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Monday, December 31, 2012

SBD I can't stop to read edition

I'm too busy admiring the make-up jobs on The Walking Dead. Seriously, except for the make-up, the zombies are dull, dull, dull, and if I never see another spurting head wound from some human character using a pen/knife/axe/pieceofglass on a zombie character, I'll be happy. Zombies are deadly killing machines, and deadly boring. The scenes of them huddled around some dead thing gnawing on bits--I'm past that too. I watch and wonder what the zombie-actors are munching down. Jello? Rubber?

As constant horrible threats, sure, sure, the WD need to be there. But as actual footage--naw.

So why am I watching this if I'm not a gore-hound? 

hey, good lookin'
I want to see which way Daryl goes (I'm turning into a Daryl fan), to find out if Rick will kill more people, to watch Lori die because man, she's annoying. Although at least the women are less loser-iffic in the second season. I swear the writers of that show started out writing like a bunch of misogynists.  What a bunch of incomprehensible characterless angry whiners the women were. Now the writers have turned into plain old misanthropes, but that's fine. Lord of the Flies FTW.

I'm totally addicted. I haven't seen any of the third season so I guess I'll have to stay up all night tonight to watch. I wonder who's going to channel Dale the slightly annoying voice of conscience? Or is that gone forever and ever? I'm turning into either a zombie or one of the twisted souls because I wouldn't mind seeing the kid (Carl, ie the hope for the future) vanish too.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas.

Warning, dog stupidity and grossness to follow.

I woke up about 6 Christmas morning to the sound of dogs hurking. Two dogs, one after the other, hucka-hucka-hucka blarrrrrrrgh.

After I cleaned up and let them back into the house, they drank and drank--way too much water, hurked again and then cheered up. Their bellies seemed too full though. I wondered if maybe there was some extra food involved. I wandered the house, trying to figure out what they'd gotten into. I gave up, sat down to drink my coffee.

bad barfing dog poses next to the scene of the crime
And then I noticed what they'd been up to last night.

They'd unearthed last of the basil, left the dirt on the floor. Far more dramatic: the 4 year old poinsettia had gone from leafy to totally bare. Aha. Good thing it's actually not poisonous.

Here's what it does do to dogs: after the hurking water-gulping period there follows the nastiest, stinkiest farts ever. Followed by horrible stinky loose feces. so it's pretty much doggy business as usual. . . .

The small dog is sweet and innocent, but only because she probably couldn't reach the leaves.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Stuff, including an SBD

ONE   I'm listening to The Cat's Table by Michael O[look up the rest of his name later, but there's a "j" and several "aa's" in there] It's a lovely book so far, even though it hasn't gripped me the way books sometimes do. That means that when I accidentally bonk the player and it skips backward, I don't fast-forward. I'll just listen to the section again. I'm not in a hurry to get to the end. 

TWO   I'm starting a list of words and phrases that I would eliminate if I were given the Word Wand:
Check your privilege, Mom (I'm not sure what it means but I hear it too often)
Fur-baby and furever home
Cis-privilege Cis-anything come to that.

THREE   It hasn't been 2 weeks yet, but the whole Newtown thing is fading from the conversation. I have no idea what the solution should be -- fewer guns out in the world seems obvious, although how that happens, less obvious.  I only hope the public's will to figure out real solutions lasts through the new year. I mean, gad, the world will come back from the winter break weeks and weeks after the fact.

FOUR    I'm not liking this story I'm writing. Bah.



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

what he said

The why of Pedro's question is easy to understand. Sandy Hook Elementary looks like our kids' schools. Those kids look like ours. It could be us looking like our guts had been yanked out. The why isn't enough though--the message is important.
Sharing a status from  Pedro Francisco (actually I'm sharing his wife's status, but she quoted him.) 

"This is an honest question. There is something I want to understand more deeply. I think the answer unlocks a key to humanity but I don't have the answer. Consider these two events:
1. Adam Lanza walks into a school in Connecticut and kills 26 innocent people, most of them children.
2. Staff Sargent Robert Bales walks into a home in Afghanistan and kills 16 innocent people, most of them children.

The Connecticut killings rightly cause shock, empathy and sympathy for all of the innocent people, living and dead, who are victims of the event. Media provides 24/7 coverage of every aspect of the crime, including heart wrenching details of the children's talents, dreams and beautiful moments from their short lives. We weep for them and their families. We want justice. We want this to never happen again. Speaking for myself, I want to help create a world where these things are almost impossible to occur. It affects me deeply.

The Afghanistan killings get no similar media coverage. We never learn of the dreams of little Akhtar or of sweet faced Fareeda or any of the other boys and girls. We never hear the details of who heard the gunshots and who tried to hide. Yet this event bothers me even more than Connecticut and here's why - as a person who pays taxes in the USA I helped pay for the gun and bullets Sgt. Bales used to kill these innocent children. And I paid for whatever he used to set them all on fire in the center of one room. I feel as though I literally have their blood on my hands. I helped make it happen.

I didn't pay for Mrs. Lanza's guns or Adam's ammo. I had nothing to do with any of that. But I'm financially complicit in Sgt. Bales killings and that bothers me.

But here is my honest question: Why do people care so much about the Connecticut murders yet so little about the Afghanistan murders? What is it about humans that we can be so dismissive of an event that is basically identical to another event that profoundly moves us?"

Saturday, December 15, 2012

so long, santa

When I was a kid, a drunk taxi driver killed someone important in our family on December 17. The sudden unexpected death meant Christmas was basically over--not just that year, every year after. Every year after that, our family tended to run away during Christmas--usually we would up and travel to somewhere warm. The tree went up and we'd go through the motions, but I think that was for the little kids. The adults had lost the joy, and by gum, they need the joy and connectedness too.
 

Not that anyone asked, but I say when someone dies suddenly, tragically, close to a major holiday, don't even bother pretending to celebrate after that. The holiday is done, toast, finished as a time of joy at least for a few years. Run away. Pick another time, in the spring maybe, for the wholesome good family get-togethers, for rebirth celebration, and season of generosity. The kids might not like it, but they're more resilient than the grown-ups.

(Although soldiering through and pretending you're not filled with glum despair has its reasonable advocates too)

Friday, December 14, 2012

why did I say that thing on twitter?

 anyone who worships a god who kills kids if people don't pray to him, isn't convincing me that this is a god I want in my kids' school 

 I said that in response to things like this I keep seeing all over the internet:

I know I was being simplistic. Although it's clear that any kid reading that message would see this: god's at the door keeping us safe and if we don't pray to him he'll abandon us. 

In fact, as someone pointed out, the message is that Huckabee and others are saying that by pushing God out of schools, we reduce the morality and the respect for others out of our schools including the commandments. 

That's not as simplistic but it still doesn't work for me. Not at all.

I just do not buy that unless you pray to God, you will not develop true morality, a conscience or any true form of humanity.

I resent any implication that it is somehow it is unbelievers faults' that children die.

 I resent being told that religion will answer every problem like this when it might well have been a case of neglected medication, or some failure of communication, or some other sad human (or otherwise) based fact or incident that leads to this sort of tragedy.

Also I'm sad, and sorrow seems to turn into anger pretty easily. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

hero defined

Okay, I got one: Adam Parascandola is a hero.

I already appreciated him when I was avoiding work and found this video.
but then I found this article about how he helps some of the people he raids. That takes a generous, amazing soul, to see the horrible conditions of the animals and understand the people involved require aid too. And then to be the one to administer that help? Yessiree, hero.

from the article:

As the director of the shelter's law enforcement efforts, Parascandola befriended a woman while investigating complaints about her petkeeping, Smith recalls. Instead of removing the animals and forgetting about her, Parascandola provided years of support. "He took her grocery shopping, and he picked her up from the hospital and visited her in the hospital until the day she died," Smith says. "He is just that kind of person."

SBD another vampire

I was going to swear off vampires and werewolves, but our local library seems to have a huge stock of them. Given a choice between Debbie Macomber and a bunch of deadly undeads....well. I suppose I could try reading Schopenhauer, but at the moment I'm trying to escape horrible edits and that means ESCAPE. Dense philosophical writing just doesn't let you float away in someone else's world.

Cherie Priest's vampire took some time to get used to. She kills nearly everyone she meets who annoys her, she gets self-righteous and self-deprecating at the same time (it's an interesting skill) and her first person voice is occasionally annoying. But the secondary characters, the ex-SEAL drag queen, the annoying little kids, are what I liked. I read the first book and now I know I'm addicted. Only one book is in the library and so that means I'll be buying Priest lunch -- or if the series is long, dinner.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Neri Oxman, Neil Gaiman and Neil DeGrasse Tyson

We had a night out and that doesn't happen very often.
From the program:
An astrophysicist, a comic book writer, and a kick-ass designer walk into the forum.

Bits I took from it:

the word "nerd" was used 9 times, mostly by the people introducing the panel. Nerds, nerd-fest. One panelist (Neil G?) said geek, but otherwise they didn't do much about that. They dragged up the usual suspects of Brilliance and Vision, Beethoven, Picasso, Einstein, Newton (kick-ass man!), Stephen Hawking, but they said new things about them so cool. Yes. All righty then!

When Neri talked about her thinking, I went into WTF? Huh? mode. The words made sense. The individual sentences worked. They just didn't fit together. Axis? Whu? At the time I decided it was her, and not me. I'm still not sure.

BUT! When she talked about what she did...now that was wildly interesting (so was her thinking. even if I didn't follow), and it made sense. Though really, the whole organic growth thing doesn't fit with the printing off 3-D models of body bits.

"You are a scientist with a preacher's voice." Neri to Neil DeG. T. That's for sure.

Newton invented the cat flap?

"God of the gaps." I'd heard it before and thought it sounded poetic and lovely. Now it seems to be code for lazy brains.

I get why N. DeG. T. is so popular with the teenaged boy set. He does PWNED and oh, snap elegantly. Snark with style. I could listen to him all night, but I'm not sure I'd want to be trapped on a long car ride with him. I suspect the snark transitions to snarl. Neil Gaiman, now he's the one for a cross-country road trip. Neri's the one I want to visit at work. And maybe listen to some more, but only if she could do illustrations. I bet she does better with pictures or maybe I do.

I want to borrow Neil Gaiman's brain for a few hours when I'm plotting or maybe just when I'm bored (...except I'm never really bored because there's always something to plot.)

Things to look up: Jefferson Bible. Jenny Hanovers/chimeras. Leonard Bernstein talking about Beethoven's 9th. Bolides. John Wilmot.

Once I win the billion dollar lottery, I will hire John Dankosky to moderate all conversations, formal and informal.