Thursday, January 29, 2009
Cake Wrecks: When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.
Fugly Horse of the Day: Snarky comments on the breeding of poor quality horses, silly or abusive training techniques, and pretty much anything else that annoys me.
Ugly Wedding Dress of the Day: because some brides just have bad taste.
whatikilledtoday:I work with a lot of injured wildlife. Also not wild animals that are just in a lot of pain. Sometimes I have to euthanize them. I decided to record each animal I euthanize here.
Stuff White People Like:This blog is devoted to stuff that white people like.
passive-aggressive (and just plain aggressive) notes- no your mother doesn't work here: painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings from shared spaces the world over.
Why Women Hate Men - The Blog: Actual internet personal ads posted on public dating boards by men who have absolutely no clue how to attract a woman.
The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.
Not Always Right: (The Customer is) Not Always Right.
Apostrophe Abuse: Links and visuals illustrating an orthographic pet peeve.
Red Pen, Inc..
Bad Questions for Yahoo Answers: For Those Who Believe There is No Such Thing as a Bad Question.
(My Personal Favorite)Flickr Lurkr: Photos I Lurked on Flickr while I was looking for other photos.
Vanity Plates: Creepiness in 8 Characters or Less: IMJDGINU.
(My Personal Runner-Up)Photo Cliches: You're Not as Original as You Think.
Suicide Food: Animals That Desire to be Eaten. Sickening.
men who look like old lesbians.
People I No Longer Talk ToThis blog is dedicated to people who I used to work with, be married to, had a relationship with but, for one reason or another, no longer speak to. Please feel free to add the list.
Sorry I Missed Your Party: Pictures of Other People's Parties from Flickr.
You Suck at Craigslist: Exactly what it says on the tin.
Fuck You, Penguin: A blog where I tell cute animals what's what.
It's Lovely! I'll Take It!: A Collection of Poorly Chosen Photos from Real Estate Listings.
That's Punny!: a photoblog celebrating the pun, which is certainly mightier than the sword.
Acronyms Sometimes Suck: A.S.S.
Friday, January 23, 2009
It's a crappy picture, because I keep trying to take a picture while driving (not illegal, yet, I don't think) and I'm always in the wrong lane, but basically, it's a billboard for a walk for life that will occur later this month. (Here is another link to the story and a better picture of the billboard. I refuse to link to one of the pages that praises the billboards. Sorry, I just can't do it.) It's free speech, I get it. Everyone with a few bazillion dollars can get their name in lights, and we all have the right to assemble. But the righteous, indignant side of me still says that this is my home, and I don't want to see it here.
Well, the righteous, indignant side of me was rewarded today. Because after I got home from taking pictures, including the crappy moving in traffic one above, I read the great news that Obama overturned the global gag rule. Just this morning I was reading up on NARAL about the global gag rule, and muttering to myself about how Obama needed to do something about this since instating the global gag rule was Bush's first action in office. My memory is bad, but not that bad. In case you hadn't heard, or forgot, I mean, it *has* been 8 very very long years, and there were a few other things to think about, here's what the gag rule did:
This policy restricts foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive USAID family planning funds from using their own, non-U.S. funds to provide legal abortion services, lobby their own governments for abortion law reform, or even provide accurate medical counseling or referrals regarding abortion. The 1973 Helms Amendment is a legislative provision that already restricts U.S. funds from being used for these activities.
Basically, to receive US funds, international NGOs can't discuss abortions. There are so many issues here, and I encourage you to keep reading about them. But this is my post to thank President Obama- in his second full day of office (I'll forgive him 24 hours to deal with pressing issues like closing Guantanamo) he reversed this nefarious ruling. Mr President, you're on the right path in themacinator's eyes.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Uzodinma Iweala's writing is fabulous. You can hear the unnamed narrator's voice as he moves from trauma and tragedy to hunger, etc. I have to admit, I was a little disarmed when I read the back cover of the book, about 2/3 of the way through the book and learned that Izweala was born in the US, is a little younger than me, and went to Harvard. The writing and the plot are imaginary- which, of course is fine, and wouldn't have bothered me, if I hadn't been so convinced, and if I hadn't just read a New Yorker article about African voices in modern literature (After Empire, May 26, 2008.) Ruth Franklin writes:
By deploying stock English phrases in unfamiliar ways, Achebe expresses his characters’ estrangement from that language. The phrases that Ezeulu uses—“be my eyes,” “bring home my share”—have no exact equivalents in Achebe’s “translation.” And how great the gap between “my spirit tells me” and “I have a hunch”! In the same essay, Achebe writes that carrying the full weight of African experience requires “a new English, still in full communion with its ancestral home but altered to suit its new African surroundings.” Or, as he later put it, “Let no one be fooled by the fact that we may write in English for we intend to do unheard of things with it.”
Iweala does this well, but he does it from afar, based on his "About the Author" section in the back. I rarely read these sections, but reading this article about a week before this book made the wonderful narrative of "Beasts" and the history of its author sit awkwardly with me, so I read it. Who am I to discount Iweala's history as a Nigerian American, though he writes that he grew up on Connecticut Avenue in DC and in Bethesda, Maryland, with trips home to visit Nigeria? What would the postcolonial African writers quoted in Franklin's article say about this book? A little internet searching makes it sound like Jamaica Kincaid, renowned author, helped get this book published. I sound a little cynical- I don't mean to be. But somehow I feel like this book can't operate fully as the anti-colonial, anti-war, humanistic cry that it appears on face value with out a disclosure as authored by an American child of privilege. This doesn't make it any less of a disturbing book.
What *would* Achebe say?
Mr. President and Vice President, Mr. President-Elect and Vice President-Elect, ladies and gentlemen:
Welcome to the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America.
The world is watching today as our great democracy engages in this peaceful transition of power.
Here, on the National Mall, where we remember the Founders of our Nation and those who fought to make it free, we gather to etch another line in the solid stone of history.
The freedom of a people to choose its leaders is the root of liberty. In a world where political strife is too often settled with violence, we come here every four years to bestow the power of the presidency upon our democratically elected leader.
Those who doubt the supremacy of the ballot over the bullet can never diminish the power engendered by nonviolent struggles for justice and equality, like the one that made this day possible. No triumph tainted by brutality could ever match the sweet victory of this hour and what it means to those who marched and died to make it a reality.
Our work is not yet finished, but future generations will mark this morning as the turning point for real and necessary change in our Nation. They will look back and remember that this was the moment when the dream that once echoed across history, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, finally reached the walls of the White House.
In that spirit, we, today, not only inaugurate a new Administration; we pledge ourselves to the hope, the vision, the unity, and the renewed call to greatness inspired by the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
Thank you, and God bless America.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Well, it works. Fabulously. Not only do all the numbers work- actually, I don't think there are numbers- there's this fancy dial you turn to set the time- but the thing actually COOKS. I think I had just gotten used to food that was part way cooked, or over cooked, or just sort of wrongly-cooked. Because I'm such a crappy cooker, that I had decided I was a crappy heater, too. But this time, I'm gonna blame it on the tools. That microwave SUCKED. The new microwave (picture to come) is my hero. Seriously. I can eat every meal out of it, and not be disappointed! I practically DO eat every meal out of it, and I am never disappointed. I don't need any other present, ever. The gift of nuked food is enough for me.
Thus concludes my ode to my sister, my ode to regifting, and my ode to the microwave. Happy MLK day, and Rest in Peace, Bush Er(orr).
Friday, January 16, 2009
from the March, 10, 2008 New Yorker. I have never had a phone with a camera before my iPhone. I find myself trying to take pictures with it, like I see everyone else doing. (I don't jump off bridges yet, but it *is* nice to have a portable camera.) Only, the pictures suck. Really, really suck. They shake, they are grainy and pixelated, and they all over are terrible. When I try to fix them in photoshop, they suck more. Which is why I love this cartoon. I love my camera WAY more than my phone, anyway.
Sheffield is a little older than me, but we are both products of the 90s. And Sheffield describes the 90s so well:
1991. The year punk broke. The palindrome year... We knew it would e a big deal, and it was. The next few years were a rush. It was a glorious time for pop culture, the decade of Nirvana and Lollapalooza and Clueless and My So-Called Life and Sassy and Pulp Fiction and Greg Maddux and Garth Brooks and Green Day and Drew and Dre and Snoop and Wayne's World. It was the decade Johnny Depp got his Winona Forever tattoo, the decade Beavis and Butthead got butt-shaped tattoos on their butts. It was the decade of Kurt Cobain and Shania Twain and Taylor Dayne and Brandy Chastain. The boundaries of American culture were exploding, and music was leading the way.Really, can't you hear Beavis and Butthead going "huh huh huh huh, he said 'butt'?" And I think I was at the second Lollapalooza, and Green Day was my first show, and how many hundreds of times did we watch Clueless at sleepovers? Greg Maddux and all of the Braves rotations were the men I grew up watching (even Canseco gets a mention in this book)- I mean, this quote was from page 7 and 8, so I was hooked. Sleater-Kinney is discussed, as are many others of my favorites. If you're into music, like baseball, tend towards the lovelorn, and maybe the dorky, this is worth a read.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I'm pretty sure I've read parts of it in the New Yorker, like, if everyone in the hospital washed their hands every time they were supposed to, incidences of bacterial infection would decline precipitously, but it was so good that I read it again. And the section about innovations in wartime medicine and the ethical problems these innovations raise- if we save soldiers' lives, but leave them with one functioning appendage and no eyes, what kind of quality of life will they have, and where are the innovations to help them live a good life- was totally new and thought provoking. Gawande has a fascinating chapter about keeping score- basically, allowing patients to know where their treatment centers rank in comparison with other, similar treatment centers. He follows up with the million dollar question: what does this mean for practitioners? What if you are the "average" doctor? Will this affect the amount of patients that come to your practice? Will it mean you can't charge as much for your services? What does it mean to be average? When is average ok, and when isn't it?
This book is extremely though provoking, in a thorough, understated way. You don't have to be a doctor to care about medicine and the great health care system morass. And you don't have to be a surgeon to want to be "better" in your field. I think Gawande is my new hero. Ok, at least an author I'm going to follow for awhile.
Monday, January 12, 2009
The study is available in a few pages of pdf, and here are some highlights:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 — An in-depth analysis of the Proposition 8 vote released today shows that party affiliation, political ideology, frequency of attending worship services and age were the driving forces behind the measure’s passage on Nov. 4. The study finds that after taking into account the effect of religious service attendance, support for Proposition 8 among African Americans and Latinos was not significantly different than other groups. Through a precinct-by-precinct analysis and review of multiple other sources of data, the study also puts African-American support for Proposition 8 at no more than 59 percent, nowhere close to the 70 percent reported the night of the election. Finally, the study shows how support for marriage equality has grown substantially across almost all California demographic groups — except Republicans.
The study was written by Patrick J. Egan, Ph.D., assistant professor of politics and public policy at New York University, and Kenneth Sherrill, Ph.D., professor of political science at Hunter College, CUNY. Egan and Sherrill reviewed pre- and post-election polls, and precinct-level voting data from five California counties with the highest number of African-American voters. The study was commissioned by the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco.
Party, ideology, religious attendance and age drove “yes” vote
The study found that four factors — party identification, ideology, frequency of religious service attendance and age — drove the “yes” vote for Proposition 8. For example, more than 70 percent of voters who were Republican, identified themselves as conservative, or who attended religious services at least weekly supported Proposition 8. Conversely, 70 percent or more of voters who were Democrat, identified themselves as liberal, or who rarely attended religious services opposed the measure. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of voters 65 or older supported Proposition 8, while majorities under 65 opposed it.
“These figures point the way to winning marriage equality for same-sex couples sooner rather than later,” said Jaime Grant, Ph.D., director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. “Convincing the Republican Party that continued gay bashing will cripple its future is one; another is accelerating the already strong surge in support among young voters.”
African-American and Latino support for Proposition 8
not significantly higher when religious attendance is factored out
Since the passage of Proposition 8, much has been said about the supposed dramatic opposition to marriage equality among African Americans, fueled by National Election Pool (NEP) figures based on sampling in only a few precincts that erroneously indicated 70 percent of California’s African Americans supported Proposition 8. The study found that when religious attendance was factored out, however, there was no significant difference between African Americans and other groups.
In other words, people of all races and ethnicities who worship at least once a week overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8, with support among white, Asian and Latino frequent churchgoers actually being greater than among African Americans.
“We clearly need to redouble our work with people of faith to overcome the notion that civil marriage for same-sex couples somehow threatens religious liberties and to convince them that protecting all families equally is the just and moral thing to do,” said the Rev. Mark Wilson, coordinator of African-American minister outreach for And Marriage for All.
Moreover, the study found that the level of support for Proposition 8 among African Americans was nowhere close to the NEP exit poll 70 percent figure. The study looked at pre- and post-election polls and conducted a sophisticated analysis of precinct-level voting data from five California counties with the highest African-American populations (Alameda (Oakland), Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco).* Based on this, it concludes that the level of African-American support for Proposition 8 was in the range of 57-59 percent. Its precinct-level analysis also found that many precincts with few black voters supported Proposition 8 at levels just as high or higher than those with many black voters.
As discussed earlier, the 57-59 percent figure — while higher than white and Asian-American voters — is largely explained by the higher rates of African-American church attendance: 57 percent of African Americans attend church at least once a week, compared to 42 percent of whites and 40 percent of Asian Americans.
“This study debunks the myth that African Americans overwhelmingly and disproportionately supported Proposition 8. But we clearly have work to do with, within and for African-American communities, particularly the black church,” said Andrea Shorter, director of And Marriage for All.
Scott Davenport, managing director of Freedom to Marry, added, “The way forward is to ratchet up support for courageous pro-equality leaders like Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), NAACP Board Chairman Julian Bond and California NAACP State Conference President Alice Huffman, and build up the visibility and voices of LGBT African-American families, leaders and organizations.”
Support for marriage equality grows across all
demographics except Republican
The study found that overall support for marriage equality has increased by 9 percent since 2000, with support increasing among every age group under age 65, across all racial and ethnic groups and among Protestants, Catholics and Jews. There are three “holdout” groups where voting patterns have not changed: Republicans, conservatives, and those 65 and older. The largest gain — up 16 percent — was among voters 45-64 years of age, followed by a 13 percent increase among voters 18-29.
“This shift in such a relatively short timeframe is nothing short of astonishing,” said Jim Carroll, managing director of Let California Ring. “Clearly, time is on our side but we’re going to have to fight even harder to reach the finish line.”
Among Republicans, support for the freedom to marry fell slightly (1 percent) compared to 2000. Support for marriage equality among Democrats, on the other hand, increased 13 percent.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of the LGBT movement. The Task Force Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, the Task Force works to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all.
Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Launched in 2003, Freedom to Marry is headed by Evan Wolfson, author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Freedom to Marry guides and focuses this social justice movement on a nationwide level, serving as a strategy and support center for national, state and local partners, a catalyst that drives and shapes the national debate on marriage equality, and an alliance-builder fostering support from non-gay allies.
Let California Ring is a public education campaign to open hearts and minds about the freedom to marry and the respect, support, protections and responsibilities that come with marriage. It is a project of Equality California Institute, working in a diverse coalition of over 60 national, state and local organizations.And Marriage for All is a collaborative partnership of African-American community leaders, families, clergy and faith leaders, elected officials and supporters spearheading a public educ
Thursday, January 08, 2009
This is an assemblage (?) of some super awesome photographers and their super awesome pictures of Mac. (Who is, of course, a super awesome subject.)
Enjoy, and please click on the links to see more of each artist's super awesome work.
Pffft is a new photographer friend of mine who has been
The fine folks at (ok not really a photographer as such, but one of my favorite places) Looking Glass Photo took these pictures. I'm not sure which employee took them, but many (all?) of them ARE photographers, and the store has a flickr stream, including many Mac shots. Here's a couple:
I love this one, because it actually shows Mac paying attention. Sometimes hard to capture, because when someone is taking a picture, that means there is SOMEONE there, and he likes SOMEONE way better than me. Oh, and there's that cute tongue again.
This displays Mac at his naughtiest, but really, what an awesome shot.
We've seen Moucri's pictures of Mac before, but they're well worth a revisit. I think the Divine Miss M might have the eye I most envy of people I've met on flickr. I've learned so much from her already.
Doesn't this make him look dignified? I'm not sure why, or how, since... he's not. This picture was taken just miliminutes after he shattered my windshield. Oh, the things we go through together. *sigh*
Moucri's first shot of Mac (I believe this was right before or after he leapt into the air at the sight of a dead animal. At least we have one thing going for us):
This was some fancy strobist thing he did, at the cemetery. Mac and I like cemeteries.
And this shot, well that's a REALLY fancy strobist thing he did. Something about flashing and jumping and long exposing. We decided to crop out the third Mac, and he did some fancyass photoshopping, and voila:
The super awesome model, Mac, thanks you for visiting all the super awesome photographer's streams, and hopes you've forgotten his superdupergross shit.
It's not true, I don't hate my dog. But yesterday I hated my dog. I had forgotten about it this morning when I woke up. Then he pooped and I remembered it again.
I injured my back about 3.5 weeks ago, which is part of why I've been slow to blog. It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, it hurt to exist. I really couldn't walk Mac, and I felt really bad about that. But really, if I couldn't even sit here and be my normally humorous self for my scads of faithful readers, how was I going to walk my 60lb beast (or drive my porsche)? He is normally very good on walks, unless he sees/smells a C.A.T. but even bending to put a leash on him was a serious risk.
So we went on our first few walks last week, and yesterday went on our first real walk, for about an hour. Mac was a stud, of course. We were in a rough, not all out ghetto, neighborhood near my work, because I had seen some awesome graffiti that I wanted to take pictures of. We saw some strange dudes, some strange dudes looked at Mac funny, and Mac came eye to eye with a tied up lab that I hadn't even seen because it was up high, and Mac whimpered once and shook it off, literally. I said (outloud, because I'm awesome like that) "Mac, you are making me very proud!" I mean, this ole man had remembered all his good stuff and hadn't had any practice in the weeks I've been laid up.
UNTIL. I was taking a picture and looked down to see Mac muzzle-deep in human shit. There is no excuse for that. Doesn't Mac know he's human? Doesn't Mac understand consequences? Like the fact that not only will I be a combination of enraged, disgusted and horrified for at least 6 hours, but also that I will not allow him to cuddle or get a kiss anywhere near me? And seriously, don't dogs understand complex emotions like rage, disgust, and horror? And really, I know many dogs don't, but this is MAC we're talking about!#)*^@&#$^&@^(#%!#&^ I am sure I let out some seriously foul language, but this is Oakland we're talking about, and as I mentioned, a generally distasteful neighborhood, where they've heard it all before. I believe I told my friend that "I am hating life." That about sums it up.
Well, I woke up this morning, after a fitful night of sleep thanks to Mac, (a forgivable, minor sin), and forgot all about our caca incident. I was ready to go back to normal dog/human relationship where I do not expect higher emotional intelligence, or discerning appetites. Until... Mac took a crap. I have never seen or smelled anything like this crap. I see and smell lots of horrific, disgusting and enraging things, on a daily basis. What shelter worker doesn't? This was a dog crap made out of human crap. I don't vomit much. I almost vomitted ON Mac's crap of crap, which I'm pretty sure would have been a never ending cycle, as Mac seems to have a propensity for vomit, as well. He felt no shame, and didn't even look sorry, uneasy, or guilty. Who IS this dog? Where did he come from? Where is the genius I raised and where can I get him back?
Yours, the enraged, disgusted, horrified, and generally anthropomorphasizing themacinator.