Thursday, January 31, 2008

QUASI-LIVEBLOGGING THE DEM DEBATE

I just turned on the California Democratic debate. I find myself surprisingly okay with Hilary Clinton.


I'm baffled that Michael Graham at Nation Review thinks either candidate fell flat on the CEO question. Obama shivved Mitt Romney with his answer -- based on how they've run their campaigns, the Dems certainly know what they're doing better than Mitt.

Hillary is certainly not shy about playing the gender card. I think it's fantastic that a woman and a black man are odds-on favorites to be the next president (I
m not sure if I expected to see such a thing in my lifetime; when I was ten, I thought either was forbidden by the Constitution). But unlike some, I don't think either represents an overriding qualification, either. Both have had to face discrimination in a way that rich good-ol'-boys like me or George W. Bush can't comprehend. But identity isn't compelling in a vacuum, and Hilary Clinton's principle are such a vacuum.

A questioner observed that anyone born after 1962 has always had a Bush or Clinton on the ballot (actually, I think she was counting since 1970, but I think the Vice presidential slot in 1980 counts). That is ridiculous. There has been a Clinton or a Bush in the White House since I was seven years old. I'd sure like a chance to vote for a different family for a change. Is this how Republicans felt about FDR?

And then a friend called, and I missed the rest.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

One of Andrew Sullivan's readers reminds me of another reason I disliked Clinton back in the day:

The memories of Monica floated back up, I remembered how they threw her under the bus the first chance they got too. Does anyone doubt Bill would have let Monica rot in jail had it come to that?


Whenever someone defends Bill Clinton on feminist grounds, remember the offensive way Clinton maligned Monica Lewinsky as a stalker. It would have been nice it Bill could have managed a gentlemanly "Leave the girl out of this." Instead he talked shit about her all over town. That's a cruel thing to do during a normal breakup, and when you consider their relative stations in life -- Leader of the Free World and Post-Grad respectively -- a better, more confident president would have realized it was beneath his station to trash her like that.

I'm been struggling to develop an almost incoherent thesis about this, actually. Much of Hilary Clinton's campaign has promoted the experience she gained as First Lady of Arkansas and the United States. If the perosnal relationship ends up as that kind of formal role, doesn't that put lying about an affair back on the table as an impeachable offense? Both Clintons are asserting the partnership in power, so shouldn't acts that harm that partnership be seriously condsidered?

Okay, it doesn't really make any sense.
One quality I enjoy about the Bush right is how they will offer an appreciation of Bush, or another Republican figure, for acts that would be considered laughably inept or damaging, were we living in a sane world.

I'm always amazed when someone on the Right offers an appreciation of George Bush or another hite House figure for acts of cowardice, stupidity or laziness that one would assume would appall more people that they impress. Like this:

Rumsfeld's tenure at Defense is for the historians now, but I know this: he was an unusually far-sighted thinker for a Cabinet official, and his instant strategic clarity by lunchtime of September 11th was critical to this nation's response.


So, Donald Rumsfeld came up with a demonstrably failed war strategy in about two hours, and refused to deviate from it as America lumbered into humiliation and failure. Congratulations. (I know the Right thinks we're winning right now, but they're going to argue that as the helicopters take off from the embassy roof, provided a Republican is in the White House.)

HEH

Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton so badly in South Carolina it may spawn some new kind of Southern colloquialism. When Clemson spanks an opponent by five touchdowns it will be called an Obama. Fans will taunt the losing team as they walk off the field by making an "O" against their foreheads.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

RACE? I'M NOT TOUCHING THAT ONE.

Wow, MSNBC is really laying on the condescending racism. I guess when a former president is dismissively comparing the front-runner to Jessie Jackson for no other reason than Obama is black, it's another sign post for the culture.

AND IT'S OFFICIAL

Obama looks to be walking away with South Carolina. MSNBC is reliving Undercover Brother's satirical campaign coverage as farce, with one reporter stating that the results were as plain as black and white. And he's enjoying support from more than Blacks. Or Afro-Americans. Sometimes I forget what decade we're in.

I wonder why John Edwards is thought to have had a home state advantage. yeah,he was born in South Carolina, but he made his fortune suing the shit out of his neighbors. I can't imagine that would endear you to the homies.

GOOD NEWS

According to The New Republic, Obama is looking at a 20 point victory in South Carolina.


This makes me laugh.

Loaded like a freight train
Flyin' like an aeroplane
Feelin' like a space brain
One more time tonight

Well I'm a west coast struttin'
One bad mother
Got a rattlesnake suitcase
Under my arm
Said I'm a mean machine
Been drinkin' gasoline
And honey you can make my motor hum
Well I got one chance left
In a nine live cat
I got a dog eat dog sly smile
I got a Molotov cocktail with a match to go
I smoke my cigarette with style
An I can tell you honey
You can make my money tonight

Wake up late honey put on your clothes
Take your credit card to the liquor store
That's one for you and two for me by tonight
I'll be loaded like a freight train
Flyin' like an aeroplane
Feelin' like a space brain
One more time tonight

I'm on the nightrain
Bottoms up
I'm on the nightrain
Fill my cup
I'm on the nightrain
Ready to crash and burn
I never learn
I'm on the nightrain
I love that stuff
I'm on the nightrain
I can never get enough
I'm on the nightrain
Never to return - no

Loaded like a freight train
Flyin' like an aeroplane
Speedin' like a space brain
One more time tonight

I'm on the nightrain
And I'm lookin' for some
I'm on the nightrain
So's I can leave this slum
I'm on the nightrain
And I'm ready to crash an' burn
Nightrain
Bottoms up
I'm on the nightrain
Fill my cup
I'm on the nightrain

Whoa yeah
I'm on the nightrain
Love that stuff
I'm on the nightrain
An I can never get enough
Ridin' the nightrain
I guess I
I guess, I guess, I guess I never learn

On the nightrain
Float me home
Ooh I'm on the nightrain
Ridin' the nightrain
Never to return
Nightrain

Friday, January 25, 2008

TAKE A CLASS!

TAKE A POTTERY CLASS!

BRING THE GIRL!




What is the deal with sinister whispers 9influencing Mitt Romney? Here's another:

I was talking to a drug kinpin last week who expressed skepticism that there was ever such a show as Manimal. Proof:

The Onion is on to me.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

THE AUDIENCE STRIKES BACK

In 2005, I was Casting Director for this improvised film, about a group of Star Wars fans convened for a focus group about Revenge of the Sith. I wonder if I'll even be credited, considering that more than half the cast I assembled was replaced.



Monday, January 21, 2008

Christ, now I'm wondering if I'm racist for craving ribs right now.

MLK DAY BLOGGING

I went into work this morning, and wondered where the heck everybody was. Oh, right. National holiday.

I was saddened by the lack of right-wing talk radio today. I think it shows a lack of convictions for a bunch of white guys who are outraged that there's a Martin Luther King holiday in the first place to take the day off.

I went to get mu allergy shot and my blood drawn. The lab, I was jabbed several time in an effort to fiund my vein. The first time, the nurse held the needle with just the tip in the vein, and I snapped at her to take it out the rest of the way.

In the elevator on the way out, a man told me, "They're serving ribs in the cafeteria today, and I just couldn't resist." I told him I'd probably treat myself some other time, and he replied, "Today of all days the only time we're ever going to see that." I wonder if that observation would have been offensive from a white guy? (He was African American.)

Lastly, here's King's rightfully legendary Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Friday, January 18, 2008

CAN I GET THAT WIFEBEATER IN A XXXL?


Courtesy of my dad, here's a picture of me and my cousin Karen, circa 1976. I'm the fat guy on the right in the red hot pants and patriotic wifebeater. I think I just found my Halloween costume for 2008.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm at the denver airport.

I'm at the denver airport. Hence the bars are showing denver sports shows. Troy aikman is looking really good.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

SO IT'S FINALLYCOMETO THIS



Seriously, Jason Statham, how could you do this?

ACK

The Hilary menace rolls on.

Monday, January 07, 2008

UPCOMING RELEASES

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"You wanna know what I think?... You guys who think 9/11 was an inside job are crazy as hell. My wife was the senator from New York when that happened. I was down at Ground Zero. I saw the victims' families. You're nuts."
-- Bill Clinton

Sunday, January 06, 2008


I just saw There Will Be Blood, which isn't as good as everybody says. There was a preview for a film called Teeth, which is actually about a woman with a vagina full of teeth.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

WHAT ABOUT RON?

I just want to know how Ron Paul did tonight, and I find it appalling that the Republican GOP site doesn't just give you the frickin state-wide results. No wonder their party is dying.
I'm watching Mike Huckabee on Fox, and I can't imagine that bumpkin winning New Hampshire. I think it would be great if McCain won NH, and then Guiliani won Florida. Maybe Romney could win few beuty contests, keeping this a horserace well into March. Or at least Super Tuesday.

Okay, I just checked, and I obviously don't have the foggiest idea what I'm talking about.

I'm thinking it'll be Obama and Rudy as the nominees. Of course, that's my hope for entertainment talking.
OBAMA 37.55%

Awesome.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT "RAY"*


The New Yorker had some pieces in their December 24th issue that qualify for a collective exclamation of "HOLY SHIT!" from writers and indeed all readers and students of literature.

The first is an article about Raymond Carver's relationship with editor Gordon Lish. Lish and Carver's relationship is the stuff of creative writing program legend, with Lish sometimes credited for creating Carver's signature "minimalism" (a term Carver reportedly despised), and sometimes blamed for claiming to have done so. The article summarizes the long and contentious relationship demonstrated in excerpts from their correspondence, in which we read Carver's attitude toward Lish change as Lish moves from mentor. The last few letters document their tentative final collaborations, as Lish resorts to pathetic emotional blackmail to protest his decreasingly strong hand.

Also included is the original text for Beginners, which was enormously improved by Lish's edits and re-titled "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love." Better still, is a transcription of Lish's edits and additions.

It's a shame that marginal notations aren't included, because I'm curious if Lish consulted with Carver before changing characters' names, for example. Based on Carver's discomfort with the sum of Lish's edits, I have to wonder. Because that's one edit that would receive a hearty "fuck you" from me.

It's clear evidence that Lish "made" Carver, so to speak. I often thought the latter Carver of Cathedral was inferior to the writer of "So Much Water So Close To Home" and these letters helped me understand why.

* Every Eastern Washington creative writing professor claims to have met Carver, and they all refer to him as Ray, italics included.

WHO AM I?

I took an online personality test to rev up for the new year. It was kind of useless, since it broke down my answers into categories that were kind of self-evident, but didn't apply any real analysis.

Still, I am amused. Scores are on a scale of 0-100. The overall score for each catagory is in bold, followed by an explanation and a breakdown of my results within each category.

Extraversion...............95
Your score on Extraversion is high, indicating you are sociable, outgoing, energetic, and lively. You prefer to be around people much of the time.

Friendliness.............74
Gregariousness...........84
Assertiveness............94
Activity Level...........80
Excitement-Seeking.......99
Cheerfulness.............63

Agreeableness..............8
Your score on Agreeableness is low, indicating less concern with others' needs Than with your own. People see you as tough, critical, and uncompromising.

Trust....................42
Morality.................13
Altruism.................52
Cooperation..............7
Modesty..................0
Sympathy.................28

Conscientiousness..........32
Your score on Conscientiousness is average. This means you are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled.

Self-Efficacy............75
Orderliness..............0
Dutifulness..............45
Achievement-Striving.....59
Self-Discipline..........69
Cautiousness.............7

Neuroticism................87
Your score on Neuroticism is high, indicating that you are easily upset, even by what most people consider the normal demands of living. People consider you to be sensitive and emotional.

Anxiety..................92
Anger....................98
Depression...............75
Self-Consciousness.......20
Immoderation.............99
Vulnerability............61

Openness to experience.....98
Your score on Openness to Experience is high, indicating you enjoy novelty, variety, and change. You are curious, imaginative, and creative.

Imagination..............96
Artistic Interests.......78
Emotionality.............89
Adventurousness..........81
Intellect................88
Liberalism...............86

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do these sound like the actions of a man whose had ALL he could eat?

Lionel Hutz: Now, Mrs. Simpson, tell the court in your own words what happened after you and your husband were ejected out of the restaurant.
Marge: Well, we pretty much went straight home.
Lionel Hutz: Mrs. Simpson, remember that you are under oath.
Marge: We drove around until three in the morning looking for another open all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant.
Lionel Hutz: And when you couldn't find one?
Marge: [crying] We...went...fishing!
Lionel Hutz: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do these sound like the actions of a man whose had ALL he could eat?

'Hearty Eaters' Say Buffet Banned Them

HOUMA, La. (AP) - A 6-foot-3, 265-pound man says a restaurant overcharged him for his trips to the buffet line, then banned him and a relative because they're hearty eaters. A spokesman for the restaurant denies the claim.

Ricky Labit, a disabled offshore worker, said he had been a regular for eight months at the Manchuria Restaurant in Houma, eating there as often as three times a week.

On his most recent visit, he said, a waitress gave him and his wife's cousin, 44-year-old Michael Borrelli, a bill for $46.40, roughly double the buffet price for two adults.

"She says, 'Y'all fat, and y'all eat too much,'" Labit said.

Labit and Borrelli said they felt discriminated against because of their size. "I was stunned, that somebody would say something like that. I ain't that fat, I only weigh 277," Borrelli said, adding that a waitress told him he looked like he a had a "baby in the belly."

Houma accountant Thomas Campo said the men were charged an extra $10 each on Dec. 21 because they made a habit of dining exclusively on the more expensive seafood dishes, including crab legs and frog legs.

"We have a lot of big people there," said Campo, who spoke for owner Li Shang, whose English is limited. "We don't discriminate."

Labit denied ever being told he would be asked to pay more than the standard adult price.

The argument grew heated, and police were called.

The police report states, "The incident was settled when the management advised that the bill was a mistake and, to appease Ricky, the meal was complimentary."

Labit said he insisted on paying but was told not to come back. He complained that when seafood on the buffet line runs out, the restaurant only grudgingly cooks more.

Campo said the proprietress tries to reduce waste of quality food, he said.

"Food is for eating, not toys for your child," reads a sign posted on a wall in typewritten text. A handwritten addition reads "Or 20% added."
Today I got the following email:

Medical Transcription Degree - the key to your future

Online transcription gives you the freedom to work from home.

Start today and earn your degree in as little as 18 months!


Not exactly a longer penis, is it?

FIRST WORDS OF 2008

"Fourth floor?"

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

THE MIGHTY MIL



The lucky confluence of this being a New Year's post, as well as my thousandth, means that we get an entertainingly disjointed post.

My horoscope: Good intentions to live a healthier lifestyle have yo-yoed over the past couple of weeks, but now that the festive season is almost over you can start again with a refreshed resolve. Center your New Year’s resolution on ditching those unhealthy habits because there’s a high chance of success from today!

I was just telling people I had no reason to set resolutions this year, and the example I used was that I was already practicing yoga four times a week, so no resolution was necessary. So, maybe this is about smoking?

As it turned out, December was not only my most productive month since I started the blog, but it boasted the second-most posting for a year.

Lastly, I have composed this story:

UNTITLED

They reflected later on the impact of the bus' early arrival, three minutes before schedule. On time, late, or even two and a half minutes early would have changed the entire situation. An unnamed woman boarded the bus at Sixth and Thomas, and rode eight blocks to the other side of Broadway. It was economical for her to do so, because she used a bus pass, and this was the last day of the month.

She debarked near Tenth, and walked down Tenth in the dark. The streetlights and porch lights added less illumination than atmosphere. A man walked toward her. She felt the cold, and pulled her coat tighter.

The man passed and she unconsciously released her grip on her sides. As she reaxed she heard four loud footsteps and felt an arm across her neck.

“He-!” she started to exclaim, before her windpiped was closed. She panicked and tried to breath, and the man stabbed at her carelessly with a small utility knife. He stabbed her in the arm. And in the shoulder. And in the side. He stabbed her ten times before letting her go.

She fell to her hands and knes. Now that she could breath again she couldn’t manage to shout. The man gasped in his place, his hands on his knees. He inhaled deeply and walked past her, grabbing her purse from her weekly protesting arm. He walked away, rapidly sorting through the purse’s contents.

And the unnamed woman clutched her wounded side, and prayed to God that she had missed the bus after all.