Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Coffee pot: Check.
Plot: Sort of.
Genre: Young adult. Controversial. Teenager tested.
Oy. what was I thinking?
On your mark... Get set...
Thursday, October 26, 2006
For those of you who don’t know (which is pretty much all of you), in addition to being a writer and librarian, I am also a nut for Broadway musicals. Sadly, I must admire them from afar, since even in-town productions are out of my price range. Which is why I’m so enamored with Rudetsky, who hosts numerous music and talk programs on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Broadway channel.
I won’t repeat Rudetsky’s entire show-biz pedigree – which you can find here – but suffice it to say that he’s pretty much a Broadway blueblood with the sort of inside access most of us can’t ever hope to achieve. What’s even better is that he offers a musician’s perspective, telling us to listen (for example) to that last note Mary Martin sings in The Sound of Music’s Do-Re-Mi, and other such heads-up alerts. As someone who fancies myself a singer – someday, maybe – I have learned a lot by listening to him. As we say here in Georgia (where we sport the second-lowest SAT scores in the nation, or something like that), it’s downright edja-cay-shun-al. But it’s also entertaining, because Rudetsky is a very funny guy.
Still, I was a little cynical when I heard he had written a book about Broadway musicals. I figured, with his inside knowledge, that it might be an insider’s book. Like, inside jokes meant for Beautiful People, which probably wouldn’t include me or anyone I know.
I’m pleased to say I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Q Guide to Broadway is an insider’s book, but only in its authorship. While I imagine even Beautiful People will find some lovely gems inside, it’s very well suited for neophytes. Rudetsky tells us the basics, even starting with the definition of “Broadway.” He shows us where to get discounted tickets, where to learn more about the shows and the stars, which CDs are essential to a good collection, and lots more. And best of all, he does it all without making the reader feel like a Pitiful Outsider. Rudetsky’s relationship with the reader is definitely more mentor-protégé than expert-idiot.
And while the “Q” in The Q Guide to Broadway stands for “queer,” it’s not just a gay guide. Of course, somebody like Fred Phelps might get the heebie jeebies reading it, but anything that gives Fred Phelps the willies deserves a thumbs-up.
That’s not to say the book is perfect. It could use one more round of proofreading, and people who aren’t familiar with Rudetsky’s lively personality could be taken aback by his effervescence (those who like Rudetsky will adjust quite nicely).
And there’s one thing more you should know. Rudetsky hurt my feelings. Yes, he did. In praising the performance of baritone Robert Weede in Most Happy Fella, Rudetsky points out that Weede sings a particularly high note on an “e” vowel. He writes: “E vowels are notoriously difficult to sing [in high ranges] because they tighten you up. That’s why so many bad singers change the word ‘me’ to ‘may.’”
Bad singers? Gee, Seth, isn’t that a bit harsh? I mean, I did that when I was learning and I still have to adjust vowels if I go above a high A. And I bet it’s no coincidence that Leonard Bernstein assigned an “ah” vowel to all the really high notes in “Glitter and Be Gay.” Bad singers? Inexperienced, maybe. Out of their range, perhaps. But bad? Doesn't "bad” mean irredeemable? What a depressing thought!
Oh, all right. I just don’t want to admit I’m a bad singer. And maybe always will be. But still…Ouch!
That weakness aside, if you’re interested in Broadway but couldn’t hope to have a clue as to what’s going on, this is a great book to get you started. If you already know a bit about Broadway and you’re planning a trip to New York, this book could definitely save you some bucks. And if you happen to be a Rudetsky fan, well, this book is a definite winner.
But … really, I’m a bad singer?
Monday, October 23, 2006
This organization does some good stuff in addition to their annual writing frenzy. Check out their website to see.
Why am I doing such an idiotic thing when I'm already so busy? Well, because I want to be busy writing my own stuff as well as resumes and ghostwriting. Rita Mae Brown, or somebody, says you should have 12 short-story/article/book manuscripts out there and circulating at any one time. I have 1 children's book manuscript done and 0 circulating. If I wait until I think I have time, it'll never happen. Which is the whole point behind the NaNoWriMo thing. So I'm signing on and brewing one big urn of coffee on Halloween night that hopefully will last me through Thanksgiving.
At any rate, my only entries during the month of November may be "AAAARRRGGHHHH!!!!" and "&%%$$@@*!!" Or maybe just "ZZZZZZZZZZZZ."
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Wow. Old Senator Richard “I think we should pave the entire state of New Mexico” Fardinhead – yeah, that guy – is at it again. He has introduced an EPA rule that would instantly lower the level of volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”) in the air – that’s the stuff that causes global warming, folks – by eliminating one particular substance from the VOC definition – something called HFE-7300, which is manufactured by 3M Company.
This is a bee-yoo-tee-ful plan, dear readers, because the Republicrats would get two bangs for their buck. First, the rule would make VOC limits less restrictive for businesses which, as we all know, is pretty much the purpose of the current Republicrat leadership. Second, if this thing is passed, the Republicrats will be able to crank out numbers purporting to show that they have actually lowered VOCs and therefore saved Mother Earth from the dangers of global warming (which they are now almost willing to concede is real).
Only, of course, they’ll be comparing apples with oranges: the “before” list will include HFE-7300, and the “after” list won’t.
Now ain’t that a happy occurrence for an election year? Just another example of how politicians operate in Washington.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Then, talking out of the other side of his mouth, he pointed out that because race is clearly protected under the Constitution, universities shouldn’t be allowed to use race as a determining factor in admissions.
Uh, isn’t race a politically charged issue?
Scalia, of course, is everybody’s favorite “strict constructionist,” meaning that he thinks the Constitution should be interpreted based only on its actual wording and the intent of the original writers. So that’s how he would answer my “uh” question: when it’s really in the Constitution, then it doesn’t matter whether it’s politically charged or not.
But Scalia underestimates the complexity, and the clarity, of the English language. As Strossen apparently pointed out (sorry, I’m too lazy to watch the video), Scalia’s approach would have prevented the Court from outlawing segregation in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. That, by the way, was a unanimous decision.
My favorite quote from the debate, though, is this, aimed at the Court’s more progressive rulings in past years: "Someday, you're going to get a very conservative Supreme Court and regret that approach." Someday?
I got to see Scalia speak in a Q&A setting when I was in law school. He’s a very congenial guy, and very entertaining as a speaker. Too bad he’s such a … well, I can’t think of any wholesome words for it.
Monday, October 16, 2006
In a few days I will be posting something on this blog that will be utter nonsense – it’s part of the midterm exam I’m giving to my advanced legal research class. I will include a line to that effect, and I will probably use fictitious names just to be safe, but be forewarned!
For now, lots of thoughts have been going on in my head about my daughter’s 14th birthday (today), and music (since concert season has kicked in) and what a jerk Bush is and all the usual stuff.
One big shock in particular – when quit my job, I figured I’d continue my health insurance, which I’m allowed to do through a US law known as COBRA. The catch is you have to pay full price for it. I figured yeah, a few hundred, it’s probably worth it. I got the bill: $1100. PER MONTH. Geez! So now I’m not quite sure what to do. Makes me wish I lived in some other country. We are so ass-backwards in this country….
Ok, I'm aiming for a blog entry tomorrow. Even if it's just to say "hi."
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
That’s the sound of a lame-duck librarian. That’s MY sound. Two days ago I gave notice at my “day” job because – happily – I now have too much writing work to be both a writer and a librarian. It’s a sad commentary on society that I can make more money writing resumes than I can as a librarian, but there it is.
My boss actually tried to get me a raise before he accepted my resignation. Not surprisingly, the owner (yes, owner – this is a proprietary school) said no.
So I turned in my almost-one-month notice. My last day is September 15.
If I was looking for a warm and fuzzy response from the owner, it certainly hasn’t arrived yet. Just hours after I turned in my resignation, the computer folks deleted every file from my computer. It’s a standard, though secret, protocol here – although I’m not sure what evil it was designed to prevent. Fine by me. They just erased the stuff I was working on for the Dean, that’s all.
Actually, I was tipped off in advance by someone other than the computer guy, so I knew to make my own back-up before I gave notice. But I complained anyway and they restored all my files. Ha!
Meanwhile, my boss is looking to hire back my predecessor to take my place. I’m pretty happy with that idea because people don’t like her as much as they like me (Ok, so I’m petty. So fire me.).
Of course, I’ll be working just as hard, if not harder, than I am right now. My bread-and-butter is writing resumes, which can be draining and not as much fun as, say, writing for a personal blog. I am also expecting to panic at least once a day, whenever half an hour goes by without a new order – and then flog myself because I’m an irresponsible hack writer quitting a secure job just to be an Artiste.
Still, this quote from Erma Bombeck resonates for me:
“There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, ‘Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams.’ Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they're still there.”
All right, so what if I am just a hack writer pretending to be an artist? Yesterday I was a librarian pretending to be a writer. It’s a start.
Friday, August 18, 2006
The first bit of verbal poison comes from the distinguished lips of Andrew Young, former ambassador, Atlanta mayor, and civil rights leader. In a discussion about Wal-Mart and its tendency to steamroll small businesses, Young said this:
"Well, I think they should; they ran the 'mom and pop' stores out of my neighborhood…But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us — selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs; very few black people own these stores."Young, of course, now retracts those statements and says they’re totally out of character.
Hmmm. Could it be . . . Satan?
The second incident involves Tramm Hudson, a Republican candidate for state office in Florida. In February, Hudson was speaking at a Christian Coalition event and reminiscing about his days as an Army commander. In describing his infantry unit, he said:
“A large number were black….I grew up in Alabama. I understand, uh, I know from experience, that blacks are not the greatest swimmers or may not even know how to swim."The Devil must have gotten hold of another one, because Hudson was equally remorseful: “I want you to know that it was out of character for me and those who know me know that to be a fact.”
The fact is, these guys are saying what they mean. No more, no less. Anyone willing to believe otherwise, please contact me. I have a car to sell you that was only driven on Sundays by a sweet little old lady.
Honest, I really mean it!
Thursday, August 03, 2006
A couple of mishy-mashy things of note today:
First, a big cheer for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has ordered that records be released in a dispute between some
Librarians are the coolest!
Second, closing on our house has been postponed AGAIN. I have no idea for how long because our mortgage guy isn’t returning our calls. This is what you have to put up with when your credit sucks, as mine does (mostly, but not completely, for reasons within my control). So, dear readers, if you have the option, protect your credit. And if you don’t, know that you can live through it although it’s damned inconvenient.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot.
Oh, really? OK, I know everybody is on the Mel Gibson bandwagon. But it’s sort of a fun and interesting bandwagon, so I want to get on it, too. Just for a minute.
First of all, I do think it’s admirable that MG wants to meet with Jewish leaders to try to heal the ginormous rift he’s created. But it would be a lot more admirable if he just admitted he was anti-Semitic, instead of denying it. Denying a fact doesn’t make it false. I could go all kinds of directions with that statement but I won’t bother – except to mention that Mel Gibson is partnering with Disney on a miniseries about the Holocaust, which is sort of like Madalyn Murray O’Hair making a movie about the Resurrection.
Still, the most interesting part of the whole Mel debacle isn’t that he made anti-Semitic remarks to the arresting officer (‘cause let’s face it, that’s not such a big surprise). No, the best part of the story is what he said after they took him down to headquarters.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not making excuses for him. But someday – if this poor asshole ever gets sober – he’s going to be telling his story at a 12-step meeting: “Well, let me just put it to you this way. It’s really not a good idea to call a female cop Sugar Tits after you’re arrested.” I don’t know about you, but I’d sure laugh.
What a jerk. But I still hope he gets his ass straightened out. It’s gonna be a long road.
Monday, July 31, 2006
C is for closing, as in real estate. We have been living in a plumbing-less, air-conditionless travel trailer amidst 10 acres of mud for two years. We have been trying to build or buy a house. We have had many obstacles. Many. Some self-imposed and some just the luck of the draw.
Now, it appears, we are two days away from closing on a house. A real house with A/C and a real, live bathroom. With 10 acres of pasture, instead of mud, for the horses. It’s fabulous, it’s too good to be true, and I am afraid to get excited about it – but we are so close that I almost can’t help myself. We’ve had it inspected, the appraisal has been done, and it’s beginning to look like it just might happen.
It has a laundry room. Shall I shower first, or do laundry? Perhaps I’ll just soak my feet in the washing machine for a few hours. Ahhhhhh.
With any luck at all, my next post will be from home. Home.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
No, not George Bush. The subject today is car stereos. As in, installing them. All right, I could have bought one from a retailer and had it installed, but I have no money and I do have a Harvard degree. It’s a lot cheaper to order it online and install it myself. After all, I’m reasonably bright. I can read a map. I can follow a simple set of instructions, right? I don’t even have to uninstall the old one because it got stolen. That certainly simplifies things.
So my new stereo arrived yesterday. Here’s what I’m supposed to do first: "To avoid shorts in the electrical system, be sure to disconnect the negative battery cable before beginning installation." Are they talking about the car battery? Ok. Well, it might take me a half hour or so to figure out how to open the hood. That is where the battery lives, right? I can handle that.
But then there’s this: "Speakers connected to this unit must be high-power with minimum rating of 50 W and impedance of 4 to 8 ohms. Connecting speakers with output and/or impedance values other than those noted here may result in the speakers catching fire, emitting smoke, or becoming damaged." Huh. That doesn’t sound good.
Which brings me to the bush. There’s a diagram called "Installation with the rubber bush." Maybe I could get one at a porn shop – but I’m pretty sure that’s not what they mean. And I’m sure not about to ask anybody for one.
Hey, Doc, my love, perhaps you have some free time this week?
Monday, July 24, 2006
Well, here’s a big surprise. CNN reports that an American Bar Association task force says it’s unconstitutional for President Bush to use legislative “signing statements” to carve out exemptions from the law. I confess that I had not heard about this particular category of White House illegality, so I did a little checking around.
Presidents have always issued statements (although nowhere near as many as Bush). They’re just comments with no force of law, right? So what’s the big deal?
Well, the big deal is that Justice Scalia actually cited to one of Bush’s statements in a recent dissent. The case was Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, in which the Supreme Court was called on to determine whether federal courts could hear a terrorism detainee’s case. See, when Bush signed the Detainee Treatment Act, he had added a legislative statement saying that federal courts would have no jurisdiction in such cases – in other words, there would be no remedy in court if someone was wrongly detained.
The Supreme Court disagreed, finding that it had jurisdiction, and also finding that the military tribunal violated American and international law. So far so good. But in his dissent, Scalia – joined by two other justices – chided the majority for failing to consider Bush’s statement that the courts have no jurisdiction.
Wait a minute… Did I read right? Scalia is saying that the amount of power the President has depends in part on how much power the President says he has, regardless of the law? Uh, can you say Kim-Jong-il?
That any Supreme Court justice – much less three of them – would allow the Executive Branch to decide the extent of its power leaves me with a decidedly creepy feeling.
The ABA report, by the way, was put together by a list of highly regarded legal bigwigs including judges. It’s not official until (or unless) the
By the way, for an exhaustive website on Bush’s signing statements, complete with links, click here.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
I honestly believe that in my lifetime we will see a country once again governed by Christians...and Christian values. What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time, and one state at a time. Ralph ReedThe
I’m afraid I was no help, though. My plan was to vote Republican for the first time ever, just so I could vote against Ralph Reed. Perhaps the thought of voting Republican was too much for me. I forgot to vote. Not something I’m very proud of!
Monday, July 17, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Meanwhile, some little punks were having a wild and crazy night of their own in Atlanta. They broke into several cars, including my poor Caroline. She's now missing the driver's side window, and the dash has been ripped out and the (pretty good) stereo stolen. I didn't even get to drive her home yet!
I won't say what I've been thinking about the creeps who did this. I'm too much of a lady, as you can see by my picture. Ast the same time, I'm also laughing -- my bad car karma is just too ridiculous!
Stay tuned for updates.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
My new beloved is a slightly banged up '93 Dodge Caravan whom I've dubbed Caroline. All right, she's a gas guzzler but she was cheap and she's mine, all mine.
Doc got a car, too -- a '99 Honda CRV. That one we had to finance. I had hoped to avoid that, but oh, well. Zeze is happy with both of them. Now, if we can just keep them clean!
* * *
It's party time for us wild and crazy law librarians -- the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Librarians. And you haven't lived until you've partied with law librarians. Especially in St. Louis. Yowza! I'm at the airport waiting to get on the plane, and I can hardly contain myself. Actually I really am a little excited but it's mostly because my best friend James will be there and because the AALL convention is a great place to get lots of pretty decent free stuff from all the vendors.
* * *
And Granny? Well, Granny is one loyal reader -- she actually responded to my post even after my long and unexcused absence -- and I invite you to visit her (see my links). She's quite a lady, and not just because she reads my blog. Thank you, Granny!!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
In my home state of Georgia, we can now expect some hateful family member to challenge a will or custody agreement, arguing that such a document confers "benefits of marriage" and therefore cannot be upheld by any state court. The argument will be raised, and soon. And probably by the same bastards who just got done claiming that the amendment passed the single-issue test.
If there's any good news here -- and there ain't much -- it's that at least Republicans are now derailed from raising same-sex marriage as a campaign issue this November.
Sigh. Big, big sigh.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Way back in the 1970s, she got nervous when the schools tried to teach her kids about contraception. So she started something called the Southwest Parent Committee in
In 2001 she submitted a proposed resolution – twice – to the American College of Preventive Medicine asking that organization to “go on record as approving [the] Abstinence Education Programs for young people.” On account of the after-effects of the Sexual Revolution, you see.
The ACPM declined to adopt the resolution, saying that “evidence supporting the effectiveness of such abstinence programs was lacking. Several committee members commented that any abstinence education program should be part of a more comprehensive sexual education curriculum.”
For whatever reason, Dr. Meyers has now turned her attention to us gay folk and our evil ways. Lucky us.
So, anyway, why am I picking on Dr. M? Well, mostly it's because I got bored. And when reference librarians get bored, they research stuff.
But I also got curious -- why would someone who's a scientist -- a public-health scientist -- take a political stand that's, well, unscientific and unhealthy? Not just about the gay stuff, but about a critical health issue like sex education?
Which leads me straight to my soap box for today.
Abstinence-only education does not save lives any more than it saves souls. Indeed, one study found that compared to other kids, students in abstinence-only programs were:
• less likely to feel comfortable asking questions of parents or other trusted adults about sex;
• less likely to understand how decisions about sex can change their future;
• less likely to understand how alcohol and drugs can influence decisions about sex;
• less likely to have skills to resist pressure to have sex; and
• less knowledgeable about the consequences of having a baby as a teenager.
Look, I’m not wild about the idea of my daughter having sex either. Frankly, I'm hoping she'll put off dating until she's around 42. Or maybe 50.
And believe it or not, I do preach abstinence. I don’t want her to be sexually active until she’s married, and I've told her so. Hey, I can be just as provincial as anybody.
At the same time, though, if she decides to ignore my advice, I’m sure not willing to sacrifice the life of my daughter – or anybody else’s kid – just because I’m a little squeamish about sex.
Of course, it does take all kinds, and this is
Well, Marcella V. Meyer, M.D., M.P.H, knew what to do. You see, Dr. Meyer is a shareholder and she doesn't like how Kraft is spending its charitable contributions. Specifically, she is peeved that the corporation is helping to sponsor the 2006 Gay Games to be held in
So Doc Meyer submitted a shareholder proposal requesting that, in the “best interest of our company Kraft Foods Inc. as well as in the public interest, Kraft Foods . . . hereby disassociate itself from the 2006 and all future so-called "gay games", and that no future financial support be given for the 2006 "gay games" or any other future activities supporting, proselytizing, promoting or encouraging homosexual activity or life style.”
And on what does she base her proposal? Well, it’s quite a stretch. Among other things, the good doctor is worried that “because of the ‘gay game’ sponsorship by our company, Kraft Foods may at some future date be found to be complicit and legally liable in a case in which a young attendee at the "gay games" decides to experiment with homosexual encounters and later develops a serious, even fatal, illness.”
Like I said, it’s a stretch.
So where do the white hats come in? Well, Kraft's board of directors considered the doctor’s proposal and recommended that shareholders vote against it. And I’m happy to report that the shareholders did exactly that, voting it down by a margin of more than 99 to 1.
Naturally, some wingnuts are attempting to chalk the vote up to shareholder apathy and inaction.
(Uh, how come when they win, it’s a moral victory, but when we win, it’s just voter apathy?)
Looks like mac and cheese for dinner tonight!
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Saturday, April 22, 2006
From time to time, I’m told that it’s wrong to compare the gay rights movement with the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. I have a lot of trouble with this. While it is certainly true that I will never understand what it is to be African American, it is equally that a heterosexual African American male cannot know what it is to be female or gay.
What is most disheartening is that this “gay rights aren’t civil rights” argument has been co-opted -- if not created -- by right-wing demagogues who seek to divide groups that should otherwise be working together. After all, extreme right-wing hate-mongers see African Americans, gays and lesbians, Jews and Muslims in about the same light.
In any event, just what does the term “civil rights” mean, and can it truly be applied to our struggle?
According to www.dictionary.com (I’m too lazy to get up and go use a real dictionary), “civil rights” means the following:
The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.
adj. or civ·il-rights
- Of or relating to such rights or privileges: civil rights legislation.
- Of or relating to a political movement, especially during the 1950s and 1960s, devoted to securing equal opportunity and treatment for members of minority groups.
If these definitions are correct, then the term does, indeed, apply. Putting aside the issue that seem to freak everyone out – sex and marriage – consider the following
- In most American jurisdictions, I can be fired from my job – any job – because I’m a lesbian.
- In most American jurisdictions, I can be refused service at restaurants, hotels, and other businesses because I am a lesbian.
- In most American jurisdictions, I can be denied housing because I’m a lesbian.
- In many states, I cannot adopt a child because I am a lesbian.
- If my child becomes the subject of a custody dispute, she can be taken away from me because I am a lesbian.
- I cannot serve in the military because I am a lesbian.
- In many American communities, I put myself in physical danger if I am open about being a lesbian. Therefore, I must be careful what I say and what I read in public
- Of the 14 victims of hate-motivated murders reported by the FBI in 2003, 6 were gay – more than any other group. Of 5 rape victims, 3 were lesbian or gay (leaving aside, of course, the fact that all rapes are hate crimes).
Dunno. Sounds pretty damned civil to me. Coretta Scott King thought so, too.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Poor Jerry. Falwell, that is. Not Fallwell with two Ls, but Falwell with one L.
You see, Jerry is a – well, you all know perfectly well what Jerry is – and an enterprising fellow named Christopher Lamparello decided to call it like he sees it, on a website of his own making called www.fallwell.com. That's Fallwell with 2 Ls, not Falwell with 1 L (there's a parody of "Liza with a Z" in there somewhere, I'm sure of it!).
To be truthful, Lamparello doesn't really attack Jerry personally; just Jerry's views on homosexuality.
Well, Jerry-with-an-L dishes it out pretty good, but he can't take it. So, not appreciating the criticism, he sued Lamparello for trademark infringement.
A federal district court agreed with Jerry-With-An-L, and told Lamparello to cut it out or else.
Anticybersquatting... Now there’s a visual.
Anyway, Jerry-with-an-L – not one to give up easily – appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court denied certiorari, which means that it’s not even going to give him a chance to make his argument, much less side in his favor. In other words, he's stuck with the appeals court decision and Lamparello gets to keep his website. You lost, buddy.
Want to know the best part? Both parties agreed that www.fallwell.com had minimal impact on Jerry-with-an-L, and they even stipulated the site only received around 200 visitors per day.
So if Jerry-with-an-L had kept his big mouth shut and ignored the site, hardly anybody would have seen it. But because Jerry is a – well, you all know perfectly well what Jerry is – anyway, because he is one, our friend Lamparello has probably had a whole lot more than 200 visitors per day lately.
I visited Jerry's website, by the way, to see if there was any response and -- well, whaddya know. No mention whatsoever of his defeat or of the lawsuit, at least not at first (and only) glance. Surprise, surprise. Too bad the horse's ass is already out of the barn.
Jerry, you’re such a – well, you know.
Friday, April 14, 2006
I don't know if anybody out there is still listening -- I'm sorry I've been sooooo quiet. Burn-out from resume-writing, car problems, Doc landing in the emergency room with a leg injury, and oh everything. I need a house, a car, a schedule!
At any rate, I'm happy to report that I did manage to submit my entries to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest today. You remember him right? The guy who gave Snoopy his start as a writer by coining the opening line, "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night."
The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest challenges entrants to outdo the old fellow by writing bad opening lines of their own. The deadline is tomorrow, but it sounds like they're pretty loose about it.
Here are my entries, just for fun. I didn't manage to hit every category, but I got most of 'em.
Bulwer-Lytton writing contest entries
Sci-fi. As the hatch opened, a creature with one foot and four long toes danced down the ramp like drunken slugs trying to find their way home after a bachelor party at a strip joint, leading me to wonder if the Pony Lounge does catering, and when the thing caressed my cigarette with one finger and murmured “Mmmphlgmmmlpht,” my jaw dropped like scabs from an eczemic rabbit.
Children’s. As Cinderella’s stepmother stared down at the knife buried deep in her own aging breast, and as the crimson blood and green bile poured from her hanging entrails onto the freshly scrubbed stone hearth, she realized that she probably should have said “please” when she asked Cinderella for yet another crumpet.
Dark and stormy. It could have been any dark and stormy night, except it was about eight in the morning and there weren’t any clouds except for a wispy thing on the horizon that reminded me of my grandmother’s hair (except that it wasn’t blue), but still, my heart was dark and stormy because of the terrible loneliness that comes with getting more than your fill, as only Michael Jackson knows, and now me.
Western. The cowboy was thin, as thin as a jackalope that has been chased by a coyote for three days, except that there’s no such thing as a jackalope so you really can’t imagine it, but if you could, its ribs would show three sides to
Detective. The face of that dame was stuck in my head like a scab on someone’s nose you’ve just got to pick, like spinach in somebody’s teeth that you try not to look at, like a hair in somebody’s mole you’re longing to pluck, somebody like that dame with the scab and the mole and the spinach in her teeth.
Romance. “I love you,” Sevilla whined, and she dropped her eyes and her pants; but while Marvin’s virile masculinity wished he could love her femininity, it was Ted’s virile masculinity that stimulated his own masculinity, which was unfortunate because Ted was four hundred miles away having a sex-change operation so he wouldn’t be all that masculine when he got back.
Romance2. Marynda looked adoringly at Jean-Pierre, but when she saw the disappointment in his face she cried out in anguish, because she knew that by failing to forward his email to fifty friends, she had revealed herself to be utterly contemptuous, and she knew then that she would die an old maid, dried up like an old, unchewed-up raisin.
Adventure. On a breezy summer day thirty-five intrepid souls waited for the beginning of the 24th Annual Around-The-World Pencil-Flipping Tourney; but while thirty-four of the adventurers held regulation number-two pencils, they couldn’t know – nor could the enthusiastic crowd – that the thirty-fifth contestant, one Sludge T. Hardlip, held a cleverly disguised number-three.
Adventure2. "Heigh-ho," said the knight as he rounded the corner on his steed of gray, not the gray of an unpainted old Studebaker that's overheating but gray like that moldy stuff that grows in coffee when it’s been sitting around for a few days because the boss is too lazy to empty his own cup and the secretary won’t do coffee and rightly so.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas - the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market . . . . Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, dissenting in Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919).
I hardly ever write about real librarian stuff because . . . well, to tell you the truth, it’s really boring. But as I learned in Civil Procedure, even the most mundane things are sometimes really about justice. So today, I address the wonderful world of open sourcing. Which, I’m afraid, is true library stuff.
For those who don't know, “open sourcing” is sort of the first-amendment adversary-system version of writing software. Essentially, program code is written and evaluated in the light of day. People can use it for free, have access to the code, revise it, even sell it. By letting everyone have a crack at it, you get everyone's good ideas and the software improves at a rate far faster than it can in the hush-hush world of proprietary secrets a la Microsoft. That's the theory, anyway, and it sounds reasonable to me.
I bring this up because my laptop died over the weekend and I had to buy a new computer. Since most of my moonlighting income depends on being able to format resumes, I have to have a really good word-processing program.
I thought my only options were Word and WordPerfect – both of which are pricey if you're broke, which I usually am. I did end up buying Word on eBay because I’m too corporate-conditioned to try to go without the “real thing.” But Glory Be, I think I may have been wrong!
OpenOffice does most of what Microsoft Office does. It’s got decent clones of Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and some other stuff.
And it’s free.
This software has been around for a few years, and it’s probably not news to you, but it sure was news to me.
Maybe if I'd been reading all that boring librarian stuff I get in the mail every day, I would have known about it before now....
Anyway... Oh – did I mention that it’s free?
As it turns out I couldn’t get OpenOffice to download because I’m just sort of a moron when it comes to stuff like that. Fortunately we are just beginning to test OpenOffice for use at the law school, and our esteemed IT guru was able to give it to me on a disk. So I’m now an official tester.
There’s something deliciously socialist about the whole thing, don’t you think? The People’s Software.
Word is getting out…so to speak.
Just one more thing, this time about Oliver Wendell Holmes. Although he was right about that marketplace-of-ideas thing, he was real idiot in other areas. In upholding the right of the state to forcibly sterilize a mentally challenged woman, he wrote, "Three generations of imbeciles are enough." Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927). Nice, huh?
Ironically, Holmes' own nastiness provides a good illustration of why the free and open exchange of ideas is so vital to a democracy.
For more information about OpenOffice, try these links:
Oh Happy Day!
Saturday, April 01, 2006
I’m working on very little sleep here, so forgive whatever follows.
The application is In. Finished. Complete, I hope. My daughter the artist has submitted her application to our city’s public school of the arts. And with it, her first portfolio and her first taste of college life, even though this isn’t college.
And my role in all this? Well, I didn’t read her essay answers, and she wouldn’t let me see the artwork until pretty late in the game. I didn’t even nag. Nope. I was strictly gopher and cheerleader. I made sure that she had what she needed to get the job done, and I got my part done (getting a transcript and proof of residency and making sure she knew what she needed) and I delivered the application.
I’m really very proud of myself, because inside me is a seriously deranged stage mom who knows all the answers. And not once did I say, “You know, if you’d started earlier, you wouldn’t have to rush now.” (She started weeks ago; who knew she would need months?).
I kept things positive and supportive. I let her stay up all night to finish, but I made her go to school on the due date.The results, I am very proud to say – although I take no credit – are stunning. Toward the end I got to see it all, and it took my breath away. Zeze submitted five pieces of art that range from whimsical to heart-wrenching. She may not get in, but it sure won’t be for lack of talent or drive. How on earth did I merit the privilege of caring for this incredible child?
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Except. . . didn't my ex-husband just mention to me that it was his 50th birthday? And ... wait, I didn't think we were the same age .... We're just a couple months apart? No, that's not right ... Let me think . . . x + y, carry the one ...
Seems I celebrated the half-way point a little prematurely. I'm 49, not 50.
Color me embarrassed. But young!
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
It wasn't until after I was finished that I discovered the sweater required advanced knitting skills -- no way was it a beginner's project. Fortunately I didn't know it so I managed it just fine. Sort of like the bumblebee who can't really fly but doesn't know it so she does it anyway. (Sidenote: the bumblebee can too fly).
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about this huge project I want to do. No, it's not knitting. I've only told one person about it and she told me I was nuts. It's definitely way beyond my present skill level; on the other hand, it's not beyond what I'm capable of learning. And my ideas are reasonably well developed and might even turn out to be halfway decent.
So I've been thinking about that old sweater. Should I take on a project that is way beyond my abilities? Even if it will take years and will probably never bring in a penny?
Monday, March 20, 2006
~ Lived on the Navajo Nation
~ Written a book
~ Had really incredible sex
~ Sliced head cheese for the mob
~ Been clean and sober for over 24 years
~ Been married and divorced
~ Had a child
~ Been thin (and not)
~ Lived in New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Georgia
~ Traveled for 6,000 miles, pretty much nonstop, on a Greyhound bus.
~ Gone to law school
~ Driven a pick-up truck (this week, in fact!)
~ Been Presbyterian, Jewish, Quaker, and pagan (all at the same time, even)
~ Lived in a trailer
~ Had cats, dogs, turtles, tortoises, fish, horses, gerbils, hamsters, and guinea pigs
~ Earned money as a writer
~ Practiced law in a big firm
~ Swam in the ocean
~ Been picked up by a professional gambler outside Las Vegas
~ Read and written pornography
~ Been published
~ Been saved by a nun
~ Sung on stage in two countries
~ Seen two musicals on Broadway
~ Done musical comedy
~ Learned to play several musical instruments at least a little
~ Quit smoking
~ Taught in graduate school
~ Worked for an answering service, nursing home, hospital, hotel, drug store, college, federal judge, and law school
~ Been inside the cab of a big rig
~ Flown in a helicopter
~ Grown tomatoes
~ Been a live-in nanny
~ Been on television at least twice (once dressed in large puppet suit and once interviewed)
~ Have been two degrees removed from Jimmy Hoffa and the Dalai Lama (not through the same person!)
~ Known writers, singers, pharmacists, doctors, actors, strippers, prostitution madams, and a phone-sex operator
Ok, so this isn’t so awfully bad for 50 years, although I confess I’ve just done little dabs of a lot of the things on my list. Most of it came just by my being open to new experiences, but that’s been a lot harder to do in the past few years. So for my next decade, I ask the Goddess to keep me open to whatever She may have in store.
So... what's on your list?
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Ok, I was butch for a day. Now I’m ready for her to be Barbara Stanwyck again.
Umm, anybody got a lasso?
Saturday, March 18, 2006
For a few days at least, I have a car. No, I have a truck. A genu-ine pick-up truck. It’s been four months since I had transportation of any kind (of my own, anyway). I only have it now because Doc is out of town and she’s got our one-and-only car.
Anyway, I wanted a PT Cruiser, but the rental place didn’t have any. They offered me a Dodge Ram 1500, which was way too big for this girly-girl, so they gave me a Dodge Dakota instead. Which I’m still trying to figure out how to park. And reaching the pedals is a challenge. And I can’t reach the radio or the cup-holder too well (this is definitely not a vehicle for short people). Still, I am enjoying the illusion of butchiness, for just a little while.
So here I am at the Starbucks, alone. Blessedly alone. Sorry, Doc, I love you dearly, but I’m sure you’re enjoying your break from chauffeuring me around.
A butch babe alone with her pick-up truck. Ahhhh. Butchy goodness. Guess I’ll go rip up a phone book or spit or something. Yeah.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
In 1995, President Clinton issued an executive order saying that sexual orientation "may not be used as a basis for or a disqualifying factor in determining a person's eligibility for a security clearance."
This past December, however, President Bush approved a rule change that removed this wording. The new rule substituted language saying that security clearance cannot be denied "solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual."
National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones says the new wording was not designed to change the meaning; rather, it was intended to clarify the 1995 executive order.
If no change in meaning was intended, those smart lawyers in Washington must have come up with new language that means the same thing but is clearer. Right?
Well, let's compare the language.
Here's the 1995 wording again: Sexual orientation "may not be used as a basis for or a disqualifying factor in determining a person's eligibility for a security clearance." Note the phrase "disqualifying factor."
Well, I hate to admit it, but that phrase isambiguous. Does it mean that you can't disqualify someone just because of their sexual orientation, although you can use it as one factor among many? Or, does it mean that sexual orientation can't even be used as a factor in disqualifying someone?
In changing the wording, the Bush administration has capitalized on this ambiguity to roll back GLBT rights. It has chosen the first of the two possible meanings: Security clearance cannot be denied "solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual."
Now, think about what that means: It's ok for someone to be denied security clearance for being lesbian, as long as it's only 99% of the reason and not 100%.
Should sexual orientation never be an issue? What about the married man having a clandestine affair with another man (or the man in a committed same-sex relationship who's having an affair with a woman)?
That's the only situation I can think of where it should be an issue, and even there, it's not the sexual orientation that's the problem. It's the secret affair. Which is why Clinton wisely said, according to the Gay News Blog, that "sexual behavior may be a security concern if it involves a criminal offense, suggests an emotional disorder, could subject someone to coercion or shows a lack of judgment."
Bush had two options if he wanted to clear up the ambiguity. He could have said sexual orientation should never be an issue, but he didn't do that. Instead, he specifically chose the more discriminatory meaning. And ironically, in doing so, he created a security concern where there would have been none otherwise. You see, sexual orientation may now subject an agent to coercion where it didn't before -- because it can now be cited as one reason for removing that agent's security clearance.
I suspect this is just how the radical right likes it.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
UPDATE: I was able to get the picture uploaded this morning. Enjoy!
Show's over. Back to reality (quick note: the show went well, except that I forgot the words Sunday night. Ouch. A couple people said they didn't notice... Ok, I suppose "uh, hmmm, uh, duh, sections of the heart" -- sung while drooling -- could have been mistaken for the real words...). Turned out fine, though, and a good time was had by all.
Poor, abused Exodus. They're all bent out of shape because a while back a clever blogger (wish I'd thought of it!) posted a parody of Exodus's billboards on his website. They're demanding that he remove it for copyright violation. But copyright law allows "fair use" of someone else's copyrighted work, including use in parody. Hence, Exodus' argument is, in technical lawyer-talk, seriously lame-o.
Just to bait Exodus (notice how many times I'm using their name in this posting?), I'm posting Justin's wonderful picture.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
And I'm having a blast. I'm really lucky to be in this group -- it's an auditioned gay and lesbian chorus and this is our annual cabaret.
Anyway, I'm feeling lucky, wound up, exhausted, happy, and very, very humbled by the talent surrounding me. I'm definitely outclassed but still, what a kick!
I'll check back in a couple days when the show's over.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
It sounds like some neofascist group, doesn’t it? Just the opposite, it seems. The job of the Patriot Guard Riders is . . . well, let them tell you through their mission statement:
“The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security. If you share this respect, please join us.
“We don’t care what you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a ‘hawk’ or a ‘dove’. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is. You don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.
“Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.
“1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
“2. Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.
“We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.”
In other words, the mission of the Patriot Guard Riders is to attend funerals of American soldiers – when invited – and to shield the mourners from attacks by the members of Westboro Baptist Church – Yeah, that church. See, Fred Phelps and his ilk like to show up at soldiers’ funerals to torture the families. They figure that the U.S. is too gay-friendly (ok, I must have missed the news bulletin on this!) so anyone who fights for the U.S. is bound for hell as a punishment.
The Patriot Guard not only shields the family from such hatred, but it refuses to engage the protesters in return: “If you’re looking for a group that protests, counter-protests or confronts any organization, you’re in the wrong place. The PGR is not a protest group.”
Pretty cool, huh? Now, I’m not a dyke on a bike, and to be perfectly honest, seeing all the Harleys and burly guys in bandanas and links to veterans’ associations makes me a tad uneasy.
But I’m hooked enough to want to know more. If these folks really are what they claim to be, and I hope they are, then there’s going to be at least one card-carrying lesbian joining their next Georgia mission.
Oh….an important side note here: I support the speeches made at Coretta Scott King’s funeral. The speakers were requested by the family and what they said was consistent with Mrs. King’s life and values. Totally different thing than unwelcome intruders coming in to make a fuss.
Oh, and one more thing: that link above for Fred Phelps? That goes to the Wikipedia entry on him. I don’t know how much of it is true, but hoo boy, it makes for a whale of a Lifetime movie.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
The un-American ALA has taken the American constitutional right of freedom of speech and has perverted it into their right to push graphic and explicit smut on children. ALA and ALA affiliate brown boot bullies are constantly working to implement their weird social Marxist agenda. What started, purportedly, as a professional union-like organization for librarians has morphed into a powerful, dangerous, leftist, extremist organization.This part is true. In my Children’s Lit courses they wouldn’t let us read anything but smut. And my law library has just gotten an ALA grant to develop our new “Smut: Smuttier and Smuttiest” collection.
In schools and libraries you are seeing and will continue to see increasing use of graphic and explicit books. The ALA and ALA affiliates will continue to promote the vulgarization and sexualization of children - or even better in their view - the homosexualization.
Future librarians and English teachers are trained to promote, select, acquire, use and defend smutty books by their college professors, who are even more leftist and social marxist than average college professors, who in turn are more leftist and social marxist than typical Americans. These "properly thinking" and "trained" students graduate, and become English teachers and librarians and ALA and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) members.
While public school teachers and public and school librarians formerly acted as public servants, that is no longer the case. They have become public masters. Many of them, deluded in their self-perceived "professional" knowledge and importance, think they know what is best for all of society including you and your children.Still a little bitter because we couldn’t get into library school, aren’t we?
To PABBIS it appears that the ALA is successfully running a huge racketeering or terrorist operation for the political indoctrination and moral corruption of children.
Geez. So the ALA is really Al Capone, Osama bin Laden, and Chairman Mao all wrapped up in one nasty package! Well now, this does trouble me. I mean, if it’s true, how come I’m still living in a trailer?
A very small insular group of powerful like minded leftists has control of the ALA. Just as college English and library professors are to the left of typical leftist college professors, the ALA leadership is to the left of a typical leftist ALA member. ALA leadership is a small group of very (usually aging) leftist, social marxist, pro-sexualization, pro-homosexualization, pro-atheist, pro-"multi-culturalism", pro-"world government", pro-world tax, anti (especially Christian) religion, pro-porn, America bashing, America blaming people. All, repeat all, are way to the left of middle America.
Hey – now that’s really hitting below the belt. I’m not old!
Oh, well. I just hope someday one of my books ends up on PABBIS’ list of bad books. To be among that distinguished group would indeed be an honor.
I realize that by publishing this blog entry – and by including key phrases like PABBIS, Parents Against Bad Books in Schools, PABBIS, and PABBIS, I may come to this group’s attention. Well, you know what they say about publicity.
PABBIS, honey, get a life already. Just keep it out of my face.