That's the answer to "Why is there a Mother's Day and a Father's Day but there's not a Children's Day?
Today Andy and I went over to Heidi's to get the tops switched on my car, and wound up taking Sorena with us for the rest of the afternoon, which wasn't exactly a hardship and was, well, my idea. First stop after removing the top was Home Depot, where I bought a 9x12 plastic tarp for 97 cents (including tax!), which I will keep in the car for those days when I have the top down and Mother Nature wants to mess with me. I've already fooled Mother Nature with a tarp; two years ago I was at Heidi's after a day of fun in the sun, and we were simply too tired to put the top back up, so I took the tarp, spread it over the car and closed the doors to keep it from blowing away. Sometime after dinner, Heidi came running into the room where I was working on my computer to tell me it was pouring out and I needed to put the top up. Big smile, no worries, onto something else.
Today, though a black stormcloud threatened to rain on us, it did no more than drop a few drops and move on, leaving a cool breeze in its wake. After getting the tarp, went for lunch. Sorena had strawberries and whipped creamfar more than her mother would let her have. Can't help it; my job is to spoil the children in my life and listen to their parents complain that I am spoiling them. Then it was off to a park, where apparently everyone in the entire county had also gone, as again, this was the first effing dry weekend in like, two months. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny as well, which is good. I'm going to a picnic.
When we tired of being outdoors, we headed back to my apartment, where at my doorstep was my copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, straight from Amazon.com (thanks again, April!). "You're so lucky!" Sorena said. She was sure her copy was not going to arrive on time. She was right, as we found out later. She read the first two and a half chapters while we were driving out to get dinner, and also while she was just enjoying reading in The Chair That Swallows You Whole, cuddling with her new friend, Andy. I checked email while they were vegging. I am days behind, and likely to remain so for another day or two, sorry, the world intrudes.
Back to Sorena's after dinner (Popeye's, the best fast-food fried chicken) and an episode or three of Spongebob or whatever was on Nick, to pick up my Jeep's windows, which we had left there due to space limitations. The windows are on, so of course it won't rain for quite some time, but at least I won't be driving to Busch Gardens next week with the wind whipping my hair in my face. Too much of it is not long enough to tie back, and even the stuff that gets tied back refuses to stay in a tie no matter what I do. It's fine but thick, a seeming contradiction, but there you have it.
I lent Sorena my Harry Potter book. She insisted she could wait until Monday, but after all, she is nine, and I am not. Of the two of us, I do believe I'm the one who can wait until Monday to find out what happens next. Of course, I did grab the book from her and read two-plus chapters while she was watching Nickelodeon, so I know a little bit about what's going on. (J.K. Rowling used the word effing in the book. How about that?) As for the rest, well, when you see a nine-year-old trying hard to cover her disappointment and pretend that she doesn't mind if you take away the book she's been waiting three years for, there's no way in hell you can resist giving it to her. In fact, as I write this, she is probably sitting in her top bunk bed with her booklight on, two or three chapters further into the book, happy as can be. I think I got the better end of the deal, because she made me smile for hours this afternoon, and I'm smiling at the picture in my head of my "niece" reading my book.
Kids are great. permalink
And a prize to the first two hundred people who recognize which song lyric the title was taken from. I'm going to guess that none of the winners will be under thirty.
Anyway. Look here. This is the first decent day in weeks. We have had nine rainy weeks in a row, with only a few sunny days in between. Today? No humidity, no clouds, no rain, nothin' but sun. I am heading over to Heidi's in a few minutes to take off the Jeep's hard top and put the soft top on, though I don't think I'll be putting the soft top up. The odds are with me weather-wise, so I think I'll be riding topless for some time to come. (I so love to type that phrase, and get such a kick out of the free pr0n searchers that click on it and arrive here. Sorry, dudes, pictures to come later. Ooh, that oughta bring even more hits.)
I may not get back here for days. You never can tell what will happen once I'm on the highway with the wind in my hair. permalink
A double-bomb attack was prevented by alert Israeli soldiers Friday morning.
This is Israel's reward for beginning to fulfill her obligations on the so-called road map. It was doubtless meant to be Colin Powell's usual welcoming blast. Instead, they had to settle for a shooting that murdered only one. And wounding twoboth Americans. They were his parents. The Roadmap to Murderville continues. permalink
RJM over at The Illiterati wants to know if I know why the Hulk's pants don't split off his body the way the rest of his clothes do when he changes from Bruce Banner to the Hulk.
Of course I know the answer.
Nowadays, of course, the Hulk has Reed-Richards-designed pants made from unstable molecules, the same material that allows Mr. Fantastic to keep his pants on when he stretches hundreds of feet. But the answer to why Hulk's pants always seemed to be purple, no matter what color pants Banner was wearing, and why all the rest of his clothes splits and falls off, but the purple pants merely grow ragged and stretch to fit, is this:
It's a kid's comic book. He can't lose his pants or it'd have to be printed in adult magazines, and there would go the target market. Or they'd constantly have to have Hulk hiding his nether regions behind cars or vases of flowers or magazines, like they do with pregnant actresses in TV shows when they don't want to write in the pregnancy. A Hulk fight really wouldn't be nearly as fun if he had to keep on holding onto the cars instead of lifting them up to throw onto a group of soldiers who are shooting at him.
Actually, I'll let Hulk take over after a bit. Fair warning: Don't read if you don't want spoilers.
Now, Ang Lee is a damned good director. And I could see what he was trying to do with the split-screen scenes that looked like comic book frames. But, well, here's the thing: If you have to take an hour to explain a comic book character's origin in a movie, you have let the wrong person write the script, and you have handicapped the director. C'mon, people, It's the effing Hulk. Junk science is still junk science. Whether you say he got his powers due to exposure from a gamma bomb while saving Rick Jones, or because his father passed along mutant DNA through experimenting on himself and it came out with exposure to gamma rays in the lab, it's still crap science. Nobody really believes it. It's an effing comic book, you idiots!
My tip for enjoying the movie: Arrive half an hour late. Maybe even forty minutes or an hour late. The second half was mostly action-packed, and woke up the moribund children in the audience who were all wondering if this was the Hulk movie, where was the Hulk? But the first half, they all told me, was booooo-ring.
I liked the CGI. Definitely better than Spider-Man. I'll be taking my former students to see the film, and I'll probably wind up buying it, but that's because I'm a Hulk fanatic and I intend to skip over all the boring scenes. And wow, did Jennifer Connolly model her acting on a mannikin, or what? She stunk in every scene except for the ones where she had no words. She has talent? Coulda fooled me.
And now, the second half of this review. (I tried to get him to call me by my name, but hey, you go argue with the Hulk.)
I got him not to hurt the fanboys too much, but yeah, listening to them overanalyze the movie while it was going on was a bit much. Alas, the Hulk film was a little too disappointing. Really, an hour of yapping before the real action starts? It'll have a good opening, but Marvel's going to be disappointed with next week's box office, I think. That's too bad.
They really need to hire Peter David to write the script. Or Joss Whedon. Or both. Now that would be a good team. permalink
It's the shit-for-brains problem. Tom Cruise is lobbying the White House to try to get favors for the shit-for-brains who follow this "religion." I tried to let it slide. Can't do anything about the scientologists, too many people are too craven, hell, they even scared the IRS into doing what they wantedpartly achieved by harassing the agent investigating their case. (You can look it up; I did, years ago.)
Because, like, that wouldn't be a violation of the Establishment Clause at all, no.
Shame it couldn't fix his marriage. You'd think if scientology could cure dyslexiaan incurable diseaseit could at least work as well as a decent marriage counselor.
You mean like Germany, which refuses to grant scientology any status other than shit-for-brains fascist cultists? Hey, I'm with Germany on those rulings.
Uh-huh. One who has to do scientology's bidding as he gets more and more involved in the "church." What is it with actors that they're such assholes about things like religion? Can't he just be a Southern Baptist or something and go around demanding that women be subservient to their husbands? At least I'd respect him more than I do now.
Would that be authentic religious intolerance, or intolerance of the murderous, law-breaking cult known as scientology? Come on, Spokeswoman, it's your job to be specific. Hey, I've always been passionate about Mark Twain, but you don't see me lobbying the White House to declare a Federal holiday for America's greatest satirist, do you? (Come to think of it, I'd love to see a Mark Twain Day. Frog-jumping and fence-painting contests, eating southern food, wearing white on a hot summer day, putting on great big fake moustacheswhat's not to like?)
Oh, just shut up about scientology, you stupid actors. Battlefield Earth was one of the biggest stinkers of the century, thankfully, and I do believe that it's only a matter of time until the law catches up with the lunatics and dangerous people who murder their followers and drive American citizens to seek asylum in Canada. Like I said, look it up. This isn't a church. It's a legalized mafia, and it has killed.
I no longer go to Tom Cruise movies. Or John Travolta. Or the films of anyone else associated with scientology. I won't support the cults. Maybe my few bucks aren't doing much, but hey, at least the profits aren't going to Xenu. permalink
Do not, repeat, do not be drinking anything when you read this post by Marduk.
The man definitely needs a driver. permalink
Combustible Boy came up with a great idea that would spare palestinian civilians. I like it.
I wonder if we can use our Blogathon donations for something like that. Hm. permalink
Two days later, still no signs of the Iranians protesting the theocratic government of the mullahs on any of the major Indymedia sites. But the main site has some really pressing world issues:
Oh, and this one slays me:
Genetically-modified food constitutes fighting for "global justice" and agains "a military invasion," but thousands of Iranians protesting theocratic, fascist rule garner nothing at all from the self-proclaimed warriors for global justice. Nor do the beatings, imprisonments, and likely murders of the protestors.
There is something seriously wrong with the radical left. But then, there always was. permalink
CNN has what they think is a geek's look at who would win a fight between the Terminator and the Hulk. (Thanks, Francesca!) It takes them hundreds of words to get to the inevitable conclusion: Hulk. And they really only use one physics factor (strength), whereas a true geek would have gone wild on every aspect of the fight, using size, weight, estimated lift and thrust capacity of each, ability to withstand damage, whether or not Hulk has a fatigue factor, etc., etc. That's how things like the role-playing game "Champions" came about: From fanboys turning comic book heroes and villains into something resembling scientific explanations. (Note, that's not the origin of Champions, just a cause, please don't email me the exact moment the creators realized they had a game on their hands.) In any case.
I asked the Hulk if he thought the Terminator could take him.
By the way, be here Friday afternoon. Hulk's going to review the Hulk movie. permalink
The shooting attack that killed a seven-year-old girl was accomplished by two Fatah and PFLP terrorists who cut through metal bars and crawled through sewage tunnels, all so they could deliberately murder civilians.
Yasser Arafat's terrorists claimed this one.
In the meantime, Abu Mazen says this about stopping terrorists:
It is their reward for refusing to agree to stop murdering Israeli children
On othe other hand, listen to what the associates of the man accused of financing the Munich Massacre had to say about Israel's refusal to target terrorists:
Harsh words. And yet he can't seem to use the same kinds of words to those who murder civilians. Oh, but I understand they're really close to a breakthrough with the Hamas terrorists:
Unconditional cessation of violence. The words are clear. The problem is, only Israel is following the road map. What did they do today, after a seven-year-old was buried, and a palestinian blew himself up in a grocery store, killing the owner? They dismantled an illegal settlement outpost, as the road map proposes they do.
And the world condemns who for causing the "impasse" in the Middle East? Oh, right. Israel. Because they do things like this:
Oh, wait. No they don't. That would be the pals. Their partners in "peace."
The road map is dead. Bury it and find something else. permalink
When did the Times start linking to websites? They never link to anyone in their articles. When did they do this? I've been reading the Times for ages. They never used to link. Never.
They linked to all the weblogs in the article except for the last one, and I think that one is a typesetting or editorial error. Because they link to all the other ones.
When did this happen? How could I miss this? I mean, really, guys, Jayson Blair, Howell Raines, Maureen Dowd, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's so five minutes ago, bored nowbut the Times is actually linking to blogs in articles? Now that is news.
Damn. The Times is linking to weblogs, finally. permalink
This is where I was today:
It's a 100-acre estate that is in the midst of Richmond, built during the late nineteenth century (the part known as The Gilded Age), and is astonishingly huge and beautiful, and and example of far more room than two people could ever need to live comfortably.
And if I had the bucks to do the same, would I? You bet your life. Except I'd have far better taste in furniture than the Dooleys had. Outdoors, nowthat was beautiful. Glad I had my hiking shoes on, because we probably walked a mile or two. There's a waterfall, a large lake stocked with the usual ugly carp (I really don't know why people like them so much; I find them hideous, and the larger they are, the uglier they get), bamboo forests (yes, bamboo, yes, forests), phenomenally old trees of every kind (I'll post more pictures later), gazebos everywhere you turned, and then just because they have to keep the kiddies interested somehow, they have animals on the estate. Black bears, foxes, owls, hawks, bison, and inside the visitor center, fish and snakes and turtles. I stood closer to a black bear than I ever frankly want to be, especially as there was nothing separating us but a plain chain-link fence. Andy and I wondered if the bear could get through it if he so desired, which may have been the reason I decided to leave that part of the estate.
This bit of Richmond was brought to you by: Two bored people who are really tired of the rain in Richmond. Next week: More touristy pictures, as The Creator is coming to town. (That's mother to the rest of you.) permalink
Australian's Jewish community has had to implement safety features for their synagogues, schools, and community centersbecause Muslim immigrants are working with terrorist organizations and targeting Jews.
A local Jew was targeted by an al Qaeda-linked organization, as were two Israeli embassies in Australia.
Once again, the line between Israeli and Jew stretches thousands of miles. From one side of its mouth, the world considers all Jews to be Israelis when it comes to sharing responsibility for Israel's policies, and from the other, insists they're not against Jews, only against Israeli policies.
We see right through this asinine defense. It's the old school of thought: A Jew is a Jew is a Jew.
It's beginning to look like Jew-hatred goes hand-in-hand with Muslim immigration populations worldwide. Oh, just wait. Someone will accuse me of being a racist for saying that. And still, the attacks on Jews will be put down to Muslim anger over Israeli policies. Nothing to do with Jews, no, really. It's the oppresion of the pals, you see.
Yeah, that ought to get some perverted search hits. Come to think of it, it ought to draw some folks from the RSS feed as well.
Well, if my friend arrives before I've finished showering, it will be Dr. Manhattan's fault. He sent me a very funny email, followed by a letter that made me realize that I've been reading him, but not linking him, and he's not on my links page, either. That's been remedied with this post. (I should have been in the shower ten minutes ago.)
Plus, he said I could post his email:
I hadn't quite thought of that solution. I'll keep it in mind, Doc. permalink
Silflay Hraka has moved! Bigwig and co. are off blogspot (no, he's not bitter, why do you ask?) and on their own domain, with a brandy new MT blog. Because all of the cool kids are doing it. The head bunny says if you can't get to the domain due to DNS problems, try using this link with the IP number. (I had no trouble getting there via the domain name.) He's got another post to the Saudi religious rat-out patrol, and his sad, sad Father's Day tale.
My blogdaughter Shanti is hosting this week's Carnival of the Vanities. I feel like farming out the work today; go ahead and read the entries and if you think there's one that deserves more attention, email me. Okay, I'll admit it, I'm going to be oot and aboot (that's Canadian to show Damian and Marduk that I can speak their language) most of the day. Or busy inside. Because it is once again raining, as it has rained nearly every day for nine effing weeks here in Richmond, and most of those weeks do, indeed, include weekends, and no, I'm not bitter, not at all, why do you ask?
Jim Treacher took comments off his blog, and isn't putting them back. The score so far on my comments question: "It's your blog, do what you want" is winning by a landslide, with the subtext of most of those emails a fairly solid "Ew, your blog would really reek if you had comments on it."
See, now I'm tempted to put comments up just to see if it realy would reek. But then, as Jim says, I'd have to play hall monitor, and I have no intention of chaining myself to the computer 24/7. I suppose if most people who disagreed with you on blogs weren't such shits, I'd have comments by now. But I've seen far too much nastiness and insult in comment threads, and not much adult disagreement, and frankly, I'll be damned if you're going to insult me on my nickel. You want to do that, pay for it yourself. permalink
While you're at it, AMCGLTD has two good referrals today, too. One's about kittens, and the other's about fortune telling with dicks. No, I'm not kidding. The latter has nekkid men's parts in it; not safe for work. The former has intense kitten pictures in it, not safe for people who go "Awww" easily.
And that's it for the day. I'm tired. permalink
I have finally fixed my Amazon Wish List, and added various Hulk-related items to it. Though I was tempted to add the Hulk Walkie Talkie or the Hulk Lunchbox, really, I have no use for either. Not that I have a use for Hulk Hands or a Hulk Action Figure, but hey, it's fun to have them. (Why, look, the new Harry Potter book comes out this week. Isn't that a fortuitous coincidence?) permalink
Bill Cimino has been having a lot of fun getting people to make up state slogans that could go on their license plates. It started here, and has since grown to monstrous, more monstrous, and even more monstrous proportions. And it shows no signs of stopping. Go on over and suggest some state slogans. And remember: Bitchiness counts. permalink
By the way, the score on comments so far: five from bloggers, five from nonbloggers. And, uh, there's an Instalanche going on today, so I think the results are going to be skewed. But right now, it's 2 for, 1 against, and 7 that say "It's your blog, do what you want." Hm. I'm leaning towards the third group's response. permalink
From National Review Online, an Iranian student protester speaks of the brutal way the protests in Iran are being handled:
Okay, then, San Francisco. There must be at least one article about Iran in the birthplace of modern American protest. No, there isn't. But there are articles against the war in Iraq, and a benefit concert by former rock star Patti Smith (who was so drunk and/or stoned at her concert at my college that she literally could not remember how to spell "Gloria" during her attempt to sing that song), with a follow-up article titled "Why Patti Smith Mattered." And of course, there are the usual anti-Semitic spews about Israel. But not a word on the Iranian students protesting against the tyrannical rule of the Mullahs, and being beaten and killed for it.
Here are the top headlines on SF Indymedia page:
Yeah, those are important issues. A bookstore's 50th anniversary. Patti Smith. Far more important issues than reporting on the true fomenters of dissent against tyrannical autocrats and theocrats. (Hey, I thought Indymedia was a news source? That's what all the people who got their panties in a bunch over Google dropping them as such were saying. For a news source, they seem to be ignoring a hell of a story.)
Apparently, Indymedia itself is the important issue. Protesters in Oakland got some really nasty bruises from being shot by wooden bullets while trying to stop ships from loading during the first days of the war with Iraq. Those words and pictures went all around the Indynet, but the situation in Iran is being ignored. The only time Iran is mentioned, in fact, is in the context of the President's Axis of Evil speech.
It seems that you don't matter to Indymedia if you're protesting an Islamic theocracy. You only matter if you're protesting a Jewish or Christian democracy.
But that isn't what really doesn't matter. I think I mistitled this post. It should be titled "Why Indymedia doesn't matter." permalink
I've been trying to post this to Marduk's comments on this particular post, and it keeps crapping out. So I'll post it here now, and try to get it there later. It's in response to Marduk making fun of the concept of "Open Threads," in which a blogger does not post, but turns the floor over to the readers who post in his/her comments.
The commenters at Marduk's imply that he's too stupid to understand that it means the democratic process is at work, and that the lack of comments on his weblog imply that nobody cares about what he writes:
And here was what I was going to respond:
That was actually edited down from my original, more irritated response. Come to think of it, even when I publish highly controversial subjects (like a debate on sexism), the emails received still don't manage to come up to a double-digit percentage of the day's visitors. More often than not, the emails are not from regular readers of this weblog. They're from people who read other blogs that have linked to the controversial post. The same phenomenon occurs in the comments thread of a blog with a controversial topic that gets linked around.
There is an illusion out there that weblogs that don't have comments are less democratic than those that do. I think that's pure bullshit, especially after seeing how many people have their comments deleted from supposedly democratic blogsfor posting an opinion that goes against the grain of the blog. Ultimately, every weblog out there has some final arbiter who makes the rules, and there will always be someone who doesn't like abiding by those rules, and who bitches when s/he gets punished for breaking those rules. It may be fashionable to pretend that you're running a truly democratic forum, or taking part in such a forum, but it doesn't pass the smell test.
Here, I'll play the game again: How many of my readers want me to add comments to the blog? Send me an email.
My money's on the percentage once again not getting out of single digits. permalink
Yes, I know some of you think I should just get an external keyboard and shut up about my laptop refusing to acknowledge the dash and six keys, but this thing is such an effing puzzle that I simply have to make all of my readers suffer through it as well.
For the past few days I've been using the number lock and numeric keypad (or the laptop version thereof) for the six and dash, and just swearing when I try to use the Home and F2 keys and nothing happens. So a couple of hours ago, my brother calls and we're discussing (among other things) my computer woes, and he offers to buy me a new Dell desktop. I tell him I'll let him know if I think I need it.
So as I'm replying to an email, without thinking, I use the dash key. And it works. Then I try the six, and of course, it, too, works. Home key, delete key, F2, yep, they all work again.
I am more and more convinced that it's something loose inside the computer. I think I'm going to get the courage to open it up sometime soon, and see what I can see. So if you suddenly don't have any new posts for a really long period of time, you'll know I screwed up and am waiting for my Dell to arrive. permalink
Kate has a hilarious post on what it's like to be pregnant. Hm. Maybe I don't really want children, after all. By the way, I'm not bitter or jealous in the least that she's still higher than me in NZ Bear's Ecosystem. Nope. Not at all. Why should I be? The fact that I dropped a bunch of slots on Blogstreet's rankings doesn't bother me in the least, but it does make me wonder: Did they get mad at me for using their logo without permission, and making fun of them? (Geez. Firmly in the O'Reilly tech ghetto, please, get me out of there!)
This post by Mardukwell, to be more specific, the comments on this post by Mardukinspired me. From now on, Monday is open thread day at yourish.com. Feel free to leave your comments in the open thread box.
I expect to start getting emails asking why on earth I link to Marduk, and I'll give you the same answer I gave to those who wanted to know why I link to Laurence Simon: Because I like his writing. Because he makes me laugh. Because I agree with many of the things he writes. And when he goes over the top, or writes something I disagree with, I will tell him so if I choose. If you don't like him, you don't have to click on the link.
Judith Weiss has a roundup of blog articles discussing the Altalena analogy (where Ben Gurion and Begin held what was effectively the Israeli Civil War early in Israel's history; Begin lost). I haven't read them all; I'm off to Lynn's place to start. permalink
I say we should nuke Frank's weblog. Anybody got a spare nuclear weapon lying around that they're not going to use?
Update: See, deterrence works. Frank is so afraid of being nuked, he did add me to his blogroll. Either that, or I misread the post and he added me but told everyone else they were SOL. I'm really not sure, but his email said something about my misreading his post.
In any case, since he added me to his blogroll, and whether or not it was under the threat of nuclear attack, I'm going to add him to my links page, and everyone will be happy. I love a happy ending, don't you? permalink
I realized thirteen years ago that Heidi was not an ordinary person. I will not embarrass heror me, actuallyby going into detail about most of our escapades at the Clarion SF & Fantasy Writer's Workshop, but I will say that we laughed a lot. A whole lot. For instance, we really spooked the florists that spent a week living on our dorm floor while taking some kind of flower-arranging workshops. Well, except for the one who wound up my suitemate. She had just broken up with her boyfriend of many years and insisted she was far better off because of it, yet fell asleep every night to Sinead O'Connor's cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U." Repeatedly. Seven or eight times a night, actually. Sometimes more.
That may have been the beginning of my aversion to Sinead O'Connor. It was certainly the beginning of my aversion to The Florist (as I have called her ever since), whose last night there was spent getting drunk with us, as her co-florists were all older and rather boring and went to bed early. (They're the ones who were shocked to overhear the conversation that Heidi, a few other students, and I were having about how the alpha male in gorilla groups kills all the children after taking over the group, and relating that to human stepfather behavior.)
The Florist got drunk enough that she, a non-writer, gave us writing lessons. She knew what we needed to know to get published, you see. "All you need to do is put a punch in the beginning of every paragraph, and a punch at the end," she said, waving her fist in the air with each punch as emphasis. Heidi and the others thought The Florist was hilarious, except for the one guy who thought she was one-night stand material (turned out she was). I got annoyed and had to leave, as I was beginning to think of a punch at the beginning of The Florist, and a punch at the end.
Anyway. Heidi needed my help to pick up a Stickley desk that she'd got at an estate auction. Her husband G. has a bad back, having had various ruptured and bulging disks (ew) and an operation and other things done to fix it. So he's not allowed to lift things. If they're not too heavy, Heidi and I do it. If they're too heavy, we find guys who don't have bad backs.
When she told me she'd be renting a truck, I figured it'd be your typical U-Haul type. Nope. That's too pedestrian for Heidi. She showed up at my doorstep in a steel-grey Dodge Ram 1500 4x4. It dwarfed my Jeep in length, height, and width. Really. My Jeep looked like a kiddie car next to the Ram. As we pulled out of my parking lot, Heidi said she felt like her entire body had suddenly grown huge, driving that thing. And the talk inevitably turned to the usual drivers of large pickup trucks, and just as inevitably, we began to make fun of said drivers. I declared that I was pretty sure Heidi's testosterone level had jumped, and had she grown a pair? She responded that she didn't just have a pair; driving that truck had caused her to grow the whole set. Various roars and grunts ensued. And in the back seat, Sorena, who is quite used to her mother and me doing all sorts of crazy things, ignored us completely and concentrated on Radio Disney, which she had switched on as soon as she got into the truck. (You have no idea how amusing Sorena's bored expression is when her mother and I are discussing testosterone and other such boring things. Sometimes she interrupts us to tell us the conversation is boring. Ah, to be nine again.)
The other drivers seemed to be scared to death of us. And, well, Heidi driving an unfamiliar vehiclea really huge unfamiliar vehicleand being unsure of the amount of force needed for the brake and gas pedals reinforced that fear. (It rather reinforced my fear of Heidi driving the truck, but I kept quiet about that until near the end of the afternoon.)
So we get to the house having the auction, I look around and find a bookshelf for a very reasonable price, Sorena buys bunches of books, and Heidi pays for the desk. We're about ready to load our things into the truck when Heidi comes to me holding the ignition key. She can't get the door unlocked, she tells me shamefacedly. Perhaps she just wasn't doing it right, could I try? I started to worry, because the key was a sentry key, and if the embedded microchip wasn't working, we were in trouble. So I go to the truck, and see that the driver's side window is open, and look at Heidi. There is a white truck parked next to ours. So I ask:
"Which truck were you trying to open?"
We move the truck closer to the house, get the desk loaded with the help of the auctioneer's son, and everything is fine until the truck door, the bottom of which is at the exact height of the dead center of my knee, bangs into my left knee. Hobble back into house, get ice, ride with ice on knee all the way home, hoping it will be okay to stand on by the time we need to get the desk out of the truck. Find out that a tiny dragonfly is hitching a ride as well, and is sitting on my bag of ice. I entreat the dragonfly to get out by opening the window and shaking the bag. It gets blown back into the truck. It flies back onto the bag. I give up and try not to squish it on my knee. Back at Heidi's, the knee's not so bad, she and I unload the desk and my bookshelf and Sorena's many books, pick up her husband and head off to another auction, where G. is trying to get some kind of saw. G. has much to say about Heidi's driving skills in the truck, pointing out that she's not very tall and can barely see over the dashboard. Highly offended, we both point out that she can see just fine and she made it to the first auction and back without killing anyone.
"Yet," G. declares. We make it to his auction without killing anyone, park the truck in the wood next to the driveway, and stay only long enough to determine that the saw was sold, and entertain the gentleman directing traffic by discovering that if you're not in four-wheel drive, and you have a pickup truck with a bunch of people in front and nothing in the truck bed, reversing on a dirt slope is a major problem. G. thought it was Heidi's driving. I pointed out it was physics. My explanation was not received enthusiastically by G., but I'm pretty sure Heidi appreciated it.
Off to the next auction, the rolltop desk goes for more than they were prepared to spend, and we decide to head home and drop off G., who is now grouchy because the two things he wanted to buy both got bought by other people, but the thing that Heidi wanted, Heidi got. Dump G., Sorena, take a bathroom break, discover that Sparty did, indeed, pee near the new desk (the Urinator is on his way to being someone else's dog because he won't stop peeing indoors), clean it up, then head out sans husband and daughter. We need to drop off the truck, pick up Heidi's car, and stop by the computer store to get a new battery for her laptop. Seems simple, but there are three Enterprise dealers on the road where she rented the truck, and she never found the one she was supposed to rent the truck from. She stopped at the next one she saw and said, "I rented a truck from the other Enterprise dealer," and was fairly begged into renting from the one she was in instead. You would think that she would, say, write down the address or get a clear picture of what the Enterprise dealer is next to, but that's because you don't know Heidi. We passed the car dealer that she said it was next to. We couldn't find it. We turned around and retraced our route, and found it only because I was looking at the produce stand to see if they had any corn yet, and realized that the Enterprise dealer was two doors east of it. The car dealer that Heidi said it was near was west of it, so once you saw the car dealer, you'd already passed the Enterprise. And Enterprise simply does not make it easy on people. Their signs are all parallel to the road, perhaps so you can see them as you're passing and say, "Oh, there it is. I'll have to turn around and go back now."
And I haven't even mentioned that I was ready at 9:30 but we didn't get started until near 11 a.m. Okay, I finally did mention it to Heidi at the end of the day, but I think preceding it with the phrase, "Now, I'm not criticizing" really didn't take. She saw right through my "I'm just proud of myself for actually being on time for a change" line.
Anyway. Picking up furniture with other people is so boring. All they ever do is pick me up in normal vehicles, drive to the place, get the furniture loaded, and drive home. Heidi and I have a lot more fun. permalink
My pal Steven D. sent me this URL. It's too cool for words if you're a Marvel Comics superhero fan, but I think it'd be rather embarrassing if I tried to pass checks with these pictures on them. Guess I'm not that big a fangirl after all.
But take a look: Hulk checks. Or Spider-Man. Or Wolverine (old, yellow-and-blue costume, yuck!), or Captain America.
Update: Okay, the people running the website are effing morons. You have to go to the main page and click on the popular culture link and look for them. And even that might not work, as I keep getting session ID timed out errors. permalink
Nothing like historical accuracysorry, authenticityin Gibson films to make you feel all warm inside about the aftereffects of such films. "A series of mystical visions." Wow, that's some fact-based source he's going to use to tell the "truth" about the crucifixion of Jesus.
Feh. Told you so. permalink
Terry's got some good ones, as usual. This one is sweet. This one is funny. This one isn't his, and is both sweet and funny. This one is funny in only thirteen words. This one explains why it takes so long for Terry to answer his email. This one's a story of family, life, death, and after.
You know, sometimes I just head on over to Possumblog, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and read my way to the top. It's one of the best ways to read Terry if you can't get there every day. permalink
Michele's wishing her father and grandfathers a happy Father's Day. Glad you've got them, and even more glad that you actually like them. I grew to dread Father's Day for a number of reasons. One was that an aunt of mine didn't seem to see anything wrong in inviting me and my brothers to her big Father's Day shindig every year. I took it as an insult, as my father was alive and well in those days. It was a mark of my mother's family to decide that since my mother was no longer married to my father, we children shouldn't really pay much attention to him. They seemed to want us to hate him. Divorces suck enough without having other people put in their own animosities. Something to think about if you know anyone who is going through or went through one.
My father was always an angry, bitter man. Towards the end of his life, he grew angrier and more bitter, and far more difficult to get along with, especially for me. I am my father's daughter, and I inherited many of his traits, including stubborness. (Been working hard on the anger part, and have managed to calm down considerably over the years. Oh, stop laughing, writing rants is different.)
Father's Day became a contest every year, where Dad would use it to test the measure of our love for him while at the same time doing his damnedest to make sure we failed. "No, I don't want do do anything special. I don't think I want to come. Yeah, maybe I'll be there. I don't care what we eat, it's just another day. And no presents." My sister-in-law would invite us all to her and my younger brother's house, and we'd start taking bets on what time Dad would show up. Because he did show up. It was all just part of the grand act to make sure that his children loved him.
I missed two or three of the last four Father's Days. He disowned me three years before he died, and wouldn't speak to me withough my first apologizing to him. As I didn't feel I had anything to apologize for, our phone conversations were brief and unsatisfying. He ignored me completely at his brother's funeral, refusing to so much as say hello to me. And since my father actually boycotted one of his only grandson's birthday parties because I was going to be there, I didn't bother showing up for the Father's Day celebration. Neither, however, did I go to my uncle's big bash.
Dad died on June 22nd, about a week after the last Father's Day. My brothers and I all knew what day it was, and were over at his condo taking care of him. We didn't bother celebrating it. We didn't see the point. Dad never knew it was Father's Day, and not long afterward, he was dead.
So for those of you who have a good reason to enjoy Father's Day, I'm happy for you. May you have many more. I'm just pleased that Father's Day is finally truly just another day for me. 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.