northstar

Can anyone reasonably argue that this is a fair and equitable solution?

by northstar at 09:27 PM on November 30, 2004

Caring for Those Left Behind: Soldiers' survivors need real benefits more than yellow ribbons.

Historically, this country has always expected the most out of it's soldiers while compensating them at almost starvation rates. It's a good thing that those who defend our freedoms do so largely out of conviction, because no one with half a brain would make this career choice for the money.

This is especially true when you consider the following numbers. It's a comparison of the average compensation paid to the families of those who lost their lives on 9.11.01 and to the families of those soldiers who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq, defending those freedoms our government claims is at risk:

Average compensation paid to families of civilians killed on 9.11.01:

$3,100,000

Average compensation paid to families of firefighters killed on 9.11.01:

$4,200,000

One-time benefit paid to the family of a fallen American soldier:

$12,000

cont'd »

comments (15)

jen x

Monday meetings

by jen x at 10:48 AM on November 29, 2004

Granted, I may not have a job for much longer, but it's hard to regret that when the hot policy advisor from the Associate Deputy Minister's office attends my meeting.

Who knew government employees could be so good-looking? Yum.

I'm not pathetic.

comments (6)

northstar

Effective Shopping 101

by northstar at 12:09 PM on November 28, 2004

Pepper spray sends 3 from toy store to hospital

Are you tired of those crowds you have to fight in order to get your holiday shopping done? Tired of rubbing elbows with the unwashed masses? Sick of having to push people out of your way to get that treasured SpongeBob Squarepants Lava Lamp? Well, now there is a way for you to clear your path, though if you're not careful, it may just leave you with a felony conviction on your record:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pepper spray was released inside an elevator at Toys R Us' crowded flagship store Saturday, sending at least three people to the hospital and leaving others with irritated eyes, fire and police spokesmen said.

Police were reviewing video camera footage to find out who discharged the spray at the toy chain's Times Square store during the busy shopping weekend....

It was unclear how many shoppers were affected. Firefighter Kevin Nolan said five people were taken to St. Vincent's Hospital and 17 others were treated at the scene or refused medical attention.

Police said three people were taken to St. Vincent's and nine refused medical attention.

Sometimes, if you want to get things done, you just have to take matters into your own hands. While I would never condone nor endorse this method, you do have to admit that it is an effective means of winnowing out the competition. Of course, to effectively employ this method, you'd have to wear a gas mask, which would hardly allow you to blend into the crowd. I never said that it was a perfect method, but if it takes laying down a smokescreen of pepper spray to get your Christmas shopping done, well, sometimes a person has to take extreme measures.

Ho freakin' ho and a Merry f-----g Christmas to all....

comments (3)

anna

Slurp n' Burp is a bad name for a doll

by anna at 10:33 AM on November 28, 2004

I'm having immense difficulty reconciling myself to co-existing with dental dams, particularly the flavored variety.

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comments (14)

anna

So she takes a little something to make them go away

by anna at 01:59 PM on November 25, 2004

Here's a heartwarming Thanksgiving day tale for your reading pleasure. In colege I dated a homely but sweet girl named Liz. My parents adored her. My mom said she was the kind of girl with whom you could settle down. (She really talks all formal like that.) She might as well have planted the kiss of death on our relationship.

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comments (11)

jen x

breaking up the sausage fest

by jen x at 11:15 AM on November 23, 2004

Okay, so I'm overdue for a post.

The thing is, my life, she is bo-ring. Boring, boring, boring. The most action of note I've gotten the last little while has been from Ezy coming onto me on my site -- somehow, I don't think that counts so much.

I've been out and dating a lot, or just meeting up with people for coffees and so on, and I find it exhausting. So very exhausting.

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comments (22)

mg

Two words

by mg at 07:12 AM on November 23, 2004

Sausage party.

comments (11)

anna

Driving in cars with boys

by anna at 07:30 PM on November 22, 2004

Funny how inextricably our self-images are linked to the cars we drive. Take the quintessential "chick cars" like Volkswagen's Gulf and Cabriolet. It's not just any chick who drives these. She's got her hair cropped fashionably short like Brigit Fonda in Single White Female. She views herself as spunky or feisty, like the young Mary Tyler Moore who so infuriated boss Ed Asner ("I hate spunk.") She speaks in that slightly throaty, smart-aleck voice embodied by the girl who does those VW voice-overs. "In life there are passengers and there are drivers..."

cont'd »

comments (6)

adam

This Is Why I Don't Do Reviews

by adam at 12:14 AM on November 22, 2004

I caved today and saw the Spongebob Squarepants Movie. I saw the reviews, and yes they were awful, but I thought that these must've been people who don't appreciate the TV show. Uptight grown-ups who don't like nonsense humor, that's all they were!

Well, it turns out that the reviewers were right, and the movie was basically crap. It was missing so much of the meaningless, random fun that makes the TV show what it is. But there was one overriding problem in this movie: Mindy, the character voiced by Scarlett Johansson. This is exactly the kind of character that marks crappy children's animation: an unexciting, boring, constantly upbeat cheerleader. The moralistic know-it-all who helps the characters recognize that they're Good People! Feh.

comments (6)

northstar

Just another day in (not exactly) Paradise

by northstar at 06:29 PM on November 21, 2004

There was a time when I wrote a good deal about our numerous unpleasant dealings with our next-door neighbor and his wife, who are both seriously unbalanced, self-righteous, "Christian" senior citizens. Over the past 12-18 months, we've existed under an unspoken but mutually recongnized truce. Basically, we ignore them and go on about our business. It's not a great solution, but it is effective. I hate that things are the way they are, but given that they are recognized around the neighborhood as judgemental, unfriendly, and just generally unpleasant, it seems the path of least resistance.

The truce may have come to an end yesterday afternoon. To begin at the beginning, Asshole Neighbor and his wife stole our cat. Actually, they've stolen two, but the first has since passed away, and we've forgiven- if not forgotten. Stealing Sakowitz, though, is a bit more than we should have to put up with from a neighbor.

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comments (6)

anna

Memorizing politics of ancient history

by anna at 09:47 AM on November 20, 2004

Everyone is bisexual. -noted something-or-other Gore Vidal

So I ask my son what he know about Alexander the Great. He's been studying ancient history. He says he was a fierce warrior and battlefield technician who conquered all the known world in like 500 BC. He carried on a torrid affair with ancient hottie Alexandra of Alexandria. He was Greek. She was Egyptian. There was some politcal element to their relationship. When he died, there were no heirs so he split up his empire among three top generals. What, no sons?

cont'd »

comments (9)

adam

Offense

by adam at 01:54 PM on November 18, 2004

Apparently the FCC is getting swamped by complaints about damned near anything nowadays. I think this has always been the case - in a country this big someone somewhere will be offended by damned near anything. There are people who think that Sesame Street is inappropriate for children, and people who think that movies like The King and I should be banned because they depict non-Christian values. OK. So we've always had crazy people living to the left and to the right, and among them have always been those who believe that it's their right to actually stomp out of existance those things with which they disagree.

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comments (10)

anna

Feels like the first time

by anna at 10:03 PM on November 17, 2004

You're a young lad or lass. You may have received some perfunctory education about these matters. But you've spent most of your waking hours thinking about this moment for years. You've discussed it at length with more knowing confidantes. They are nowhere to be found now.

cont'd »

comments (2)

anna

Crazy people walking round with death in their eyes

by anna at 07:20 PM on November 16, 2004

My parrot died. I wanted another bird but didn't want to shell out $1,000 for a new parrot or macaw. So I went with the next best thing, a parrotlet. It's smaller than a parakeet but other than that it's just like the real deal.

This happened 16 days ago. I know this because the pet store guarantee is 14 days. I walked in there with this tiny carcass in a Ziploc bag. A 19 year old slacker named Chrissy Trainee informs me that since the guarantee has expired, a refund of my $200 is out of the question. I can get another bird. Okay-fine. But not before Pet Detective subjects to a rigorous interrogation.

cont'd »

comments (11)

mg

your feet are going to be on the ground, your head is there to move you around

by mg at 07:03 AM on November 16, 2004

I'm about to reveal something to you all that I've never revealed publicly to anyone: I stand up to wipe.

(Man, after my last post if I really do another one about poop people will start thinking I'm fixated on the scatological. Oh well, here goes…)

cont'd »

comments (17)

anna

Sleep little darling, don't say a word

by anna at 10:06 AM on November 13, 2004

Now that Mr. Arafat is safely ensconced in the ground, dirt-napping for all eternity, it seems appropriate to muse about what is arguably at the root of all that is wrong with 21st century life: what Arabs delicately call "the Palestinian issue."

cont'd »

comments (4)

mg

Friday Wisdom

by mg at 12:35 PM on November 12, 2004

Dirty diapers smell like buttered popcorn. Not real buttered popcorn, but the Jelly-Belly jelly bean version of buttered popcorn.

cont'd »

comments (9)

anna

Suck on lollipops or popsicles. Constantly.

by anna at 06:31 PM on November 10, 2004

Like an old married couple we here as BS sometimes get embroiled in heated political debates and forget about what's really important: nookie, wild thing, boot-knocking. I'm here to rectify that temporarily.

For several years now my age has exceeded my number of sexual partners that I can recall. This, in my mind, is a good thing. I'd never want to go back to single life. Hated the worries over unpronounceable diseases, pregnancy, the uncertainty and awkwardness of first dates, all of it.

cont'd »

comments (24)

mg

and even if my house falls down, i wouldn't have a clue

by mg at 06:57 AM on November 10, 2004

With a full week now to shake off our collective post-election hangover, I think it’d only be fair to hand out some Vote 2004 accolades to the winners, and losers, of this most "important in our lifetime" election cycle.

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comments (7)

anna

Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain?

by anna at 07:36 PM on November 08, 2004

Yeah, but is Ghost art? Rachel Whiteread and her legion of fans sure think so. That I can agree with. I have no problem with her winning the ever controversial Turner Prize. I do take exception to Paul Richard's 15 paragraph article, waxing all rhapsodic about this damn thing. Does it really, "sympathetically acknowledge both the struggles of the common man and the high purities of abstraction?" Is it really, "British in its intimate shabbiness, its hip rejection of posh..?" Does it really evoke Bruce Nauman's A Cast of the Space Under My Chair? I'm thinking, no. Or yes.

Why no link? The only image I could find was in the Washington Post article and they have that damn registration feature. So I will describe it for you. It's a big white block of plaster that is all backwards. The fireplace bulges out towards you instead of inward. There are square lumps here and there. It is very...square. It looks like a tomb that might house a germphobe.

cont'd »

comments (9)

mg

only thing that really matters is a classical sauce

by mg at 09:40 AM on November 08, 2004

On a completely unrelated note: I’ve never mentioned it here, but I have this strange unconscious habit of taking off one sock, and then going about my business. An hour later I’ll realize I’m sitting on the couch in my living room with only one sock on, and not be able to remember when or where the other sock made its escape.

I’ve always thought there was some psychological reason for this. Like maybe I was abused by a priest or a Footlocker employee. But recent revelations have thrown the whole “nurture” theory into doubt. You see, my daughter seems to have picked up the same trait of removing one sock. Though in her case, of course, it probably has more to do with a complete lack of fine motor control than anything else.

comments (10)

anna

2000 miles through the snow, it's very far

by anna at 07:34 AM on November 06, 2004

This is basically in follow-up to my last post. And while this whole affair is just incredibly sad, I can't help but laugh. What is this world coming to? Why, a full 3 days later, did it fall to "a friend" to find their frozen corpses? How do 11 year old boys A) Develop alcoholism B) Get enough vodka to have a .5 BAC (5 times the legal limit) C) Slip away from school unnoticed D) Have parents sick enough to think they can sue the school district when they themselves are culpable for the whole travesty?! (To say nothing of the other boy who died drunk of smoke inhalation in their trailer.)

God help us if we all don't develop some sense of personal responsibility, and soon.

comments (4)

lajoie

Clinton/Obama, 2008

by lajoie at 11:40 PM on November 04, 2004

I was going to comment on MG’s post, but I thought I’d just co-opt his vague glee, and re-direct it into my own post so that all these dark prevailing political winds would recede for a bit. Not one to let his provocative (if untrue) comments go unanswered, I'd like to take a moment to point out that Bush's incumbent victory of 3% was the smallest since Woodrow Wilson. As for the "smallest ever" argument, surely Bush qualifies in a few other ways...

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comments (25)

mg

and can you hear the sound of hysteria? the subliminal mindfuck america.

by mg at 07:23 AM on November 04, 2004

I wont say who I voted for, because at this point, who wants to hear me gloat or pout about whichever respective candidate I cast my meaningless ballot with? However, I will share my undying glee about two ear and eye gauge-worthy things the end of this election season means I’ll never have to hear or see again.

cont'd »

comments (19)

anna

I've soared with eagles and slithered with the snakes

by anna at 06:54 PM on November 03, 2004

What do you call nine lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean?

Before Kerry's concession speech, I read how Democrats had "massed thousands of lawyers" in Ohio. Try as I might I can't fathom anything more heinous than a place crawling with lawyers. Picture them in their fancy tailored suits, clutching oversized briefcases and acrid vending machine coffee in Styofoam cups. Hear them belabor mundane points endlessly. Smell their pricey cologne.

cont'd »

comments (13)

northstar

Trying to remain optimistic in the face of all evidence to the contrary

by northstar at 04:35 PM on November 03, 2004

After being up at 4am and working a 14-hour day at our local polling place, I finally gave up and went to bed at 1130pm. I was exhausted, and it was clear that nothing was going to be decided anytime soon.

I woke up at 3am, staggered out to the kitchen to check my laptop and discovered that Florida Ohio was going to be the fly in this election's ointment. I went back to bed with a heavy heart, wondering if it could really be possible that we could be heading down the same path we did in 2000. Could George W. Bush really be stealing another election? Could President Lowest Common Denominator REALLY have duped a majority of Americans into believing that he is a better, more effective leader than John Kerry? Apparently so.

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comments (27)

jean

Sail on, oh mighty ship of State

by jean at 02:49 AM on November 03, 2004

I don't usually get worked up over elections. Yesterday and the day before I wasn't anxious, but now I am. My sister got home from work about nine at night and asked who was winning, and I didn't know because I figure I'll just wake up in the morning and check how the lawsuits are progressing.

As people have noted in the last post, my personal vote in California won't change much. The ship of American State is going to list which way it will regardless of it, but I will say that my vote was not an easy one to place.

cont'd »

comments (6)

mg

imagine there's no countries, it isnt hard to do

by mg at 06:43 AM on November 02, 2004

Believe it or not, I am one of those “undecided” voters. Yes, I certainly skew toward George W. (That rhymes)

But… I’m just feeling a little uneasy.

cont'd »

comments (16)