Monthly Archives: November 2009

Welcome to the Party, Pal

I haven’t forgiven them for thevile thingsthey saidaboutJohn Kerry and I likely never will, and just because you finally wake up and smell the coffee doesn’t mean you’re entitled to a spot at the breakfast counter, but this is quite a turnaround.

Why I Parted Ways With The Right

Opinion | Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 6:49:45 pm PST

1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert
Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat
Buchanan, etc.)

2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)

3. Support for throwing women backinto the Dark
Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue,
anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the
entire religious right, etc.)

What I’m especially fond of is the idea that this is anything NEW. The idea that conservatism has changed. The idea that now, this, images of Obama in a turban or with a bone through his nose, dumb folks in patriotic windbreakers, this is a bridge too far. I like that a whole lot. Honest to blog, the GOP appeals to racists and sexists and authoritarian nutjobs all of a sudden? No shit, knock me over with a feather from a very tiny hummingbird. Jesus H. Samba Dancing Christ on a Custard Cream, you’re kidding me. I would never have thought that the party that prated about “states’ rights” and was just fine with cities tearing themselves to pieces so long as it could make a buck off peddling “law and order” was full of fuckwads. Who would have goddamn thought?

Now granted, the conservative crazy’s no longer cloaked in respectable intellectualism, not these days, so it’s getting a little harder to take. You can no longer go the parties and pretend you’re not a racist sexist authoritarian lowlife because there’s a really bitchin’ raw bar. You have to stand in the street with the teabaggers and their ill-spelled signs and their Capri Suns these days and eat fucking corn dogs, you want a conservative good time on the cusp of a new decade. It’s hard, isn’t it, now that William F. Buckley and his be-cravat-ed ilk aren’t around anymore to give you a reason to feel okay about being a totally amoral scumbag monster?

But come on. They have been like this for years. Where do you think Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann and Mike Huckabee CAME FROM, for God’s sakes? Do you think they just woke up one day and decided, “You know what? Today I’ll be racist and crazy and it’ll be AWESOME?” You nurtured them for years with Saint Ronnie and Ralph Reed and yes, even good old batshit Uncle Pat, who hasn’t gotten any nuttier the past couple of years, just louder about it. You have to just sack up and admit that these are the feral critters
you had chained up in the basement all along, that you fed on raw meat
and Red Bulls, and now they’ve slipped their shackles and are demanding
the right to walk among you. It sucks, that you can’t just close the
hatch and tell your very civilized dinner guests the screams they think they’re
hearing are just the noises of your washing machine on the fritz.

And you were fine with it so long as you could still kid yourself. You and lots and lots of others.

A.

Bombarded

During the 2008 election local NOLA teevee was blissfully free of overheated national ads. We had ads for the Landrieu-Kennedy senate race and saw the national ads on cable but the local news and, more importantly, Jeopardy were politics free zone. That’s changed with the health care reform debate.

Louisiana may be a red state but my area features a Republican, Cao who voted for the House bill and a Democrat, Melancon, who voted against. So, our airwaves have been bombarded with ads praising and attacking our Congresspeeps for their votes. The most annoying ad is one from the Chamber Of Commerce that praises Melancon for “standing up for Louisiana values.” I was not aware that upholding the status quo had anything to do with values.

There are, of course, a veritable plethora (one of my favorite cliches) of ads aimed at Senator Mary Landrieu. Everyone wants her vote. I’m afraid, however, that she too will stand up for “Louisiana values” and refuse to support a bill with a public option.

In the case of Ms. Landrieu I would love to be a fly on the wall during some family discussions on health care reform: more than a few of her kin are howling liberals. I hope she listens to her relatives but I suspect that insurance money will seem more eloquent to her. I’m afraid that the best we can hope for from Mary is another vote in favor of cloture: my gut instinct tells me that even Bad Max’s bill is too strong for her.

Journalism: Like Ball Tapping, In a Way

Just fucking shoot me:

It’s a disturbing game with devastating consequences, and anew WTHR survey suggests it is rampant in Indiana schools.

“Ball tapping” is the act of intentionally hitting or kicking a male in the genitals. Earlier this month, anEyewitness News investigation showed the game has become commonplace in some area schools, resulting in serious injuries for students.

As part of the investigation, WTHR also conducted astatewide survey
of school nurses. The results are in, and they show the problem of ball
tapping is more common and widespread than many school officials had
realized.

Now, look. Before you inundate me with stories about how as a chick I don’t get how harmful it can be to get kicked in the balls, I am not talking about how much it must hurt. Let’s get this out of the way: If you are presently kicking someone in the balls, please cease to do so. Unless it is Joe Lieberman. If you have been kicked in the balls and are experiencing complications, please go to an emergency room. Or just show up to Joe Lieberman’s office. No, I am talking about the usual things I talk about when I talk about this kind of story: Editorial standards, resource allocation, and monumentally shitty writing.

Here in Chicago we’re currently trying to figure out how to get kids to and from school without them being fucking shot or beat to death, or trying to figure out how to heat the school or feed the kids breakfast, lunch and dinner because their parents are working three jobs and still not able to pay rent, or crackheads, or gone to wherever, or in Iraq or Afghanistan, or living on the street. I’m hard-pressed to imagine Indianapolis isn’t facing some of the same issues, plus the fucking earth is caving in, in general. But hey, that’s not sexy for the suburbs, so we get shit like this, just like every other school-trend scare story, like“rainbow parties” and “grinding” and whatever other bullshit used to be the parental freak-out hot button.

This, WTHR INVESTIGATES! I’m so glad the Internet hasn’t trivialized things beyond repair. Seriously, this merited a survey and an actual interview with someone who had been kicked in the balls. I don’t know how much this cost, but I do know it took me about ten minutes to dissect the stupidity and that’s ten minutes I am never going to get back.

Plus, oh god, the over-serious Onion-esque story itself. If Doc and I ever get drunk enough to write our book, How Not to Be a Douchebag Reporter When You Grow Up, it will feature this story prominently in the chapter about TV jargon. You can just hear the ponderous voice, right? The emphasis on every third word? “The game has become more commonplace in some area schools.” As opposed to some schools, as one editor of mine used to yell contemptuously at the TV, in Tibet? And is there really a name for this now? I thought hitting someone in the balls was called, well, hitting someone in the balls. Who knew it had its own theme song? And “more commonplace?” How commonplace was it before?

ViaDave Barry.

A.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – more odds and sods edition

Good morning everyone! I’d like to interrupt the Hostiliday proceedings for some late-breaking snark.

The moderators at Free Republic have an interesting job – trying to keep a lid on the bigotry, racism, and overall batshit craziness, without alienating all the bigoted, racist, and batshit -crazy people who make the site what it is.

They pulled this one, for instance, but“we be fast, and they be slow!”.

p>Google Apologizes for Offensive Image
of First Lady

Washington Post ^| November 25, 2009 | Garance
Franke-Ruta

Posted onWednesday,
November 25, 2009 5:03:48 AM
bylbryce

Ruta Search engine behemoth
Google is apologizing for image-search results delivered for first lady Michelle
Obama that show the No. 1 image of her online to be a racist caricature.
“We
apologize if you’ve had an upsetting experience using Google. We hope you
understand our position regarding offensive results,” says a house ad from “the
Google team” served up in conjunction with image results for queries on the
first lady’s name.
“Search results are a reflection of the content on the
web. Our search results simply reflect what’s out there,” Google spokesman Scott
Rubin explained. “According to the way our algorithm works, when we try to
deliver the most relevant search results based on other pages that link to it
and so on, this is what is returned.”
He said it was possible that the image
ranked so high because people were linking to it to condemn it, but noted that
there was no way for the company to know for sure. Page rank is the result of
“more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms,” according to Google.

“Because the image is offensive to many, we felt it was important to explain
to our users why an image like that would appear,” Rubin said.
The racist
image was previously removed by Google in response to a complaint by Search
Engine Roundtable, which objected that “If you conduct a search in Google Images
for [Michelle Obama] you will see a racist image in the number one result.”

(Excerpt) Read more atvoices.washingtonpost.com


TOPICS:Breaking News
KEYWORDS:firstlady;michelleobama
PhotobucketThis is the image of the First Lady as posted throughout the
internet.
Personally, I don’t understand at all what the brouhaha is all
about.
I think the First Lady should consider it a compliment as it is a
most
definite improvement.

1 posted onWednesday, November 25,
2009 5:03:49 AM
bylbryce
p>To: lbryce

the No. 1 image of her online

To me, this says it all.

2 posted onWednesday, November 25,
2009 5:07:52 AM
byP8riot (I carry a
gun because I can’t carry a cop.)

div class=”ecxecxa2″>To: lbryce

Why the hell is it racist? WaPo states it as a fact. It’s
simply an age-advancing software image which never makes you look better.

Even me.

9 posted onWednesday, November 25,
2009 5:11:49 AM
byThrownatbirth (…Iraq Invasion fan since ’91.)

And now –the punch line:

To: lbryce
Let’s not cheapen this site with trash.
4 posted onWednesday, November 25,
2009 5:09:25 AM
byAlways Right

Bwahaha

To: All
I apologize to all who find the posting of this story not up
to the standards of Free Republic and agree thatfor some this post deserves to
be removed.

17 posted onWednesday, November 25,
2009 5:19:43 AM
bylbryce (Obama
Notwithstanding, America’s Best Days Are Yet To Be .)

div class=”ecxecxa2″>To: lbryce

The article was ok, but we didn’t need the picture or the
comments. Even though it was done routinely with Bush which was childish, there
is just a history of portraying blacks as monkeys that just screams
racism.

19 posted onWednesday, November 25,
2009 5:22:05 AM
byAlways Right

YaThink

p>They really, really don’t get it, do they? Somewhere, in what passes for their minds, white people have routinely been insulted racially as “monkeys”.

To: lbryce
if they don’t like it, they can clickout same as they
clicked in
25 posted onWednesday, November 25,
2009 5:29:10 AM
bySF_Redux

See?

To: lbryce
It may not be to everyone taste, but it’s definitely
newsworthy IMHO.
No, not when you say:
“I think the First Lady should
consider it a compliment as it is a most definite improvement. “

Then
you make it about US at FR distorting and smearing Michelle Obama. THAT makes it
beneath us.

15 posted onWednesday, November 25,
2009 5:18:54 AM
byYossarian

div class=”ecxecxa2″>To: Yossarian

My comment was conveyed in a sense of utter sarcasm and
regret it was lost on some of you.

21 posted onWednesday, November 25,
2009 5:23:08 AM
bylbryce (Obama
Notwithstanding, America’s Best Days Are Yet To Be .)

div class=”ecxecxa2″>To: lbryce

My comment was conveyed in a sense of utter sarcasm and
regret it was lost on some of you.
Horsecrap. It was slime, and you know it.
It’s obvious with every post here you make. (e.g. “Forsome, this thread
should be pulled.”)

23 posted onWednesday, November 25,
2009 5:25:01 AM
byYossarian

I guess they just weren’t listening when “Big Jim” Thompson posted this (and the fact that he felt like heneeded tosays volumes):

(edited for clarity and space)

Message to all liberals and leftists from ‘Jim Thompson,’ owner of FreeRepublic.com

Vanity
| July 15, 2009
| Jim Thompson

Posted onWednesday, July 15, 2009 3:43:56 PM byJim Robinson

I’ll tell you what. The dozen or so insults made by about a
half-dozen anonymous members of the general public on an Internet forum
were disgraceful. So we pulled them.

We pulled them because they are racist, but let me now try to weasel-word my way out of it.

But they’re really a
disgrace to insults in general and to the professional race-baiters of
our main stream media that hurl them on a daily basis.

Shorter Jim Thompson – “The racists this place allows to post aren’t as bad as the ones that don’t post”

Our guys
don’t hold a candle to the professionals that have spent the last ten
years or so pummeling the Bush and Cheney families with thousands of
insults

..all of them racial, of course. See? He’s made the jump from racism to insults in a single paragraph. Next he’ll link insults to brussels sprouts, and Big Jim hates brussels sprouts, and won’t hesitate to have posts about them pulled.

every damned day in every newspaper, magazine and TV network
broadcasting to the public. Even the movies. Even in the halls of
congress, in school rooms, in our churches.

Damn those churches, anyway! And you know you can never turn of the viewscreen.

We are bombarded daily by a constant stream of insults hurled by liberals, socialists, Marxists and leftists of every stripe.

That would be because you’re a simpleton with the moral compass of a Bundist.

Family
members and children are not immune from the daily barrage of insults
from professionals and amateur leftists alike. The Internet is chuck
full of insulting comments, photo-shopped photos,

All of which end up here.

cartoons so bad that
they should be ashamed to publish them in their daily papers, but
publish them they do. And laugh. Freaking hypocrites!

They
laugh about the insults hurled 24 hours a day against Sarah Palin and
her husband and little girls. Even the tiny helpless little Downs
Syndrome baby is not immune from their hateful insults.

Big Jim? News flash for ya, babe. When a “Marxist” (not that you’d recognize one if he walked up to you and sangKrasnoe znamia)says that Palin is trotting Trig out as a prop, it’s not an insult to Trig.

Racism? Monkey sounds? Right. Do a google search on “Bush Chimp” and see what pops up.

Like I said – you really really really don’t get it, do you, idiot boy?

George
Bush is just as much a human being as Michelle Obama. And just as
American. The only difference is George Bush is proud to be an American
and proud to defend his country while Michelle Obama was ashamed of
America for her entire adult life. Defend America? Right. The Obamas
wouldn’t lift a finger to defend America. They’d rather destroy it and
destroy all it stands for.

You’re a nutcase.

Bush is a monkey. Bush is a chimp.
Bush is a gorilla. Bush is a subhuman knuckle dragging mongrel. He
sometimes makes funny monkey faces, even funny monkey sounds. We all
have. I have. You have. Michelle Obama has. Monkey see, monkey do. Get
used to it!

Get used to being a nutcase.

Poor white trash live in trailer parks. Poor white
trash live in slums. Poor white trash also live in ghettos. Many people
who aren’t even poor white trash live in trailer parks, slums, barrios
and ghettos.

Many who aren’t poor, white, ghettos, or trailers live somewhere or other! Flagoom! Orner porner flapdoodle! Waugh!

“Dressed like someone from the ghetto” can’t
possibly be a “racist” insult unless you’re assuming all black people
and only black people come from ghettos.
If you are making that
assumption and are personally insulted by such comment, then look
around. You may be a racist.

Why, it’s all so simple when you explain it that way. It’s not you and your flying monkeys that are racists, it’severybody else. Of course – how logical!

Ok, I think I have this figured
out. It’s absolutely ok for the left to trash any conservative, even
children and babies, but it’s absolutely against the rules to return
fire. The left can hurl out the insults, but cry like banshees when it
comes back on them.

Speaking of insults doing harm to sweet
little girls, how much harm is done to a child when Obama authorizes
so-called “reproductive health” professionals to reach up into a womb
and literally rip a human baby limb from limb and remove its lifeless
carcass bit by bit when if left alone, it would have been a bouncing
little baby boy or girl just moments later.

And now posting pics at Free Republic of the POTUS and his wife as monkeys has magically turned into the subject of abortion. It’s like he’s free-associating everything he hates and has forgotten what his sick little screed was supposed to be about. It’s turned into BLACKSLIBERALSABORTIONSTAKEMYGUNSMOVENEXTTOMEAAAGHAAAGHMARXISTSWANTMYMONEYHATE THEMALLKILLTHEMALLAAARRGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

That’s the supreme insult. It’s a gross insult to
every human being on this planet living or dead. It’s an insult to life
itself. It’s an insult to humanity, to human decency. It’s a slap in
the face to God the Creator of all life. We will all pay a price for
the disgraceful American Holocaust. Fifty million innocent American
lives slaughtered on the altar of liberalism and the count is growing
daily. Butchers!

FReep you and the smug, arrogant, hypocritical high horse you rode in on!

My name is Big Jim Thompson and I approve this message.

No, Big Jim –fuck YOU. Thank Providence that you and your ugly sycophants are dying off.

Go directly to Hell, do not collect $200, and may the Saint who casts you down be black..

p>Well, now that I’ve spoiled everyone’s breakfast, more old odds and ends after the jump.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

If You Can Post Crappy Videos, I Get To Do This


What awaits me when I die, in part for things like what I am about to do.

So, I’ve just about had it with the crappy videos. This is my retaliation.

I think that, if they ever make a movie about two people named Jim and Stacy who date and break up, then get back together and break up again, but just can’t break that pattern, and the relationship is by turns wonderful and awful, and the story is told from Jim’s point of view; if they do all of that, I think that a great title for that movie would be…

p>Wait for it…

p>The Agony and the Ex-Stacy.

p>What? You people deserve it for those videos. Now I’ve got to pack for my trip to Hell.

Oh – they *have* to be holiday-oriented?

I was just trying to get back at Adrastos for planting that irritating earworm, but I’ll play along.

And “Taking the keys away” was exactly the phrase I used yesterday when talking to the better half about my concern about having posted out of my time slot.

So – in honour of her good nature, I dedicate this one to Mistress A, just because it has many many mentions of her favourite word.

Then I’m going to go hide in the Free Republic decontamination room until this thing blows over.

p align=”center” class=”asset asset-video” style=”margin: 0pt auto; display: block;”>

p>Also.

p align=”center” class=”asset asset-video” style=”margin: 0pt auto; display: block;”>

The Spirit Of The Hostilidays

I’m proud of my First Draft colleaguesBuggy Q andVirgo Tex for feeling the spirit of the season: hostiliday style. I’m sureTommy T will catch on soon since the tune he posted was genuinely horrendous. There’s some concern that mom may take the keys to the blog away but she’s the one who brought me aboard so I’m sure she knew what she was getting into. If not, she’s in for it now: bwa-ha-ha-ha…

The NOLA bloggers and our Scout have been indulging in this custom for several years. The videos have ranged from the well-done but offensive to traditional cheesiness to amateurish ineptitude. The key to the conflict is a ruthless dedication to bad and/or cheesy holiday clips: Liprap specializes in horrible chanukah tripe. During the hostilidays, crap is golden. Hmm, sounds like a repeat of the Bush administration…

Anyway it’s time to link you to some of the shit my colleagues have thus far thrown up against the virtual wall in the hope that some of it will stick:Oyster;Ray Ward;Loki the Ohio monkey boy;Liprap;Maitri.

Additionally, any non-NOLA or non-First Draft blogger who wants to play, have at it. You can either post a link to your vile video in a comment here or email me at the address in the upper right hand corner of the blog. Btw, the war *always* ends inconclusively with *everyone* claiming that they “won.” I contend that I won in 2007 with the uber offensive, but hilarious, Bob Noxious classic, Fuck Off, Santa.Others demur but they’re fucking wrong…

Finally, what’s a hostiliday post without a bad video? This is a feeble amateur Aussie version ofThe 12 Days Of Christmas, which is a pretty shitty song in its own right:

p align=”center” class=”asset asset-video” style=”margin: 0pt auto; display: block;”>

Lightweights

Bad Christmas videos? Here’s the BuggyQ equivalent of a thermonuclear strike:

p>

The saddest part is I’m actually related to the artist known as GMark. This is the cross I bear.

And A, this is what you get for giving us the keys…

Common sense and self-defense

WTF? Wait a minute, Tommy! I didn’t realize we guest posters could fire a volley out of turn! Plus, dude, WEAK attempt.

So, screw deterrence, I’m feeling a very strong need for an early, decisive, game-changing pre-f*cking-emptive strike! Hand-picked from the coalition of the willing, the big bulging guns of Bearforce 1:

Shots fired! Shots fired!

Adrastos, this is payback for getting“Turkey lurkey time” stuck in my head all day yesterday.

Consider this a warning shot.

Hopefully, this will lead to a SALT (Silly-Ass video Limitation Treaty) summit.

And if diplomacy fails, I can always call on Vlad.

p>Tommy

Weekend Question Thread

If you could make one law that everyone in America (or wherever you are) would have to follow, what would it be?

A.

Saturday Blogwhoring Thread

56
p>Post away. Dancing Yoda demands it.

A.

Forced Furlough Friday (part II)

And here we go with the rest of the day…

11:35 a.m.: We hit the road after hearing the Midget change
her mind about 12 times regarding the car we should take. We settled on the
Civic, as it was 31 degrees when we left and while the heater on the classic
works, it’s still a classic heater. I swear, I don’t know how people survived
in the winter during the ‘60s in these boats.

11:47 a.m.: We pass by a Lowe’s which has people pouring in
and out of the parking lot like bees to a hive. When I was a kid, Mom used to drag
me out to the Black Friday sales. For some reason, in digging through the
fliers this year, the sales didn’t look all that good. I’ve got to admit, it’ll
take a really good deal or a really desperate year for me to head out and go
head to head with the overweight soccer moms who have their kids’ names
tattooed on their inner and outer thighs. Those women are mean and will likely
kill me for sport.

12:03 p.m.: We enter the bowling alley. The place has been
open for three minutes and there are already two families bowling and three
guys at the bar asking for a second round. Have I mentioned how great it is to
live in Wisconsin?

12:05 p.m.: The Midget is arguing with me. Even though I had
her put back her cash, she squirreled away $2 in her shoe and is demanding to
pay for her own bowling shoes. I put the $2 on the counter finally, handed the
woman my credit card and then palmed the cash. The rest of the shoe buying
experience passed without incident.

12:10 p.m.: The Midget picks out a pink ball, which is good
because it’s the lightest they have. (8 pounds) She then demands that she will
not be using the ramp. Fine with me. When you have to wait 4 minutes as you
watch the ball travel the length of the lane, it tends to make the game last a
bit longer, so you get a little more for your entertainment dollar.

12:12 p.m.: Another family joins us. Midget immediately goes
into turtle mode and is hiding from everything. She then takes the pink ball,
staggers up the lane like a drunk running for a free beer and pitches the ball
down the lane.

12:13 p.m.: Rolling… Rolling… Rolling…

12:14 p.m.: I step away to get her a glass of water.

12:15 p.m.: Still rolling… Bounce off the bumper…

12:16 p.m.: Ball knocks off about four pins and then stops
in a cluster of pins. We do a high-five.

12:20 p.m.: I get the first strike of the game, which
excites the Midget more than usual. Then, the disappointment sets in, “No
cartoon!” she wails. At the last place we bowled, whenever you got a strike, a
spare or a split, a mini cartoon would run in place of the score for a couple
seconds. They were cute and fun, but this place didn’t have them. Major bummer.

12:25 p.m.: The guy bowling next to us has three kids who
are all running around like their asses are on fire. When they bowl, the kids
grab a random ball, go running full speed at the lane and then throw the ball
almost overhand down the lane. I figured I’d ask the dad to impose some
discipline, when I noticed he bowled the exact same way. That’s right: “You!
Alright? I learned it by watching you!

12:30 p.m.: I racked up three strikes in a row, otherwise
known as a turkey. The monitor now fills with a dot-matrix turkey. “LOOK!” I
exclaim to the Midget. “A cartoon.” Her response: “I no like turkey.” Sigh…

12:50 p.m.: First game is almost over when she decides she
wants a blue ball. The balls are all color coded with pink being the lightest,
orange being slightly heavier and so forth. Blue balls are 10 pounds (go ahead.
Laugh. Get it out of your system. I’ll wait.) which is way more than she can
already carry. I make this point and she insists she can do it. I hand her the
ball and tell her if she drops it, we’re done. Stubborn little cuss…

12:52 p.m.: She lugs the ball back to the lane, puts it on
her shoulder and shot puts it down the lane. We have to work on her technique.
For her second roll, she pushes it all the way up to the lane, rolls it as hard
as she can and falls on her ass with a resounding “THUD!”

12:53 p.m.: “I OK!”

1:10 p.m.: The place is starting to fill up with other
wandering families who apparently didn’t want to go shopping and have nothing
better to do with their kids. If I’m a lousy parent, at least I’ve got company…

1:45 p.m.: The Midget has tired over time. The balls are
getting pushed with much less force and she keeps falling down on her way back
to the seating area. Apparently, I’m tiring as well. Strikes are becoming 9
counts with less action in the pocket. I’d kill for a strike right now. More
specifically, I’d kill the kid on the next lane who keeps running up to throw
his ball and sliding about a quarter of the way down the alley.

2 p.m.: We head to the snack bar for lunch. The Midget
orders a hot pretzel and I’ve ordered ahigh colonic coney dog with chili and
cheese basket. The Midget complains that her food is hot. I can’t fault her for
that. I hate hot food. I always did. Still, there comes a point where you need
to eat. The pretzel was developing that hard crusty outer shell it was so cold
and she was still telling me it was hot.

2:10 p.m.: One of the perils of snack bar TV: They’ve got
old black and white photos ofJohn Wooden (UCLA’s great coach of yore) on the
air. They’ve got guys talking about him. Of course, there’s no sound so I can’t
tell what is going on. Immediately, I panic thinking that he’s dead. I can’t
get a signal with my IPhone in snack bar, so I’m trying to wander around and
get a signal. I eventually look back and they’ve got a similar shot ofDean
Smith
(UNC coach of yore) up and the same thing is happening. I calmed down and
went back to waiting for my hot dog.

2:11 p.m.: My hot dog arrives and looks like what you would
imagine a $1.50 bowling alley chili and cheese dog to look like. The chili had
no meat in it and had the consistency of diarrhea. The cheese was glowing
yellow. I ate it without thinking twice. It then dawned on me: I have a
slow-eating child next to me and a 15-mile drive home. This could be
interesting…

2:20 p.m.: As the hot dog turns, the Midget tells me she’s
full. I push two pieces of the pretzel toward her and tell her she needs to eat
these. In mid-complaint, she starts coughing and gasping uncontrollably, worse
than I have ever heard it before. She can’t breathe and she’s turning purple.
I’m whacking her on the back and she’s coughing and gagging. She keeps making
these sounds like she’s going to puke, so I stick the pretzel dish under her
mouth just in case. Eventually it passes, but she’s freaked out. We decide to
go. As I pick her up, she croaks, “My money! Do you have my $2?” Yeah, she’s my
kid…

2:30 p.m.: Midget passes out in the car while we drive home.
We’re on a two-lane highway with limited passing. I’m going about 5-10 over the
limit when I get dusted by a guy passing on my left. A second car is climbing
up my ass. I noticed something about these cars: They were likely worth about
$11 combined. I don’t understand this phenomenon. When I’m driving on the
freeway next to Jaguars, Porches or Corvettes, they tend to be about 5-10 miles
an hour over the limit. The guys driving the 1988 Chrysler LeBarons with no
headlights and a rear quarter panel held together by masking tape are the ones
cooking down the road like Ricky Bobby.

2:35 p.m. When we get home and I have to pick her up out of
her seat, she lolls her head to the left, opens her eyes and says to me, “Don’t
forget my $2.”

2:40 p.m.: The hot dog moves forward. Immediately upon
finding the basement john, the phone rings. Two minutes later, it rings again.
I don’t get this. The phone doesn’t ring all day. Ever. The minute I enter the
restroom, it’s ringing off the hook. I think AT&T has my bowels on retainer.

2:50 p.m.: A quick peek in on the Midget reveals her sitting
up in bed. She sees me and quickly ducks under her covers and starts fake
snoring. I’d chastise her but suddenly…

I’ve got to pee.

Thus ends the furlough.

Thanks for letting me share your air. Be back next week.

Doc

Forced Furlough Friday

As part of our governor’s plan to try to close the state’s
budget deficit, all state employees are required to be furloughed a certain
number of days each year over the next two years. It’s a neat trick that
amounts to about a 3 percent pay cut while really costing the state next to
nothing in personnel power. The reason? They mandate that we can’t be
furloughed on days in which we’d be doing actual work (i.e. teaching class,
attending faculty meetings etc.). They also managed to mandate specific days
where we HAVE TO be off. Of course those are days, like today, where most of us
were probably off anyway or doing very little.

Unfortunately, for those of us who are workaholics/faculty
members, there is always work to be done. I’ve got homework to grade, contests
to judge and research to tweak. Alas, I figure if the state is all powerful
enough to create a “The Day the Earth Stood Still” moment on all government
offices, I figure they likely can manage to track my movements on a day like today.
Don’t want to be sent to prison for failing to have a day off. So here’s the
official diary record of how the furlough went, in hopes of both inspiring you
and making sure the state doesn’t set up camp in my lower rectal tract:

6:18 a.m.: Woke up. Peed. Forgot it was a day off and almost
got into the shower. Some habits are hard to break. Smelled the residual scent
of turkey and kind of figured things out before going back to bed.

7:32 a.m.: Woke up again. Peed. Again. Man, either I’ve got to stop
drinking or I need to talk to my doctor about this. Seriously, those
commercials about the guys peeing like they’rethat little boy fountain keep me
up at night.

7:50 a.m.: The Midget, from a dead sleep, either yelled “No More Turkey!” It’s going to be a long day.

8:20 a.m.: The Missus got up. She’s working from 10-3 today
at the local Y. I almost want to tuck a copy ofThe Charge of the Light Brigade” in her backpack.

8:35 a.m.: Missus got into the shower, I got up to start
writing this. In extracting the laptop from the backpack, I was very careful
not to touch anything else. Send CSI: Boonies over if you don’t believe me…

9:10 a.m. Got out of bed. Fought the urge to pee. In some
ways this has to be psychosomatic right? Headed to the kitchen to determine
what breakfast will be. There were four of us, including the Midget last night
at supper. We made a 15 pound turkey. The Missus then made a massive kettle of
turkey soup. I’m sure I will spend days walking around the houselike Bubba
from Forrest Gump
muttering, “Turkey sandwich, turkey soup, turkey stew, turkey
and eggs…”

9:15 a.m.: Settled on a plate of stuffing and turkey with
gravy. Sometimes, you have to embrace your destiny. This was the first year we
didn’t have the “So what kind of stuffing do we want?” argument. The Missus is
a rice stuffing person. I am a traditionalist of a different sort: dried bread
with apples, celery and giblets. The giblets are the best part in my book. Mom
got them into me very early in life before I could ask too many questions. I’m
sure this is how drug addiction starts…

9:30 a.m.: My brother-in-law emerged from the basement. He
came over for the holiday and was heading out early for home. Strange
discussion before we left:

Me: “I need a professional respirator for Christmas. It’ll
help when I’m working with wood and with chemicals.”

Him: “Nah, I ascribe to the Buffalo Theory.”

Me: “Buffalo Theory?”

Him: “Yeah, your brain cells are like buffalo herds. You’ve
got to kill off the slow-moving members so the herd can advance more quickly.”

Any wonder why smart people and buffalo are harder to come
by?

9:35 a.m.: The Midget wakes up coughing uncontrollably and
then says, “I OK!” This is her new thing: follow up something that’s obviously
wrong with a “I OK!” in hopes we will believe her. She does this while
coughing, knocking crap over, falling down the stairs or whatever. The cough
she’s had for a while hasn’t gotten better, so we’ve got her on antibiotics. Of
course, now she’s constantly on us: “Is it time for my pill?”

9:40 a.m.: Offered the Midget some of my turkey and
stuffing. She hid behind her pink teddy bear and pretended not to be there. She
then coughed and said, “I OK!” We’re crossing “cat burglar” and “international
spy” of her list of potential careers.

10 a.m.: We’re watching “Bee Movie” for about the
8,353,123,455th time. There is something to be said for On Demand.
That said, I’m getting to the point where I remember why I hated “Seinfeld.”

10:09 a.m.: Conversation:

Me: (Yawning)

Midget: “Daddy, are you tired?”

Me: “Yes, sweet pea. Are you?”

Her: (Smiles, hides behind the bear, makes the bear dance)
Cough cough… “I OK!”

We then talk about the day. We need to take a drive and I
finally got the heat fixed in the classic car. When I said we could take it out
one last time, she asked if we could take the Civic. I don’t think my kid gets
this yet…

10:12 a.m.: Ken of the Bee Movie: “I made a new resume into
a fold-out brochure. See? It folds out.” I’m on a search committee and I’ve
seen a number of people who follow the Ken Model. Got news for you: It’s not
impressive. Want to stand out? Be good at what you’re doing.

10:14 a.m.: Accidentally logged into my work email. Waiting
for the state workers who track this stuff to kick in my door. Wait… they’re on
furlough too… Wait… NOOOOOOO!!!!! THE CAKE IS A LIE!!!!!!!

10:30 a.m.: No reports of dead Wal-Mart workers in a Black
Friday Stampede this year. Of course, the day is still young…

10:32 a.m.: Time to shower or something. I decided against
shaving today. Wandered the house for about five minutes emulating the scene
from “Mr. Mom” where he gets shot through his favorite shirt.

10:47 a.m.: Got out of the shower, weighed myself and
immediately shaved. I need every ounce I can get.

10:50 a.m.: Argument with the Midget:

Me: “You need to wear pants.”

Her: “Why?”

Me: “We’re going bowling. You have to wear pants to bowl.”

Her: “Why?”

SNIP:

Her: “Not these panties. I want Ariel.”

Me: “Is this Ariel?”

Her: “No. This is Belle.”

Me: “Is this Ariel?”

Her: “No. That’s Ariel’s friend.”

Me: “No one is going to see her.”

Her: “I can show people!”

Me: “Uh… OK, let’s find Ariel…”

11 a.m.: Midget finishes the Bee Movie and immediately turns
to Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch. Apparently bugs are raising our youth.

11:14 a.m.: Midget emerges from her hiding area with a fist
full of about $50. “I bring my money.” I have no idea where the hell she got
that kind of money or where she’s been hiding it. She is part squirrel.

The smell of turkey farts is killing me. We need to leave
the house.

Time to head to the bowling alley. We’ll fill in with part
two later.

Friday Ferretblogging

Fatbucky

SCRITCH MAH PLUSHY BELLY I DEMANDS IT.

Flyingpuck
Puck’s so squirrelly lately (he’s the last one to lose his coat so he’s constantly scratching and the others have no sympathy) that the only way to photograph him is to make like an airplane and fly him around the room.

A.

This is a Local Spot

I don’t hate Black Friday. I’d much rather put something on layaway and then pick it up a week before Christmas, or just do all my shopping in October, which I did this year. Just about all of it, barring specific requests for things, came from either Etsy, other small e-tailers, Ebay, or antique stores. I don’t partake, myself, in getting up before dawn and hitting the stores for deals, but I know people who do it and enjoy it. It’s like a ritual, almost like a sporting event. Having gotten caught up in some pretty weird stuff myself I can’t exactly mock.

What I do hate, though, is the coverage of Black Friday, the frantic stories about people lining up, trampling each other, getting into fights, the basic tone that this is insane SO THEN WHY ARE YOU COVERING IT? The total lack of editorial standards that dictate that every TV station has to have a reporter at a Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. and every newspaper has to lead off stories with projections about how much money we’ll all make or not make and what that says abou the economy … all of it in that “and isn’t consumerist Christmas terrible” tone that says we should all be very ashamed of ourselves while feeling vaguely guilty for not spending more.

And while I can usually ignore the bullshit, more and more it seeps into online where I can’t escape. So as an antidote, a sort of middle ground between those of us who love gift giving but can’t deal with the stampedes, I’d like a suggestion thread for your favorite non-chain, on- or off-line places to pick up something special. They don’t have to be Christmas gifts only, after all, people get sick or need care packages or have birthdays or graduations all year round. So gimme your favorites. A few of mine:

Keeney’s Sporting Goods & PK’s Antiques, Elgin, Ill.

The Mars Cheese Castle.

Boondock G.

Angels of Olde.

The Careful Peach.

A.

Friday Catblogging: Early Boxing Day Edition

Young Della Street has the holiday spirit already. The problem is that she’s a taker and not a giver. She is, however, ready for boxing day:

DSCF4837

In Lieu Of The Malaka Of The Week…

… I thought I’d fire the opening salvo in the annual bad holiday video war. It’s not that there’s not ample (that’s a lot of fucking nots, y’all) malakatude to mock but I’m feeling mellow after dining on teal stuffed with sweet potatoes, turkey with erster dressing and multiple desserts washed down with champagne and boo-jelly nouveau. The whole mishegas makes me want to post a really cheesy video that that twisted comic geniusKen Levineposted today. It’s a Thanksgiving song and an extremely bad one that answers the eternal question, “what time is it?” with “it’s turkey lurkey time.”

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Thanksgiving Day Tangent

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Since it’s presumably a slow news day, I thought I’d step back and look at the Kennedy assassination…last weekend was the 46th anniversary of the tragedy…andregardless of what some thought, I hope people consider it a tragedy…anyway, I’m curious as to opinions…

I was born just over a year and a half after Dallas, which makes me middle aged but not in the picture re: where I was when I heard. Growing up, it seemed JFK was revered as a martyr (though at my tender age, I didn’t know WHY, just that he was the young, not-Nixon president who’d lost his life); I very distinctly recall some of the hullabaloo afterGeraldo Rivera aired the Zapruder film (and in my own zeal to grow up, it made me a then-believer in a conspiracy), I also remember the JFK-legacy fall from grace, if I remember right, first with revelations fromJudith Exner; other “scandals” included his concealing of awful health and — gasp — in light of Watergate, an Oval Office taping system of his own (as to the former, sometimes I wonder if some of the philandering was at least slightly exaggerated–better thought of as a letch than a sickly weakling.)

Anyway, just to digress even more, it was on a diversion to Dealey Plaza on a trip out west that I began to doubt assassination conspiracy theories: Dealey Plaza is TINY. To be honest, I’m surprised it took Oswald three shots…maybe that’s what it means when they say he was a terrible shooter.

But I wonder what others think–is the JFK legacy and/or the assassination even relevant today? The 46th anniversary had a certain tragic roundness to it, being as Kennedy was 46 years old, but aside from a show or two on cable, I really didn’t see much attention paid to it or, more importantly, to the legacy of his policies, aside from a brief mention that his Medicare bill went to Congress on November 21st (if I remember right.) I expect that in four years the half century milestone will generate some interest…until then there’s the sideline interest of the Kennedy era coinciding with the pop culture hitMad Men — and, full disclosure, I got hooked to the show this season and am looking forward to watching at least some episodes from the previous seasons during the holiday. Indeed, watching any JFK assassination special these days, especially the footage from Texas, is a little weird (I’ve seen the Zapruder film quite enough, thanks but no thanks); however, other film or television clips, aside from being either super saturated or in alien black and white, are a kind of warped Mad Men, at least stylistically…Mad Men meets, if notDueling Banjos, Waylon Jennings.

Well, I’ve gone on pretty long, but I hope nobody minds. Look forward to reading any reactions in comments, and otherwise, have a pleasant Thanksgiving. I’m about to head down to New (S)Iberia…the turkey’s waiting, I’m supplying the chicken and sausage gumbo.
Cheers.

Thankful

Friends. Family. Fat happy healthy pets. Employment. A roof over our heads, crumbling though it may be. Enough to eat. Potato chips. Football. Readers. Lots and lots of readers. Readers’ pet pictures on the Internet. The Internet. Good books. Good scotch. Good wine. Grandma’s voice on the phone saying, “I love you too, honey.” Weirdos on the L. Cold clear days of blue sky through the black bare trees. The walk to work. The walk home, even better. Hot cider. Bad jokes. A fake fire. The smell of a real wood fire up the street warming someone else’s home. Coffee. Warm blankets. The piano. E-mails from friends in South Korea, Morocco, Germany. Phone calls from friends in Amsterdam. Plans for home improvement. Shoes without holes in them. The way Bucky rubs himself all over the rug in the dining room like a furry little caterpillar. Car repairs. Plants that are still alive despite my best efforts. Sports movies. Taking care of shelter animals. The Good Wife, Lost Season 1 on DVD, a West Wing renaissance. Bars with dart boards and Harp on tap and real homemade hamburgers. Hockey. Patrick Johnson playing hockey. Mike Eaves rewarding his players for being awesome by smacking them on their helmeted heads with his clipboard. A family that’s as hockey-crazed as I am. Books. Friends’ book readings. Crack vans. A president who doesn’t make me ashamed to be a biped. A novel that is about a third done. Christmas music two months early. Turkey. And this:

A.