Saturday, May 31, 2008

Quickie: Oblivious Background Edition

I know at some point I must have made a conscious decision about the layout and design of this page, but I just looked at it and thought "has it always been blue?"

Methinks it's time for bed.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Have a Massive Dose of Adorable.

This is how old Zelda was the first time I met her (4 weeks). She looked a lot like the red ones in the video. Except mine is cuter because she didn't have her tail mutilated hacked off docked.

You can see why I had to adopt her.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

SEX! That Wasn't Just To Get Your Attention - This Post Really Is About Sex. Well, Sex Ed At Least

New York state's Healthy Teens Act got passed in Assembly and is headed over to the State Senate. This is where it needs some help, in part because last I heard the NYS Senate has a republican majority. Unless there was some shuffling with the whole Spitzer thing that changed the distribution, because it was only a one-seat majority. Anyhoo.

Basically, the bill establishes funding for New York schools to provide age-appropriate comprehensive sex ed. Right now there isn't a whole lot of money for sex ed in because Spitzer told the federal government to suck it when they offered funding - but only for abstinence programs (see? aside from that little hooker thing, he was actually pretty good), which as we all know, does more harm than good. You know, the idea that we're all dirty, used toothbrushes if we have sex (frayed bristles! fraaaaaaaaayed briiiiiiiistles!).

It's expensive to introduce a new sex ed program, especially a good one where the teachers are trained. So a lot of schools have nothing. This will offer schools the option to apply for funding to hire and train faculty and implement a program.

Family Planning Advocates of New York (whose conference I was at the day the Spitzer thing broke) issued a memo of support for the bill, and sent out forms to send to members of the State Senate in support of the bill.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Look, It's Some Stone, and Metal...and Tourists and Cars...

Thought I'd put up a few pictures from the Brooklyn Bridge 125th Birthday thing I went to last week (Thursday?).

As a side note, I just noticed that this is also my 125th post to this blog. How fun.



Quickie: Murdered Harry Potter Actor

I wonder how many people will read that and immediately panic that I meant Daniel Radcliffe or Rupert Grint. You know, out of both the people that will actually read this.

Rob Knox, who plays Marcus Belby in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was stabbed to death in a London bar. He was only 18.


The movie is coming out in November by the way. For all of my geekitude, and the 827 million times I've read the series (that's a precise count of course), I can't place where Marcus Belby fits into the story.


Cannes You Dig It?

I apologize for that; I couldn't stop myself.

So the Cannes film festival ended yesterday. This is the first time in 21 years that a French film has won the Palme d'Or. Laurent Cantet won for The Class, the last French film to win was Sous le Soleil de Satan in 1987.

Benicis del Toro won best actor for playing Che Guevara and Sandra Corveloni won best actress for Linha de Passe. The best feature film was Hunger, which is about someone dying after 66 days on a hunger strike.

Really the reason I mention Cannes is because of this article I found saying that this year's films show a trend toward women's empowerment and humanitarian issues rather than violence. Woot.


Quickie: Love Yourself, Screw Better

Sometimes it's astounding what Google Alerts will send me. My alert for "abortion" turns up some scary (and misinformed) crap. So does "feminism." And some of the others I have will send me things that don't even relate to the topic at hand.

Seriously. I just clicked on one that was some kid's Live Journal entry about how he had been accepted to the University of Georgia (woot! must be a smart kid). And I don't have a "University of Georgia" alert set up.

This one is actually on-topic, though. A blog post about how body image can affect your sex life. Though it seems like common sense to me. If you are self-conscious, sex won't be as good. Inhibitions are bad.

And it even came in attached to my "body image" alert. Way to get one right, Google.


Quickie: Nasal Genetics

This is a bit more personal than usual.

Since my grandmother died in March my dad's side of the family has been taking turns traveling upstate to clean out her house. I've sort of taken over the organization of thousands (not an exaggeration) of old photos. Which has taught me something...

...wait for it...

...all the men on my dad's side of the family have the same nose. The men. Yet somehow, I got it too.

I may not like it but at least now I see where it came from.

Oh yes, I did just post a blog entry about my nose.


Friday, May 23, 2008


OK, so I love me some yogurt. Really; it's tasty. But as we all know, it's also the quintessential female-oriented diet food. Which is incredibly annoying (I'm sorry, nothing that comes in a little plastic cup qualifies as "cute best man good").

Well, this video about the marketing of yogurt to women has been making the rounds of blogs that I read over the past few weeks:



Go Whatever-Wash-U's-Mascot-Is

So when Washington University announced it was giving an honorary degree to anti-feminist, anti-woman, right-wing assface Phyllis Schlafly, students and faculty were (rightfully) horrified. There are several Facebook groups against the degree and there was lots of debate on how to go about opposing her.

About 75% of the 2800-person graduating class plus several faculty members stood up and turned their backs while she was being given her degree (got that little fact from Feministing). Ignore Wolf Blitzer's condescending douche-y "What's the controversy this time? [sigh]" comment and focus on the story.

("A bunch of losers"? Stay classy, Phyllis Schlafly)

Also, photos.

Isn't accepting an honorary degree (and having her own Bachelor's and law degrees) hypocritical of her? She thinks women should stay out of the workforce and be at home, why isn't she leading by example? She should have refused her degree on the grounds that she doesn't want to be treated like a man.

In case you missed it, this is a woman who said it's perfectly acceptable for a man to rape his wife.


Ellen Is Getting Married Now That She Can

Because California is one of the few states that doesn't suck. I'm looking at you, New York, it seems like you should be next. Anyhoo, here's a video.

She also took on John McCain over gay marriage:


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dorky Charm City Cakes Love

I went to volunteer at the Milkbone 100th anniversary event with Animal Haven today. I'm a big dork because I was very excited that they had a cake from Charm City (a.k.a. the bakery on Ace of Cake) shaped like a Milkbone. Not only did I get to have a (very tiny) piece, I briefly met Geoff.


If you've never watched Ace of Cakes, I highly recommend it. It's the best show about stoner cake bakers I've ever seen.


Friday, May 16, 2008

The Sweetie Thing On Video

With thanks to Feministe


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Aww, Hey Sugar

Obama had to apologize to a female reporter in Michigan not only for failing to answer her question but also for calling her "sweetie."

I know some will think this is a non-issue (look at the 241 tools who commented on that article), but I personally hate being called "sweetie" (or any derivative thereof). Especially by someone I don't know. It's one of those out-of-date diminutive nicknames that goes only to women. It's degrading and implies women's place as the complacent, innocent, sweet, non-threatening good little girls we're supposed to be. And it makes me want to gag.

I spent five years in the south, where they still seem to live by that last thing. You know, women aren't supposed to be loud or opinionated or free-thinking, and we're certainly supposed to be pure and sweet. I got called various forms of "sweetie" all the time and I wanted to slap people for it.

Oops, that's not ladylike.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Take On The Edwards Endorsement

He endorsed Obama, in case you didn't know.

How deliciously safe it is. He waited until it started to look like Obama was really going to win, then he pounced. But he did it while the race was still technically on, so it would look genuine. How deliberate, calculating and convenient to wait until now.

It's kind of like how Bush waited until all the Republicans had dropped out, then endorsed McCain. Except Bush isn't smart enough to calculate when to do it so it still looked real.

How glaringly obvious, Johnny.

And very interesting that NARAL Pro-Choice America made the same slick move. Of course it's especially stupid for them because of the possibility of alienating a lot of their donors.

And yes, if Clinton were ahead and he'd picked her I'd say the exact same thing.


That's Exactly What I've Been Saying

While talking about the campaign, Hillary Clinton said precisely what I've been saying this whole time: it would be ridiculously stupid for her supporters to vote for McCain over Obama. And vice versa, it would be stupid for Obama's supporters to vote for McCain over her.

Because WHY would you vote for someone who's beliefs are 180 degrees away from yours when there is someone with a very similar platform to what you agree with right there just waiting for you to vote for them? Because isn't looking past someone's lack of experience or a minor deviation from your exact beliefs a better choice than someone with whom you have nothing in common?

I also agree with something else she said, which was that the Democrats will have a unified party once they have a nominee. I'm taking that to support my theory that the people who claim they would vote for McCain over their favorite are doing it out of some sort of hissy fit, or that they say that now but come November there's no way they'd pull the lever for a (pro-war, anti-choice, freedom-hating, Bush-imitating) Republican.

Also, I'm resigning myself to the idea that Obama will probably be the nominee. I know people out there think I'm obsessed with having Clinton win because I am not shy about the fact that I support and prefer her. Obama isn't a terrible candidate, he's just not my first choice. But hell, John Kerry wasn't my first choice in 2004 and I still voted and campaigned for him. Though I'm pretty sure my property won't be vandalized this time.

Having said that, I feel I should add a *woot* to West Virginia.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Quickie: Celebrity Dog Love

I thought this was cute.


Quickie: A New Low In Lawsuits

...and that's saying something.

A man who ran over and killed a Miniature Pinscher is suing the dog's family to repair his 97 Honda Civic.

Never mind the fact that he killed their dog. Their grief isn't nearly as important as fixing his 11-year-old car.

If someone hit my Min Pin they wouldn't be suing me for damages. Why? They'd be dead. Or at the very least, they'd be too busy contemplating the fact that I just handed them their own reproductive tract in a baggie.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'd Be Upset With Nintendo If It Weren't For The Legend Of Zelda

Seriously, I've got two versions of the game going right now (DS and Wii). Yes, in my life, Zelda transcends principles. I mean, hello, I did name my dog after it.


By now we all know what Wii Fit is. If not, you can either click the Wikipedia link or read on.

It's an exercise based Nintendo Wii game. It comes with a balance board and you can do about 40 different activities, from yoga poses to push-ups to aerobics. Sounds cool, right? It would be if it didn't use the outdated BMI system to measure how "fit" or "fat" you are. And if it didn't focus its marketing for the game on women and young girls. 'Cause, you know, it's a really good idea to make women and young girls more aware and ashamed of their bodies.

Let me just go ahead and quote this article:

In keeping with the personal image theme, perhaps Nintendo can come out with a Wii [Bulimia] game, where you stick the Wii Remote down your throat and hop on the balance board.

I'm going to call it the Wii-ting Disorder. Brought to you by Shigeru Miyamoto.

I mean, come on, I'm all for getting in shape and being fit, but (1) BMI is a terrible way to measure it (it's a terrible way to measure anything, really, check out the BMI Project) and (2) the marketing campaign here does nothing but support the idiotic stereotype and misguided notion that thin = fit and fat = lazy/out of shape.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Man On Man? You're On The List!

So a high school principal in Tennessee outed two gay students by posting their names on a list of known romantic couples, allegedly in an attempt to deter PDA. Her story is that there was too much "explicit sexual activity" in the halls and she was keeping a list of all the known couples in the school to keep a special eye on. There are so many things wrong with this I barely know where to begin.

First off, how's about the ol' violation of privacy? I know, I know, they're still "children" and it's a high school and therefore they have no legal rights. They're minors so their parents deserve to know what they're up to, blah blah blah. Crap. They may technically be minors, but they are still human beings and within a few short years of legal adulthood. They are old enough to make their own decisions about their sexuality and romantic lives. They are CERTAINLY old enough to have their privacy respected.

There's also the fact that revealing couples could put those listed in danger. That's not just the gay couples, either. What about interracial couples with racist parents? What about a girl who's dating the "bad" guy that her parents would never approve of? Or what about something as seemingly trivial as dating across economic class or social circles? Any of those things could put the teens at risk of parental abuse and punishment or being ostracized by their peers. And, getting back to the same-sex couples, let's remember that this is Tennessee. Not to generalize, but the south isn't exactly a beacon of gay acceptance. Tennessee still sees an alarming number of hate crimes. As someone who has lived in the south and as someone who naturally seems to befriend gay men, I have seen and heard stories about narrow-minded families (like my friend who's brother told him he'd never see his niece and nephews again if he ever brought his boyfriend home) and various forms of harassment. So how is it logical for a principal to put students in danger of this kind of discrimination?

The ACLU has gotten involved on behalf of the outed teens after being contacted by one of the young men's mothers (who didn't know he was gay before but fortunately seems supportive and non-judgmental).

One other thought. High school relationships tend to not last very long. What good is this list if a month from now 80% of the couples will be broken up and new ones will have formed? Also, if you want to stop PDA, how about you just walk through the halls and stop it as you see it?


Quickie: Women In Sports

Thought I'd alert you to a blog post written by a friend (acquaintance? whatever, that's not important) of mine on women in sports. Enjoy.

I maintain we need a WNHL.


On Being Ten Feet From Howard Dean

This is a little late, I apologize. But last week I went to a taping of The Daily Show. It was last Thursday, the episode that had Howard Dean as the guest. I thought that I'd walk you through the process.

First, you arrive and stand in line. You have to make reservations at the Daily Show Tickets page. Those come with the disclaimer that not every who makes a reservation will get in. It also suggest you arrive between 3:30 and 4:00. That's crap. On my first attempt to get in I arrived somewhere around 3:15 and was at the back of the line around the corner. They cut the line off about 10 or 15 people in front of me (*grumble*). That, however, worked out for the better, because if you get denied the first time you can e-mail them for VIP tickets that guarantee you a spot in the audience. Which is what I had last week.

With VIP tickets you don't have to get there quite as early. I believe 4:30 is the latest you can arrive and still be guaranteed a spot. I got there a little before 4:00 and stood and waited. At 4:30 (or 4:35 or 4:40...) they come down the VIP line and check your name off their list and give you a numbered ticket. I was #9. Yes, I made "Client 9" jokes. It was the right thing to do. Then you go through a security checkpoint. Metal detector and someone searching your bag. Like the airport without the condescension or attitude. Then you are corralled into a holding area while all 200 audience members go through security, and you stand there for about an hour total. Then they finally let you into the audience area (after making 2 or 3 announcements reminding you not to use electronic devices or take pictures, or to shout anything out during taping, etc) by your ticket number.

My party had really good seats. If you're facing the desk Jon Stewart sits at, we would be to the left (so, his right) in the second row. Pretty much as close as you can get without giving him a lapdance.

You sit there for another half-hour or so. There's a warm-up guy who comes out and makes fun of people in the audience and gives instructions about applause and all that. See, they don't use a laugh track. The audience is mic'd at half the volume Stewart is, so your reactions are what is used on the show. And you have to clap and cheer loud because of the half-volume thing.

So Jon Stewart comes out (woo) and talks/answers audience questions for a few minutes.

The taping starts. Little did I know, they do the entire show in a straight shot. They even have monitors hanging that play the pre-taped segments. It's exactly what you see on TV, only live. I was surprised by that initially, but I guess it makes sense for this particular show. It's scripted, but there's a little bit of ad-libbing and audience reaction that feeds it and is what makes it good.

So, on to Howard Dean. I was interested but not completely thrilled when I learned he was the guest. See, I don't agree with his decision to disenfranchise Florida and Michigan. Though I will say with his appearance I can sort of see where he's coming from, but I still think it's a huge mistake and very much smacks of what happened to Florida in 2000. Which I hate because he was one of my top choices in 2004, I think Edwards-Dean or Dean-Edwards would have been a better choice than Kerry-Edwards. Certainly more charismatic.

When he left (during the commercial break) Jon Stewart said a little something to the audience that to me sounded like he was pretty much thanking us for not booing Dean off the set. So that acknowledges the fact that I'm not the only liberal irked by his decision. Which I sort of already knew.

Anyway, after that, it was just like the end of the show. Wrap it up, Moment of Zen, out of there. Then the audience was ushered out.

It's a really cool experience. From a nerdy, "I love that show and anything that comes out of Jon Stewart's mouth" place as well as being interested in seeing how these things work behind the scenes.

Have some clips from that day's show (which, put together, are pretty much the entire show):

(I decided that John Oliver is by far my favorite of their current correspondents)

(I though this segent was kind of stupid, except when he asked if Clinton wore pantsuits when she was 3)


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I Celebrate My Return To Blogging By Inundating You With Music Videos

Don't worry, I only inundate people with incredibly badass music videos. I wouldn't want to disappoint either of my readers.

Also, in order to keep up with the grain of this blog, they are politically motivated incredibly badass music videos. W00t.

(This isn't NOFX's video, it's some random YouTube person's...but it's more about the song anyway)


And one more, for funsies:

(meaning it's not political, I just like the song - though I swear it's been sped up for the video, compared to the album)