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Archive for May, 2014

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in America when men were free.”

― Ronald Reagan

Hey y’all. It’s been an age. I suppose I just needed something of a break from pouring it out but today is a good day to check back in because it prompted a great talk with my mom last night and she had a rather remarkable take on Memorial Day that I wanted to share here.

But first, read this because Jazz provides a great reminder of what the day is about and why it’s okay to enjoy your time off and spend it with a light heart. And while he points out that veterans will tell you today is not about them — it is a day for remembering those who fell in battle — mom takes a different approach and I think it’s a cool one.

We were chatting last night about her father, a WWII marine who survived the war but, like so many others, lived with the demons of what he had seen and had done. “Remember when they came down for Christmas before he died and he apologized to you all for the times he appeared angry at you when you were children because things would come back to him at odd times? He told me once he went to confession to ask the priest if he could be forgiven for killing. It was something he struggled with the rest of his life.”

While she understands that veterans may correct you for thanking them today with that awesome tendency toward humility so many of them exhibit, she says it’s absolutely fine — and maybe even vital — to remember those who have seen war and survived, because they carry the memory of the parts of them that died on the battlefield with them every day. So keep those men and women in your hearts and thoughts as you enjoy the day. Your respect doesn’t have to be overt. Just have it and they’ll know.

Mom’s pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, I’ll be at a baseball game doing the most American thing I can imagine. And to those who answered the call and paid the highest price — my eternal love and thanks. I plan on reading this to get a better grasp of what moves you.

Now, two from Branagh.

“Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered…”

“You tread lightly there.”

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I need a hero

This guy's pretty funny. Just FYI.

This guy’s pretty funny. Just FYI.

Happy happy Friday people of the internet. Sorry I’ve been away for a bit. I got busy, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love you! You know I’ll always come back…

It’s okay to sit back and wait to enjoy the comeuppance of someone you like but who’s behaved like a regular ass, right? Because I feel bad about it. I truly do. But then I think that if revenge is not the purview of man, and especially not if you don’t exactly hate the person, then the only thing that saves them is karma giving them a good swift kick in the rear. But it’s the enjoying it part that always confuses me…Because I do. And I will in this case as well. And it is coming for you friend. Count on it. And I even have a feeling I’ll be around to see it. So, fair warning, if you see me looking concerned and showing a little sad face, you should know that on some level, I’m smiling. Because when cosmic justice works, it makes me happy.

Okay full and complete gender traitor-er disclosure: Grey’s Anatomy is really vapid and insipid and I judge people who watch it. I’m not kidding about that. If you watch Grey’s Anatomy — well, no really, if you’re a fan. Watching is different than slobbering on about it — and I find out about it, I’m not saying we can’t be friends. But I AM saying that I wonder what kind of mental processes you have that lead you to watch that over a House of Cards or an Orange is the New Black or hell even a Modern Family. And maybe you watch all of those. But still, and I’m not saying it’s right, I feel there might be something a little silly about you if you love this show non-ironically. I came across this in a thread about this ridiculous show and it pretty much sums up how I feel about it.

“This person was like ‘what TV shows do you like’ and I was like ‘uh well I watched House like 6 months ago and liked that, at least until it went off the rails at the end.’ And they were like ‘oh if you like House you’ll love Grey’s Anatomy.’

My opinion of this person has been very negatively impacted by this whole experience.”

Anyway, Sandra Oh is a great actress and I look forward to her distancing herself from the shallowness and doing something worthy of her talents.

Okaysy Daisy, I don’t have much but just fun things to read. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about a lot of things over the last several days — one involves the shifting of the innate human desire to compete — but it’s Friday, it’s nice out, I want to get a little more work done on this project, take a stroll to the water, then go home and decompress with a nice, long, run through the neighborhood. Maybe Happy Hour at Mad Rose if I feel like trekking to Arlington. So, here’s some stuff and things to consider in your thoughtful moments.

I don’t know about y’all, but it’s the inconsistency that makes my head hurt.

Don’t bother trying to make sense of what beliefs are permitted and which ones will get you strung up in the town square. Our ideological overlords have created a minefield of inconsistency. While criticizing Islam is intolerant, insulting Christianity is sport. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is persona non grata at Brandeis University for attacking the prophet Mohammed. But Richard Dawkins describes the Old Testament God as “a misogynistic … sadomasochistic … malevolent bully” and the mob yawns. Bill Maher calls the same God a “psychotic mass murderer” and there are no boycott demands of the high-profile liberals who traffic his HBO show.

Do with this what you will. But I’m sure it’s true and it’s interesting that Snowden is described as an underachiever.

Which actually makes us unpredictable, and not in a good way. Also, you can be consistent and have a seat at the table without being aggressively interventionist.

Uh-oh, the nerds might start liking firearms for this and THEN WHERE WOULD WE BE?

I played a version of this game with my cousin. It is heavy on strategy and winning a round feels like you’re the smartest person walking.

Netflix has your comedy streaming hookup. I know I’ll be taking advantage.

One of the best sentences I’ve read recently. Made me happy.: “All things gingery are good. Snaps, red heads, etc.” ~ GP

Another good quote from The Longest Yard (Sandler version), which I thought was pretty good, haters. Made me laugh aloud: “A bunch of ruthless criminals have beaten the men that uphold our justice system.”

Take this into the weekend with you and live it.

This, too. WARNING: you might cry. I did.

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Friday funny from my buddy Dan. I mean this is just amazing on so many levels.

Friday funny from my buddy Dan. I mean this is just amazing on so many levels.

Okay, keeping this short because I need to get home and take a nap — I know — before heading down to the Mall for our softball game. And I’m feeling a little mean right now because I may or may not have suggested someone was behaving a little cowardly about something and now I think I’m a jerk because I wasn’t really trying to hurt feelings. I try to be nice. I truly do. But sometimes, man, I just want to jerk a knot in some folks’ tails to make them see. I guess the people that have stuck around know that about me. And I suppose the others are probably better off dealing with the things they understand. Anyway, here’s the only thing I really want to write about before finding a little solace in sleep:

So it occurred to me recently that inciting people toward sin is just as much a sin as committing a sin yourself. Not to get all crazy Catholic on you but I think about these things. In fact, there are laws about inciting people to commit a crime. You’ve seen The Accused, right? Now the individual has ultimate responsibility regarding the decisions they make — that’s why that Hitler marketing material for the World Wars kind of bugged me. The Wars didn’t make him anything. He chose his path. In fact, the other marketing material talks about how Churchill became a man in the first War, and a genius (or something) in the 2nd — but the wars didn’t make him anything either.

Still great marketing though.

Still great marketing though.

Anyway, all I’m saying is that people control their response to things and are responsible for that. But that doesn’t mean that trying to get people to behave a certain way that’s negative or sinful isn’t also a personal responsibility. And, well, envy is one of the deadly ones. So, if you are constantly trying to move people toward jealousy, you’re inciting negative behavior. Wishing for it, wanting it, desiring it. And, on a soul level, that’s a pretty dark thing to do.

And I’m out. Here’s a great cover of Michael Jackson from an unexpected place. Hat tip to my pretty friend Alice for setting the Friday tone. That — btw — is a beautiful thing to do. On a soul level.

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Hans, babe…

ellis-01

Alright, I’m just checking in because I can. There’s a lot going on out in wonderland isn’t there? And I’ll get to all that, but first I just have some personal stuff to release out into the world so that it becomes less troubling to me. Why do I always feel the need to explain myself? Such a weird little insecurity…

So, first, I’m leaning toward adopting the little mutt my brother found wandering around their neighborhood. I was worried about aggressive tendencies — Stella showed just a bit of that dominance kind of thing from her Pit bloodline, but we kept it under control and it never became a problem. I just had to make sure I was aware of circumstances where she might feel the need to assert herself and so I did — and it sounds like he low growls a bit when he’s fed with my brother’s other dogs. But they assure me that’s really the only thing they see. That’s he’s fine with the other dogs otherwise, good with the cats, chill with their kid, etc. So, a little food aggression. Not uncommon. Probably workable. And everyone who knows me is encouraging me to do it. I really do live better with something to love. And dogs don’t make you compete for that kind of thing. If you’re nice to them, they’re nice to you. And there’s a part of my heart that just needs that again. Also, if I decide to do it, my brother will be coming up for a long weekend to visit and that’s almost the best part. So, more later. I’ll keep you posted.

On a different but kind of related note, I think sometimes my attempts at being nice to people I like get thwarted and turned into something ugly and I’m not totally sure how that happens. But it occurred to me yesterday that it’s difficult and confusing to me to see people I like get treated kind of shabbily — especially if they’re a willing participant because whatever gain they get makes it a good tradeoff for them — and it is particularly difficult when I can’t really say anything about it because it’s none of my business. I’m a huge believer in letting adults make their own decisions, and I try to be there for them if they need me. It’s just incredibly frustrating when your hope for good things gets translated into hope for failure. Also when you get treated less than admirably because the shabby behavior has a way of leaking out and affecting other relationships. This is why I run, people. Sometimes it’s just too familiar and I know the eventual outcome and I don’t want radiation sickness from the nuke that will ultimately be dropped. This very likely makes me selfish. And maybe it’s about time I was. But another part of me is really just annoyed that sometimes people would prefer to see you as a bitch rather than someone who just cares. Because it makes it easier on them. And that just kinds stinks.

But on a better note, I got a compliment yesterday that was both great and also hard to hear. A boyfriend of a friend of mine told me that he knew how loyal I was — how important that particular quality was to me — and how much I expected it of other people. “You won’t stand for being treated disloyally,” he said. I mean, he’s right. And I like that loyalty is important to me. And yes, reciprocity in relationships, to me, is necessary. But not standing for it when people make mistakes? I’m not sure that’s totally true. But it seems to be the reputation I have and I’m not really comfortable with it.

Okay, on the subject of whether or not our current administration is truly just incompetent or if the plan is to weaken us as a nation, I have some thoughts because I do think it’s extremely important what with this and this and this happening. People I respect believe that like a good progressive, Obama believes that the US is a better — more popular = better in his mind — US when it’s less neocon and aggressive and more a world team player. And I can agree that this is indeed true. But that apology touring and weakening of our military capability doesn’t really benefit Obama and I think at heart he is an opportunist, not an idealist. So he’s looking for some kind of win, as opportunists do. So I couldn’t really figure out what he gained from making us weaker militarily and economically while ostensibly making us more popular (which of course is just hilariously laughable because we are admired less now than we were under Bush without question). But then the co-worker/boss cleared it up for me: you know how in academia it’s all about currying favor with the professor and that’s how you get the good grade? The kids who do the good work don’t even come out as clean and ranked as high as the ones who kiss a little ass in today’s academic climate. Well, this is the environment that Obama and the educated elite he has surrounding him have come out of and they are at a disadvantage because they really don’t know any other system. The problem is, Putin and Assad really don’t care about your brown nosing. They’ll take it of course, if it gets them what they want, but they won’t give you the good grade for being obsequious. And human beings really don’t like arrogance as a general rule. They may respect it to a degree or some dark part of them may enjoy the nastiness that goes along with it, but they don’t really like it. And there are some who will take any opportunity to wipe that over-indulgent grin off your overly-confident face. I really do keep seeing Ellis from Die Hard over and over in my head. And we all know what happens to him.

Okay, other stuff and things:

I told my Pops that Kerry had initially declined to appear and my Pops said, “Someone must have told him he’d go to jail.” Heh. See what I mean about arrogance?

The G-File is just a good read. And Jonah hits on something that seems to be a theme — Carney is a confident liar but not a very good one. There’s something very disconcerting about people in real life with important jobs who are trying to be evil geniuses but end up being like Dr. Horrible.

Speaking of Benghazi, this is an interesting read but I maintain that there was a reason they felt the need for a coverup and I expect the select committee will be revealing what that is by the end of its work.

The Atlantic takes shit too seriously sometimes. They weren’t shoddily made in 1977. They were cutting edge. Short memories may be the worst thing about this disposable age we live in.

I’m telling you, Justice Roberts was a genius on this one. I think he knew exactly what he was doing by declaring it a tax.

Well I mean of course. “Do no evil.”

Okay war strategy/English nerds, read this. Let me know what you think.

Ah, yes, all of this is totally true. Every writer is a procrastinator. Comes with the territory. I love this. Hard.

4:04 p.m. A confession? I fucking hate Candy Crush once you get past the Minty Meadow. It’s too hard, but there’s no skill involved. It’s at once incredibly tedious and taxing, and yet there’s very little reward for it. You try and try and try and try and you work and work and work and you tell the whole goddamn world to go fuck itself, and you know what you have to show for it in the end? A fucking headache. You have the illusion of accomplishment, but really? You aren’t doing shit. You’re pretending that you’re accomplishing something, that’s all.

What do you mean, is that a metaphor?

What’s with the History Channel’s marketing for the World Wars retrospective. Let’s not absolve Hitler of his responsibility for being a brutal fascist, shall we not? Just look it up. It’s in the metro stations in DC by the Pentagon if you’re curious.

Hahaha, excellent. Now imagine the dude cries to your family about you saying things that made him feel bad. Because welcome to my world. And I think sensitive penis covers it nicely.

Finally, YES. I know them all. And #1 can suck it.

1. The Overly Competitive Asshole

Whether he was cut from the single A team or just a guy trying to recapture his college/high school glory years, this guy plays to win. Every bad call by the ump is punctured by this guy’s guttural, rage-filled scream, as he lets everybody within a 1 mile radius know that he disagrees with the decision. He’s got a glove from 12 years ago that he loves more than his mother, and he always brings a duffel bag full of expensive composite bats and cleats that you aren’t allowed to use.

He will insist on doing the team’s lineup, and since it’s such a chore, the rest of the team lets him have it. God forbid if you screw up fielding a grounder or hit a pop fly. The Overly Competitive Asshole will take note. And he never forgets. You will definitely be batting last next game.

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I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.

Totally stole cupcake dog from Allahpundit. I loved it when he used it as his twitter avatar. It just spoke volumes. But I use it here to illustrate that I’ve seen some things man. I’ve been quietly (sort of) observing some really weird and uncomfortable stuff going on out in my expanded circles of influence and it’s like watching that video for Black Hole Sun. Don’t remember it? Oh well here:

Do with that what you want. I’m a little tired of explaining myself. Sometimes I feel like I speak a different language, and you know what? Maybe I do. It was suggested to me recently that perhaps I might benefit from being a little less cerebral. Reminded me of that Love Boat episode I saw as a kid — and yes, I’ve written about this before because this is not a new theme for me — where the lady rocket scientist had to play dumb because men ended up intimidated by her capacity for rocket science. And for a lot of my life I’ve downplayed that side of me. Mom tells me how hard I cried when I had to get glasses in elementary school because I was worried everyone would think I was a nerd — not of course realizing that all the other shit I was into already spilled the beans. And so I’ve been dumbing myself down my whole life. In an attempt to be liked. Pathetic.

And I’m just not going to do it anymore. Sorry guys. And of course the real bitch of it is this: I could do what a lot of smart women do and just become a master manipulator. Some of the smartest women I know have employed their abilities toward nothing more than tossing people — particularly men — around like puppets on strings. Meh. I prefer to respect people so I don’t want to put them in a position where I may start to hate them. And I’m struggling with that right now. Mightily. Funny — I’m outside writing and a handsome gentleman just walked past me and politely looked at me approvingly and smiled and I thought to myself, “Keep walking man. Because you just don’t even know. Trouble.”

Not very uplifting I realize, so I’m going to leave off talking about it and hope for a lobotomy I guess.

Other things because I’m grumpy and I want to get this off my chest and be rid of it. I have things to do this beautiful weekend. The cousin and I have a music show tomorrow and I’m riding my boyfriend Sunday — hahaha, that sounds really bad. And I’m just gonna let it. CAUSE I’M A REBEL.

This is a fairly brilliant piece. Because savants may see the patterns in mathematics at a young age, but most kids don’t. Even really smart ones.

Hahaha, yeah. He’s just a good dude, no matter how you slice it. And I ache for good dudes. Don’t you? Sorry, TMI…

Hahahahaha: “Eight-time Grammy winner Usher, sources confirmed, offered a lengthy dissertation that suggested forever was the duration for which we will make love into the night, while Dr. Michio Kaku utilized intricate mathematical models to challenge inconsistencies in Diana Ross and Lionel Richie’s long-accepted theory claiming two hearts could beat as one for an endless amount of time.”

I’m out babies.

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