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Archive for April, 2012

I started watching “The Avengers” this weekend (don’t question my mad skills) and I was pleased to see that the tesseract makes a significant appearance, at least as far as I’ve gotten into the movie which, admittedly, isn’t all that far. I was just talking about tesseract the other day…There is no such thing as coincidence my friends. In fact, I know I’m doing something wrong when coincidence kind of falls away or is only negative with unhappy consequences. And there’s been some of that lately. Which means I have to flip the switch again and get things back to positive. Not always the easiest stuff to do because we all know these people. Hell, I may be one of them.

In any event, we swept our double-header Saturday and LSU — tough team who gave us some worry in the early innings — came through with some homecooked red beans and rice. Check it:

They have a traveling chef. I'm not kidding.

I’m really looking forward to getting to know some of them better because they seem to have that cool combination of being super sporty and also totally nerdy — scientists, lawyers, and applied economists. To me, this is a heavenly combination. One of them posted this on Facebook this morning. My kind of folks.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson was wondering recently why we “stopped reaching for the stars” and, before I read the actual piece, I sent it out with the satirical question: “Oh for Pete’s sake, NASA defunding?” Well, as it turns out, Tyson is asking the same question. So mea culpa for immediately jumping to a conclusion. While it seemed stupid to me at the time when President Obama slashed funding to the agency (leading to stuff like this. The David Bowie Concept Mission flat cracked me up.), there has been great movement in the private sector to continue the space race. But — and get ready left-leaning conspiracy theorists — there is a national military interest in keeping NASA in business, which is actually one of those things that the federal government has an interest and a mandate to involve themselves in. So…hmmm…not sure exactly how I feel about it…but I’m with Mr. Tyson: we definitely need to keep reaching and innovating. We are on the verge of some truly great things. My suspicion is that we’ll all have an entirely different understanding of things within the next five years. Just a gut instinct…

Speaking of space…I have this shirt. I love to run in it. Ceres thinks Pluto’s a whiner.

Speaking of whining, the kids are organizing again. The Coach and I were talking about this this morning and he told me this story and I think it is my favorite Occupy story:

“I think the camp in NYC started doing this thing where they created these ‘tickets’ and you could earn tickets by doing services or creating goods. And then you could exchange those tickets for other goods and services. It’s like…YOU MORONS. THAT’S MONEY. YOU’RE USING CAPITALISM.”

Because make no mistake: it was never about hating the system. It was about wanting the power. “Don’t hate the banks. Become the banks.”

Speaking of capitalism, I like CatPig Radium quite a bit…

Speaking of The Coach, he also sent this. Kimmel’s a good mensch.

Speaking of a good mensch, I like this guy’s rambling thoughts. This is from last week but it’s important because the last question is one for the ages.

Speaking of rambling thoughts, the best drunk history I’ve seen because I have a gigantic nerd crush on Tesla and the guy actually vomits on camera. Watch if you dare.

Speaking of gagging, the Trotter says he has personally said at least 6 of these. He’s a good kid though. He says it’s because his parents were “present.”

Speaking of presents, I would totally wear this. Utilitarian and actually rather pretty. My birthday’s coming up this summer…Just sayin’.

Speaking of … um … wearing something? Proud of Nashville. My brother lived there for years and I’ve always liked the place. Very cool. Just don’t be Boston.

Speaking of being nothing like Boston, check out this card my swim friend sent me this morning (as in, we swim together on the weekends sometimes. Which, by the way, I have missed terribly and it’s good to be finding my breath again). Good people make the difference.

And, because I always try to post this song when I talk about Tesla, have some 80s soft-rock hair metal. It’s like a little slice of electric heaven for me.

 

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Had a scary moment today where I was filled with a simultaneous urge to cry and beat the hell out of something. I’m not proud of it. And it’s passed now. But it was weird, primarily because I literally didn’t know where to turn for support. And that’s something I need to think about at some point. For now, I just feel like this:

As an aside, I think I know someone who’s mean to me to try to impress people that he’s…I don’t know, mean I guess. It’s been such a long time since I encountered that kind of thing — like, since elementary school — that it took a while to recognize what it was. It’s very odd. Both that someone would employ a method like that to get people to like him and that there are people that are actually impressed by it. Not totally sure what you’re bonding over in a scenario like that…The Trotter — who says he’s familiar with it because he’s closer to the age group that still finds this kind of thing a useful behavior (ahem) — tells me it’s mostly about self-loathing. Weird that I’m dealing with the same stuff my nieces and nephews are dealing with in their pre-teen/teen years. </confusion rant>

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Pied Piper

You only need one to believe in you. -- Nick Holmes

The next two days at work are going to be a little nuts so I’m going to enjoy my breakfast (cinnamon toast. First thing I learned to “cook” as a wee little squab. Thanks for teaching me Lou. They make it so much easier now. I actually think you taught me one summer here in Maryland at the river house. Maybe I’m not so far from home…) and write something here before I have to jet to the metro for glorious Alexandria.

I came across something this morning from a friend on Facebook (h/t Mr. Rooker) that surprised and then, ultimately, made me deeply sad. I hesitate to even post this but maybe it’s important. Just know that the level of coarseness, stupidity, and vitriol is hard to take and may actually make you mad. Which, generally speaking, is what this kind of thing is supposed to do. So, if you think you can manage not to give in to the hate and can squelch the urge to run out and punch a redneck, read on. (UPDATE: there’s some debate that these may not be real tweets but they, as yet, appear to be.)

The Caps victory last night was tremendous and Joel Ward was the hero. And yes, he is a black man playing a sport that is comprised mainly of white men (if that catch-all designation really means anything anymore. Genetically speaking, it doesn’t. But whatever.). And for this, he should be considered a bit of a ground breaker. It’s fucking cool to break the mold and twist the stereotype, no matter if you’re Charlie Pride, Eminem, Tiger Woods, or Yao Ming (or Barack Obama, or Sally Ride, or Mary Shelley, or Bobby Jindal, etc., etc…). And dammit, I liked Boston when I visited. It’s a cool city and this bummed me out. But I’ll say this: my friend who posted this said he was unsurprised when he read where it was from. As a Southerner I understand that you can’t assume an entire city (or region. ahem.) carries this kind of single-celled brain function in them without being very mistaken, so I’m not willing to hate on the whole city of Boston, nor the entire state of Massachusetts. But it is tremendously sad that this kind of mullet-headed reaction exists and people are comfortable enough to spew it online. That might be saying something. Personally, I tend to walk away from nonsense like this. I give it no time nor attention. So, Joel Ward, keep your hockey hand strong my friend. And ignore the haters. Jealousy really does bring out what’s really going on inside and that’s good information to have. Because once you see it, you know who to avoid.

Anyway, other things…

It still has an edge — once in cab I was on the phone with my sister and there were gunshots and she was like, “Um, where are you…? — but there’s some groovy stuff going on. (h/t Mr. U Street himself, Charlie L.)

Then you do this, New York Times…sigh. The person who posted this made the statement that because of this cozy relationship developing between hospitals and insurance collectors, everyone needs insurance. I wouldn’t rush to judgment that this cozy relationship isn’t being “astroturfed” — for lack of a better word — to get people to believe just that. Always good to check into who these collectors are. Are they purely private businesses or do they have other associations and interests. I don’t know the answer. Just throwing it out there…

This was fascinating. The one about being private about sex was interesting given that porn is the highest money maker on the web. Although…I will say that some people are less private about it. Are they closer to their animal nature? And what does this mean for the religious ideas that man transcends his animal nature — and should? Just thinking…

Sometimes I miss Stella really, really badly. It’s okay. Stuff like this makes me remember her awesomeness. She could chart the stars, too.

The cocktail from my favorite book in a lollipop. Don’t panic.

The Nerd American sent this to me and was like, “I don’t even know how to begin to answer the questions…”

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In case you wonder, all these links I find? I save them up for blog posts. Part of my job is to search the web for news and I come across all kinds of fun stuff over the days between posts. Everything is interesting…Like this little guy who popped on Facebook. Awesome, right?

So, we have a double-header coming up this weekend against LSU and Tulane and it has been revealed that LSU is arranging for all of us to have some Popeye’s fried chicken for lunch. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve heard of a nicer gesture in quite a while. Faith in humanity = restored. Maybe I’ll see if any of them want in on the Braves/Nats outing I’m trying to pull together for the first weekend in June. We have softball games that Saturday and no one can decide if Friday or Sunday is a better day but we’ll get something going I hope. If not, I’m taking LSU. Because I’m hoping one of them will take me to New Orleans sometime. True story.

Anyway, something’s been bugging me. I live with this constant Catholic guilt where I have this weird zero-sum game mentality — but only in one direction. Let me explain…let’s say you’ve been treated kind of nasty by someone and, karma getting its way as it has a tendency to do, the switch flips and you discover that maybe that person isn’t having such a good go of things. We all know this scenario. It’s happened to me a jillion times in life. And always, I’ve felt like maybe I shouldn’t enjoy when that person essentially just finally has to deal with the decisions they’ve made. I’ve been largely comfortable that I should check my schadenfreude celebration at the door — it seemed like a good way to be. But lately…I don’t know. Maybe it’s just being in DC but I’ve come to this decision that if you had zero consideration for my feelings and even enjoyed the thought that I may be inconvenienced or hurt by your behavior then I’m obliged — and maybe required — to feel the same for you. I’m still working it out. Some of this kind of came out of a conversation I was having with the coach about how there’s this incredible chasm between people who can accept when they’ve done something stupid and wrong and have the ability and need to apologize, and those who cannot accept and will never apologize…Anyway, I know it’s disjointed. It’s Monday, man. Cut me a break.

Okay then, good and funny things.

This is so awesome. Hipsters are dumb.

Fascinating. It is absolutely true that some of the larger, more complex, ethical questions actually do not occur organically in nature. No, these are mysterious “rational thought” exercises that are arguably only the purview of man.

Justin Theroux is like, so much hotter than Brad Pitt. Go on witcha bad self gurl.

Want. My sister makes my grandma’s rum balls every Christmas. I’m wondering about bourbon…

Seriously, where the hell have I been? If it comes to DC any time soon, expect a begging invitation.

This is a good.
spotify:track:0uZ0orE84drZZzPKxCWSmR
 

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For all you naysayers who doubted that I can take a mean picture when I want to, I give you the original for comparison. Must suck to not believe.

Original image, using the long-angle lens as it buzzed Reagan National heading West over the Potomac

Slightly cropped and color-enhanced using iPhoto for Mac

I don’t want to go too far down this ugly little rabbit hole but the news coming out of Florida in the Zimmerman probable cause hearing is causing some sadness in my heart over here. This whole thing is one awful set of circumstances and it is almost unforgivable I think on the part of the spin masters who started early — obviously before the facts were in because as more and more gets revealed what was originally alleged to have happened appears to bear only a passing resemblance to the truth. Trayvon Martin’s family, in their grief, was easy to convince, I’m sure, to be reactionary rather than rational. I may have been convinced as well, had I lost a child. And Zimmerman, who acted rashly and no doubt deserves punishment because his behavior led to a person’s death, has been inappropriately charged with murder rather than manslaughter and, if he walks — and given all the information coming out that Zimmerman may not have been the aggressor, he could — well, I guess he just walks. Also, not a great outcome because he is culpable here. This is what happens when you try to turn a real tragedy into a “teachable moment.” And I’ll just leave it there.

Something hilarious just happened at work. I was talking to a co-worker about this idea that you can’t trust any politician (I don’t happen to agree with that much of a blanket statement) and I said aloud, “My dad feels that way about lawyers. Is that fair?” and, in unison from the mouths of two lawyers I work with I hear, “Yes.” So, there ya go.

Alright, other things that are lighter and better for a pretty Friday afternoon…

Quote of the day from the Nerd American: “I’m waiting for the meatloaf sandwich vodka.”

Very cool article that was both entertaining and educational. This is information I may actually use at some point down the road. I always forget how much I like Pajiba until I see a random link somewhere and am reminded. I need to just go ahead and bookmark it…

This was brought to my attention yesterday and, while the person who posted it took issue mainly with the condescension on the patriarchy of The Church, I find it more revealing for it’s connection to the individual mandate. Because I do think it’s strange to swoop in and start “reforming” things in a country that values free speech. But The Vatican, as we know, is not in this country. And so, while I agree with the Church push-back to the individual mandate, I’m not sure I like the method of control here…

Again, information I may actually use.

The chick pirate is my favorite.
I really liked this movie. Will it make you think? No. But it reminded me that some stuff matters, hokey or not.

Will be made sometime this weekend between our softball tourney down on the Mall tomorrow morning and swimming and church Sunday. Because man it just looks good. And appears to be relatively low maintenance. Also a win.

Thanks Trotter. I feel like this every day.

I’m thinking I may owe someone $50.

Finally, appropriate for the man. God I love TS Eliot. He could just bend a sentence to his will.

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UPDATE: Rest well Mr. Helm.

I’ll have a better post tomorrow, I’m just busy and I’m all twitchy for dance class tonight since I missed Saturday. But the back is cooperating so it should be a nice sweaty, semi-religious good time. Pity it’s on a Thursday since that seems to be a play day for everyone but I’ve always bucked convention. Call me on Friday.

Anyway, I have but one thing to offer because it made me laugh aloud and so therefore should be shared. A conversation with The Coach via gchat:

me: obama, meet your mata hari
http://dcist.com/2012/04/photo_released_of_the_colombian_esc.php
Coach: Ha
Honestly, better looking than I expected
me: yeah, she’s very attractive
she’s also 24 and has a 9 year old son
Coach: I was just gonna say
me: i bet you were
Coach: No that really stuck out
24 years old with a nine year old son?
The math is not favorable
Although
You wanna talk about favorable math
How about 21 hookers for 11 people
me: right
i was just gonna say… i think she was owed like $800
and only got $28
Coach: Oh
I thought she was owed $50
Like, 50 more than she got
 me: the dcist piece says 800…
which i think is why she went to the police
Coach: Right
I dunno, what’s the exchange rate for Colombian money?
me: no idea
Coach: Well that’s what I mean
Maybe $28 American is perfectly reasonable
I can’t imagine any hooker is worth $800
But hey, that’s just me
me: maybe she’s really good at something
Coach: Ha
Even so
For $800, you can give several lesser talents a chance

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Just getting around to writing this…When I first moved to this town two years ago, someone who knew I came from Georgia told me it was a “backwater” state. Now, like the good Southern woman I am, I simply smiled at this giant of intellect like butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth like my momma taught me, and I said: “It’s too bad you think that. You’re missing out on a lot with that preconception.” She was tremendously unsophisticated I thought.

Recently, someone suggested to me they didn’t even know where Georgia was on a map (solipsism is fun!) and very recently I was told that someone had been employed at another organization where the press liaison was a guy with a pronounced Southern accent and, because of this, when he talked to press he made the organization look “really bad and dumb.” Ahem. Where to start…

Well, I guess by acknowledging that I kind of understand now why other Southerners I know that live here aren’t as vocal as I am about being proud of our shared regional beginnings. Not to say I agree that you should let the perpetually unhappy (because you kind of have to be to try to make folks feel bad about something like where they come from. I mean Jesus. Get a hobby.) make you feel ashamed of what I consider to be a great advantage. But I do understand.

Second, it occurred to me after a conversation with a friend who said maybe it might be okay to tone down the accent in “professional” settings, what would happen if someone told someone from the West Indies not to sound like Bob Marley. Or if someone from India was told that they had to sound Midwestern in order to be taken seriously. Or if any native Spanish-speaker was told they made an organization sound bad and dumb because of their accent.

So, um, I think the twang stays. Y’all. Also, there’s this:

Around the turn of the 18th 19th century, not long after the revolution, non-rhotic speech took off in southern England, especially among the upper and upper-middle classes. It was a signifier of class and status. This posh accent was standardized as Received Pronunciation and taught widely by pronunciation tutors to people who wanted to learn to speak fashionably. Because the Received Pronunciation accent was regionally “neutral” and easy to understand, it spread across England and the empire through the armed forces, the civil service and, later, the BBC.

Across the pond, many former colonists also adopted and imitated Received Pronunciation to show off their status. This happened especially in the port cities that still had close trading ties with England — Boston, Richmond, Charleston, and Savannah. From the Southeastern coast, the RP sound spread through much of the South along with plantation culture and wealth.

After industrialization and the Civil War and well into the 20th century, political and economic power largely passed from the port cities and cotton regions to the manufacturing hubs of the Mid Atlantic and Midwest — New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, etc. The British elite had much less cultural and linguistic influence in these places, which were mostly populated by the Scots-Irish and other settlers from Northern Britain, and rhotic English was still spoken there. As industrialists in these cities became the self-made economic and political elites of the Industrial Era, Received Pronunciation lost its status and fizzled out in the U.S. The prevalent accent in the Rust Belt, though, got dubbed General American and spread across the states just as RP had in Britain.

Okay, moving on. This hairstyle is legit. Although the guy with the African drum frightens me and I’m sure he’ll show up in a future nightmare.

I think I’ve finally made a decision.
Thanks for the advice Pops.

Oh how magnificent! I love Nicole Ari Parker and Blair Underwood just gets better looking. My late pup Stella’s namesake. My pops happened to be watching it on TV when I took the little goober home seeking a name. I had her for 13 years. Sometimes I miss her really badly…

Finally, How incredible is this song?

https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:track:6pJBPqv5B6DgCHKY92GPo4

I move when I hear it. I can’t help it. And sharing it with you has allowed me the opportunity to play with this.

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