Tuesday, August 30, 2005

So many rants, so little time

I've got too much shit to do tonight to spend a lot of time on this post (motions to draft and a hearing to prepare for--joy!), but I'm bubbling over with frothy anger at the world today.

First, I'm getting sick of the blatantly incorrect analysis of the Georgetown Law Journal study that purports to make some sort of statement about the political leanings of law professors from the following statistics:
The study, to be published this fall in The Georgetown Law Journal, analyzes 11 years of records reflecting federal campaign contributions by professors at the top 21 law schools as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Almost a third of these law professors contribute to campaigns, but of them, the study finds, 81 percent who contributed $200 or more gave wholly or mostly to Democrats; 15 percent gave wholly or mostly to Republicans.

To be sure we're all clear on this, let's recap. In a study of only 11 percent of law schools (21 out of 190 accredited law schools), we've determined that less than a third of law professors contribute to political campaigns. Of those who contribute, some smaller percentage contribute $200 or more. Of that smaller percentage (and I'm assuming the study will reveal what that percentage is), 81% gave "wholly or mostly" to Democrats. The "wholly or mostly" indicates that less than 81% of that smaller percentage give money only to Democrats.

Wow. What an indictment, right? Apparently so, according to Ann Althouse, who wrote that the study shows that "[n]early all" law professors are Democrats.

I fucking hate when people misread statistics. Oscar Madison also blogged about these stats and what they show--and don't show.

The next thing that set me off was this story in the Washington Post about a junior high school home economics teacher in Tokyo. Instead of standing and singing when the national anthem played at a school event, she sat and remained quiet. The teacher, a pacifist, "said she opposes the song because it was the same one sung as the Imperial Army set forth from Japan calling for an 'eternal reign' of the emperor."
But the Tokyo school board issued an order in October 2003 that the anthem must be respected. Since then, Nezu, 54, has been punished by frequent transfers from one school to another and with temporary salary cuts. And in May, shortly after the incident at Tachikawa, she was suspended for a month. Officials warned that another offense could lead to her dismissal after 34 years of teaching.

The school board reaction was part of an effort by Tokyo and other school districts to enforce a new sense of pride in being Japanese. The measures were strongly backed by Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo and an outspoken nationalist, as a way to strengthen classroom patriotism.

Forcing people to recite a pledge to their country is not the most effective way to foster a love of that country. My dictionary defines "patriotism" as "love for or devotion to one's country," not "meaningless expressions of loyalty in order to avoid retaliation."

Incidentally, it defines "fascism" as "a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition."

I think this story bothered me so much because I fear that my own country is trending toward that kind of knee-jerk retaliation against any voices of opposition. Anyway, I've got to stop thinking about this and start drafting law-type things. Ugh.

Thank you!

A quick post to thank Saucebox, who sent me my 15,000th visitor.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sounds of silence

Tiny Kingdom has tagged me to blog about the five songs I'm listening to most right now. I'm always flattered to be tagged. Thanks... unbeknownst to TK, however, this task has me sad because I just don't listen to music anymore. In the morning, I listen to the local morning guy. At work, I don't listen to music. In the car on the way home, I flip around the radio dial. I've had the same 6 CDs in the car stereo for over a year now, and since they've been in there for so long, I'm tired of them and hardly ever listen to them. When I get home, I work and watch TV. Again, no music.

So instead, I'll list the last five songs I played on iTunes:

1-4: Songs from The Aristocats
5. "Going Through the Motions," Aimee Mann

OK, now I'm thoroughly depressed. Too depressed to tag anyone, but please go ahead and list your songs if you'd like. I'm off to brush my teeth and go to my music-less dreams. Feh.

I really should be working right now...

But I couldn't resist. Saw this over at Everybody Knows (who saw it at Rox Populi) and had to try it out. Go to MusicOutfitters, and in the Search box enter the year of your high school graduation. You can then click on a link to the top songs from that year. Then bold the songs you like, underline your favorite, strike out the ones you hate, and leave untouched the ones you don't remember or don't care about.

Here goes (you'll probably notice that I didn't--and still don't--listen to much R&B; I don't know half of these songs. Also, most of these weren't actually released until after graduation, so I associate them with college*):

1. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
2. Whoomp! (There It Is), Tag Team
3. Can't Help Falling In Love, UB40
4. That's The Way Love Goes, Janet Jackson
5. Freak, Silk
6. Weak, SWV
7. If I Ever Fall In Love, Shai
8. Dreamlover, Mariah Carey
9. Rump Shaker, Wreckx-N-Effect
10. Informer, Snow [this song cracks me up--I still get search hits on Google for people looking for the phrase "licky boom boom down"]
11. Nuthin' But A "G" Thang, Dr. Dre
12. In The Still Of The Nite, Boyz II Men
13. Don't Walk Away, Jade
14. Knockin' Da Boots, H-Town
15. Lately, Jodeci
16. Dazzey Dukes, Duice
17. Show Me Love, Robin S.
18. A Whole New World, Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle [See this, Liz? This was one of our two high school graduation songs! Blech! Don't tell Muffin Man--he'll be jealous]
19. If, Janet Jackson
20. I'm So Into You, SWV
21. Love Is, Vanessa Willlams and Brian Mcknight
22. Runaway Train, Soul Asylum
23. I'll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me), Expose
24. Ditty, Paperboy
25. Rhythm Is A Dancer, Snap
26. The River Of Dreams, Billy Joel
27. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), Proclaimers
28. Two Princes, Spin Doctors
29. Right Here (Human Nature)-Downtown, SWV
30. I Have Nothing, Whitney Houston
31. Mr. Wendal, Arrested Development
32. Have I Told You Lately, Rod Stewart
33. Saving Forever For You, Shanice
34. Ordinary World, Duran Duran
35. If I Had No Loot, Tony! Toni! Tone!
36. I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), Meat Loaf
37. Slam, Onyx
38. Looking Through Patient Eyes, P.M. Dawn
39. I'm Every Woman, Whitney Houston
40. Baby I'm Yours, Shai
41. Come Undone, Duran Duran
42. I Don't Wanna Fight, Tina Turner
43. I'd Die Without You, P.M. Dawn
44. Whoot, There It Is, 95 South
45. Hip Hop Hooray, Naughty By Nature
46. Another Sad Love Song, Toni Braxton
47. Will You Be There, Michael Jackson
48. Comforter, Shil
49. Good Enough, Bobby Brown
50. What's Up, 4 Non Blondes
51. All That She Wants, Ace Of Base
52. 7, Prince and The New Power Generation
53. Dre Day, Dr. Dre
54. One Last Cry, Brian McKnight
55. Just Kickin' It, Xscape
56. I Get Around, 2Pac
57. Bed Of Roses, Bon Jovi
58. Real Love, Mary J. Blige
59. Here We Go Again!, Portrait
60. Cryin', Aerosmith [Ah, the crapfest that was Cryin'/Amazing/Crazy]
61. Cats In The Cradle, Ugly Kid Joe
62. What About Your Friends, TLC
63. I Got A Man, Positive K
64. Hey Mr. D.J., Zhane
65. Insane In The Brain, Cypress Hill
66. Deeper And Deeper, Madonna
67. Rain, Madonna

68. The Right Kind Of Love, Jeremy Jordan
69. Bad Boys, Inner Circle
70. That's What Love Can Do, Boy Krazy
71. Do You Believe In Us, Jon Secada
72. Angel, Jon Secada
73. Forever In Love, Kenny G
74. Again, Janet Jackson [OH MY GOD, we listened to this at full volume in my freshman dorm]
75. Boom! Shake The Room, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince
76. When She Cries, Restless Heart
77. Sweat (A La La La La Long), Inner Circle
78. It Was A Good Day, Ice Cube
79. More And More, Captain Hollywood Project
80. How Do You Talk To An Angel, Heights
81. Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat), Digable Planets
82. What Is Love, Haddaway
83. To Love Somebody, Michael Bolton
84. Give It Up, Turn It Loose, En Vogue
85. Alright, Kris Kross
86. Check Yo Self, Ice Cube
87. Fields Of Gold, Sting
88. Ooh Child, Dino 89. Faithful w/ Go West
90. Reason To Believe, Rod Stewart
91. Break It Down Again, Tears For Fears [bought this tape, listened to this one song over and over. The lyrics reminded me of Graham Greene's The Destructors, which I was reading at the time in 12th Grade English. Now it makes me think of the movie Donnie Darko for similar reasons.]
92. Nothin' My Love Can't Fix, Joey Lawrence
93. Three Little Pigs, Green Jelly
94. Livin' On The Edge, Aerosmith
95. Hey Jealousy, Gin Blossoms
96. If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, Sting

97. Anniversary, Tony! Toni! Tone!
98. One Woman, Jade
99. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Taylor Dayne
100. Two Steps Behind, Def Leppard

*UPDATE: I went and looked up the songs from the year before I graduated from high school. I would've bolded at least 38 of those songs, as opposed to the 22 I have here. And my favorite from that year: "Smells Like Teen Spirit," hands down.]

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The two faces of Angry Boy

Today was a hard day. Today was a day that I reminded myself how lucky I am to have a kid like Angry Boy (despite the fact that he was the sole cause of all of today's stress and strain), because some kids can be difficult for hours and hours at a time. AB, on the other hand, decided to become an inconsolable wretch for just about 30 minutes. At an airport (happily, not on the flight). First, he wouldn't let me carry him. Then, when I put him down on the ground, he would crouch down on all fours, blocking the way of all of the other travelers. So I picked him up, and he'd holler some more. My breaking point was when I was holding him near the baggage claim. He looked me right in the eye, smiled, and took both hands--palms open--and smacked me on my cheeks. I dropped him. Not flat on his ass, but still. I put him down on his own two feet faster than you could blink. I told him that we don't tolerate hitting (his dad added his own scolding immediately). When I bent down to pick him up again, he reached up with a hand and tried to hit me again. I looked at NSAH and said, "That's it. I'm taking him to the car."

I scooped up the boy and walked purposefully out of the terminal. He howled on our way out of the terminal, outside past the staring airport employees and travelers, through crosswalks and pedestrian tunnels, all the way to the car. He howled when I put him in the car and strapped him into his seat. Mercifully, he stopped howling for the 30 seconds when I had to put the window down and pay our parking fare at the toll gate. Then he howled as we drove around the airport a couple of times, until NSAH appeared outside with our remaining bags.

And then he slept the whole ride home. And he slept some more after we got home.

Thankfully, he was himself once we coaxed him to wake up for playtime and dinner. He was sweet, curious, and playful. That is the boy I'm used to.

Despite today's misery (and I was miserable for a while--I was laughing while hauling him to the car, because it was all I could do to keep from crying), I did have a good weekend traveling with him. On our flight out, he slept on me for about an hour--I thought it would become uncomfortable, but it was pure heaven. He was sweet to everyone we saw, and was excited by nearly everything we dragged him to.

UPDATE: Apparently, there was a July post called "The two faces of Angry Boy." I see this has now become a monthly feature. Goody.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Spooky

In the car tonight, the radio station I was listening to started playing the cover of "I'm a Believer" by Smashmouth. I think it was on the Shrek soundtrack. I listen for the first few lines, then remember I don't really like this version. So I flip to another station. Went a little something like this:

SMASHMOUTH: Love was out to get me/That's the way it seemed/Disappointment haunted all my dreams...

MONKEES: Then I saw her face/Now I'm a believer

Yep, indeedy. I not only turned to another station that was playing the original version of the song, but they were synchronized! I spent the next minute flipping back and forth between the two versions.

It's the little things that make me smile.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

TMDI

The Washington Post, in a kind and yet futile effort to prevent my head from exploding, ran these articles on high-priced premium jeans while I was away on vacation. How high-priced, you ask? The cheapest are in the $100-200 range. It would seem that the others are in the $500-600 range.

This woman strikes me as the kind that GeekyMom wrote about:
"I live for jeans," says Becca Walker, 33, who has between 20 and 30 pairs and recently bought some made by a company called People for Peace. They cost $285 and have the word LOVE embroidered on the butt, along with a butterfly. These made Becca an object of envy. Women at her son's nursery school were "stalking" her.

When I see a word (be it LOVE or JUICY or PRIDE or SUTTON HIGH VOLLEYBALL) written on the ass of another woman, I am not envious. I am saddened and embarrassed for my sex. And if she's the mother of a classmate of my son's, I feel pity for the poor child, wondering if the first word he learns to read will be something scrawled across mommy's butt.
Walker thinks the jeans were totally worth the money. "I felt a little nauseous afterwards and then I was okay," she says.

Thank God she recovered. Whew.

Some of our other consumers:
Soon Ilana will be getting shipments of baby jeans, costing between $80 and $180, and some extra-fancy adult jeans for $695.


The day I'm shelling out $80 and $180 for jeans for my son is the day my husband and I have saved up for his entire college education--including graduate school. And med school. And divinity school.

Martha Ein often shops with her teenage daughters, who are permitted to spend no more than $200 per pair, though "sometimes they twist my arm."

No more than $200 per pair. When I was a kid, my mom probably didn't spend $200 for an entire back-to-school buying session. I despise this woman, and I despise her kids:
"I don't have that many," says her 16-year-old, Lili, considering her denim collection. "Probably like 15."

Grrr. I swear I'm not a modern day Robin Hood, or a Communist, but these people fall into the category of what my coworkers and I call "too much disposable income," or TMDI for short. When I go to the FancyMall, with the stores that I dare not even enter, I see TMDIs. When I go to Caps games, I see TMDIs, all glammed up, heading to their seats right up by the glass. I want to scream at them, "It's a hockey game, fer crissakes! Wear a jersey!" And sometimes, I do.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Corndogapalooza

A meeting kept me at work late, so I had to hurry home. There are only 4 traffic lights on my way home, and I wound up speeding through two yellow lights (shame on me). Was greeted at home by the sound of "MOMMY! MOMMY!" coming from the dining room. Quickly ran in and kissed my boy, who was all grabby, sticky hands and who kept chanting "MOMMY! MOMMY!" even when I was all up in his face kissing him. He then switched from MOMMY to "RISTOCATS! RISTOCATS!" So I picked him up and we went into the bedroom to watch that movie. Again. I threw on some jeans, rubbed a wipe all over his dirty self (he can wait till tomorrow for a bath), and kissed him and the spouse goodbye. Hopped in the car and wound up at a cool venue, where Liz was already waiting. Got some good food and waited.

Didn't have to wait too long to see Corndog. We saw a few performers who looked like they were still in college, and an older hippie duo who were cute as can be. Liz and I scanned the crowd and tried to guess which one was Corndog. It was narrowed down between the guy in the Hawaiian shirt and the guy who looked like he had Weingarten Hair. Turns out, it was the Weingarten Hair guy (although, closer up, the Cordog Hair is in fact nowhere near as wild as 'fro-ish Weingarten Hair and instead is merely shaggy, as is the hip style these days). He did two original songs, and played to much applause.

Afterward, Liz and I cornered him for some conversation over coffee. Muffin Man, Angry Boy, Captain Entropy and the Dread Pirate Toddler figured prominently, bien sur. I had so much fun that I don't even mind the fact that I'm going to be up until 11:30 working (the aforementioned coffee will help in that regard, too).

New thing now

OK, in order to deal with the increasing number of Anonymous comments from spammers that we all seem to be bothered with right now, I've turned on the word verfication feature in the comments. I apologize if that makes commenting more of a hassle. My only other option as I see it is to disable anonymous comments. Since a few of my regular commenters are still anonymous, I am loath to do that.

That being said, if this current step does not stem the tide of spam, I'll be forced to limit comments to the non-anonymous. Sorry, folks, but my hands are tied.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Damn, I wanted to be Remus Lupin, too!

(but we all know I'm not...)

As seen at Phantom's:

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

Well, based on what I'm guessing will happen in the very last book, some of which has already been hypothesized on Phantom's HP discussion thread, I can't complain about being pegged as Snape. Besides, every MBTI I've ever taken has me as an INTJ. At least I'm predictable.

Meltdowns and hamstrings

Had a great time at the zoo with Muffin Man and Liz. Angry Boy was especially excited, and began saying, "Where's [Muffin Man]?" about 10 minutes before we even got together with the Mystery family.

AB was pretty good at the zoo, although he coveted Muffin Man's food. Oh, he had the exact same amount of food as MM, only AB scarfed his all down in about one-fourth the time (he's the master of swallowing without chewing). Muffin Man was so good about sharing. And he introduced AB to the ever-popular, stick-in-your-head songs of Fucking Aladdin (TM MysteryMommy), as well as Beethoven's Wig.

AB did have a meltdown around lunch--he did NOT want to nap, even though he was clearly drained after a morning of hustling around the bigass zoo. He wasn't the only one. Here's how out of shape I am: I pulled a hamstring, probably from trying to take huge strides while pushing a stroller with a 30-pound toddler up a 70-degree incline! I'm such a wuss. I didn't realize I'd pulled it until I got out of bed this morning, all old and creaky (me, not the bed--the bed is quite nice, actually). It doesn't actually hurt; it's more of an annoyance every time I take a step. Grrr.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday Frivolity

the Cutting Edge

(65% dark, 47% spontaneous, 38% vulgar)

your humor style:
CLEAN | SPONTANEOUS | DARK


Your humor's mostly innocent and off-the-cuff, but somehow there's something slightly menacing about you. Part of your humor is making people a little uncomfortable, even if the things you say aren't themselves confrontational. You probably have a very dry delivery, or are seriously over-the-top.

Your type is the most likely to appreciate a good insult and/or broken bone and/or very very fat person dancing.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: David Letterman - John Belushi



Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Beachy keen

I'm back at home, lying on my bed next to little dog. We've paused the recording of the Pamela Anderson Roast so that NSAH can drive some shore fudge over to my uncle's house, and pick up some groceries for the rest of the week. It's good to be back.

Highlights from the trip included:
  • The beach: Angry Boy loved it. He would run from our towels to the water and back again, dragging me or my mom or NSAH with him. He loved the "beeeg waves" and the "seee goals." He enjoyed getting sandy and washing his toys off in plastic pails of salt water.

  • Not watching The Aristocats: As many of you know, AB is obsessed with that movie. We brought the DVD along with us but decided that it would be pulled out only for emergencies. None arose. Granted, he spent days describing to his grandma not the plot of the movie, but the plot of the trailer shown before the movie on the DVD, Dinosaur. His condensed version: A "beeeg dino-saw-wah" (also sometimes referred to as the "mean dino-saw-wah") comes out of the trees, and then a frog tries to eat the dinosaur egg, and a "beeeg bird picks up da egg in da mouf," and then a "monkey open da egg," and then... "Ristocats!" We're thinking that he thinks it's all the same movie, that he doesn't have a concept of "coming attractions" yet.

  • Watching Fantasia: This basically replaces the heroin with methadone. After we watched my favorite part, I had to spend the rest of the week saying "no" when he repeatedly asked to "watch hee-pos, watch hee-pos, watch al-ga-tors!"

  • Going to the local zoo: Yes, I know we're going to the zoo on Saturday with Liz and Muffin Man, but there's no such thing as too much zoo. Yet. Angry Boy hadn't been feeling well that day, but then he perked up at the turtles and the giraffes.

  • Seeing a live reptile show by the good folks at the Philadelphia Zoo: Angry Boy was one of the youngest kids in the audience, but he was no less enthusiastic than the older kids. He was so happy to see the turtles, the alligator, the "gwana" (iguana), the "yizzard" (lizard) and the snakes! He was so excited about the snakes. As the handlers returned each snake to its cooler crate, Angry Boy clapped. Also, he is quite the mimic. The handlers would ask questions of the kids in the audience, and their little hands would shoot up. So did AB's. I thought it was hilarious, although I did panic slightly when they asked for volunteers and his little hand waved in the air. No, AB, no volunteering at the reptile show until you're five.


Lowlights from the trip:
  • No napping: Angry Boy decided he didn't need to nap on the way back home. So he was a wreck by the time we got home. Happily, we finally figured out a way to calm his frayed nerves: a healthy dose of The Aristocats.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Road Trip 10

  1. "Summer of Love" by the B-52's, Time Capsule

  2. "Magical Mystery Tour" by the Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour

  3. "Tennessee" by Shawn Colvin, Fat City

  4. "Fast as You Can" by Fiona Apple, When the Pawn Blah Blah Fucking Blah

  5. "Middle of the Road" by the Pretenders, The Singles

  6. "This Is My Country," 4th of July Celebration

  7. "London Calling" by the Clash, The Essential Clash

  8. "Going Down to Liverpool" by the Bangles, Greatest Hits

  9. "Never Been to Spain" by Three Dog Night, The Best of Three Dog Night

  10. "America" by Simon & Garfunkel, Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits


Posting will be sporadic for the next several days. Talk amongst yourselves. Here are two topics:

Bruce Springsteen is overrated/is as relevant today as he used to be.

OR

Why I plan to/do not plan to see the movie "The Aristocrats."

Discuss.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hey, people of the cloth!

I wasn't sure if any of you might have some advice for G Zombie, who writes:
I need a good reading edition of the King James Bible. What I don't like about most editions of the Bible is what I don't like about the Norton Anthology of English Literature: tiny type, tiny margins, and paper that's so thin it's verging on onion skin.


I asked NSAH, who is the most religious person that I have regular contact with, but he didn't know. So I figured I'd put the query out to my readers, since some of you probably have various editions of the King James in your house.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Losing money on Dickens

When I was 15, I was on a Louisa May Alcott kick. Read everything of hers I could get my hands on: Little Women (was re-reading it at that point), Little Men, Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, and Jo's Boys.

My mom was happy I was reading Alcott, since she herself had been quite a fan, too. She told me, though, that she would be more impressed if I started making my way through Dickens, her absolute favorite writer. I, on the other hand, hated Dickens. The plots of the books I'd read at that point, Great Expectations and Oliver Twist, were plodding and predictable. Once you know that Dickens was the "Melrose Place" of his day, you can pretty much figure out the "twists and turns." Anyway, my mom knew that I hated Dickens when she suggested that it would really be something if I read his complete works.

Being the conceited and idiotic teenager that I was, I made a bet with my mom. I bet her $100 that I would read the complete works of Dickens (which she owned and would happily lend me) by the time I was 30.

For a while there, I made good progress. Through the remainder of high school I polished off a few books. But in college, I managed to get through just one or two. And then I just scrapped it.

My mom never reminded me of the bet. I just thought about it the other day, even though my deadline has passed. I figure it's kind of silly to pay my mom $100 now. I think I'll just take her out for a nice dinner somewhere, have some expensive wine.

We can discuss all the books neither one of us has time to read.

For the record, these are the (excrutiating) books by Dickens I managed to cross off the list:
  • A Christmas Carol

  • A Tale of Two Cities

  • Bleak House (ugh, did that take forfuckingever)

  • David Copperfield

  • Great Expectations

  • Hard Times

  • Nicholas Nickleby

  • Oliver Twist

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Phantom 51

As seen at Phantom Scribbler's place:

1. What is your first name? First name, Angry. Middle name, Pregnant. Last name, Lawyer.

2. Were you named after anyone? Nope. My mom just always liked my name.

3. Do you wish on stars? Used to, right up through college. One time I wished on a shooting star, and it was a really crazy, unrealistic but very specific wish.... And it came true! AAAAHHH!!! TWILIGHT ZONE!!!

4. When did you last cry? A few weeks ago when we said goodbye to Big Dog.

5. Do you like your handwriting? You know, I never had girly handwriting, even though I wished I did. But then, when I got to law school, lots of people told me that my non-girly writing might help me during exams, because professors might subconsciously give more weight to the analyses of men (or people with non-girly handwriting). That just made me sad.

6. What is your favorite lunch meat? Either corned beef or pastrami. I can't remember which I like best, 'cause there's no good deli around here.

7. What is your most embarrassing CD? I think I sold them at the used CD store. Let me ask NSAH, who's a better arbiter of what's embarrassing... Oh, he remembered a GOOD ONE. It's a CD single of Hal's "Extremis," which I bought solely because Gillian Anderson speaks the lyrics.

8. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? Probably not. I'm very shy, so if there were TWO shy mes, we'd probably think the other was just kind of aloof and not concern ourselves about it too much.

9. Do you have a journal? What the fuck do you call this?

10. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Yes, but mainly around the people I love the most.

11. What are your nicknames? APL.

12. Would you bungee jump? Hell yes. Would also jump out of a plane.

13. Do you untie your shoes before you take them off? No. I'm just that lazy.

14. Do you think that you are strong? Physically? Not as strong as I used to be, sadly. Emotionally? Yes.

15. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Despite the fact that NSAH and I just polished off half a pint of Whole Fruit Strawberry Sorbet, my favorite flavor is Giant Cookies 'n' Cream.

16. Shoe size? 6.5 or 7, depending on the shoe. As I told Phantom, I like going to the little boys' section and buying Vans for cheap.

17. Red or pink? Red. Blue or pink? Blue. Puke green or pink? Puke green. So yeah, basically anything beats pink.

18. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? I sometimes say things that are meaner than intended to my husband. And sometimes my brain conspires with itself against me.

19. What do you miss most? The body I had when I was in law school and worked out 5-6 days a week.

20. Do you want everyone you send this to, to send it back? I'm not sending this to anybody.

21. What color pants/shoes are you wearing? Black track pants, no socks or shoes (got my feet up).

22. What are you listening to right now? "Reno 911" on the TV. God, I love Junior this season.

23. Last thing you ate? See answer to #15.

24. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? I don't know, but did you know that when dogs eat crayons, their poop comes out different colors?

25. What is the weather like right now? Rainy or muggy.

26. Last person you talked to on the phone? No one since I've been home. NSAH and Angry Boy talked to my dad when he called.

27. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Height (I'm short--I notice how high I need to crane my neck).

28. Do you like the person who sent this to you? No one sent it to me, but I very much like Phantom, whose site I gacked it from.

29. Favorite drink? Diet Coke with Lime/Vanilla/Cherry.

30. Favorite sport? To watch? Depends what season it is. Right now, I'm excited about the coming football season. In the winter, I'll be excited about college hoops. To play? Either soccer or rugby, though it's been a while since I played either.

31. Hair color? Very dark, with the occasional gray.

32. Eye color? Dark brown.

33. Do you wear contacts? Nope. I have good eye genes from both mom and dad. Let's all hope AB inherits my eyes instead of my husband's.

34. Favorite food? The barbecue plate from Cook Out (drive-thru BBQ joint), though I haven't had it in ages.

35. Last movie you watched? Hedwig and the Angry Inch. LOVED it, and highly recommend it.

36. Favorite day of the year? I think Thanksgiving. All the family togetherness of Christmas, without the hassle of gifts. Plus, pumpkin pie.

37. Scary movies or happy endings? I like indie films. So sometimes happy endings, but mostly good-but-weird endings.

38. Winter or summer? Summer, baby! Hot hot hot! I love it!

39. Hugs or kisses? Big, strong hugs.

40. What is your favorite dessert? There's not much I don't like. That being said, my dad makes the best cream puffs I've ever had.

41. Who is most likely to do this meme? People with time on their hands.

42. Who is the least likely to do this meme and comment? No idea.

43. What books are you reading? The books on my nightstand are the ones I got for my birthday: Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, and Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. It'll take me years to read just three books.

44. What's on your mouse pad? I have no mousepad for my laptop.

45. What did you watch on TV last night? "Family Guy" and "Futurama."

46. Favorite smells? Any baked goods.

47. Favorite sound? Don't have one.

48. Rolling Stones or Beatles? When I was younger, I would've said the Stones. Now, the Beatles.

49. What's the furthest you've been from your home? Norway.

50. Do you have a special talent? My special talent? Is that like Navin R. Johnson's "special purpose"?

51. What is your ring tone? The Nokia factory tone. But I'm planning to download Men At Work's "Overkill."

Monday, August 08, 2005

No clever title, just irritated

This weekend, the Washington Post magazine wrote about the best high school in the country, and how it's trying to increase its minority admissions. On Monday, there was the requisite chat with the author on the Post's website.

I knew there'd be some animosity about this "affirmative action" plan. What I didn't expect was the sheer virulence toward the idea, and the sheer disregard for common sense in general:

"Hispanics" are artificially created by liberals to try to win elections. White Hispanics are no different than whites from anywhere else and yet, they are somehow accorded special privileges because they claim to be somehow disadvantaged. Too bad for the Brazilians and non-Spanish Europeans who do not speak English either. It's bad enough that liberals are encouraging illegal entry by illiterate unskilled people without the entire system being skewed to support them and give them special privileges. Why do you want to dumb down the nation?


I am clueless as to where this moron got the notion that "Hispanics" are a creation of liberals. I think I know a few Hispanics who would be surprised to hear that they would simply cease to exist without the likes of me and my liberal friends. And I won't disagree that this country is getting dumber, but it has nothing to do with the admission policies at a single high school in the DC area and everything to do with the fact that this country as a whole likes to make fun of and disregard and act hostile toward intelligence. You can see it in the current "debate" over evolution, in the attacks on "liberal academia," in the criticisms of presidential candidates as "eggheads" or "brainiacs" when they demonstrate more than a passing familiarity with world history or SAT vocabulary words.

Here's another:

I agree with the question regarding Hispanics - the concept of "diversity" is fundamentally flawed in that it reinforces stereotypes that there is a direct connection between race and values, political views, and life experiences. By using "diversity" as the basis for a more "balanced student experience," aren't we really saying that black students can provide the ghetto perspective, asian students the boat people's perspective, hispanics the bario perspective, and white students the middle class country club perspective?; Why not judge a student not by the color of their skin but the content of thier [sic] character. Perhaps remove "race" from the admission form altogether?


Happily, the author responded by stating that this poster's "notion that race and ethnicty [sic] are null factors in the lives of Americans seems way out of touch with reality."

The best exchange, however, was the following one:

Washington, D.C.: Regarding the achievement gap, which you call a "vexing problem" the source of which is elusive, do you ever consider that average IQs in different ethnic groups might differ?; This possible explanation is never touched upon in places like the Washington Post. Yet, if it is true (and I don't know whether it is or not), it has a crucial implication. Namely, that there will never be exactly proportional representation of each ethnicity at a high-achieving school like TJ, absent lower standards based on race. Shouldn't you at least consider (and write about) this possibility?;

Tyler Currie: Nope.


Thankfully, there were some graduates of that high school on the chat, and they made the excellent point that one thing we should really be trying to figure out is why there are so few minority middle-schoolers who are prepared for the school's entrance exam, and what the elementary schools and middle schools could be doing to ameliorate that problem.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

One post before I get to work

Overheard when I turned off the shower yesterday morning:

NSAH: "Let's watch football, AB. Look, football on TV."

AB: "'Ristocats."

NSAH: "Football."

AB: "'Ristocats!"

NSAH: "Football!"

AB: "No football! 'Ristocats!"

NSAH wound up winning the argument through the key strategy of distraction: we gave AB his Aristocats book.

And a big "YAY!" for the start of football (pre-) season!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Born to be wild... except, not

As seen at Everybody Knows:



That description is pretty accurate, actually.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Friday Random

No theme, truly random:
  1. "Red Dress," Jonatha Brooke, Steady Pull

  2. "More Than This," The Cure, The X-Files: The Album

  3. "The Chemicals Between Us," Bush, The Science of Things

  4. "The Boxer," Simon & Garfunkel, Simon & Garfunkel Greatest Hits

  5. "Afraid," David Bowie, Heathen

  6. "Here, There and Everyhere," The Beatles, Revolver

  7. "I Think Of...," Afro-Celt Sound System, Volume 2 - Release

  8. "Train in Vain," The Clash, The Essential Clash

  9. "End Credits," Danny Elfman, Batman Returns

  10. "Amsterdam," Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head



iTunes wants me to be mellow tonight, apparently (with the exception of "Train in Vain," of course).

PS3 SuX! Or, why videogame spammers should leave me the hell alone

Halloweenlover and I have been spammed by the same jackass. I can't speak for HL, but I am the last person this guy would have any use in spamming, as I refuse to let a "gaming system" cross the threshold of my house. I've seen too many men (I'm not talking kids here, I'm talking MEN) become obsessed by these stupid things, and I don't want my son to turn into one of them.

Now for the nitpicking: I am not opposed to videogames. In fact, at some point this summer, I will be on the boardwalk, figuring out which games I want to dump my quarters into (because although I dearly love skee-ball, playing it for too long makes my back hurt). I also do not object to AB playing videogames on our computer, because I grew up playing games on the computer, too: Oregon Trail was a favorite, as was pinball. I even tried the videogame version of Hitchhiker's Guide once on our old Apple IIe--look ma, no mouse!--but I kept dying in the first few minutes. When I was in high school, I even had a Gameboy. But this is not your Gameboy of today. No, I owned the two-color screen caveman Gameboy (still do, somewhere). This was not a toy that would surreptitiously steal your time away. You'd play for a while, then go see what was on TV. They're meant to be brief entertainment, not a lifestyle.

(Found that last blog courtesy of Brevity is...wit.)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The joys of having girls

Not that I would know. But two recent posts have made me wonder about it:

Lawmummy explains how Barbies are like mushrooms (a hilarious analogy when you read the elucidation).

And Scrivener has photos of the fanciest window-washers you'll ever meet.

Had a great night with my sweet boy. He is quite obsessed with the movie The Aristocats (as opposed to The Aristocrats, which he is not allowed to see until he is at least 11). We watched a good chunk of it tonight before bed. I keep telling him I'll take him to Paris so he can actually see where it takes place. In truth, I could take him to the armpit of America, and as long as he saw cats there, he'd be thrilled.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Weird, wonderful day

Wonderful in that I was busy at work, but not too busy. In other words, the day flew by, but I wasn't stressed out.

Weird in that, during my downtime, I engaged in a strange, friendly ribbing email exchange with a few other attorneys, which lasted for hours. If not for anonymity concerns (I am clinging to hope that it's not pink-slip-worthy obvious just which of the thousands of attorneys in my city I may be), I would post the entire thing here. Hint for many of the bloggers I know: it involved a heated (but not really) argument over Grandma Blue's team vs. Blonde Justice's team. I eagerly made my case for Grandma Blue's team, as usual. The emails proved to be a nice diversion throughout the day.

Speaking of emails, this email from NSAH made me laugh out loud:
[Once in his daycare class,] AB was content with his toys – I asked him to take the dinosaur out of his mouth, was momentarily horrified to see that the dinosaur’s head was missing, but then realized I was staring at an elephant’s trunk, not a dinosaur’s neck.


UPDATE: Crap, I messed up. Grandma Blue apparently roots for the Evil Empire, which I knew but forgot, like the moron I am. Thank you, HL, for pointing out my mistake. So there be no confusion from this point forward:

Sox rule.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Thank you

I was going to post a comment to the previous post, but I want to make sure you all see this:

Thank you so much for your thoughts and kind words. Thank you for the suggested readings, like the story about heaven here (link courtesy of Blonde Justice) and the always popular "Rainbow Bridge" (recommended by concretegodmother and, by separate email, nutso-ranter). I'd also like to thank my dad, even though he will never see this because does not know about this blog, who dropped by the house today with some old photos of Big Dog and a photocopy of this column by Charles Krauthammer from 2003. I just re-read that column while petting Little Dog, who's curled up beside me, and I nearly cried.

And thank you for the stories about your own dogs. It makes me feel a little better to know that Big Dog will enjoy romping with Sparky, Barnabas, Posey, and Maisie (and even Piglet the Hamster). She always did love other dogs.

Monday, August 01, 2005

In praise of Big Dog

The summer before my sophomore year of high school, my mom told me that my aunt and uncle were going to the animal shelter to look for a second dog. They (aunt & uncle) wanted my mom to come along so that she could help them decide which dog to get... and maybe see if she (my mom) wanted a second dog as well.

My reaction to this was unemotional and practical. "Mom, we don't need another dog. Things are great with Medium-Sized Dog. It's been nice having just the one dog."

My mom, appreciating my resolve, asked me to come along with her and my aunt & uncle to the shelter. My sole purpose was to keep my mom from getting a second dog.

I still tease my mom about the idiocy of her taking me--a known dog-lover--along to prevent us from getting a dog.

Big Dog was there, in one of the crates. I can't even remember now if anything stood out about her. She was big, and she was black, and she was hairy. She was very sweet. I had to have her. So we took her home. I got to name her. I named her after a character on a popular TV show of that time.

She was very good with Medium-Sized Dog. They played and played. They would chase each other in a circuit around the living room and dining room of the townhouse: around the dining room table and chairs, around the coffee table, up onto the sofa and back to the dining room. Around and around again. Sometimes my mom and I would come home and the sofa would be all the way against one wall, and the dining room table would be all the way against the other. These are the realities when furniture rests upon area rugs atop smooth hardwood floors: everything swooshes around when the force of two top-speed dogs is involved.

She also suffered from acute separation anxiety. Her anxiety would exhibit itself in wondrous ways. She ate... yes, ate, as in consumed a couch and my mother's bed. (Not all in the same day.) She also barked when we were gone, for hours and hours. I still feel bad for our neighbors at the time (who were very nice about it and didn't even tell us Big Dog barked until months after we first brought her home).

She was very smart. She did very well in her obedience classes. And that tripe about "can't teach an old dog new tricks"? When she was about 10, I taught her how to shake hands, and how to balance a treat on her nose.

She was the most empathetic dog I've ever known. I felt like I couldn't watch sad movies in her presence. I am a quiet crier, but the second I began to sniffle, she would be right there, licking my face with a concerned fervor.

Big Dog loved everyone. She loved my mom, Not So Angry Husband, my aunt, my uncle, my cousins. When we brought home Little Dog two years ago, she loved him. And when we brought home Angry Boy, she loved him, too.

Big Dog had been with me through high school, college, law school, pregnancy, and early mommyhood. She was my first baby, and she was the Best. Dog. Ever. And this morning, NSAH and I had to do the hardest thing we've ever had to do.

And I don't know how to end this post, which is already pretty long. I do believe in Dog Heaven, and I do believe she's there playing again with Medium-Sized Dog. I hope Dog Heaven has hardwood floors.

Who are these people?

OK, two different people have come to this page, via both Google and MSN, searching for "pregnant anal."

Stop it. Just ... stop, please.

Thank you.