Sunday, May 27, 2007

Dixie and her Nap

Sorry I woke you.

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I saw her on the Colbert Report, but before then I heard about her book and I was lucky enough to find it last Monday at the local library.

I disagree with her, but I like her book. Unlike Ann Coulter's work, where I disagree with her and really don't like her writing.

I don't feel that I can say anything about her views on Islam because she grew up with it, I didn't. She can't say anything about my views on Christianity for the same reason.

That being said, there are 2 things I disagree with, that stuck out.

She said people were wrong when they said poverty and misery turned the terrorists into fanatics.

But, earlier, she said that Somalis turned to Islam because the (secular) government was failing and hurting everyone, and religion offered happiness, if not now, after you died.

Her description of her life under Islam was horrible. I always thought that since women have to cover up because men are horndogs, wouldn't it be easier to just blind and castrate the men? Then women can enjoy life.

I'm reading American Fascists right now. I picked it up Monday as well. There are many similarities between the Christianity in this book and the Islam in her book, especially the treatment of women.

The other thing that bugged me - when she was in Dutch government and wanted to do away with minimum wage and unemployment because Muslim immigrants and refugees used that to hide from integration.

That pissed me off. The minimum wage and unemployment aren't just for refugees, native-born Dutch use them as well. Plus, she used the money given to refugees to go to school, to be a success, and she wanted to deny other Muslim women the same thing, while criticizing them for not doing anything!

Same as women decrying feminism, while feminism gave them the chance to speak and get the hell out of the kitchen. "I made it, but how I made it was bad, so let's get rid of the ladder I used."

That's about it.

My library is broke and bleeding books.

They can't afford to have the security measures they used to have. Something in the books would set off an alarm if it wasn't properly checked out.

Well, books are being stolen.

What are they doing? Limiting the number of books we can check out.

And that stops people from walking out with books without checking them out... how?

And! This librarian did not know how to spell glitch! Glitch!

However, the lady who checked my books out was younger and obviously newer, because she took interest, however fleeting, in the 8 books I had.

So there is hope.

And I should get my student ID soon for the university and then I can use the Memphis library again, so whatever.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mikey and his Front Paw

So cute.

He was up a minute later, mad at me because mom stretched, disturbing him.

I remembered this week - I win.

Here Comes The Rain Again
The Eurythmics

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion
I want to walk in the open wind
I want to talk like lovers do
I want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you

So baby talk to me
Like lovers do
Walk with me
Like lovers do
Talk to me
Like lovers do

Here comes the rain again
Raining in my head like a tragedy
Tearing me apart like a new emotion
I want to breathe in the open wind
I want to kiss like lovers do
I want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you

So baby talk to me
Like lovers do

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion
(here it comes again, here it comes again)
I want to walk in the open wind
I want to talk like lovers do
I want dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you

Oh the stupidity!

The articles linked to in the 'What's New' box are rarely new or news worthy, but since yesterday, they've been really stupid - without even having to read anything but the titles.

Angelina (if you have to ask which Angelina...) has a "shocking new look"! She's "too thin?"

But right below that is yet another thing about quick, easy no-exercise weight loss!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wickett and his Body

In less than a second, he can be up and yelling. I don't get him.

Jerry Falwell is dead.

And has been for a while.

I haven't had anything to say, I tried to contain my glee with the thought that what he started didn't die with him.

I never liked him, but what he said on September 11th kind of sealed the deal, and everything else he's said is just disgusting. I checked out the book American Fascists Monday and I told my mom that it wasn't about ordinary Christians, like her and Becky and the people who work at the Crisis Center, it was about the Falwells, and the Dobsons, and the Pat Robertsons, those jerks that hijacked the country and are trying to make it a Christian nation.

I can't believe I was happy to see he died of old age. 1 - no one killed him, that is very good. 2 - he was a hateful bigot. Here's a collection of his quotes from an atheist site.

What prompted me to finally say something was the 3 letters printed this week condemning Bill Day, the Commercial Appeal's editorial cartoonist, for a cartoon he did on the death of Falwell, mocking him.

Of course he'd mock him, if he's remotely liberal, he's responsible for September 11th and all the ills in the world.

He draws a lot of criticism that other cartoonists featured don't get, at least in the paper. No liberal ever complains, or gets printed, about the Ramirez cartoons that run - I don't remember his first name, but he's conservative, and since Bush vetoed the war bill passed by Congress, he's run too many fucking cartoons about how 'radical' Congress has become. If Congress was filled with bleeding heart liberals and radicals, we'd have free health care and impeachment proceedings! Grr.

On May 18, this cartoon ran in the Commercial Appeal. It's pretty weak, and not very funny to me, but it's pissing people off.


Cute - he called Tinky Winky gay, so ha ha, Tinky Winky's welcoming him to heaven. I don't get it.

The first letter was the next day said "Teletubbies don't go to heaven". Dogs do, according to the liberal nazis in Hollywood.

There were 2 more today, they were so stupid!

I worry Day will be replaced by other cartoonists, or a conservative one. This is the South, we need as many liberal voices as we can get.

But he keeps stepping on religious toes, because plainly, he doesn't worship Falwell and likes to poke fun at pompous people who blamed him for the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

There was another letter yesterday that made me see red - sent in by a guy, about the recent outcry about rape in a rich part of town, hence the coverage of it. The victims are calling for more police, but the asshole said police aren't there to protect us, women should take responsibilty for their own protection, if they get raped, it's their fault, no, it was their male relatives' fault for not protecting them. It seemed like he was saying that we shouldn't punish the rapists, since the women should protect themselves. Go to pandagon or feministe or reclusiveleftist and see why this is so offensive and stupid, it's not funny, because it's not unique - or limited to men, sadly. We can be aware of our surroundings, and take self defense or martial art classes, they give you confidence, but we are not responsible for a rapist's crimes - he is.

I agree with the letters today - we've been saying "Enough is enough" about crime for about ever, but it only makes the front page when it's rich people getting hurt. It's sad but true.

Though the rich victims have the money and time to pursue this, not the average victim. I'm glad they are asking "Why?" and demanding answers - someone has to, and it works better if it's somebody rich and with influence. That's how it works.

Now I'm going to watch Crossing Jordan on A&E. Toodles.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Dixie and her Butt

What a goofball!

She turned ten the 11th.

She's not acting like a middle-aged anything, she's still chasing Wickett, rolling on her Frisbee, shaking her rug, and having fun.

I hope I'm so lucky when I'm her age. (Not 70, I forgot the formula, but she's not ten in human years, I know that.)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Crossing Jordan is over.

That sucks.

That show was awesome.

I told Becky they'd all die, what a finale.

"No they won't, helicopters will come!"

They did, which showed me that the show's makers knew just in time to add the rescue to the finale.

If it had been a mere season finale, they'd still be in the White Mountains with Garrett dying and Woody and Jordan kissing. Finally!

Becky couldn't believe it was ending.

"Nobody watches it."

"I watch it!"

But we're not a Neilsen family, our viewing isn't being monitored, at least not to my knowledge.

So one of the best shows ended.

I've seen 2 great shows end, shows that I loved and adored.

One was the X-files. It ended because they wanted to end it, so they had an elegant finale, they were in control.

The Simpsons, even if it is getting worse, will always have control when it comes to ending. It's a rating powerhouse and insanely popular. Matt Groening will choose the ending.

The other show I watched end is Arrested Development. I have all 3 seasons on DVD. I have trouble stopping once I start.

I adore this show.

They didn't want to end, but they had enough warning to craft a beautiful, hilarious finale.

Crossing Jordan still airs on A&E, and the X-files still airs on TNT and Sci-fi, so all is not lost.

One more thing - the music on Crossing Jordan rules.

I hope to get the soundtrack, even if I don't get the DVDs.

I think the reason it got less popular - it makes me cry. It made me cry a lot this season, it made me cry last season, and maybe people didn't want to be sad.

Oh, after the plane crashed, Nigel was so worried about Kate. They love each other. Woody and Jordan, Bug and Lilly, Kate and Nigel.

Mikey and his Legs

He's so damn cute.

Maybe it'll be every other Thursday?

I'm such a flake.

Leave A Light On
Belinda Carlisle

Take my hand
Tell me what you are feeling
This is just the beginning

Although I have to go
It makes me feel like crying
I dont know when I'll see you again

Darling leave a light on for me
I'll be there before you close the door
To give you all the love that you need
Darling leave a light on for me
cause when the world takes me away
You are still the air that I breathe

I cant explain I just dont know
Just how far I have to go
But darling I'll keep the key
Just leave a light on for me

Yes I know
What I'm asking is crazy
You could go
Just get tired of waiting
But if I lose your love
Torn out by my desire
That would be the one regret of my life

Just like a spark lights up the dark
Baby thats your heart

Ann Coulter is a redneck bigot.

Despite being from Connecticut, she's just like the idiot robbers in Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen.

I am referring to her comments earlier this month that a poll that showed Barack Obama in the lead ahead of Republican candidates helps the terrorists.

When I saw that in the paper, I laughed so hard.

Especially at the last sentence - paraphrased - she didn't say how it helped them.

I just finished Lucky You again. I don't know how many times. It's one of my favorites, because it's the first I ever read. And I got the hardback version at a library sale for $1.50. I wish I could find a paperback copy at any secondhand place, but I haven't yet.

Anyways, this book is hilarious. It's about the lottery - 2 people had the same numbers, so 2 people won the lottery. It's $28 million, but $14 million each is nothing to sneeze at.

Especially for our heroine, who wants to use it to buy 44 acres of pure nature to prevent a shopping mall from being built there, and to prevent it from being developed forever. The turtle on the cover is one she found in the woods.

However, the other winners want all 28 million dollars.

Greed, mostly. They're lazy criminals, and this would be the end of their criminal life, and the start of their militia, devoted to the purity of the white man. Their enemies - liberals, Jews, aggressive women, Cubans, Mexicans, black people, Communists, and the US Government.

They have many insane theories for why something criminal is in fact good for the white man, why something is bad - because NATO is out to get them, along with black militants, etc.

One theory towards the end hit me and reminded me of Ann Coulter's statement. They purchased a map of the bay (down in Keys) that showed channels and depth. The leader said the reason they kept getting lost and running aground was because the map was wrong, because the mapmakers didn't want them to get to the right island.

Two of my favorites - using forged handicap decals is good because they are blue and white, and NATO's troops (in the Bahamas) will be wearing blue helmets. It's not a coincidence.

Also, they should use the stolen credit card, because when NATO takes over, they will make the US dollar worthless, and only give the 'real' money to the blacks, Jews, and everyone but the white man. (Unless he's liberal or Jewish, of course.)

They're insane and hilarious and fictional.

Ann Coulter is not.

And, unfortunately, bigotry is not fictional, or a historical embarrassment yet.

I worry about how vile it will get if Hillary or Barack are leading in a year.

I've said before - the nation is not ready for a minority president.

Why? We have this war in Iraq that's going to hell faster every day. If a minority candidate ran - on either side - the pundits and slimeballs will focus on that, making the candidates color, sex, or religion more important than their views. And Ann Coulter will be part of it.

Who would you rather have a beer with?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wickett and his Temper

The boys got into a nasty fight this morning, for no real reason. Mom left the room to get dressed for work and Wickett went under the computer desk, one of his favorite hidey-holes. (He's a vampire.)

Well, Mikey was in a snit for reasons known only to him.

So he sat next to the desk and growled. Wickett growled back.

This continued for a while, until, suddenly, Mikey pounced under the desk.

Nothing deterred them - not the promise of bones, not being sprayed with water, not being poked with a broom. And these idiots got caught up in the wires - Wickett had one on his neck, and Mikey had one on his paw.

Mikey had to be seqeuestered in Mom's room until his whining drove me up the wall. Wickett just owned the couch, as usual.

Both were overheated and soaking wet, but with spit and slobber, no blood.

Mom wanted them outside as soon as possible, they don't fight as much outside, and when they do, no wires to choke themselves on.

I had to bribe them out with a Hawaiian roll. It got Mikey and Dixie out, but Wickett didn't come out until he saw me giving them pieces. They each got 3.

This is their first big fight of the year, since they got neutered. Mikey's done some posturing and growling, but this was some scary shit. Wickett was screaming and it sounded like he couldn't breathe, but he was yelling at me within 10 minutes while Mom looked Mikey over behind closed doors.

This is what I saw when I took their water out.

Mortal enemies.

(That's not a shadow, that's Wickett.)

My theory about the fights is that Mikey starts them. When he tries to start something, just growling at Wickett, oh man, Wickett starts yapping and Mikey starts shaking. Wickett's noise makes him the man of the house. (Alpha Dog goes to Dixie, naturally.)

He will not shut up. And he rarely goes hoarse.

Mikey often goes after him - this is not the first time a rumble has started under the computer desk. Mikey sticks his head in Wickett's space between the couch and the wall. He used to go in after him under Mom's bed all the time. However, he hasn't bothered him while he's under and behind the rocking chair in the dining room - yet.

Mikey's an idiot. He always loses, but he always starts them. Wickett provokes him by existing, I think.

They rarely play together - the closest they come is playing with Dixie at the same time. (Wickett at her ears, Mikey at her feet, gnawing on them.) Or this morning, 5 minutes before the shit hit the fan, Mikey was gnawing on Mom's fingers and wrist while she pet the increasingly spineless Wickett with her other hand.

Boys are crazy.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dixie and her Opinions

You will listen.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Mikey and his Rug

He's chewing on it, yes.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Wickett and his Massage

Mom was rubbing his belly and he decided he had enough.

Nothing was being done to him!

He's just a crabmonkey.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dixie and her Ice Cube

Cute story.

Tuesday night, the dogs were really hot because they'd been out for a few hours and it was muggy and miserable.

And, as you can see, Dixie still has her winter coat. Mom says it doesn't make her hot and my medications and doctor appointments mean we can't groom her yet.

Anyways, I got out three ice cubes and handed them out. Wickett ran under the computer and munched away merrily.

Mikey sat on the rag rug and growled at his if someone came near.

But Dixie! She was sprawled out on the floor since it's cooler, and she licked the ice cube, trying to get it towards her, and it kept moving away the more she licked!

Well, she wasn't about to stand up, so she lunged forward and grabbed the cube, turned 90 degrees so she was on the rug.

She got her ice cube then.

And later Mikey's, but I had to help, because her tongue and paws chased it under the chair and I had to pick it up and throw it onto the carpet.

Tonight, I gave her another one and she left it on the kitchen floor. I grabbed it, tossed it on the carpet, and she crunched away.

Wickett cleaned up the crumbs.

You thought I forgot, but I didn't!

The Sea of Love
The Honeydrippers

Do you remember when we met
That's the day I knew you were my pet
I want to tell you how much I love you

Come with me, my love
To the sea, the sea of love
I want to tell you how much I love you

Come with me, to the sea

Do you remember when we met
That's the day I knew you were my pet
I want to tell you how much I love you

Come with me, to the sea

Come with me, my love
To the sea, the sea of love
I want to tell you how much I love you

Come with me, to the sea

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Something odd on A4 today.

I can't believe I didn't notice it at first - actually, I can, I was pretty sleepy and just wanted to read the smoking article and get onto the comics.

This odd little advertisement was next to the smoking article!

And I still missed it.

But I found it while looking for an article that was not in today's paper, but yesterday's. I felt like death yesterday, it was all I could do to read the comics, but since I love the paper, I'm supposed to read it every day. And I do get possessive of the Sunday paper, I want to go through it first. They don't even want a subscription - this expires in August. Mom only got it so I'd stop raiding her change on a daily basis.

Anyways, this was a nice little ad that took up half the sheet, height-wise and it was 3 columns wide.

The title?

8 Compelling Reasons Why:

Christ Is Coming Very Soon!

How To Be Prepared For History's Greatest Event

It is hilarious. I cannot believe somebody believes this. Mom told me it's somebody's opinion, it's not based on facts. And that makes it less funny? No.

There is a website, if you dare -
. I don't. I'm not brave enough to visit.

The 8 reasons are absurd and trite at the same time - the usual suspects, with a few surprises. Israel's existence, fighting in Israel, 'plummeting morality', The New World Order (The EU, the UN, the World Bank, and so on), more cults and false religions (whoever this wackjob disagrees with), and at the same time, more religion and belief of the right kind.

I did not know an increase in earthquakes meant Jesus was coming back - I guess heaven really is inside the earth's core and He's going to come up in a volcano. Take that, Pelé!

But the absolute best reason is number 5 - "Explosion of travel and education."

I'm not kidding! "Two key conditions described about 2,500 years ago for the Second Coming are that "travel and education shall be vastly increased" (Daniel 12:4, Living Bible). In all of history, the vast increase in travel has come just since mid-century with the explosion of both ground and air transportation; in education, with the advance of science and computers."

Mid-century is very important to modern Second Coming theories, Israel was created - miraculously reborn, I'm sorry, in 1948.

I'm pretty sure trains were a sign of the Second Coming when they took over, as was the wheel.

But education? It doesn't make sense. The religious right in this country hates science and education, especially public and non-religious higher education. They're fighting education and science by insisting that evolution is a theory, that the Bible's creation story is the only one, when it's clearly not. It can be taught in high school in a religious studies class, along with the other widely practiced religions of today, or even in a religious history class.

But that's a sin, somehow, because the Bible is the only thing that matters. I thought the 10 Commandments were the only thing that mattered, along with believing in Christ, but there's a lot more to it than that, apparently.

There's also the stem cell issue, where a potential life is more important than somebody already alive and possibly sick who could be looking at a cure.

It ends with an invitation to visit the website where you can see 3 exciting reports: (1) "Seven Incomparable Benefits to trusting Christ," (2) "Beware: the Mark of the Beast!" (3) "What is a Cult or the Occult?"

Your name and address will never be sold or used to beg for money, they sincerely pledge. This ad was paid for by a "concerned private contributor" with a lot of money to waste spreading the word of Christ rather than, I don't know, doing Christ-like work by helping the poor. By the by, I saw our Crisis Center brochure today - it's a ministry, and the brochure included a Bible verse about helping the poor and how good that was. But it's more important to scare everyone with tales of hell.

You know, if everyone who doesn't follow the rules is going to hell, what does it matter to those who know they're going to heaven? We're idiots, let us enjoy a sulfur shower while you play a harp (not a lyre).

Of course, the reason some people pressure loved ones is because they truly believe in heaven and hell and they are concerned that they'll go to heaven and not see their family. It's genuine, but still annoying.

This ends with advice to "clip, copy and share with others!"

I should pay for an ad saying something like that, but based on the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy five book trilogy. (Hint - the Sabbath is Thursday.) Money's money, right?

I doubt one person will object to this tripe (people object to the strip club ads in the Sports section), but if I were to run something saying that other people don't believe that, I'll be attacked. This paper has a daily Bible verse in the Op-Ed section. I'm not kidding. Saturday, the M section is devoted to religion - church picnics, never anything about a synagogue or mosque, just Christianity.

Big surprise.

The Second Coming will not happen on a single day. There's debate over whether the bad number is 666 or 616 or 999 or 919 or 13 or 1013 or 42, plus the calendars have changed a wee bit since the Bible was written.

The Second Coming has been coming since Jesus died, it'll happen in our lifetimes has been the cry for almost 2 millenia.

Nothing has happened.

What's scary is that there are people who believe it will happen in their lifetime and want it to happen and like the war in the Middle East, because it's speeding it up. (How can it be sped up if it's God will?)

Why care about the poor if Jesus will take care of them any day now?

I'm lucky to work and live with Christians who think it's not important.

Mikey and his Weary Head

The crown is so heavy.

Thank You For Smoking

That's a great book and an okay movie. I just reread it last week, and I still like it. The main character is so sincere in his statements, the last chapter still shocks me, when he's like, yeah, smoking is bad for you. Duh. A bit that popped into my head today while reading the paper was when Nick was on Larry King and said there's no health risk in smoking cigarettes, the CDC and the NIH make it up because if they don't, they'll lose funding. Naturally, someone from the CDC calls the show and tells him he's full of shit. He counters with the growing epidemic of pneumonia now that smokers are forced to go outside. What bullshit, but it pays the mortgage.

I am not a fan of smoking. This may have to do with the fact that my dad smokes and I do not like him. While he lived with us, he smoked outside. And any time one of mom's smoking relatives visits, they have to smoke at the end of the driveway. However, dad smokes in his house now, as does my uncle. Uncle Danny was married to a smoker, but they both smoked outside. He's married another smoker, and this time they smoke inside. In the kitchen. During his oldest daughter's birthday.

My dad also smokes in his kitchen - when my sister complained, he pointed out that she was in the living room and couldn't even smell it. He has a semi-open floor plan - the kitchen can not be shut off from the rest of the house. He also smoked in the car, with the windows down, while taking her to the doctor. She had bronchitis and pneumonia and was coughing like crazy. But no big deal! The window was open. Sheesh.

At the Crisis Center, you cannot smoke in the building, and if you're a client and you step outside to smoke, whether you missed your turn or not, you'll have to come back the next day. The building is small and the director is allergic. Plus, it stinks. One woman lied about smoking, and went looking for clothes. The room is big, don't get me wrong, but it's packed with clothes. It stunk.

One of my mom's best friends is die-hard smoker - she smokes outside, or at least in her garage. She went to Sonic with my mom and sister yesterday afternoon (Becky has a job!), and smoked while Becky ate. Sure they were outside, but still. When they worked together, she drove everyone nuts by going outside to smoke and then spraying herself with perfume. She came back in every day smelling like perfume and cigarette smoke.

Dogs are banned in more places than cigarettes. I don't think people should smoke where food is served. You can't smoke at a gas station, but the last time I went in one to get the paper, a guy in front of me reeked of cigarette smoke. But I was the bad one because I'd stepped in the door with a 12 pound poodle mop in my arms and didn't go farther than the cashier, which is at the front of the store. I know, I know, they're not allowed.

Mom and I found this great little burger place in Memphis and it was ruined by a smoker. How can you smoke and eat? Ew. (It was very small.)

I loved eating out in Washington - no smoking! One of my uncle's favorite restaurants was worried it would lose business after the ban. Business increased.

There is no 'smoking section' that keeps the smoke 100% away from nonsmokers, unless it's in a separate wing with good ventilation. There's not a peeing section in pools - that stuff spreads.

I realize that long time smokers don't have as good a sense of smell as nonsmokers, so they don't realize how they smell and how it affects others.

So - I hate smoking.

Imagine my joy when I look at today's paper - all area hospitals are banning it from the campuses - no more 'smoking sections' just outside the ER door, no more smoking before visiting sick people, yay! It starts November 15th, the American Cancer Society's Great American Smoke Out.

Most hospitals are taking great steps to help people quit - free nicotine gum or patches along with classes.

They're doing it to improve health and set a good example for the nation's health - they're hospitals. The VA has a problem, as it has smoking shelters that are federally mandated. But I don't think it'll be a big issue - I think this will go through and it'll be great.

Some people are worried about visitors that want to smoke - screw them. They're visiting a sick loved one, they can put the damn things away for an hour, can't they? My dad did that when he visited me in August - he never stunk.

Last Friday, I had an ultrasound done at Baptist Tipton. It is an old, small hospital, but it doesn't have old-world charm. It seems dingy. Anyways, we walked out the front doors and someone was smoking. Yuck! Now smokers will have to go farther, but they'll survive.

If you can't stop smoking while in the hospital, you have a problem. Of course, it is an addiction, but still.

Last time I was at the ER at St Francis, a very sick looking woman walked outside about 5 times. She was a patient and she had to smoke.

That's sad.

But yay! No more smoking anywhere near a hospital. It makes perfect sense. Even when you do it outside, the smell stays with you. Trust me.

Anyways, the story was on 2 pages, A1 and A4.

A4 had an interesting little article at the top of the page about black churches and the new hate crime bill making its way through Congress. They oppose it, because they can't preach against homosexuality.

Unlike smoking, homosexuality hurts nobody, but the homosexual him or her self if he or she chooses to hide it and repress their true nature.

All this law will do is add sexual orientation to the list of things that are already on the hate crime books, like race, religion, gender, ethnicity.

But this will hurt the country, somehow. I'm not sure how.

Besides, the church has been a haven for homosexuals. They have to be celibate and so do priests, monks, and nuns. Problem solved.

The black churches that do support the bill liken this to the Civil Rights struggle of the 50s and 60s. I agree. People want to deny the humanity of other people, just because they are different and it 'goes against God'. So did freeing slaves and marrying someone of a different race at one point.

Of course, there is a big difference between this struggle and the older one - you can hide your homosexuality, you cannot hide your race or you gender.

But I still think this is a waste of time, and will only hurt homosexual Americans if it's not passed. You can think what you want about homosexuality, but you don't have the right to deny a gay person the same rights and opportunities you have - to get married, to adopt, to be a foster parent, to not be harassed, assaulted, or killed for who you are.

I hope these religious leaders end up looking like the idiots they are - protesting giving a minority the same rights as yourself on the grounds that it's a sin, you think it's wrong.

Guess what? If gay marriage is legalized, you don't have to marry a member of the same sex, you don't have to divorce your opposite sex spouse, you can still marry your opposite sex sweetheart and no one will care.

Don't like gay marriage? Don't have one. Don't do one, but don't deny others the right to do so.

The Devil Wears Prada

The other book I got Saturday. It cost a bit more (fifty cents!), but it was worth it. And unlike The Skin I'm In, I'm keeping it.

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger is a great, funny book that did not disappoint me in any way.

I'd checked out The Nanny Diaries and Citizen Girl from the local library last fall, and I was so disappointed in them. They sucked. They were told in first person, present tense, something that I notice if I don't like the book I'm reading. (Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen and everything by Sophie Kinsella are examples of ones I do like that way, because of great characters and a good story.)

They were also incredibly pretentious, at least to me. Why? The employers in both books were not named, save for an 'X'. That annoyed the shit out of me. It's a fictional novel! FICTION! NOT REAL. No one gives a damn what their names are, you're not 'protecting' anybody! Make something up, dammit. I gave Nanny Diaries too many pages, and gave up on Citizen Girl much, much quicker when I discovered it was the same thing.

But I'm sure others like them - one's being made into a movie, someone must like it. Who knows? I may give them another try one day.

I was worried The Devil Wears Prada would be the same thing. If it was, it would go to the Crisis Center with The Skin I'm In, but for different reasons.

It wasn't. It was told in first person, but in the past tense. The main character was likable, and her boss had a name, as did the (fictional) magazine she worked for. Everyone had a name, except for her friend's many boyfriends, but they were not X's and for that, I am thankful. Johnny Depp made an appearance at a party! He didn't say anything to Andrea, the main character, but he was there. I doubt he'll be in the movie.

Andrea Sachs gets a job the November after graduating from Brown as Miranda Priestly's junior personal assistant. She's told that if she can make it a year, she can get almost any job in the publishing world she wants. (The New Yorker, in her case.)

It's incredibly funny and sad, but it's a great book.

Miranda does nothing for herself, and expects her assistants to practically read her mind 30 minutes before she asks them to something. Her favorite thing to do is to send them or some other peon on a wild goose chase getting everything just so, and then changing her mind. She also expects the impossible - that her assistant Emily can get her a private chartered flight at midnight on Saturday because the weather interfered with her original flight. She can't, of course, and the airline had already booked her with their first flight out the next morning. When Miranda discovered that she would not be flying until the morning, she was still pissed. Her flight was going to leave at 6:50, but another woman had a flight to New York leaving at 6:35, I think on a different airline!, but she had to get out first. She got it, of course, and the best part to the beleaguered assistant - it got in 8 minutes later than the original!

She also expected Andrea to be there at the time on the itinerary, not 30 minutes later because her flight was delayed and she had to go through customs. Reality matters not to her.

Two mind-reading tasks that were especially bitchy - find a dresser at an antique store in 'the '70s'. She didn't give a cross road or even tell Andrea what side of the park she meant. When Andy asked her, she told her she'd given her the address, she's so forgetful. The address was on 68th!

She also told her that she wanted reservations at an Asian fusion restaurant that had been reviewed in yesterday's paper. "That's all." Andrea called every single New York newspaper and none had done a review on an Asian restaurant that met Miranda's standards. When she asked for clarification (something you never do), she was told that she'd been told 6 times that it was the Post.

The New York Post had nothing. When she asked again, she was told that she'd been told a dozen times that it was the Washington Post, could she be any stupider?

I was surprised she lasted as long she did. They were never allowed to leave the office unattended in case she called or someone called and she was there and had to take the call.

There is something I worried about - that what Emily (the senior assistant) was saying was true, that you don't get to the top of the world by being nice. That is true, but Miranda was a lazy, lying bitch who abused everyone who did everything for her. She may have been a creative genius, but that didn't mean she should treat everyone like shit, though she could because she's Miranda fuckin' Priestly.

While she was in the office, everyone was expected to dress like a super model - down to uncomfortable shoes. But Andrea was expected to make many Starbucks or other errands on foot. She got chewed out for wearing comfortable shoes by her boss.

Luckily for her, there were clothes provided for free when they were 'out of season' (hadn't even hit the stores yet) along with foot-killing shoes and fashionable purses. When the movie came out, there was an article in the M section about the movie and how she was working at a fashion magazine, she should dress appropriately. Reading this and remembering that made me want to barf. The writer had based it solely on the movie, not the book.

Andrea only got the job in the first place because she'd just had a bout of dysentery and weighed 115 pounds on 5'10 frame. Along with her desire to work in journalism. And she was promised that a year in Runway hell was the same as 5 years as a peon at a less prestigious publication. So she wanted to learn the fashion ropes.

The stress of the job prevented her from eating most of the time, so she never regained her pre-illness weight. She was the only one 'brave' enough to eat the soup in the cafeteria. The soup chef refused to make any soup low fat, low carb, low anything. Loaded with calories, but the stress prevented her from becoming a 'cow'. Everyone else ate salads, if anything, and complained about their weight.

Miranda ate as well, and one lunch time pissed me off. Andy had to rush around to get her 'usual' food and took too long. (Since she was the junior assistant, she had to run errands. She used the errands as a chance to smoke, talk to her boyfriend, and give away Starbucks drinks on the building's dime. She could charge everything to them - even the two daily taxi rides. She was not a native New Yorker and had no idea where the building was at first and then she had to wear fancy clothes and killer heels, so it was better to ride in a cab. And it was expected by the company!)

So she rushed to get back, and place it just so on Miranda's desk. Miranda came back to the office and got incredibly pissy. Why? In the time between yelling at Andy and coming back to the office, she'd already eaten and Andrea should have known that, even though she didn't bother to tell her.

When her coworker got sick (mono - highly contagious), Miranda had to talk to the doctor before she'd believe it - and she insisted mono wasn't a 'real' disease.

The book is perfectly funny, and I wish it was longer.

I want to rent the movie next time we do that to see how it compares. For one thing - the casting is wrong, judging by the shot on the back of my copy. Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway have healthy bodies. I don't think Meryl's a size 0.

I'll see how it matches up and report back. Expect something long and bitchy if it doesn't, and something short and sweet if it does.

A side note - I have no idea what magazine the author is mocking, or who she's mocking. I know some of the designer's names, but that's about it.

I think my sister would like it, but she said, before I could finish the sentence - "Never gonna read it."

"I'm gonna make a book called Never Gonna Read It, dedicated to you and it'll be all about how to be a super-duper genius success."

"Never gonna read it."

She pisses me off sometimes - I know she's not a reader, but she does have two favorite series - Gossip Girl and the A List. She begged me to give the first GG a try, and I did. I hated it, but at least I tried.

She never bothers.

I'm currently rereading Alas, Babylon. I had to read it in 9th grade, and made my homebound teacher mad because after a slow, "I-hate-this-tripe" start, I raced through it. Whoops. I'm always doing that. That really sucked in 10th grade when we read 1984, because we read along with an audio CD that was so slow.

I'm awaiting a Devil Wears Prada-type book about MAD. Good Days and Mad by Dick DeBartolo isn't cutting it anymore. (As I don't have it.)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Skin I'm In

I found two great books Saturday at two different yard sales. (My mom bought a bike at yet another.)

The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake is an adolescent book, and it captures all the pressures of middle and high school that my sister went through, as did I, to a much lesser degree. It's also an 'African-American' book in that the main character and most of her classmates are black, but I still identified. I was also shocked at the cruelty toward the main character - just because her skin is darker than everyone else's. I've heard of that before, but it still doesn't make sense to me.

It's not a sad book, but most of it makes me sad - the way Maleeka goes along with the other kids in picking on the teacher and getting into a lot of trouble. Thankfully, she learns what really matters by the end of the book, after a disastrous exercise in peer pressure.

The book starts when a new English teacher arrives at Maleeka's middle school. The book is told in first person present tense, something that often rubs me the wrong way, but didn't this time. The present tense part, not the first person thing. If I don't like a book (The Nanny Diaries) it grates on me until I give up. But if I like a book, it's natural.

The teacher is a former advertising executive who decides to teach when the school system starts a program for executives to teach without getting teaching certificates. Everyone hates her because she makes them do a lot of work, but I got the feeling if they'd STFU, they'd learn something - Maleeka did.

One thing that really resonated with me was her intelligence. She's in 7th grade, but can easily outdo a 9th grader when it comes to math and she's a gifted writer. I like to think of myself as smart, but I never felt pressure to dumb it down. That is something that bugs me about school - no one wants to look smart, even in the honors and AP classes! This week is Gateway Testing week at the high schools, and most teachers won't do a thing, they can't, because their schedules are messed up and most have students taking a state test. The Gateway tests sucked. They were not timed, but you couldn't bring a book to read when you were done, and you couldn't leave early. When I had to take the English 2 test (my last Gateway), I used my 504 health plan and horrible skin infection that had pretty much cleared up as a reason not to sit for 3 hours doing nothing but sweating and itching. I got to take it in a little closet-like room with a window off the guidance office and checked out after I was done. There's a lot more leeway with the End Of Course tests - they're required to graduate, but you can leave early or bring a book. (I left early both times.)

The thing that pisses me off? My sister had to sit in the cafeteria for 3 hours today because her 1st period teacher was giving a test and the classroom was being used. The class is a senior class she was put in instead of study hall (they told her that sophomores had to have parental permission for study hall. She got the note. She didn't get study hall.), so she had no one to talk to.

It was very boring.

I know she doesn't like to read, but come on! It would not have killed her to take a Gossip Girl or Cosmo in, it would have killed the time.

No one can complain about having nothing to do in school if they know how to read, have books, and are allowed to bring them.

Back to Maleeka - I got the feeling that she hated being so smart, because it let another girl exploit her and made her an outcast. She went to a typical poor school - no one gives a damn, and when someone tries (the new teacher), they're attacked.

And this was written in 1998, before NCLB.

Oh! The title. She comes to terms with the deep color of her skin, and that made me extra happy. In the book Pledged, there was a snippet about a black sorority that had the 'paper bag test'. If a pledge's skin was darker, she was out.

White is the norm and non-white people, especially women, have been trying to be as white as possible for too damn long. I make the point of describing everybody's race - even the white guys. It's just me, but it's a step.

Maleeka was 'inferior' because her skin was dark, even though a number of people thought it was beautiful. (The teacher is one, much to Maleeka's chagrin.)

She was inferior to the other black students who had lighter skin, because white skin is still the ultimate goal. Unless you're white, then you want to be tanned all year. (Not me - too long in the sun and I turn beet red, usually from overheating, but sometimes from a burn and it doesn't fade to a tan, it fades to white.)

That's just wrong, but I don't know how to correct it. I've never picked my friends by the darkness of their skin, more the personality and interests and will they talk to me than anything else. The hottest guy my senior year, to me at least, had dark skin and the most amazing dreads. And, despite his popularity, he talked to me.

Back to the book - I got it for a dime at a yard sale (black family) because I'm always interested in books from the 'abnormal' perspective. (Not white, not male, not Christian, not American... I could go on.) Since it was a kid's book, it looked like an easy read and not a waste of a dime if I didn't like it.

And I do.

However, I don't want to read it again. I'm taking it to the Crisis Center next time I go. (Supposed to go today, but Lois was sick and I was in crippling pain. I'm not now, I'm on a 100mcg patch instead of 2 25mcgs. It kicked in within the hour. Awesome.)

Why the crisis center?

Goodwill sells their books, we don't.

Most of our clients are black, and most have children. I hope another girl, black or white or whatever, gets it and feels good after reading it.

Wickett and his Cute Little Bootie

Tell me that's ugly.

Now this one is a spam blog?