Sunday, December 30, 2007

A New Year's Wish


I think sometimes about the pure arbitrariness of time measurement and how we designate some particular day or hour as an ending and another as a beginning. New Years in particular strikes me that way -- it isn't really connected to the natural signals of time passage. Solstice, a more traditional dividing point, is several days past. Other particular positions of sun and moon are used in other cultures. I'm not even sure where this particular designation of the New Year derives (and at the moment I'm too sleepy to look it up.)

But since this is when a majority of intelligent life on this planet has chosen to divide time, I hope for each of you a new beginning with the New Year. May 2008 bring you the lessons you need, the wisdom you lack, the love you want, and the end to some of your searches. May it bring to all the people of the world a little more understanding of how to live together tolerantly and peacefully, with greater harmony with our planet and with each other.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Another Pathetic Moment

Because political assasination has always proved, historically, to be so very effective in improving government...

After all, if you kill off all the people who disagree with you, doesn't that make you right? I mean, we are doing such a fine job of demonstrating this fact, I don't wonder that others want to follow, in their own, low budget way.

And it's a long tradition among peace loving people to bomb, shoot, stab, imprison, torture, drown or hang anyone who scares them.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tis the Season to be Nasty

Christmas commercials are really starting to bug me. First was the stupid Best Buy commercial that emphasized greed. Now there's another Best Buy commercial -- a man in an office is confronted by his boss, a very aggressive guy who is complaining about his lack of a gift for his brother-in-law. The employee suggests a Best Buy gift card, and shows his boss one he's bought. The boss pockets it and walks off. GREED! and THIEVERY! and WORKPLACE HARASSMENT! And general rude, selfish behavior. Then there is the one with two guys fighting over a Best Buy box -- one brought a present, the other didn't have one to give back (because, of course, one gives presents only to get presents back), so the first guy decides to keep the gift while the second one wants it. Greed. Pure, simple greed over those stupid blue and yellow boxes.

It's not funny. It adds more to the pile of things that make me avoid Best Buy. Why do we think these things are funny? It's funny when the little guy gets beat on by the big guy. It's funny when people show how little they care about family and friends when there's some magic thing waiting for them. I know Best Buy is a retail store trying to make money, therefore they want people to desire the things Best Buy sells. I'd just be more disposed toward them if their message was more in line with the idea that 1) we give gifts because we want to show others we care and think about them 2) that holidays are a time we set aside for special recognition of others, which we choose to do via gifts. I know fully well that a retail business doesn't want people to think that the things we buy AREN'T the be-all and end-all, but I wish they weren't so OBVIOUS about it.

And now it's Heineken commercials that are bugging me. A guy walks into a home Christmas party with a 6-pack of the beer, and everyone is grabbing those beers until they are all gone. Then another guy walks in with a 12 pack. The first guy targets him to continue the beer stealing.

This one is in the same vein as one where a guy signals for another Heineken from the bar, which is passed along from person to person until some guy with a mixed drink gets it. He then takes the beer and passes his glass along to the original guy.

Both these commercials say that Heineken is so good that it's ok to steal it from someone else. The Christmas one in particular says that sharing is going to leave a person without anything, so you're better off being greedy (there it is again) and hoarding beer for yourself.

I'm willing to bet there are other commercials I haven't seen that promote similar themes, and that thought makes me feel uncomfortable. I think that advertising both affects how we see ourselves and reflects how we see ourselves. I try to stay very conscious of the meta-messages in advertising. These messages bother me a lot.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

And What Have You Done?

I've donated 20180 grains of rice.

I've got a lot of things on my mind currently -- The Husband departs for locations northward in a little less than 2 weeks and he has nothing packed. We need to get the security system turned back on, which means getting a land line turned on for the house (haven't had one of those in 5 years or so). Need to get back on the packing-up-to-move bandwagon and start stacking boxes in the garage. House needs cleaning, which I am barely inclined to do.

And then there are the things I want to do but haven't -- books to read, writing to write, organizing to be organized. To save money, I'm going to be shutting down the HVAC and using fans or space heaters for the rooms I'm in. I'm emptying and closing down part of the house, which means more packing. Our income is about to be slashed by three quarters, so living in this house is going to be problematic if I can't control my expenses. That means trying not to HAVE any expenses per se.

On top of that are a couple of less pleasant issues with family that must be dealt with, for which I have no energy left. There are the usual burdens of this time of year -- thoughts of my mom, my dad, even my pets now gone. The day is grey, chilly and damp. I have to plan defenses against my own propensity for depression. I have to take on duties that were never mine before. I've never actually lived by myself for any extended period of time -- my life has been, for all the difficulties, relatively sheltered. So this will be a difficult time as I adjust to being on my own for more than a few weeks. Even though the Husband will be visiting as much as he can, we can't afford a lot of weekends home.

The house must sell. It must sell soon. I've lived, it feels like, on the edge of a cliff for a year now, teetering, waiting to fall off and see if I can fly. I can't crawl back to the flatland behind me, but I can't get airborne either. The particular tension of having to hold on to the edge takes all my effort to withstand and maintain. Nothing I do or can do will make a difference (unless I win the lottery.)

So I think I'll donate some more rice.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Go. Do This.



My average vocabulary level is 47, and my highest is 49. I've donated over 12000 grains of rice so far, and right now I'm trying to guess this:


azygous
means:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Is obvious

The Jammies made me do it.



Your Score: The Cat


You scored 65% domestic, 27% gregarious, 25% trickster, and 58% intellect!




Domestic, Solitary, Serious, Intellectual: you are the Cat!

Cat represents a balance of strength in both physical and spiritual, psychic and sensual powers, merging these two worlds into one. Curious, intelligent, and physically adept, cat people tend to live in a world all their own.


This test categorized you based on four different axes of personality, which were then associated with a different animal. The four axes, as well as all possible results are explained below.


Wild/Domestic: This first axis categorizes you based on how much you are drawn to the outdoors, versus how much you are drawn to civilized situations. Domesticity has many shapes and forms, and varies from the joy of dolphins leaping next to a ship to the steadfast loyalty of a family dog.


Gregarious/Solitary: This axis measures how solitary you are. If you scored high, it means that you enjoy the company of other people, while a low score indicates that you prefer a more solitary lifestyle.


Trickster/Serious: This axis measures how well you line up with conventional trickster archetypes. People who fall into this archetype have a sense of humor and an excitable, highly chaotic streak. Scoring low doesn't mean that you don't have a sense of humor; it just means that you probably don't think dynamite is very funny.


Intellectual/Emotional: This last axis determines whether you are more emotional -- acting based on feelings and instinct, or rational and intelectual -- acting more on thought than on your gut feelings.

Link: The Animal Archetype Test written by crumpetsfortea on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

I is an Elf






Christmas Elf Name


My Christmas Elf Name is





Get your Christmas Elf Name at JokesUnlimited.com



It Improves

The beloved Husband bought me a candle that smells JUST LIKE a Christmas Tree. My spirits are lifting. We wasted the whole weekend playing City of Heroes, I got another 1500+ words into my novel, the weather turned cold, and more stuff got wrapped and shipped. In general, I like life better this week than last week.

I'll catch up on my lying ways shortly.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Is a Pattern

Ok, last night I had headache and sick stomach. I took meds and felt better.

This morning, I felt better, but now I have headache and sick stomach. I haven't eaten anything yet and now I'm not inclined to do so.

Is this a pattern? I don't feel sick, just ick.

This is piling with other things to sap the last three drops of interest in Christmas I had right out.

Friday, December 14, 2007

For Rien



Yes, there are other cats in the world who nap belly up. They just get suspicious when they see me with a camera. They know I have a weblog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And this

constitutes the larger half of my holiday decorating. I'm sort of wrapping presents.

I'm really not that interested this year.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Germs

I haz dem.

Yes, the season of virii is upon me. So far, it's just a cough and a scratchy throat. The Husband had this particular germ for the last two weeks and finally it has come to me. I say 'feh'.

I'll get back to you.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Lies, Lies, Lies, Yeah! Part 3

It's an old adage -- once you start lying, it's hard to stop.


Three confabulations for Jammies

1) Cover girl Jammies lived off her trust fund for a while as a New York party promoter. Famous for her neoprene bikinis and sequined faux albino zebra striped trench coat, she stunned the fashion world by attending Andre J.'s birthday party at Hiro's in fuschia colored faux Lasa Apso footie pajamas (complete with little bows on the ears and small wet nose) and 4 inch heel electric blue Manolos to which she had attached miniature LED scrollers that read "Jammies is TEH". Her entrance brought the house down. The NYPD were called to control the riot.

2) Jammies was one of Jackson Pollock's many disciples, following up his 'action painting' style with her 'hyperactive painting'. Also drawing on Pollock, who used industrial and household paints instead of artist's oils, she favored the use of Jello and Kool-aid, mixed with Elmer's Glue, due to her own straitened financial condition. Her relationship with Pollock caused a certain amount of tension with Lee Krasner, Pollock's wife, and Jammies ended her association with the alcohol fueled genius after Krasner threw a bowl of potato salad at her, missed, hit one of Jammie's canvases, and claimed the result as her own artwork.

3) Jammies spent five years at the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, as both a lead dancer and choreographer trainee. Dances she created included "Superheroes without Capes", performed first at the Lincoln Center, and "Big Otters, Little Ponds", which toured North America for six months to varied critical and popular response. Discouraged by what she termed "the stubborn misunderstanding of the mustelids", Jammies retired from dance to become a assistant at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.


Three fabrications for Jeff

1) Teen aged Jeff caused consternation among his teachers when he turned in an extensively researched senior project on the notorious Leopold and Loeb' 'perfect crime' which included a diorama with two modified G.I. Joe's and a Skipper doll dressed in period costume, a reproduction ransom note, and other items of a suspicious nature. The project was confiscated by the local police and later turned over to the FBI. The locations of all children in the area under age 14 were ascertained and no suspicious bodies were located. Jeff admitted nothing, declaring his innocence repeatedly. His history teacher awarded him an "A".

2) Jeff has achieved some local fame in the town of Natchez, Mississippi by his occasional appearances as "Old Man River". Dressed in a rubber wet suit covered in bits of waterlogged wood, assorted trash, a piece of a steamer paddle wheel, iron scrap, some human bones, and other detritus, and a long bedraggled white beard and wig, Jeff walks the shore of the great river near Natchez and berates the local inhabitants for slovenly river care. His appearance has been the spark for two river cleaning events, both of which raked 8.4 tons of garbage out of a quarter mile stretch of the river. The events were considered failures, however, when it was discovered that by morning, Jeff had put most of the garbage back because, as he said, "If he didn't, he'd have nothing to bitch about."

3) Jeff spent several years in training with a San Fransisco troupe of Beijing opera performers, where he was groomed for the Sheng role. While applauded for his performance as Guan Gong, the Chinese God of War, Jeff was reluctant to play the 'red faced' roles and expressed a yearning to be in the Chou role, despite its lower level of stage time, because he had developed an unhealthy attachment to the guban. It was rumored that he slept and ate with the traditional instruments. His activities so unnerved his fellow performers that he was ejected from the troupe. He worked for a while as a clerk in a UPS store, but his painted face makeup and elaborate costumes caused him to knock over boxes and even Chinese customers would not come into the store.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lies, Lies, Lies, Yeah! Part 2

You'd think lying was easy, but that's only if you aren't doing a good job. It's work, I tell you!

Six lies for Ken (or five lies and a half-truth)

1) Ken has baffled science for years since his pediatrician discovered he had specialized facial pits that could sense infrared radiation. His mother, embarrassed by the attention, insisted he'd just tucked some batteries and lights from his disassembled Simon (tm) electronic game.

2) Ken was for a short while a suspect in the failure of Project Vanguard, until FBI investigation found conclusive evidence that he had not yet been conceived. However, other evidence remains in his recently declassified FBI file alluding to a time traveling incident that will take place in 2009, and a scrap of men's Hanes Underwear.

3) Ken underwent two years of intensive therapy for post traumatic stress syndrome stemming from a childhood incident, in which he wandered into a skate park during a training session of the Buxom Blonde Bombers, who mistook him for a midget mascot of an opposing team and buried him under a mass tackle. The therapy was mostly successful, although the sight of a buxom blonde will occasionally make him twitch, and the sound of roller skates can cause undue excitement. He takes medication to treat these symptoms.

4) Ken is one of the leading xenobiologists searching for the legendary Pigeontoed Rocky Mountain Ape. His writings on the subject include the story of his single face-to-face encounter, when the Kooplatush (as the native tribes of the area called the creature) tripped and fell into Ken's tent while trying to cross a field in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the Kooplatush destroyed all of Ken's carefully rigged photographic equipment, so no evidence of that kind has been produced. Rumors are, though, that certain of these photographs can be purchased from Weird_Porn.com.

5) Ken still holds the record at his elementary school for stuffing the most jelly beans up his nose. A gum-and-marker 3-d commemorative portrait of his triumphant moment is preserved on the underside of desk 15, room 204.

6) Ken spent 10 years as the foremost director and producer of equine erotic film. The familiar "Big Stallion" emblem appears on many of the most well known 'blue horse' movies. His career was ended, however, when the filly Ta Wee sued him for releasing photographs of her taken before her illustrious racing career. The photographs showed Ta Wee in compromising positions with another filly. She accused him of attempting to blackmail her after her early wins.



Three lies about Jay


1) Jay suffers from a rare condition known as 'porcine magnetism'. Whenever bacon is in proximity to him, it is irresistibly drawn into his mouth. The phenomenon is under study by JLA and Stephen Hawkings is said to be writing a paper including an explanation of 'porcine magnetism'.

2) Jay is an avid mouldywarp hunter, and has taken his place in the Mouldywarp Hunter's Hall of Fame in Alms, GA among the exemplars of the sport. His prize winning take was a 22 inch Golden Mole during a trip to South Africa. Some disputes arose by competitors declaring the Golden Mole was not a 'true mole'. Jay was able to silence these naysayers via his ninja assassin executive assistant. No one has stepped forward to remove his plaque from the hall since.

3) Jay has the world's third largest collection of famous toenail clippings. The Left Front Big Toe Edge of George Plimpton recently sold at auction for a record $7.50.

Lies, Lies, Lies, Yeah! Part 1

Hmm. People fear the lie. Odd, that, because we are all accustomed to lies, in all their myriad shapes, sizes, colors and uses.

Anyway...

Three Lies About Buzz

1) Buzz achieved notoriety in his youth by reenacting Lady Godiva's famous ride through the streets of Coventry, clad only in his nose hair. There were no reports of anyone being struck blind for peeking, and rumor has it that he earned about $15 in singles stuffed into his horse's girth strap.

2) Buzz rose to a brief and giddy fame as a drag queen couturier in Chicago in July of 1987, known mostly for his highly imaginative use of chicken feathers, soup can tops, and iridescent sequins. He was unseated from his throne by a designer known as Pu-Pu and a fall in the chicken feather market.

3) Chief Buzz Paheka Odonkedonk, leader of the little known and mostly non-existant Padonkadonk hapu of the Maoiri, publicly failed in eight of his last ten attempts to hunt and kill a great boar. His two successes were both later revealed to involve prepackaged soy bacon.



Three Lies about Scott

1) While he never allows his own name to be used in the credits, preferring to work under the alias Slobomor Scovotnick, Scott was a popular character actor in Russian Westerrn films. He was distinguished by a convincing Tex-Czech accent, and played such diverse roles as the hog-killing bounty hunter in Большие пушки на лошадях and the school marm in Повелительница имеет усик.

2) Scott has written, produced, and done the lead voice acting in a series of audio-only self help books for rodents. His most popular titles (via Audible.com/rodentia) are "Big Balls, Big Hearts: A Guide to Gerbil Polyamory" and "Seeds and Weeds: Getting into the Birdfeeder You Want".

3) Scott is frequently called upon for his diplomatic skills as emissary between the US and the island of Ikkiput, one of the less reputable of the Antipodal Islands (49.69° S 178.74° E) in the South Seas. This island was declared in 2001 to be part of the Rhomboid of Evil by President Bush when CIA reports indicated that the Ikkiputtians were secretly stockpiling Dixie Chick cds as part of a Weapons of Mass Destruction plan.


Do you want some lies of your own? Post a comment.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ruining all the Quiet

Yes, I'm been -- at least on my scale -- pretty quiet around here lately. It's a combination of trying to spend more time writing, things I can't talk about, things there's no point in talking about, and things I'm bored with talking about, which doesn't leave much left over except talking about why I'm not talking about things.

Did you get all that? There will be a quiz.

So, just for my own entertainment, I offer a little challenge. Reply in the comments here, and in my next posts I will make up three lies about you, some of which may be slanderous, some of which may be PG 13, and none of which will look good on your resume (although you can try it if you want).

Consider it a little Holiday gift.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Can a Person Have Less Than No Life?

>no life...?

I have Facebook. Because I have gone from having no life at all to having even less than that.

But really, I'm just there for the Vampires.