Archive for January, 2014

Good to be the king


Hey guys. Writing this evening so I can concentrate on other things tomorrow as we head into Super Bowl weekend. This is the weirdest time of the year if you’re not a huge hockey fan, which has sort of prompted me to learn more about the game and try to go down to the Verizon Center when I can so I can handle the few months between the end of football and the beginning of baseball. I’ll admit: hockey doesn’t do it for me on tv. I try to like it. I really do. But it is, in my opinion, a game that must be seen live to be appreciated. I feel the same way about basketball. They are both amazing if you can be there to absorb the physical energy of the action. As for soccer — the two years I played in high school gave me an appreciation for the game but I still find it mostly very boring. (sorry Hallissey. Who, by the way, I randomly saw last night at the work Happy Hour place as he was there watching his beloved Spurs play [that’s the Tottenham Hotspur F.C. to the uninitiated]. He even met some of the work-related people and was a hit with his English accent and charm. Good on you Matt. See you Sunday for the Big Game.) Anyway, had kind of a weird experience today and I just wanted to hash it out…

So, I’m a bit of an emotional ping pong at the moment. It happens to ladies. Not an excuse, just a reality. So I’ve noticed a certain — um, touchiness? — in myself lately as regards things I really shouldn’t — and on most days, don’t — care about. And I actually hate that I even let stuff like this get into my head at all. But sometimes…sometimes I do. Because I’m kind of a ginger, more on the auburn side, but with all the freckles and fire. And, as mentioned, a little on the emotional side lately. So basically, I offer that as a lame reason I almost said to a gentleman today — a perfect stranger — that he should really rethink being such a horrific tool in public.

I was working in a coffee shop up the street this morning and made the tragic mistake of not immediately putting my head phones on and rocking out to Bach (work music of choice). Because I had the displeasure of overhearing a conversation between a young woman and a slightly older guy that made me want to alternately laugh aloud/throw my coffee stirrer at the dude’s head. He started by putting her down — that weird “negging” thing immature dudes do that, I think, is supposed to make their subsequent compliments seem AMAZING following as they are on the heels of some not-so-subtle digs. And it was painful because the young lady was clearly embarrassed, speaking in very low tones, because everyone in the immediate vicinity could hear this guy telling her that she would be more attractive if she didn’t act crazy all the time and that she looked nice but that her outfit was maybe a little tight on her (hint, hint). Augh. My heart just went out to her. And the rastafarian immediately behind them looked up, cocked an eyebrow, and exchanged a “what the hell?” glance with me. I just shook my head and smiled because what are ya gonna do? And it went on…guy started talking about how she should be more like him, he had an ego, everyone knew it, and people liked and respected him for it. And that he liked her but she was going to have to up her game if she wanted to be on his arm because that was what people expected of him and blah, blah, blah. All said with a charming little smile. She meekly took offense a few times but it was obvious that this guy had her convinced that he could help her or something. I don’t know. And as I sat there and watched them it suddenly occurred to me: the guy (not man. definitely not.) was a terrified, insecure mess of a human being but was either totally unaware of it or completely unwilling to admit it. And he liked this girl he was publicly shaming and desperately wanted her approval. But he was leaving no room in the conversation, and giving her no reason, to offer it. At one point he even looked over at me and gave me that same grin like, “look what I can do. You interested?” It actually made me feel insane for a few minutes, which is how I know I could never be a therapist. I can barely negotiate my own crazy. Talking to people like this guy would have me speaking in tongues in short order. I wanted to just look over and say, “Stop. Just stop. You’re ridiculous. No one likes or respects your ego. They may tolerate it for their own reasons but they don’t like it and they probably don’t like you either. And Miss, you’re objectively about 20 times hotter than this fool and I think the rasta guy behind you agrees with me so why don’t you remind him that, of the two of you, you could walk out the door and find someone who thinks that dress fits you perfectly while he’d have to go on the hunt for someone who didn’t want to slap that silly grin off his face. Also, he seems kind of dumb.”

Of course I didn’t do that. And they got quieter and ultimately left, the girl rather defeated while he had a little swagger in his step. And my hormonally challenged little self flashed back to conversations and interactions I’ve had over the years with people — not just guys — but people who are driven to have some kind of upper hand in all relationships, even the insignificant and transitory ones, lest they become vulnerable. And human. My friends tease me sometimes — as recently as Monday in fact — that I think about this stuff. “Deep thoughts with Sarah,” said my friend Bailey a few days ago. Not the first time he’s said that. But I can’t help it. I felt so bad for that girl. As for the guy — I suppose I felt bad for him, too. But I also think the best thing that could happen to him is a dose of his own medicine. Something like this. You may think this is hokey — I kind of do, too — but my sister told me about this book she read once where this guy was electrocuted and died. He was so dead they had wheeled him down to the hospital morgue before he woke up. And the story he told of his experience — he was apparently something of a real jerk before this happened — was that he was forced to live his entire life from the perspective of the other people in his life. So everything he had done to others he had to feel as if he was them on the receiving end of his behavior. Long story short, he dedicated his life to making amends and becoming a kinder person. I think that dude would benefit from something like that. (not that I wish him electrocution or anything. That would just be hateful.) Anyway, the lesson I took away from it all was “wear your headphones Sarah.”

Okay, other things.

A very sharp fellow I know posted this. I’m no economist but this doesn’t seem right to me.

A guy on facebook invited people to defriend him if they used the word “justice” in relation to the DOJ seeking the death penalty for the Boston bomber. He said “revenge” is the word you mean. I invite you to read the link above, click all the links contained therein, do an image search of Jeff Bauman being wheeled away from the scene with bloody stumps, look at pictures of the 8 year old boy this evil bastard dropped his bag behind, and then talk to me about revenge versus justice with your pompous judgment. I hope Tsarnaev gets exactly what his own culture dictates is appropriate: an eye for an eye. Also, I’m defriending that dude.

“Noble intentions cannot make prime numbers like five or seven divisible.” True.

Yeah, just read this. Some people really don’t inhabit the same planet as everyone else, do they?

No one has ever struggled like us, scrabbling and clawing our way all the way from going-nowhere pit of the upper middle class to the exalted lowest rungs of the upper class.

Had a good cry over this and felt better about things. These two girls are just precious. Still pulling for the Broncos but I think Coleman could teach his teammate Sherman a thing or two.

Bagpipes just hit me somewhere deep, deep down.

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Hey kids. Just playing a little catch up in between things. I’m trying to determine if I’m going to nerd out and actually watch the State of the Union address tonight or accompany some friends to an open-mic standup comedian thing down at Old Dominion. I’m pulling for the latter because I hear it’s free and the drinks are cheap. And the State of the Union address has really become just kind of depressing — especially when all it is anymore is a way to try to offer excuses about why things are so jacked up. Seriously, think about it. That’s the goal. It’s not really an update as much as it is a “let me tell you why we had to do that.” And I think I’m okay skipping it. I’ll just follow some of the updates on Twitter (both now and tonight) and probably get the gist. My brain needs the break.

Anyway, I wrote something yesterday on Facebook because I was so struck by the tone the typically stoic Allahpundit took in talking about the new documentary “Mitt.” He sounded positively touched. Anyway, in the interest of having something to write about but being kind of lazy at the moment (I need to eat something), here’s how it moved me.

I’m so glad this documentary is out, although it will be hard to watch. I never personally was on the “Mitt was a flawed candidate” bandwagon. I thought he was a very fine candidate in the most important ways, and a very good man. And what Allapundit calls his “mini-sililoquy” is something I hear weekly from my own father, particularly the part about the tipping point and how we may not recover. And that is frightening really. The attempt to turn the man into a beast is something that has been gross to watch and really represents the worst of what we do in politics and in our hearts. So, while I’m putting it off because it is a tale of failure that will pull at the heart, I’m sure I’ll watch it because I think it might be just that important. Many people get into the game and have to make concessions to play. Sometimes those concessions change them into bad people or run them off the field entirely when they find that their better desires are met with callousness and power-brokering. Romney’s concession was getting into the dirty game at all — something he apparently found quite distasteful — because he believed he could make a difference and do some good. Agree with his ideas or not, that was his goal. And that may be what made him the best candidate. It is an unfortunate truth of our political system that the best candidates simply cannot play the game and get the work they hope to do done. They could at one time I think, if they were made of a certain material. And I think Romney was. But that aforementioned tipping point may have arrived and removed that possibility for him and future good, smart, visionary statesmen and women. I hope for our great nation’s sake this is not the case. What’s more, the man’s story seems to have affected the usually crusty and cynical Allahpundit, and that’s borderline remarkable. Thanks for trying Mitt Romney.

Did any of you watch the Grammys? I was really impressed. I usually avoid the spectacle of self-congratulation but I got so into this year’s production I actually live tweeted it! I know. I’m ashamed. But it was really, really good. So many great performances, from Lorde to Taylor Swift to NIN and Queens of the Stone Age (featuring Lyndsey Buckingham!) to Steven Tyler serenading Smokey Robinson. The highlights for me were Imagine Dragons/Kendrick Lamar and the AMAZING Metallica/Lang Lang collaborations. I give those both to you below. They’re both really great and would have loved to see them live. I would have had to sneak a flask in though. I like to have a drink when I jam out. Just one of those things.

My friend Victoria, a Denver fan of high caliber, posted this piece because it is both appreciative of her team and it has a lot of math in it. She’s kind of a nerd.

Oh yeah, this will be seen. I have a feeling Jolie is going to kill this part.

This was an excellent read. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known who will call themselves atheist just to be free to indulge in their sovereign desire. But, as my grandpa used to say, there are no atheists in foxholes. We’re so lucky we have the luxury of indulgence.

Who wants to go with me?

Corey and Co. are having a Super Bowl thing at the the Nelson St. house in Arlington Sunday and I need to make food. I’m thinking this and this…I think I even have orange and blue sprinkles…

I think — not totally sure — but I THINK I’m going to pick up this gentleman’s class tomorrow. Ive taken it before and I’ve missed hip-hop. We’ll see what happens. A little party never hurt nobody.

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Here's a picture of Waylon Jennings and Buddy Holly. Just because it's cool.

Here’s a picture of Waylon Jennings and Buddy Holly. Just because it’s cool.

Okay man people have been acting straight up crazy the last few days. Seriously, I don’t know what to do about it. Unfortunately, when you’re a girl, you get the overflow frustration from men who are actually mad at other women. I’m pretty sure I’m right since I lived a lot of it growing up with brothers who tended to date very beautiful, very vain, very selfish girls. I was often the safe alternative to yell at when they were trying to negotiate some issue with these ladies without wanting to irreparably damage the relationship (because the dance, or whatever, was coming up so you gotta have the beautiful date, right?). When I was very young I didn’t understand it. But as I grew older I started to notice a correlation. I remember one time, one of my brothers was going through a particularly nasty break-up and he had pretty well pissed off everyone else in the family because everyone was like, “dude, she’s a harpy” and he didn’t want to hear that and so, at the time, I was the only one still taking to him. He and I started hashing out some things over the phone, which quickly turned into an absolute condemnation of all my flaws and ones that weren’t mine, which confused me, until he called me by the harpy’s name. Lightbulb. Anyway, that’s been happening again from a couple of different areas of my life. I was trying to explain to my dad that, while I think women do it to men as well (think Miss Havisham from Great Expectations), women get it particularly harshly in the other direction because men tend to be in a better position to bully women than women are to bully men. Not always, but probably more frequently. Pops didn’t want to hear that. He doesn’t like discussion of how it’s a man’s world. But it really is. It’s all okay though. I’m standing tall and trying not to cry about it. But I did have to call my daddy…

Okay, I have to work on some website bidness so I have to run. I think Corey is formulating a happy hour plan, which should be nice given the weirdness of the last couple of days, and the fact that all this cold is making my foot ache (awww…). But here are a few things to consider should you care:

Fascinating piece. One thing I asked my Pops today was if he thought people always married within their own “caste”. Hate to use that word but it applies. He said no. That maturity didn’t belong to a class and that people of any station in life, if they were thinking about the right things regarding relationships (loyalty, how the two people get along, common interests, etc.), considered those things paramount. Of course, the flipside is that immaturity also has the distinction of not belonging to just one class. Now don’t get me wrong — I like wealth. I adore the things you can do with it and have, on principle, no problem with anybody using it and their connections to get ahead. But, like the writer, I do question the maturity of people who hem and haw about the elite while excluding themselves and their social circle.

Yet I cannot help being struck by the disjunction between her attitude toward conservative elites and her attitude toward herself, toward her own part of the upper crust. I cannot help being struck by the unknowingness with which she and her guests establish categories such as “rich” and “elite” that exclude everyone they know.

I guess for a great many people, it really is all about the benjamins. That’s cool. I’m sure they’ll be happy at the top, and good for them. But maybe shut up a little with the sanctimony and the complaints about…well, hell…anything. Because, seriously, when you complain that it’s so cold that you can’t go out on the yacht this weekend or some such freaking nonsense you really have no idea how ridiculous you look. And I’m embarrassed for you and it makes me uncomfortable.

Well done Facebook. Don’t let em push you around…

Okay look, because it led to one of the aforementioned crazy behaviors, I’m just going to address it, I’m sorry if it offends you (because I like you and I don’t want to hurt your feelings), but if you play Candy Crush or any variation thereof, you are a sucker. Period. You are basically moving us all as a species in the direction of the human race in Wall-E. And that just annoys me. Sorry not sorry.

The mechanism isn’t exactly the same, of course. My character doesn’t have stats to advance — I don’t even really have a character! But the basic principle of engaging a in repetitive behavior for hours and hours until you can finally make some progress, is exactly the same. And suddenly the half-bored, trance-like state in which I play most rounds of Candy Crush these days makes all the sense in the world. And although Candy Crush has been compared, unfavorably, to a slot machine, I realized something else: in that dogged persistence actually will alter the odds in your favor, Candy Crush is less like an actual slot machine and more like the game that slot machine addicts think they are playing. “This machine is gonna pay out soon. I can tell.” And it actually will! Well, not pay out, exactly. But it’ll let me win. Brightly flashing lights, bells that go bingley-bongley-boop. Endorphins. All that jazz.

Think I’ve posted this before, but I like it so much, here it is again. It’s all in the ‘r’.


I do not mean to speak badly of the good intentions of those who espouse this latter-day theory of racism and who sincerely wish to solve a set of problems they believe are both real and incredibly urgent; nor am I to suggest that racism is not a real and dangerous thing that still exists in society, for it plainly is. Nevertheless, I am often struck by how foregone are so many discussions that revolve around racism and racial matters, and how these discussions by their nature demand that a single thing—many if not all people are racist, unconsciously or subconsciously—be acknowledged before they can proceed.

Seems appropriate today. Enjoy the weekend my loves.

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It's a little worse now.

It’s a little worse now.

Hey y’all, don’t know about everyone else, but I’m working. Which is good because I need to take my mind off feeling a little under the weather. I almost vomited at dance class last night. Such a hot tragic mess. Now, Alison definitely worked us, but my tummy has just been a little rebellious lately. But I held it together. And I even managed to nail the choreography in as much as I got the steps. Not sure I looked all that pretty but I could at least feel good about figuring out the movement — which was actually pretty difficult because there were a lot of direction changes and shortened counts. I love the challenge of that stuff, but nausea and direction changes don’t go well together.

But today is better, which is good, because apparently it’s going to snow a whole bunch today. So far there’s just a little soft fall out there but nothing overly dramatic just yet. I think it’s so funny the way DC freaks out over snow. In Georgia I always understood it — we just don’t get a lot of snow down that way. But DC gets it almost every year — at least according to my Mom, who grew up here — so what gives? Is it the massive percentage of the population that’s actually from somewhere else? Because seriously, I think DC drivers are worse than Florida drivers and that’s saying something people. My dad, stationed here in the Army while he was dating my mom, has always said that if anyone ever wants to attack and overtake the capital of this country they should just wait for a snowstorm because all the soldiers will be at home. But they’ll have bread and milk by God.

So I don’t know about y’all but this kind of thing doesn’t seem inconsequential to me. I had a friend kind of joke with me about this today, saying he’s got bigger worries than the Iranian navy. Okay, points for funny. But I’m pretty sure it’s foolish to ignore things like this:

In 2012, Iran said it aims to put warships in international waters off the U.S. coast within the next few years, and extend its reach as far as Antarctica.

Because if memory serves some of the most stunning upsets in the history of world warfare started as a result of a large power underestimating a smaller one. Ahem.

Let’s see…what else? I get so confused by people who support one guy over another and, in defending their guy point out that he’s only doing what the other guy (the guy they don’t support) has always done. You know, the other guy…the devil incarnate. Because my question is this: if the other guy is so bad, why in hell would you justify the behavior of your guy through the lens of that other super bad dude? My brain hurts…Anyway, this is what set that conversation off. Because “Uh, ‘Mission Accomplished!'” or something.

I always tested well.

So, here’s just a little thought: if you do something a little crummy and I don’t get super excited to see you as a result, perhaps, instead of getting all indignant about my lack of enthusiasm, give it a second and examine why I might feel that way. Show a little shame. It’s not a bad thing to do.

This was good news. There are a lot of little, under the radar stories out there that are making me feel hopeful that people haven’t forgotten that too much governmental control over our lives sucks.

I like this guy. No bullshit, no vanity, and very little use for those qualities in other people. Very attractive.

I think it would be a mistake to let this cause an irretrievable rift.

So, I’ve written here about my Pixies connection, right? Lived with Kim Deal’s first cousin (their dads were brothers) for a few years in Athens. I already loved the band so it was kind of a cool little synchronicity. Anyway, this is a great little documentary (very short as they go) on why the band is amazing. (h/t Turk)

Now, for your music. I may have given the impression I’m nursing sadness at the moment with my promotion of Frank Black and the Catholics. Not true! It’s just good music, not necessarily where my head’s at. This is more where my head’s at:

Curt: “I think every restaurant should anchor their lunch music mix with Laura Branigan. So inspiring. Gloria!”

I actually love this song.

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Totally random but perhaps timely? Cracked me up regardless. Happy Friday!

Totally random but perhaps timely? Cracked me up regardless. Happy Friday!

Just bought my copy of Gates’ book. I just want to find out what it is Harry Reid is so verklempt about. Will be digging into that this weekend I hope but then, I actually have social obligations (I know, right?) to meet, so we’ll see how well I do. In any event, our regular Friday Happy Hour out in Virginia has been scrapped this week due to travel and other things, which means I can actually make those other engagements. I’m not a big going-outter kind of kid. I find it stressful and kind of depressing. But this weekend is a goodbye to a dear friend who will be heading back to the land of the pines and I’ll miss him. So we’ll be down in DuPont on Saturday night playing pool at Buffalo Billiards (it’s about time I got to play some pool), so swing by if you get twitchy. And then the Broncos people from Penn Quarter made me pinkie swear I’d return Sunday. So tonight will be very likely about work because I have much to do and if I just dedicate myself I think I can get it all done today and not have to worry about it this weekend. That’s the plan anyway. Also, have to fit the pool in there somewhere…

Right, so I have very little else to offer as I wait around for Obama to discuss the NSA reforms at 11. I wrote something on it this week and I do think the relationship between net neutrality and data collection/retention is something worth exploring. Perhaps there’s nothing there. But the net neutrality debate has a lot to do with who retains data — carriers or some quasi governmental agency. It just doesn’t seem to be a coincidence to me that the net neutrality decision came down followed closely by a press conference on who will be keeping metadata. Sorry — it’s the reporter thing. You have to check yourself often. Not everything is connected — but some things are…

One more thought on the NSA stuff. Give me a break here Buzzfeed. This is just salacious and irresponsible reporting. Who were your unnamed sources? When you quote someone in the intelligence community talking about how they covertly kill people you’re pretty much PULLING A SNOWDEN. That or you’re just presenting an alarmist piece like Hollywood does with movies like Sudden Impact (we’re all doomed) [HA! Deep Impact. I meant Deep Impact] Generally there’s some reason for those alarmist films. Selling global warming or the dangers of fracking. So…what are you selling?

Okay I really have nothing else. So, as usual, diversions:

I only post this because this is maybe the best looking watch I have ever seen. Seriously, if I saw this on the arm of man I would immediately judge him as a person of taste. Because I can be shallow, too I guess.

Seriously, coolest dude in the world.

Have a feeling I’m going to love this. Definitely NSFW.

Get ready DC. The stuff is tasty.

Competition done right.

80% sure I’m making these today.

I bought something. I shouldn’t have but it wasn’t cost prohibitive and I’m cleaning out the closet so I gave myself a gift.

Cute, right? I like that I can wear many different colors with it...

Cute, right? I like that I can wear many different colors with it…

DANCE! This guy is a badass. I tend to throw my arms around as well when I tap so I love that he does it with so much grace.

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Pitchers and catchers report in 28 days y'all...

Does this make me sexist? Pitchers and catchers report in 28 days y’all…

Whoa. My hamstrings have declared me evil and are doing everything they can to hurt me. I had taken a bit of time off from dance and, even though I kept up the running, I neglected to stretch the little suckers and, well, Alison likes her some leg work. Tomorrow’s class will only exacerbate the issue. But they’re going to have to get right with it. I do it out of love for them.

So, I have zero time because I’m heading out to Old Town to work — looking for a place to have lunch that has reliable wi-fi before heading into the actual work space — and so I need to get on it. I had all these aspirations of attending a meeting on the Hill but I’m pretty sure I have no time to make that happen. So, here are some quick hits for your enjoyment.

The thing about Jake Tapper and Marcus Luttrell that is so stunning to me — and this is not to suggest I think Tapper needs pity. He’s great at his job and seems to be a decent man. — is that it is an actual personification of two mindsets: the safe and comfortable view of war as a faraway and senseless thing we talk about at dinner parties versus the I’ve-seen-stuff-no-one-should-ever-have-to-see-but-I-do-it-for-a-reason reality. I felt bad for Tapper. He meant no harm. But I get Luttrell just being over it, too. It’s fascinating to watch these two worlds collide for a few minutes. I imagine it’s how any one of my brothers may handle — perhaps without quite so much fire in their eyes — talking to any number of the men I’ve met here in DC.

I was fairly disappointed that Hannity didn’t ask Gates to address any of the criticisms his book has received on his show last night. I’ve heard some of my libertarian friends slam him for not telling us sooner that Obama was pretty squishy on Afghanistan, and others claim that he’s talking too much even now. Dude can’t win apparently. I know how these shows are — sometimes the guest won’t even show if he thinks it’s going to be a tough interview, generally a bargain (usually not even overtly, just sort of an understood, struck in the booking process) but I think he’s smart enough to have answered at least one tough question. Anyway, this was pretty hilarious.

Even if you don’t like dance (Dave), this is pretty incredible. As is this. The South Park guys may have a new Brian Boitano to love.

So the Rockies have some pretty good scouts it seems.

Gross. It takes some dull minds to not just let people find the folks that care about them and leave them to it.

Ha, finally. He’s a total bully. And I understand sometimes that gets things done or whatever but no one ever really wants you — or your plans — to succeed long term if they HATE YOUR GUTS BECAUSE YOU’RE A JERK. This is a concept that many, many progressive Dems do not seem to grasp.

The article is just plain wrong. Net neutrality was nothing more than an attempt at a version of Obamacare in the open market of the internet. Which is to say, it was an attempt to bring the free and open internet under the umbrella of government control. Wake up people. At what point are you just going to finally admit that this kind of thing is the primary goal of this administration? They’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

As my Pops always says about war and football, you have to be willing to match the intensity of your opponent.

Aw, poor Congresspeople. I mean, hahahahahaha!

Good primer. I’ve bookmarked it.

Finally, if you have 30 minutes to kill, this is an excellent speech by John Cleese. It's ostensibly about creativity but it's really about cultivating an approach to life that, to my mind, is really the only healthy way to live. Play people. In your spirit. (h/t/ Farrell)

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Hard truths.

Hard truths.

Hey y’all. Just felt like doing a little writing this fine Sunday morning so I can procrastinate taking my tree down (!) and cleaning my apartment. I did get up early and go to church though. Woot! And I had a sort of interesting conversation last night that’s been on my mind and I just want to get it out because that, if you read anything I ever write, is how I process and make sense of things.

Had dinner with a lovely friend of mine last night that I always enjoy seeing because she’s A) from Arkansas, and so we can just sit and be southern girls for a few hours and it’s nice, B) she’s a dancer, and when you have a passion for something, being around other people who get that and let you talk about it without wanting to change the subject is priceless, and C) she and I tend to disagree politically and so we are (and I’m proud of this) a pretty good example of how partisan divides don’t have to actually divide. That’s a good reminder while we navigate the extreme partisanship of this city. And usually we agree not to discuss work. Usually we talk about men. But last night she decreed she would rather discuss work over men. Totally fine. So we did. But in the course of that discussion, the topic of men came up (of course it did!) and we kind of danced around this idea that maybe it’s worthwhile to make actively seeking a man in a certain tax bracket a priority. Now, neither of us has a tendency to seek a true bum — the kind my dad, in describing one of my boyfriends many years ago, called being “worthless as a dog on the side of road” — but I think we have both always been comfortable with the idea of dating a good guy who can be provider, both financially and spiritually.

So this was new. Her argument was basically that men behave a certain way and why not seek the more affluent if you’re going to get similar behaviors no matter who you date. It’s a rational argument. Which is why I like hanging out with her. She’s a thinker. And I don’t disagree. Except…

I don’t know. My experience in dating men with means — and probably more so in dating the ones who were certainly comfortable but prioritized getting ALL THE MEANS — is that they tend to place a high value on things that are fleeting. And, more importantly, for the ones who already had more than enough, they behaved as if their ability to buy you things or plug you in or take you places or whatever they used their money for was grounds to behave however they wanted because of course you’ll just deal with it. Rich bird in the hand and all that. And I just never wanted to be one of those ladies who had all the things but couldn’t sleep at night without popping a pill, or looked the other way at serial infidelity, or — and this is the worst — was so acclimated to easy street that I stopped appreciating it and began to take it for granted, boasting about it, using it to manipulate, foregoing feeling lucky and blessed in lieu of feeling entitled and somehow innately “deserving” of my good fortune. It’s just a tradeoff I was never comfortable making. I get that others disagree. Life is certainly easier with money (I have a vague memory of it…). But then…is it? I see a lot of pictures and hear a lot of stories that would indicate the former. But I’m always struck by the almost constant struggle I see to convince everyone else how marvelous all the things are. It’s like the Buzzfeed version of life. “Best thing ever done by people in the history of the world and you must read about it and agree with it now!” Entertainment and bragging rights seems to supplant real relating. That seems like a recipe for something very delicious that leaves you really hungry later on

Our conversation just got me to thinking is all. And one thing I’ve noticed is that the men who are obsessed with seeking the means have a different standard for different people. They treat people differently based on what that person has or what they can give them. And I have nothing cerebral to say about that except I just don’t like it. It doesn’t appeal to me. Same goes for the ladies in pursuit of the man with the fat wallet. It’s not attractive no matter how you dress it up. Now none of this is to say that there aren’t really fine people out there who live fabulously comfortable lives. Of course there are. I’ve met some of them. Just that, personally, I prioritize the “really fine” over the “fabulously comfortable.” The former is a first principle that I’m pretty solid about not wanting to negotiate. Because I’m not sure all the money in the world can cure a tortured soul. At least from what I’ve seen. Also, and this is something of a semi-related aside, I’m not sure which is less appealing: boasting about your good fortune or half-assed apologizing to the world for it.

Okay, done. Have some music. I’m going for a run and then hopefully hanging out with some Broncos fans later down at Penn Quarter. All this talk of money and love just makes me want to have a beer and watch football.

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You there, Friday!

My bed ate one of my socks last night. I swear it’s just gone. I’ve looked everywhere for it. And it’s one of my favorites — pink, stripey, soft as a baby blanket. I’m sure I’ll find it, but there were a few minutes of hilarity this morning as I looked for it and realized that it was going to involve some crawling around on the floor or stripping of the bed. Seriously, laughed so hard. That was nice.

This is not nice. Augh, the hubris. I’m sorry, I know I harp on arrogance and narcissism a lot and it’s probably annoying, but people like Maddow just cause so much damage to the pursuit of truth, and that’s something I have a fundamental disdain for. Kinda rolling with my homey Dante on thinking that intentional mendacity is some of the worst of human behavior because it just leads to so many other really bad things. She’s bought her own hype and is interested in pursuing that over anything else. The worst of it is that whole thing about pride before the fall tends to be true. Sometimes publicly and dramatically, sometimes just in the heart. Anyway, maybe she’ll get it one day. And this could be true, although I think there can be some really fine citizen journalists who just kind of know what integrity is out of the box.

Okay I have to hustle to Old Town for a lunch thing so I don’t have much else. Just things to maybe divert your attention in the slow moments of the work day. Also, if you’re around, come out to Clarendon Grill for a happy hour later for a decompression. It’s a good thing to do.

A friend posted this on Facebook and it’s really interesting. Busyness has become an excuse for all kinds of things hasn’t it? I like the idea of “using your words” to actually explain why you can’t do something or put something off. Engaging authentically is a rather noble goal.

Anyone who rides metro in DC should get a kick out of this. “No matter where you exit, it’s the same platform.”

Fascinating history of ice. If you like history. Or ice.

This made me laugh so hard. Maddux was my favorite of the Braves’ dream team of pitchers and I remember once reading that he was considered one of the nerdiest of MLB players. Apparently not so much. From Glavin: “Unfortunately, you can’t write half of the stuff he did, because he wasn’t proper.”

All of this. The Giver is intriguing…

Oh dear, this will need to be made at some point

Today’s music comes courtesy of Alison. Good stuff. I bet she’s got phrases choreographed in her head…

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Here’s how cold it is (because why not be cliche?): even though the hot water is pumping full force through the radiators, which normally is uncomfortably humid and stifling (I tend to like things on the chillier side as far as indoor temp controls go), I had to fill my coffee mug with water and microwave it before putting my coffee in it this morning so my coffee didn’t immediately cool off and become undrinkable. It’s not as bad as the people throwing boiling water in the air to watch it become snow, but it is cold. Minnesota has apparently been colder than the surface of Mars. Contextually I’m not even sure that’s impressive but it sounds cool. Anyway, it’s only supposed to last a day so I’m just going to avoid being outside too much and marvel at the climate change people who, yet again, assigned the nefarious hand of man to what is basically (more than likely if you need some kind of concession) a normal weather fluctuation. To the weather “scientists”, armchair and otherwise, all weather is related to man-made climate change. Yes, we affect our ecosystem. Of course we do. And sure, we could be having some effect on weather patterns. But I’d say it’s negligible at best and the gloom and doom of (as Jon Stewart used to brilliantly put it) “The Storm of the Century of the Week” is just starting to sound silly because I thought it was common knowledge at this point that climate change and global warming screaming was mostly about money. Given all the jacked up data that’s been scrubbed and then presented as fact and then refuted. Here’s the relevant part of this piece (I think four paragraphs is within fair use standards…)

To illustrate how far this problem reaches, a few years ago there was a scientific scandal with remarkable similarities, in respect of the non-publishing of negative data, to the Tamiflu scandal. A relentless, independent scientific auditor in Canada named Stephen McIntyre grew suspicious of a graph being promoted by governments to portray today’s global temperatures as warming far faster than any in the past 1400 years – the famous “hockey stick” graph. When he dug into the data behind the graph, to the fury of its authors, especially Michael Mann, he found not only problems with the data and the analysis of it but a whole directory of results labelled “CENSORED”.

This proved to contain five calculations of what the graph would have looked like without any tree-ring samples from bristlecone pine trees. None of the five graphs showed a hockey-stick upturn in the late 20th century: “This shows about as vividly as one could imagine that the hockey stick is made out of bristlecone pine,” wrote McIntyre drily. (The bristlecone pine was well known to have grown larger tree rings in recent years for non-climate reasons: goats tearing the bark, which regrew rapidly, and extra carbon dioxide making trees grow faster.)

McIntyre later unearthed the same problem when the hockey-stick graph was relaunched to overcome his critique, with Siberian larch trees instead of bristlecones. This time the lead author, Keith Briffa, of the University of East Anglia, had used only a small sample of 12 larch trees for recent years, ignoring a much larger data set of the same age from the same region. If the analysis was repeated with all the larch trees there was no hockey-stick shape to the graph. Explanations for the omission were unconvincing.

Given these were the most prominent and recognisable graphs used to show evidence of unprecedented climate change in recent decades, and to justify unusual energy policies that hit poor people especially hard, this case of cherry-picked publication was just as potentially shocking and costly as Tamiflugate. Omission of inconvenient data is a sin in government science as well as in the private sector.

In other words — and I know it’s painful so just sit down — climate scientists have been known to lie. And yes, I know about the report. I also know that this stuff has been happening as well. I think the thing that gets to me here is the tendency for otherwise sharp people to just believe what is hardly settled science because, I don’t know, it’s popular? Human nature dictates we want to be accepted so I get that I suppose, but homogeneity of thought just keeps you stuck on status quo, right? See quote at the top of the page. Anyway, not to sound like a crackpot, but if we do have some control over weather patterns it has little to do with pollution and more to do with technology. And I’m just going to leave that there and let your little minds wander. For now, I think Freddoso put it best:

Okay other stuff. I can only gently talk about irrational thinking for so long before I start to get annoyed…

Was just talking to Hallissey about how the British Isles tend to employ the awesome C word in number three and how that’s gauche here. It’s a word that packs a punch.

Figuring out a tip is actually easier than they present it here, which is why so many kids get frustrated with math. Always over complicating…but good tips here.

Can’t decide which of these to make tonight…starch or red meat?

As gross as they are, at least they’re honest spoiled brats. The ones who’ve been trained to smile and appear generous of spirit are the ones you really have to keep an eye on…

My friend Bay insists he brought these to DC from Brooklyn. It totally wouldn’t surprise me. They are good, by the way. But I suspect only if you like pickles. Which I do. A great deal.

It is entertainment. But I think I need a house in the country. Just to rest.

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This is what my neighborhood looks like right now. This one may go on the wall at some point. It's almost impressionistic, clear from afar but blurry when examined. <---nerd

This is what my neighborhood looks like right now. This one may go on the wall at some point. It’s almost impressionistic, clear from afar but blurry when examined. <—nerd

What's shakin' this fine Friday? Me? I'm just having a big old piece of lasagna for lunch (which may or may not conclude with a chocolate brownie (it will)). So, while I eat, and before getting back to doing things that are actually productive in a stricter sense of the word, thought I'd check in. Because there's a few things on my mind…

1. I thought I knew what vanity looked like y'all. I thought I understood it. I've seen it over the years, and I thought I had seen its most extreme forms. I was so very, very wrong. Look, I know people who are experts in their fields. Who are sought after the world over, who have actually competed in the Olympics for goodness sake, who are less enamored of themselves than what I've witnessed recently. Hell, I have a healthy vanity myself, who are we kidding? But what I've seen recently…whoa…I think this story about Ezra Klein does the flavor of it a certain justice, although he’s certainly not the sole proprietor. This guy is a pretty shining example as well. But just that smiling, charming, attractive “I get what I want because I’m me” thing is certainly all over him. I really can’t talk about it anymore. It’s so foreign to me I can’t speak to it really. And I hope to God it stays that way.

2. Here’s a story about good intentions and the liberal bleeding heart. Y’all may remember that there was an open carport across the alley from my backdoor that had become a meeting spot for drug handoffs and a place for some pretty undesirables to get out of the rain. Well apparently the lady who owns the house (but doesn’t live there) was asked several times by many neighbors to please enclose her carport because people were actually starting to get scared of the element that were using it as a makeshift home/toilet/drug den etc. She refused for several years because — get this — she was providing a place for illegals and homeless to go when they had no place else. Well that just sounds so loving and generous in theory but what was actually happening — not that she would know because she, as mentioned, didn’t live there — was needles, and children being harassed, and weird dudes getting hammered on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and teenagers sparking up joints, etc. Her ex husband, also a property owner in the neighborhood, apparently finally stepped in and the doors are on and locked. The point is, this chick could easily feel good about being a beneficent person providing shelter to the less fortunate because she never allowed herself to actually SEE what was going on. She instead chose to complain — about the neighbors asking her to be responsible and enclose her carport, about being forced to alter her property, about being SO PUT UPON. It’s a strange thing to be willfully blind to what’s going on all around you while you complain about being inconvenienced from your relative perch of privilege. It’s hard to like people like that.

And there was much rejoicing.

And there was much rejoicing.

3. I’ve been following all the things Hugh Acheson has been doing lately. Google him. He’s wonderful. Here’s something I wrote about one of his Athens restaurants back a few years ago. If you ever make it down that way you should go. Delish.

4. I don’t know y’all. He strikes me as a do-gooder who really didn’t understand the full measure of consequence for his actions. That’s a dangerous guy.

5. I’m going to have to agree here. Alienation as a strategy is generally to be avoided, but especially when you simply cannot afford to alienate anyone who wants to vote your way. Not sure what the Chamber is hoping to accomplish but it tends to speak for its members which may be something worth examining.

6. Just read this.

7. And this.

Okay, I have to get back to work. And then I’ll be meeting some friends for happy hour at the Clarendon Grill later. Come by if you get bored. Till next time, here’s a sexy dance.

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