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Showing posts from March, 2008

Songs for Today...

1. Danger Zone -- Kenny Loggins

(A song I've never liked.)

The air force is out doing maneuvers today. The jets fly low and fast over my house and the windows rattle in their frames. My dog barks uselessly at the perceived threat---anything so loud and unknown must be a danger.

I don't mind the jets so much, though. They are on their way to the Gulf, and I'm simply on the flight path. They don't linger here at all, and are gone in a split second, leaving the air vibrating behind them.

I mind the helicopters more. They fly low and slow, circling. Sometimes they are so close my skin feels the thud of the rotors, and if I look outside, I can see the mouth of the man hanging out the open door. The rest of his face is covered: helmet, ear phones, and goggles. Often there is a mounted machine gun beside him, and I prefer to think it is unloaded.

It makes me think about these men, their helicopters, and communities elsewhere that they fly over, when everyone knows the guns are loa…

The battle of the sexes: Is it a necessary spectacle?

Let's review the battle of the sexes in the blog world this week (in order to prove it's NOT JUST ME):

1. Mitch McDad---Reason #1 (of 1) that Men are Smarter Than Women

Citing makeup and cell phone abuse, Mitch McDad set out to prove in an eloquent and entertaining post that men do have one arena in which they are superior to women: driving.

He was even gracious when I pointed out that car insurance actuarial tables disprove his thesis in four simple words: higher rates for men.

Very funny post and comments...have a read.

2. Jennifer, le binky bitch---Male pattern blindness

Finally exposing a degenerative male disease that interferes with the quality of life for men and women alike, Jennifer movingly discusses the common frustration of wives who are married to men who can't find the noses on their faces.

Commenters reveal a side disease---selective deafness---among other hilarious conditions and syndromes.

Debate rages on whether it is exclusive to the Y chromosome or if female of…

Stand still, look pretty: The effect of social comparison to idealized images (Hump Day Hmm for 3-26-2008)

Today I am listening to the words of others. Yours. And these.

1. "Social comparison and body image: attractiveness comparisons to models and peers among adolescent girls and boys" (Statistical Data Included) Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, Nov, 2001 by Diane Carlson Jones
The empirical relationship between social comparison and body image has been evaluated among college students, primarily for women. The general finding has been that females who have reported more appearance-related social comparisons have been more likely to be dissatisfied with their body images (Faith, Leone, & Allison, 1997; Stormer & Thompson, 1996; Thompson, Coovert, & Stormer, 1999). The linkage between social comparison and negative body image may be enhanced in the research because the targets of the appearance comparisons have frequently been models and celebrities presented in the media (Botta, 1999; Taylor et al., 1998). Media images of thin females and muscular males represent id…

Maxim (and its readers) can BITE ME!

So...unless you keep your news reading to high-brow or none at all (and even that's not info-blank safe these days) you probably heard that Max!m released its Unsexiest Woman Alive winner a few months ago and she's Sarah Jessica Parker.

(So I'm late to the discussion party. It's still a relevant issue to discuss.)

It's deconstruction time.

First, let's put this magazine in its place.

When I Googled Max!m, this is what I got: Crappy Soft-Porn Lad Mag that, if a man was known to read this frequently and be a big fan and believer of it, should be a real turn-off to everyone carrying double Xs (and by that I mean chromosomes, not porn rating or some other sort of size).

Okay okay that's not what Google really said. It really said (and this part is actual for real true):
Hot Girls, Sex, Photos, Hot Videos, Sports, Movies and Music, Celebrities
Girls, Sex, Sexy, Hotties, Women, Babes, Chicks, Technology, Gear, Video Games, Hotties, Magazine, Maxim Magazine, christina a…

How I spent my Spring Break (In Photos, Wordless) (Yes I'm for real)

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Top 7 Things I've Learned Thus Far on Spring Break (or: Rumors of my AWOLness are not at all exaggerated)

Okay so I have been on Spring Break. That means this girl likes to party all the time, which apparently doesn't include anything relating to blogging other than hanging out with bloggers in real life. Although party has a new definition these days and seems to cap off at 9:30ish, it's about quality not quantity.

(I swapped out the image; the first one was freaking out visitors. We can't have that! So I subbed in a nice local beach shot instead.)

In no particular order other than as they occurred to me, here are things I've learned so far this week while on Spring Break (which is not finished yet):

1. Men are freaking weird. Some of them are actually turned on by a woman eating an aluminum can. With her bare teeth. I have no words. Okay a few: I would neverever be turned on by a guy eating an aluminum can with his bare teeth. Not even if he wore a really low cut tank top. And was wet. And strongly resembled Adrian Paul. Not even then.

2. The mouse car makes good time. And g…

Me, Stuart Little and the roadtrip

And on the ninth day, God created the Expedition and he said, "Ginormous, it is good."

The boy is an adorable little six year old, and he was invited over to play by none other than my daughter Patience---of her very own independent voluntary volition.

He was excited because he got to bike over to our house.

He's a native Texan, too.

That's relevant because of the priority system of most native Texans:

1. Church and God and Jesus
2. Motorized vehicles (bigger really is considered better, and newer is the cherry)
3. the GOP and maintaining the status quo, even if it does destroy the planet
4. Football, especially their college team
5. Everything else

(Note: I struggled mightily with numbers 3 and 4. Oh which is more important, which which which? I chose as I did because I have lately decided Texans would rather asphyxiate than change one iota of their lifestyle. Football is king, but I've never seen people as passionate about even the UT v. A&M game as I saw people fig…

Righting wrongs: a Hump Day Hmm for March 12, 2008

Angela at mommybytes asked about being wronged and reparation.

I've written several times on this topic. There was the post about:

* the time I followed a good example and stood up to a bad teacher

* the time I finally said enough and left a horrible job rife with sexual harassment and hostile work environment

* the chapped hide olympics in which I complained about bad customer service and the resolution from the companies that post brought

* how I do, and don't speak up at times when I am feeling wronged

* the downside and upside of being perceived as assertive

* the time I testified to the EPA about the personal effects of a toxic environment

It's not always just about me, either. I'll speak up for wronged friends and object to injustice (too many links to insert, LOL).

Angela, in all my experience of frequently speaking up, I've learned that you can speak as much as you want, but by the time people act, they have already created a mental rationalization for why what they…

For my friend, on the occasion of her 37th piece of trying news

Note 1: The You? Yeah, you, I mean you, or maybe not, maybe I just mean general you. Maybe you just hit 30 and have no idea how fast this decade passes. Or maybe you aren't even 30 yet. Maybe you are 50, and think I know nothing yet. The point is, there is always something more and less on either side of us, however you view it.

This past weekend, Angela at Reality Testingand I both wrote about loss, and grief. We wrote about it very differently. I made mine humorous, she made hers poignant, and neither of us wrote about the traditional sort of loss or the standard sort of grief. Then, today, my dear friend Sarah wrote movingly, also, on the same topic.

I'm not sure how to put it into words, but there is a loss that occurs, or that you finally become aware of, at about this age. It is the loss of youth and illusion, perhaps, although a corner of me debates that this is what it is.

It goes back to that Russo quote, in a way.

I don't think we begin to view life backwards---at le…

But you know, everything looks better after a good weekend's sleep

Or so I keep trying to tell myself.

Persistence slept in until 7:30, which is a good hour later (adjusted time) at least than her usual.

In exchange, our big family TV blew its tube.

Now that's what I call a fair exchange, not to mention how appreciative I am that God brought the smiting in within the hour. I can now go about the rest of my day with a clear mind.

If you need me...I'll be driving to a little somewhere in my totally unsafe Check Engine light on car (appointment this week) to find a bruja to get some gris gris.

Or maybe I'll just drive on over to my friend Melissa's to hand back her Curse of Entropy.

If you simply need to see me using my words...

Come celebrate (or denigrate) my lifelong love of my OCD and Barbie as I explain how I am a total hypocrite about porn star Barbie.

If Barbie isn't to your taste, feel free to learn about how I know there is a God, math, and the upswing in the onset of the Curse of Entropy.

If you prefer a more political flavor, come…

I am a Total Hypocrite about Porn Star Barbie

In honor of Barbie's birthday today, I thought I'd re-post my famous (infamous) post about Barbie...

My sister and I were Barbie fanatics growing up. We had such fun playing. In fact, we had so much fun playing together---one of our times of playing nicely---and we played with so much imagination that I remain pro-Barbie to this day. The story was the key to me. Was Barbie dressed the part? If so, then all was good.

I never noticed her proportions. I never noticed whether blonde, blue-eyed Barbie was the Cool Chick. Actually, my favorite Barbie was Hispanic Barbie. I adored her black hair, brown skin, and melting black eyes. (The melting part might have been literal once or twice as Barbie aided me in a science experiment. In fact, Skipper bears a few, sad scars to this day, although she hasn't let it get her down if her still-chipper smile is any indication.) I named her Connie.

Back then, Barbie was a doll who had lots of clothes, accessories, and play toys. She wasn't…

3 Girls in a Math Tub, to Say Nothing of the Dog...or, How I Know God is Real

It is no question to me that God is real. The proof is in my life, which is clearly one of intelligent design. God has a plan for my life, no doubt, and it involves balance, equal measure of yin and yang.

Do not imagine that uttered in the dulcet, ethereally even tones of a spiritual master.

No.

It's more like...Chevy Chase. In Vacation.

"You'll go on this vacation and you'll like it!"

I used to think, geez, God is pretty big and busy, you know? Why would he make sure that little old me gets what is coming to her? Then two equal but opposite theories---science and faith---proved that he does.

Apparently infinite really means no limit to space and time, at all. I realize the older we get the harder this concept is to grasp---infinite! no limit! all the space and time you want!---and sounds more and more like a myth to dream by, but science and faith both depend upon the apparent reality of the infinite.

Since God is and has infinite...he has time to make sure my life ha…

Heaven, she said

When Patience was four...

"I like Heaven," she said, "because I love Kiki, and she's in Heaven." She looked sad for a moment, and in classic form, switched to say, "I like Care Bear fruit snacks too." Then she blew a raspberry.

"Did you know," she said around her candy-masquerading-as-nutritious snack, "Did you know that tadpoles turn into frogs?"

She stared at me intently.

"Yes," I said, "I did know that. What do you think about that?"

"Well," she dug in her cellophane packet for a moment, "Look look Funshine Bear!" She popped it in her mouth and chewed with verve. "They turn into something else. They know what they are going to be. Do we turn into something else? Do we know what we're going to be?"

Sometimes, I don't know whether she means something literally, or if she really is grappling with a metaphysical issue.

Before I can decide in this case, she's off on another tack…

Free speech, rights, and amnesty in blogging: Hump Day Hmm for March 5, 2008

(Insert really awesome post that blows minds with amazing concepts and conclusions.)

UPDATE! I did it! I wrote my post and posted it. Whew.

That's right. Last night I spent the evening at the Texas Precinct Convention instead of at home doing things such as writing my blog post for today. I spent the evening making sure my vote got counted not just for the popular election, but also for the number of delegates my candidate got at the convention.

You see, Texas has a complex and unusual primary process. (Click here to read my explanation of it at MOMocrats.)

In the end, if you don't go to the convention, your vote is not counted when considering how many delegates your precinct gets to send.

That's sort of sucky because maybe 1/3 of people return to the convention. Then, even though a candidate might win the popular vote, he or she might not get the majority number of delegates.

For example, Hillary might have won the popular vote, but in several precincts I know, more Obama su…

Someone call the ACLU! The Internet ate my First Amendment rights!

Google.

news+blog+free speech

Results: 3,320,000

Results 1-10, front page.

What's relevant?

2 hours ago:

Appeals Court Weighs Teen's Web Speech
The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 5, 2008; 10:18 AM
NEW YORK -- A teen who used vulgar slang in an Internet blog to complain about school administrators shouldn't have been punished by the school, her lawyer told a federal appeals court.

But a lawyer for the Burlington, Conn., school told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday that administrators should be allowed to act if such comments are made on the Web.

Avery Doninger, 17, claims officials at Lewis S. Mills High School violated her free speech rights when they barred her from serving on the student council because of what she wrote from her home computer.

What did she write?
"`Jamfest' is canceled due to douchebags in central office," and also referred to an administrator who was "pissed off."
Color me surprised a teen said douchebag about a school ad…