Friday, February 29, 2008

Best LOLcat ever

But you have to be in on the joke.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why I *do* go to church.

A response to this extremely popular post

1. Because farmer’s markets that close at 11:30 are open for lots of hours before that. Out of bed, Hippie!

2. Because I am, at heart, an extremely self-centered person. (IMHO, you pretty much have to be to have a blog and write about yourself, your thoughts, what you’re up to, your political views, etc) Going to church on Sunday, even if I don’t attend the service and teach youth group instead, reconnects me back outside myself. I need a time each week to remind myself that it isn’t all about me, and when I get it, there is a corresponding drop in my stress level over little stuff.

3. Because my local BFF goes to the same church and after church we often get burritos together and hang out with her family. No church, no queso and no laugher ringing off the walls as ZombieKid beats up on me.

4. Because when I lived in South Carolina and was depressed and lonely, I drove 60 miles every Sunday to go to church with a minister whose preaching reallysucked. Now that I have my pick of churches within ten miles, I’m so going.

5. Because lots of the people who mean most to me in this world met me through UUism. (Katy-the-Wise, Linguist Friend and Jana-who-Creates, for starters, and lots of other people.)

6. Because I’ve made a commitment to work with the youth, a commitment that has brought me lots of joy and given me a chance to do the most fun thing in the church.

And oddly enough, people think that it is a big sacrifice and fuss over me for it.

(When people say, “You slept in the youth cabin this retreat? You’re so brave!”
My stock response is “Yeah, last night we stayed up until 2:00am listening to Queen and talking about boys. And sometimes I let them do what THEY want to do...”)

7. Because the UUs I’ve known, even the annoying ones, have done so much for other people and the world, I like to keep an eye out for things I can do to help them and help UUism.
Also, church is the one place in my life where people accost me and ask me to make sack lunches for homeless shelters, pay for English classes in Transylvania and donate to canned food drives. Am I happy to do these things? You bet! Would I end up doing them if I wasn't asked? It's unlikely!

8. Because I can sing and pray and talk to people who are making the same spiritual trip I am, though usually by a different route. UUs are often really thoughtful and cool and well-educated and while I’m sure that makes us elitist in some ways, it also means that a high percentage of us are fun to talk to.

9. Because every once in awhile, UUs will peer-pressure me into trying some sort of hippie spiritual practice and I find some real spiritual value in it. I’m thinking specifically of walking a labyrinth and meditating*, which is the sort of thing I would not ever have imagined myself finding helpful. It just is.

10. Because I feel closest to God when I am refining spiritual ideas through reason, weighing them against each other and figuring out new ways to examine spiritual issues. So my big ol' church full of different ideas and groups is perfect.

I think part of the problem is that lots of UU churches are too small. Ironically, my church has lots of stuff geared toward childless adults, I'm just too busy with YRUU to do any of it. I'm sure the petty shit that bothers Ms. Theologian happens in my church, it happens in every church, but I'm not close enough to the base of power to care.


* People, especially Christians, who get snotty about this really irritate me. If you’re upset that the UUs “stole” this practice from the Christians (who presumably “stole” it from the Greeks) you need to get a hobby or something. IMHO, if a practice works for you, you should use it. Don’t pretend you’re using it the same way other groups did if you haven’t done the work to make sure that you are, but yeah, you should do whatever helps you connect with that which is holy. Duh.

Ten more Iphone-worthy songs

Since the last post on the subject was pretty popular, here’s some more examples of my crappy taste in music. Don't have all of them on my phone yet.

1. Avenue Q – “What do you do with a BA in English?”
I think of this song as “it sucks to be me.” Either way, it’s the opening part where Princeton arrives on Avenue Q and meets everyone. I think it would be the greatest act ever for my church’s winter cabaret if it were only a bit more politically correct. But it’s way not.

2. Poe – “Rose is a Rose”
I’m not entirely sure where this song came from as it isn’t on any of her albums and not in Itunes. It just showed up among theCSO’s MP3s one day. But it is most sexy and awesome.

3. The Judds- “Rockin’ with the Rhythm of the Rain”
If it doesn’t make you want to dance and/or learn to play guitar, you must be made of stone. I am not made of stone.

4. Cake-“Short Skirt/Long Jacket” Though I would NEVER trade an MG for a white Chrysler LeBaron

5. Portishead - “Sour Times” Yes, I was a college kid in the 90’s. How did you know?

6. Soul Miner’s Daughter – “Bodies” Ok, this one is hella obscure. It’s from this funky little band it Atlanta that no longer exists. (And it’s not in iTunes) But if I played it for you, you would love it.

7. The Dead Milkmen – “You’ll dance to anything” Depeche Mode had it coming.

8. Radiohead – “My Iron Lung” I loved “Creep,” too, but I love this self-parody even more

9. Amy Winehouse – “Love is a losing game” So much talent in that girl. I hope she gets it together, yet still keeps making amazing music.

10. Yo La Tengo – “Sometimes I don’t get you” For the piano solo and for many better reasons.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Odd sight of the day

I'm sure I'm taking this too seriously

But I thought "Stuff White People Like" was fascinating.

I particularly saw myself in their claim that white people judge the authenticity of ethnic restaurants by looking at the skin color of the people inside.


who runs about 50/50 on these things, but knows lots of people whose percentage would be higher.

Yay for Bill

Some pro-life folks were heckling Bill Clinton the other day at a speech in Ohio.

Here is his response:

"We disagree with you. You want to criminalize women and their doctors and we disagree. I reduced abortion. Tell the truth! Tell the truth! If you were really pro-life, if you were really pro-life, you would want to put every doctor and every mother, as an accessory to murder, in prison, and you won't say you wanna do that, because you know that you wouldn't have a lick of political support. Now, the issue is, you can't name me anybody presently in politics that did more to introduce policies that reduce the number of real abortions, instead of the hot air putting out to tear people up and make votes by dividing America. This is not your rally."

Rock on, Bubba. Rock on.

Hat tip to Our Bodies, Our Blog

Monday, February 25, 2008

The first ten songs that went into my iphone

1. The Eels – I like Birds
The Eels was my favorite band when I was in college and I've always liked this song's laid-back groove.

2. The Dandy Warhols - We Used to be Friends
Because it was Veronica Mars' theme song and for many other reasons.

3. The Dead Milkmen - Punk Rock Girl
Go ahead, listen to this song and TRY not to like it. I dare you.

4. Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
I developed a taste for country music when I lived in New Orleans and this song has always been a favorite.

5. Melissa Etheridge - Threesome
I have a few quibbles with Melissa's slightly judgmental tone, but I love this:

Now, sometimes at night
after the kids are in bed
I'm changing the channels
And you're surfing the web
I stumble onto that show
With all of those ladies
You know with those things
Acting all crazy

I don't know how they manage
To do all that damage
We barely find enough time to kiss

That’s exactly how I view this sort of show. (And I'd stop to watch for a bit, too)

6. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’s cover of the Mary Tyler Moore theme.
CC’s theme song. It’s hardcore, yet the adorable goofy optimism shines through.

7. Jill Sobule - Karen by Night
I really like this nifty little ballad. It’s the perfect offbeat addition to any mix.

8. The Butthole Surfers – Dracula from Houston
What can I say? I’m a child of the eighties.

9. The Moldy Peaches – Lazy Confession
It’s probably very predictable that I would be into anti-folk. Oh well.

10. Warren Zevon - Lawyers, Guns and Money
The Zevon connoisseur I know assures me that this is an example of his more popular and crappy stuff, but I still wanted it to be my ringtone.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

This article made me laugh several times.

Mostly because Jana-who-creates and I have vowed to become that little old lady on the "IDK, my BFF Rose?" TV commercial.

From the Washington Post, registration required.


Ps. My next post may be from my new Iphone.

CC the Smut Buddy

If any of several different people I know die suddenly, I have a job.

Not executor, not funeral planner.

I’m the guardian of the delicate sensibilities of their next of kin.

My name is CC, and I’m a smut buddy.

If any of these friends dies, I am to go to their house and steal their smut collections, their toys and in one case a decent selection of books.

Maybe it’s that I’m pretty tolerant and understanding of the wide variation in what people think of as fun and sexy. Also, I tend to end up with keys to people’s houses. Probably it’s that once a casual acquaintance finds out that close friends of mine sometimes receive custom erotica on their birthdays, they tell me things they don’t want their Mommas to find out. After that, I’m the logical person.

I was talking this over with a friend the other day, one who was mostly concerned about his collection of lesbian catfight porn.

“It’s not so much my parents seeing it, it’s that they might think it was my wife’s.”

Ah. Good point.

“Most of the visual stuff is on computers, so I don’t think that would matter. We have plenty of written erotica around my house,” I said. “My mom wouldn’t like that, but I don’t think it would upset her too badly. I mean, we don’t have anything REALLY freaky. I mean, we have, like, ‘Screw the roses, send me the thorns,’ but that doesn’t even count, does it?”

He let my words hang in the air. Oh yeah, that book might be a beginner's guide for dabblers/erotica writers/bachelorette parties, but it would SO bug my mom. And the Chalicerelative? I shudder to imagine.

So clearly, theCSO and I should add this to the list of end-of-life issues we need to discuss.

Who doesn’t want her mom to find her friend’s lesbian catfight porn at HER house, either. Guess we all better live a long time.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bleg: Iphone reviews?

CC's phone has been getting increasingly wonky, and she is campaigning for an Iphone.

Do any of y'all have one?

Is it awesome?

Have you ever dropped it?

Do you have a good protective case that you like that doesn't inhibit use of the phone?

Please share.


Wow, that IS my favorite donut flavor!

You Are a Powdered Devil's Food Donut

A total sweetheart on the outside, you love to fool people with your innocent image.

On the inside you're a little darker, richer, and more complex.

You're a hedonist who demands more than one pleasure at a time.

Decadent and daring, you test the limits of human indulgence.

Pleased to be the Angelina Jolie of donuts

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

CC coming to Boston

All the talk about conventions just reminded me. TheCSO, Jana-who-Creates and I are likely coming to Boston for ROFLcon on April 24 and 25. I don't know how much time I will spend at the Con as I will be studying a lot, but I'd really like to hang out with some of my Boston friends.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hey, check out the big ol' bonfire!

On a youth retreat until Monday.

Recently voted second best lay in the UU blogosphere. Ah well, when you're second best, you try harder.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Brief bitching about Project Runway

I really don't get the difference between "having a strong point of view" and "doing the same thing over and over."

You knew Jillian the Whiner was going to do some tight little jacket (though it was interesting to see her do the “lining matching the outfit” thing that Chris did last week) and Christian was going to do big puffy sleeves. And that's good?

And Rami's admittedly gorgeous draping done over and over and Chris' using something similar to that funky collar he did for the couture episode is bad? WTF?

I’m glad my Big Gay Boyfriend Chris will live to make it work another day, but it all seems very arbitrary. I worry that Chris has to do the runoff challenge with Rami and that Rami’s technical skill will lead to Chris getting kicked off. But Rami has been getting worse and less interesting. Here’s hoping he self-destructs.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Could someone explain to me the politics behind The Dismantling of Continental YRUU.

Though I am a youth advisor at my own congregation, I've always been pretty skeptical of YRUU on a national level. That said, it seemed like a valuable thing to have.

Why kill it?

Didn't UU youth of color have a national organization? Did this kill it, too?

What's going on?

Will the youth still have a voice at GA? Organized by whom?


An Evening with theChaliceDad

Picture it: Fairfax County, 1996. A young CC, rather depressed that the SAT she had been planning to retake has just been snowed out, decides to take a walk out in the snow to see if the local creek has frozen over. As she gets close to the creek, she slips, hitting her head hard on the ice. Head bleeding, she stumbles back home and sits on the kitchen floor, still sort of shocked.
“You need to go to the hospital,” her father says.
“Ummm… No. I’m fine,” she responds.
“No, really, you should go to the hospital. Let me take you” her mother says.
“I’m FINE.”

It goes on like this for awhile until CC, who just wants to be left alone, stomps off to her room, locking the door behind her.

The ChaliceDad breaks down the door.

She goes to the hospital.

Picture it: Fairfax County, 2008. It’s 11:00 at night, after a night of driving to school and back in an ice storm. I’ve just snuggled into bed next to the CSO. We’re talking, as we endlessly do, about plans for renovating the very kitchen I bled all over those years ago. The phone rings.
“Jason,” TheCSO says in the same annoyed tone of voice he always uses when talking about my brother.
I go pick up the phone anyway, “It’s Dad,” my brother Oliver is screaming, “He fell on the ice and he’s bleeding really bad and he won’t go to the hospital. Mom says it doesn’t look that bad.”
Oliver sees everything as a tragedy, my mother is the sort of person who assumes that using expired meat can’t be all THAT dangerous.
Fuck. There’s only one way to tell what’s going on.
TheCSO and I get dressed. He brings his laptop. He knows he’s in for a long night.

Yep, Dad is bleeding from the head still, an hour after his fall. It's an ugly wound, the kind of wound one can't really get from a fall without shaking one's insides.

“Dad, we should take you to the hospital”
“It’s the smart thing to do,”
“We’re all going to worry about you if we don’t,”

Jason and Oliver yell, my mother whines, I argue, theCSO does handyman chores. We break off and conference in little groups. There's lots of yelling and arguing, especially on my brothers' parts.

“You’re father is afraid of doctors,” my mother says.
“I’m afraid of head trauma,” I respond. But that's a weak argument and we all know it. My nervousness over a theoretical head injury is nothing to what my fether is feeling. My father's fears are strong and run very deep. When he's faced with one of them, he becomes hysterical, like a drowning man who pulls a potential rescuer under the water.

“We could call the paramedics, then claim he’s not being rational if he doesn’t consent,” theCSO says. "They would take him." Nobody argues that this wouldn’t work. After all, it's probably the truth. Rational people go to the hospital after they hit their heads. Besides, everybody else is dressed with middle class respectability. My father has that Unabomber beard that the mentally ill tend to get because of the difficulties of giving them a razor or keeping them still long enough to shave them. We're the crazy guy and his dysfunctional yet well meaning and respectable middle class family straight out of central casting.

“He’s so afraid,” my mother says. “What if the stress is worse for him than the head trauma would be?”

We look up the symptoms of a serious concussion on the internet. He pretty much has all of them. And has had them to an ever-increasing degree for the last ten years as he’s had stroke after stroke.

He’s still bleeding a bit. Head trauma aside, he could use some stitches.

It’s 1 a.m. at this point. The streets are a sheet of ice. I go back into the living room and crouch, putting myself at eye level with my father. Nobody ever looks in his eyes. At least, I don’t.

“Listen,” I say. “We can’t tell if you’ve hurt yourself or how badly. Ideally, we would stay here and keep bothering you until you consented to go. But theCSO and Mom and I have work in the morning, and we can’t play this game all night. Will you go to the hospital?”

“No!” he says. He’s not in good condition, but he’s still an ex-opera singer. His denial seems to shake the room a bit.

“OK, then. We’re going to go with that decision, theCSO and I are going home.” His whole body relaxes. “But, the really dangerous thing with concussions is getting two of them. At this point, we're playing the odds. Odds are good you’re fine now. But if you fall again, the odds become very bad. If I were you, I would stay off the ice and not leave the house if there’s an ice storm for some time, because if you fall again, we are taking you to the hospital. We don’t care what you have to say about it. Jason, Oliver and I are each bigger, stronger and meaner than you are and there are three of us. Do you understand?”

He grunted a “yes.”

And we went home, ever conscious of how family roles change over time, even when the personalities don’t.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yeah, it's a little icy 'round here

"Political Genius" doesn't even begin to cover it

Bill Clinton was just on the radio as I drove in to work this morning and was absolutely fantastic. He was funny and engaging and sounded completely in love with Hillary and proud and impressed. He said nice things about everyone in the race, but most of all crowed about his wife.

He told a joke that Huckabee had told about him, laughing at himself and noting how funny it was. He did a nice job playing up what a wonderful person Huckabee was, I'm assuming because he doesn't want the Republican candidate to be decided while the Democrats are still fighting amongst themselves.

He was completely brilliant, yet I would totally hang out with him. It was awesome.

Aware that doesn't say anything about either candidate.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Should we have the blogger dinner early?

This year, I've heard that more people than usual are coming for minister days and not sticking it out for GA.

Would it make sense to have our blogger dinner (usually on Friday night) on, like, Wednesday night instead? That would have to be lateish, perhaps too late. But it would be awesome to try to have hangout time that could include the people who are leaving early.

Failing that, do some of y'all want to find a quiet bar for Wednesday night? Last year we had this blogger-dinner-afterparty where we sat up until two in the morning discussing lots of topics I don't remember other than one blogger telling me that he/she would like to make out with another blogger. (Your secret is safe with me beyond that.)

It was way, way awesome.

I haven't planned a blogger dinner yet, and if nobody else wants to, I'm happy to do it this year. But some input on the timing would be helpful...


So, what the hell is a "Chancel Dialogue" anyway?

Is it supposed to be getting in a person of another faith and asking them to speak at length on the more intolerant aspects of their faith, not once challenging or questioning anything they say?

Isn't there supposed to be, well, dialogue? I can get why responding to a lengthy bit about hellfire with "Actually, in our faith, our members typically don't believe a loving God could do that. How would someone of your faith respond to that concern?" might not be optimal, though I wished somebody had done so.

But couldn't we talk about what our faiths have in common just a bit? I don't think we need to deny that there are differences between other faiths and our own. But I don't think putting nastiness on display and leaving it unanswered is real dialogue.

A frustrated,

who started to think about leaving when the gentlemen of another faith talked about refusing to shake hands with women being a sign of respect for women, and did stand up and walk out when an answer to a question about 9-11 began with an observation that to the British, Thomas Jefferson was a terrorist*.

*Jefferson did say some very nasty things about the British and I'm sure the British didn't like Jefferson, but to phrase it the way I heard it this morning is 31 flavors of crazy. It's setting up a ridiculous comparison to even try to equate writing the Declaration of Independence with murdering thousands of people.

Why do people play the "that thing you're doing is just like what that dictator did" and "this thing I'm doing is just like what that admired person did" game? At least in my case, when people violate Godwin's law and/or compare the people they agree with to the Founding Fathers, Jesus etc, it does NOT make me see their point. If anything, the comparision a. makes them look like they aren't smart enough to have a sense of proportion and b. highlights the difference between the two.

Any fool can compare themselves to a civil rights hero and their opponents to Pol Pot. What impresses me is when people can argue rationally without having to pull crap like that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Google's Quote of the Day

I point them out when they're good:

Dance like it hurts,/ Love like you need money,/ Work when people are watching.
- Scott Adams

Friday, February 01, 2008


FWIW, lots of people want to know who this Tozy Rezko cat that Bill Barr is talking about is.

Salon has a story about him up.

Who really doesn't see much there there. I pretty much read it and thought "Yep, Chicago politics." It's certainly less exciting than a leading candidate recently using ethnic slurs.

Edited to fix a typo, specifically the one Bill alludes to in the comments.

Inclinations Conflict

I think that having a president who uses racial slurs would be a terrible thing.

But I'm inclined to cut torture victims a lot of slack, particularly when they are talking about their captors.



ADDED LATER: Everyone's points make a lot of sense, particularly Jeff's point that McCain is painting all Asians with a slur intended for his torturers. (It's better in Jeff's words. Check the comments.)