Sunday, July 31, 2005

Rage of the Religious Wrong

During the middle ages, the church exercised ultimate control by taking advantage of ignorance. The church insisted Latin was the only acceptable language for the Bible and religious ceremonies, thus keeping the uneducated faithful in a permanent state of baffled devotion. Unable to read the Bible for themselves, the general populace had to rely on priests to tell them not only what the Scriptures said, but what they meant.

Questioning the assertions of the clergy -- even suggesting something as mild and obvious as translating the Bible into the vernacular -- equalled heresy.

We see these tactics employed today by the radical right. Spouting overtly religious rhetoric, they equate patriotism with evangelical orthodoxy, dissent with blasphemy.

Growing out of a literalist tradition that allows for no interpretation of Scripture, they have anointed the Republican party defenders of the faith. This permits the Bush administration's fatwas to go unchallenged, and indeed become a sort of modern evangelical catechism. Once again we have found ourselves at war in the land of the ancient crusades, with the powers that be insisting that we are locked in a righteous conflict of Good vs. Evil, while they revel in a vile orgy of self-aggrandizement, enriching themselves through the plunder of natural resources.

Fortunately today, Americans are hearing voices of dissent from within the faith communities. And that has conservatives very, very nervous.

Witness a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal by Joseph Loconte, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. This nonsensical screed is a study in rank hypocrisy. It opens invoking "the growing number of religious liberals incensed by the political influence of Christian conservatives," but later claims the movement has "no obvious grass-roots constituency," despite rattling off a tally of progressive faith-based organizations.

Describing the goals of the liberal Christian Alliance for Progress, Loconte wagers that "some students of the Gospel may be surprised at how neatly such an agenda fits the Democratic party platform," which according to Loconte includes gay marriage. Odd, isn't it, then, that John Kerry opposed marriage equality, as did Howard Dean and Bill Clinton.

Some students of the Gospel might also be surprised by an agenda that demands confirmation of Bush judicial nominees and excommunicates Democratic voters.

Loconte faults liberals for an "impulse to leap directly from the Bible to contemporary politics," as if there isn't a conservative movement out there to post the Ten Commandments in court rooms.

He describes the liberal faith movement as having "little room for political philosophy, or civil society, or even an appreciation of the different roles of church and state," accusing Democrats of adopting the language of faith to promote "culturally out of step" policies.

The vitriolic hypocrisy that seeps through Loconte's words betrays his nervous desperation. The propaganda machine that conservatives have so carefully built is about to become undone.

Perhaps George W. Bush's greatest lasting legacy will be the self-destruction of the radical right.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Because I Can't Get Enough of Santorum

Today was my company's summer retreat; we spent the day splashing around in a pool in a lovely home in Maplewood, New Jersey, while Manhattan sweltered in 98-degree heat and soul-killing humidity. Hence, I did not have time to blog anything.

Instead, I refer you over to Slacktivist, which is positively one of the best, smartly-written and insightful blogs imaginable.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A Question for the Girls Out There

Do you ever lie on the couch watching Sex and the City on DVD while eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's and just cry?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Careful, Liberals

Okay, so Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' wife used to work for an organization called Feminists for Life, and now does pro bono legal work for them.

Despite the fact that politicians ranging along the political spectrum from Ted Kennedy to Rick Santorum have urged us not to draw conclusions about the nominee's stance on abortion based on his wife's activities, in the absence of information available on his opinions some abortion supporters will be tempted to do just that.

Though I concede it's likely a married couple has a shared outlook on such a controversial issue, it would be the height of hypocrisy for feminists or pro-choice advocates to make the assumption that Jane Roberts' work in the area of abortion rights is necessarily an indication of her husband's views.

Furthermore, a moral objection to abortion should not eliminate an otherwise qualified nominee from consideration.

Feminists for Life does, in fact, want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, which makes their mission statement "women deserve better choices" ring a little hollow, as banning abortion would eliminate choice altogether. But get yourself past that one major stumbling block, and look at the very radical, progressive pro-woman agenda this organization has.

One of the sad truths about abortion in America is that sometimes women are forced into this decision for economic reasons: given the skyrocketing costs of healthcare and insurance (and the fact that over 40 million Americans have no access to coverage), and the fact that families are only entitled to unpaid leave for childbirth or adoption, many women look at their lives and say they just can't afford to have a child. A progressive vision holds that women would never be forced into abortion by economic necessity.

Another reality is that many women on a professional career track risk warping their trajectory in the event of pregnancy. A woman should not have to choose between the life of her unborn child and the career she has worked to hard to have. A progressive agenda empowers people to balance career and family.

Lastly there remains a cultural taboo against conception outside of the traditional heterosexual marriage, even if it is unspoken among liberals. The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion, a celebration of human potential and the very miracle of life itself, regardless of the circumstances in which it was conceived. There is no such thing as an "illegitimate" human being. Women should not feel shamed into terminating a pregnancy to escape cultural prejudice.

Those who would fight to see Roe v. Wade kept on the books would do well to ensure that "pro-choice" means women have real choices available to them. Being forced to terminate a pregnancy for financial or other considerations is no choice at all. The best strategy for all Americans is to embrace our common respect for the sanctity of life and the value of families.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I Guess I Found My Dream Job

I was going through my archives today and came across this post from November. Looks like I got what I always wanted!

I spent all day yesterday tending bar at a company fundraiser out on Fire Island. I met this guy and this guy (photo is G, but link is NSFW). It was really hard work -- I've always considered myself a generous tipper anyway, but I have newfound respect for professionals; still I had a great time.

Best overheard moment:

Rich Old Queen: Honey, I love those pants, who's the designer?

Cater-Waiter: I don't remember, but zey were veeehry expenseef.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Roads We Travel

Are you where you thought you'd be?

Despite the fact that I've been at my current job for nearly three months now, the dominant feeling I had on my way into work this morning was one of surprise: how did I end up living in Manhattan, working in an office on Wall Street for a gay civil rights organization? I mean, when right-wing talking heads go on TV and use the phrase "the homosexual agenda," they're talking about my company (among others, of course).

If a fortune teller had revealed this to me during my senior year in high school in Beaverton, Oregon (yeah...I know), I probably would have just fallen down dead, as much from shock as, in some measure, disappointment. This wasn't in the game plan. I mean, I knew I was gay, I just didn't see myself becoming a professional homo. (Which is different than gay for pay.)

It's funny how life often takes us off the road we intended to travel, but even funnier still the way our paths continue to parallel, at varying distances, and occasionally intersect with, the paths of other people in our life. (Yes, the mathematicians among you will point out that parallel lines never vary in their distance apart from each other, let alone intersect. Well, this is a literary device, so mathematical rules don't apply.)

Case in point...back during that aforementioned senior year, I starred as Henry Higgins in my high school's production of My Fair Lady. (See, I told you I knew I was gay.) Lo, over these many years, I'm still in touch with a clarinetist from the pit orchestra, a feminist historian married with two kids who is probably even more surprised to find herself living in Texas than I am in New York, and the guy who played Colonel Pickering, who's now a published author and geek icon whose blog is read as far away as Lebanon. He's still in Beaverton, but I don't hold that against him.

So, no, I'm not at all where I expected to be. But I'm looking forward to finding out what's next.


U.N. slams Zimbabwe destruction

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hold Your Fire

Dear Fellow Liberals,

Get a grip.

Let's take a deep breath here before we embarrass ourselves over the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

Who were you expecting, honestly? Al Franken? We knew Bush was going to appoint a conservative judge; the only question was one of degree. So far, there is no indication that we're facing a way-right-of-mainstream freak like Scalia.

Yes, he's associated with some conservative organizations, like the Federalist Society and the National Legal Center for the Public Interest, the agenda of which was described today by The New York Times as promoting "free enterprise, private ownership of property, balanced use of private and public resources, limited government, and a fair and efficient judiciary." I mean, he's a Republican, folks. Were you hoping for someone with a Greenpeace membership? Amnesty International?

Now, I'm a big-government, pro-regulation bleeding-heart liberal, but none of the above buzzwords frighten me in any particular way. In fact, they look like pretty reasonable goals.

At work today I received an angry, panicky email from the folks at NARAL urging me to oppose the nomination. Look, being opposed to abortion is a defensible, reasonable position. And expressing disapproval of the procedure itself is not tantamount to saying that it should be illegal.

I know, because that's my own position.

I am opposed to abortion, but I'm quite convinced that banning it will not only not solve the problem, it will create new ones. So there's no reason at all to conclude that someone who is anti-abortion will necessarily be anti-Roe v. Wade. After all, if he really believes in "limited government," he's going to have a hard time explaining why the government's limits are broad enough to enclose a woman's uterus.

Furthermore, most of the issues near and dear to liberals' hearts have science, data, Constitutional precedent and just plain common sense on their sides. Admit it, liberals are right about pretty much everything.

Take the issue of gay marriage, should it arise in the Supreme Court in the next few years. What exactly do the conservatives have to support the argument that marriage should be restricted to opposite-gender couples?

Pretty much nothing. And as I've already illustrated, just because someone may not personally approve of something doesn't mean that they can't see the logic behind why it shouldn't be illegal.

So let's all count to ten. The appropriate organizations will start digging, and the Senate will get a chance to grill him. If anything truly upsetting comes up, we'll deal with it appropriately. But let's not go into pre-emptive partisan apoplexy.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Open Forum

What do you think Scott McClellan does when he gets home at night?

Senator Defends Gay Staffer

Here's something you don't see every day: a Republican senator has gone to bat for one of his staffmembers, who was outed as being gay. The senator eloquently responded,

"Robert Traynham ... is widely respected and admired on Capitol Hill, both among the press corps and among the congressional staff, as a communications professional. Not only is Mr. Traynham an exemplary staffer, but he is also a trusted friend confidente to me and my family. Mr. Traynham is a valued member of my staff and I regret that this effort on behalf of people who oppose me has made him a target of bigotry in their eyes.

"It is entirely unacceptable that my staffs' personal lives are considered fair game by partisans looking for arguments to bolster my opponent's campaign. Mr. Traynham continues to have my full support and confidence as well as my prayers as he navigates this rude and mean spirited invasion of his personal life."

Finally, a politician -- a Republican, no less -- who gets it. A person's sexuality is utterly irrelevant when it comes to their ability to be "widely respected and admired" as a top-level professional in the workplace. A stable, traditional heterosexual family is not only not threatened by a gay person, but can actually embrace one as "a trusted friend and confidente [sic]." It is reprehensible that sexual orientation gets used as a wedge issue in a campaign.

Quite simply put, the exploitation of someone's personal life for political gain is "rude and mean spirited," an "invasion."

Oh, did I mention that the senator in question is Rick Santorum?

The same senator who told the Associated Press, "Again, it goes back to this moral relativism, which is very accepting of a variety of different lifestyles. And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this "right to privacy," then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home? If you say, there is no deviant as long as it's private, as long as it's consensual, then don't be surprised what you get. You're going to get a lot of things that you're sending signals that as long as you do it privately and consensually, we don't really care what you do. And that leads to a culture that is not one that is nurturing and necessarily healthy. I would make the argument in areas where you have that as an accepted lifestyle, don't be surprised that you get more of it."

"It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist [emphasis mine] in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion. And now we're just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you — this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it's my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family. "

How does the senator square up these views with his defense of Traynham? "I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts...The question is, do you act upon those orientations? So it's not the person, it's the person's actions. And you have to separate the person from their actions."

So basically, here you have a guy who went to great lengths to explain why he believes there is no right to privacy outraged that the privacy of a member of his staff has been invaded.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

When Stupid People Go Shopping, Part 2

Scene: same grocery store as before. Long line of customers, complete with screaming toddlers in SUV-sized strollers exactly as wide as the aisle and the neighborhood OCD monster, who starts at the front and asks each successive person on his way back, "Excuse me, are you on line?" I am sorely tempted to say, "No, I am IN line."

I am, again, the next person. A lady with a thick Russian accent is making a very large purchase, including many varieties of produce for which the trainee cashier does not know the price. Finally a total is announced.

Cashier: $71.69.

The woman hands over a plastic card.

Cashier: Credit or debit?

Woman: Eh?


Woman: Ah, da, da, krrray-deet.

The credit machine makes a scary beeping noise.

Cashier: This card's no good.

Woman: Eh?

Cashier: YOUR...CARD...DON'T...WORK.

Woman: Eh, no, eet works, works. I use. Shoppingk.

Cashier: Okay, well, um, it's not working now.

Woman: No no, works. Try 'gain, plyizz.

Credit machine: beeeeeep

Cashier: Tony, her card don't work.

Manager: Let me see. (swipes)

Credit machine: beeeeeep

Manager: Wait, this is a frequent flier card.


Well, today is about as dismal and depressing as a summer day can get. Imagine that the entire city of New York has been covered with a hot, damp, dark-grey wool blanket.

Here for your enjoyment are some pictures of nicer days.

Grand Canal, Venice, 2003 Posted by Picasa

Sun setting through wildfire smoke, Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 2002 Posted by Picasa

Yaquina Head, Oregon, August 2004 Posted by Picasa

Brighton, UK, November 2002. Posted by Picasa

A very cheerful otter at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, 2002. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 15, 2005

Anarchy of Biblical Proportions

"I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Democracy simply doesn't work."
-- Kent Brockman, award-winning journalist and host of TV's Eye on Springfield

Last Wednesday, four suicide bombers struck the London subway and a bus, killing more than fifty people.

In response, yesterday the Senate voted 96 to 1 to adopt a $31.9 billion spending plan for Homeland Security in the 2006 fiscal year that appropriates $100 million for transit security, which is $50 million less than in this year's budget.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Now When the Phone Rings, It's Definitely Mom

I finally signed up at the National Do Not Call Registry. Does it actually work?

Alas, now I won't get to use my good lines like, "Well, I used to subscribe to the New York Post, but my bird died." Or, "This is his husband." Or, "No, I'm just the poolboy, I'm not allowed to make account decisions for him."

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Privilege of Confidentiality

Initially my reaction to the jailing of Judith Miller was an aghast exclamation of, "What is going wrong in this country?", as America joined a prestigious, elite crowd of journalist-imprisoning nations like Russia, China, Iran, Syria, and Egypt.

But I've changed my mind.

Yes, I believe in the freedom of the press. An empowered, unrestricted media is the best independent check and balance on the government. And I believe reporters should be able to offer confidentiality in exchange for candor on sensitive subjects.

But in this case, a crime was committed.

The information provided to reporters was not about a crime. It was classified information that, for reasons of national security, is illegal to reveal. The revelation itself was the crime.

The outing of Valerie Wilson in the press served no purpose; and the timing, coming when it did, gives a sure sense that the intent behind the release of the information was to discredit Joseph Wilson's report on whether Iraq sought to purchase uranium from Niger, to suggest that Wilson was not actually on an official government-sponsored fact-finding mission, but rather a fishing expedition arranged by his wife.

The stunt backfired; both the timing and the nature of the information only served to solidify suspicion that Wilson's report was too accurate for the White House's comfort.

My first thought was that we were seeing an overzealous prosecutor and an activist judge acting on behalf of a conservative government in an attempt to clamp down on the media.

However, I now see Judith Miller as standing in the way of an investigation into corruption at the highest levels of our government. When I wrote earlier that the press is our best independent check against the government, that's because they have the freedom to share information, not the right to withhold it.

Monday, July 11, 2005

You Gotta Love Stupid People

Scene: busy New York market during pre-dinner rush.

Stupid lady, handing money to the cashier: And can I get a dollar's worth of quarters back, please?

Cashier: (puzzled silence) You gave me two dollars.

Stupid lady: Well, how much is it?

Cashier: $16.27.

Stupid lady: Oh. Do you take credit cards?

The cashier rings her up and hands her the receipt.

Stupid lady: Where's my change?

Cashier: (puzzled silence) You used a credit card.

Stupid lady: I know, but I wanted a dollar's worth of quarters.

Cashier: Ummm...

Stupid lady: Can you cancel that last transaction and ring it up again and charge me an extra dollar for quarters?

Cashier: Why don't you give me one of those dollars back?

Stupid lady: You can't just charge a dollar on my credit card?

Cashier: Umm, I could, but there's a lot of people in line behind you, I think the dollar would just be faster.

Andy: [smiles and waves]

Stupid lady: Okay, but you know, I'm a customer, too.

Old stupid lady: Excuse me, I just have these items, might I go in front of you? [holding a basket with six items in it]

Andy: [holding a soup container and a bagel] Ummmm...sure...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

A Very Good Question

Overheard today on the Long Island Railroad:

Asian tourist chick: How do I get to Patchogue?

Conductor: Take this train to Jamaica and transfer to the Speonk.

Asian tourist chick: What's a Speonk?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Let Me Out!

The MTA, the agency that runs buses, subways and trains in the New York City area, is proposing a series of new regulations and policies, among which is the permanent locking of doors between subway cars for the purpose of safety. It's true that several people have died or been injured in unfortunate incidents while changing or riding between cars while the subway was in motion.

As residents of New York know, sometimes you find yourself on a car without air conditioning or that has some unfortunate, unbearable smell. And other times you just get the sense that you'd be safer in a different car.

On most trains, it's only a minute or two between stops. However, I ride the A express train to work and back every day, which makes a nonstop, 10-minute journey between Columbus Circle and 125th Street.

A letter to the editor in today's New York Times illustrates the well-intentioned but shortsighted folly of the new policy:

It is to be hoped that the London bombings will convince the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York that locking subway car doors, which is done on many trains, is a tragedy waiting to happen.

It is unconscionable that officials would proceed with a policy that traps people inside subway cars in light of what has happened in London. They must unlock all the doors on all subway lines now!

People must be able to get out of the cars in an emergency. Are you listening, Peter Kalikow and Katherine Lapp?

The solution to safety is not to limit passengers' options, but rather to clearly post signage on the door emphasizing that changing cars while the train is in motion is extremely dangerous and should only be done in emergencies.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Was George Bush Right About Iraq?

In light of today's bombing in London, does anyone want to argue that the war in Iraq has made us safer, as the Bush administration repeatedly insists?

Being Reasonable

It's a rare moment when I find myself in agreement with the Vatican.

The New York Times today carried an Op-Ed by Christoph Schönborn, the Roman Catholic cardinal archbishop of Vienna, detailing the Catholic Church's present thoughts on evolution. I was ecstatic to read it.

Religious fundamentalists have done the integrity of Christianity a tremendous disservice by insisting on the intrinsic inerrancy of the collection of writings we call "The Bible." Their repeated assertions that everything in the Bible is literally and constantly true reveal their own ignorance of Scripture, because they choose to deny, ignore or disingenuously explain away the Bible's internal contradictions.

For a fine example, see my satirical and unintentionally timely "letter" to Moses in the post below. Genesis Chapter 1 says birds and fish were created on Day 5, and that land animals and man were created on Day 6. Chapter 2 does not mention a 7-day timeframe, but makes clear that God created man first, and then created all land animals and birds in order to provide him with a companion. Now, this is perhaps a fairly minor inconsistency, but there it is, nonetheless.

Fundamental hysteria over the literal veracity of the Bible, and the current prominence of evangelicals in our media and government, has the unfortunate effect of promoting the belief that religious faith is by definition in opposition to science. The irrational behavior of fundamentalists comforts non-believers, who feel that atheism is somehow an enlightened position. In fact, what you have are two groups who refuse to acknowledge the obvious. Atheism isn't enlightened, it's ideological radicalism. Creationists aren't faithful, they're willfully blind.

A friend of mine insists he belives in "reason," not religion, as if they are mutually exclusive, but Cardinal Schönborn smartly rebuts in his editorial, "Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science."

So what is the Catholic position on evolution?

"Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not."

No atheist has ever successfully explained to me how an utterly random, purposeless, causeless series of events resulted in the astounding world in which we exist. In fact, that is a far more unreasonable ideology than accepting the obvious order and structure of life and the universe and concluding that there has been a guiding hand in the process.

Pope John Paul II wrote, "To speak of chance for a universe which presents such a complex organization in its elements and such marvelous finality in its life would be equivalent to giving up the search for an explanation of the world as it appears to us. In fact, this would be equivalent to admitting effects without a cause. It would be to abdicate human intelligence, which would thus refuse to think and to seek a solution for its problems."

Schönborn concludes, "Now at the beginning of the 21st century, faced with scientific claims like neo-Darwinism and the multiverse hypothesis in cosmology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human reason by proclaiming that the immanent design evident in nature is real. Scientific theories that try to explain away the appearance of design as the result of "chance and necessity" are not scientific at all, but, as John Paul put it, an abdication of human intelligence."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Ancient Document Inflames Creation Theory Debate

May 12, 1346 BC

265 West Benny Goodman Lane
New Lauderdale, Sinai

Dear Mo,

Just received the first drafts of your proposed book, and...holy golden calf is all I can say! You've sure given us a lot to work with. I'm really blown away. I confess I skipped ahead a few scrolls and thumbed through that whole flight from Egypt bit. I think that segment has the makings of a major blockbuster film -- mind if I send an outline over to Bruckheimer to see what he thinks? I mean, I'm sure he'll want to flesh out your early adulthood and throw in a love-interest (probably a triangle, knowing him), yadda yadda yadda, but it's really spectacular. There's a part in there for Angelina, don't you think? (Though if you want Oscar nominations, the studio execs will probably push for Zellwegger.)

Anyway, I'm getting way ahead of myself. I had a couple of minor concerns I wanted to just throw out there before we get much further, if that's all right.

I'm confused about your timeline; it's probably just an editorial oversight that can be smoothed out. In Chapter 1 of Genesis, you've got man and woman created on the sixth day, after all the animals. Fine. (Also, I really feel the first couple sentences of Chapter 2 belong at the end of Chapter 1, take a look at that.)

But then in Chapter 2, you get man created all by himself in verse 7; in verse 18, God says, "I will make him a helper comparable to him," and then in 19 you write, "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air." None of them work out as a companion for Adam, so then God creates Eve. Except you just said in Chapter 1 that the birds came on Day 5.

So, did God create Adam, parade all the animals in front of him, and then create Eve? I hope he gave Adam the 7th day off, too, he must have been exhausted! I took my grandkids to the zoo last week and was completely farmutshet in about an hour! Anyway, it just seems to me that Chapter 2 puts things in a different order than Chapter 1.

Most people will probably gloss right over that kind of detail, but to be honest I worry that you'll alienate some of the more anal retentive readers early on and lose them.

Also, are you sure we can't do better than, "In the beginning..."? I don't know, work on it, try some things out, let me know what you think. I feel like a book of this magnitude needs a snazzier first line.

Dialogue needs help. More of it and less stilted. I hate to encourage more text because you're already pushing the boundaries of readability in terms of length, but I strongly suspect there's several pages in Numbers you could cut and be better off.

Anyway, these are just some preliminary thoughts. I'll have more detailed comments later.

Hope you're doing well, please give my love to Aaron, Miriam and the kids.


Herschel Ben-Wa
Avram and Sons Publishing
New York, New York

AOL: Bite Me

If you have tried to email me recently and gotten an error message (specifically, ERROR 554 TRANSACTION FAILED), this is because AOL sucks big sweaty hairy orangutan balls. And I mean that in the pejorative.

I spent about an hour on the phone with tech support; got bounced around to four different people, none of whom could help me. The last person told me the problem does not reside with AOL, but rather with the ISPs of the people trying to email me. (This includes my own work address!)

He said if people are having trouble emailing me, they are supposed to call AOL to let them know. Can you believe that? I know you guys love me, but no one loves me enough to call and deal with AOL Tech Support just for the luxury of emailing me.

Meantime, if you want to email me, please use my work address if you know it, or post a comment on my blog. I seem to not have trouble sending email, just receiving.

Also, maybe it's time to give AOL the big heave-ho. Recommendations???

Monday, July 04, 2005

Major Media Outlet Seeks Graphic Designer

Dear CNN,

Thank you for giving prominence on your webpage to this recent development concerning gay marriage.

But, what the hell is this?

I mean, it looks like The Phantom Church is attacking the double wedding of two same-sex restroom sign couples by hurling springform pans at a watermelon flavored wedding cake.

Worst. Graphic. Ever.


The Gays

I am Officially Old

This is not about being 31. This is about me being in pain because somehow I threw my back out yesterday. (No, boys, it wasn't like that.) Perhaps I was too enthusiastic in bhujungasana?

I mean, I'm mobile, not paralyzed, but I am kind of walking funny because I have this sharp pain on the lower right side of my spine. Argh. I guess it's all downhill from here. Just put me in the home now.

The beach was fun! A tad windier than usual and maybe not quite hot enough to be ideal, but a great day nonetheless. The ocean was calm and "warm" enough (that's a very relative term, but I'm from Oregon, where you need fur and blubber to survive in the water) to go swimming. It was extremely refreshing.

There was a bit of what I will call a Middle Earth problem yesterday, though. And that would be that the beach was crawling with all manner of orcs and trolls. Not your ordinary trolls, however, no, not the ones that turn into stone at the first sign of daylight. No, these were big, scary, hairy Mordor trolls who can walk abroad under the open sun.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I'm Not Dead, Just Bored

God, remember when I used to write four posts a day?

I'm still here, just for the past couple of days I haven't wanted to say anything. (Fine, fine, go ahead and dig through my archives and find that post I wrote making fun of the people who blogged, "I can't think of anything to say.")

Here's pretty much everything that's been on my mind lately:

Sandra Day, now that you're leaving, I just have one thing I've always wanted to say: I hate your dickey.

I'm going to the beach tomorrow. Here's hoping I find some inspiration.