I've been trying unsuccessfully to find a post I wrote some time ago, and taking a trip down memory lane while I'm at it. I found a few posts you might like that you may not have read if you weren't reading last year.
A serious one about the death of mother of seven, killed as a "collaborator" by the Al-Aqsa terrorists, made me realize what's going to happen in the next few days in the territories. Yassin said Hamas would be targeting collaborators.
Meet the Incredible Thulk.
Trust me, Dean, what I wrote about you was nothing compared to taking apart this jerk. Dishonest debating tactics infuriate me. As does being called a liar.
I forgot about this one. It's why I have a file called "shithead.jpg" in my images folder.
I simply must finish my editing of the greatest hits pages. I have a bunch ready to go. Have to finish my lesson plan for tomorrow, so maybe next week. permalink
There you have it, in the boldface type: Blaming the suicide bombing for ending the hudna, not the Israeli response to it. Gee, some Reuters editor simply was not paying attention. I fear for his employment future there. permalink
One hardly knows which article to read first.
Reuters reporters must be crying in their beer right now. permalink
I bought a package of La Choy chow mein noodles while shopping yesterday, because I passed by them in the aisle and they were calling out my name. (That is how I buy most of my junk food; as I'm walking along, I hear various packages of chocolate and candy and fried snack foods call "Meryl! Meryl! Buy me!") ((You're all looking at me funny. Why are you looking at me funny? Oh, like you never heard your name called out as you passed by the Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chocolate Chunk?))
Anyway. Tigger likes chow mein noodles. He likes a lot of junk food, actually, but I don't give him much, because he's fat enough already, thank you, and I do get tired of the vet giving me dirty looks every time I bring Tig in for something. A fat cat is a happy cat, has been my motto for many years. The original Tig died of cancer, not obesity, so we're going to keep on overfeeding our cats, thankyouverymuch, and where was I? Oh, yes. So I'm looking at the can of La Choy Chow Mein Noodles, and trying to remember if they were kosher from the get-go (I seem to remember they were a Jewish-owned and operated company), and I find a website on the label and head over to LaChoy.com, only I get subverted by ConAgraFoods.com, which apparently is the heir to the mega-food conglomerate (a new one seems to pop up every decade; whatever happened to Beatrice?), and damn, this is one long sentence. I'd better stop it and start a new one. (First I have to say, ConAgra? Geez, I get that the "Agra" is supposed to make you think of agriculture, but all I can think of is Viagra, which is not a very appetizing thought to be thinking about a food company. Dudes. Name change.)
So now ConAgra owns LaChoy, and I can find only one tiny screen on LaChoy (no recipes for me, darn it, and nope, not a Jewish firm, just kosher stuff). While I'm there, I find out that ConAgra also owns Hebrew National, and since I'm going with the kosher food flow, I decide to see what can be found on the Hebrew National site. So I check their FAQ, and find out a few things.
Well, I freeze Hebrew National hot dogs right after I buy themno, actually, after I eat the first couple, then I freeze the rest. But I've never checked how cold my freezer is. My freezer settings are not labeled by temperature. Is "normal" more, less, or the same as 32 degrees F.? I suppose I could put my thermometer clock inside the freezer and find out how cold it is, but then, I suspect my clock may not run as well afterward. I shall resist the impulse.
But here was the great nugget of information, hidden all the way at the bottom of the page, that you've all been wondering for years:
Okay, folks, let's translate corporate-speak into plain English: "Since consumers freak out about prices being raised, we shrink the amount of meat in each package without raising the price you pay for a package. Sure, you get less product for the same price, but we keep the size of the hot dogs the same, so something's got give, kiddies. We don't give a damn if you have an extra hot dog roll. We don't own the hot dog roll companies."
There's an even funnier addendum, though. Check this out:
In other words: Buy twice as much of the bigger hot dogs, and you won't waste any of your rolls! (Of course, you'll all plump when you eat them, but hey, fat's your problem, not ours.)
I do so love corporate explanations. I get some of my best material from PR departments. permalink
Eugene Volokh has a pet peeve that he wanted to get off his chest about Jews for Jesus.
Jeff Silver is peeved at what Eugene wrote.
So am I, frankly. Jews for Jesus is a pet peeve of mine. They're not Jews. They're Christians. By the act of accepting Jesus as their God, they've renounced HaShem and the Torah. The fact that so many people can't seem to get that drives me crazy. Sure, they are still considered Jews by birth. But they're Christians. Jews don't worship Jesus. At all. permalink
Glenn Reynolds linked to Kate's post about the oppression of women in Muslim nations, with a question:
Judith says: Because you're not listening, Glenn.
That's pretty much what I was going to post this morning. Judith has dozen of links showing that feminism has been fighting the oppression of women worldwide, not just in Muslim states, and they've been doing it since before it became fashionable. Does anyone remember the documentary "Behind the Veil" about women in Afghanistan? It was pre-9/11. CNN started showing it several times a dayafter the WTC and Pentagon were attacked. Prior to that, it was another little-known documentary on the oppression of women in a far-off land that got little notice in the U.S.
The conservative side of the blogosphere is very fond of saying that feminists are ignoring discrimination against women in Muslim nations. They are not, and haven't been. From Judith:
Why is it that when conservative women speak out on feminist issues, the right side of the blogosphere both notices the issues and insists that the left doesn't? Is there that much lack of communication?
Aren't you all tired of the politics of demonization? Why does every issue have to be a zero sum game between left and right? There are some issues on which we are all agreed, and the oppression of women should certainly be one of them. permalink
Once more, we see the true intentions of the palestinian leadership regarding their commitment to stopping terror attacks:
A direct quote from the road map:
Of course, there's also the very first paragraph, which the pals have not fulfilled:
This is the first paragraph regarding Israel:
This they have done. The pals have not issued an unequivocal statement affirming Israel's right to exist. If memory serves, they have yet to amend their charter. And Hamas' official documents call for the destruction of the state of Israel.
What road map? What peace? permalink
It's Thursday, so another trip to the Farmer's Market was in order. This time, after the market, we checked out the Jefferson Hotel, as I mentioned to Sarah that I'd never been there but had been told I simply must go to a Sunday brunch there. Among other things, Sarah told me that it's got the finest public restrooms in all of Richmond. So of course, I had to see for myself. And of course, I had my digital camera with me. And of course, I must share the pictures with you all.
Some washroom, eh?
There you have it. yourish.com, the weblog that brings you pictures of fancy bathrooms. (And what kind of searches will that phrase bring? Only time will tell.)
They give out a brochure that tells you a bit about the history of the hotel. I particularly like the story about saving the Jefferson statue from a fire. They put the statue onto a mattress, dropped it out of the window, and the head broke off. The head was stored in a vault until the statue could be restored. (Cue Futurama jokes.) And since we had two small children with us, everyone was super-sweet. This is the secret to being a tourist, you know. Have a small child along, and you get treated better than if you're just looking around yourself or with an adult friend. Toddlers, of course, are the best, followed closely by children in the six to eight range. Nine and up is when it gets more difficult, because at that age, they're generally saying, "I'm bored. Can we leave now? I'm tired. I'm hungry."
Anyway. Bathroom pictures. You can't say this weblog isn't full of surprises. permalink
I simply haven't got enough outrage in me. Kate has plenty for the both of us; check out this post on why she should be a resentful feminist.
Kevin's got the Bonfire of the Vanities up. The premise is you submit your worst posts of the past week. Then everyone can read posts that suck. Okay, got it so far?
I haven't submitted any of my posts. I don't write posts that suck. Kevin keeps trying to get me to submit, but let's face it: The incentive isn't quite there. Kev, if I were you, I wouldn't go into the advertising biz.
The scene: Dinner at Heidi's, Sunday night. Chinese food, where I discover that English as a second language causes you to hear "extra noodles" as "extra broccoli," but that's cool, because I like more broccoli than chicken in my chicken and broccoli. So I am opening the box, and a large piece of broccoli flings itself out in an effort to escape. Without hesitation my right hand shoots out and catches it before it can fall below table level. Sorena, watching, is impressed.
"It's my amazing agility and catlike reflexes," I tell her. "I told you I'm not making them up."
She thinks that one over, and asks, "Can you do anything else? Like catch a ball or play soccer or something?"
Sigh. No, in fact, I suck at depth perception in softball, and I swing too late too often. On the other hand, I can stop a wineglass from falling over before a drop spills, catch a box of butter as it falls out of a shelf in the supermarket as I pass it and put it back without breaking stride, and prevent my extra broccoli from going to waste. All these things and more I have done all of my adult life.
Hey, some talents are simply too good to get paid for.
Nobody, but nobody disses false gods better than Lair Simon.
Judith Weiss has a great collection of information on the NJ Solidarity group, a.k.a. NJ College Kids Who Hate Jews, led by none other than our Charlotte "Hates" Kates. Seems the real reason why the Rutgers Hatefest was moved to Ohio (and with any luck, it won't make it there in time) is because dearest Charlotte is too radical for the Arab students in NJ Solidarity. Imagine that.
Judith's got the skinny and the links. Check it out, I'm certainly enjoying their discomfiture. Say. Maybe Charlotte and I could become email pals. Ya think? permalink
Nick S. points out to me that they're stupid enough to sign a contract that includes this:
But why would they include these restrictions?
You can read more about Lisa McPherson here. You can find more scientology links here. And may I point out that one of your shit-for-brains people who was stupid enough to fall under scientology's cultish grip was Charlotte "Hates" Kates, the organizer of the Rutgers anti-Israel hatefest that is now the Ohio State anti-Israel hatefest.
If there are any of you out there who still believe that scientology is a religion and not a cult, you haven't been reading the material I've been linking. This appeared in The Wall Street Journal some years ago, and still, scientology has "religious" status. The Germans are right to deny them the same. It's not a religion. It is a money-making cult that takes advantage of the less intelligent members of our society. Like actors. permalink
Allah's been blogging, as they say. But Allah the supposedly all-knowing and all-seeing hasn't seen fit to include me on his Satan list, neither big nor little.
I don't understand it. I'm Allah's worst nightmare: Jewish, female, educated, American, westernizedand I live five minutes away from a gun shop and can have a weapon by tomorrow.
He's also promised to bring Arafat home if enough of us infidels link to him. I'm linking to you, Big Ragu. But you're obviously too afraid to put me on your Satan list.
I understand. Strong women can seem very threatening. Man, you must have a fit every time you meet one of the Matriarchs. Hey! Look behind you! It's Sarah! permalink
I guess the ISM creeps don't count. Nor does the EU assistance, or the UN administration of all those refugee camps.
Oh, you want American soldiers on the ground there?
Excuse me a moment. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
All better now.
On the other hand, there's still some infighting going on.
Keep it up, buds, because here's what Defense Minister Mofaz has to say about Arafat:
You got that right. Let him go to his family in France, and arrest all the murderers that have been living under his protection for the past year and a half. It won't be nearly as easy to direct terrorist attacks from Paris.
They got a big one in Tulkarm:
Keep up the good work, guys. permalink
Dean Esmay wants me to accept his apology. He sent me emails, to which I did not reply. He sent me several instant messages, which I did not answer, signed off, and then blocked him from sending me any more. He posted several apologies to which I also did not respond.
And now he is posting about how unhealthy it is to not accept an apology, or for insisting that an apology be unconditional, or that, you know, a person really mean it or something horrible like that. Oh, I'm not mentioned by name in the post, but the subtext is obvious.
See, here's the thing. Dean started this whole brouhaha by deciding to rile up the only two liberal feminists he knows in the blogosphere, Judith Weiss and me. He titled a post "Special Message To Judith Weiss, Meryl Yourish, and Susan B. Anthony," and proceeded to tell us that we should be grateful to men for "giving" us the right to vote. His post ended thus:
He linked to neither Judith nor me in the post, which is a major breach of blogging etiquette, and led me to suspect that all Dean really wanted was for Judith and me to get pissed off, post answers, and link back to his post. He denied that this was his reasoning.
But that wasn't really the crux of the matter. It was this phrase:
One more time:
Dean has since expressed utter shock that Judith and I got upset with his post. He insists that he was "tweaking" us. Where I come from, that's known as the "Just kidding!" defense, and it reeks to high heaven of "Shit! They got mad. I'd better make it seem like I was joking."
It is the excuse of a child. I no longer accept it from adults.
While I have certainly posted about sexism and feminism, I think it's quite a stretch to call melet alone Juditha resentful feminist. And this is what Dean did, straight out of the box. To say that he didn't think we would take offense is astonishing naivete at best, and disingenuousness at worst. Either way, it doesn't look too good for Dean.
In point of fact, I think I responded rather mildly for such a "resentful" feminist. Dean and Rosemary responded rather less mildly. I read their posts. I read the comments in the posts. When Rosemary used the words "feminazi c-nt," to describe radical feminists, I wrote the both of them off. It wasn't Godwin's Law. I have a policy in blog debates: When my opponents start slinging mud, I simply stop responding. I did that with Dave Sims regarding the Klan discussion. I did it with Aziz regarding the WMG discussion. When the insults start flying, I head for the exit.
Yes, I was angry. I don't appreciate being called names, and I didn't appreciate the way my words were twisted and misrepresented there, and on other blogs in comments sections. So when Dean sent me email, I ignored it. I wasn't interested in apologies. Nor was I interested in chatting with him via IM. By the time he posted an apology on his weblog, I didn't care if it was a full apology or a conditional apology or a from-the-heart apology. And I was frankly busy driving to Ohio and back for a four-day educators' conference, which Dean would have known had he bothered to read my blog at that point. When I checked his and saw still more insults flung my way and Judith's, I completely stopped caring at all. I thought that if I let things go, they'd simply die down and that would be the end of that. But Dean refuses to let it go.
There's a definite misunderstanding here. You see, it isn't just the definition of "feminism" that Dean and I disagree about. It's also the definition of "friendship."
I'm sorry to inform you of this, Dean, but we're not friends. You're someone who writes a blog that I used to read, and frankly, you weren't even on my daily reading list. The loss of you as a blog-buddy simply does not affect my day-to-day life. I'm not saying this to be hurtful. I am being honest. We never shared anything deeper than a surface relationship that was essentially letters about blogging and blog happenings. You don't know my phone number. You don't know what color my eyes are. You don't know how tall I am. You don't know how old I am. We've never spoken to each other.
We are not friends. That's why I never responded to your apologies. First, was because I was angry. Then because I didn't care enough to respond. It has nothing to do with hatred and forgiveness. We're simply not friends.
Now if you don't mind, get over it. We're done. I didn't ask you to issue an apology, nor am I under any obligation to accept one. This sort of thing happens in blogging. Your sphere of influence is fluid. I'm not pals with Shelley Powers anymore, either, but I did ultimately restore her link, and vice-versa. We even mention each other kindly from time to time.
That's about the most you can hope for, now. Next time, perhaps you won't try to "tweak" someone in quite the same way. Actions have consequences. Deal with them. permalink
The cutest damn kitten pictures on the web. Sigh. William, I wish I had found a kitten like that. S/he is going to be one gorgeous cat.
Kelley is sending a bunch of people here to read my blog, so it's only fair that I send some people back her way to read her blog. Even if she didn't manage to see anyone while at Dragoncon. (Ya know, Kelley, if you had told me it was only in Atlanta, I might have driven down and joined you.) By the way, she's got an amazing digest of blogs in her weekly Cul-de-sac post. I have no idea where she finds the time. She has a five-year-old. Yeesh.
Kate's husband is talking sexy to her. And he doesn't even know it. (Hey, besides the post being funny, I want to knock that woman-hater off the top of her referrers list. Click, people, click. Show him the power of Meryl.)
An observation: For a cat that weighs only twelve pounds, Gracie makes a hell of a racket when she decides it's time to play Superkitty and run like hell upstairs and then run from room to room over my head. Damn, skippy. permalink
It turns out I do not, after all, have the desire to write much today, so instead, I'll turn things over to my readers. There's a lot of mail to catch up on, so some of it is what I used to call in the newspaper biz "stale news," but this a blog, and my blog at that, so, like, tough.
First, from Mary C., more on the difference between priests, ministers, and preachers:
Mary, I promise I will try to never again confuse priests and ministers. (You'd think I'd know better, what with my best friend being a minister's daughter, too.)
To the various African government employees trying desperately to give me all those millions of dollars from all those deceased foreigners and former heads of state: Please keep the money in your country and donate it to feeding the hungry and giving comfort to the millions of AIDS victims in your nations. Okay? Soright.
Several people have written to tell me that "spathic" is a geological term that means great cleavage. Thanks to, in order, Eric, Michael C., Joe L., and Daniel S. Since the author of Spathic hasn't written to me or indicated in any way what gender s/he is, I can't tell you if Spathic has a nice rack or simply appreciates one. We could start a poll and see what you folks think, but that would take effort, and I find I'm all out of energy tonight. I think the snake hunt took more out of me than I'd realized. Either that, or the fumes from having the swim spa sealed on Friday, and sleeping in the bedroom over the fume-filled room on Saturday night.
Ricky D. writes me about my episode with the McDonald's employee who couldn't find the "small drink" button on the cash register:
Oh, don't be embarrassed. I'm not embarrassed that I used to be a clerk at Cumberland Farms (my first real job, in fact), or that I was a dog washer in a dog grooming shop (yes, really, and yes, I was a teenager at the time), or even that I got fired after only two weeks of trying to sell advertising for a small radio station in Puyallup, Washington. The key word in that sentence is "trying." The reason I was fired was because I couldn't sell fur coats to an Eskimo, to mangle a non-PC aphorism.
Beth C. writes that perhaps G. and I should have identified the snake before we captured it. She has a good point there, one which I shall definitely follow in the future. In our defense, we wanted to catch it before the girls got home or the dogs discovered it, as it was in the dog yard. And we were identifying it because that was going to determine whether the snake lived or died. We saw no reason to release a venomous snake into Heidi's back yard. However, I'm mighty glad we didn't have to experience the results these folks had with their garter snake. Ew. Justew.
On the feminism discussion from a few weeks ago, Sarah M. wrote:
Well, at least one of us is enjoying it. Actually, you make an excellent point, though there has to be a common definition that everyone can work from. For instance, I maintain that if you call other women "feminazi c-nts," you are not a feminist, no matter how often or loudly you pronounce yourself one. (Stay tuned for an upcoming essay on the use of the c-word and other gender-specific insults.)
Feminism must include an abiding respect for women, and calling them c-nts has nothing to do with respect for the gender. Even when the name-caller is also a woman.
I think Michael L. figured out my nefarious plan.
Oh yeah? How do you know Tig wasn't wearing my shorts? Huh? Huh? He steals my socks from the laundry basket. He's definitely strong enough to carry my shorts around.
Barbara S. has some advice to stop drawing blood every time I use a new razor:
On the other hand, Michael N. has the other gender's point of view:
That's going to be it for the mailbag for the moment. Although I must say I find it fascinating to hear what you folks like and dislike. Some people write me that they like everything except for the Hulk stuff. Others say they bypass the cute kids and cat posts. And some have told me they don't care for the posts on feminism, or Israel, or other serious topics.
By my calculations, I'm managing to write at least one thing that everyone likes, and at least one thing that everyone dislikes. Hey, that's quite a talent. Not everyone can please and displease everyone all of the time. That will be my new goal. Perhaps even my new tagline: yourish.com: You hate me. You love me. You hate me. You love me.
I was off at Heidi and G.'s these past two days, hanging out, chatting, doing a bit of this and that, supervising Heidi as she constructed her firewood racks (I am a superb supervisor; anyone needs any supervising done, I can do it). The big excitement yesterday was, uh, well, let's see. There was none. The big excitement today, howeverwell, do I have to draw you a picture? Okay.
This fella was sleeping inside a cinderblock that Heidi reached her hand in to pick up and put under her firewood rack. I was inside the house while this was going on, and Heidi and G. came indoors asking me to bring my camera and take some pictures of the intruder. G. and I discuss how we're going to catch it and what we're going to put it in. I, having just seen an episode of All My Children in which Kendall bought a snake and transported it in a sack greatly resembling a pillowcase, suggested a pillowcase. "I saw it on TV," I stated helpfully. G. suggested his laundry bag, which was right within reach, as this discussion took place, well, in the laundry room.
Now here's the part that stunned me. I have known Heidi for more than thirteen years, and in those thirteen years, I've learned that she is fearless sometimes to the point of recklessness (see the tree-chopping exercise and shudder). G. and I are generally the voices of reason where she is concerned, sometimes to the point where he sounds like an old woman and I'm not far behind on the timidity scale. But this time, you'd have thought that G. and I were the souls of recklessness and Heidi was a mass of phobias. Because the snake was really bothering her, especially as none of us knew what kind it was, or if it was venomous, and, well, we didn't exactly have Steve Irwin-level experience catching snakes, either. But G. and I trode forcefully out to the snake, with only a brief question or two by me.
So we go to the back porch steps, under which is the cinderblock with the sleeping snake, and I take a couple of pictures as Heidi says, "At least the girls aren't here. They'd want to see the snake and get too close and"
On cue, Sorena and her three friends arrive.
So now, with an audience of four girls ranging in age from nine to twelve, a very worried Heidi, and three dogs in the house wondering what the heck we're up to, G. and I capture the snake. He picks up the cinderblock (which was on the back of a step about shoulder level), I hold open the laundry bag, and he dumps the snake into the sack. I close it quickly, we have successfully captured the snake, and now, of course, all the girls want to look in the sack. By this time, it has registered on me that Heidi is, indeed, quite worried about the snake biting all of us, if not actually frightened. This is so unlike her that I inquire as to why she is so afraid of snakes. She explains that in Africa, where she spent most of her childhood, there were no non-venomous snakes. All snake bites were basically fatal, because they were too far from a hospital and would not receive the antivenom in time. Spitting cobras were common in the chicken house, and then there was a breed of snakeblack mambas?that used to drop out of the trees and land on people and animals.
So I can understand her fear of snakes. This did not, of course, stop me from making a few wisecracks, although I did promise I would only bust her chops for today and that would be it. No more. Done. Even though she makes fun of me constantly for my regularly relayed disgust for insects and other creepy things. (You don't even want to know what I was saying when the girls came back from the creek with a leech stuck to one of them.)
Anyway. I went inside after we caught the snake, did a quick Google search, and discovered that our boy was the Eastern garter snake, found in virtually every county in Virginia, and utterly harmless to humans. Heidi's mind now at ease, we let it go, snapped more pictures, and went back to our other interests.
The rest of the day passed uneventfully. All in all, a very pleasant Labor Day weekend. permalink
Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary and The Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.