Friday, April 30, 2004

I don't look at USS Clueless nearly enough. Instapundit linked to his post on the Liberal contingent who want to reenstate the draft.

This latest post is on the need of each subsequent generation to exert its independence from the previous one. I had figured that that was mostly what was going on politically. My thought would be, though, that given the fact that so many Boomers are still engaging in this separation from Mommy and Daddy, that more in my generation and beyond would be more conservative. Perhaps they are.
Lileks, again more eloquent than I will ever be, on the creep who wrote the Tillman smear in the Daily Collegian.

He hits the tone perfectly, I think. Tired, resigned, not looking forward to the upcoming, uglier cultural battles here.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Oh, I got my correspondent from Soldiers' Angels!

Also, for those who would *really* like to 'do it' for God and Country - take a look at this organisation!

-via Instapundit.
Yeah, someone's a pendejo, alright.

At least the UMass president had the sense to condemn this heinous insult.


Wednesday, April 28, 2004

How do I feel?

How do I feel?


Frustrated? Not really. It's out of my hands, so I can't allow it to bother me that much.
That only saps strength that I can use to fight other battles.
Here's what I know so far:
She was taken to the hospital on Saturday morning.
Spent the day in the emergency room.
Was transferred to ICU on Sunday.
Moved to another room on Tuesday.
Will be there possibly till tomorrow.

What was wrong? Couldn't eat? Couldn't drink?
Didn't do either or tried and failed for a week straight.
Had a bleeding ulcer.
Electrolytes were down so low that she could have had a heart attack.

Grandpa was also looking dehydrated, malnourished.

So many phone calls. Do I go back to set things straight? Can I? Should I?
I can't depend on her or Grandpa for the truth.
I can just piece things together.

What happened around her losing the job?
Is she taking care of administrative things around the house?
Is she safe there? Is grandpa safe there?
If I can't go back, who can I enlist to help? No one has any obligation to her. A lot of bridges have been burned.

La planete suivante etait habitee par un buveur. Cette visite fut tres courte, mais elle plongea le petit prince dans une grande melancolie:

-Que fais-tu la? dit-il au buveur, qu'il trouva installe en silence devant une collection de bouteliies vides et une collection de bouteilles pleines.
-Je bois, repondit le buveur, d'un air lugubre.
-Pourquoi bois-tu? lui demanda le petit prince.
-Pour oublier, repondit le buveur.
-Pour oublier quoi? s'entuit le petit prince qui deja le plaignait.
-Pour oublier que j'ai honte, avoua le buveur en baissant la tete.
-Honte de quoi? s'informa le petit prince qui desirait le secourir.
-Honte de boire! acheva le buveur qui s'enferma definitivement dans le silence.

Et le petit prince s'en fut, perplexe.
Les grandes personnes sont decidement tres tres bizarres, se disait-il en lui-meme durant le voyage.

de "Le Petit Prince," Antoine de Saint-Exupery


The following planet was inhabited by a drinker. This visit was very short, but it plunged the little prince into a great depression:

-"What are you doing there?" he asked the drinker, who he found seated in silence in front of a collection of empty bottles and a collection of full bottles.
-"I'm drinking," answered the drinker, lugubriously.
-"Why are you drinking?" the little prince asked him.
-"To forget," answered the drinker.
-"To forget what?" enquired the little prince, who already felt sorry for him.
-"To forget that I am ashamed," confessed the drinker, hanging his head.
-"To forget what?" asked the little prince again, who wanted to help him.
-"The shame of drinking!" finished the drinker who definitively closed himself off in silence.

And the little prince went on his way, perplexed.
"Big people are decidedly very very strange," he said to himself during the rest of his trip.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Last night, Pablo and I went to TGI Friday in Everett, MA for dinner. We happened upon this place a couple weeks ago during an errand run. Being chain restaurant snobs, we were very pleasantly surprised with our orders.

Did something I don't ordinarily do: ordered dessert. Take a look at the menu. Notice anything odd? Pablo did. In his most enraged, vitriolic tone (what I refer to as the 'little b!tch wolf' tone of voice), he shot over to me 'how about marzipan insanity?'

Aside from the TGIF items:

Oreo Madness
Chocolate Obsession,

We came up with a few others:

praline psychosis
mocha dysthymia
melba sociopathy
marshmallow neurosis
peanut butter compulsion

The waitress thought it rather funny, too. We all decided that we could really go to town with a copy of the DSM-IV and a cookbook. Wouldn't it be great to have the capital to start a restaurant like
Finale, but for the ironic, hip, artsy set?

If you've any other suggestions, please let me know.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

All this is to help me remember that I have a rich life outside of work. Life is good. As dysfunctional as it is in the office, I can leave for the bigger world outside and be happy.
As of yesterday, I've received all the materials I ordered from Amazon. I started the day by greeting my coworkers with labdien, drogs! Proceeded to ask a few of them for their passports and if this was their first visit to Latvija.

Hal is bemused. Why am I doing this, who cares? I don't know, I'm doing it because I can. It's good mental exercise. I do well when a language is spoken by someone I love. That's how I learned Dutch and Spanish. Is he confused or trying to be patently unhelpful? Can't tell. Last night he told me that he couldn't understand what I was saying because I had a 'weird accent.'

I did come up with a fun game to play, however. I pucker up and ask, "ludzu?"
He gives me a kiss. I smile and answer back, "paldies!" This got repeated many times. I only stopped because he had to leave. I could have gone on indefinately.
I've been amusing myself with a new toy lately. Last week I learned to use a drop spindle. I was warned that my chiropractor might have words with me, due to how much stretching I'd be doing while spinning. So far, I'm not hurting, though. Of course, I limit myself to 1/2 an hour a day. The roving is a nice natural, grayish brown wool from a variety of sheep all over Maine. It is soft and full of lanolin. I love the smell of it and the feel of the oil on my hands. The scent drives the cats crazy. My bit of yarn is very uneven in thickness and there are lot of grafts. I'm slowly getting the feel of it, though. I'm even finding it relaxing. Not much cussing going on, either.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Bowling for Fallujah

This is the most realistic portrait that I've seen. I mean, it's not like he's an informed, intelligent voice in any debate any more than he is a caricature or a cartoon character.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Mental health days off.
Sleep, waking up to sun, reading some. I've forgotten what it's like to luxuriate in a book, rather than quick scan for relevant bits of information.

Yesterday and today, had two long walks in the sun. Took a spinning lesson (yes! finally! Another toy for me to frustrate myself with at the beginning) and got the back worked over.

Today - breakfast with a friend, lunch with a friend...nothing but a long weekend ahead of me.
It almost feels as though I have a life. Funny, that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

We all should take time out for tea. LeAnn baked a tea bread from the blueberries I schlepped back from Allen's last August.
Not only did it give a number of us a bit of a pause in the day, it provided me with a bit of a Proust recollection. I've now got Deer Isle on my mind.
Take a look at this! Another good way to support our men overseas. I signed up last night, am waiting for a confirmation call/email. We'll see what happens!
Taxes done! Yes!

I've been taking a bit of a breather from the news, as all that seems to be talked about is yet another 'quagmire' in Iraq and another Democratic Party Kangaroo Court in DC. (Non partisan? Feh! With just about everyone on the so called fact-finding commission formerly having worked for the Clinton Administration?....riiiiiight.) I did take a look at the Captain's Quarter Blog and Hugh Hewitt last night to see what they had to say about Jamie Gorelick (Hello, can you say Conflict of Interest?), Ashcroft's skewering of her and of the resultant press spin of the whole thing. All this, of course, I found via Instapundit.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

One coworker, a very elegant dresser, came down to pay a visit in an amazing black and white houndstooth suit. The only words that would come to mind were "Coco Chanel." I made mention that Vogue Knitting a couple years back featured knitted reworks of classic Chanel suits and of how I wished I had the body for one.

Maybe I should attempt a classic, feminine suit. It would certainly be a rare gift to myself. Definately plus haute que la haute-couture, as I would have made the fabric myself in addition to piecing it all together. Maybe I'd start a new trend in indulgence - one for la haute tricoterie? If it looked horrible on me, I could always give it away.

I never much thought of myself as being the type for such items - but as I get older, the classics seem to be so much more appealing. Coco proclaimed a design for every woman. Did she have me in mind, though? I've always seen myself more as utilitarianism idealized by soviet-era propagandists, rather than an image of cool elegance like that put forth by the French fashion industry mid 20th century.

Africa Pundit

Different perspective from that normally shown (if shown at all) in the news.
Back again!
Tax time!

Oh well.

Here is some more beautiful writing by Theodore Dalrymple on the nature of Islam vs Western Civilization.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

It's finally up!

Morehouse Farm Merino Yarns

Go take a look at yarn heaven! While you're at it, too, check out the puzzle at the knitters' niche. Charming.

I have a kit for the lace cardigan that I've been using as the ultimate prize to get my UFOs done. Every now and again I take a skein of the yarn out and bury my nose in it, fetish it. The stuff is softer than cashmere.
Something that rarely happens to me did last night: I became totally engrossed by a television program.

Nova: Battle of the X Planes

Nova's gotten a bit rock video-ey over the past couple years (the String Theory program was a bit low on content but high on catchy graphics and loud music), but still, it is one of the worthwhile programs on TV.

This was a fascinating look into a world that we don't tend to get to see much of. In just two hours, we were taken on a trip from concept to working product in the bidding process for probably the most lucrative defense contract ever.

Of course, as always, I'd love for them to go more into detail, but given the constraints (How many would understand the process involved? Also, there's the security interest.), the folks at Nova did an admirable job.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Just in time for Passover.

Did anyone ever read this in school? Amazing how this can just keep being recycled. Amazing how if anyone brings it up, they are the ones branded racist. (Or zionist, means the same thing now.)

This is so sad, it tires me out.

If you have any interest in what else the Middle Eastern media are broadcasting, please take a look at this site: Middle East Media Research Institute. Another good resource on what's not being said to or is being glossed over by our media is Bat Yeor's site. Not happy reading, but informative.
Community Building Limousine Liberal Style

As an alternative to Clear Channel, et al (how much more monolithic is Clear Channel than NPR?), we now have Air America. The claim is that they are here to give voice to the disenfranchised masses. To bring 'diversity' to the airwaves. But at what price? Couldn't be actual 'diversity', now, could it? Nah, couldn't be. We all know who has the market cornered on that.

From Glenn Reynolds, of course.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Boston Convention a "Quagmire."

Really, now? How long did it take so many to figure this out? More conventions have left Boston in the recent years due to lack of organization and infrastructure.

I was shocked that we even won the concession for this, given the issues with the Big Dig, etc.
Great post by Oliver Kamm (*sigh*) comparing the writing styles/rhetoric of Noam Chomsky and Christopher Hitchens.
Mantras to help survive the day:

"What one man spills, another man gathers..."
-bumper sticker on a Volvo station wagon outside Union Square

"We sow the seed, Nature grows the seed, We eat the seed..."
-Neil from "The Young Ones"

"Two men enter, one man leaves..."
-Tina Turner's character in "Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome"
I was pretty riled up last week from another go round with my poor friend in London. After some serious thought on the subject - I figured out what the issue is here: two people separated by a single language. Instead of trying to rebut some of the statements (your brand of fascism, you know, you are racist, & ad nauseam), what I need to do is to match slogan for slogan. I don't really have time to come up with a random limousine leftie rebuttal generator, but there's plenty on this site to glean for when I don't feel like thinking and just want to type:

Protest Warrior - 'Fighting the Left, Doing it Right!'

BBC Bias in Palestinian Bomber Story

No point in really going on about this. The BBC is rotton. Unfortunately, it's difficult to have a conversation about this with many people, because, though, from what I see in the British journals as blatant bias against the US and Israel, this is largely denied. I guess that antisemitism to many nowadays means actually going out, rounding up Jewish people and putting them in ovens.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

It was a quiet weekend. The weather wasn't stellar, so we again stayed in, watched movies and did a little puttering about. I am working on a nice blanket, big stitched, of Lion Brand 'Homespun.' Was going to make it striped, but have decided to keep it all in the same, wonderful, oceany blue.

This week's offerings were: "Key Largo," "Big Deal on Madonna Street," "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie." All were very engaging, but I think that my favorite in terms of humor was the last one. Loved the social commentary, the taste of surrealism, the Spanish sense of grotesque. I'd love to see more of Buñuel's work.

Last week, we watched "Whale Rider." A nice enough film, I guess - might have been better on a big screen, but Hal put it well when he said that it was like hamburger after a straight diet of prime rib. "Whale Rider" seemed to me like a multi-culti, much less subtle version of "The Secret of Roan Inish." In keeping with the truism of less being more, I'd have to say that it would have been a good idea not to have put all the extras on the DVD. Not to have shown us cut scenes that would have helped the narrative more. Not to have shown us that the natives' war canoe was made of plastic foam. Not to have shown us how vacant the director/script writer was or how stereotypically hollywood new agey the soundtrack composer was. I might have been happier with everything if I'd not have gotten the glimpse of the 'sausage being made.'

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Happy Birthday, Pablo! (36)
Happy Birthday, Grandpa! (90)

Have fun today!


Friday, April 02, 2004

You all know my favorite joke master for the likes of Letterman and Leno, right?

Did you know that he's a pretty darn talented cartoonist as well?

Chumworth's violon d'Ingres is now being featured at pretty witty dot com.
Go take a look!

And for more witty, incisive, insightful commentary, be sure to check out his own site.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Three iTunes in three Pepsis at the ETC cafeteria over the past week. I'm on a roll!
It tickles me to know that I'm winning something, even with the probability that iTunes doesn't do Shostakovich or Milhaud or Adams or...
I love the guy dearly. I know that he's not stupid. Or at least, I hope he isn't.
I tend to think that a lot of the rhetoric/politics tends to be a substitute for therapy.
More get a clue time from Lileks.

It's funny, but I just got through giving a timeout to my Lib Dem friend in the UK (for more on the Liberal Democrats, take a look at Oliver Kamm's site.) for more of the same, tired, blame everything on the US and Israel tirade. This whole thing, same phrases - 'no blood for oil,' 'US abuse of human rights,' &c, ad nauseum makes me think of obsessive compulsive disorder or tourettes syndrome. Dre's angry because he can't afford to go to Poughkeepsie in the fall, but he's having a tirade about the new US immigration policy of fingerprinting foreigners at border entries.