Friday, September 30, 2005
This from their website:
We edit out:
This includes the B-words, H-word when not referring to the place, D-word, S-word, F-word, etc. It also includes references to deity (G-word and JC-words etc.), only when these words are used in a non-religious context. (They can't even use the words themselves they're JUST SO TERRIBLE.)
This does not mean all violence, only the graphic depictions of decapitation, impalements, dismemberment, excessive blood, gore etc. (What is the line they use to differentiate graphic violence from non-graphic violence, and why is one OK and not the other? Is it the litres of fake blood? Type of weaponry? Motivation of the character? And what could the etc refer to? How many more forms of graphic violence are there? Oh, AND are there movies Mormon families want to watch that feature IMPALEMENTS?? If so, I don't think editing is going to help.)
This refers to male and female front and back nudity. (Yeah, well, someone getting their head blown off in a non-graphic violent way is so much better than seeing a boob.)
This includes language which refers to sexual activity or has sexual connotation. It also includes visual content of a graphic or stimulating nature. (Who determines what is stimulating? If it's a Mormon, then wouldn't everything be stimulating as they're allowed to do nothing in bed except conceive children through the hole in their underwear?)
People, just rent only G rated movies. You just couldn't have Gladiator without the warrior woman getting cut in half.
My lovely friend Christy competed and sang the shit out her aria and won second place and $500. However, the girl who won, and who I thought was pretty mediocre, had spectacular cleavage. Christy and I have discussed the role of cleavage in an audition or competition many times. Those who tart up win. Always. The reason for this, we believe, is that judges are often men, and gay men love cleavage as much as straight men. And, because most middle age women are envious of twentysomething womens' pert and perky boobs, they are swayed by plunging decolletage as much as the next, well, guy. The judges last night were all men. Not that Christy's cleavage should be sneezed at. It's quite impressive. It's just that her neckline didn't graze her navel.
It is inevitable that the singer I like the least will win. This happens at every single competition I've watched, with one exception. The blandest, most boring hunk of wood with the most inoffensive voice seems to win over those with actual presence and obvious skill in all areas of the art. I think that the spark of life and (dare I use this cheesy-ass word) passion that you see in singers who have a career of merit frighten people when they witness it close up. It takes the viewer out of their comfortable happy place and into the singer's world, where you can fall in love at first sight, fling a baby into a fire or kill your groom on your wedding night in a fit of insanity. Auditions and competitions in small houses or rooms are dangerous. What sounds huge in a church could sound tiny in a medium to large opera house, and someone who seems too intense in a small space will read to the balcony in a large house. If I hear that my voice is too big for a role one more time, I'm going to start bringing a machete to auditions. My voice doesn't sound too big in a theater, just in this 50 person conference room you rented because you don't have your own venue, you hack. I hope that those who truly possess the brilliance and artistic integrity to bring their fire to each event at which they sing don't become discouraged because the safest person won or got the role. You can't be safe in this career.
Now bring on the lasers.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Pray for us and for our sanity.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
When I can hear and feel my neck getting crunchy, I know that a little massage will loosen up the joints enough to get a good, meaty pop if I roll my head JUST RIGHT. Christian's neck cracks are the subject of much jealousy in our marriage. He can get four and five at a time from EACH SIDE when I can only get one wimpy, surfacey one.
Before he hurt his wrist (bastard), Christian had the back-crackin-knack and could push down just right on either side of my spine to get a cascading thwwwwp of released pockets of gas that would render me insensible from joy for at least five minutes (in which I would usually see how much our rug needed vacuuming). Some of my fondest memories are of the cluster cracks Christian wrung from me, especially after I had just worked out and was all limber. We always said we should either video- or audio-tape them for sentimental reasons.
"Ah, do you remember the five cracker of '03 after you did The Firm?" "Ah, yes, that one was for all posterity. Let's watch it again!"
We've even been known to call each other at work with tales of excellent cracks the other had sadly missed hearing. I just got TWO really good back cracks and needed to document them for my later years when osteoporosis and arthritis will inevitably make such cracking impossible.
But for now, I shall crack my little heart out.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
On Monday I called in sick and I wanted to knit something new as I've had to frog my current project TWICE due to my inability to count, and I remembered a stuffed bear pattern I had seen on Knitty that reminded me of the bears my Grandma Teen made for us when we were little, which, of course, made me all misty and sentimental. I had a ton of remnant yarn from other projects and had recently purchased teeny tiny DPs for socks, so I thought I'd give Bubby a go. When I was looking for my DPs, da da da daaaaah, I found Lynn's needles and booklet and thought, eh, why not. They were the right size and I was too muzzy-headed from being sick to deal with DPs anyway. I read the instructions and they just seemed so simple. I cast on the 24 little stitches for the bear's body and did what the book said, and OH MY GOD, it actually worked! I was knitting in the ROUND on #3 40 inch circulars! It was the coolest thing EVER! I knit the entire bear this way, even the arms and legs which only required 10 cast on stitches. Here is the almost complete project with evidence of using the Magic Loop.
And as a bonus picture, my indisputably brilliant nephew Jayden learning to knit:
Of course, he should have been sleeping at the time, as evidenced by the closed eyes, but he's just so cute I couldn't tell him to get back into bed when he came shuffling out of the bedroom and looked at me through those long lashes. I'm such a sucker.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I love him.
As if feeding me and keeping me mobily connected weren't enough, he came home on his lunch hour yesterday to take the bird to the vet. I gave her my cold.
Definitive proof. He is the best husband. Ever.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Everyone else on the bus
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I'm disturbed by this dream on many levels.
#1 All of my pets either don't eat at all, will only eat the wrong things or eat too much of everything. This causes me to feel tremendous guilt and makes me wonder at my apparent lack of animal husbandry skills.
#2 Do I really want a baby that much?
Monday, September 12, 2005
Saturday was a lovely day, sending Shirlie off with a beautiful funeral (though with horrifying-to-the-very-depths-of-my-snotty-overeducated-soul music, cantored by that most heinous breed of Broadway wannabes in the style of scoop, sing three notes, run out of breath, sing three notes, scoop, etc, repeat ad nauseum), visiting my fabulous Grandma and her equally fabulous daughter Kay, who is also my Godmother and is getting remarried this year. Lovely, lovely, lovely, everything was lovely.
So, Sunday, we woke up early and said a fond goodbye to my excellent parents and their artery-defying breakfasts to drive back Seattle in time for the Eye-to-Eye behind the scenes tour of the Day and Night Exhibit at Woodland Park Zoo at 1:30. I had been intolerably excited about this little excursion for months, MONTHS I tell you! We registered for the same class last spring, but it was cancelled due to low enrollment. Why??? Who wouldn't want to lovingly stroke the reticulated python??? The D&NE is my FAVORITE exhibit and I could sit there for hours watching the armadillo run crazy laps and the slow loris wave his furry little butt at me, as if to mock my inability to shove my hand through that glass, grab him and smuggle him home in my purse. Anyway, on this tour we were going to hold the snakes (woo hoo!), feed the frogs (WOO HOO!) and pet the loris and sloths and such (WOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!) and I was going to collapse from sheer overabundance of cutey-cute-cute-cuterness and have to be resuscitated and carried out on a gurney. Then, if that wasn't enough to render me insensible, we were going to go to the UW Bookstore for a reading and signing of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, as the novel was released in paperback last week. All the glorious, fabulous, heart-breakingly marvelous things I love in one day!!!! Ack!
Anyway, we left in PLENTY of time (8:30, way too early to be up on Sunday) and the day was nice and blah blah blah. I fell asleep while Christian was driving but he woke me up outside of Moses Lake.
Christian: Honey, do we take Snoqualmie?
Me (cranky and disoriented): Uh, yeah. Hello, how many times have you done this drive?
Christian (ignoring the snotty comment): Well, the electronic sign up ahead says Snoqualmie Pass is closed.
Me (suddenly very, very awake): Nuh uh, no way. It can't be, there's no snow. Maybe we just missed part of the message and a lane is closed or something. Let me call Mom.
Ah, ever helpful Mom, whom I always call in a crisis. She was fortunately still home and concerned in the way that only moms can be concerned; the gasp of breath, the shout to the father to go to the computer and look up the Washington State DOT's website, all the right and reassuring things moms are supposed to do (a side note: my cousin Mike's wife Amy always says that news, good or bad, gets the most dramatic response from my mom and her two sisters, so if we're mad about something, their vicarious anger is the best sympathy EVER.). She read to me that the pass was closed due to a rock slide and it wouldn't be reopening until two that afternoon. No....nooooooooo!!!!! IT COULDN'T BE!!!!
My dad began shouting alternate directions (in that very dadly kind of way) we could take to get home without crossing the pass. We took his advice and the Hwy 97 exit after Ellensburg and, at first, what a grand suggestion that was. Look! No traffic! Look! Blewett Pass and Old Blewett Road! Old Blewett Road again! And again! Damn, that's one windy road! It was exciting as Blewett is my unmarried name. I stopped to use a portapotty (oh, the horror) and we thought we'd be home in time to change first and make it to the zoo. I passed a few slow moving cars and then started to see a few more. And a few more. Then a whole lot more who weren't moving at all. The last sign we had seen read fifteen miles to HWY 2, which would take us to Monroe and then the 522, leading us home. By the time we reached the jam, though, we had only gone a mile or two after the sign. Could this backup stretch all the way to the junction? Nah, I thought, there must be an accident up ahead. There were a lot more people than usual on this highway, so maybe one of them misjudged a turn or something. I hoped for carnage and a swift speed up once past the accident. However, we just slowly rolled along, stopping more than starting, and could begin to see around the bend and the long, long line of cars stretched out in front of us, barely moving, and all of the people who had gotten out of their cars to mixturate in the bushes and stretch their legs. No accident, it would prove, just so much traffic at the 97/2 junction that traffic cops had been deployed to direct all of us pissed off big city drivers. It took two hours and a lot of screaming to finally get onto the 2. We had to pee, we were hungry and we were beyond pissed. It was 1:30 and the next sign said 126 miles to Seattle. We had missed our tour. I was too furious to cry. No lorises! No 18 foot reticulated pythons! No smelly sloths! No creatures of any description for me to pocket subtly and add to my home zoo. I was crushed. CRUSHED.
We stopped in Leavenworth (does every store sell the same nutcracker and t-shirt with the realistically-sized lederhosen screened on the front??) for lunch as I just couldn't make it any further without driving off a cliff. So...hungry.... I bought Aplets and Cotlets to carry me through the rest of the journey and a blown glass frog Christmas ornament to add to my collection and we started back. It seemed as though stopping for a while helped to clear out a bit of the traffic. Then HA! Whatever laws of the universe govern cars and their drivers dropped every piece of crap Dodge and chaw chompin' driver in my lane at the same time.
At one memorable point in this drive of doom, the road split into a slow lane and a passing lane and EVERYONE stayed in the passing lane. Well, everyone but me. I'm sorry, but the stupid tax states that if, when faced with an 80 mile traffic jam, you don't take EVERY opportunity to pass all the assholes whose driving makes sure you never get out of the traffic jam, you have no one to blame but yourself for sitting for three hours more than you could have if you had taken the passing lane. So, I sped by about fifteen cars and a nice man let me in at the end of the lane. Well, obviously I'm the lead lemming and so everyone followed me. This reeeeeeally didn't sit well with the drivers of a HUGE truck (tiny penis, tiny penis) and the driver of a Scion (who wasn't 17 and disgruntled, but WT and mustachioed) and they decided that NO ONE should be able to pass EVER and they crossed the dotted line dividing the passing and slow lanes and STAYED THERE for 150 yards, thusly preventing anyone from making headway. Hate people. Hate them.
We reached Gold Bar and the 30 MPH speed trap at six, reached Monroe (15 miles later and too late even to visit the Serpentarium) at seven and were finally home at 7:30, eleven hours after leaving Spokane. I was so mad and shaky and exhausted I had to clean. I scrubbed the holy shit out of the kitchen. Poor Constanze had been shivering in the freezing house all day, I had left the beans I didn't use for the chili out all weekend and they got a slimy, smelly gunge on top, the garbage smelled of spoiled chicken and there was coconut all over the living room floor. We were one step away from being on Animal Cops. Finally, I sat and watched Coupling for while (love Tivo) and went to bed, dreaming of asthma attacks.
It turns out that three women died in the rock fall. Lucky bitches. I'll bet there are no traffic jams in heaven.
Friday, September 09, 2005
I love to knit in the fall. The rain striking the panes of the windows as I feel the rasp and clack of the needles and the soft luxury of the yarn as it slides through my fingers...it is bliss.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
I spent four years in cognitive-behavioral therapy and finally decided, after I got married and the panic began to negatively affect someone other than me, to go on medication. Now, the decision making process was far more tortuous than the actual medication taking itself. My main worry was that the pills would make me less ME, that I would somehow lose that one thing that separated me from all other singers, that thing that made my husband love me. I weighed the pros and cons and decided to give it a try, and found that I LOVE being medicated. Love it. Paxil is my rock star. Going on Paxil was the most blissful transition I've ever made. Except for the lessened sex drive and feeling as though I had spontaneously contracted narcolepsy, I had never felt so good in my life. I understand that the euphoria felt by panic sufferers when starting SSRI's explains why people take the naughty kind of drugs. It's sooooo good, it should be illegal.
Which makes me half happy and half cranky about apparently becoming resistant to my current very low dose of Paxil. I'm getting the nausea, the low level anxiety, the need to self-medicate with caffeine, the electric shooters (oh yeah, good times, baby)...all the things I got when going through unintentional withdrawals when my doc wrote too few refills and I ran out of my drug. Ugh. I'm getting reaaaaaaally whiny and unfunny. All humor, gone. I have no wit. I am witless. The witless wonder. Wit-free for two weeks running. I'm really wondering, though, if upping my dosage can lower my sex drive even further, but, nothing minus something is still nothing. One positive side effect of the resistance (sounds like the French Underground in WWII) is that I feel horny again. Of course, the fact that I found Harvey Keitel in The Piano stimulating could mean that I have discovered a whole new side effect of Paxil withdrawal....
The dust mites in my mattress have been especially active since the warm weather returned and they've just made my allergies terrible. I feel too unwell to come in.
Of course, this excuse has a limited time window as I'm finally getting new pillows and an allergy-proof comforter and mattress cover. They don't need to know that, however.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Also, one of my parents' very best friends and neighbors died of ovarian cancer last night. She lived across from my folks for ten years and went, in two months, from perfectly healthy to hospitalized. They are, of course, extremely sad. I'm hoping to be able to go to Spokane for the service.
Tonight sucks. I can't sleep now.
I'm going to have a bit of a rant that many people will disagree with. I don't like PETA. As a matter of fact, I loathe PETA. The assumption of a holier-than-thou vegan lifestyle seems to give members a carte blanche to condemn those who don't eschew all animal products. What, because the cows would run free through the prairies if they weren't on a wicked, wicked farm? I want all animals to be treated humanely as I adore all creatures (even those I can't be within a mile of), and there is a special level of hell for all of those who mistreat animals, but the judgmental quality of these two organizations towards the keeping of anything other than dogs and cats pisses me off. Their narrow minded extremism is highly arrogant and is based on the presumption that, because I keep non-furry animals, I'm a oppressor and beast who must be a republican. Both organizations strongly discourage the ownership of exotics, and especially the purchase of exotics from breeders as such will, of course, only encourage the pet trade. I have made EVERY EFFORT to avoid imported animals and want to work very hard to help halt the dangerous and environmentally damaging import of exotics. So those of us who wish to responsibly own exotics are basically painted as evil, uncaring bastards who think only of our own desires and nothing of the well-being of these animals we're forcing into captivity for our own nefarious purposes (yeah, that's why I regularly get up at the asscrack of dawn to clean the stinky snake cage so they don't have to sit in their own pee). They especially discourage people from owning birds, and the reasons they give are many and disputable. Yes, birds are extremely intelligent and should be given as much freedom and the healthiest enviroment as possible, but this does not mean that keeping one makes the owner worthy of of the type of guilt the author is trying to whip us with. I have worked very hard to be a good pet owner, researching the needs of my animals BEFORE I acquire them, adopting when possible and giving them the best enviroment for their needs. I'M A GOOD PERSON, DAMMIT!!!
The dog/cat owner absolution also infuriates me. What, it's OK to subjugate and oppress some kinds of animals and not others? Yes, dogs and cats are domesticated, but that was human work. The snobbery and arrogance held by the individuals writing on behalf of these two organizations towards anyone who either chooses another species as a pet or decides to preserve their own health or the health of their family is pretty evocative of the black and white views of their type. I have no use for these people.
Monday, September 05, 2005
I have nothing but pity and sympathy for the manager and baristas at our neighborhood Starbucks (our neighborhood being Aurora, Hooker and Pimp Capital of the Northwest). We went in on Sunday to buy Bumbershoot tickets and caught the tail end of a truly stupendous tirade by a very butch, you-only-find-them-in-the-Northwest female plaid-wearer. It seems that, according to what I could understand through the screaming, she was infuriated by the men's bathroom being unlocked but having to use the key from behind the counter to use the women's bathroom.
I quote, "That is sexist and unacceptable! I didn't serve my country to come back and have to use a key to get into the women's bathroom while the men's bathroom is unlocked!! I'm going to tell all my friends not to come here and they'll listen! It's SEXIST!!"
The poor manager tried to tell the ex-military post-modern feminist that the lock on the men's bathroom door had broken three times, but she didn't want to listen. She was a yeller. Yelling seemed to make her very happy. A number of issues had that one.
Now, of course, as soon as she was blown out, she went back to her seat to finish what I presume was her soy chai latte and maple nut scone (as I imagine that's what all military lesbians drink and eat) at the table around which a very large number of what I assume where her friends were sitting. She sat and ate her pastry and drank her beverage for a good ten minutes and left with her pack at the same time we did. Now, if she was going to tell her friends not to come to that location, she didn't have far to go to do it. They all seemed pretty content to stay and suffer from the sexism of a locked women's restroom. Boy, she must have been REALLY PISSED to only stay ten minutes.
Now, I'm personally very happy that the women's bathroom is locked, even if the men's bathroom is open, as the available bathrooms in our neighborhood are primarily used for shooting up and turning tricks. Men only have to actually sit on the bathroom fixtures 50% of the time, so they stand a better chance of missing stray fluids. Women don't stand a chance.
Now that I've written it, I'm certain this post is going to send me TO that tiny little retail location in the inferno. I really hope it has air-conditioning.
Friday, September 02, 2005
As those who are able sift through the immense quantity of reporting surrounding this event, we must try to glean the truth from the deluge of information regarding our government's role in the prevention of damage and response to the disaster. Did Army Corp of Engineers' funding get cut by the federal government, leaving the levees in New Orleans in a potentially disastrous state of disrepair? Why did Bush not cut his vacation short to immediately approve a relief package, send National Guard troops and visit the destruction? Why were so many people allowed to loot and require the declaration of martial law with no military presence made available to halt the lawlessness? If these hideous and shameful accusations are true as it seems they are, I hope that this finally leads those who allide themselves with our administration to see that no concern for the well-being of the american people is held by these men. Our president's profound greed, selfishness and willful blindness will be exposed through this horrific tragedy.
You won't hear me speaking much about my faith in public, as doing so carries the large possibility of alienating those who do not share those beliefs, but at a time like this, I don't care. I am thanking God every moment that none of my loved ones live in the path of damage. For those who do have family and friends who have been affected, I will light the never-fail vigil candles at Mass on Sunday. May the Christian right (who are neither), the soulless figureheads of our country, finally do the right thing and act in a way befitting those who purport to follow the person at the supposed center of their beliefs. Let them fix what has broken and give the assistance it is in their power to give in the way that Christ would want them to do.