Friday, November 28, 2008

Still thankful Friday Random Ten

'Nother day off, which works just fine for me.

This list is a little different than it might have been. There's a song that I would have put on, but some kind of loading glitch means that it cuts off midway through. I don't feel like I should commemorate it if I can't really enjoy it. Bummer. Still plays on the laptop's iTunes player, though.

1. Tom Waits--Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis
2. The 5,6,7,8's--Let's Go Boogaloo
3. Mika--Any Other World
4. Battles--Tij
5. Arcade Fire--Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)
6. Duke Ellington--Bakiff
7. XTC--Great Fire
8. Velvet Underground--Venus in Furs
9. Lambert, Hendricks & Ross--Down for Double
10. Joni Mitchell--Furry Sings the Blues

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Meet your maker

My friend has this. The free version, anyway. His bright 8 year old son gave me a tour of it, then Ron refreshed me on a few points. I wound up creating this green & pink creature with long limbs, hands for feet, and eyestalks. A self-portrait, basically. I tend to doubt many of the creatures created on Spore would do well in the three dimensional universe. But until they give home computers the power of spontaneous matter creation, it's a moot point.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm a little tired, a little under-the-weather, and due to go into work tomorrow. Then it's a four day weekend, Hallelujah. Anyway, no time for a big post, but I thought this was a nice clip. Catch ya.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Through Muslimah Media Watch I found this affecting open letter recently. It kind of pinpoints what I like about our most recent election.

I will say one thing for the horrid events of September 11, 2001. Had they not happened, we as Americans would not have had the chance to plumb the depths of the hatred for and fear of the “other” that we hide within. Before 9/11, harassment was tolerated, allowed to happen with merely the shake of a head or a click of the tongue. “What a shame,” we subjects of discrimination were told. “Some people just don’t understand.” We were then laden with the responsibility to understand for them, to forgive them for their ignorance. We were expected not to educate.

9/11 ended the “do nothing” period for Muslims in America and around the world. Suddenly, we were targets due to the crimes of those who perpetuated terror in the name of our faith. Our majority was forced to stand up and shout until we were blue in the face that we do not tolerate, accept or condone this type of violence. That we, the Muslim masses, believe in democracy, in the freedom of religion the Constitution promises.

We could no longer sit idly by. Our friends and family were being whisked away to detention centers, fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers detained, tortured, murdered in response to the acts of unilateral thinkers whose views we did not share. We had to speak up, to claim in voices rough with tears that we are people too. Like those minorities before us, we will not be denied our civil rights in a country we love because of its promised equality. Perhaps the writers of the Constitution were not so forward thinking when they promised freedom of religion–perhaps it only applied to those who worship in churches–but we would not let our mosques be riddled with bullets or burned to the ground.

My precious boys, neither of you is old enough to understand why the tears keep falling from my eyes yet I cannot stop smiling. My silent treatment of you will likely be forgiven by its omission from your memories. I am writing this because I want you to understand the incredible blessings of the world you have been born into. There is adversity at every corner, but with adversity comes hope. Barack Obama’s election proves this. He is a man of color elected as president in a country built from the blood of minorities. He is not a Muslim. He did not make a strong standing for Muslims in his campaign, but unlike his contemporaries, he has not incited hatred against us, derided us for our beliefs or used our differences of faith as cause to exclude us from our rightful category of American.

I think it matters that Obama was born to a Kenyan father and a Kansan mother, as he says. It is also significant that he was born in Hawaii, then a state for less than two years. And for that matter that he was born in the early space age, during the presidency of the confident Jack Kennedy. Because while there was still legal segregation, it was also a time of optimism and openness. Recently we have lived through a much more locked-down, suspicious time. If Barack Obama still carries with him the idealism and the open-heartedness that his parents showed back then, something good has to come from his presidency.

As Shawna points out, he did not always stand up for Muslims during his campaign. This was a sad necessity, considering how many voters consider a Muslim--or any non-Christian--president as an unthinkable abomination. It's also likely that the US will continue for now to regard Israel as the hero of the Mideast and most of its neighbors as villains. This is simplistic, to say the least. But the fact that during his campaign he travelled to both Jerusalem and Ramallah is a sign of a more pluralistic viewpoint.

God only knows that there are compromises and disappointments in store. For all that, I feel a little more hopeful about the future.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Last minuteses Friday Random Ten

Probably seemed like I forgot. Nope. Well, nope quite.

1. Ben Folds Five--Philosophy
2. Fats Domino--Going to the River
3. Duke Ellington--John Hardy's Wife
4. REM--Feeling Gravity's Pull
5. Bob Dylan--It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
6, Charles Mingus--Thrice Upon a Time
7. The Go Go's--Skidmarks on My Heart
8. Sarah Vaughan--Come Spring*
9. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach--The Long Division
10. Joni Mitchell--Refuge of the Roads

I know, I know.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Smiley's people's smileys

Up-and-coming emoticons, coming soon to a message board near you.

:$ = Expensive dental work

:E = Cheap, unreliable dental work

:# = Hannibal Lecter

:U = How the hell did my mouth get like that? Maybe I should see a doctor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Damn, it's cold. But the cold may have granted me greater focus in some areas. Probably not this blog, but you know how that goes. Anyway, I have some hopes for other projects, more on which later. Maybe.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Just being herselves

This is a treat gathered from a little surfing, and a mention on TVTropes.

It's the first episode of a British kid's show from the early 60's called Sara and Hoppity. Beautiful work with the puppets, more expressive than realistic. Really, considering how many Doctor Who episodes from later in the decade were destroyed by the BBC, it's amazing this still even exists.

If this isn't too heavy, I think Hoppity does serve as part of the girl's psyche. An inner force that is often unwise and sometimes destructive, but also keeps things unpredictable. The father seems to be more understanding of this inner need than the mother. Note that Sarah grudgingly agrees to nourish her personal demon/daemon.

Well, that's my tuppence at least.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oh yes, Friday Random Ten

A lady where I work, in the office right next to mine, apologized for noise her client was making. I told her I hadn't heard anything, and strangely enough I wasn't just being polite. Was I listening to an especially loud song. Dunno. Anyway...

1. Nellie McKay--Tipperary
2. The Sons of the Pioneers--Out California Way
3. Louis Armstrong--St. James Infirmary
4. Jane Monheit--My Foolish Heart
5. The 5,6,7,8's--(I'm Sorry Mama) I'm a Wild One
6. Bonzo Dog Band--Mr. Apollo
7. Randy Newman--Political Science
8. Brian Eno--Cindy Tells Me
9. The Kinks--Funny Face
10. The Cowboy Junkies--Blue Eyed Saviour

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Learning to love bad 80's action flicks

A worthwhile nugget from Funny or Die. Remember Tango & Cash? Rings a sort of ominous bell. Here the denouement is reenacted by Janeane Garofalo and Casey Wilson in the title roles, with Paul Rust lending support.
See more Janeane Garofalo videos at Funny or Die

Yes, Rust is trying to be wooden. I'm sure if I were lying between those two I'd have my share of wood as well. That's another story.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jacoby relativism

So Jeff Jacoby's grand defense of the gay marriage ban is that Jim Crow was worse.

I'm truly amazed. I never thought to argue that something isn't an injustice unless you can prove it's the greatest injustice ever. Talk about setting the bar high. Or is that low?

Try this on for size. The afternoon of 9/11, suppose you went around saying, "Yeah, it sucks. But the Nanking massacre was really horrible, so how 'bout we let this one slide.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, we can

You may or may not know this, but the bromance between Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable--dramatized in David Rees' Get Your War On--has gone animated. Semi-regular updates can be seen at 23/6, and this is an especially hilarious one. Oh, why did we not listen to those seers at National Review.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Random Ten: Back to Friday

Seems like it's been a big week, for some reason. Now I'm just chilling at the end of the day. Anyhoozle:

1. XTC--Deliver Us from the Elements
2. Ladytron--Deep Blue
3. Bonzo Dog Band--Hunting Tigers Out in "Indiah"
4. Jane Monheit--Dindi
5. Arcade Fire--Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
6. Barenaked Ladies--Call Me Calmly
7. Fats Domino--Whole Lotta Loving
8. Beach House--Lovelier Girl
9. Radiohead--In Limbo
10. Rasputina--If Your Kisses Can't Hold the Man You Love

Thursday, November 6, 2008

4-evah is a long time

Ah, what to say about Sarah Palin? Well, she certainly did her part to make the McCain campaign memorable. This is especially the case if the towel story is true, but even if it isn't.

She's not good at playing it cagey. Her ambitions for the next presidential election are pretty close to the surface. But don't get your hopes/fears up. I'm not convinced she can rise within the GOP.

She was popular with the base this year. That was the whole point. And she did the job of dragging the ticket to the right. Cons who distrusted John McCain were much more intrigued by her.

But consider: there's no separate primary for Vice Presidential candidates. She was annointed, and then it was everyone else's job to support her. It wasn't in any Republican's interest to tear her down.

Running for president is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. You can count on at least four or five guys in addition to her chasing "the true conservative vote." And then it's no holds barred. Everything that was off-limits unless you were a liberal traitor will be back on-limits. Teenage daughter's active vagina? Check. Being a secessionist back when Obama wasn't even President? Check. Innuendo that hasn't been made up yet? Throw it in!

This thought doesn't bring me any great pleasure. I'm mostly turned off by Palin's public persona, and don't like what I think she'd want to do to the country. But there's a great chance she'll be shivved by someone as bad or worse. Eric Cantor is one possibility, and there are others. It wouldn't be too much of a surprise if those who carried her banner this time around introduced her to the bus. The monster must be fed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

... and I have the sticker to prove it

Did I vote? Yes, right after work. I can't brag too much. There was one couple ahead of me, so my trip to the polling place took a little over five minutes.

Thus far the news looks pretty good. Yeah, I'm still using qualifiers. If there's some wacky turnaround between now and the time I pour coffee down my gullet, I'll be disappointed, but not that surprised.

So fingers crossed. If the news stays good, it's only a shame Mrs Dunham wasn't able to see it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Stay classy

With the polls opening in a matter of hours, good news has been somewhat scarce for John McCain. (This is me knocking on wood.) One rare triumph has been the candidate's November 1 appearance on Saturday Night Live. The performance isn't likely to get him votes, but it does show grace and good humor.

His entourage seems determined to ruin it though. Certain advisors and fauxletarian shills have been spreading a foolish brand of gossip.

MSNBC's Coutney Hazlett reports today that there were observations of "frosty" chemistry between Fey and McCain, and during the show I observed that she looked like she was having less fun than usual (though she looked like she relished "going rogue").

That's just the goodbyes though — GOP strategist Martin Eisenstadt, invited to join the McCain camp, wrote on his blog that both McCain and Cindy attended the after-party. He also noted another member of the McCain entourage: Joe the Plumber! That guy is DEFINITELY better off than he was four years ago.

Eisenstadt also noted two pieces of gossip about Joe the Plumber, one which I have debunked: That he "got some 'quality' alone time with a certain female cast member." Eisenstadt isn't "that familiar with the show" (um...following politics much these days?) and thought it was "the skinny brunette...Kirsten (sic) maybe?" (That would be Kristen Wiig, who has a boyfriend; fellow non-Fey non-Poehler female cast member Casey Wilson also has a boyfriend.) Eisenstadt didn't see "what time they left," wasn't sure of the people involved, and could not get a confirmation from Joe, but nonetheless said that he "wouldn't surprise me if someone got her drain snaked last night." Ew. Our sources — who were also at the after party, and the after-after party — DEFINITELY say that did NOT happen (per my source: "Fuck that guy!...Nothing is true.")

Saying, "I totally did her," when your contact with her is limited to standing in line for the punchbowl can only lead to embarassment. Most men learn this in high school, although some have to relearn it in college. But it's nice to know they've still got a sure aim at their feet.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

And now for something completely... Saturday Random Ten!

Last night I had a Halloween party to go to. It was nice. Good food, good company, and a couple of neat macabre films. I brought the eerie no-budgeter Carnival of Souls while the host provided the Canadian-made black comedy Fido. That was fascinating and funny, because the zombie satire was grafted onto a look and sound that could be mistaken for the Douglas Sirk era. But anyway, good party.

And as I promised, we now have our first Saturday Random Ten. Little more time for it today.

1. Love--Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale
2. Tito Puente--China
3. The White Stripes--The Denial Twist
4. Brian Eno--Some of Them Are Old
5. Queen--Who Needs You
6. XTC--The Beating of Hearts*
7. Elvis Costello & the Attractions--You Belong to Me
8. Outkast--Ghettomusick
9. Tom Waits--Red Shoes by the Drugstore
10. The Kinks--Harry Rag

*Available here, of course.