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31 March 2004

*sigh* Ralph, Ralph, Ralph...

Whether you're for Nader, against him, or like me, you don't really give a rat's ass because there's no way in hell Ralph's getting more than 1% of the vote this time, I think we can all agree that Kerry doesn't need campaign advice from Nader. I mean, c'mon Ralph, I love you and all, I even voted for you in 2000, but you don't exactly scream "mainstream appeal", ya nut ya. John, just smile politely and if you have an extra iron, let Ralph borrow it.
Air America is on the air...america. Air.

And I'd like to give the station and the website a big ol' plug. I realize you guys are just getting started, but I've been having problems getting membership on your site (you need to fix your automatic e-mail, unless it's just me). Also, get better pictures on the front page; Janeane's looking a tad...scary, Franken's puffy, and the other two ladies look like they're suffering from Taco Neck Syndrome. AND WHERE THE HELL IS CHUCK D??
If this is your idea of a joke, you must write for Leno...

America's lamest comedian has apparently signed a five-year extension on his contract for $100 million. I'm not one to bitterly complain about the success of other people ("That's bullsh..."quiet!), but I can do shitty Letterman impersonations for....say...$300, an Xbox, and a kiss. Just saying, since NBC's apparently got all this dough they're throwing around (and yet you can't afford David Schwimmer for one more year?)

30 March 2004

You can't spell "contradiction" without "Condi"...

Vibrant discussion going on in the Daily Kos about Condi's stonewalling. They're going on about in much greater and more eloquent detail than I could, so I just refer you to them. I'm afraid my TMJ is going to act up again with all the teeth-grinding I've been doing about this in the past week, and NPR this morning, where former NSA William Clark again challenged Richard Clarke's credibility, did NOT help.

UPDATE: says Condi's going to testify. I'll get the salsa con queso, you bring the chips 'n' soda.
RIP, old chap

Saddened to hear of Alistair Cooke's passing, once I got over my surprise that he hadn't already. Masterpiece Theater (sorry, I mean "Theatre") was a part of my childhood, from the nightmare-inducing WGBH promo music, to the comforting sounds of the trumpet and violin-laden theme, to Mr. Cooke's gentle introduction in his leather armchair, to my promptly falling asleep during whatever show was being performed, to Mr. Cooke's "good night" with the reminder that I was watching this thanks to the efforts of the kind people at Mobil Corporation. Godspeed, gentle soul.

29 March 2004

Thanks a bunch, nimrod parents...

Yes, our culture is in free-fall. The 2nd Scooby-Doo movie is #1 at the box office? Stop taking your kids to this; it's people like you that make Hollywood executives think they can foist off shite like The Cat In The Hat on the American public. Hire a babysitter and buy The Lion King DVD or something.

At least you're half a step above the people who took their toddlers to see The Passion of the Christ for a Savior-flaying good time. What happened, Dogville hasn't made it to your city yet?

28 March 2004

All over Battersea, some hope and some despair...

Go up into your attic and dig out your old black turtleneck! Bust out dem daisies! Strike a pose of affected angst! Morrissey has finally decided he's tortured his fans long enough and is releasing his first album in 7 years! Oh, but I can't stay mad at you, Steven, I forgive you. This could be 45 minutes of you farting and I'll still buy two copies. You're a little grey around the temples, I see, and my acne has cleared up, a girl or two has even talked to me by now, but you still pull me down into a time when I felt I could change the world by not eating meat (nooooo, nooooo, noooooooooooo...IT IS MURDER).

We are the quarry, indeed.

27 March 2004

Wacky corgi antics...

A new recurring series, starring my corgi, Monty.

Monty knows the family well, whenever someone in the family has food, he knows to try out the sucker. Me. Well, he didn't break me this time; my mom-in-law and I were sharing a bowl of popcorn while watching TV and we were treated to what seemed like a few months of that lovely corgi barking my family knows so well.

Anyhoo, he finally barked himself out, and went to sleep right on the floor in front of us, on his back with his paws in the air. Awwwwwww.
When the water begins to boil, add your paprika, your shallots, and your WHUPASS...

Thanks to the mighty efforts of Folkbum and Maurinski, many of the Kos posters have been able to connect to each others' blogs more quickly via their constructed masterlist, and my reading has exponentially increased. Whew, for a minute I thought I'd have to return to boring real life; good thing I got my latest dissertation draft in last week (see below).

In addition to the efforts of the Kossacks, Folkbum's website also links to Alton Brown's rants; yes, that Alton Brown, the host of the excellent Food Network show Good Eats. I've always been a big fan of his show and his recipes, guess what, I like his politics too! Here's a snippet from his letter to Martha Stewart:
Men don’t like you because you’ve made it clear you don’t need a stinkin’ one of us and that makes us mad because in a lot of ways…you’re a hottie.

There's lots of other good stuff there too. Go. Read.

26 March 2004

I guess Dostoevsky lives in Mel Gibson...*shrug*

I find this hard to believe, but apparently a remedial Raskolnikov confessed to a murder after watching The Passion of the Christ. This did happen in Texas, so I guess I can't be too surprised.

Now that two people have died watching the film, I wonder if Mel's hoping for another confession...
What makes my head explode...

The lies, the stonewalling, the incompetence, that's all annoying, but what really grates my cheese is that Bush thinks this is a logical defense of his pre-9/11 actions.

[Bush] says if his administration had information terrorists were about to attack New York City, quoting here, "We would have acted."

No fucking shit, Sherlock...
Positively Mercer Street

An interesting little read is Art Chung's article in the Village Voice about playing a home poker tournament with Positively 5th Street author James McManus. Chung's commentary about poker-loving aspiring writers cuts a little close to the bone; sorry Mr. Chung, but my love of poker comes from an addictive personality, not "overwhelming media attention" (guess I showed him). I do relate to the "grad student trying to impress the professor" tone of the piece, though. And Mr. Chung gets bonus points for actually managing to get through an article about gambling without mentioning Dostoevsky a single time, something McManus couldn't resist doing in his book... ;)

25 March 2004

"I will do everything I can to help John Kerry win..."

That is part of the message Howard Dean has on the John Kerry website, and despite my distate in my earlier post, I'll break my Kerry cherry and support him. I still may feel a little uneasy standing behind Kerry, but I can sure stand behind Dean standing behind Kerry.

Let's beat Bush. Bad.

24 March 2004

When the wrong antidote is like a bulge in the throat...

In a never-ending quest to make myself regret my wasted life as I lie on my deathbed, I've found the official website of The Fixx. Look at their discography; is it legal for a band like The Fixx to HAVE that many albums? Mind you, I say this as a fan.

But this is it. I'm NOT going to Google Men Without Hats in an attempt to find their website. You can do that if you want to, and leave your friends behind...

UPDATE: Here. I utterly despise myself.
"We have to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow before the Daleks access the Hand of Omega!"

Here's a story that should appeal to geeks, nerds, dweebs, AND poindexters.

British actor Christopher Eccleston has just been picked to be the ninth man to portray the lead in Doctor Who, the show parents everywhere withheld as a threat to make their children pick up the Dungeons & Dragons dice scattered along the carpet. Boys wanted to be him, girls...didn't watch the show. (Actually, I always wanted to be Adric, the young boy genius companion who didn't mind traversing alien wastelands in yellow pajamas and DIED at the hands of the Cybermen. What does that say about me? Don't answer that.)

Anyway, I'm so excited about the news I almost spilled my Big Gulp. The new version starts next year, so anyone not completely familiar with the hundreds of episodes and novelizations would do well to brush up on the mythos here.
"Cry me a river, Endangered Midlist Author..."

So begins Neal Pollack's letter to the anonymous author of this Salon article, detailing the trials and tribulations of a mildly successful author who has found it more and more difficult to get her works published, at least, published with fair remuneration. As interesting as I found the article (for the insight into the publishing business from the author's point of view more than sympathy for the plight of the author herself) the letters in response to the article are even better, as less successful authors tear Ms. Doe a new one for complaining about receiving over $200K in advances over the past eight years.

One issue ignored in the letters section, however, is all the great writing you see on blogs (check out all the links on the right for a start) from people presumably doing it for nothing more than love of writing (not including myself, this is just ego-wanking). The point made by many of the letter-writers is that Ms. Doe misses the point, doing something out of love is its own award. The blogs I've seen are ample evidence of that...

Still, if you're going to buy the Richard Clarke book anyway, please click on my link! :)

23 March 2004

Modern medicine falls short of your complaints...

From the early MTV thread below sixthdoctor showed me the Kajagoogoo webpage; it's "under construction". Not to sound too snotty, guys, but what are you waiting for?

And you've got a long way to go if you want to catch A-ha...

22 March 2004

How to play poker like a, like a pro.

I stopped by the Green Valley Book Fair this past weekend and to my pleasant surprise, I was able to pick up cheap a copy of Phil Hellmuth's Play Poker Like the Pros. Phil Hellmuth is the Bobby Fischer of poker, not simply in the sense that he is a mathematical genius and unarguably one of the greatest players of all time, but also because his childish antics at the table result in cringing embarrassment and derisive laughter for fans and players nationwide. His book, however, is reasonably benign in tone, and save a couple of asides set in paragraphs and a little bit of passive-aggressive snottiness (like referring to Robert Varkonyi, the guy who knocked him out in the 2002 World Series of Poker, as an "investment banker") it would be hard to figure out his table demeanor simply from reading this book.

The book is a page-turner if you love poker, but in terms of strategy he does not really go into the detail a beginner might like. He also seems to favor a very aggressive style of play, which seems to fit with his bullying style at the table, but again, this might be a little off-putting for a beginner (and indeed, hard for a beginner to pull off). He does talk about Omaha and Razz strategies in his book, which was a nice bonus for me (since I'm a novice low-limit Hold 'em player). Since I only paid $4.50 for this book, I can wholeheartedly recommend it as an interesting read and a good supplement to your poker knowledge, but total novices would probably be better off reading Lee Jones's book.
Dissertation despair...

Just handed off the third draft of my dissertation to my long- (and I mean LONG-)suffering advisor. It looks like there might actually be an end in sight, which is probably why my stomach hurts so much.

If, by any chance, someone in the process of writing their dissertation or thesis is reading this, please look at this incredibly helpful website.

Then get offline and go write a page.

21 March 2004

Fine, it's Kerry. But it's just not the same...

If you've ever read my posts on Daily Kos, you may know me as one of the many there who were voracious supporters and defenders of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. But it didn't work out quite the way we had hoped, and Kerry won the nomination. One of the big advantages to this was that it made the Diaries section of Kos a lot more readable, as the dozens of daily diaries defiling Dean disappeared d...quickly. Now that we've all rallied behind the presumptive nominee, we're ready to give our votes and our cash to the only guy left who has a chance in hell of beating Dubya. But even after perusing the John Kerry website, I just can't work up the nice fervor I would have liked. It's easy to get behind the idea of kicking Bush to the curb, but not so easy to get behind Kerry.

Actually, there are benefits to this indifference. I can't get disappointed in Kerry, and there's no way he's going to lose my vote. He just made Johnny Fairplay his VP? Whatever. Replaced the Q&A portion of his stump speech with "Smacking Grannies With A Baseball Bat?" Still better than Dubya. Kerry makes it a point to use each piece of direct mail for personal hygeine purposes before sending it out? You gotta do better than that.

Well, Kerry's in the middle of a big internet fund drive, an event with which Deaniacs are no doubt familiar, and it just struck me what's bothersome about the guy. Dean fund drives used the image of a baseball bat to represent the money collected. You know what the Kerry people have up?

A ruler.

Ruler/bat is the perfect metaphor for Kerry/Dean. Which image conveys strength and power more effectively? A ruler suggests the question, "Is it big enough?" A bat states, "Yes, I am big and powerful. Probably my power impresses you, it may even frighten you, but you are no doubt enthralled. With time you will come and accept my power." The post-mortems of the Dean campaign are numerous and varied, but in the end the rejection of Dean as a candidate seemed to be a rejection of the force he embodied, one that could have led to disaster but also a wide-sweeping victory. With Kerry's nomination, the Dems have chosen a campaign over a candidate (and indeed, Kerry's personal credentials are quite impressive), a campaign that has the potential for wide appeal, but based upon perception of what will be popular in lieu of an actual platform.

That being said, I hope Kerry wins. But what fears me is the Kerry campaign will choke in the clutch, we'll have four more years of Cheney having to stop Dubya from accidentally pressing the button with his beer bottle, and Democrats pointing at each other saying "I only voted for him because I thought YOU would like him!"
RIP, rock 'n' roll pioneer

Last week, God, who as we all know is one sick, sick bastard, saw fit to take J. J. Jackson from us. As one of the original MTV DJs, er, I mean, VJs, Jackson led a small cadre of personalities that were at the forefront of popular culture, experimenting with a new genre that would lead to the phenomenon that is music television. Thanks to Mr. Jackson, the work of Flock of Seagulls, Nik Kershaw, and Howard Jones resonates today. You will be missed.

So who was YOUR favorite original MTV VJ?

20 March 2004

You better have a Choco-dile...

...'cause this is going to take a while. My first mistake was picking a sparse template from Blogger because I wanted a sparse-looking blog. Until I tried to set up frames and links for this page. Then I realized that instead of trying to stick turkey wings on a pigeon, it was better to get a bigger, ostrich-sized template, and slowly and painfully strip away parts until it resembled the turkey I wanted...

Hence the new look. Enjoy this turkey as it slowly undergoes its agonizing metamorphosis...

19 March 2004

Everyone else is doing it, so why can't I?

Greetings, all. You may remember me from such blogs as Thoughts That Get Stuck in My Head. But why inflict my thoughts on CmdrSue's webspace when it is just as easy (and cost-effective) to create my own little nook? And so I have. Howdy!

And now that I'm here, any suggestions to improve the look while my blog is still in its gurgling infancy?