Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In which CC refuses to honor and uphold "honor and uphold"

Steve Caldwell has the new revision of the Seven Principles posted and Robin Edgar has been talking about how one of the changes is that we are going from "affirming and promoting" the seven principles to "honoring and upholding" them.

I think that change is a mistake and will lead people to treating the seven principles even more like a creed. Plus, I'm not sure how you "uphold" reverence or a goal of world community.


who really doesn't like the seven principles in the first place, but likes them a lot less when people treat them as a creed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The ChaliceMom

LOVES to tell the story of the time she was in college, at the same place I went to school, FWIW, and the cafeteria food was so bad that a student took his dinner upstairs to a Board of Trustees meeting to show the board what they were served and ask the board if they themselves would want to eat what the students were expected to.

The food on campus improved markedly.

Now somebody has gone and tried to do the same thing to Virgin Airlines CEO Richard Branson and I find the resulting letter very amusing.


Remember when I was rereading The Fountainead?

Life got busy and I haven't re-finished it yet.

But Cerulean just finished Atlas Shrugged.

And Lisa the Foodie wrote about a geometric, yet edible, pie.

My IRL friends. They are so awesome.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Add to the list of strange law school dreams I've had...

A very vivid dream that I got a C minus in civil procedure.

Now dreaming about getting bad grades in classes I'm taking is not terribly unusual. (Cf. Last semester's Corporations dream where the professor wanted to meet with me and told me I was getting a D. When I protested that we hadn't had any tests, quizzes or assignments in the semester so far, he snapped "I just know!") The weird thing here is that I finished my civil procedure class last May. And while I would hardly say I was the Erie Doctrine rockstar, I did significantly better than a C minus.

FortiesGirl's father has been a doctor for decades and still has the occaisional med school nightmare, so I guess I should just accept that this is going to happen every now and again from this point forward...


Friday, January 23, 2009

This is a cool promotion

Jennifer Beautiful, who was a friend of mine like three years ago whom I haven't seen in forever, used to always see every movie that got an Oscar nomination for best picture every year. It was her thing and she had done it every year for like the last twenty.

If you and Jennifer have similar hobbies, you might want to check out this promotion where AMC theaters are doing an all-day film festival of every movie up for "Best Picture" for $30. Unlimited popcorn, too.

who really doesn't have the attention span for something like this, though she does love her popcorn.

A puzzlement

Piercing the ears of cats and selling them on the internet as "gothic kittens" is Animal cruelty

Declawing is not.


who can't really see herself peircing a cat's ears, though she did have an all-black cat in college who wore one of those spiked Johnny Rotten bracelets as a collar. (Vet said that it was ok since it didn't seem to be bothering the cat.)

But is WAY not OK with declawing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I find this question impossible.

David Markham at UU Way of Life is presenting a series of questions that the new candidates for UUA President were asked, and commenting on their answers. One of those questions really got me:

"What experiences have you had that help you deeply understand the mindset and values of another culture?"

Honestly, I don't feel like I get other cultures*, indeed, I'm not sure I get my own and have learned most of what I know from hearing what other people say about it. I can observe differences from my own as I perceive it, but I think the question assumes a lot. Heck, I'm a Northern Virginian who has lived around "real" southerners quite a bit and married into a North Carolina family and I wouldn't claim to really get Southern Culture.

I don't think my lack of desire comes from a lack of curiosity, just a cognizance that what I see I see through the eyes of someone in my culture and an invitation to claim that you understand another culture's mindset is an invitation to make an ass of yourself.

Markham calls for using the "platinum rule," which is "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them," which he says calls for an understanding of the "values, opinions, beliefs, practices, and preferences of the other." The most straightforward way to find all this out would be to ask them in what promises to be a lengthy interview. If you're not directly asking, you're probably making a lot of assumptions that are based in how you perceive you would feel if you were in their shoes anyway.

For simple things, which really constitute most of human interaction (e.g. "If I were carrying a bunch of packages and I dropped them, I would want someone to help me pick them up," "If I were practicing a presentation in front of a co-worker, I would want them to be diplomatic and encouraging, but to tell me if they saw a mistake before I did the presentation in front of the boss," etc,) the plain old Golden rule is going to have to do.

Also, there's a certain amount of cockiness inherent in saying you follow the platinum rule because in doing so you're claiming to understand someone else's needs and desires well enough to act on them.

Once, a good friend's wife was having a baby, and I encouraged him to call me any time of day or night when she went in to labor. Both husand and wife were effusive that they would love to have me there and they called a few times when she had false labor and theCSO and I went rushing over and sat with them through it. One afternoon, her husband called to say she'd had the baby the previous evening. Later I asked him why he hadn't called and he said:

"Well, it was late at night, and you have such a high-pressure job. My wife knew you wouldn't have wanted to come out here, but I know you would have felt obligated, so we decided not to bother you."

"Umm... Wouldn't you have wanted to come if I were having a baby?"

"Of course!" he said "But I'm not as focused on work as you are and I don't have a high-pressure law job. We knew you would *really* want to get some sleep so you could get lots of work done"**

The platinum rule in action.

I can see where people are coming from with the Platinum rule on a theoretical level, but I would say that it takes a great deal of confidence in your own understanding to pull off, and I don't think that level of confidence would be justified in most people. Indeed, probably the more certain you are that you understand, the less confident I am that you do since the primary think that brings a feeling of confidence on these issues is oversimplification.

I don't think Rabbi Hillel's words "That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it," are in any danger of going out of style.

This is the root of my issue with "reaching out" to people of other races and classes. I really don't know how to do that without being insulting. Particularly given the number of gay folks who find the "welcoming congregation" stuff annoying and insulting, and I would think that would be easier.

I think everyone can agree that getting greater diversity in our congregations is a good thing, whether that means reaching out to people of other races or other classes. I just think we're paralyzed by the discomfort people have shown with what we've done already. (I think just about all recognitions of Kwanzaa have making the African-Americans in the congregation feel welcome as at least a partial goal. Ever seen an African-American actually enjoy a UU Kwanzaa recognition? The ones I've seen have always looked vaguely uncomfortable.)

I don't think it's lack of desire. I think this stuff is just next to impossible to do well.


*And when I do feel like I get it intellectually, I still don't feel it, so I don't think I really understand it. For an example "We're a poor and tight-knit community and you were born here and you're 'one of us.' If you study hard and go to college and become a professor like you want to, then you won't be one of us and you will forget your roots and who you are. Indeed, you will be abandoning your community. So every time I see you studying, I'm going to remind you that 'real' members of our culture don't do that and if your friends kick your ass for using big words and acting like you're better than the rest of us by talking about that Shakespeare stuff, I'm going to turn a blind eye to it."

As far as I know, that's not a terribly inaccurate summary of some people's attitudes about kids who are "trying to be white," or "acting too big for their britches." (Indeed, for evidence of this attitude and the impact it has one only needs to look to Faith Hill singing that "A Mississippi girl don't change her ways, just because everybody knows her name, ain't big headed from a little bit of fame" or Jennifer Lopez reminding fans "Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got, I'm still, I'm still, Jenny from the block" to see that fears about success separating one from one's roots are very real.) I think I understand the logic intellectually. But I can't imagine feeling the feelings behind it, and I think one has to do that to truly say one understands a mindset.

**Yes, I've considered the possibility that she and her husband decided they wanted to be alone, but she swears up and down that this isn't the case and they had called a few other times when she thought she was in labor. I honestly think she believed that she was doing what I would really want her to do.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Can't wait.


I don't know how typical this is

I hope the answer is "not Very"

We had a far less extreme but still quite unpleasant version of this guy heading up the campus police when I was in college.


LinguistFriend: Simeon in the Temple of Democracy

(We can't get LinguistFriend's blogger account working for whatever reason, so I posted this for him, but he wrote it... CC)

Kit Ketcham has provided us at her blog with the words of Rev. Joseph Lowery's benediction at the end of Obama’s inauguration ceremony. Lowery, as Kit recalls, was cofounder with Martin Luther King Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Lowery’s own words are indeed wonderful, but they reminded me of other words which further illuminate the nature of yesterday's drama for people of his generation. My best Latin teacher, Dr. John Colby of Phillips Andover school, initiated his students to the reading of Latin prose in the form of medieval Latin legends and the Latin Bible. One of these biblical texts was spoken by the elderly Simeon (Luke 2:25-33), to whom it had been foretold that he would see the Messiah before he died. So he waited at the temple in Jerusalem, and when the infant Jesus was brought to the temple, Simeon took him in his arms, and blessed God and spoke the words known as the Song of Simeon: "Now you let go your servant, oh Lord, according to your word in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel". This text I learned in Latin many years ago; the English version here is a mixture of the NRSV and my version of the Nestle-Aland Greek text.

Obama of course is not the Messiah, and he does not claim to be, although the tasks that await him are worthy of one. But the role of Rev. Lowery at the inauguration was precisely that of Simeon. His text, which Kit has kindly made available, deserves to be read carefully. From another point, of view, Lowery is also a distinguished representative of countless many Africo-American people. I am reminded more than others of the faculty of Hampton University, where my father taught architecture many years ago, and other black professionals for whom such an event as yesterday’s could have been no more than a wild dream. My black adopted youngest son sent me a message from Los Angeles yesterday, expressing that fact well: “ Take time to reflect on how amazing this day is historically!!! WOW!!!” (his emphasis), words that have less dignity than the song of Simeon, but also work.



The Obamas, photographed and interviewed the year CC graduated from high school.

I love this sort of thing.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Never ever.

We're at the Chaliceparents' house. TheCSO is fixing their furnace. CC, unqualified in furnace repair, is making conversation.

CC: Hey ma? You've lived in DC all your life. Do you ever remember an event that so filled the mall that people who wanted to attend were turned away?

TheChaliceMom: Never. Never, never, ever. Fourth of Julys are never like this, that big concert on New Years in 2000* wasn't like this. I was taking your brother to the Metro so he could get to work today, and at 5:00 a.m. there was a line of cars all the way down Haycock road as people were trying to park at the Metro station. The Million Man march? Not like this. The march on Washington either. I've never seen anything like this.



* Free Will Smith concert.

This blog post previously recorded live

11:45 - Yes, I’m watching from a bar, indeed, a bar with no wifi so I will have to post this later. Intense Elizabeth asks on Facebook why on earth any DC locals wouldn’t be down on the mall.

A few reasons:

1. When I got up this morning, it was eleven fucking degrees down there.
2. They have closed the mall and are turning people away. Meanwhile, on the news they are showing people who took eight hour bus rides to be here. This is my moment as much as is theirs’, but I think the folks from the bus deserve to see it live if they want to more than I do.
3. Everyone down there who’s not a VIP is watching on jumbotrons anyway. I’m watching on a TV, too. In a nice warm bar where I can get a Guinness. As far as I can tell, the primary draw of being down there is getting to watch in a big crowd of enthusiastic people. Not my scene.

11:50 – Rick Warren is doing a decent job. He’s a big shmuck, but he is. I still don’t see this as much of a big deal. I mean, he’s a Hitler-admiring, abused-wife-chastening, homophobic dumbass, but it’s just a prayer, his wasn’t substantially different from what anyone else’s would have been, and I think it makes liberals look petty when they bitch about this essentially meaningless gesture of Obama’s.

11:51 At the same time, he really did say “Malia” and “Sasha” as if they were expensive cheeses that nobody can pronounce.

11:53 –OMG. I have intense love for Aretha Franklin’s hat. And her singing.

11:57 - Biden is taking his oath. Nice tie. When I became a notary public and had to be sworn in, I kinda hoped someone would make me promise to defend the
constitution. No such luck.

12:00 Barack Obama quietly became president in the middle of the musical performance. It doesn’t happen when he’s sworn in, it happens at noon.

12:03 – Nice music BTW. Jana-who-creates’ facebook status notes that the musicians look very happy to be there.

12:04 Chief Justice Roberts still called him "senator". Maybe he hadn't looked at his watch.

12:05 Obama blew the oath slightly. Watch the wacky conservative bloggers claim that he’s not REALLY the president.

12:06 –The whole bar spontaneously broke out in applause.

12:08 – It was gracious of Obama to thank Bush.

12:10 – The Calvinist that remains in me gets a little swoony when Obama starts to talk about hard work and sacrifice and how it will be required of us.

12:13 Yay “Work of remaking America”

12:14- This is a really good speech.

12:15- There’s another TV on across the bar on a channel that has a feed slightly behind this one. I can understand why they felt the need to put politicians on a delay. I hear Cheney likes to work blue.

12:19 I really like “because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation”

12:20 “We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist” I got chills, kids.

12:22 I’m sure there’s a good reason why some people are watching from behind chain-link fences, but it’s really not a pleasant image. TheCSO points out that they are about as nice as temporary fences get, which is not to say they are a good thing

12:23 Is this the first time atheists have gotten a shoutout in an inaugural speech? Wouldn’t surprise me.

12:28 I do not have a great record of understanding poetry, but this poem seems nice and straightforward. Nobody calls them “boomboxes” anymore, but that’s minor. Good poem.

12:30 There’s a lady who has to be eighty at an adjacent table watching rapt.

12:33 I think I’m pretty much tuning out everybody’s prayers today.

12:35 Malia Obama isn’t paying attention either, but she’s trying to hide it. Poor kid.

12:37 Ok, that prayer got interesting at the end.

12:40 Right in the middle of the star-spangled banner, they showed a woman just screaming with joy and the tears started. Yep, that’s me, crying in a bar, hand over heart.

12:41 Much love for Hillary’s electric blue coat

12:43 Someone on MSNBC just mentioned that Obama is known as “no drama Obama” yet nobody else seems to be able to hold their emotions in check around him. Ayup. I’ve cried with happiness over Obama twice. Unprecedented.

12:50 George W. Bush looks more relaxed than I’ve ever seen him and Cheney older and more pathetic. Godspeed.

1:00 Headed home to crash for a bit and eventually head out for tonight's festivities.

CC's view of the inauguration

Monday, January 19, 2009

Today's XKCD

is pretty funny.


Ps. If you don't get it, you're probably not familiar with this ancient dinosaur of a dirty joke.

Who wants to watch a prayer anyway?

A Chalicesseur e-mailed me yesterday, asking if the Rev. Gene Robinson* were cut from the program for the big inauguration kickoff because she had watched it on TV and hadn't seen the prayer. (The event was exclusively covered by HBO, but HBO made it available to just about everybody and has it viewable for free on the web.)

I poked around and found out a couple of mentions of how the Rev. Robinson did speak, HBO just didn't show it. They are saying the Obama campaign told them not to bother.

Needless to say, some people are treating this as a big conspiracy worthy of the same sort of breathless attention they no doubt gave the government's secret plan to bring down the twin towers and crash airplanes full of innocent people to get at secret stores of gold beneath the world trade center.

Honestly, lots of stuff in Washington starts with opening prayers, and as far as I know those prayers are rarely televised because, honestly, very few people actually give a damn about the prayer. (For what it's worth as far as I can tell nobody actually gives a damn about this prayer, only about the man giving it. This post would not exist had Obama picked a less famous liberal religious figure to give the invocation**. If you do care about the content of the prayer, the text is right here. It's a perfectly nice prayer, but nothing controversial.)

As someone who follows police brutality and poorly-justified-police-raid cases***, I'm no stranger to, say, multiple cameras that mysteriously all stop working at convenient times,but I don't really see a conspiracy behind the show's speaker problems that made Robinson's works inaudible to a portion of the crowd. Also, I don't particularly object to HBO and/or the Obama campaign's decision to not show the prayer. I'm generally all about not making people sit through prayers they don't care about and I'm fairly certain almost everyone who watched the program was there to see Garth Brooks and Tom Hanks.

I will say though, that the signs are piling up that gay rights is not a hill that Obama particularly wants to die on, particularly as a matter of PR. I have mixed feelings on that. I have a lot of sympathy for gay rights and its supporters. I don't have a lot of sympathy for the fact that Obama's actual appointments of gays and lesbians to good jobs seems to be ignored in the face of a bunch of fussing about a symbolic gesture.

And I still don't know what it means that now three ministers have been used to attack Obama and he hasn't taken office yet.



*He's the gay Episcopal bishop that the conservative Episcopalians have their panties in a twist about. Obama put him on the program after the fuss about featuring Rick Warren broke out.

** Unless he were a UU. But hey, we were good enough for Obama's grandmother's funeral, and that's saying something...

*** Remember? I also have a liberal civil rights issue that I care passionately about that nobody else gives a damn about. (Ironically, the only time I've seen people care about it is in the killing of Oscar Grant in the BART shooting and in that case, the cop involved seems genuinely remorseful and has quit the force. That doesn't sound like much, but just so you know, it pretty much never turns out that way.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So, what's your take on sin? Institutional sin?

A cheery topic for a Saturday, right?

Don't know why it's on my mind today.

As a kid, my parents were pretty firm on the point that sins weren't a list of specific acts, though certain acts were almost always going to end up that way. They always said that a sin was "that which distances you from God."*

(e.g. If you pull the plug on your aging grandmother to relieve her suffering, then that might not well be a sin. But if you cheat on your taxes and that guilt makes you focus on yourself and making up justifications for your greed and convincing yourself that everyone is as greedy as you are, then your tax cheating becomes a sin and you've probably talked yourself into doing it on a greater scale next year.)

I think you have to be a certain kind of thoughtful person for my folks' view to really work, but I confess I haven't found a better one. They were pretty light on the "sin" point anyway. I think of them as "functional Universalists"** as for them hell sort of existed but was a very empty place.

I had a long talking to from my Great Aunt at one point when I was a kid, and she quite literally "put the fear of God in me," so for awhile I ran around trying to figure out the relative goodness vs. evil of my actions to make sure my soul would balance out OK if I were hit by a truck.

I wonder sometimes if "sin" is even a useful term. I has such gravitas that I find it hard to give up, but like most theological terms, it has vastly different meanings to different people.

For example, though philosophies vary on the rightness of treating corporations as functional humans under the law, I think most of agree that corporations can sin through a sort of collective selfishness and distancing from that which is good and right.*** Indeed, I'd say that any human institution is as capable of sin as any human. Is there any UU that can't rattle off a list of sins they percieve in the UUA? Is there anyone who can't come up with a list of bad things their company does. Not as extreme as the example in my footnote, I'll grant you. But very much there.

For another example, I really hate it when Virginia executes people as (even putting justice concerns, and I do have them, aside) I fundamentally believe it is immoral to cut off someone's chance to find personal redemption. What is Virginia but an organized amalgamation of Virginians? I'm a Virginian. When Virginia kills someone, isn't there a bit of blood on my hands?

In a sense, my post-Aunt-Bert evaluating-and-balancing approach wasn't such a bad thing. Judging the sins of other people really isn't my business, or really doesn't become my business until "sins" become "crimes" or "actionable" and then we have a mechanism for that which removed my opinion from the picture anyway unless I am serving a specialized role in the process. But we all have to evaluate the relative sins of the institutions we're a part of much as we would consider any other bad quality of them.

The UUA and Virginia all do enough good that I can view what sins they commit as something to work on rather than an ender, though I try to keep in mind that my personal affection for an organization does not mean I should give them a pass on the things they do that I think are suboptimal for the world. (Easy to do in the case of the UUA as I don't have much personal affection for that institution. Not so easy for Virginia, a state that I have great personal affection for despite it's many drawbacks that I can totally see.)

Anyway, sorry for the somewhat rambling nature of this post. I'm still thinking a lot of this stuff through and when something makes me think, I get long winded about it.


*I consider this pretty interchangeable with "that which distances us from Good," FWIW.

**"Mom, is there a hell?"
"Oh, I suppose"
"Do bad people go there?"
"Very bad people"
"Like the kid who calls me names at recess?"
"Oh no, more like Hitler or maybe Jack the Ripper. But you have to be very, very bad. No one you know"
-A conversation CC recalls having with her mother when CC was something like seven

*** For an extreme example "Sure, this chemical has been found to cause cancer and is illegal in America, but we have all this stock on hand and it's not illegal in South America yet..."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Is this a "people who have children" thing?

I've noticed an interesting divider between my friends who have kids and those that don't, and I'm wondering if this is a coincidence or if I'm seeing a trend.

If I have plans with a friend who doesn't have children, a group that includes my husband, and someone has to cancel, the request to cancel usually sounds something like

"hey, I'm being flaky here and I'm really sorry. But is there any way we could not go with what we were going to do? I mean, we could do it next week, or something, It is really OK? I mean, if it's really important to you..."

while when a friend who has kids cancels, it's always something like

"Can't make it tonight, turns out my husband wants me to do X instead"


"Kids are sick, have to cancel."

Should the person who cancelled something on me today be reading this, I should emphasize that I'm not particularly annoyed about this one time and I get that sick kids happen, I've just observed that the last minute ditching is something that all of my friends with kids do and universally with a certain unapologetic efficiancy, and I'm trying to puzzle out why kids would be what makes the difference.

I've wondered in the past if maybe having kids turns the line between family and friends into a sort of barrier. I totally get how time with one's spouse or taking care of a sick child is really important. But from the childless person's perspective, we have important stuff too, but we don't generally present the issue with the implicit message "Of course you understand that you're less important than the central people in my life, and the minute one of them beckons, I must immediately cancel."

I'm also wondering if this is the social version of the oft-voiced work concern that people who have kids take a lot of time off for kid-related things and bosses are inclined to be cool with it. (FWIW, I have heard that, though my impression is that bosses AREN'T especially inclined to be cool with it.)

Anyway, that's what I'm wondering about today.

ducking and covering, because she rememebers the "little kids in church" fight she started a couple of years ago.

Monday, January 12, 2009

How to make fire when you're stranded on a desert island

A service to any Chaliceblog readers who are currently or might in the future be stranded on a desert island.

For all of these, you're going to want to find an area that's as open as possible, preferably with no trees over it. Mostly, this is to keep the fire from spreading, but it could also help you get rescued.

Try to get some stones and make a fire triangle. The stones help keep the fire from spreading, as well as insulating and protecting it, and the triangle is the international distress symbol.

Now, a few methods for getting the fire started.

1. The "plane crash" method
Get a nine volt battery, some tinder and a bit of steel wool. Put down the tinder. Put the battery on top of the tinder. Put the steel wool on top of the battery, touching both terminals. Stand back.

2. The "nerd" method
Use your glasses to focus some sun against some tinder.

3. The "I was a boy scout" method
Pull the flint and steel you always carry with you out of your pocket. Use.

4. The "McGyver of the Woods" method
Get a sturdy, but bendy stick and some vines or a shoelace. Tie the vines to one end of the bendy stick and then to the other, forming a bow.

OK, I'm boring myself already explaining this. Here's a detailed explanation.


Friday, January 09, 2009

25 things about CC

Answering IntenseElizabeth's meme:

1. Yesterday, I got a splinter on my lip from a chopstick. Grrr. The splinter’s gone now, and the stir-fry and brown rice were almost worth it, though.

2. I have such a bad record of assuming that unreliable and obnoxious people can change that TheCSO likes to say that I should get a job at GE touching hot stoves to make sure they’re still hot.

3. TheCSO and I have a very set pattern when it comes to early adoption of technological things. Before we get it, he says we have to have it, I say we don’t need it. After we get it, he forgets about it and I use it every day.

4. I love elephants and the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee is one of my favorite charities.

5. When I was something like five, I ate shrimp with catsup until I made myself sick. For the next ten years, I could eat neither shrimp nor catsup, though I’m OK with both now.

6. I’ve shaken hands with John McCain and liked him at the time.

7. I had an ok novella published by my college press, and have a mediocre novel gunking up my hard drive. One day, I’d like to write detective novels.

8. Katharine Hepburn was my childhood hero. Robertson Davies is my adulthood hero, though I still have great respect for Kate.

9. When I retire, I want to run a Christmas tree farm. TheCSO does not. Luckily, we have decades to work this out.

10. The only diet soda I can stand is sugar free Red Bull, but I could drink that all day.

11. TheCSO and I are naming our cats in alphabetical order. So far, we’ve had Agatha and Boris, our current cats are Cool Disco Dan, Dr. Frank-n-furter, Esperanto and Ursus. We didn’t name Ursus.

12. I really liked Las Vegas and I look forward to going back.

13. I almost never watch TV without a laptop in front of me.

14. I think “Confederacy of Dunces” is one of the best things ever written. Ditto the “Declaration of Independence”

15. When I’m feeling down, I go to the movies. It helps more often than not.

16. I hated science in school, but I think about it a lot. I like to imagine the forces on things and that I can feel electrons zipping back and forth to balance things out. I’m kind of a nerd.

17. I’m a sucker for homeless people asking me for money and charitable appeals of all types.

18. I’ve been experimenting with carrying only cash rather than a card or checkbook.

19. My favorite word is “lagniappe.” I also like “googled” and “if”

20. I’m mildly claustrophobic.

21. I don’t pay much attention to celebrity romances, usually, but I would be sad if Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi broke up.

22. I am really looking forward to the biopic about the Notorious B.I.G. and I’m not sure why. I really don’t know anything about rap music at all, though I suspect I can learn a lot from the movie. The preview intrigued me. I suspect I will end up seeing it alone.

23. I tried to read “Twilight” to see what all the fuss was about, and I got bored and didn’t get through it. I should probably try again.

24. I have more than twice as many mutual facebook friends with Jana-who-creates as I do mutual facebook friends with theCSO.

25. I really don’t like Atlanta, but I love Epilonious. So far my dislike of Atlanta has mostly won. Thank goodness for IM.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Feel like beating your head against a wall?

Dennis Prager has a new column on why women should submit to sex they don't want. Oddly enough, he goes out of his way to mention that when your "mood" relates to "childhood trauma," that's not a good reason to refuse sex.

Also, Dennis Prager knows that women only really want sex once a month.

And then there's this part:
The baby boom generation elevated feelings to a status higher than codes of behavior. In determining how one ought to act, feelings, not some code higher than one’s feelings, became decisive: “No shoulds, no oughts.” In the case of sex, therefore, the only right time for a wife to have sex with her husband is when she feels like having it. She never “should” have it. But marriage and life are filled with “shoulds.”

I really imagine I would have trouble having sex with someone for whom having sex with me was a "should" or an "ought."

Apparently our pal Dennis does not share this qualm.

And I think this part:

Many contemporary women have an almost exclusively romantic notion of sex: It should always be mutually desired and equally satisfying or one should not engage in it.

Offers many clues on Prager's multiple marriages and why he believes that women, left to their own devices, only want sex once a month.

You know, dude, if the women in your life aren't disiring sex or finding it satisfying, the problem might not all be them.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Google's Quote of the Day

is from CC's hero Robertson Davies:

Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.