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30 April 2004

Man, Shii Ann's been drinking the Haterade... says my sis, who's putting me up in Baltimore tonight (en route to Atlantic City). I just watched Survivor thanks to TiFaux goodness and my sympathies certainly lie with everyone who had to endure Shii Ann. The editors obviously hate her as well, since every self-serving statement was immediately undercut with her loud incompetence. I'm sure she's a nice person in real life (actually, I'm not), but man, it was time for her to go.

Oh, and Rupert, get over yourself. You caught some fucking fish. Most people do that shit on a vacation for a week and then have normal lives, it's no big deal.
It's officially official in its officialness...

After schlepping back at forth between the grad student office and printing services, my dissertation has been accepted and I no longer have to jump through hoops. If I've just single-handedly diminished the value of a university doctorate, ts, I've got one and you can't take it anyway, yay!

Now when do they give you the keys to the secret faculty opium den?
Well, CmdrSue's been keeping busy... creating new products for sale at The Pith Stop. Sigh, I wish I had chick-a-tude...

29 April 2004

Best. URL. Ever.

That guy deserves the buckets of cash he's going to make from T-shirt sales.

Everybody stand back, I'm a doctor!

Well, not quite, but my dissertation defense was successful. Painful, but successful. Then again, aren't all rites of passage supposed to be painful?

Besides, I must be happy about my experience or I wouldn't be linking to my advisor's book...

There are far too many people to thank for their support. Thanks.

25 April 2004

Stress week...

And my dissertation defense is tomorrow. Read C. Franz and CmdrSue instead...

23 April 2004

How about a bill banning obviously retarded Louisiana legislators?

With all the ills in society today, brave state rep Derrick Shepherd has struck a blow for all the suffering workers in the belt industry. He's introduced legislation banning low-slung pants because, apparently, the state house of representatives exists solely to advance his personal agenda...

"I'm sick of seeing it," said Shepherd, a first-term legislator. "The community's outraged. And if parents can't do their job, if parents can't regulate what their children wear, then there should be a law."

Aestheticallly, I sympathize, I really do. But come ON...

Oh, BTW, the fine would be $500. I'd hate to be the first officer to try to hand out THAT ticket...

22 April 2004

So, who's gonna win Survivor?

Since I don't have television, I was able to watch the last 4 episodes of Survivor in a row thanks to the TiFaux efforts of my sister, up to last week's ep when Kvetching Kathy was kicked to the kurb. So, for entertainment purposes only (please, no betting), here's my handicapping of the Super 7:

1) Rob - Rob's just been playing the fucking shit out of this game, and everyone else save #2 is in his power. Right now he's the Howard Dean of the remaining Survivors, so far ahead it's hard to imagine anyone else could win this...

...and therein lies the rub; like Dean, Rob's got a big target on his back, and it's just a question of whether people will get their shit together to recognize him as a threat and kick him off. There's also the jury issue, you gotta think Lex Loser and Krybaby Kathy are going to vote for almost anyone else. If he continues to adjust and play, though, he'll probably garner enough Richard-Hatch-like respect to gain 4 votes.

2) Amber - I actually admire her game even more than Rob's. The way she managed to avoid elimination by outsmarting Lex and Kathy was amazing, I've never seen any Survivor manage to talk his/her way out of elimination before. It also should be relatively easy for her to garner votes since she's so likable (again, Kathy notwithstanding).

If there's a weakness in her game, though, it's that she's so savvy it may be hard for her tribemates to recognize it. The jury might reward Rob's overt style and simply see Amber as Rob's underling (her Outback reputation won't help there). It may also be easier for jury members to admit they were outplayed by Rob than outsmarted by Amber. She might need to win the final immunity challenge, too; I can see pretty much anyone, including Rob, voting her out third to avoid going into the jury with her.

3) Jenna - She's looking strong because it seems she got a foothold both ways. Rob and Amber seem to trust her enough to take her to the final 3, and she's savvy enough to form an anti-Rob alliance. As one of the original Alliance members, she certainly should know when to stab Rob and Amber in the back, and she may just be waiting for her time to strike.

4) Shii Ann - Wait, wait, I know what you're thinking, but hear me out. Shii Ann's so annoying and useless that she's this season's Johnny Fairplay. She is the Survivor EVERYONE wants to take into the jury, and there's very little evidence that she can win a challenge or unite other people against Rob/Amber. That makes her the perfect Survivor to be used by Rob/Amber to strengthen their core (they only need 4), and Shii Ann will probably jump at any offer since she feels so vulnerable right now. If I had to guess how it's going to go down, this could be the alliance formed to take out the three below.

And frankly, I'd LOVE to see Shii Ann in the final two, just to see how she justifies being given a million to the jury.

5) Tom - This dude's smarter than he acts on the show (how could he NOT be?), and he's been good at letting others spill their guts and figuring out where everyone stands. It seems that Rob has enough pull with him that Tom isn't going to pull a coup, but you never know. Tom's also less likely to pull off a string of immunity challenge wins than the two below, so he might be seen as safe to keep around.

6) Alicia - Personally, she's my favorite player remaining, but she's been a reactive player, and her animosity with Jenna (and the teaser for this week's show suggests a tiff with Shii Ann) means she probably couldn't get people to vote her way. Also, she's a threat to win immunity challenges, so they are probably going to keep an eye on her.

7) Rupert - The big guy's toast. First of all, the man has NO game, does he think he's going to win a million due to his fishing skills? Second, Sweetums is the most obvious physical specimen left, which means he's currently seen as the biggest threat. If he doesn't win immunity tonight, he's gone, and really he's going to have to sweep to make it to the jury.

So, that's how I'm calling it. I can't wait to be proven horribly, horribly wrong...

21 April 2004

Corgis are to queens as cats are to pharaohs...

CmdrSue just forwarded to me an article about the royal roots of the corgi. There is now archeological evidence that the little dog with the little legs and oh-so-big heart was a favorite of ancient queens.

One wonders if the ancient corgi met its demise at the paws of an ancient bull terrier owned by an ancient princess...
My God, they knocked out all of his teeth! Oh, wait...

In a story that brings me back to my college days, Shane McGowan was recently injured while brawling in a (you're NOT going to believe this!) pub. Hopefully it will give doctors an excuse to perform much-needed reconstructive surgery on his mouth...

WHAT? You try to watch the "Fairytale of New York" video without feeling ill (although seeing the dearly departed Kirsty MacColl is sad enough. *snif*).

My fave song was "White City", remember that one?
"If you was a moron you could almost admire it..."

I was reminded of the Sheriff's line from Kill Bill when I heard that the latest Republican/wingnut plan of attack against Kerry was to focus on Kerry's war wounds and military records. The balls. These guys have balls to go after Kerry on that front; you'd think the last thing they'd want to remind the American public about is what President Drinky-Winky was doing during the Vietnam era. But the ability of the Republicans and their surrogates to attack like the Tasmanian Devil, without logic or reason, has been a huge factor in their success.

Oh, BTW, Kerry comes clean here. I doubt it will shut anyone up, but we can at least point out he managed to do it without months of stalling.

UPDATE: It was unfair of me to single out the drinking problem of Mr. Bush without also mentioning the cocaine abuse and making that girl get the abortion. I regret the error.

20 April 2004

The slogan says "outwit", not "nitwit"...

For lack of better things to do (like prepare for my dissertation defense next week) I went to the Survivor popularity poll to check out where my favorite player, Alicia, currently stands, just to discover to my horror that the most popular is borderline-psychotic Rupert. Just like Pearl Islands, Rupert was endearing for exactly two episodes, then he once again turned into a petulant child with Lennie-from-Of Mice and Men strength. Alicia, meanwhile, has a score even below that of annoying Kathy. WTF? What exactly is it about Kathy that people find endearing, her sense of entitlement or is it sympathy for the way she got her ass handed to her by Amber?

Though not as bad as Lex, snicker...

BTW, I don't know if people are taking bets, but I'd certainly place a sawbuck on Amber now. The way she managed to save her tush from the tribe switch (with an assist from Rob) was masterful (although it also says a lot about Lex and Kathy's game idiocy). The only danger for her is if enough realize that there's no way they'd win in the jury with her in the final two (and the only person I can see doing this is Rob). She's come a long way from the Outback...

19 April 2004

CmdrSue cracks me up...

Tom Tomorrow nails it... You'll need to view an ad to get access to Salon for the day, but it's worth it.

16 April 2004

Nice one, Johnny...

I've written a couple of posts expressing my disappointment with Mr. Electability, but I gotta admit this little cartoon does a damn good job getting the point across about Bush's failures with humor and style. Pass it on to your friends...

14 April 2004

Part of the never-ending struggle to keep kids from having fun...

Mattel just recalled some toy Batmobiles just because they are hilariously pointy. C'mon! Aren't the toys we most fondly remember the ones that could have caused serious injury? Did anyone buy the remodeled Battlestar Galactica toys when they had to recall the first ones that fired missles which looked exactly like Tic-Tacs? We played lawn darts when we were kids, and we turned out OK...

Well, actually I remember my brother catching one in the back, but I didn't throw it.
Applying George W. Bush's rhetorical skills to my rapidly approaching dissertation defense...

"Doesn't it seem that using Sergei Dovlatov's The Compromise as a representation of the attitude of Soviet authors towards the media ignores the prevalence of journals that espoused more liberal viewpoints?"

Well, 9/11 changed everything. Next question.

"Did you examine Bourdieu's social critiques at all when analyzing Pelevin?"

You hate freedom. Next!

"Do you feel Putin's recent efforts toward media consolidation will result in the return of didactic texts?"

You didn't clear that question with me in advance, so I'm not answering it.

"Well done. Here's your diploma."

13 April 2004

Tonight on FOX: When Flop Sweat Floods the Room

I won't have the stomach (or the cable TV, for that matter) to view Bush's primetime press conference tonight, so if anyone wants to comment on it, feel free to do so and let me know how he does. Thanks in advance (wish I could give you hazard pay)...

12 April 2004

Yet more undeniable proof that gambling is great...

In a story that will no doubt prove inspiring to degenerates everywhere, a British man sold everything (and I do mean everything), converted it to cash, and put it all on one spin of the roulette wheel. He hit his color (red), and finished $135K to the good. Who should we all be happy for? The parents, natch. You think this guy wasn't going to hit them up for free room and board if the ball landed on black?

Another lesson to degenerates everywhere...after he won, HE WALKED AWAY.

Cameras will follow him around the next month for a British reality show, but we all know it's going to suck now that the guy won. I might have had to buy a PAL DVD player if the guy lost, who wouldn't have wanted to see four episodes of a grown man crying?

09 April 2004

Well, this is reassuring...

The new AP poll has Kerry/Nader beating Bush 50-45. I'm assuming that most of the 6 percent who say they'll back Nader now are just being difficult but will vote for our uninspiring-but-ultimately-not-Bush Democratic nominee. And the Yahoo article is worth checking out just because the Bush picture is extra doofy.

And stop putting goddamn RNC ads over my blog, you a**holes! Is this some right-wing conspiracy to make sure I never look at my own blog again?!? F***!

07 April 2004

A summer blockbuster preview I'd like to see...

[Fade in: Night. A Gothic cityscape]

[VO] In the big city, evil appears in many shapes...

"Come on, lady, hand over the purse..."

Depravity assumes many forms...

"Get your cheap, incredibly addictive, soul-sucking drugs right here! Oh, hello, Senator..."

And the police are powerless to protect the weak...

"I told you guys...that old lady was loaded. Heh, look at this score..."

But two young heroes...

"Where do you think you're going, punks?"

...have a new cry for justice...

"Shape of...A RABID TIGER!"

"Oh, Christ, I gotta get outta here..."
"Going somewhere, dirtbag? You know, it's hard to find the getaway car with your eyes gouged out! Form of...ICICLE FINGERS!"


"Oh shit, gotta get away, gotta get away..."
"What is that, lurking in the shadows, it''s...a VICIOUS MAULING BABOON!"

"Hey, wondersis, guess we don't have to feed Gleek tonight!"
"That's spacey, Zan, real spacey!"


Starring Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, and Marlon Brando as Space Monkey Gleek!

Coming soon to a theater near you!

I'm no conspiracy theorist, buttttttttttt....

Has any other blogger noticed the obnoxious appearance of RNC ads overhead? I mean, I understand Blogger is free, but I thought the ads were linked to keywords in the blog, and RNC hasn't appeared in this blog at all (except in this post, oh darn).

And then I looked at my blog as listed under Blogshares and the outgoing link for the John Kerry campaign in yesterday's post appears there with the title "Vote for George W. Bush!"

So WT fucking F? Am I nuts, or are the Repubs laying off the porn long enough to figure out some bloggin' tricks?

06 April 2004

Apparently, I'm a cheap date...

Yep, I joined the John Kerry mailing list, and no doubt will soon be inundated with obnoxious requests for dough which I will probably occasionally, half-heartedly fulfill. Price: 2 bumperstickers.

Still don't see all that vaunted electability, but since Republicans have apparently deluded themselves into believing Dubya's not a nimrod, maybe if we all start believing in Kerry's electability this substance will pop into existence out of thin air not unlike the creation of the Infinite Improbability drive.

05 April 2004

An uninformed, ill-advised opinion...

Here's a little thought on a side issue on the whole "Democratic candidates pulling their ads from Kos" incident (go over to Kos and check the diaries if you don't know what I'm talking about). I wonder how many of the candidates and members of their campaigns were truly aware of the nature of blogging, besides the fact that they knew it was a tool that allowed Howard Dean to raise a shitload of cash. I'm honestly surprised something like this didn't happen sooner, and I can almost respect (albeit not admire) the bulldog-like ferocity and tenacity the wingnuts showed when they got their teeth into this.

The real disgusting aspect of this whole incident is, once again, the Dems had the opportunity to play this card and didn't. Do any Republican candidates advertise on Free Republic? (I ain't linking, or looking at that one). What about any congressperson who appeared on a talk show panel with Ann Coulter, a pundit who has advocated violence against liberals and Muslims in the past? Did anyone raise a stink about that? Not that I know of. I understand that Dems/liberals, are, for the most part, rational human beings that think about the good they can do for the country while the Bushies only concern themselves w/winning elections, but maybe we've got to change our thought process slightly.

Yeah, the last sentence is an unfair generalization, but no one reads or advertises on this blog anyway. Oh, the joy of being unknown (hee)...

Oh, and the lessons Dem candidates should learn? If blogging interests you so much, take the time to make your own frickin' blog (like the candidate for VA-5, Al Weed!)

04 April 2004

For Christ's sake, John, throw a punch already...

Were I more manly, I could use sports-based metaphors with more confidence; still, it seems that a regular boxing truism is that the jabs you lay in the early rounds often pay off later when it's time for the knockout blow.

Need I remind anyone, we ended up picking John Kerry as the Democratic nominee because we thought he could beat Bush. Period. We didn't even pretend we liked the guy (go news-google all of the articles where he won the primaries; people voted for him because they thought he could beat Bush). So since this guy won the nomination on the electability argument, it seems to me that he owes it to us Democrats by not letting the Bush campaign get in punches so easily.

Now, I understand there's a long way to go, and if we went by who was winning six months ago Dean would be the nominee, but still, even w/Richard Clarke, even with Condi's collapse, even with Bush afraid to go out in public without VP Dick "Wad" Cheney by his side, Kerry's allowing himself to get tagged on this "gas tax" issue. Bush has been running flat-out inaccurate ads in swing states and Kerry's letting him score on an issue he should be trying to avoid. WTF? Thanks to you John, I'm forced to agree with today's Washington Post editorial (who said ABB was going to be easy?). It's all the more frustrating that Kerry's not refuting and parrying this effectively because his environmental proposals are some of his most progressive policies and have the greatest potential for mainstream appeal.

It's amazing to me how Bush can deflect every potential criticism with "9/11 changed everything" when apparently the one thing 9/11 did not change is the relationship of the Bush administration with oil companies and Saudi officials. Kerry's plan of encouraging alternative energy development would create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, secure America from dependence on countries that turn a blind eye to home-grown terrorism, and most importantly for domestic voter appeal, get American citizens closer to those cool cars like they had in Minority Report.

So there's your slogan, John, "Defeating Terrorism and Those Cool Cars Like They Had In Minority Report: Kerry '04." Now start being electable, Jesus...

02 April 2004

Your city sucks, apparently...

At least in comparison to my town of Charlottesville, VA, ranked the best place to live in America. That's right, baby, I'm talking #1 in the whole country. Of course, I could complain (for ex., just TRY to find work here not connected with the university, and real estate prices have risen dramatically in the last few years), but what the hell do I know? I just live here, it's not like my job or anything to figure this out like the good people at Frommer's. Whatever complaints I may have can only pale in comparison to the concerns of residents in the God-forsaken hellholes that are all other American cities.

Yessiree Bob, this arbitrary poll has me just swimming in faux local pride. So, in which non-Charlottesvillian shithole do you currently live, and what's good about it? ;)

01 April 2004

College kids and poker...

In a story that should surprise absolutely no one that's in college, works in a college, been to a college, lives near a college, has a kid who's going to college, knows a kid who's going to college, and pretty much everybody else save a militia group or two in the Ozarks, poker is the new binge drinking. At least it's easier to understand why some of my students have trouble turning in their homework. Interestingly enough, I mentioned this article to some of my students in class, and they readily agreed not to actually participating but to the fact that it was prevalent. It seems when parties are winding down, there is always someone with a deck of cards and chips ready to play Texas Hold 'Em. The students also chalked this up to the poker being shown on TV now. I don't know how to feel about this, given college kids and their prediliction to addictive behavior I'm not sure I find this completely healthy although I do enjoy it myself. I do worry about where this might lead (I'm just a mother hen about my students); since it has become tougher for college-age kids to find gainful employment, the thought that more of these kids are going to end up either problem gamblers, in debt, or both is hard to shake.

Also, note the quote at the end of the article by the World Poker Tour official, a quote which may become as infamous as "Not a cough in a carload" or "Only Duff fills your Q-zone with pure beer goodness".
We want Chuck D...

The Air America link is fixed on the right, and I guess they fixed the website after it crashed (I thought liberals all loved the computers, WTF?). Great, but you still have a problem. Where's Chuck D? The morning show is hosted by Chuck D and Lizz Winstead, and SHE gets top billing? I know, created the "Daily Show", blah blah, but just like "knuckleball beats all" when you pick teams, Chuck D trumps everyone. Don't you want people to listen to the station? I know who I'd promote. Fine, we'll make a deal, you can put Chuck D up NEXT to Winstead...

Put Chuck D on the website. Now.