anna

She said that he would take me if I didn't use my gun

by anna at 06:49 PM on September 28, 2005

A fool walks into a bar. Though it's in a college town there are no saucy coeds waiting around to get picked up as one might a bowling ball. It's a working class joint catering to textile workers. Peering through the cloud of smoke and clots of people he determines that there is only one available stool. And it's his lucky night, it's right next to a cute factory worker, sitting alone nursing her boilermaker. Still the dolt doesn't put 2 and 2 together.

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comments (5)

leaffin

Out and about

by leaffin at 05:38 PM on September 25, 2005

This weekend, I headed to the Twin Cities to spend some time with my brother and take him up on his offer of a free U2 ticket, so long as I went to the concert with him. My brother and I have slowly started to bond a bit more over the last few years, and who can pass up U2? I took off from work a bit early on Friday so my bro and I could head downtown before the show to catch a bite to eat. While nurturing a couple of beers and food, my brother asked me that fateful question: "So, are you dating anyone?"

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comments (10)

anna

Doublespeak

by anna at 11:13 AM on September 25, 2005

Mr. Language Person must maintain a constant vigil against the vile encroachment of strange, Orwellian terminology into the public discourse. This is difficult because Mr. Language Person doesn't care about the government or policies or their wonks or pundits. And yet today, while working the Sunday puzzle, I decided to turn on the TV for my dose of hurricane news. Big blunder on my part.

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comments (6)

anna

10 Reasons to Doubt Evolution

by anna at 06:33 PM on September 21, 2005

This lengthy excerpt from my book appears strictly for the edification of Chris. I hope he is still out there, and that he can answer some of my head-scratcher questions.

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comments (9)

adam

I'm With Stoopid

by adam at 01:23 PM on September 21, 2005

I'm starting to believe that our society is simply too stupid to live. Once upon a time, the big bugbear of American government was good old-fashioned corruption. But a corrupt government, while horribly inefficient, is still capable of making at least some constructive decisions. When government is dominated by institutional and personal stupidity, however, we have a problem. How can the bureaucrats and politicians make good decisions when they no longer know what a good decision looks like?

I would like to see every government agency simply dismissed and rebuilt from the ground up, but I lack the faith that there are enough people of what was once called normal intelligence in this country to effectively re-staff them. It's not that I believe that governments in general are this dumb - it's our government, from the President at the top all the way down to your local sanitation inspector, that couldn't find its collective arse with two hands.

What brought this rant on was recalling one definition of stupidity: doing something which actively harms or angers others while bringing no benefit, or even harm, to oneself.

comments (7)

anna

So lock up your daughter lock up your wife lock up your back door and run for your life

by anna at 09:40 AM on September 19, 2005

Last nite was the network premiere of Pearl Harbor. I'd never seen it for it met several of my no-watch criteria: 1 It's a big-budget blockbuster, usually long on contrived action and short on character development and plot. 2) It is about something historical so you know how it turns out. (The DVD version of Titanic promised an alternate ending. Like what?) 3 It's about war stuff.

So since it was opposite the self-congragulatory gabfest that is the Emmies and some other crap I grudgingly watched. It was pretty good. Kate Beckinsale was enchanting as a young nurse caught in a love triangle with two best friends. Like most 40s and 50s young women she strove to look older and more sophisticated. They'd use red lipstick and fancy hairdos to achieve this. Nowadays older women strive to look like teenagers with lip gloss, wrinkle creams and limp straight hair. This isn't progress.

But what struck me most about the flick was the sudden and poignant loss of innocence. All of a sudden everything changed. They went from micro-living to macro-living one sunny morn. Earlier in the day I heard Canned Heat's Going Up to the Country, a wistful ditty about the end of the idealistic 60s. "Gotta leave today. Cuz it's a brand new game and I don't want to play... We might even leave the USA." The singer clearly sensed that the peace/love gig was up. It was released in 1969 just before the Woodstock love-in. And not long before the Hell's Angels stabbed a boy at Altamont. The deaths of icons Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and the Who's madman drummer Keith Moon soon followed, in a seemingly inevitable fashion.

My brother, who distributed free and legal acid on the streets of Haight-Ashbury in 1965, sensed the end sooner. By the so-called summer of love in 1967, the scene had already started to desinegrate. Once everyone gets wind of something, it's over.

I suppose for our generations the defining end-of-an-era moment had to be 9/11. Everything had changed one sunny morn, once again. And now Hollywood is poised to churn out some shlocky drivel about heroism or something. I'd much rather see a story of the subhuman hijackers and the events leading up to the attack, as seen on 24 last season.

Now that would be compelling.

comments (3)

adam

Do or Do Not

by adam at 12:27 AM on September 17, 2005

I saw a survey today on CNN.com (not linkable - check out today's QuickVote on the main page), and I wish I could say I was surprised. Let's be clear about this: our country is out of money. We are borrowing money from lots of foreign countries (China, for instance) just to keep our government and military running. Despite the promises of politicians, there is not enough money to rebuild New Orleans. The incredibly wasteful practices of FEMA and the likely no-bid contracts to friends of friends of the administration probably won't help keep the costs down, either.

So if the government is going to participate in the rebuilding process, and it looks like there's not really a choice there, then it will need more money. And since the government is not a for-profit entity, that money must come from taxes. If you don't think that the government should raise taxes to pay for this stuff, then you either think that the money should come from cancelling other government programs (I'm curious about suggestions) or that New Orleans should not be rebuilt. We can't have it both ways.

comments (6)

anna

I don't believe it's all for nothing, it's not just written in the sand

by anna at 06:36 PM on September 15, 2005

This title comes from Robbie Robertson's self-titled album, five years in the making. I highly recommend it. Buy it sound-unheard. Guarantee it won't disappoint.

Anyway, I logged on to jaw about something or other. Ah yes, phases of life. When you're young there is such a sense of immediacy. Life is vivid, visceral and in the now. Many of the things you see, places you visit are for the first time in your life. Who doesn't remember the details of their first sexual experience, (assuming no roofies were involved?)

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comments (14)

mg

i stood beneath your window with my ukulele

by mg at 08:15 AM on September 14, 2005

Crazy people freak me out.

Maybe it is because I try to look at life so logically that when someone is detached from that world of logic, science, and objectivity that the rest of us cling to (even tenuously) it makes me uncomfortable to be anywhere near them.

Maybe it is because hard core mental illnesses run in my family, and being around people like that reminds me how close I am to slipping over that edge. I’ve seen members of my family, who are otherwise intelligent and well-spoken, turn into literal raving lunatics when off their meds. And it is only through some luck of brain chemistry that I ended up relatively normal 100% of the time, instead of taking those all-to-frequent mental holidays.

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comments (8)

anna

If you're not part of the future then get out of the way

by anna at 06:47 PM on September 12, 2005

Mr. Language Person is peeved about the misnomers masquerading as euphemisms encroaching on our lexicon. Here are some terms he finds particularly vexing.

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comments (12)

adam

What Can Be Saved?

by adam at 02:35 AM on September 11, 2005

I was going to post something about Katrina, but I've changed my mind and now want to say only this about it: if you have the time and inclination, actually volunteering and lending a hand would be a good thing to do.

What I really want to talk about is Iraq. The Prez has gone on and on about preserving Iraq as a single country, and the Sunni are frothing at the mouth over the prospect that even a bit of power in Iraq might devolve from the center. They're afraid of Iraq breaking up, and they should be: the Sunni areas have no oil, nothing of interest at all, really, and wouldn't be self-supporting if the country fell apart. It wouldn't serve their interests to let go of Iraq, but it would serve ours - we should make it happen in an orderly way before it happens on its own.

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comments (5)

anna

Through the looking glass darkly

by anna at 07:49 PM on September 08, 2005

So often I feel as if I'm Alice in Wonderland fallen down a hole into some wondrous yet nightmarish land that reminds me of bad acid trips. Such was my first exposure to the nightly news in days. I've grown tired of hearing about the hurricane, evacuees' misery, floating corpses etc. I just made a huge contribution to relief efforts, as everyone in their right mind should, and tuned out.

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comments (9)

jean

Ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more

by jean at 05:14 PM on September 08, 2005

Chuck Woolery asked why my parents kicked me out of my own house. The short answer is: because I was leaving.

I had mentioned that they basically gave the rest of the family 72 hours' notice on the final move date. Everyone stayed up all night the last two days. The keys were to be turned over on Thursday, September 1. I was working every day that week, but apparently my mom and dad saw no problem with it because my dad is retired and my mom took the week off. Tuesday night I went to work on 90 minutes of sleep. After work I crashed for a few hours at my friend's apartment. Wednesday morning about 1 a.m. I entered my parents' house, mad as hell but hiding it, and began to move things into my car. My dad approached me with a check for $5,000.

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comments (9)

jean

Someone to take your life beyond

by jean at 07:12 PM on September 07, 2005

I think I mentioned once a person I've lost my head over. There have been some developments. Well I have moved in with him for about ten days. This is what happened.

First, my parents sold our house. We'd lived in it for 15 years. Then, with about three days notice, they told me and my siblings that we were supposed to be out and relocated to another property we own in the same city. This property had no working plumbing. So I called this person up and asked if I could stay with him, just so I could have plumbing and also Internet access. Oh, and on my way out of the house, my parents kicked me out. It was messed up. I got no sleep and had to take the next day off work.

The stay was alright. We were friendly and I pined for him some but not too much. Then last night happened.

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comments (15)

anna

Both of them save their money when they come home from work

by anna at 07:00 PM on September 07, 2005

Ah yes, everbody's favorite topic: themselves. Myself I've never been that big on those types of blogs where the writer relates the mundane details of where they went shopping or the delicious BLT they ate for lunch. But once in a while something unusual actually happens in my life. In this case it was interacting on a personal level with a person besides my wife. You see, I've become a hermit in recent years.

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comments (6)

mg

the deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid, and the marshals and cops get the same

by mg at 08:23 AM on September 07, 2005

It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Katrina hit, and the people of the Gulf Coast are finally starting to pick themselves up and get ready for what comes next. After a week of chaos, violence, looting, and death, we can finally get down to what Americans know how to do best – no, not build automobiles or any other manufactured goods – now is the time to point fingers and cast guilt.

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comments (8)

anna

Are you happy now?

by anna at 07:18 PM on September 02, 2005

ZX11XOH brands me as bigoted (actually I think he said "bigotted" but what's a typo or too among friends.) So now I know how Bob Dylan must have felt when he took the stage at 1966's Newport Folk Festival with organist Al Kooper and an electric band later known as The Band. The folkie purists in the crowd booed them off the stage.

And maybe it's true. But I'm not half as bad as KKK spokesman and frequent Howard Stern guest Daniel Carver.

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comments (10)

leaffin

Good bye, Title Insurance -- Hello, Future

by leaffin at 08:21 PM on September 01, 2005

Yesterday, after 1 1/2 months of no word, I got some exciting news. It's not something I can jump up and down about just yet, but it could definitely change my life as I know it. I have a phone interview. With some folks who might hire me to do my dream job: be a tour guide in Central and South America.

How awesome is that? I'd get paid to go places I've both already been to and love or where I've always wanted to explore and never had the opportunity. Granted, I'd have to deal with some asshole tourists every now and again, and I'm sure that annoying things would happen on the road like flat tires and puking passengers, but I think I could deal. The positives woudl outweight the negatives for me. I can hardly wait for the interview, and I hope they like what they hear. If so, I could be off for training in Peru as soon as October! Adios title insurance job!

comments (6)