music.

IMHO, the best part is about two minutes and twenty fiove seconds in.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Quote of the day

I have that personalized Google page that gives me a quote of the day. Today's quote is one of my favorites, from Neil Gaiman:

"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor."

-From The Sandman


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Oddly benign dream

Last night, I dreamed that the CSO and I won Weird Al tickets.

It was odd.

But pleasant.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Help CC decide

Is this as awesome as I think it is?


At least they didn't play "Imagine"

TheCSO and I went to see Across the Universe, or as everyone seems to call it "the Beatles movie" on Sunday. It probably won't be a surprise that the hippie-centric movie did not impress. Essentially as string of decent music videos to Beatles songs strung together with a plot that is ripped off of "Hair" but is still porn-movie-thin, it was an amusing way to spend two hours, but not much more.

TheCSO and I left it wondering if like, "the Wild West," "The sixties" will at some point become a standard movie setting that has little to do with historical reality. Seems highly possible. There were a few nods to the historical reality of hippies. It was very clear that the men ran the little activist group the female lead joins, leaving the women to do all the work and act as the moral conscience. But it did seem odd that the publically affectionate interracial couple didn't merit so much as a stare.

The main character, Jude, of course, doesn't really do anything for most of the movie. Things happen to him and one goes through the whole movie with him not getting a sense of who he is. Jude reminded me of a bit from Tempest-Tost, a Robertson Davies novel I like:

Cobbler pondered for a moment. "Well," he said, "I suppose if I were you -- that's to say a somewhat inert chap, half content to be the football of fate -- I'd go right on doing whatever I was doing at the moment, and hope the whole thing would blow over."

The celebrity cameos improve things a bit, particularly Eddie Izzard as Mr. Kite and the five Selma Hayeks (you kinda have too see it to believe it. But it was sexy.)

Toward the end, there is a weird sequence where Jude's girlfriend Lucy, who had broken up with him, is supposed to show up at a rooftop concert. Now, mind you, she doesn't know that Jude will be there. But when the cops won't let her in the door, the tone of the movie suddenly becomes somewhat tense. Jude expected her to be there! And she's not there! Does this mean she doesn't love him after all?

(CC thinks "Huh? Why would it mean that?)*

One would think any realistic person would just assume something came up and he could call her the next day, say "Hey, I came back from England for you because I was worried about you" and ask her out for coffee.

But reality isn't the point of this purely manufactured bit of drama. The point is her showing up at exactly the right time, so they can sing to each other across rooftops. The point is the image.

She makes it in the end, of course.

This is a silly, silly, movie.

And I have to mention my favorite moment, when Lucy-the-activist-hippie is fighting with Jude because he just wants to do his thing without doing a bunch of protesting. Lucy cries, somewhat hysterically, "I would throw myself in front of a tank if it would bring my brother home!"

And Jude says simply, "It wouldn't."

Damn right.


*Upon further reflection, I have to concede that I have known at least one hippie who was a great believer in imagining how something with her lover should go, and if her lover did not follow the mental script and it didn't go exactly the way she had pictured, assuming she wasn't sufficiently loved and creating drama about it. So maybe that part was realistic.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Any suggestions?

There are a couple of ladies in main office of the law firm where I work who will periodically send out mass e-mails with pithy religious sentiments and/or poorly thought out political essays.

These folks are not attorneys, but are the sort of staff who have a great deal of power to make your life suck if they decide they don't like you. I have a bad record of pissing people like that off, though I've managed to stay off of the radar screen at this job so far.

Today's email (A screed about how much the world hates us, what we should do to the terrorists, how we shouldn't give out money to people starving in other countries, and how we should deport illegal immigrants) ended with the words:

If you agree with the above forward it to friends...If not, and I would be amazed, DELETE it!!

I am tempted to do what I always do and heed the advice of the email and delete it.

But part of me would also really like these folks to stop it with the Jesus and the conservative politics.

I'm half tempted to use one against the other and email back saying that I follow the teachings of a carpenter who told us to take care of the poor. But that's not entirely true. And it would probably get me even more Jesus e-mails.

I'm also tempted to say that I find the emails sort of distracting and to please stop sending them to me. But I really don't want to cheese these people off. So maybe not making waves is the best idea.

Any thoughts?


Friday, November 02, 2007

So what if you don't like the UUAWO? What should you do about it?

In response to Hafidha's comment...

1. Politely start asking questions.

Do we really need it?

Can we point to any recent successes other than small amounts of publicity? (And I do mean small. According to Google news, the only publications that even noticed the "Quickly abandon Iraq and watch the Iraqis who trusted us get butchered" petitions were UU World and Bay Windows.)

How much does it cost?

Do the resources we spend on it really do anything other than make us feel good about ourselves? What could, say, Beacon House do with those resources?

Is it projecting the public image we want to project?

Is it truly representative of who we are as a denomination?

2. Talk up the issue among UUs and get them at least thinking about it if not talking about it themselves. You would be surprised at the number of UUs who have never even considered the issue of being welcoming to conservatives and moderates or how it must feel to have liberal statements made constantly on your behalf when you don't agree. Such people are usually pretty understanding when you actually explain the issue, but it just isn't something that occurs to most UUs.

3. Suck it up. Because UUs, particularly the sort who go to GA, are way too in love with the UUAWO to get rid of it, and nobody in the UUA cares what the moderates and conservatives think any more than the any elected officials actually care what the UUs think.

4. Pause to appreciate the irony of #3. Then go back to 1 and 2, keep thinking and keep talking and wait for the time when our voices make more of a difference. Because UUism is flawed, but is full of good people and is well worth sticking with and fixing.