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Archive for June, 2013

Greetings faceless people. Here’s some things for today while I contemplate a good lunch (you thought I was going to say healthy didn’t you? Hahahahaha! “Healthy” to me means moderation. In other words, I’ll eat the hell out of some fried chicken, just not every day. Being all obsessive and calculating about weight and appearance to the point of denying yourself the deliciousness of life seems kind of…vain? Also, just goofy). There’s also the little matter of some writing I have to do that actually promotes me professionally so, ya know, kinda have to carve out some time for that. But, as is usually the case, chatting with you kids is the primer and the warm-up for that. Gets my fingers moving…

Because loyalty is the flip side of vengeful. Good advice.

Because loyalty is the flip side of vengeful. Good advice.

Right, so let’s start with the whole DOMA thing. Gutfeld speaks for me here. As a Catholic, I have very strong opinions on the terminology used in this debate over marriage. But my feelings on the definition of certain words does not mean that I think equality under the law shouldn’t exist (even if I think it’s not about love (still makes me laugh that one of the most pragmatic and cynical “socially mobile” adherents I’ve ever met couldn’t just be honest about every facet of the gay marriage debate, i.e. there’s more to it than “love is love.” Peer pressure is a bitch I guess and that person’s chosen peer group — liberals — is inordinately unforgiving…)). The most interesting thing to come of it, just behind this push that will come to deal with Section 2, is the obliteration of the power of referendum. In other words, it shakes out that the Prop 8 amendment was a wash. And that basically, if your elected officials won’t defend something in the halls of power, the people no longer have the right to say, hey, we want to come together and address this. That’s a simplistic way of putting it. But here’s the deal: I’ve long been bothered by something related to the Tea Party and the Silent Majority — it’s always AFTER THE FACT that they get themselves pulled together and start speaking. And while that’s groovy, perhaps this will force them to be a bit more proactive in who they elect and how often they vote and what they do to convince others of the proper course of policy. Is that making chocolate bread pudding out of a turd sandwich? Maybe. But if the results are positive that’s cool. And it looks like, because of the other decision that was handed down this week, votes may begin to mean something again (and if you try to talk about how that has to do with race please, please, PLEASE comment below because I welcome the chance to get into it with you). So I guess what I’m saying is, now’s the time to get in front of things. We grouse about it all the time — being proactive rather than reactive — and if we can’t address something after the fact anymore, looks like we have no choice but to get more involved on the front end. I’m personally optimistic about that.

Interestingly, the Voting Rights Act came up in a piece I read earlier that was fascinating for its attempt at a reasoned — if not forgiving — look at Paula Deen. I don’t agree with everything this guy says but I do think he has an important outlook. And I think Deen should take him up on his offer. Does this make him a mercenary, too, TMZ? (jerks). (h/t Popehat) On a related note, this is a pretty good take down of the silliness of all this — again, not excusing. But can we put it in perspective please? I mean, is Trayvon Martin’s characterization of George Zimmerman less offensive? And, if so, why is that? Also, I can’t figure out the gaps of silence on this video…

Finally, on DOMA, my buddy Dan is typically rational on the subject.

I’m pretty much on board with this, but I respect the Cornyns of the world who register their concern.

Excellent article that, once and for all, destroys this idea that Citizens United is in any way to blame for what happened at the IRS. I get the effort to have a designated criminal but make it logically sound at least.

Still trying to figure out which of these to see…I think it’s going to have to be one of the ones in August.

These thoughts are why, when people begin to shove their successes in your face and run around acting like they’ve won some kind of game in life, it’s best to just smile knowingly and carry on. Because it happens to us all, these little earthquakes of failure, and sometimes the things we fight hardest to have are the biggest failures waiting to happen.

Oh, okay then. I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve read so far. Engaging story that should lend itself well to film production.

Finally, a friend posted that he was watching this last night and, having had it in the queue for a while now, I decided to also give it a run. You can say there’s no accounting for taste but I LOVED IT! Mary J. Blige just can’t sing anything without making it sound better. Truth. So here’s one of the tracks they covered. I’ve been jamming out to all this 80s glam rock all morning…

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I miss men

Sup y’all? I’m in between things so thought I’d take a mo and check in here. Also, I wanted to pass something along that I think is very important. It’s sure to offend but I’m to the point that I’m starting to trust myself a little more and am more willing to just go ahead and say it (after having not said anything for..oh..almost my whole life), sorry if you don’t like it. And Judgy Bitch might just be the Honey Badger. But her piece speaks to something my sister and dad and I discuss frequently: the feminization of the American male.

JB is right that these women really don’t like men. But they do like boys they can push around. They’ll tell these boys what to think and how to eat and what’s good for them and what’s bad for them and how to live and how to treat others (most especially other women) and why they are the products of a tyrannical patriarchy that has existed since time immemorial. And these boys — momentarily absolved of having to be responsible and make their own decisions — eat that sh*t up. It’s really rather pathetic. Especially because it goes against the basic human nature of the testosterone-prone. Guys are built to be the hunters and the aggressors; it’s in their chemistry. It’s true, women do civilize men. That’s one of the things we’re built for. We soften their edges. Best part about being a woman in my opinion. But we’re not supposed to usurp their role in the male-female dynamic. I find it so incredibly odd that so many of these “feminists” are also content to let men behave like complete wretches — allowing them to grab their breasts in photographs (I’ve seen this quite a bit on the old social networks), encouraging them to applaud these silly girls as they run around topless in the latest “equality protest”, convincing them that being kind of slutty is actually super duper empowering. Ladies: insisting that men show the female of the species respect is not the same as feminism. It is, in fact, the opposite. Women — not feminists — require men. And men do not disrespect women. And, as for me, I feel exactly the same way JB does when she says:

That’s when I knew the whole theory was just a giant crock of shit. My last essay was “Feminism as Nihilism” and I think I made the professor cry, but you know what? Fuck her. Fuck all of them. Fuck their ugly theories and their hatred of men and their cavalier attitudes towards the flesh and blood men who sat in front of them taking notes on their own extinction. Fuck my whole four years of useless squabbling and arguing and pointless pedantic pedagogy.

And, you want to be really empowered ladies, take some of the responsibility for turning our men into slavish, sexless, weak, namby-pamby mama’s boys. Then we can talk.

Okay, quickly cause I have a meeting here shortly…

I did something. Hoping to do something more in the future…

From George:

Kinda says it all, huh?

Kinda says it all, huh?

Nice history lesson here on alcohol in pre-Revolutionary America.

Making it tonight I think with my gorgeous farmer’s market ‘maters.

Dig it. It’s the right thing to do.

I had forgotten the good of the End of the Innocence (the song). Don Henley has a way, like the great Romantic poets, of writing about gettin’ busy in such a lovely way. It’s a skill.

Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence by jpdc11

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There but for

Can’t believe I’m getting ready to write this but here goes — I think Paula Deen is getting a bad rap, and not just because I’m from Atlanta and I like her biscuits. I mean look, does her admittance of using a pretty foul word make me cringe? Sure it does. But she’s not unlike a lot of folks I’ve met raised in the Jim Crow South (and, if we’re being honest, everywhere else in this great land. Seriously, some of the worst offenders have been in the oh-so-cosmopolitan and progressive urban areas of the Northeast, including my beloved adopted city of DC. So go ahead and get right with that) who struggle with the realization that language they heard growing up in casual conversation has become — rightly so — offensive to people who are trying to overcome a past that had them relegated to second class citizenry. Should Paula and others of her generation be stubbornly tied to that past by continuing to use the language of that past? No, I don’t think so. And the same goes for the inner-city and suburban black kid who wants to reconnect to his heritage by adopting the very same word to appear tough or legit. As for her desire to sit in a restaurant and be served by a waitstaff of black men — God help me but I think she meant that as a compliment, as misdirected and misguided as it was. I’m not excusing her, but I am unwilling to join in on a witch hunt for the head of someone who is probably a pretty decent person in real life, despite her continued adherence to the things of the past that aren’t really all that pretty. She’ll take a hit for this, and she should. But I think turning her into a Klan member is a bridge too far. And another thing, you want to see something really ugly? Check out what TMZ.com does to a black man who shares her profession and rises above the pettiness. They turn an act of graciousness and forgiveness into something much darker and essentially present this man as a mercenary monster. You want to address something ugly media? Look in the damn mirror.

Anyway, I’m hoping for some good weather this weekend — couple games of softball Saturday and then a float down the river Sunday — so I’m going to put those things in my headspace and not the ugliness that comes from having a slow news day. I mean dang, aren’t there other things to write about?

Like this?

And this? Which, by the way, I’m not totally in agreement with my friend Jason on. I liked Bush and Romney much more than he did. But the grasping at things of the past and holding on despite learning better ways to be seems to be a theme here…

Next effort. Thank God they’re not Paula Deen’s. What would that say about me…?

Not the best thing I’ve ever written, and I had to make some last minute changes to it, but I’m comfortable with it…

Good one from Mr. Goldberg. His snark is just so pleasant and intellectual.

And with that same tone in mind, this song is intriguing.

Have a lovely weekend babies.

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My to-do list is about halfway complete save the most daunting task: writing something brilliant for a new byline. Thus far the writing Gods have failed to inspire me professionally, so sometimes it helps to just write personal stuff to get the juices flowing. So, hi kids! Thanks for helping out.

Ya know, there is nothing more unattractive to me than blatant, naked ambition of the type that has a goal only of promotion of the person/thing for it’s own sake. Let me explain: if you fight like the dickens for a cause you believe in, or to rectify some wrong, or to bring a little joy and laughter into the world (because God knows we need it and that’s noble), fine. Be as ambitious in that goal as you wish (within reason of course. There’s rarely need to be hateful and violent and all that silly stuff). But if you’re just trying to win for the sake of winning — an ex-boyfriend of mine used to call this the “I’m gonna GET THAT MAN” syndrome in women catfighting over some dude, but you can apply the concept to just about anything — you look ugly. To me. It’s a twist of the lips and the flick of an eye that gives you away. Nobility really is an expression. It reminds me of Star Wars where Princess Leia tells Han, “If money is all that you love, then that’s what you’ll receive.” Of course, money there is interchangeable with power, sex, status, attention, and all the other self-interested things we tend to pursue. Thankfully, Han turned out a better sort of man than Leia originally thought, but maybe BECAUSE she dared to point out that he was behaving like a soulless mercenary. All I’m saying is, when I see that cut of the eye, it turns me off. And when I watch the behavior associated — it tends toward the harsh and bullying and cynical — it has me turning on my heel and heading in the other direction. I get that some people love that quality in others and find it attractive, but I suspect it’s because it looks like strength. It’s not. Most often it’s the opposite of strength. It’s associated with a NEED, and strength isn’t that desperate. Anyway, I’ve been noticing it quite a bit lately, both in person and remotely, and I find it so unappealing and have just been trying to figure out why so many others want to reinforce it. It’s so ugly. To me.

Okay, that was a nice little finger warm-up. Here’s some other thoughts and reading material for you before I just give up and head out to see Man of Steel this evening. Yes, I’ve been reading all the dour reviews. And no, I do not think I’ll agree.

WORD NERD ALERT: Coolest thing ever maybe?

Really digging the CodeAcademy. Catching up on some things I had let fall by the wayside…

As a friend of mine noted online this morning, if you think corporations shouldn’t have First Amendment Rights, Google’s push here goes out the window.

Homemade salves are intriguing. Obviously they’d never supplant a good trip to the doctor — some olive oil mixed with lavender isn’t setting a broken arm — but for bee stings and sunburns, I love it!

Aw f*ck yeah. I’m going in October no matter what. Have been wanting to see these guys play for several years now.

Speaking of live music — sakes alive it’s been too long. It used to be my job to go to shows and that’s a hard thing to get out of the blood — a friend of mine counts these guys as friends so some of us will be heading to Hill Country Friday to check them out. This is not an invitation for bad people to do anything ugly, just a heads up that some bluegrass is happening in Chinatown and you should put down your swords and enjoy a stomp. That’s all.

On a related note, Music Midtown in Atlanta this year is looking tight.

So, this should be fun. I mean I have photographs of people that will allow me to never have to use my words again.

This article, rather than convincing me Thomas is sometimes liberal, instead convinces me that this writer fundamentally misunderstands conservatism. But that kind of self-awareness will likely never happen.

So I recently watched a cool animated film called Howl’s Moving Castle and it reminded me so much of a cartoon I was obsessed with as a kid (it wasn’t on but for like a season so the obsession was short-lived but it was intense while it lasted.

Star Blazers was awesome.

Star Blazers was awesome.

Finally, another friend counts this guy as a friend. I’m just now discovering his stuff. Not bad. It’s brain music.

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Hey y’all. Just watching some baseball (Go Braves!) and having a lovely Greek salad with grilled chicken, and reflecting on Pops, which is appropriate and proper on this Father’s Day. Pops said he was celebrating today by tucking in and watching the US Open, because golf is one of his things. I hear from my brothers he’s pretty damn good at it, too. It’s a game I mean to pick up when I can. In fact, a friend of mine has suggested an outing to this place as a fun way to test out if you have a swing. She says it’s a good Sunday afternoon group event and I hope we make it happen. And, if it turns out I can swing a club (I already know I can putt), then I may start with some lessons. Anyway, back to the Pops…

It’s easy enough to talk about the virtues of the man, for they are many, rare in the world, and significant. The ones I like the best include his intellectual curiosity — voracious — driven by intense and unrelenting mental acuity but tempered by an absolute devotion to the grace of humility. My sisters and I have a running joke about how difficult it is to be the female children of a man such as my father, because boyfriends never quite seem to measure up to our first real understanding of what manhood looks like. I’m serious about that, by the way. It has made relationships difficult because my father’s sharpness is blurred and softened by his kindness, and those two things do not generally play well together in the same person. So it hasn’t been uncommon to find one in a man but not the other. But, because we have seen it, we know it exists. I have felt much dissatisfaction over the years at men who could not find this marriage of qualities within themselves and have been most unforgiving in my judgement of them. But Pops, as is his way, has lectured me many times on empathy and forgiveness, even as regards people — like many I have met in the last few years — that I believe neither worthy nor deserving of either. But my father says the ability to do those things for those who will never ask, and who may never behave in a way that warrants the consideration, is what separates us from other animals, makes us human, and failure to use these gifts is a failure of our potential in this life. And, by the way, these are things I was hearing well before I entered grade school. It’s not unusual now for people to say I’m too “deep” and constantly searching for the meaning in things. That’s all true. I come by it honestly. And i wouldn’t have it any other way (and, just so you know, when you say those things, it feels like an insult to the man who taught me to be a thinker. So I would prefer you not say those things again…).

Anyway, I love my Pops. He’s just a solid dude who scratched his way out of poverty and made a damn fine life for his children. I think of him every time I face the snobbery of men here in DC, who popped out of the womb with chances and safety nets my father never had. And something in me knows that these men — some of who have been quite cruel to me of late — would never have made it without their safety nets and ready-made paths to success. And because I know that, they are less impressive than the old man who is respected by pretty much everyone who ever meets him, and loved deeply by his family. It does make it hard sometimes to show that same kind of respect for lesser men when the example I have is the one I’ve described above. But that, as my Pops would say, is where the empathy comes in. He’s better at it than I am. But I’m learning.

Happy Father’s Day Walt. Your youngest daughter thinks the world of you.

This is Pops and my sister Lou. I think you can see those qualities pretty well in this picture, and my sister looks beautiful. I'm a lucky kid.

This is Pops and my sister Lou. I think you can see those qualities pretty well in this picture, and my sister looks beautiful. I’m a lucky kid.

I had a bunch of newsy links I’ve been hoarding for a few days but I just don’t feel like going into how stupid we’re being about Syria; how that kid Snowden is way more confusing than Bradley Manning ever was; how I agree that Rubio is hanging on to immigration, at least in part, for the political optics and how I think this is a very, very good thing; how I think Ann Coulter is wrong to assume that those who come here from socialist countries will naturally gravitate toward that same system (why would they come here if they had such attachment to that style of governing?); and how the IRS training with AR-15s is possibly the most disturbing thing I’ve read in some time; but I’m going to save all that and see what the week brings. I will give you this one however, because it’s downright funny. And sharp, and true. Here’s a bit but read it all.

In the old Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and today’s North Korea, they tried to move toward the ideal Communist system. Combined, they killed about 100 million of their own people. That’s a hefty moral distinction right there: When freedom-lovers move society toward their ideal, mistakes may be made, but people tend to flourish. When the hard Left is given free rein, millions are murdered and enslaved. Which ideal would you like to move toward?

Lind sees it differently. “If socialism is discredited by the failure of communist regimes in the real world, why isn’t libertarianism discredited by the absence of any libertarian regimes in the real world? Communism was tried and failed. Libertarianism has never even been tried.”

What an odd standard. You know what else is a complete failure? Time travel. After all, it’s never succeeded anywhere!

And this one because it’s all about faith. Both of the religious and atheist kind. I always get a kick out of atheists who say they reject faith. Honey, if you knew anything about anything you’d know that your rejection of religious thought requires as much — if not more — faith than those who casually assert that the Old Testament is true to a letter.

It is self-evident that if the universe was not created by God, and since it did not create its self, and since it cannot be destroyed, it must be eternal in time, both in the past and in the future – possibly an infinite series of Big Bangs – or a universe in rotation around an eternally old ultra-massive black hole at its center. The most basic law of science tells us that outside power is a requirement for the creation of nature’s mass and energy, so we are left with either an eternal un-created God with no beginning and no end who created our finite universe with a Big Bang (religion), or we have an eternal un-created universe with no beginning and no end (atheism).

And a question: if you had something to say, something you felt you needed to explain or just get off our chest, but you knew the effort would be met with resistance, even rage, would you try to say it anyway? I mean, if you don’t require dialogue — which I don’t — but have had the chance to process something and have a need to go “on record” about it, would you? What if it was just festering and causing feelings of anger and resentment. You’d want that gone, right? Man, I wish I was more like my father…

On that note, here’s a song my Pops has always liked. Enjoy.

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Whoa man, the battle against bitterness is one of the things that you hear about before moving to a place like DC, but you just don’t KNOW it until you face it. I was going to go into an explanation of all that but you know what? I think I won’t, preferring instead to spend the rest of this beautiful day heading down to the Mall to take a picture of the nephews’ drawings positioned in front of the Capitol Building so I can send them a letter with that image included. My sister says the anecdote for dealing with the careless and narcissistic is a concerted effort to be a blessing in the world. I think that’s good advice. So, before heading out to undertake that task, here are a few things that I hope are of interest.

A few things that have increased during the Hope n’ Change admin. 1) government requests for your personal info. Allahpundit makes a decent case that the bullying from the Hill should at least mitigate big Tech’s share of the responsibility in the secret snoop-a-thon, formally called PRISM. I guess. But then there are these stories, too. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t fear surveillance, and I appreciate efforts to keep us safe. But, and I’ll be honest, there’s little about this administration that’s proved impressive from the straight-shooter perspective. So call me crazy, but I’m somewhat skeptical of their motives. Anyway, this is maybe the best column I’ve read on it all because it does include a unified field theory as it were: power. 2) Your health insurance premiums. I spent a lot of time pre-OCare passage talking about this one, as did those way smarter and with a better platform. So, ya know what America? Suck it up. You wanted it. You sang about it. You vilified the detractors. Enjoy your win.

So, I did something pretty good. I tell ya, I like the way they edit over there. They keep the writer’s voice and language, only restructuring sentences and breaking up grafs for readability. I hope they let me write again.

Good piece here. Money quote: “‘The West Wing,’ probably Sorkin’s most popular work, encapsulates perfectly a self-satisfied and somewhat sunny liberal view of Washington, in which pragmatic, do-gooders are thwarted only by circumstance and mean opposition from making the wheels of government turn to the good of the people. I do not hold this worldview. Mine is more “House of Cards,” in which a bunch of basically corrupt people work within a basically corrupt system to satisfy self-serving ends, thwarted rarely by decent people and do-gooders. The only quibble I have with ‘House of Cards’ is its portrayal of Washington evil as competent evil, when real Washington is more often filled with a bunch of incompetent, sloppy, and even accidental evil. Maybe ‘Veep’ takes care of that quibble.”

This film was recommended to me and now I’m recommending it to you.

Holy crap…

Okay, enough with the heavy. Let’s do flowers. Love the strapless one…
dress

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New art

Mom, I don’t know what I would do without you. Thanks for letting me get it out with you so it doesn’t come out someplace it shouldn’t. You’re a good egg and I’m a lucky kid.

Don't be jealous, but this is what I get in the mail occasionally. Not sure if you can see it but the bottom one is entitled "Rocket Ship." Brilliant.

Don’t be jealous, but this is what I get in the mail occasionally. Not sure if you can see it but the bottom one is entitled “Rocket Ship.” Brilliant.

PERSONAL VENT. I’D ADVISE SKIPPING TO THE NEXT GROUPING OF THOUGHTS: Okay before getting into other things, I have a rhetorical question that I don’t really want an answer to (because it’s rhetorical): How can people who tell you that your biggest problem is that you don’t stand up for yourself be the same people who get all pouty and mad when you finally do? On a related note, how come people can be — accounting, of course, for the fact that people really only show you images that make it appear their life is all hunky-damn-dory — very good to some folks but treat others so very badly? Mom says it’s all about usefulness, i.e. for some folks, there’s a direct relationship between what you offer and how you get treated. I suppose that’s true. And maybe I’m naive but shouldn’t you treat people well simply because it’s a better way to live in the world, both for you and everyone else? I mean, you’re still going to be getting what you got anyway from the useful with something to give. But you may end up with other good things, too, since not everyone wears what they have on their sleeve. Isn’t it just a numbers game? Also, please trust my judgment. If I finally have a word with someone, trust it’s not a knee-jerk reaction but a final addressing of something that had been building. I go out of my way not to be a jerk without cause. And you should know that by now. My friend Austen, when I posed this to him, just smiled wryly and said, “Life’s a bitch, man.” Dammit, that’s really the answer isn’t it? Gah.

Okay then, let’s talk NSA stuff, yeah? So, the ballsy thing — chatting with a reporter about something that freaks you out when it’s on the scale of a massive data mine of metadata on American citizens — remains impressive. This kid Snowden must have known the risk he was taking. Does it undermine national security? That remains unclear, but I’m not uncomfortable with them detaining him and questioning him. That’s part of the risk you assume when you do something like this. All that said, there are some rather weird components to his story — the 200K/year, in Hawaii, for an analyst position, for which he qualified, apparently, not at all. I think Allah P’s asking the right questions here. And I share most of his concerns. Also, this data was being pushed — PUSHED — out by PRISM from what I understand. So PRISM was allowed to operate within those server environments and collect data, which they then sent out to government systems for allocation to, presumably, databases. So all that talk of Silicon Valley being complicit in giving the government your data looks true. And they don’t really have the national security excuse. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m reserving my annoyance for them. Anyway, this is our brave new world, folks. And, for the record, blaming Bush is a very weak argument because this is a kind of expansion of intent that bears little resemblance to tracking terrorist activity following the death of 3000 people. But it’s really not all that surprising.

Okay, other things.

Interesting discussion the other day about this and whether or not you can count the zombie/vampire heroine in all this…

Kind of fantastic.

I very much look forward to Whedon’s version, but this one is going to be pretty hard to beat…

And speaking of films to see…

Maybe someday someone will like me enough to get this for me. Oh, wait, will find me useful enough to get this for me…

It is pretty cool that the old placeholder was a pretty late player in the game…

Whipped up some tacos last night using this handy little recipe. I did put a little flour in to thicken the beef filling. Delish.

Maybe I should get a pair of Tretorns again. I’m always curious if it’s possible to resurrect a fad…

Oh for goodness sake, yes.

A friend sent me this job listing today. Not sure if I should be horrified or totally flattered.

This one I would do, but only if someone filmed it and dubbed some crazy, incorrect “facts” and running play-by-play, and ran it in syndication in Japan.

Best prom photo ever?

I say yes.

I say yes.

I come back to this song a lot…

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