Wednesday, March 30, 2005

More female complexity

You have got to visit this site. It's a scream. Try both kinds, you won't be sorry!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Murphy, parte deux

Spring Break is in full force, and I have a cold. Nose alternately runny and stuffy, head the size of Nebraska throbbing like a large throbbing thing, dry mouth and halitosis from not breathing through very unreliable nose, and post-nasal drip the likes of which you've never experienced.

Why does my life suck? Who the hell does this Murphy guy think he is? Damned Irishman.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Wanker of the Day: NBC

Well, I could very well be called a copycat by appropriating Atrios's moniker for people like this, but I hope he doesn't call me a wanker. Why "wanker" for NBC you ask? I'll enlighten you, but it may take a few minutes.

Umpteen years ago (although probably only 6) when we got digital cable, I began watching BBC America and loving their programming. Since then, I've watched countless BBC/British Telecom hits become Americanized, with varying degrees of success. Some shows, particularly the self-help/home improvement shows, really do translate well. Case in point, Changing Rooms which translates to Trading Spaces in American. What Not To Wear and Faking it translate so well that TLC didn't bother changing the names. I think shows in this genre have universal appeal. They call on our deep-seated insecurities and need to change ourselves... but enough social commentary. This doesn't explain why NBC is my Wanker today. For that explanation, we need to explore sitcoms.

Do you remember a couple of years ago, there was a series called Coupling that NBC piloted? It was a story about 6 friends who get together at a bar after their days have ended, exploring their friendships. There's a wacky female character, a slightly dumb male character, a conservative, an uptight narcissist... um, sound familiar? The ONLY difference between Coupling and Friends was that Coupling was a hell of a lot racier. Sounds like fun, right? So why was it cancelled after a couple of episodes?

Well, I think it's time for another bit of social commentary. See, Americans tend to think of the British as, well, a bit uptight, in general. You know the cliche, "No sex, please. We're British." When we hear them talking about sex, we get a bit of a tickle in our funnybone. And when they get raunchy, well... that's a full-on chuckle. Coupling was exactly that - a full-on chuckle in the background combined with genuinely funny material on-screen. Hilarity abounded.

So why didn't we get the slightest titter when it was translated into American? For one, they used the same, exact dialogue. How could that not be funny? Well, instead of sounding sophisticated, we sounded slutty. It is precisely because we don't have the same cultural programming that this amazingly funny BBC show got lost in translation. This alone does not make NBC wankers. One mistake can be forgiven. Fool me once, and all that.

They're going for the second try, though. Last year, there was a breakout BBC series called The Office, that BBC America viewers found so hilarious that the series was awarded two Golden Globes. I've been seeing commercials for an American version on NBC for the last two weeks or so, with a growing feeling of dread. The commercials are the same as the British ones. The sets are the same. The scripts are the same. The only thing that is different is the cultural backgrounds of both the characters and the audience.

Do you think that, given the complete lack of awareness of our cultural differences previously displayed by NBC, The Office has any chance of success here? Instead of looking like a harmless prat, David Brent is going to look like a complete and utter wanker. Just like NBC.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Murphy, you can take your law and shove it!

Why, oh why is it that every weekday I have to go in and spend 5 minutes waking up my dear daughter, enduring whining and crying, culminating in carting her bodily to the potty while she's still half asleep, but on a day when I don't have to get up early, she's bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 5 FREAKING O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING???!!!!

The Mister, who had to work today, was chuckling at the sweet irony of the situation. The rat-bastard. S'all good, though, because I'm letting her tire herself out, and we'll both have naptime this afternoon.

I love this staying-at-home gig.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I swear, if I hear one more word about Terry Schiavo...

Aughhh! Will you all just shut up! This whole case is making me nuts! Everywhere I go it's Terry Schiavo this, vegetative state that, a$$hole husband the other.

This poor woman has been reduced to a permanently vegetative state. She's neither completely living nor completely dead. There are those that would argue that since she's brain dead, she's dead. Conversely, there are those that would argue that even though she's brain-dead, since her heart is still beating on its own, she's alive. Remarkably, these beliefs are not neatly split down partisan lines, no matter how many people looking to flame believe they are.

No matter what you believe about her "life," starving and dehydrating someone until they die is barbaric. If my dog were in a similar state, I'd do the humane thing and have it put down with an injection. I would be showing far more compassion than any doctor, lawyer, or family member in this case. If my daughter were in this state, I'd want a more merciful alternative than depriving her of nutrients. I'd want to extend to her the same compassion that I'd show my dog.

What I find most disgusting, though, is that the United States Congress has decided that the fate of ONE PERSON is more important than any pressing matter of, oh say, International Diplomacy, or trivial domestic matters like homeless children or families without health care. Instead, let's talk about one woman and load our grandiose speeches full of bombast about the Sanctity of Human Life.

I'd like to ask people about the Quality of Human Life. Does that matter? Apparently not.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Women: we're naturally more complex!

Years ago, I had a friend who chided me whenever I blamed my erratic behavior on PMS, calling it "biological determinism." Now, for those of you who do not speak Righteous Female, that means that by blaming any behavior typically associated with my cycle on my cycle, I was automatically demeaning all that share my gender. I was, to her, emphatically and explicitly stating that women were weaker than men because of our biology.

Sure. Yeah, Lisa, whatever... I was obnoxious about blaming everything from crankiness to the common cold on PMS after that. I took umbrage at her constant harping on the evils of "biological determinism." Then I took pride in flaunting it.

As any real woman knows (men, just tune out now... pretend I'm talking about "our relationship"), biological differences exist, and no amount of righteous denial can make them go away. I don't think this makes us weaker than men, though. I don't think that admitting to being affected by PMS makes me weak, either. Ask the Mister - he'll tell you that he doesn't want to tangle with me one week out of the month for fear of my opening that can of whoop-ass I keep stashed with the Kotex.

I speak a different dialect of Righteous Female. I acknowledge our biological differences and celebrate them. We are Women, hear us roar. We have a monthly cycle. We can bear children. Our bodies can sustain them even after they're born. Those not blessed with two X chromosomes cannot do this. As a matter of fact, there's quite a bit of research done every year about those two X chromosomes. Just recently, scientists have discovered that because of the double X chromosome, we women are more complex than men. Duh. Ya think?

Or is that biological determinism? Lisa Smith, can you tell me?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Heard from the armchair

Peanut & her flatulent father on the armchair:

"What was that, Daddy?"

"That was a barking spider."

"A barking spider? Where is it?"

"I think it crawled out of the room, Peanut."

"Well, I think it crawled out of your butt."

She really does say these things. I'm not kidding!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Heard from the backseat

Me and Peanut (3 years old) driving past the mall:

"Hey, Peanut - the Easter Bunny's at the Mall. Are you going to sit on his lap this year?"

"Yeah, because he's bringing me three dollbabies and candy."

"Well, I don't think he'll be able to bring three dollbabies. He'll probably bring you one dollbaby, though. Your Easter basket isn't big enough for three dollbabies."

"Maybe we should use the laundry basket."

What a smart-aleck. I'm so proud.

Monday musings

I find myself with nothing much to say. My weekend was uneventful - the crumbcatcher recovered nicely from her fever and was rollicking around the house on Sunday, making the animals nervous. I went to the market, did laundry, and dusted. Woo hoo!

It's the second day of Delaware State Testing, and my students IQs have dropped to that of, say, a bowl of tapioca pudding. They are so worn out after the morning of testing that trying to get anything out of them is like wringing water from a damp dishrag - you know there's something there, but you're going to tire yourself out and torture the dishrag to get it.

You remember my ankle-biter was wailing "I've got boogies!" all weekend? Well, coincidentally, I found this hilarious video of Rupert Grint (and others) randomly shouting "Bogies!" (the British equivalent) at an art exhibition. See it here. Now, if you're thinking, "who's Rupert Grint?" then the information that the 6th Harry Potter book will be on sale on July 16 will also be irrelevant to you. I can't wait, personally.

Maybe I'll write more later, maybe not. That oughta keep you on tenterhooks.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

You give me fever

I'm blogging from home for the next two days, because my wee ankle-biter has a fever. Not to bore you with disgusting details, or anything, but her current refrain is a mournful wail of "I've got boogies! I've got boogies!!" which, if taken out of context, is one of the funniest things you've ever heard. C'mon, admit it.

My best friend now is Children's Motrin. As disheartening as it is to see my normally chirpy little child plopped dazed and motionless on the sofa, I've got to say that it's much more restful. Bill Watterson once said in the immortal Calvin and Hobbes, "There's nothing like a fever to take the edge off a child." Now, I understand.

Today, after announcing that naptime approacheth, I had to endure a 10-minute session of whining and crying about how she didn't WANT to have a nap, she WASN'T sleepy, and she WASN'T going to sleep. Five minutes after the naptime storybook closed, she was out like a light. Hallelujah! Time for tea and cookies before I'm next called to witness the boogies.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Going to Gallifrey, anyone?

There's a new Dr. Who!!

Metamorphosis is complete, and Christopher Eccleston, who I remember from the series "Cracker," (I watch way too much BBC America) will be helming the Tardis as the 10th (?) incarnation of the good Doctor. I remember watching all the goofy, low-budget episodes of Dr. Who on PBS back in the day. New episodes should be appearing later this month - no word yet if they'll be shown on BBC America.

And, for the record, I prefer the appellation to be spelled "geeque."

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Prince - the Master of Hidden Subtext...

“It’s Saturday night, I guess that makes it all right. I mean, well, what have I got to lose?”

Apparently, my mind, if that quote from Prince can be followed to its logical conclusion. I’m home, and I find that I have nothing I want to do. I mean, I could be doing laundry or vaccuming, but why bother when I still have clean clothes, and can still distinguish a pattern beneath the dog hair on the carpet? It’ll keep until tomorrow. The real indication that I’m losing my mind is that I find myself engrossed in the same cartoons as my 3-year-old. I actually want to know if Tarzan breaks out of the prison of the French Foreign Legion. I mean, it’s obvious that he will, if only to continue the series, but still. Long gone are the days, apparently, when I used to view films and highbrow public television. Evidently, cartoons are my entertainment of choice.

In my defense, however, I offer you one of the new (to me) ones in Disney’s arsenal: Fillmore. I love the counter-culture feel of this cartoon that still manages to captivate young minds and teach valuable moral lessons. Examine the episode where X Middle School Safety Patroller Ingrid Third had to bring in a student responsible for stealing the “Satty 9” tests – tests that Officer Third opposes in principle as stigmatizing. Instead of blindly apprehending the perp, Officer Third almost allows him to get away. Yet, she realizes that the law must stand, regardless of individual opinions. After a stern upbraiding by her Safety Patrol partner, the eponymous Cornelius Fillmore, she admits as much, and apologizes for her hesitation. The writers of Fillmore skillfully acknowledge that although some of today’s educational assessments are inaccurate measures of any individual student’s aptitudes and talents, taking illegal measures to stop these assessments is still wrong. Ingrid joins a lawful protest march, thus the cartoon shows an appropriate alternative to violence and felony. Don’t you love how they managed to stick it to the man by denigrating pigeon-holing standardized tests in a children’s cartoon thus indoctrinating another generation of young minds?

And, as previously stated, I’ve lost my mind. Searching for (and finding!) subtext in cartoons. What’s next? Thinking that the song Little Red Corvette is all about sex?

Thursday, March 03, 2005


This site is hilarious! Go check it out. Here's an example of the Condensed Works of Jane Austen:

Female Lead: I secretly love Male Lead. He must never know.
Male Lead: I secretly love Female Lead. She must never know.
(They find out.)

Seriously - it's good for a laugh. I loved Beowulf, Moby Dick, Jane Eyre, the Collected Work of Virginia Woolf and many others. The Ring Trilogy is also good.

This beats the 5 cent deposit on soda bottles...

I saw this on another site I visited - I think it's taken from the AP or Reuters, but don't quote me! Emphasis mine:

A man who says his former lover deceived him by getting pregnant using semen obtained through oral sex can sue for emotional distress - but not theft, an appeals court has ruled.

Dr. Richard O. Phillips accuses Dr. Sharon Irons of a "calculated, profound personal betrayal" six years ago, but she says they had the baby through sexual intercourse.The Illinois Appeals Court said Wednesday that Phillips can press a claim for emotional distress after alleging Irons had used his sperm to have a baby, but agreed that however the baby was conceived, Irons didn't steal the sperm."She asserts that when plaintiff 'delivered' his sperm, it was a gift," the decision said. "There was no agreement that the original deposit would be returned upon request."

Ok, so I'm a depraved and immoral person. I found this to be HILARIOUS! Returned upon request - BWaaaaahaaaaahaaaaa! Can you imagine this happening? I mean, what did she do - spit it into a turkey baster and get busy? Yikes!!

Happy Birthday, Dave!

It's Dave's 40th Birthday, everyone! Go to his site and wish him well!