Friday Random Next Blogging

Comment devenir taree en 1000 lecons Which, as I learned from Babelfish, is authored by a teenager in Mozambique, writing about teenage life in Mozambique. I believe she also writes "Angel" fan-fiction.

Surfstream, also authored by a teenager, this one a 13 year old in Swansea, Wales. He seems to like the wrestling.

TBOGG! - I think this is the first time I've every randomly landed on a blog that I already read every day.

Possible Elitists High On Coffee and Cloves - a satirical blog, featuring a review of Ann Coulter's latest book.

Theoretical V - occasional fiction and odd ramblings. I like that he wants to read the latest in globollocks from Thomas Friedman only because he heard how bad it is.

Well, that's all you're getting for today, because I had too many carbs this morning and therefore I'm feeling stuffed and sluggish.

I5BOTD 4/29/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:


authored by Jane Hamsher, and the amusingly named Funky PhD. There is a great post up about the Bible as literature.


I am such a hottie!

I was feeling good yesterday. I lost a few pounds, was wearing my favorite outfit, had my hair and make-up done - I was just generally feeling confident, and strutting down the sidewalk in Hartford towards my bus-stop (as much as someone who walks with a cane can strut, anyway). And I got wolf-whistled! (As someone who has spent much of her life either as a tomboy or a chubby invisible person, I don't have the luxury to be offended by someone whistling at me to let me know they find me attractive.)*

"I'm so hot!" I thought to myself, and then I turned to see who noticed my hotness. It was not, as I imagined, a buff construction worker. No, it was a toothless man who apparently just came from the methadone clinic, and he proceeded to make some comments that I will not repeat here.

That's me, though - with the exception of Loki, I tend to only get attention from elderly horndogs**, illegal immigrants***, and now I find that I am appealing to the toothless heroin addict population as well.

That's how my life works - when I'm feeling good, my reminder that humility is a virtue is never far behind.

*Does this mean I have to turn my feminist membership card in?
**I was shopping in the produce section once, and a guy who had to be around 90 came really close to me, put his arm around me, and said "nice melons"****
***I once worked for a Pakistani who had a brother who was trying to immigrate, and the brother would not take no for an answer...even though I was already married at that point. He asked me to go to the movies, and I told him "I'm married", and he said "that's okay, we don't have to tell your husband." What an ass he was.
****They're real, and they are kind of spectacular

I5BOTD 4/27/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

The Shameless Antagonist

They have an interesting (in an unpleasant way) post up about a Federal Reserve bank sponsoring a contest to promote economic inequality. Really.


Monkey's Big News

Monkey just called from her best friend's house (where she goes after school) - she has been picked to sing the National Anthem at the 2nd grade talent show. She delivered the news in a pitch that was barely audible to my non-canine ears, so I assume she is very excited about this.

I5BOTD 4/26/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

She Flies With Her Own Wings

lots of good stuff on ID vs. Evolution, which is a really irritating subject for me. One is mythology masquerading as science, one is science. I have no problem with the Creation myth of Christianity being taught in, say, a comparative religion course. Does it belong in a science classroom? No way.


I'm curious

Loki is a big fan of conspiracy theories - for example, he won't apply for a store discount card because he doesn't want "them" to know what he's buying at the grocery store.

So tonight, I was out shopping for birthday prezzies (oh help me, I have 3 birthdays in April and 3 in May, and about $165 of discretionary income....and one of those birthdays is my beloved Sio's 16th. I would like to shower her with gifts - a car, a cell phone, a laptop. So far, I got her a cheapo DVD of a movie starring Ewan MacGregor -Sio loves him- and some Velveeta macaroni & cheese -it's her favorite, and normally I won't buy it on principle. That principle being orange cheese cannot be good for you, so you can't eat it), and I ended up at Borders, where I had a gift card. I used it to buy the sequel to Jack Vance's Port of Call (I think it's called Lurulu) for Loki, The Best Erotic Fiction of 2004 edited by Susie Bright, Cooking Light Magazine, and #9 of the Astonishing X-Men (the latter three were all for me).

Based just on those purchases, I am a nerdy perv who likes to eat healthy.

More accurate than I would have predicted, actually.

I have no mouse and I must scream

My stupid scrolling wheel on my stupid mouse won't work anymore.

Jeanne for Pope

As someone who was raised Catholic, I must confess to the sin of Envy when I read anything that Jeanne writes. She offers an eloquent response to those who defend the new Pope's past over at Body and Soul

Reverend Heretic

As my regular reader(s) know(s), although I don't believe in God or the Bible (I believe in the Bible in that I know it exists, I don't believe that it is literally true), I do go to church every Sunday. That is because I am a singer, and I get paid to lead the alto section of a church choir.

The church is one of those urban churches that is in danger of becoming obsolete - at one time, the neighborhood was upscale, and the wealthy white Protestants who lived nearby attended either this Congregational church or the older Congregational church down the block. But as the city changed, the white protestants moved out to the suburbs, and the number of people sitting in the pews on Sunday began to decrease.

Most of the big churches in Hartford have paid section leaders, and church members make up the rest of the choir. My church is different, primarily because of the choir conducter. She is a great conducter, and she picks great music, but her challenging and perfectionist personality has driven all but the musically trained members from the choir. So our entire soprano section (except for 1) is paid. I'm the only paid alto, our entire tenor section is paid, and we only have 1 paid bass. We are a choir of mostly non-believers, just there to earn a buck.

On Sunday mornings, we get there early, warm up, practice the hymns, and any anthems/offertorys we have for the day. When the service starts, some of the ringers pull out books or knitting (we sit in the back of the church in the loft, so we're not visible to anyone when we're sitting down). I occasionally write - Sio (who sings with us in the alto section) often does her homework. Until it's time to sing, we keep ourselves occupied.

But yesterday, I found myself listening to the words of the sermon. The current minister is officially retired, but he is acting as the Interim Minister until a permanent one can be found. (There were controversies surrounding the previous 3 ministers, but I keep my nose out of church business, so I can't fill you in on what the controversies were). He's a lovely man, very funny with the children (Monkey adores him), with a truly inspiring past (he worked with Martin Luther King, Jr., and was very involved with the Civil Rights movement).

I don't know if the Rev. knew about Huckster Sunday or not, but his sermon suggested he was well aware. He talked about how, since he retired, he's attended services at hundreds of churches, temples, and mosques. And he talked about the mega-churches - he said he was so impressed by the numbers of people in the seats, the multi-media presentations, the powerfully delivered sermons. But he started to notice the empty messages that were presented therein. He met preachers who bragged about preaching the Whole Bible as the literal word of God, but most of the sermons pulled one or two specific verses out and talked about nothing else, while ignoring the verses that the people in the pews (and indeed, the preachers themselves) were violating (including one about how women should not wear gold or pearls). He bemoaned the way these churches served fear as a main dish, while ignoring the message of love that Christ delivered.

After the service, I had to tell him how much I enjoyed his sermon. I told him how I felt Christianity has been hijacked by people who are using it for political gains. He told me that he writes a column in addition to his sermons, and he often dances around this issue, but he is wary of pressing it too hard, of using bold language, because he thinks it would make his flock a little defensive. And then he leaned close, and made a confession: "I'm a heretic, and I'm glad to know, after talking to you, that I'm not the only one."

I5BOTD 4/25/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:


I have to admit I was being totally lazy, and I just randomly clicked on this blog, but it's pretty good. I particularly like his post updating us on how Bill O'Reilly's accuser is spending her settlement.


You can't take the sky from me

My heart started beating a little faster when I had a message in my inbox addressed to "Browncoats"

Check out exciting news from Joss Whedon now on the Browncoats message boards!


Hey guys.

I'm here on the official site, so that can only mean one thing: somebody finally told me my password! (Again.) It probably also means that I have some big-ass announcement or other. Well tops on the announcement list is this: after months of intensive yoga, i can finally touch my toes! (They feel round and bunion-y.)

But there's more! I'm talkin' movie news, peeps, so no more drumroll: Trailer. Serenity. Tuesday.

Yeah, kids, the haps is hap'nin', and it runs thus: EXCLUSIVELY on Apple movie trailers (and linked through this site as well of course) will be a small, medium, large or FULLSCREEN trailer for Serenity the major motion movie. Yeah, THE trailer. And the following Friday said trailer hits theaters. Which theaters? Until I get confirmation you'll have to guess, but I'm betting you can.

Now, here's a word of warning: this trailer ain't shy. If you're looking to live totally spoiler-free, know that there's plenty of key dialogue and images running through this bad boy. It's pretty tasty, though, and it doesn't give everything away. But close scrutiny will definitely learn you much of what's to come. (Anakin TOTALLY goes evil.) It's a nice piece to while away the time till September, and hopefully should intrigue th' peeps that don't have coats of brown.

The only thing more exciting than y'all finally seeing this was showing it to Nathan. Like a schoolboy giggled he.


Joss "You can't take my toes from me" Whedon.

The Big Damn Movie isn't coming out until September, and I just can't wait. Although the long wait does mean my summer will last longer.


Friday Random Next Blogging

Today's edition goes around the normal world and gives us a brief glimpse of crazy world, too.

KBadviceworld, a blog written by two Texas third-graders. Be nice, because their dads check the site every day!

This untitled blog exists to keep the group informed. It looks like a social calendar for a bunch of guys who are young enough to call a person celebrating his 28th birthday "old guy". They seem like a fun bunch.

Next we have Orangejack's Blog, written by someone who appears to be both born again in Christ and in NFL football. He's got cute kids, both of whom are redheads, which makes me automatically like them and find them adorable.

Gunter Likes French Fries is an audioblog written in French, which makes me doubly sad, because 1. I have no speakers and B. I took Spanish.

Oooh, I think Nu Skal Bloggad Ott Og Titt is the first Icelandic blog I've ever visited randomly...or deliberately, for that matter. And suddenly I am reminded of the opening credits of Monty Python's Holy Grail (although that was, of course, Sweden and not Iceland...okay, then this blog makes me think of Bjork, who is, in fact, Icelandic, and in my circles, people are divided about her musical ability. I come down on the "genius" side).

D'oh, another annoying, adverblog Communists Snapper. I'm guessing that he sucks in people searching for terms like "veteran" or "academic", only to shill info about poker. Or maybe he's just deranged and every conversation turns to poker.

Not the Country Club, our next randomly generated blog, is a liberal blog, and I'm surprised he isn't on the Indie 500. Maybe he is and I've missed the name.

The Twilight of My Youth is written by Luke, who protests a bit too much about his roommate who used to be his best friend until he started wearing cologne and having sex with people who are not Luke. As a joke, this blog is funny. If it not a joke, then Luke might need to get some counseling.

Remember earlier in this post, when I was sad that I couldn't read the French blog because I took Spanish? It's kind of sad, but after 5 years of Spanish, I can't really read La venganza de las guayaberas atomicas, either. Well, I was able to make out that his) little Enterprise that adorned his monitor is dead, and he's kind of sad about it. And I think he really likes The Gorillaz.

Serena Says is written by Serena, who goes to Ponderosa Junior High and loves the book Gossip Girl, and she apparently likes to gossip, too.

The World According to Bob. Wow. Bob really has a problem with women. I don't think he sees them as human beings.

Well, after that, I can't go on. I hope you enjoyed the enjoyable ones, translated the non-English ones, and gave thanks that the World According to Bob is not the world we live in.

I5BOTD 4/22/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Rubber Hose

which makes me think of Welcome Back, Kotter, a show I really enjoyed when I was a kid. I had a little crush on Epstein, but I related to Horshack, who I shared some qualities with. Mainly that when I was in school, when the teacher asked a question and I knew the answer, I would work so hard to get the teacher's attention that on one occasion, I actually knocked myself off my seat.


Trackback question

When I want to track back to a post I've read, and comment on it here, I go to the "Trackback" option, which is usually right next to the comments, and find the Track back URL. I thought that this would link me to the post - a permalink, I guess. But all it does is give me the page that lists the trackbacks. Is that what is supposed to happen?

If anyone can explain to me the proper way to do this, I would be most appreciative.

Absolutely correct

Digby is, as usual, right on the money.

I5BOTD 4/21/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Hot Flash Report

Opinionated liberal news and views from Ann Rose and Susan Hill. It's a linkapalooza.


I5BOTD 4/20/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

book of days

and the author, Chris Lombardi, is not happy with the choice of Ratzinger for Pope.


New Pope

So there's a new pope

Not to be disrespectful or anything, and I know that the higher-ups in the Catholic church are highly educated, but the pope selection process doesn't seem any more thoughtful and reasoned than, say, selecting your leader via a farcical aquatic ceremony.

And the reverence with which the Catholic church is treated really bugs me. This is the church that paid hush money to victims of sexual abuse, and instead of punishing the abusers, gave them a new flock to fleece. This is the church that lies about the effectiveness of condoms, preferring their sensitive moral beliefs over the truth of how human beings live and relate to each other, thereby leading to the deaths of thousands of people.

I know that a lot of Catholics do a lot of good in the world. Where is the accountability for those who aren't?

Ten Years Ago Today

The Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was attacked by homegrown terrorist Timothy McVeigh.

My thoughts are with the people of Oklahoma City, the victims, the survivors, and the family members of those who perished in the bombing.

I5BOTD 4/19/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:


On the subject of the Windy City, I really would love to visit Chicago.


Family Fare

Over at Atrios, they are discussing family fare on TV (an offshoot of a discussion of the new Dr. Who).

We don't really watch much TV as a family - the bulk of our TV watching is actually *my* TV watching that occurs after Monkey is in bed. TV has a soporific effect on Loki, so I end up watching by myself.

But we do have some shows that we watch together. We all like my beloved Firefly, Invader Zim, Futurama (on DVD), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (although we vet those for content - Monkey basically can't watch anything past the season 6 episode "Tabula Rasa" - not just because there is some rather graphic sexual content in "Smashed", and not just because there is some horrifying violence - flaying - in "Two to Go", but because after that Buffy went way downhill, quality-wise), and Kim Possible.

And Monkey and I have a tradition of watching TLC's "What Not To Wear" together on Friday nights. I prefer the BBC version, but Monkey likes Clinton & Stacy.

I5BOTD 4/18/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Arbitrary and Capricious

written by a public defender.


Poetry Month

I was trying out some new blogs today and I came across Pre-emptive Karma, which is participating in National Poetry Month by listing song lyrics.

I love reading poems, but I can't remember any (with a few exceptions - I can recite a couple of Shel Silverstein poems by heart, and certain lines stay with me for a while*) unless they are in the form of lyrics.

So I'd like to share the lyrics of a song by Nellie McKay, Manhattan Avenue

Send a breeze
a pitbull's yelp
A tender squeeze
a cry for help.
Make it now
and make it fast
Such memories can never last
I long for the day
music is playing
mama's a smiling friend
in the scuzzy hue of the sunlight
Manhattan Avenue

Lionel please
watch o'er our door
The children tease
I beg for more
Chipping paint
the ceiling's spent
aww, ain't it great
can't make the rent
I long for the day
kittens are meowling
junkies are prowling
deep in the jazzy hue of the streetlamps
Manhattan Avenue

How wild it is
what strange advice
that a mugger and a child should share the same paradise
Oh, but dreams come true on Manhattan Avenue

Here's another taste of Ms. McKay

If you would sit oh so close to me
that would be nice, like it's supposed to be
If you don't I'll slit your throat
so won't U please B nice!

If you would hug your arms right round me
that would be snug, like it's supposed to be
If we part, I'll eat your heart
so won't U please B nice!

Ohhhh, don't you love this romancing?
Know that it's your life you're chancing, la de da

Isn't it nice, now you've married me
Sugar and spice, like it's supposed to be
If you go, I'll get your dough
So won't U please B nice!

Stop with your jazz oratory
I only listen to Top 40 - N'Sync rules!

Isn't it nice, together we'll always live
no sin or vice, we'll vote conservative
If you run I'll pull a gun
Give me head or you'll be dead
Salute the flag or I'll call you a fag
so won't U please B nice!

*the lines that stay with me tend to be famous ones: What rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem to be born, for example. I did once have the whole "yes" speech from Ulysses memorized (for an acting class). My brain doesn't hold onto info the way it used to, though.

If Dobson has a Christian bone in his body, I'm St. Agnes

Someone's got a serious persecution complex.

It's very simple, you people of so-called faith*: We (reality-based people) have no problem with people of faith, we have a problem when people use their faith to subvert our laws. We have a problem when people are trying to make their religious beliefs the law of the land in a country that was founded on the principle of religous freedom. We have a fucking problem with people who use faith to advance political agendas that are diametrically opposed to the faith they supposedly espouse.

What can we do about this? Can we get in on the conference call? Can we remind these Pharisees that this is America, and the law that governs this land is the Constitution?

St. Agnes was known for her virginal innocence.

I always thought of myself as more of a splashy MGM musical

Wow, that picture looks great on the blog, doesn't it? Damn, if my home computer weren't so crappy, I'd be inundating you people with pictures of my kids and pets. I could join TBOGG in Basset blogging on Thursdays.

Oh well. In our 10 year financial plan, we will buy another computer...somewhere around year 7 or so.

In the meantime, I am simply grateful that I am not Eraserhead.

I don't have an IPOD, so this is the best I can do

All the cool, technologically hip people do a Random Friday IPOD list, but as an IPODLESS outcast, the best I can offer you, my dear reader(s?) is a list of Random Blogs, generated by the "Next Blog" button on Blogger.

Please make sure all tray tables are secured and seats are in the upright position before we take off:

Oh, drat! Mortgage Information, one of those strange blogs that just seems to contain randomly generated words associated with a boring topic, like, for example, mortgages.

Try, Try, Try, again! (Headfirst this time, dive right in!)*

Huge improvement! This time we're landing at Herd of Cats, authored by Diane, who is a law student in New Orleans. Not only are there cool pics on her blog, she is also on the side of angels (politically speaking). I will make it a point to stop in again.

Next stop: A Minha 5a Ciber-Dimensao authored by Velvetsatine in Lisbon, Portugal. Nice pictures, and a very short story about sex with strangers written in English.

We leave Portugal to visit Three Knockdown Rule, a conservative blog authored by a 23 year old male who really likes boxing. There is a little knee-jerky anti-liberal talk, but other than that he seems more thoughtful and less angry than the average conservative blogger.

Our next Next Blog is A Life Like Dust, written by one Sgt. Bukkake, and now that I know what that is, I'm not sure I want to learn more about him. The top post on the page is about his gay brother who, after years of gayness has decided that maybe he was just having a long gay phase.

Golf, anyone? InstaMarv seems to enjoy golf, but specifically, he seems a tad obsessed with Tiger Woods. Golf is a game that I will never play, and not just because my hip won't swing that way.

I'm not sure how many that is, but I'm done for now. I hope you enjoyed your brief and random tour of Next Blogs

*Titannica RULES!

I5BOTD 4/15/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Where Are They?

The title is in reference to the WMDs.



I'm still enraged and infuriated, as well as fucking pissed off, about the post and comments over at DailyKos.

Getting the hot color of the year is hard!

MSN has an article chock full of info to help you get the best red haircoloring out of your colorist. Pictures are important, so everyone is understanding the same copper or strawberry blonde. And of course it is crucial to change your lipstick to reflect your newly red tresses.

It all sounds like a lot of work. I got my red hair by winning the genetic toss of the dice. I did game the game, as it were, by being born to two Irish people, who are way more likely to carry the recessive gene necessary for natural red hair than the general population (3% of the general population has red hair, except for Irish people, where 30% of the population has red hair).

But I paid in other ways. I never had strawberry blonde hair, a color that sounded so tasty I couldn't help but use it to describe my hair color when I was little (despite the fact that my hair was closer in hue toYosemite Sam's). And one unfortunate year, my mother went nuts on St. Patrick's Day and sent me to school dressed entirely in green, including a small green bow in my hair. I was called "Tomato Head" until June.

My color has changed a bit, it's much more coppery now, and I'm starting to lose the color alltogether up at the front (which makes it look like a got blonde highlights). I don't have any gray hair, but I do have hair that is becoming almost translucent. I'm crossing my fingers that it will just turn white.

Nothing like a little rage to get you going in the morning

This post over at Kos got my day off to an infuriating start. I have to thank those Democrats over at Kos who are so cavalier about a woman's right to choose for getting my blood moving, because I was feeling a little groggy, and now I've got enough anger to keep me alert and high through the rest of the morning.

Kos may be pissed at the pro-choice movement for giving his guy a hard time, forcing him to drop out of the race, but just IMAGINE the righteous fury of millions of women who suddenly find they no longer have autonomy over their own body because bit by bit, the Democratic party has bargained away their rights in favor of "winning elections" (at which, let's face it, the party has been sucking like a chest wound - maybe because they seem so willing to play games with the issues that matter to the people who fucking vote for them in election after election!!!!!!)

Yes, I'm fucking pissed off.

I5BOTD 4/14/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Little Wild Bouquet

coming straight outta New Haven, C to the T


"Hey! A fucking jihad on you!"

That's right. Bump into me, and it's a jihad on you, because

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sister Boot Knife of Enlightened Compassion.

Get yours.

I think that name means that after I gut you like a trout, I will call 911 and hold your hand until they get there.

(Title quote from the brilliant Eddie Izzard performance Dressed to Kill)

Movin' on up!

I updated the blogroll to include one of my favorite blogs, The Disgruntled Chemist. I started reading this blog regularly after I made them the I5BOTD, and you should start reading it regularly, too.

I5BOTD 4/13/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Craig's Booknotes

Craig likes books, but he doesn't really like the Bush administration. We have much in common.


Monkey the Cat

Monkey has decided she is becoming a cat.

No need to wonder why - our two kitties are spoiled rotten. They always have fresh food and water, several members of our household won't move if the cats decide to perch on them, they can just layabout all day long and don't have to go to school. They can basically do whatever they want. *I* wouldn't mind the life of a cat (minus the whole litter box experience, anyway.)

But Monkey is quite serious. Listen to the discussion we had this weekend:

"Mom, now that I'm turning into a cat, can I eat cat food?"

I thought before I answered. Before we got our dog, I did a lot of research into animal foods, because Basset Hounds can have allergic reactions to corn, and can bloat easily. I remember reading that animal food is usually comprised of meat products that have been identified as "unfit for human consumption".

"Well, Monkey, I think that until we start seeing outer manifestations of your inner cat-ness, you should probably stick to human food."


Loki interjected.

"Monkey, what mommy is saying is that until all your body parts are actually feline, it's probably not safe to only eat cat food, since cats need different nutrition than humans do."

"Okay," Monkey grumbled.


She also came home from school yesterday with a flip book of drawings showing herself turning into a cat.

She makes a better monkey, though, truth be told. She can't sit still long enough to be a cat.

I5BOTD 4/12/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Pam's House Blend

which is a great blog that I should already have as part of my daily swing around the blogworld. Lots of discussion of GLBT issues, which are of great interest to me as a fellow human being.


I5BOTD 4/11/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Liberals Against Terrorism

authored (at least in part) by frequent commenter on many of the blogs I visit daily, praktike.


They's tricksey, those double agents

Magorn at Daily Kos has a diary about Richard Perle that contains a quote so scrotum-tighteningly stupid that I don't even *have* a scrotum and it's tightening up:

"There is reason to believe that we were sucked into an ill-conceived initial attack aimed at Saddam himself by double agents planted by the regime. And as we now know the estimate of Saddam's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction was substantially wrong."

What a fucking asshole! I'm just...I can't form words this is so infuriating! I've changed my mind about the death penalty because of this. I'm going to insist that the architects of the fucking Iraq Attack be lined up and shot. There is no other level of accountability that will justify what they've done to our military, the Iraqi civilians, and the reputation of the United States.


Since I have nothing to do at work this afternoon (everyone's either got spring fever or actual fever, so the office is empty), I decided to hit the "next blog" button on the top right corner of my blog. Here are first ten random blogs:

Inner Workings of Jenn

She's a cheerleader! She was on the Homecoming Court in 2003! She and I have nothing in common*, but random chance has linked us together.

Up next, we have:

Patrick Li's blog

Patrick is an engineer, and he's adorable and has a good sense of humor. I like him.

Our next random blog is:

Pettitt Cattle & Coffee

They promise: "No other source can offer the same intelligent, opinionated, constructive criticism on just about anything." I must humbly disagree. I gathered from reading through several of the blogposts that at least one of the authors at this blog is a Bush supporter, but he is most certainly not opinionated, because I had to dig to find that out. However, I like the space links, and I appreciate a Bush supporter who isn't rabid - they are so few. I don't agree with them, but at least they aren't foaming at the mouth idiots.

No whammies, no whammies:

The M.I.L.F. Diaries

Written by a "self-proclaimed MILF" (which...how would that work? wouldn't "MILM" be more appropriate? Maybe she just masturbates with extreme enthusiasm and calls it fucking?) Anywhoo, she has a very cute baby, and she seems like a fun-loving gal.

I am next randomly drawn to:

Painter Lady

Quite a bit of poetry, some sex talk, she strikes me as one of those very New Age-y types, very much under the thrall of her feelings and seeing miracles in coincidences, that kind of thing.

Round and round she goes:


which is a forum for cycling enthusiasts in Santa Barbara. I can't really ride a bike anymore because of my hip, but I am pro-cycling, so thumbs up!

The cosmos next direct me to:

The Sketch Book Diaries

Doug is a freelance artist, which strikes me as a really difficult way to make a living. I don't know many people who buy art...although I suppose newspapers and magazines and publishers must need lots of illustrators, so maybe I'm entirely wrong and I should have continued drawing and painting watercolors (which I did quite well in high school, especially the watercolors - I was not a wishy-washy watercolorist, my paintings were bold and dramatic and defied watercolor conventions...I even won 3rd prize and an honorable mention in an art show). He has a very realistic style, lots of detail, some of his illustrations almost look like photographs. I wish him luck, both with his new blog (first post dated today!) and his career.

Next we go to:

Rundown to 3.59 - Midpackers Train for the Chicag05 Marathon

Which is a diary of Kurt & Steve Vogel's training for the Chicago Marathon. Pretty straightforward. I am completely unable to run, but I admire people who have the tenacity to compete in marathons. My friend Bill ran the NY Marathon once (his stated goal: Beat Oprah's time). He was an unregistered participant, so he had to climb a wall and sneak up to the starting line. My friend Mean Jeanne and I were watching the racers get ready for the start on the Verrazano Bridge, and I found myself touched by the line of racers standing along the edge with their heads down. "Look, Jeanne, they're praying!" I said. I looked for a moment longer as the cement side of the bridge darkened, and I amended my statment: "Oh, never mind, they're peeing."

I don't know if the universe is trying to tell me something, but our next random link is to:


The author, Sarah1742, is writing a research paper about whether antidepressants are addictive. I feel like I'm incapable of getting addicted to any drug - when I finally took a drug that I loved (oh, beautiful Vicodin), I became like Gollum holding his preciousssss. If I took another Vicodin, yes, I would feel better, but then I would have *less* Vicodin, and that wouldn't do. I still have a half tab of Vicodin sitting in my medicine closet from the last time I got a prescription, and I will probably never take it, because then I will have lost my precious forever.

Our final random blog is:

Vajra Team

which is one of my favorite kinds of blogs to randomly come upon, because it's in another language. I estimate that over 60% of the time when I hit the "go to the next blog" button, the first blog that comes up is in a foreign language. Judging by the few words of English on this blog, I'm guessing the author is sort of a technology geek. I see IPOD, Firefox, MAC OS and Linux.

Well, there you have it, you silent people out there who may or may not ever read my blog (that might be a veiled hint to encourage you to leave comments ; ; ; ). A random trip through the World O'Blogger blogs.

*Confession time: I was a cheerleader for three years of my life. I liked doing backflips and yelling, what can I say? I still don't understand football, though.

I5BOTD 4/8/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Not Worth Archiving...Really

I'm not sure I agree - I haven't read through his archives, but I like what I've read so far. And pix, too!

Freedom isn't free

Excellent rant by Athenae at First Draft.


Connecticut: it doesn't quite rock, but it's got a good beat

Hey, my state did something good today!

Senate passes Civil Unions bill.

Quite frankly, I would prefer if we went whole hog and gave gay people the right to marry and therefore reap the benefits of marriage (although after 16 years, it feels tongue and cheek to say marriage has benefits. Kidding, Loki - I love you, sweets). Connecticut has lost way too much of its talented and educated people to other states. Why not create a gay mecca in the East? Why not make Hartford as attractive to homosexuals as cities like San Francisco? Lord knows Hartford could use an infusion of well-educated, high-earning middle- and upper-middle class taxpayers to move in. Let's make Connecticut a great place for all families to live!

Scott Ritter: Iraq - how we got there, and how to get out

Last night, Loki and I went to Manchester Community College to see Scott Ritter, author of Endgame: Solving the Iraq Crisis, War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You To Know, and Frontier Justice: Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Bushwhacking of America, as well as numerous op-eds and essays.

Mr. Ritter started by telling us about himself. A former Marine who served in the Persian Gulf, a registered Republican, and a self-confessed conservative, he proudly served in Operation Desert Storm, a mission he believed in. Mr. Ritter's profound respect for the military of this country and the men and women who serve therein permeated the entire speech. In addition, he talked about the importance of citizenship, and how we are all responsible for the actions of our nation.

He went on to talk about how we got into the situation we are in today. Back in the late 70's (when yours truly was still in the single digits), Iraq was a strategic ally of the U.S. during the Iran-Iraq War. But in 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the U.S. moved to liberate Kuwait. In order to sell the war to the American people, Saddam Hussein (who only a few months before was hailed as a friend of the American people by a Senatorial delegation led by Bob Dole) was painted as the Hitler of the Middle East.

After Operation Desert Storm, Hussein retained his position in Iraq, and we implemented sanctions. In addition, Hussein was asked to declare all his weapons and weapons programs (which we knew we had - we helped him acquire them, after all). The first declaration was false - the weapons inspectors knew it was false. Mr. Ritter recounted an episode where a satellite picture determined there were trucks carrying materials for a nuclear program, and the inspectors went to inspect the site and were denied entry. When they returned, UN resolution in hand, they found that the trucks were gone, although there was ample evidence that trucks had been there. They did determine the new site, and the inspectors went to the new site, this time armed with cameras. They took lots of photos that proved the first declaration, which declared no nuclear weapons program, was false. The UN came back with a second resolution for Iraq to declare its weapons stores.

After this, Mr. Ritter believes that the Iraqis did destroy most if not all of their biological, chemical, nuclear weapons & long-range missles. He compared it to a drug dealer, who has 10 bags of drugs and the police knocking at his door. The dealer flushes the drugs and lets the police in, and says he doesn't have any drugs when asked. But the police go to the water purification plant, find plastic bags with drug residue. They track it back through the water system to the drug dealers residence. But they can only track down 8 of the 10 bags...can they assume the dealer flushed everything, or is he still holding some?

In the case of Iraq's weapons programs, time was on our side. Buried nuclear components will not work - transporting lenses used for implosion will render them useless. Chemical weapons have a lifespan of less than 7 years. Biological weapons have a lifespan of 3 years. Even if there *were* these sorts of weapons in Iraq, by the late '90's they were useless.

Mr. Ritter believes that September 11 lit a spark under the neo-conservatives, who were firm proponents of regime change in Iraq (they urged us to continue the war after Operation Desert Storm successfully liberated Kuwait). They saw it as an opportunity to gain power. Further, Mr. Ritter expressed that after Operation Desert Storm, Saddam Hussein (who was put forth as the Hitler of the Middle East by the first Bush administration) was a domestic policy problem for Bush. The neo-cons took the opportunity and their influence in the second Bush administration, and pushed for the Iraqi invasion.

Mr. Ritter expressed his shock that at no point in the run-up to the war was the case for the war questioned by the people who should have been questioning - the media (he declared that he did not consider anyone who didn't question the Bush administration does not deserve to be called a journalist), the Congress, the UN. He said he heard Colin Powell's case, which he personally knew to be untrue, and not a single person questioned it. He said he could not believe it when one night, as he was watching Tom Brokaw deliver a report about the possible war in Iraq, he heard Tom Brokaw not say a single word about the evidence against the existence of WMD's, and Mr. Ritter was especialy shocked because he was the one who told Tom Brokaw about it.

Mr. Ritter has a solution to the current situation in Iraq: he wants our soldiers home now. He said the mission in Iraq does not fulfill the requirements of the oath that our military takes, and that the mission was not worth the deaths of our young men and women. He feels that the whole misadventure is detrimental to our national security, and was more of a response to a domestic political problem than to a national security problem.

After the talk, there was a question and answer session, where several people questioned why Mr. Ritter did not mention the issue of oil. Ritter said it was far too simplistic to say the war was all about oil - he said the oil businessmen he's talked to prefer a dictatorship (predictable) to a democracy (messy & unpredictable). Several speakers were veterans, including a former history teacher who talked about Vietnam - he said when that war was in progress, the school he taught at arranged for a debate between 3 doves and 3 hawks (he was one of the doves). He said it seemed like that kind of discussion was not possible now, a point that Mr. Ritter made at the start of the speech. The gentleman also wanted to point out that there is no such thing as "the Iraqi people" - there are Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. One young woman asked if Ritter would think the war was worthwhile if the Iraqis developed a democracy. Ritter said it doesn't matter what the outcome is - Iraq was not a threat to our constitution or to the safety of the United States, and if we are to remain a nation of laws, we cannot undertake actions that are against our own laws.

A couple of people asked questions about the media, and Ritter was highly critical. He said he appreciates what people like Amy Goodman do, but that he feels alternative media needs to find a way to talk about issues without being activist. A young man who is a combat veteran of the current Iraq invasion said he may be at odds with the rest of the audience, but he supported the mission, and he felt that Mr. Ritter did not give proper due to the Iraqi people who recently participated in the elections. Mr. Ritter thanked him for his service, but he said a lot of the people who voted didn't know what they were voting for. The different groups of Iraqis also voted for different things - for example, the Kurds votes on a resolution for their Independence, but that wasn't part of the Shiite ballot.

At least one person asked "what can we do?" Mr. Ritter offered some criticism of the peace movement, which he felt failed in the runup to the war, but he also cautioned that due to the Patriot Act, there is a need to be careful in protest - it is possible that those who protest against this administration could be labeled terrorists. However, he said that he is also not concerned that jack-booted thugs are waiting to arrest him and his family, because we still have free speech in this country, and he's going to continue to speak out.

Loki and I waited around afterwards to speak to Mr. Ritter, but we didn't do more than shake his hand, and I thanked him for speaking out against the war before anyone else. Afterwards, I was thinking that I should have asked him how I, as a progressive liberal, can talk about the war to a conservative Republican. I'm short on ideas, as most of the Republicans I talk to are already on my side, or are firm and devout Bush worshippers, and believe that criticism of Bush is tantamount to treason.

I didn't agree with everything Mr. Ritter said, but he was an excellent speaker and I encourage anyone who gets the chance to see him to do so.

I5BOTD 4/7/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Damn the Man

which is housed in one of my favorite cities in the world, Boston.

Plus, it gives me the opportunity to confess that I've seen Empire Records at least 5 times. I don't love the movie, or anything, but if it comes on TV and the weather is crappy and I've got nothing to do but fold some laundry, I will very likely watch it.


I5BOTD 4/6/06

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Geeks Against Bush

because they combine 2 of my favorite qualities in other humans: geekiness and being against Bush.


I5BOTD 4/5/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:


Nicely written


I5BOTD 4/4/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Green Dog Democrat

interesting snippets from the author's friend, who travels for work, on what's happening in China.


It's a good thing I don't believe in hell

because if there were such a place, I'd probably be headed there.

I was raised in a very Catholic family. I have three aunts who are nuns and an uncle who is a priest. My parents forced me dress up and go to Mass every Sunday morning from the day of my birth until the day I moved out of the house. I am a Catholic School survivor.

But I find I can't mourn the death of a man who spent more time fretting over gay people than he did over the widespread sexual abuse of children at the hands of his regional representatives. I don't feel sad about the death of a man who spread lies about the effectiveness of condoms at protecting oneself from HIV, when talking to a continent that is devastated by AIDS.

I'm not saying he was all bad. He was flawed like the rest of us, but I don't believe he was evil. I'm sure he was well intentioned. I believe that he sincerely wished for peace for this world.

Pope John Paul II had a good run on this earth. He survived WWII and getting shot, and I remember how moved I felt when he forgave the man who shot him. I was pleased that he spoke out against the Iraq invasion. But he also used his power to hurt some of the least of us, even if he didn't mean to.

A lot of people believe that JP is now in heaven with God, and that's fine. I suppose there are people who believe he's in hell, too (Bob Jones University comes to mind). But as a non-believer, I think he's just gone, and that's that. I feel sympathy for the people who feel they've lost their spiritual leader (people like my mother and sister and aunts and uncles). I hope the Catholic church can find a leader who will focus on the evil within as well as the evil without.


Exciting New Blog

I am thrilled to introduce this new blogger to the blogroll. I truly believe the future of blogging lies in the kind of insightful, well considered and thoughtful analysis provided by Instapanda.

I5BOTD 4/1/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

The Alternate Brain

Some nice outrage on this blog.