Tuesday, December 30



The year is just about over.

Mama left on Sunday, and I took two days to regroup. There's a new kitchen table. The couch has been ordered. There are only two unpacked boxes in my entire aprartment, and those are filled with paperwork. My desk is again a mess, but there are neither dishes next to the sink nor dirty clothes on the floor. I even made the bed this morning. Weird.

I'm headed to Michigan to see my friends Conni and Darrell for a few days. I doubt I'll post until I return on Saturday. [Got a great present from the two of them this year: a full set of matching wheely luggage. Conni said that they were distrubed by watching me struggle with my multi-bag packing system when I last visited. Now that I'm packing for this trip, I will agree that it is easier being able to pack everything into one bag.]

Regular season football is finished, and along with it the office football pool. I never won a week, but I did finish a respectable third out of thirty-three on confidence points for the year:
# 1 — Packers Suck! — 1,433
# 2 — Gambling Fool — 1,428
# 3 — Bulletproof Bra — 1,419
Oh, well.

Now, I'm off to finish packing.

Happy New Year to all!

Monday, December 29

Draft Dodging

[Draft Dodging]

A few months ago, the pentagon put out the call for draft board members. Shortly thereafter, some members of congress became vocal about increasing the size of the US military. Now, the enlisted, as a part of an ongoing stop-gap policy are being prohibited from retiring, and we're hearing rumblings about the army's suicide rate.

And, although there have been discussions about reducing US forces in Iraq after the capture of Saddam Hussein, it is important to remember that most US troops are elsewhere. And, although the Pentagon is discussing realignment, possibly even closing a quarter of its 400-plus international bases, such a move would only imply reduction if those same troops aren't redeployed elsewhere.

I am suspicious.

Will the draft be reinstated? Not before the election, I imagine. But, if Bush wins a second term, and if other enemy states are chosen for Bush's machine to correct, I think the possibility is strong.

Friday, December 26


I was born on a Thursday under the astrological sign Capricorn.

My Life path number is 8.

The golden number for the year I was born is 12.

That year was a leap year.

There are 366 days until my next birthday.

The moon's phase on the day I was born was waxing crescent.
No, I'm not posting the year.

Thursday, December 25

Success! Sort of

[Success! Sort of . . . . ]

I stripped my last #1 Phillips driver bit, and snapped my only 5/64 inch drill bit, but the chairs to the kitchen set are assembled. I haven't even tried to assemble the table, but I might leave that to Mark and Darrell tomorrow. I'm certain they'll be happy to put it together for me [or, at least that's the premise under which I intend to proceed].

Merry Christmas

[Merry Christmas!]

Did you get sticks and pieces of coal in your stocking? If you'd like to protest, I could be wrong, but I think complaints go here.

Happy Holidays to you all!

Wednesday, December 24

Mama — Days 2, 3 & 4

[Mama — Days 2, 3 & 4]

The early part of Day 2 [Monday] was spent shopping for a table and chairs for the kitchen. We found one that will work [small enough for the space and cheap enough for my budget]. After we found the table, mama said it was time for a beer, which was okay with me, because it’s okay for a lady, apparently, to smoke at a bar, and I thought it was time for a cigarette. It was just before noon. She pointed to a bar on Milwaukee near Western and said,
“Let’s go there.”

“Mama, that might be a little rough, and I don’t speak much Spanish.”

Rough I can handle.”

And, so, we went. One beer [and a narrow escape from an amorous middle-aged non-English-speaking man] later and we were out. The rest of the day is a blur of groceries and cleaning.

On Day 3 [Tuesday] I went to work, and left Mama alone in my apartment. This is the true test of the pre-Mama cleaning. Other than a bottle of peach-flavored massage oil [forgot about that, would have tossed it, it wasn’t too tasty] that she found when cleaning under my bed I passed. Keely and Mark picked her up and we met for dinner before taking off to the Redhead where I learned a few things that were interesting and disconcerting and will be further investigated. I have again realized that when comparing myself to the Mama person, I am the mild one.

Day 4 [today] has been movie watching, grocery shopping and more cleaning. And drinking.


Sunday, December 21

Mama Quips — Day 1

[Mama Quips — Day 1]
  • "Your hair is too flat. Try this Root Lift spray."
  • "Women shouldn't smoke on the street. It's unladylike."
  • "We'll clean this place up if it takes all week."
  • "Do you have a broom?"
No fights, though. It's actually been fun. She's smaller than I remembered. And, she's a strawberry blonde [not totally unexpected, the color changes every time].

Off to the air mattress. Hope all your holidays are going swimmingly as well.

2003 in Review from Fimoculous

[2003 in Review]

Fimoculous has put together a great Year In Review list.

I'd love to explore all of the links. However, I need to leave now to fetch the mama person from O'Hare.

[I am better prepared than I was yesterday thanks to K and M. Such wonderful friends. Also, expect posts to be scant over the next week, whilst I'm entertaining the mama person.]

Saturday, December 20



Our language is so deliciously confounding.

Contronyms are special cases of homographs (two words with the same spelling). Some examples [list edited]:
  • anabasis - military advance, military retreat
  • bolt - secure, run away
  • buckle - fasten, fall apart
  • by - multiplication (e.g., a three by five matrix), division (e.g., dividing eight by four)
  • consult - ask for advice, give advice
  • discursive - proceeding coherently from topic to topic, moving aimlessly from topic to topic
  • enjoin - prescribe, prohibit
  • fast - quick, unmoving
  • garnish - enhance (e.g., food), curtail (e.g., wages)
  • mean - average, excellent (e.g., "plays a mean game")
  • oversight - error, care
  • quiddity - essence, trifling point
  • rent - buy use of, sell use of
  • screen - show, hide
  • transparent - invisible, obvious
  • unbending - rigid, relaxing
  • wear - endure through use, decay through use
  • weather - withstand, wear away
I wish I could spend all day exploring Fun With Words at RinkWorks, but I have to scour my digs for my mother's arrival. She's staying for an entire week. And, I'm woefully unprepared.

Thursday, December 18

Hugh is Channeling my Thoughts

[Hugh is Channeling my Thoughts]

With help from Hugh MacLeod . . . . some of these are my thoughts. And some are just projections of what I think those around me are thinking. Sigh. Here goes . . . .

And, finally, sometimes I wish it were possible for so many of us . . . . 


Off to bed.



Tuesday, December 16

Cheezborger Cheezborger vs Cheeburger Cheeburger

[Cheezborger Cheezborger vs Cheeburger Cheeburger]

Because of an epic decision, obviously intended to insure that drunken Chicagoans never get a Cheeburger when they really want a Cheezborger, we can all rest assured that there shall not be a Cheeburger Cheeburger within 125 miles of an existing Billy Goat Tavern.

Sunday, December 14

Niche Marketing

[Niche Marketing]

I was out with Keely and Mark last night, and we ended up discussing the Bone Clone. Keely had seen the site it a while ago, and was mostly unamused. She mentioned that her first thought was that there might be quite a market for recent widows, you know, something for remembrance . . . . 

"Before we cremate, we need to do one more thing. Get out the silver nitrate . . . ."

And, I thought I had a sick sense of humor.

Saturday, December 13

Cynthia's been One-Upped

[Cynthia's been One-Upped]


Now I'm wondering who on my Christmas list doesn't need one!

Profanity Resolutions

[Profanity Resolutions]

"To amend section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes."

Ripped directly from weather head:
In the U.S. House of Representatives: House Resolution 3687, by Rep. Doug Ose (R-CA):
(b) As used in this section, the term 'profane', used with respect to language, includes the words 'shit', 'piss', 'fuck', 'cunt', 'asshole', and the phrases 'cock sucker', 'mother fucker', and 'ass hole', compound use (including hyphenated compounds) of such words and phrases with each other or with other words or phrases, and other grammatical forms of such words and phrases (including verb, adjective, gerund, participle, and infinitive forms).
Perhaps we should start finding more intersting euphemisms for everything. I think that will be my New Year's resolution. I shall endeavor to curse less and imply more. I shall conjure the spirit of Mae West, who once said "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it. "

Friday, December 12



On TV and radio, some words can be used when they are meaningless, but not when they refer to their basic meaning.

According the October FCC ruling, it was okay for Bono to say "this is really, really fucking brilliant" on the broadcast of Golden Globe Awards because the f-word "may be crude and offensive, but, in the context presented here, did not describe sexual or excretory organs or activities."

There was, apparently a bit of conservative noise about the FCC's decision.

Then, this week, during the broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards, Nicole Ritchie [when talking about her time on the farm with Paris Hilton] said "Have you ever tried to get cow shit out of a Prada purse? It's not so fucking simple."

And, again, there are complaints.

If I understand the ruling correctly, if I am speaking over the airwaves, I could say that something was a really shitty thing to do but not that a cow took a shit. And, I could say that it was really fucking cold but not that we were really fucking because it was cold. I could not refer to "sexual or excretory organs or activities" in any graphic manner regardless of my use of expletives, but I could use those expletives when they refer to nothing.

Why rip meaning from a word? Why?

Thursday, December 11

ADHD + Ritalin

[ADHD + Ritalin]

Fascinating. Although there had been several studies about the short-term effects of Ritalin, and other stimulants for children with ADHD, little long term research had been undertaken. New Research in Animals Reveals Possible Long-Term Effects of Stimulants on Brain and Behavior. Notable:
Dr. Carlos BolaƱos and his colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas assessed certain behaviors of adult rats given methylphenidate prior to adolescence. They found that compared to drug-naive rats, those chronically exposed to methylphenidate were less responsive to natural rewards, such as sugar and sex, and more sensitive to stressful situations. The methylphenidate-exposed animals also had increased anxiety-like behaviors, and enhanced blood levels of stress hormones.

So, I guess we can look forward to a plurality of the next generation of young adults being disinterested in sex or food, always stressed, and prone to freaking out when they are stressed. Great. I wonder what new repacement drug will come out and in what different manner it'll fuck the kids up.

Saturday, December 6

Capitalism for Communists

[Capitalism for Communists]

Or is it Communism for Capitalists? Communists for Capitalism? Capitalists for Communism?

Now, that's funny.

[Via BureauCrash.]

Thursday, December 4

I'd like to force feed Lieberman Doughnuts

[I'd like to force feed Lieberman Doughnuts!]

Reminds me of a quote:
"There is only one basic human right: the right to do as you please, without causing others harm. With it comes our only basic human duty: the duty to accept the consequences of our actions."

— P.J. O'Rourke

We should all accept the consequences of eating our own fucking jelly doughnuts, Lieberman.



Right now, go to Google, type in "miserable failure" and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button. Now. Right now. What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, December 2



I was on Fark trolling for news, and I saw the headline: See how many sex offenders live in your neighborhood where "Some Chick" provided a link to this site.

I thought it might be a good idea to know, so I started trolling . . . .

From this registry I found that there are 18 on the police beat around my apartment and about a hundred within walking distance. And, from this registry, I found that there are 128 in my zip code. This is somewhat disturbing, but is about what I expected.

What I didn't expect was one of the listings from my hometown. I am disturbed. Very.