Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm awake.....I'm awake....

So, I have to teach 2nd Grade this morning. Which means I am awake (but mercifully still pajama-clad) at 7:25 a.m. I don't like this. Not one bit.

If being a normal, productive member of society requires me to be awake and functional at this ungodly hour, I think I'll pass.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Quote of the day

If I had an award to give out for dumbest quote of the day, today's award would go to CIA chief Porter Goss:

Al Qaeda leaders bin Laden and al-Zarqawi haven't been found "primarily because they don't want us to find them and they're going to great lengths to make sure we don't find them," Goss said in the interview broadcast Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America."
But I suppose we're really good at finding the international terrorists that WANT to get caught. That's a relief.

Goss is a double-winner this morning as he also picks up a Fictional Flamingo Award for Coining Flamingo's Favorite New Unintentional Euphemism:

"We're doing quite well. Inevitably, we're going to have to capture some terrorists and inevitably they're going to have to have some due process."
I've seen the photos...I know they're just itching to due process the hell out of 'em!

And to use my new favorite euphemism in a sentence:

"That hockey game last night was awesome! They really opened up a can of due process on the other team! I hear that center is in the hospital with a concussion."

Monday, November 28, 2005

There goes the neighborhood!

Well, hell.
The government of Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin fell Monday evening when opposition parties united to topple him with a no-confidence vote. Martin's center-left Liberal Party has been dogged by a corruption scandal, in which it paid advertising firms with Liberal links more than $1 million with little or no work done in exchange. An election -- probably in January -- could now end 12 years of Liberal rule in America's largest trading partner.

Where'm I gonna move to NOW?

Macabre Milestone

Today’s as good a day as any to reexamine where you stand on capital punishment.

Since the Supreme Court began allowing states to execute prisoners again in 1976, the U.S. has put 997 inmates to death. This week, if all goes according to plan, we’ll see the deaths of the 998th, 999th, and 1,000th prisoners.

I don’t want to rehash all the same old arguments on the subject. But I do think it bears repeating that in the past 32 years, 120 prisoners have been proved innocent and released from death row. Most of those releases have only come in the past 15 years or so, since DNA evidence has been more easily examined. Mistakes are made. So, I think everyone needs to assume that some innocent people have probably been counted in the number of deaths. I guess I just am not the sort of person who thinks it’s ok for one or two innocent folks to die for the greater good. I like Immanuel Kant.

Never act in such a way as to treat people merely as a means to an end, but rather treat them as ends in themselves.”

But even with this landmark 1,000 execution looming, most of the recent death penalty attention is focused on Stanley “Tookie” Williams out in California. The co-founder of the Crips gang is slated to die on December 13th, but Governor Schwarzenegger has agreed to a clemency hearing. (A celebrity politician meeting with a celebrity criminal….there’s a bad joke there somewhere, but I’m not touching it.) Don’t get me wrong….I hope he IS granted clemency. I’m 100% against the death penalty. However, Schwarzenegger hasn’t granted clemency for any others thus far…so if he does in this case, I have to wonder if the celebrities alone are to thank for it And I haven’t jumped on that star-studdedTookie’s a Great Guy Now” bandwagon. I just don’t buy the idea that his anti-gang children’s books have saved as many kids as the number of kids’ lives that were destroyed thanks to him. But that’s beside the point. I don’t want to see him executed.

I just wish there was as much outcry over capital punishment in general right now. Don’t forget the other 1,000+ before him, and however many will come after him.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

An Open Letter to the Old 97’s

Dear Rhett, Murry, Ken and Philip:

I don’t know if you know this or not, but…….You are like crack.

Except, you’re like crack that is good for you. Like, if crack was infused with Vitamin C or something. Or if oranges were really, really addictive.

I never forget that I love you. But some days, I just get an itch for Old 97’s that is almost impossible to scratch to any satisfaction. Today is one of those days. One of your songs showed up on my random playlist, and once I got started like that, I couldn’t stop myself. I am weak.

I need Live Old 97’s, and I need it bad. I’ve now watched my Old 97’s Live dvd twice today. And I’m currently listening to your new performance cd Alive and Wired for the second time too. But it’s not enough, I’m afraid. I need a show. I looked at your tour dates, and the lack of ANY upcoming shows left me feeling all twitchy and anxious. Withdrawal is a bitch.

Please play a show near me again. Please. When you came to our smallish city, it was probably the coolest thing that has happened to anyone here. Come back please. I need to scream and jump and dance the way one can only scream, jump and dance at your shows.

Don’t get me wrong….spending the day jumping around my house playing air-guitar was good too…..but it’s not quite the same.



What the hell.....I forgot it was Friday AGAIN.

Friday Random Ten: Saturday Edition
Better late than never, I guess.

1. Volcano-Remix--Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan (she gets no credit, but she sings half the damn song..."backing vocals" my ass.)
2. Wake Me Up When September Ends--Green Day
3. Orange Crush--R.E.M
4. The Lighthouse--Ana Da Silva
5. Secretly Minnesotan--Tullycraft (this is my new favorite song, I think.)
6. The Rainbow Connection--Kermit the Frog
7. Messed Up in the Heart--My Project: Blue (nevermind...THIS is now my new favorite song)
8. Cocaine Blues--Joaquin Phoenix (YES! Joaquin officially makes the Random Ten!)
9. If My Heart Was a Car (live)--Old 97s
10. You Can Be the Rain--Randall Bramblett

Thursday, November 24, 2005

"There weren't another other way to be."

So, first off...Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Hope everyone had a good day.

Today I went to see Walk the Line for the second time. I am thankful for Joaquin Phoenix. Sue me.

I think I could watch this movie a billion times and not get tired of it. Johnny Cash. Joaquin Phoenix. It's like Flamingo Heaven, right here on Earth.

However as much and as long (one word: SpaceCamp) as I've loved Joaquin Phoenix, I think my favorite part of the movie and the soundtrack is Shooter Jennings's portrayal of his father. I've loved Waylon Jennings for as long as I can remember.

I've always been pretty sensitive, which led to semi-frequent bouts with mild depression, even when I was just a little tyke. My childhood room had a big closet where I kept all of my stuffed toys. Inside the closet, there was a sizable built-in shelf space. It was big and sturdy enough for me to crawl up into when I needed to curl up and hide from the world. I used to steal my mom's copy of Waylon's Honky Tonk Heroes on vinyl, put it on my Fisher-Price Record Player, turn off the lights and just sit with my teddy bears and listen for hours and hours on end. I had yet to visit places like Omaha, or Mexico. And I didn't have any concept of heartbreak or cheatin' or whiskey. But it made me feel better anyway. And it still does, to this day. Of course, now I've got a remastered CD version, but the idea's still the same. I pull that CD out a lot, actually.

So anyway, there's a scene in the movie that opens with the strains of "I'm a Long Way from Home"...and then you see Waylon Jennings sitting in the doorway of a crappy little Nashville apartment he shares with Cash, strumming and singing all mournful-like. Just like I'd always imagined him. Except it's NOT Waylon Jennings. But you'd swear it was. The resemblance is almost creepy. It made me tear up a little, both times now.

Anyway, that's all I have to say about that. It's a great movie, even if you don't have strong feelings about Joaquin Phoenix or Waylon Jennings. I mean, everybody loves Johnny Cash, right? I don't think I would trust anyone who didn't like Johnny Cash. I have yet to meet anyone like that, but I'm sure I wouldn't trust them if I did.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I'm not posting anything here today.

But I did rant a bit on MySpace. You can read it if you want. Or not. Whatever.

Monday, November 21, 2005

This is all I got.

It's been a bad day/weekend/week/month/year/partial decade, so this is all I got today folks:

Idiots are always good for a laugh.

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -- A French woman who is terrified of flying admitted in an Australian court Monday that she drunkenly tried to open an airplane door mid-flight to smoke a cigarette.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Random Ten: The "I got so into Harry Potter I actually forgot it was Friday" Edition

1. Use It--The New Pornographers
2. Spirit--Caesars
3. Turning Japanese--The Vapors
4. Don't Panic--Coldplay
5. Pretty Flamingo--Manfred Mann (HELL yeah)
6. Blood--Sons & Daughters
7. Lesson #1--Viva Voce
8. Sound of the Crowd--Gene Serene
9. Dock of the Bay--Otis Redding
10. Jessie's Girl*--Rick Springfield

*If you have never had the pleasure of riding in a car with me when Jessie's Girl comes on, you are seriously missing out. It's INTENSE. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

And ANOTHER thing about me....

this is an audio post - click to play

Because I'm too tired to type anything.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

31 random things

  1. I love randomness.
  2. I also love sock puppets.
  3. This may or may not stem from a Season 2 episode of "The A-Team" that involved sock puppets.
  4. This was originally going to be a list of 100 random things
  5. But I have to wake up early tomorrow.
  6. I stole the idea from jenny.
  7. I'm drinking Peach Fresca right now.
  8. I bet you don't know anyone who drinks Peach Fresca.
  9. But now you do.
  10. Bill Gates should be horse-whipped. Just because.
  11. I lose things a lot.
  12. This could be because material possessions aren't all that important to me.
  13. I find it hard to trust people.
  14. Except for when I trust people too easily.
  15. This usually ends up badly, then I find it hard to trust people again.
  16. I have one tattoo.
  17. But I don't even have my ears pierced.
  18. I'm happiest staying up really late, and waking up equally late.
  19. I never mastered the art of the "Cart-Wheel."
  20. Sometimes I don't know what I want until I can't have it anymore.
  21. I sometimes also don't make much sense.
  22. I'm a good tipper.
  23. My least favorite job ever was waiting on tables.
  24. Sometimes I crave artichoke hearts on my pizza.
  25. I don't have a favorite color.
  26. I DO have favorite color pink and black, or teal and orange.
  27. I have a trophy for being very, VERY good at "judging cows" in high school FFA. It's a Wisconsin thing, I think.
  28. I'm uncomfortable in large crowds.
  29. Too much socializing drains me.
  30. Even though I DO like people and socializing in general.
  31. I hated Tom Cruise even before it became the IN thing to do.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The snow is falling and friends are calling "yoo hoo!"

this is an audio post - click to play

It's winter. Oh yeah.

Talking Turkey (And milk, and cheese, and beef, and butter, etc.)

We ordered our family’s Thanksgiving turkey today. We had to order it ahead of time because we wanted an organic turkey. Call me crazy, but I’m distrustful when a commercially raised turkey is genetically manipulated to become basically nothing more than just a giant walking poultry boob. Actually, that’s not true. Most of those big boob turkeys are so top heavy that they couldn’t walk, even if they tried. They can’t stand on their own legs, and instead spend their short existence squatting. So, ew.

I want a normal looking, normally proportioned turkey. That’s why we’re going organic, farm-raised, this year.

I’m already a big fan of organic foods, especially dairy products. When the bovine growth hormone (rBGH) was introduced in the 90s, the FDA swore up and down that it would not be harmful to humans. Which might be true, I don’t know. But I swear that milk started tasting funny. I’m a Wisconsinite, where all that dairy business hits pretty close to home, so maybe I overreacted. But I didn’t drink milk at all for a long time. I stayed off the white stuff, basically until organic milk became more readily available. It’s more expensive, yeah. But it tastes better. It really does. Plus, organic farming has basically saved the family farm dairy industry here. In a world where hormones and antibiotics and mass-producing factory farms reign supreme, many small farms were able to stay afloat by going through the lengthy and difficult process of being certified “organic.”

But, that may all come to a screeching halt, thanks to our friends in Congress. On October 26, they sneaked (snuck? dammit…that one always throws me) through a measure meant to drastically weaken the laws governing what can technically be labeled “organic.”

Previously, the courts had ruled that any food considered USDA Organic had to be made from 95% organic materials, and it had to be 100% natural. But, giving into pressure from food lobbies and major producers like Kraft and Smuckers (I could go on and on about the evilness of Kraft foods….but that’s for another time), Congress decided that organic foods should be allowed to contain synthetic materials too. And organic cows should be given antibiotics and genetically engineered feed. Lovely.

Consumer groups say the integrity of organic food is at stake and have generated more than 200,000 letters to Congress against the companies’ efforts. It’s a “sneak attack” on standards for organic food, said Ronnie Cummins, president of the Organic Consumers Association.

“People don’t expect food labeled ‘organic’ to contain artificial ingredients, said Urvashi Rangan, a scientist for Consumers Union. The industry wants to be able to use the organic seal without shouldering the burden of people’s expectations,” she said.

[Arthur] Harvey said money is at stake.

“As soon as you require a product to be manufactured from all-natural ingredients, it costs more. I don’t deny that,” he said. “They’re in business to make money. If it’s cheaper for them to get the rules changed than it is to use all-natural ingredients, well, that’s the way they’ll go.”

You gotta love it when we level the playing field for the Goliaths of the world, huh?

So, anyway. I’ll be enjoying my organic turkey this year, while I still can.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Random Ten: The Ideas Network Edition

Pretend it's talk radio, today. I'm not in a musical mood. So here are 10 random thoughts instead.

1. FOX cancelled Arrested Development. So now I think they are 100% evil, as opposed to the 99.9% evil I thought they were before. If it wasn't for My Name is Earl and The Office on NBC, I'd probably sell my television.

2. It was 62 degrees out today. This is not only's really unthinkable. I know that it's probably global warming, and the polar bears are going to drown, and we're all going to die.....but it feels really, really good. I've had the second verse of Postal Service's Sleeping In running through my head all day:
And then last night I had that strange dream
Where everything was exactly how it seemed
Where concerns about the world getting warmer
The people thought they were just being rewarded
For treating others as they like to be treated
For obeying stop signs and curing diseases
For mailing letters with the address of the sender
Now we can swim any day in November
3. Earlier today, I read a news story about Karl Rove saying something or other about Conservatives winning judicial debates. I don't remember exactly what it was, and I can't be bothered to find it again....besides, that's not the point. My point is: why is Karl Rove saying ANYTHING? Just because he hasn't been indicted, that doesn't mean he's in the clear. Someone needs to muzzle him. Metaphorically speaking. Or literally speaking. Whichever.

4. Sometimes, when I'm being a good defensive driver, keeping an eye on potential hazards in the roadway ahead, and I see what might be a large, squat, animal on the shoulder, I get excited because I think that it's an alligator. Then I instantly remember that I live in Wisconsin again, and we don't have alligators on the roads here....and I feel just a little bit sad. Not sad because I don't live in Louisiana anymore, but sad because alligators can't tolerate cold climates.

5. Both Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire AND Walk the Line (starring Joaquin Phoenix) hit theaters the same day (next Friday). This knowledge gives me strange tingly sensations all over.

6. I have a friend who has never seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off. How is that possible?

7. I took 4 cynical teenage boys to see the movie Dreamer last night. I warned them on the way there that we were only going to it because it was the only non-R-rated movie they hadn't seen yet, and we wanted to get out of the house for a couple hours. I told them I could not guarantee the quality of the movie, considering that it features Dakota Fanning and is about a horse. But at the end, we all had to agree that it wasn't nearly as sucky as we thought it was going to be.

8. If I pissed off an evil sorceror and he was going to turn me into a kitchen appliance for the rest of my life, I would hope to be a toaster. Or maybe a blender.

9. Apple Cinnamon Pop-Tarts are wildly overrated. If, in fact, they are rated at all.

10. I took this silly internet quiz thing that was supposed to tell me about myself based on my answers to questions about animals. When I said that if I could tame an animal for a pet, I'd choose a polar bear, the quiz told me that I'm afraid of marriage. Which is true. I just don't know what the polar bear has to do with it. (Maybe because he's cold? I don't know.) I think my polar bear choice had more to do with my susceptibility to advertising and those gosh darn adorable Coca-Cola bears than anything else though, really.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wish me luck

I take my GRE exam today...and I need to do really well in order to get into a kick-ass Ph.D. program.

So, I need lots of good luck.

Anyone psychically sending me happy thoughts and good-luck vibes will be handsomely rewarded: I'll let you come to a Notre Dame football game with me if I end up there! :)

(Because, let's face it...even though Notre Dame has a great Political Science program, the only reason I'm actually applying there is for the football games. And to surreptitiously start the "Rudy chant" in crowded places on a regular basis. I'm easily amused.)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My pointless thought for the day...

I think that the Home Depot Toilet Seat Guy and the Wendy's Chili Finger Lady should get married and have a ton of really messed up babies....thereby ensuring long-term job security for those of us who work with emotionally disturbed/psychiatric disorder-ed youth.

Monday, November 07, 2005


I'm slacking, I know.

I actually have a lot to say.

But not a lot of time or energy to say it.

Bear with me. I'll blog something or other soon enough.

Until then, please accept this dashing photograph of Joaquin Phoenix as my token of gratitude for stopping by:

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Friday. Again. You know the drill.

Friday Random Ten

1. Positive Tension--Bloc Party
2. Malediction (live)--Stephen Malkmus
3. Whatsername--Green Day
4. Blinded by the Lights--The Streets
5. Lightness--Death Cab for Cutie
6. Saved by the Bouyancy of Citrus--Mitch Hedberg
7. Tigers Above, Tigers Below--Ellis
8. Broken Face--Pixies
9. Pickin' It Up--Hot Hot Heat
10. Cute for a Girl--Alix Olson

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fun with Screen Captures!

So, I totally meant to post this earlier today (er...yesterday?), but didn't.

Sometimes I notice things about what I'm looking at on my computer screen that are so funny and/or poignant that I have to screencap them for posterity. Yesterday was like a jackpot:

Bush's strategy for fighting the Bird Flu is top secret...but sources report that it may involve brightly colored baby chicks. Perhaps as a diversionary tactic. Who knows. Stranger things have happened.

I got this next one from the 43 Things website. Someone had "Join Teach for America" as a goal. So I put my $.02 in:

Click to enlarge, for the full effect.

This screencap pretty much sums up my life from 2003 to 2004: "Join Teach For America. You've Done This. Not Worth It."


And finally, this lovely ad showed up on my Myspace page:

That's right folks. Condi 2008. Vote NOW! Vote early, vote often! You think elections are stolen overnight? Get crackin' people!