Friday, December 30

addendum

My last post reminded me that I really haven't given many details on my dating life lately. Assuming you will gather that I haven't really had one, I haven't bothered to write about what isn't. Yeah, I know I said I was going to try juggling multiple dates, but as I suspected---that didn't work out. As soon as I had Date 1 with Boy 2, I realized he was a closet weirdo. He had some movie he'd made that he wanted me to watch or, at least, read its script (which he'd written). I make a rule not to read the poetry and other literary efforts of people I don't want to offend cause I'm a bad liar. As in, when I say: "No, really, it's great... it's just so deep that I can't read it all right now!" what I really mean is obvious to the budding writer: This is crap. Usually it is crap, and if you say that's just my opinion & doesn't matter... well, why did you ask me to read your crap in the first d@mn place?? I digress. What happened after Date 1 with Boy 2 earlier this month was that Boy 1 got even more clingy and boyfriend-ish, so I eventually ceased all communications with him. Not in an honest, forthright way---like, "You're annoying me and it's not that I never want to see you again. I just want it to be a really long time before I do. And not on a date with you. So, yeah, it is like I never want to see you again." So now I'm back to square 1: being either too impatient, too standoffish, or too picky. Or maybe all 3 of those. All I really want, in no particular order:
  • personality that doesn't require mine supplementing it during conversation
  • intellect and ability to communicate it (no nutty professors, though)
  • hobbies! seriously. get some interests or you're a pretty boring person.
  • respect: for me, for yourself, and for the feelings of others
  • ability to make decisions and come up with creative solutions to everyday problems (like where to go to lunch; please don't always leave it up to me, or stick to the same 3 places!)
  • sense of humor---and that's a deal-breaker---preferrably one as weird and dark as mine
Otherwise, I'm fine with the companionship I already have. See, that's not so hard, is it? I didn't even mention looks or finances, and I'm not a shallow person. And you don't have to love my music, as long as you love some kind of music (even if it's awful 60's ballads or something). But, having seen much of what's out there, I'll either have to move or give up until the guys my age start getting divorced til I get another date. Cause I'm not settling---the bare minimum is just not negotiable, y'all.

Tuesday, December 27

reason not to date seriously #27

Woman Swallows Cell Phone After Argument A lovers' dispute over a cell phone took a serious turn early Friday morning when the woman ended the spat by swallowing the phone whole. Police said they received a call at 4:52 a.m. from a man who said his girlfriend was having trouble breathing. When they arrived at the house they found the 24-year-old woman had a cell phone lodged in her throat."He wanted the phone and she wouldn't give it to him, so she attempted to swallow it," Detective Sgt. Steve Decker of the Blue Springs Police Department. "She just put the entire phone in her mouth so he couldn't get it." Police said an ambulance transported the woman to St. Mary's Medical Center in Blue Springs. A hospital spokeswoman said she couldn't give details about the woman's health since police have not released her identity. Decker said police had closed investigations on the swallowing, the first such incident of its kind here."This is the first I've heard of this happening," said Decker. "I don't know what kind of phone it was. I don't know if it was on ring or vibrate, either." [CBS Strange News]

Real fvck!ng cute, Detective. A woman is asssaulted by her boyfriend---the most common cause of murders in this country is domestic disputes, so it's the #1 thing you should be looking for here---and you call the press, give them a "cute" one-liner, and add your own joke on to it. Here is the real story. Wonder why the police couldn't wait to close their investigation to get her side of the story first?

A woman who police thought had deliberately tried to swallow her cellphone during an argument with her boyfriend was apparently the victim of an assault instead, authorities in Blue Springs said. "It appears she didn't voluntarily swallow this phone," Kintz said. Police would not say whether the boyfriend was a suspect.

Early Friday, police responded to a call from a man who said his 24-year-old irlfriend was having trouble breathing. Police arrived to find a woman with a cellphone lodged in her throat. Police were initially told the boyfriend wanted the phone and the woman tried to swallow it so that he could not get it. [LA Times]

Um, yeah, dumbasses---who here could actually speak to the police to defend himself? Right: the attacker, not the victim, as is so often the case. But the police told their "cute" version news media, and here are all the cute leads they got to write for the original "story":

"Woman swallows cellphone playing "keep-away" from boyfriend" "Tactic Begs The Question, 'Mub Wou Ear Me Mow?'" "It was a conversation stopper." "We've all been there. Your spouse or loved one drives you to the breaking point, and you have no other choice than to swallow their cell phone."
This makes me wonder: Just how desperate are the news media to compete with blogs and other alternative mediums for news? And how much can we trust the big news stories, if the small ones are such gross fabrications?

Wednesday, December 21

Lessons

Well, I'm back in Ktown less than a month after leaving it. Why do they cram the winter holidays together and we get nothin' between July 4th and Labor Day? Being back here makes me nostalgic, but not in a good way. This place seems to stay the same the more it changes. My sister just moved back to town, making it more enticing but still not enough. I think I've learned a lot about life & how to live it since I've lived in Knoxville full-time. The world is so much bigger than the scope of anyone's hometown. Except maybe for military brats. There is such constant change that I think it's good to be flexible whenever possible. I have figured out that not only does the majority not "rule" in any way, the values of the majority are often just plain wrong. Mostly we are a very backward society. Consumer culture and a free-enterprise market economy are destroying us. I want to go live in the woods somewhere and quit buying crap for the rest of my life. But I think I'd be lonely. I think I've also learned why people need each other. Often it's just to reaffirm their life choices, sometimes it's to provide vicarious experiences, but it's always to reassure them about their character; that's why we best like the people who are like us. Most importantly, maybe, is really, truly, and seriously don't care about what people think about you unless you have a really good reason to respect their opininons. Mostly people are like flotsam & jetsam that float thru your life without having much impact on it. What you remember are the experiences, not the nasty little jabs people make. I can't wait to get back to Memphis. This town is suffocating me already & I just got back here. Plus, I'm missing all the good music this weekend. Harrumphf.

Tuesday, December 20

Nifty Art Gifties

For the person who has everything, art is always the perfect gift. Buy a photo to benefit the World Trade Center Memorial and give the gift that gives twice. [via Gothamist] I like this idea for public art: make a park out of a parking space. [via Boing Boing via Laughing Squid] Or just make your own graffitti art like this guy. [via Miamist] Buy a book about art if you are ignorant of its history. Or, turn your own head into art with the Leopard Look, this season's hot hairdo for gay boys. [via Gawker] Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16

A holiday moment for the faithless

Wow. I just interviewed a dually-diagnosed mental health consumer (that is, someone with a mental illness and drug or alcohol addiction combined) who was homeless a few holiday seasons ago. Now she has an apartment, a monthly disability check, TennCare, and a Christmas tree with presents under it for her family. What makes it such a neat story is that she is so, so happy and feels so, so blessed to have what she does (still no car, no family nearby, and no boyfriend). I felt so greedy I could cry. But I didn't actually cry after all. Then she called me ma'm and she's old enough to be my mother. It was a weird, skin-crawly feeling to hear it and want to correct her, but not want to interrupt her to do it. Happy holidays.

Monday, December 12

Pho Saigon kicks Pho Hoa Binh's a$$

I love the Pho Tom soup (#17) at Pho Saigon more than just about any other soup in the world. It is also the cheapest lunch in town, so yummy on a wintry day. Clear broth with noodles and shrimp with the lovely accompaniment of cilantro, basil, lemon juice and crispy bean sprouts... sluuuurp! Still love ya, Pho Hoa Binh, but sometimes tofu just ain't enough for a girl. Sorry. I may have to take a few days off from blogging, since it is imperative that I make many lists, like:
  1. A list of groceries for the holiday gathering this weekend: appetizers (pre-made, this year, sorry!) cheese, wine, apple juice + brandy for the cider, perhaps stuff for crackers & dip;
  2. Another list of additional crap to buy: strings of white lights, poinsettias, and tea lights to decorate the house;
  3. Holiday music playlist (should burn cd's so I can use a cd player instead of the computer);
  4. A to-do list: clean, clean, clean!

Saturday, December 10

Public Service Announcement

I love Craig's List! Here's the most recent reason why:
TITLE: Ladies - if you meet this guy --- RUNNNNNNNNN! He likes to describe himself as kind, average good looks, close to 6' tall, ... yada yada yada ... That's [sic] what you get: Monkey man, 5'4", long arms down to his knees, short legs, big belly (cant see his toes), bold [sic], oily scalp, sweats all the time, watches only kid's cartoons (4 - 6 hrs in a row), eats like a pig, and he is so BROKE ... He has not had sex in 6 years (surprise!!), and his tiny little piss tool is about 3 inches total ... saw him naked, started laughing, and ran ................ Watch the initials M.B.! Maybe next time I post a picture :)
It's the little things that lighten our burdens in life. OK, back to work!

The Christmas Song

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire Jack Frost nipping at your nose Yuletide carols being sung by a choir And folks dressed up like Eskimos Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe Help to make the season bright Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow Will find it hard to sleep tonight. They know that Santa's on his way he's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh And every mother's child is gonna spy To see if reindeer really know how to fly. And so I'm offering this simple phrase To kids from one to ninety-two Although it's been said many times, many ways Merry Christmas to you. Mel Torme (c) 1946 Ever wonder how and why people started celebrating Christmas? We know Jesus wasn't born in December, and the exact date of his birth isn't even known. I'm sure you've all heard that the Romans elevated it to the stature of a big celebration to coincide with the Saturnalia feast around the winter solstice. Also that the trees were a druid symbol, having nothing to do with the Biblical Jesus. We also know that the Puritans hated Christmas because it was a frivolous display and gifts were, to them, an unncessary indulgence. So why is it that we've created a mythology around the birth of Jesus that actually has nothing to do with him & his teachings? It's almost like every aspect of Christmas is intentionally going against everything he believed in. Seriously. Read the gospel accounts of the birth In Matt & Luke---they bear individual similarites to our story of the star, shepherds & magi but when you look at it, they cannot individually be taken to be anything like our tradition of wrapping gifts to put under the tree (and make believe that some old, white, bearded fellow left them). Santa Claus is weird, too, when you think about him. He is the vehicle which allows us to pretend that we don't spend tons of money buying each other crap we don't need. We dress him up in right clothing and exaggerated features---big beard, big belly, big nose, big hat---so we don't have to think about a real person spending all that cash on toys and electronics---unless you're reading Forbes magazine. That puts it into perspective in an eerie way: Santa's unlimited wealth is actually our own, and we choose to spend our resources buying crap that will either be forgotten or broken in a few months. And yet, I have also spent money on presents for my family. We go with the flow no matter what our actual convictions may be.

Friday, December 9

blog: hear this, all you b!tches

To all you b!tches who haven't even looked at my evite yet: WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? You all know me; you know I'm not a patient person... you don't have to respond yet, just open the email, click the link, and give me the satisfaction of knowing you know so I don't have to call you up. Geez.

Wednesday, December 7

Holy sheet!

This could be bad... in about 40 years or so, whenever my generation's finally eligible for social security benefits: Benefits May Be Cut to Cover College Debts By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: December 7, 2005 WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that the government can seize a person's Social Security benefits to pay old student loans. Retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the decision that went against a disabled man, James Lockhart, who had sued claiming he needed all of his $874 monthly check to pay for food and medication. His government benefits had been cut by 15 percent to cover debts he incurred for college in the 1980s. Lockhart also lost at the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said that Congress had eliminated a 10-year time limit on the government's right to seek repayment on defaulted student loans by seizing payments, including Social Security, to individuals. The Bush administration had maintained that the case was important because outstanding student loans total about $33 billion, which includes about $7 billion in delinquent debt. Of the delinquent loans, about half are over 10 years old, government lawyers have said. Justices were called on to clarify federal laws that sent conflicting messages about the collection of loans that are more than a decade old. In a concurring opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia said that Congress ''unambiguously authorized, without exception, the collection of 10-year-old student loan debt ... in doing so, it flatly contracted and thereby effectively repealed part of the Social Security Act.'' He complained that Congress in passing laws often wrongly claims that these acts cannot be changed in the future. Such an attempt ''does no favor to the members of Congress, and to those who assist in drafting their legislation,'' Scalia wrote. Groups like the AARP and the National Consumer Law Center had urged the court to safeguard Social Security benefits in the Lockhart case, arguing they ''are critical in preserving a measure of financial independence for older and disabled workers.'' Lockhart, 67, a former postal worker who now lives in public housing in Seattle, has heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. He has about $77,000 in student loan debt.

Tuesday, December 6

i forgot to add...

I AM DONE WITH ALL MY HOLIDAY SHOPPING ALREADY!!!!!!!!! WOO-HOO! I am very proud of myself. That is all, thank you.

breaking news of the world

Fritolaysia Cuts Off Chiplomatic Relations With Snakistan November 30, 2005 | Issue 41•48

KARUNCHI, SNAKISTAN—Citing crumbling relations due to years of protracted french-onion diplomacy, the president of the Central Asian doritocracy Fritolaysia withdrew the country's ambassadors from Snakistan Monday.

"We have been supplying the people of Snakistan with pre-packaged consumable goods for over 40 years, and for them to show resistance to our savory products is unacceptable," Fritolaysian President Barbbaku Chedar said, referring to Snakistani officials' unwillingness to adhere to Fritolaysia's zesty new initiative introduced during a between-meals conference at last week's international-trading summit held in M√ľnchen, Germany.

"Fritolaysia has no choice but to crumple up and throw away all chiplomatic ties with the greedy, gluttonous government of Snakistan," Chedar added.

AND, MY PERSONAL FAVORITE: RIAA Bans Telling Friends About Songs November 30, 2005 | Issue 41•48

LOS ANGELES—The Recording Industry Association of America announced Tuesday that it will be taking legal action against anyone discovered telling friends, acquaintances, or associates about new songs, artists, or albums. "We are merely exercising our right to defend our intellectual properties from unauthorized peer-to-peer notification of the existence of copyrighted material," a press release signed by RIAA anti-piracy director Brad Buckles read. "We will aggressively prosecute those individuals who attempt to pirate our property by generating 'buzz' about any proprietary music, movies, or software, or enjoy same in the company of anyone other than themselves." RIAA attorneys said they were also looking into the legality of word-of-mouth "favorites-sharing" sites, such as coffee shops, universities, and living rooms.

Monday, December 5

oop ack!

quoth Bill the Cat. My blog is gone, apparently. It makes me think I should have backed up once upon a time... but that would take preparation and time, and blogging is all about being in the moment. I think. Maybe it's about listening to the voices inside your head instead of the constant conversation in the world's atmosphere (whatever, you know what I mean). Man am I tired for 9pm.

the event of the season is coming!

I will once again bust out the aluminum tree, jazz records, and festive garland for my semi-annual holiday party. What I like most about the holiday season is the gathering together and the drinking of the punch and the making merry. As I've gotten older, the gifts have lost some of their importance as the reality has set in: you can't ever remember what you got a few weeks later, while the times you shared are still with you. Unless you have been enjoying the drinking of the holiday punch a little too much.... It's finally semester's end, which seemed a long time in coming but actually rushed right along as I look back on it. That makes no sense, unless you believe time is all a matter of perspective. Suffice it to say I'll be glad to finish up next week. And then, of course, the party! So it looks like the weather's cooperating a little more with the calendar, not that that's a good thing. Like most people I enjoy snow but don't like the cold so much by itself. It seems that in Memphis all we get is cold and wet during our winters. (This coming from the girl who was in Fla. last Christmas for the big blizzard.) Growing up in Knoxville it was a rare winter when we didn't get at least one decent sledding opportunity. I remember putting plastic bags over my socks (under shoes or boots) for those really wet snows. (That is not the most picturesque memory, is it?) Maybe it will snow when I'm there in a few weeks and I can relive my past. Without the plastic bags, I hope.

Saturday, December 3

Holiday events

La Boheme at the U of M this tonight ---although I just saw Opera Memphis do it a few years ago at the Orpheum, I think it is one of my favorites (partly b/c I am a closet romantic & like to go cry at it). It's a good performance for the holidays & balances out all the cheery crap quite well. Maybe they're doing it partly b/c of the new Rent movie coming out, too. On Sunday, go to the Holiday Art Bazaar at P&H to support some of our funnest, most coolest local artists. Including this guy.

Friday, December 2

so's ya know

my timing mechanism seems to be messed up. I am a couple hours off and some posts even showed up on the wrong days (wtf?!?). My apologies. Oooh, and also my blog ticker is at 5151 as of now. Kuhl. Wish I had a present for the 515st visitor but I don't; surely I'll have one for the 5555th?

well, that sucked

So I had date with #2 boy tonight. Briefly. Went out for a drink (had 2) and some conversation (had much). I s'pose it didn't really suck in the grand scheme of things---but first dates usually suck somehow. I think he was rude at the end, and I'm beginning to think all men are simply not worth the effort one has to invest. Or maybe all the good ones are taken & in a few years, perhaps, they're going to start getting divorces & be available again. Not that he turned out to be a bad guy over all, but I tend to suspect someone who tells me more than 3 times over 2 drinks how beautiful I am. Of what do I suspect them? Not sure. Unreliability? Alcoholism? Hopeless romanticism? Stupidity? Anyway, it's just excessive. If I don't seem flattered the first time, I sure won't be the second and third time. Also in the dating news, the other boy called me tonight. FOUR TIMES. And left messages each time, since I didn't answer AT ALL. Who doesn't get that message? (Answer: dumb people don't.) I think I may be destined to be single. Dating is exhausting, and you just get used to sleeping alone after a few months. It seems preferable. Or maybe two beds (like Rob & Laura Petrie had) is the way to go? Maybe I'm just tired and things will seem rosier in the A.M.

Thursday, December 1

so far this week

Well, it seems the week is almost over & what do I have to show for it? Considering how much time I've spent either in the liberry, in class, or in bed, it seems that I've had a pretty boring one. And those are the highlights! Also this week:
  • My mortgage payments went up for next year. Taxes, of course. And maybe hazard insurance too.
  • My credit card bills went up as well, with Christmas, my niece's birthday, and all the holiday travel expenses.
  • Then I just had to buy this cute sparkly top the other day although I have no festive holiday parties lined up yet (hoping that will change soon) adding to the credit card bill. Yuk.
  • Plus it is getting cold and I hate walking around campus all day with a cold, wet, sniffly nose.
I just hope the rest of the month looks up from here.

Wednesday, November 30

juggling

Serrabee is going to try her hand at juggling dates. I haven't ever really done it, since I hate being juggled myself, but I think it's the best way to keep from being serious with one guy. Why avoid that? It's just a pattern I seem to have developed without much noticing; the old me was a free spirit who didn't want to settle down. I miss her. The new me seems to be a long-term relationship junkie who invests too much in them. So, in order to spend more time & energy on me, I will curtail the serious dating. It's really just a theory at this point, but I'll let you know how it goes. So far there are just two horses in the game, two pretty different types as far as I can tell. Both cute in their own ways, one a really intense guy and the other a really laid-back guy. They are both weird, and anyone who knows me understands I like 'em a little strange. Unfortunately for you, I'm afraid of putting too much detail on here unless you promise not to spread the word about my secret identity. Just don't want to hurt any feelings, that's all... (I know, that sounds out of character, doesn't it?). Anyway, this comes after a long hiatus during which I didn't meet a single man who was not either too old, or had kids (ick), or just didn't appeal to me---the operative word being single, cause I met a few hot guys who were already taken, sadly. I just don't feel like settling down after just over 6 months on the market. Why do I feel I have to justify this?

Monday, November 28

Why aren’t you married yet?

Seriously, does anyone's family really ask this? I'd want out of that circle of uncouth persons... . I am lucky enough not to have verbal pressure from my family to marry, but the fact that they all were coupled off well before they were 30 is pressure of its own. Not many divorces in my family, either. An aunt & an uncle, plus one of my grandfather's sisters is all. Is that weird in a nation where there's a 50% chance of my marriage ending in divorce?
‘Why aren’t you married yet?’ By Kimberly Dawn Neumann Whether you’re single and loving it or desperately seeking Mr./Ms. Right, being hounded about your relationship status is annoying. And yet it seems to be a perfectly acceptable topic of conversation at festive family functions this time of year. In preparation for holiday party season, we asked everyone from social experts to comedians for the best answers to the “Why are you still single?” question.
  1. Save your ego by boosting your questioner’s (basically, change the subject to them. people love this tactic as it allows them to talk about their favorite topic)
  2. Make your point with an extreme example (one man's extreme example is another woman's truth)
  3. Bait-and-switch your response (another way to change the subject. this one sounds like it uses gossip)
  4. Make them wish they hadn’t asked (or, be mean. serrabee doesn't encourage direct rudeness---remember, cattiness is much more effective)
  5. Inspire jealousy because you’re still single (again, the truth---for almost all of us)
  6. Shrug it off with a snappy comeback (if you have to premeditate a snappy comeback it probably doesn't qualify as such)
  7. Drop some science on the situation (my favorite approach!)
  8. Smile and move on with savvy (classy, though not the way they make it sound
So, remember kids: This holiday season when people shove their enquiring noses where they just don't belong, don't get your feelings hurt. Remember that people who ask this question don't really want to hear the truth, your opinion, or anything else. They just want to be a$$holes!

Tuesday, November 22

Happy Holidays

Loved this story on battling Christmas pop-culture politics. It just seems so appropriate for our secular/religious nation. I love Lowculture. I will be away for Turkey Day, but I know y'all will find ways to amoose yourselves. Watch The Grinch or The Peanuts special or something.

Sunday, November 20

Everyone Loves a Narcissist

I have a few new peeping toms. Welcome! It seems word of my blog has gotten out, by which I mean that people outside of the group I actually gave it to now have the address. Which would not be a problem, as long as I knew that:
A) I actually know who it spread to ( a few people I know & therefore might blog about); and
B) it would stop with these few people (and not get out to, say, all the cute boys I meet).
Not likely to spread like wildfire throught the Midtown Memphis social sphere (but, hey, it might happen) so I'm not too concerned. But it is weird to think that people I know are reading about my thoughts without me actually knowing it. It is verbal voyeurism in a way.

Friday, November 18

Crying shame as streetwise giant radish is cut down in its prime

November 18, 2005 From Richard Lloyd Parry in Tokyo UNTIL it was tragically cut short, the life of Dokonjo Daikon was an inspiration to all who knew him. Born in obscurity, he overcame the sternest of obstacles to rise to prominence in his small town. Loved by his neighbours, he became a symbol of the Japanese virtue of perseverance against the odds. People came from far and wide to wish him well — until a brutal attack this week that left him critically injured. It is all the more remarkable because Little Dai, as he is fondly known, is not a human being, but a plant; a long, thick, white daikon, or Japanese giant radish. For the past few weeks newspaper readers and television viewers have been gripped by the vegetable drama unfolding in the small western town of Aioi. Daikon are among the most common of Japanese edible roots, and Little Dai was remarkable in only one respect: rather than growing in the fields, he was an urban radish who pushed himself up through solid asphalt on a roadside pavement. He first appeared in July and, rather than extracting him and filling in the hole, the local council honoured him with a signboard bearing the words: “Observe with affection”. Locals christened him Dokonjo Daikon, “the daikon with fighting spirit”, or, more colloquially, “the radish with balls”. [link]

Walk the Line Update

UPDATE: Finally, the Washington Post reveiw. Briefly:
Boy nurtures nascent talent, boy suffers primal loss, boy meets girl, boy meets drugs, boy loses girl, boy kicks drugs, boy gets girl, boy is redeemed. From "Ray" to "Beyond the Sea" to last week's "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " and now "Walk the Line," each has hit exactly the same notes, with only a slightly different order or permutation.
Huh, no mention of The Chin. Curious. I guess the word "mutation" made me think it was coming.
The other chief problem in "Walk the Line" is the performances. Although Phoenix eventually succeeds in disappearing into Cash the way Spacek did into Loretta Lynn, Witherspoon never once lets viewers forget that they're watching her and only her. She may have it in her to be a good dramatic actress, but she might have been better advised to try a smaller canvas before tackling such a monumental role.
Or maybe, just maybe, it's That Chin. It always interferes with the willing suspension of disbelief.

At last! Organ Thief tonight

Thanks to the Memphis Scene, I finally found out about an Organ Thief show in advance! They play tonight at Murphy's, a decent (if loud & teeny-tiny) venue for live music. They also have wi-fi and one of those online jukeboxes that cost $20 a song or something. Chuh. I'm supposed to be working today but instead I am hanging out with Max & Sunshine, these two:

Lesbian Karaoke

Yes, I was at the Madison Flame for karaoke last night. While I would not normally be into stereotyping the patrons of such a place, it must be noted that lesbians just don't look like us. Gay men can---and often do---pass for being 'one of the guys' to those less in tune with subcultures. It takes a special person (do you have gaydar?) to spot 'em every time. And I'm not saying lesbians who want to pass for straight can't---and don't---do so all the time. But no one there last night was trying to hide it. The thing you noticed walking in was the preponderance of lesbian hairstyles, first and foremost. The bad 80's hair was overwhelming to someone who spends her days in a place that's 45% African American women. Seriously, if you see bad hair at the U of M it's probably on an older, fat white lady. The majority of women there just have good hair. But I digress. There were the obligatory mullets, of course, which is a given. The shorter hair was almost uniform except in color: short, curly, sprayed into a helmet with super-short bangs. Usually seemed to be frosted or at least blonde. Can't short hair be cute anymore? Remember when Ally Sheedy had short hair, or when Alyssa Milano cut hers in the pixie style? Apparently the lesbian masses do not. They apparently redecorated since the one time I was there a half million years ago. It's neat when you first look, a combination of honky-tonk and danceclub, but on second look the ceiling is papered with aluminum foil and there are mannequin torsos suspended from the ceiling. I still thought it was neat, and also really liked the moving Marilyn Monroe neon wall decor (her skirt blows up, of course!). What was I doing there, you ask? Well, not lesbian karaoke---I never sang. It was a birthday clebration for a gay friend of mine. The strangest thing is that I'm planning to go to another gay (or bisexual, possibly) friend's birthday tomorrow night. AT A KARAOKE BAR! Too strange.

Wednesday, November 16

Walk the Line

I've never seen a stranger and more random cluster of semi-celebrities than those pictured at the Walk the Line premiere. I hope that's not a precursor of how well the film will draw non-celebs. The only names I did recognize were: Dan Akroyd (not exactly a top-notch red carpet guest) Beau Bridges (wha?) Bill Paxton (huh?) Julie Delpy (how did she get in there?) Jane Seymour (seriously a has been) Lisa Rinna (Soap Talk crackhead) Dermot Mulroney (still hot but suddenly gray-headed) Keith Carradine (only as David's brother, though) Anywayz, the movie opens here next weekend, so if you're just dying to see for yourself who will be there, you can.

Tuesday, November 15

The X-word

I love the NYT, although it may seem otherwise to people who hear me talk of every other publication known (or unknown) to humankind. But this piece on unspeakable speech was cute enough for me to pinch its little cheeks (proverbially). Highlights from papers across the nation, and I did find some obscure ones there (like Memphis' own Commercial Appeal). [via Morning News]

Sunday, November 13

The weekend review

It has been a lovely weekend, and for a change I actually went out Thurs., Fri. AND Sat. nights! I've been a bit of a homebody lately, so it was nice to get back out there. Thursday night was a compulsory theatre experience, so I'm not sure that counts as going out (but I can't be choosy these days, so I'm putting it on the list). I am looking forward to the performance of Einstein's Dreams next month, though. Friday evening I went out with an old friend I haven't seen much in the past few months, not sure why exactly but something always seems to come up. We just hit the Blue Monkey to talk & people-watch. Ya know how at first it was post-college age people, but had gotten to be a bunch of old men in the past few years? Well, either it's getting younger again or I'm getting older (or both?). There was some sort of music I couldn't really identify but it wasn't too loud or obnoxious, so we stayed a few hours. I saw absolutely no one I know, though I'm not sure what that means. Saturday I had planned just to stay in since I felt bad about not going to the Pickwick slumber party for my friend's birthday. (Maybe I'll send him a gay strip-o-gram at his workplace instead.) But my drinkin' buddy and her boyfriend were going for sushi & asked me along---and I, of course, love sushi and could not resist. We skipped across the street for some beers at Old Zinnie's after, but couldn't even out our consumption (it seems they were a little hungover & so I drank faster) and I ended up having 4 beers, so of course I'm feeling a little gross and bloated today. So much for Miller Lite, eh. I did get out & walk the puppy around the 'hood, so now I feel better but perhaps not well enough to go play tennis on the ghetto courts as we'd planned. It seems more like a day for curling up on the sofa & reading a good book. Unfortunately, all I have is crap on hermeneutics to read. Still, it could be worse I s'pose.

Saturday, November 12

I am sooo lazy...

...so lazy that:
  1. I don't want to go to my dear friend's birthday party tonight because it involves preparation (packing a shack-pack) and travel (to Pickwick, almost 2 hrs' drive away).
  2. I didn't get dressed all morning yesterday. Fortunately, I didn't leave home til 1pm (also a signal of my laziness).
  3. I didn't take out the recycling for 3 weeks. Too much trouble--the damn crate needs wheels on it, but they only do that for old people. Well, I'm gettin' there, ain't I?
  4. I've got a basket of clean laundry that's been sitting in my room so long I think I will have to throw it back in the dryer to fluff out the wrinkles.
  5. I can't be troubled to come up with any interesting posts lately (probably more a function of being busy than anything else).

Now we're getting somewhere

Asterisks Dot White House's Iraq Argument By Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus Washington Post November 12, 2005 President Bush and his national security adviser have answered critics of the Iraq war in recent days with a two-pronged argument: that Congress saw the same intelligence the administration did before the war, and that independent commissions have determined that the administration did not misrepresent the intelligence. Neither assertion is wholly accurate. The administration's overarching point is true: Intelligence agencies overwhelmingly believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and very few members of Congress from either party were skeptical about this belief before the war began in 2003. Indeed, top lawmakers in both parties were emphatic and certain in their public statements. But Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than did lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material. And the commissions cited by officials, though concluding that the administration did not pressure intelligence analysts to change their conclusions, were not authorized to determine whether the administration exaggerated or distorted those conclusions. [via AmericaBlog] Finally the MSM is picking apart the story a little more; however, notice which paper this appeared in (NOT the NY Times, who led with Bush's propaganda today and yesterday; not the LA Times, seen by some as the 2nd most influential paper in the nation, who copied their rival for 1st place; and not the capital's other paper, who dittoed the "top" news outlets.) Bravo, I say, to the Washington Post, bravo!

Friday, November 11

C-R-A-Z-Y

Wal-Mart Turns in Student’s Anti-Bush Photo, Secret Service Investigates Him
By Matthew Rothschild
October 4, 2005

[...North Carolina high school social studies teacher Selina] Jarvis had assigned her senior civics and economics class “to take photographs to illustrate their rights in the Bill of Rights,” she says. One student “had taken a photo of George Bush out of a magazine and tacked the picture to a wall with a red thumb tack through his head. Then he made a thumbs down sign with his own hand next to the President’s picture, and he had a photo taken of that, and he pasted it on a poster.”

According to Jarvis, the student, who remains anonymous, was just doing his assignment, illustrating the right to dissent.

But over at the Kitty Hawk Wal-Mart, where the student took his film to be developed, this right is evidently suspect. An employee in that Wal-Mart photo department called the Kitty Hawk police on the student. And the Kitty Hawk police turned the matter over to the Secret Service.

[Jarvis] had to talk to the Secret Service.

“Halfway through my afternoon class, the assistant principal got me out of class and took me to the office conference room,” she says. “Two men from the Secret Service were there. They asked me what I knew about the student. I told them he was a great kid, that he was in the homecoming court, and that he’d never been in any trouble.”

Then they got down to his poster.

“They asked me, didn’t I think that it was suspicious,” she recalls. “I said no, it was a Bill of Rights project!”

At the end of the meeting, they told her the incident “would be interpreted by the U.S. attorney, who would decide whether the student could be indicted,” she says.

The student was not indicted, and the Secret Service did not pursue the case further.

“I blame Wal-Mart more than anybody,” [Jarvis] says. “I was really disgusted with them. But everyone was using poor judgment, from Wal-Mart up to the Secret Service.”

This is real news, not bizarro world news.

Two dozen uses for dryer sheets?

Okay, so I'm too lazy to forward this but it did amuse me. It's an email from my Mom's best friend, who is notorious for forwarding small-minded political and fundamentalist Christian email messages to me (she couldn't be more different from my mom ideologically---how did they get to be friends?). Thanks, but no thanks. This was a pleasant break from the usual:
My mail carrier told me that the US Postal service sent out a message to all letter carriers to put a sheet of Bounce in their uniform pockets to keep yellow-jackets away. All this time you've just been putting Bounce in the dryer! It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them. It also repels mice. Spread sheets around foundation areas, or in trailers, or cars that are sitting and it keeps mice from entering your vehicle. It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don't get opened too often. It repels mosquitoes. Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season. Eliminate static electricity from your television (or computer) screen. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling. Dissolve soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a sheet of Bounce. To freshen the air in your home, place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang in the closet. Put Bounce sheet in vacuum cleaner. Prevent thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew. Prevent musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing. To freshen the air in your car - Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat. Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food and the pan. Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket. Collect cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs. Eliminate static electricity from Venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling. Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth. Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper. Deodorize shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight. Golfers put a Bounce sheet in their back pocket to keep the bees away. Put a Bounce sheet in your sleeping bag and tent before folding and storing them. It will keep them smelling fresh. Quick, "Bounce" this on within the next 5 minutes! Nothing will happen if you don't, but your friends will be glad to hear these hints!
Here it is on Snopes. It is interesting to note that the entire message references Bounce dryer sheets as if they were the only ones with these mystical properties. It may be a conspiracy---perhaps the parent company is a right-wing fundamentalist Christian-owned one.

Thursday, November 10

giving the people what they want

Here you go-- The Editors live & in living color!

Wednesday, November 9

The Best of Memphis??

Has everyone seen the Flyer's BOM poll results yet? If graffitti and neon constitute the "Best of Memphis" culturally, we're in trouble. Not that I don't appreciate these things as their own art form, but it sucks living in a second-tier city that sees postindustrial byproducts of modern advertising as the best is has to offer. And the "A-list" on local blogs is just stupid. Their own Pesky Fly was #1. Wow, is that ever nepotism at its best... they didn't mention all his twin photos in their ranking. Just surprised they didn't name their own blog as the city's best. Well, it's new---wait til next year. And the best national blogs: Talking Points (yawn) Daily Kos (conservative but sometimes fun) Eschaton (eyah) and the Booman blog. (I'll give them that) I agree with Crooks and Liars too, but maybe not in the top 5. I did enjoy the inside story's photo of Raiford's with the lights on, which is a sight I've never actually seen firsthand. I also liked the A-list concerts section, but thought it was stupid to do legends instead of best of 2005. But whatever. Hey, Flyer guys, why not do a "Best of" on Memphians next year, without all the stupid references to Elvis and Justin Timberlake? Or a best new venture, so we can talk about good stuff (not just neon and graffitti). I love the MLA language map. On one level, it is an interesting window into American culture; on a simpler one it has pretty colors...

Monday, November 7

World's Gayest Album

In a glorious return to her roots Madonna has made the world's gayest album, says Peter Paphides. [via Times Online] It must be a source of reassurance to any gay pop icon to know that no matter how crummy her last career move, she can always come back. Indeed, the great thing about being a gay icon is that a few wrong turns and public mistakes serve only to make you even more of a gay icon. [read entire article] Boy, does this description remind me of Cher (though Paphides uses Kylie Minogue as his example). Just how many farewell tours/albums did Cher have? And isn't she still performing?

Sunday, November 6

Pop Kultur

Is anyone going to see Jarhead? Apparently, a film about nothing: "Beautiful tedium is still tedium," says The Flipside; "puzzlingly hollow" says Seattle's Stranger; and more bitingly from the NY Times: a footnote - a minor movie about a minor war, and a film that feels, at the moment, remarkably irrelevant." Hmmm. I kind of like movies about nothing, wherein nothing happens, without heroes. It's more like real life that way. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 2

I love this photo:

It's sad when something like that can make my f'ing day. Sad, sad. If you haven't already, please join Move On to protest Samuel Alito's nomination. Judge Alito is commonly known as "Scalito" because he follows the far-right judicial philosophy of Justice Antonin Scalia. Ask yourself: Do I really want another Justice Scalia on the Supreme Courts? Read about him at SavetheCourt.org if you're not sure how awful he is yet. Bush is creating a legacy that will haunt us for decades to come. Signing the petition is quick & painless, and is one of the only things that will protect us from rabid conservatives like Alito. [photo via lowculture]

Monday, October 31

Happy Halloweeny.

Sunday, October 30

Is there anybody in here?

I feel like I'm the only person blogging about anything other than politics lately. I know it's largely a function of the fact that all my blog buds are incommunicado, 'cept a couple of y'all, and that I don't have a lot of time to surf. But I feel like most blogs are either regurgitations of one another in one big circular vomitorium. Eww, grossed myself out. Now I know I am often a fellow regurgitator---don't get me wrong. But I count on the blogosphere to keep me up to date on crap besides Harriet Miers and David Brooks (that's what the Daily Show is for, y'all). And you are falling down on the job! I fear the quality of content here at the RnR Planet is suffering. No wonder all my visitors come looking for pics of The Editors and Tommy Lee (who happens to look like an old boyfriend of mine.) Sad. So here are some important points I've been thinking about lately on the topic of friendships:
  • Do you have friends you keep important things from, just because you don't want to make them feel badly about themselves? Not like, you don't tell them you've always hated their hair. Like, you don't tell them you kinda think they're not intelligent... I had a friend tell me she didn't think the Daily Show was funny but she laughs out loud at Mind of Mencia. I wanted to say, well, of course, cause you're not smart you couldn't possibly 'get' Jon Stewart's humor.
Which leads to my next question:
  • Can you be friends with people you have absolutely nothing in common with? There are people you met randomly with whom you share no real interests---are those realy friends? My best friends are those I've been through the worst times with, so why do I make the effort with people I'm essentially so different from?
  • You know how your oldest friends are your dearest ones? Good theory, but the problem is this: They know you best. Seriously---you've told them all your stories, that is the ones they weren't there to share, and you don't have much to talk about in the way of deeper issues. They know your views already; honestly, sometimes I feel like we know each other so well it's pointless to talk.
  • What do you do when your friend tells you s/he's marrying someone you think is a total loser? Or at least, not the right fit for your friend? Do you have a moral obligation to express your opinion, or is it your job as a friend to shut up & say "congratulations!!!"?

Tuesday, October 25

Why I love Midtown Memphis

I love walking through my neighborhood regularly:
  1. When I walk the dog, I seem to cross paths with this one young transvestite often. Wearing pants, which you don't see every day (think about it!). Very Midtown.
  2. Today I saw what I thought was a kid peeking through the fence to her neighbor's yard. It was not. It was a mannequin someone had put facing into the neighbor's yard. I don't know how long it had been there, cause I had an unobstructed view for the first time in many months, due to the falling leaves. Creepy! But so Midtown.
  3. I love that my neighbors always stop me, either to ask if I still live here (uh, why else would I be walking around the neighborhood?), or to ask if I still live alone. We're close, we're just not that close. I wouldn't want them all in my business, anyway! (More than they already seem to be, that is....)
  4. It is such a luxury to have a fabulous place to walk the dog without driving to the park. If Max gets dirty, so be it---I don't have to drive him home after every walk. Suck on that, Germantown---you don't even get sidewalks!

14 Roommates?!

Sustainable living. Dig it:
What the [Co-op Genereux] members forsake in space and privacy they reclaim in financial reward. The average monthly cost of living at the Genereux Co-op is $320. This includes rent, bills, three telephone lines, high speed wireless Internet, and three square meals a day, five days a week. Monetary gain is not the only advantage to having fourteen roommates. Both Marc and Spencer spoke of the experience they have gained in group facilitation and agenda setting, not to mention such other worthwhile skills as cooking mass amounts of food, making homemade soy milk, building walls and doing renovations, drying herbs, and the plethora of skills and abilities inherent in a group of fifteen. “It is interesting in terms of resource use,” Marc explains, “In North America people don’t tend to share things. Here we share everything from books and music to space and food. It teaches one to be conscious of the space one occupies in terms of both things and behavior.” Beyond being an interesting experiment for the young and daring, the Co-op Genereux is a model of an alternate lifestyle possibility. “There is a narrow range of lifestyles that is perceived as fulfilling, happy, healthy, and feasible in North America. We want to explore possibilities and provide options by putting different ideas into the world,” explains Spencer, “This type of lifestyle acknowledges the impacts of choices we make in our lives about everything from food, to money, to decision making, to socializing. It is freeing to acknowledge and understand the destruction of communities and ecosystems and to then be empowered to make changes.”

Sunday, October 23

Weekend Hijinks

I love that word. My weekend started early, when on Thursday we all met at Grisanti's to celebrate an old buddy visiting from Virginia Beach. I had an excellent meal of their spinach salad (though the best is the wedge) and the steamed mussels. Many bottles of wine later, everyone else had left the non-smoking room and we completely took it over as our private party room. It's fun to know the employees and you can be as ill-behaved as you like & they still send you free cocktails. The funniest part of the night was looking at pics of my friend & Crunchy Blac (yes, that Crunchy Blac from 3-6 Mafia)---they'd run into him at Side Street Weds. evening. I promise to post them if she ever sends them to me! On Friday night we met up late at the Bayou & squeezed into their bar. I saw a reformed lesbian crying on her husband's shoulders in front of her old girlfriend---regretting the conversion, perhaps? Several hours and several beers later we shut the place down as I heard the bartender telling someone, "It's last call, but you can get 5 beers if you want to---just pay for them now" so I'm not sure when they actually closed. We left & the rest of the crew headed to a friend's house in Cooper-Young to hang out, but I was sure if I didn't go home at 3AM, I'd never make it by daybreak. Late Saturday I met another old friend at Old Zinnie's for our ritual of rum & diet cokes (I mixed it up with vanilla vodka & diet coke, which---small wonder---just tastes like a vanilla coke). We intended to just be out long enough for a cocktail or 2 but I'm sure you all know what happened (we ended up out until almost 4am again). Sunday was, of course, the pumpkin carving for which I will have some photos later (trans. when I get around to it). I made yummy hot cider in the crock pot and we roasted pumpkin seeds in the oven, so my house smelled lovely and fallish. It was a fun afternoon, and a nice change from the way I usually see a lot of these people (out at bars or stuffing ourselves at dinner). In other seasonal news, I had to turn on my heat for the first time this fall. I think it's really not very cold yet and I am just a wuss, but I'm not freezing for a few measly pennies. Or hundreds of dollars, as it's supposed to be very costly to heat with natural gas this winter. It's only money, after all.

well isn't that special

I just got a link on the Washington Post's website for Capote, from Technorati. Gotta love them. The Post also had this to say about the film:
[Philip Seymour] Hoffman is 5 feet 9 inches of boomy-voiced, big-shouldered robustness. He could play Orson Welles, Vince Lombardi or any of his Green Bay Packers. But scrunch down into Capote, a 5-foot-3 pipsqueak?

"It's angles and staging," says [Director Bennett] Miller. He created the illusion of Hoffman's smallness with camera angles that dwarf Hoffman compared with others in the same scenes, and he cast background actors who were taller than Hoffman. In terms of props such as couches, "with all other things being equal, I'll go with the bigger one."

Saturday, October 22

Things I'd be doing were it not for the Great Pumpkin Carving of 2005

That is, I'm hosting a little jack'o'lantern festivity on Sunday, which will be my fun time for the weekend. I can't see squeezing the homecoming game in this afternoon, as much as I want to. I'd love to go see a movie, too, if I had the time.... Apparently Rotten Tomatoes liked Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. Like I said, how can you go wrong? It looks like Capote is good, too, according to the brains at the Washington Post. I will have to see it later, I s'pose. First things first! I can pretend I'd be washing my car or doing the yardwork I need to do if I weren't having people over---but it's not true, and y'all know that. The only time I can get that productive is when I have 21 million things to do & housework becomes my method of procrastination.

Friday, October 21

Daily News Updates

Death by Blog (by Serrabee) TNF is back on the scene, but who knows if it will last. Halloween Parties. Voodoo Music Sun. Night. How will anyone choose what to do next weekend?

Thursday, October 20

Chuckles

Dwayne's family-free weekend. I love his painting and his free verse. Brittney's fall fashion review. Check out the Brittney gallery if you haven't yet. It's like a retrospective of fugliness. The other Brittney's reminiscences of waiting. No need to go see that movie now! Oh, yeah, I did go see a movie this weekend as well---Elizabethtown. Don't believe the hype: It was a really good movie-going experience. I love Cameron Crowe, though. Other movies out/coming out this weekend:

Return to real life pt 2

Wow, blogger hates me! I had a lovely post all cooked up & ready to go, and it slogged down so much I thought I needed to reboot. It was all a trick, though. Now all I can think of to blog about is my eyebrows. I think they are thinning. Is that possible? Okay, yeah I waxed them for a few years---but they quickly stopped looking so Brooke Shields and so I quit torturing them---and now all I do is pluck the strays. I'm thinking of tattooing them back in. Oooh, yeah, luckily Time posted their 100 Best English-Language Novels (1923 to present day). How many of those have you bought at the library sale and never cracked open? I still remember finding Sons & Lovers (used, of course---old books smell like proper books) and reading in the introduction that is should never be read as one's first-ever DH Lawrence novel. So I put it down until the day I came across one that told me it was okay to read it first (not usually so obedient). Anyway, a lot of these titles I've never even heard of---Day of the Locust?---and some of the authors are foreign to me as well---Christina Stead; Christopher Isherwood; Jerzy Kosinski?? Sadly, a lot of my old faves aren't here. And who knew so many foreigners wrote in Enlish? I personally think they're brilliant but depriving a few translators of much-needed work. **Props to Vonnegut for appearing twice, along with Graham Greene & the inimitable Faulkner. UPDATE: See this post on the Time Magazine list. Absolutely hilarious!

Wednesday, October 19

Return to real life pt 1

Finally! Not that I didn't enjoy my trip to VA, but it feels like I've been gone for absolutely ever. It was so nice there---we went to a huge cookout and took a hay ride one night---the weather was perfect for fall/Halloween. Then I come back here to find summer temperatures (minus, thankfully, the humidity). It was so nice when I left last week---what the f#ck happened? I feel like I've been beaten with a stick. Traveling takes so much out of me anymore. Honestly, anything does: going to a show, staying out too late, being nice to people I don't like... well, that one was always exhausing. I hate fake. Speaking of which, faux fur is in this fall. I'm torn, really. It seems gross to wear even fake fur but how much of a statement can it be if every other person's doing it? Also in will be giant belts, the color brown, western wear and mismatched stuff, and those silly trousers that stop at your calves which might not be so silly except you're supposed to wear them with tall boots, and hats. I looked all weekend for a cute new pair of boots but came up completely empty-handed. I think it's a sign not to spend the money. Either that or I'm not stylish enough to buy new clothes... .

Monday, October 17

Vacation's all I've ever wanted

Gotta love the Go-Go's for the simple, bubble-gum-pop lyrics. Great karaoke song on a girls' night out. Speaking of which, that's what we need when I get back from vacation! It's so much more like fall up here (I know, duh!) but then again, they get real winter here, and you can actually tell spring from summer---as opposed to Memphis' seasons, which all smudge from one into the next. Autumn in Memphis is different from summer more in the absence of humidity than a the drop in temp. alone. You can always tell the seasons by the changing of the light. Summer has direct, intense sunlight; fall's becomes weaker and watery; winter's is cold and thin like glass. Spring I can hardly remember as being different from summer.

Thursday, October 13

Late to the game,

but at least I'm still in it.
Frist accumulated stock in family company outside Senate [blind] trusts from The Tennessean By LARRY MARGASAK and JONATHAN M. KATZ Associated Press Writers WASHINGTON (AP) -- Outside the blind trusts he created to avoid a conflict of interest, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist earned tens of thousands of dollars from stock in a family-founded hospital chain largely controlled by his brother, documents show. The Tennessee Republican, whose sale this summer of HCA Inc. stock is under federal investigation, has long maintained he could own HCA shares and still vote on health care legislation without a conflict because he had placed the stock in blind trusts approved by the Senate. However, ethics experts say a partnership arrangement shown in documents obtained by The Associated Press raises serious doubts about whether the senator truly avoided a conflict. Kathleen Clark, a government ethics expert at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, said she doesn't believe the Senate trusts or the Tennessee trust insulated Frist from a conflict because the senator or his brother were advised of transactions and could influence decisions. "What I find most appalling is the Senate calls it a qualified blind trust when it's not blind," Clark said. "Since the Senate says it's OK, the Senate has made it a political question. It's up to the voter. But there's no doubt it's a conflict of interest."[via DBV]

Wednesday, October 12

Take a hike

Sorry to be so dull this week, as if I'm ever all that much fun, but here's some crap to read in the meantime:

I know you miss me blind

What was that song all about, anywayz? Bet you got a good gun Bet you know how To have some fun And then You turn it around on me Because I’m better Than the rest of the men I sure don't remember that verse---I probably just mumbled thru it to get to the chorus at the middle-school dances. At least I'm not like Paul, who heard "I know Bill Bixby's mine" instead. So it's officially fall, folks, and I've missed most of the rites (like King Biscuit---yeah, I know I said I was going, but life gets in the way. I had company all weekend). Hopefully my trip to Virginia this weekend will bring me closer to the fall colors we're missing here. I will bring photos & tell you all about it. Sorry such a crappy post in the meantime.

Friday, October 7

Gorgeous

Wow, was it a beautiful day today, with all white puffy clouds and stuff. I didn't go into work at all but instead spent the day doing yardwork, plus (finally!) washing & waxing my car. Isn't it funny how soon a new car becomes an old car these days? I mean, when I first got this car---my first new car, ever---I washed it all the time, kept it pretty clean, cried when I got a dent in the side, alla that stuff. Now it is 3 years old and I haven't waxed it sinced last year, and I only ever run it through the car wash, never hand-washing it. And I switched to Gain, and washed my comforter in it this week. (Seems like a non-sequitur, but I was going back to the beautiful day thing.) When I was growing up, my family always used no-additives Tide like it was religious practice. Frankly my dear, I love the additives. Scent, softener, bring it on. It's lovely to be a grown-up, in some ways. I always wanted a window seat growing up, too, and now I have one (got it about 12 or 15 years after I originally desired it, but who's counting?). Except when I sit in it I always wish it had a cushion; maybe in 12 years or so I'll get one!

Thursday, October 6

Time wasters!

Hollywood Calls it Quits [via The Onion--duh.] Don't forget to go see Wallace & Gromit this weekend! It's a Halloweenie celebration second only to my upcoming Pumpkin Party. (Do you know what a grommit is? It's apparently a nautical term. Who knew.) Delicious movie tie-ins at Something Awful. She-Ronald McDonald. Yikes! (I always wondered if he was a transvestite.) [via Low Culture] Absolutely creepy---and another reason not to gamble online. [via BoingBoing--duh] And, breaking news on Serrabee! STUDY FINDS WOMEN WHO DRINK WAY MORE FUN TO STUDY Researchers Say Alcohol Affects Women's Blood Pressure, Researchers' Interest "Younger women who drink two or three alcoholic beverages a week have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure than women who do not consume alcohol."-- Reuters

Wednesday, October 5

A big treat with cherries on top for Memphis

Justin bids for Elvis's kingdom Joanna Walters in Memphis Sunday October 2, 2005 The Observer [Justin Timberlake] is negotiating to build a huge recording studio complex and to buy up two of the city's world-renowned record labels, Sun, which gave the planet Elvis and rock'n'roll, and Otis Redding's Stax.

Timberlake's move is not without controversy. Smaller studios and labels that have struggled in the city for years fear they could be ruined by such a powerful player signing up local talent.

Senior figures behind the project said Timberlake, 24, could launch a new record label to go alongside the revival of Sun and Stax, or dramatically expand the company he started up this summer, JayTee Records, which signed hip hop's Joshua B as its first act. ...

Timberlake has been in town recently for filming of Black Snake Moan, a movie about 'a Memphis nymphomaniac' in which he stars with Samuel L Jackson and Christina Ricci. [full story] [via Rachel]

Sunday, October 2

A bad day for Rob Thomas

He is playing at Mud Island the Fri. night of Voodoo Fest---so sad for him that no one will go to his stupid show. Not that I don't like his music; he just bugs me for some reason. I think it was the black nail polish phase that started it, and hearing his voice sounding exactly the same on every overplayed song on the radio finished it off. I have pretty much quit listening to local stations now, and I think my life is much better for it. Heard that the Fighters of Foo will not be honoring us with their presence after all. I was so looking forward to them! They're the sort of band I probably wouldn't go see just for them, and this was going to be my opportunity. Neither is Joss Stone, who I did see at BSMF... um, 2004ish? and she was really good live. Rats. On the positive, Queens of the Stone Age, Billy Idol, and others will still be there. And anyway, it's bound to be a fun weekend anyway. This weekend is the King Biscuit Fest, which they have annoyingly changed the name for. I will look it up later & get back to you on the details, but for now I must go get some work done.

Friday, September 30

Lions and Tigers and UTEP, oh my!

Well, y'all, I'm not real sure what ol'Tommy West has planned for us this weekend... The question is: Who's the QB this week? We've had a couple of freak accidents which will leave us with another fresh face on Sat. I just hope to see the boys in blue play their hearts out, come what may. Isn't it weird us having night games so late in the year? I remember going to the fair after a game last year (or was it the year before?) but we won't have time for that this year. We will, however, have plenty of pre-game tailgate time, which I missed out on for the Labor Day Massacre vs Ole Miss. (Last home game was, of course, the Cooper Young Fest.)

Cute links

Famous Pairs [via LA.COMfidential] The Little Jew that Could 6 Feet writer/producer)
...what really sets Soloway apart is her unique, spot-on sense of humor mixed with political acumen, all of which she trains on herself, her people (the Jews), celebrity and pop culture, with side trips for bathroom hoverers, her sister Faith, why she hates dogs, and the most hilarious footnotes you'll ever read.
Shut the Fuck Up:
HANOVER, NH—According to students enrolled in professor Michael Rosenthal's Philosophy 101 course at Dartmouth College, that guy, Darrin Floen, the one who sits at the back of the class and acts like he's Aristotle, seriously needs to shut the fuck up. "Today he was going on and on about how Plato's cave shadows themselves represent the ideal foundation of Western philosophical thought," said freshman Julia Wald moments after class let out Monday. "I have no idea what Plato's ideal reality is, but I bet it doesn't include know-it-all little shits." Wald added: "If he uses the word 'dialectical' one more time, I'm going to shove my copy of The Republic down his throat."

Thursday, September 29

Ay, carumba!

Looks like John Roberts will be with us for a while. Kids, that just goes to show you what knowing the right people can do for you! Yes, Justice Roberts made a swift rise to the supreme position of all the courts in the land, all on the merit of his relationships with influential people on both sides of the party divide. (Did you know he is also a beer in the UK?) Look at Tom DeLay, on the other hand: He hasn't made solid bipartisan friendships and he's on his way out. Actually, I think this is a case of something unethical being so common that the lone guy who gets caught feels like he's done nothing wrong because "Everybody's Doing It" ---ethical lines can get blurred pretty easily in the real world. Now we can all worry about who is up next on the Bushite roster of USSC Justice nominees. *shudder*
  • Harriet E. Miers, the White House counsel, who is a leader in the search for Justice O'Connor's successor. Ms. Miers, 60, was the first woman to become a partner at a major Texas law firm and the first woman to be president of the State Bar of Texas. At one point, Ms. Miers was Mr. Bush's personal lawyer.
Real-life quote from Bush (does he listen to himself speak??):
...the president said Monday, in response to a question about how close he was to choosing a successor, that "diversity is one of the strengths of the country."
Oh, yeah, and replacing a dead white conservative man with a living white conservative man totally promotes diversity!

Wednesday, September 28

I am SO THERE!

I am late the scene on this story, but I will not be late for the show! VooDoo Music Experience Coming to Memphis [via Rachel!] VOODOO MOVES TO MEMPHIS, TN HALLOWEEN WEEKEND PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT THE NEW ORLEANS RESTORATION FUND (NORF), A DONOR-ADVISED FUND OF ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FOUNDATION (EIF) The Voodoo Music Experience will bring its quintessential New Orleans spirit to Memphis, the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock and roll. Memphis’ Tom Lee Park will serve as this year’s site for the two-day event, set to take place Halloween Weekend. This year’s Voodoo Music Experience will benefit the New Orleans Restoration Fund (NORF), a donor-advised fund of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF). ... highlights, IMO: My Chemical Romance Cake (yay!) Digable Planets Foo Fighters (what'd they do with Weezer?) Billy Idol The Decemberists The Bravery (were already going to be here, whatevz) Very exciting news for us. I hope lots of people come---spread the word! I am so behind the times these days. How did I not hear this already? I don't read the news, or watch it, or sometimes even listen to NPR. I am feeling like an old piece of gum that's been chewed up, spit out, and picked up off the floor and chewed up all over again. I want to be energetic, I truly do, but the only time I have any energy is at odd hours, like yesterday afternoon for a while---or a couple of evenings ago after 11pm. Who needs energy at that hour when you have to get up eight hours later? It's just stupid. My post-mid-year resolution (remember, I don't believe in New Year's resolutions) is to find more energy. Somehow, some way, I will get back to it. I think working out has an effect on my energy level; the days I work out hard I'm tired several hours after, but 6 or 8 hours later I'm ready to go again. But tired all the next day. I despise inconsistency, esp. in myself.

Where do you draw the line?

More importantly, where do I draw the line? That is, the line between public & private worlds. I was put in mind of this recently when I ran into a fellow-blogger recently (okay, I knew I was going to see him, in fact) but I didn't expect to have to explain our history to his date (whom I'd never even heard of). Ahem. While he took a phone call around the corner we were left to make girly small-talk---which I am only okay at---and she asked how we knew one another. I personally think that is a weird question, unless you are suspicious of your guy. So what else could I do? Lie to someone I'd never met, had no reason to be embarassed around? Nah. So I told her the embarassing truth: we both have blogs & word gets around, etc. Turns out, later in the evening under cover of loud music, when I told him she'd asked that---I just thought it was funny, which is why I'm telling y'all---he seemed to think I should have lied, by his comment. [In that case, why had he not made up a pre-emptive lie? Cause you know it might come up, and if you care you should let me in on these things. For future reference: let me in on the lie, or expect me to tell the truth!] Anyway, the next problem is this: she proceeded to ask me where I blogged. How stupid does it sound to say "It's a secret, as is my online identity" a) to someone you just met, duh!, and b) will never see again, when c) you don't really have anything personal on your blog anyway? Of course I told her. Days later, when I saw someone had googled "serrabee blogspot" I was like, Crap, now I have a stalker!---or whatever you call it in that case. And the crazy had been reading for over half an hour. Jeepies! as Velma would say. My blogging life passed before my eyes, as I wondered if this was the line I didn't want crossed, or if it was somewhere down the road? Then I realized it was my friend I'd recently told about my blog, based on my new theory that this is the best way for me to keep in touch with my friends these days. That is not nearly as weird as someone googling "blog salivary glad surgery" or some other things I've heard of from friends. But still, this experience led me to think it is better to keep my secret blogger identity a true secret, even from other bloggers. Except those who already know me, cause I can't help that. So I re-resolve not to post photos of me, or attend blogger gatherings, or anything of that nature unless I'm getting paid to write a book.