Friday, July 27, 2007

Let's Just All Stop Allowing Sexism to Be Okay and See What Happens.

Some of you may know about my weird habit of listening to Rush Limbaugh.

Yeah you heard me.

It's not an intentional thing, but occasionally I go to Hannaford for some of their delicious fresh sushi, and the station that I listen to on my morning and evening commute plays Limbaugh's show in the afternoon. So that's what's on, and most of the time it's fine since I can either get all bent out of shape about whatever he's spewing, and we all know I like a good hate-on, or I can feel intellectually superior to him thanks to his schtick of pretending to not get the difference between left-wing fringey nutbars and average liberals. On a brief tangent, I would have a SHITLOAD more respect for the guy if he would just once in a while address an actual sane liberal concern, or take a call from a liberal who doesn't wear a tin foil hat to protect him from aliens. But he doesn't, so I feel safe in my decision to consider him a self-aggrandizing, pompous douchebag who perpetuates the shitty clip-show style of reporting that makes everyone so pissy. Not all issues can be summed up in one sentence, y'all. Stop pretending they can.

So anyway I was listening to his show on the way to Hannaford today and he took a call from Cathy in Tennessee. The intro went like this.

Limbaugh: [Hi Cathy!] Which by the way is one of my top ten favorite female names.
Cathy: Oh! Well I'm so impressed...thank you...I'm so impressed that I'm speaking with you, I'm almost speechless...and if you knew me, you'd know, that's [not that common an occurrence]...
Limbaugh: Probably because you're a woman!
Cathy: Well, ha ha...maybe so...

CATHY! WHAT THE FUCK, WOMAN??? GOD! Like we don't have enough assholes like Limbaugh out there who think it's okay to be sexist jerks right to our faces! Don't encourage him by being all passive about it! Tell him to go FUCK himself and furthermore, if you feel so inclined, throw the studies that say women and men talk about the same amount in his big smug stupid face. GET A BACKBONE, LADY, GOD!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It Doesn't Feel Like Worcester

New post up on WCPL! Review of Via Italian Table, the new and awesome restaurant from the Chophouse/Sole folks.

Viva la Worcester!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Autobots, Roll Out!

Transformers mini-review over on WCPL.

Hint: Go see it right now.

Go on, get outta here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

News at 11: Mysterious Horsemen Spotted in Holden

Yo, you guys, what is up with me liking the hell out of Michael Moore these days?

If you read this blog, chances are good I have emailed you the clip of Jon Stewart ripping the Crossfire boys a new one for, and I quote, "hurting America" by pandering to politicians and not asking tough questions of them, which Stewart says (correctly, I think) is in direct contrast to their stated point, that being a news outlet. Let's just review the awesomeness of that rant.

And let us also reflect on how freakin' hot Jon Stewart is.

Soooo anyway as you have probably heard by now, Michael Moore pulled a Stewart on Wolf Blitzer the other day, and took him to task about the segment that ran before Moore's appearance (which refuted several of the claims in SiCKO) and then proceeded to go on about a variety of things, including the number of claims in Farenheit 9/11 that turned out to be true after the movie's release, and a similar concept to what set Stewart off on Crossfire, that the mainstream media doesn't report news so much as what their sponsors want them to report on.

It's freakin' GOOD, y'all.

Now, Michael Moore has historically irritated the crap out of me, because I feel he has a tendency to step all over his own valid points and stretch them too far. PLUS, the bastard is a compelling filmmaker, so he does this in a very convincing manner, which means millions of people go see his movies, start parroting the over-stretched points, and thus provide groundswell support for the...development of a system that ensures I'll spend every Conservative vs. Liberal argument explaining that the people swallowing that stuff whole are crazies who don't read enough and thus do not have the whole story. Then I have to explain that I am not in fact one of the crazies, and as a bonus, Rush Limbaugh gets his Crazy Liberal Spank Bank refilled so he has more fringey, ill-informed nutbars to point at all "LOOK AT THE CRAZIES THEY WANT YOU TO BE ON WELFARE AND HAVE ABORTIONS AIIIIEEEEEE."

Thanks, Mike.

But I went to see SiCKO - and wrote about it here - and holy crap you guys, he learned to shut up. Now, SiCKO's argument is not perfect, although I personally do think we should have universal health care, but for a scant two hour feature film, it covers an awful lot of ground and makes an awfully strong case for the benefits of universal health care. But god, watching a Michael Moore flick without the annoying snitty voiceovers, and without Moore's goofy face in front of the camera all the time...thing of BEAUTY. THIS IS HOW TO DO IT, MICHAEL! KEEP IT UP!

PS - SiCKO brings up a lot of interesting etymological issues in my mind, although they are not mentioned in the film. It's interesting to watch people's knee jerk reactions to any reference of socialized health care...the SECOND you throw the S-word in there, people freak, and of course this is why its detractors always use it in their rhetoric. I know I connect every damn thing to the Horrible State of Education in This Country but I really do think that the virulent reaction to mere words like socialism, communism, etc. says a lot about the way history is taught here. I believe that American schools teach a certain degree of propaganda in this regard - big bad horrible countries like RUSSIA are communist, not AMERICA. We haven't really tried the Great Communism/Socialism Experiment on a large scale here in the US, so there's no bad taste in our mouths that could trigger the reaction, nor are socialism or communism INHERENTLY evil bad concepts...just probematic ones. Why do we get so scared and angry, then, when someone mentions the idea of socialized ANYTHING? It's because of the countries and regimes we associate them with, and that's not where we should be. We should be able, as an enlightened society, not only to accept that you can have care/things for all citizens without turning into a bunch of pinko commie fascists, but also to realize that a thing can fail without being evil.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Yet Another Person Who Makes My Life As A Liberal INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING Simply By Existing

Shut. Up. Cindy. Sheehan.

Seriously, I am not exactly shot in the ass with Nancy Pelosi these days, but Cindy Sheehan is an effing whackjob.

Look, I think Bush has absolutely done bad things and unfair things and stupid things and most likely illegal things, and I DEFINITELY believe he has ALLOWED bad/unfair/stupid/illegal things to happen under his watch but here is your challenge for the day:

Articulate, in real, non-made-up words, the illegal things that would be sufficient to get Mr. George W. Bush impeached, right at this very minute.

Follow up:

Document it.

The basic facts of the matter are that the sheer amount of time it would take to even gather evidence against him - which I have no doubt is there - would take us WELL past the elections in 2008, and the changing of the guard in January of 2009. Furthermore, you'd really need to collect evidence on the entire Administration because we ALL know that Cheney's office and many other powerful members of the Bush Admin have been pulling strings, to the point where people occasionally question Bush's actual autonomy...that's a scary thought in and of itself.

I think Bush is an utter disgrace, and that he SHOULD be punished for his transgressions of both law and moral compass, but right now there is simply more to worry about. Education's in the shitter, you guys. People are hungry and the economy is strong but uneven. International policy is too widespread and ineffective as a result. There is discord from every angle in our relationships the world over. And there is the Iraq war, which has GOT to get dealt with before there's no one left who doesn't want to take the US out. I don't buy this argument of "oh you set a date and the terrorists will just wait until then and then move in for the kill." I used to. I freely admit it. Part of that is because it's true. But it will ALWAYS be true. If we pull out tomorrow, Iraq will explode. If we pull out in 30 years, Iraq will explode. It's a region and a country rife with theological and cultural strife, and it's going up no matter what we do. The Iraqi "government" has demonstrated again and again that it wants to use the US as a crutch, not a means to an end. The security forces aren't up to snuff, and the government wants a summer vacation? Not that everyone doesn't need vacation, but...this isn't the time, y'all.

No matter when we pull out, there is going to be chaos in Iraq immediately afterwards.

I don't mean to be pedantic or to oversimplify the matter, but Favorite Online Writer Sarah Bunting talked about the unwillingness of baseball fans to accept change gracefully in her article about Barry Bonds, to wit:
Things change, and we all know this, but as much as the general population resists and is uncomfortable with change, the average baseball fan is even worse. The designated hitter rule came into effect before I was born; baseball fans still bitch about it. The strike zone changed, like, ten years ago; I still bitch about it. The Dodgers left Brooklyn two generations ago, and there are people who have still not gotten over it and never will, and if you give them even the tiniest opening, these people will bitch about it for an hour without pausing for so much as a sip of beer and then they will spend the next hour trying to convince you that buying a three-inch chunk of Ebbets Field on eBay for four hundred dollars is not crazy.
And that's baseball, people. I know that for some it comes close to being a religion, but it's a sport. And anyone who is a baseball fan KNOWS these people, the ones still bitching about changes years after the fact, has run into them at a game or a bar or on the bus and knows that they are deathly serious. And it' If it's possible for humans to get this overwrought about a sport, why should we be so foolish as to presume that they'll easily relinquish the theories of religion that have been and are the foundation of their lives and government for CENTURIES? Our troops' presence there is barely holding off the fight, as evidenced by the DAILY reports of sectarian violence and suicide bombers.

And let me tell you now - the next person who tells me I'm not supporting the troops because I think the war sucks is getting punched directly in the mouth. I want the troops to come home because it is a stocked POND over there, guys...Bush keeps sending them to replenish the ones who have gotten killed already. It is wildly insulting to say that Bush in any way respects our troops - he keeps sending them over to continue carrying out his unchanging and clearly ineffective strategy that he REFUSES to adjust, and keeps bullshitting and giving checklist speeches. To hell with that. You want to really demonstrate your respect for the troops? Get them equipment and a theory of war that will work or else unveil your withdrawal plan.

And here's a question for all y'all...where's Osama bin Laden?

Remember? The guy who TOOK CREDIT for September 11th? The guy whose organization took out 3,000 Americans who were just going to work that day? What happened there?

Oh right...we put him on the back burner to take out an aged dictator. Not that taking out Saddam Hussein was a bad thing, of course, but Saddam Hussein did not have anything to do with September 11th. Are you kidding me? The only thing that guy cared about was continuing to oppress his OWN people and do some sabre-rattling on the side. Again - atrocious individual. Should have been taken out of power. But we went to war under false pretenses, and did it too fast, and now here we are. Hooray for Bush.

But let's not forget that undue speed was what got us in this mess. We went overseas with too few Arabic speakers and too much crap. We need a solid, reasoned plan to get out, and we DON'T need to focus on impeaching Bush when we have thorny and pressing issues on our plate. As I said above, I'm not 100% in love with Nancy Pelosi either, but if you want to run, just run, Cindy Sheehan, don't go with this combative crap, because Nancy Pelosi has at least one thing straight - we need to focus on the war right now, not impeachment.

Do Not Sign Anything This Child Gives You.

The child on this lampshade would clearly have struck fear into the heart of even that creepy little possessed child Damien from The Omen.


Friday, July 6, 2007

Cat Scratch Fever

I am dogsitting for my parents for the latter half of this week, which means staying overnight at their place to keep an eye on the beasties. An unfortunate side effect of this is that the cats are thus left with Speed at the house, where they inevitably will drive him to homicidal acts. The cats are definitely My Pets, and as a result they get kind of loopy and frenetic when I am gone. So this morning I emailed Speed to say good morning and also to share this crazy person's comment from True Bride Confessions:
I love animals, and though I know it won't happen, I still think it would be adorable to dress my cat up in a kitty tuxedo, complete with top hat, and my future husband's cat in a dress and train them to be our ring bearers! lord.

Anyway, a minute or two later I get the following response from Speed.

Hey about the cats...
They tore open their catnip toy. Dust everywhere. Decided they weren't going to wait for me to get up. Knocked over bag, spilled food everywhere. But not done. Knocked over fish food. All over floor. Need to buy more now. Not done. Got at the fish filters too. Then once fed, ate so fast they puked. Dont bother cleaning the little box when you get home, there will be no cats around.


Once again, the cats attempt to get themselves sold to gypsies.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


A month or two ago, we got a new accounts payable chick, who is a total hot shit and has fabulous style...sort of a retro feel, but also very modern and put together, and maybe the best short (i.e. very slightly longer than chin length) bob I've ever seen. She just came down to drop off a bunch of assorted mail, and told me that I had "the cutest clothes."

I feel like pulling an Elle Woods, standing in the hallway all "...ME!"

I have such a hard time with fashion because I adore looking at it, love talking about it, love fantasizing about blowing a mint on entire wardrobes. And yet I fall squarely in the midst of Plus Size Town, which is where fashion so often goes to die.

I would like to swear, here, in a public forum, that if I ever meet the idiot who told the fashion industry that big people want to wear sacks and sequins, I will kill them dead. This goes DOUBLE for whoever told the shoe people that people with big feet want hideous, cornea-melting shoes.

Whenever I go shopping, I find myself looking not for the most fabulous new looks I can try, but instead wading through scores of mysteriously tapered pants, tentlike shirts, horrendous dresses...of all the approaches that designers could have taken, how did they come up with this? I can only imagine how the brainstorming session went. "Let's see. I'm not really sure about how to deal with someone who weighs more than 100 pounds, so I guess we should just make a large fabric sack with no shape, which will make them completely spherical and thus avoid the problem." Yeah, all right.

This would bother me far less if I had not had many of the same issues at a size 14 or so. The smallest I have ever been was a size 8, and let me tell you, there is no planet on which my frame is supposed to be a size 8. I am overweight now. There is no argument about this. It's why I work out and eat right and am trying to get into better shape. However, I once sat with my fellow member of the Fabulous Redhead Club (from which I am now retired but feel I can declare myself an honorary member) and paged through my senior yearbook, and she told me she wanted to feed my photographed self a sandwich. I do not now, nor have I ever wanted pictures of me to prompt that thought. I think I was at my own personal hotness apex at around a size 12, where no one wanted to forcefeed me, nor did they want to take food away from me. I had the misfortune, however, to be this weight as a teenager, which of course meant I thought I was a giant burgeoning heifer. I look at pictures now from that time period and I would seriously shank near relatives to look like that again.

But even at a 12, half the time I would have to shop in the plus size sections! Why in the hell would that happen? Do they keep these designers in Undisclosed Locations, far far away from everyone who would WEAR CLOTHING? Because when I look around, it's not me against the supermodels out there. It's me and a bunch of people skinnier than me, and a bunch of people bigger than me. And remarkably, everyone is wearing clothes! I know this is surprising, but apparently I am some kind of observer savant, because the Fashion Establishment seems to forget that people larger than a size 6 need clothing too, and presumably would like it to LOOK GOOD.

Since reaching my current weight, I have learned some tricks...I shop online and experiment with different looks, but still I find myself working very hard to find stuff that I am happy with. It just always surprises me to find such crazy things in the plus size departments of the world. I'm not really sure who would want tapered pants in ANY situation, but let me tell you, the Fashion People want big people to have them. Tapered pants are STALKING me. And yet, all they do is emphasize your hips, which presumably your average plus size woman already is well stocked with. Same with these giant drapey shirts and dresses...larger women HAVE volume. Adding more is not going to help, it's going to make us look MORE round, and with roundness comes bloatiness, and that way ABSOLUTE MADNESS LIES.

A couple nights ago I was looking for pants, because 40 lost pounds later, the perfectly fitting pants I bought no longer fit so perfectly. Oh, the aggravation. Speed reacted to my meltdown by asking when my period was due...he was doing this in a manner that involved actual concern and desire to avoid crying, rather than in a "oh women are crazy, what with their EMOTIONS and BLEEDING" tone, but ugh, I'm sorry, Men of the World, but you'll never know the agony of women's pants. Not only is the sizing system in general a complete farce, but there are also all kinds of lengths and waists and other things waiting for you to pull them off the shelf so they can proceed to make your body look TERRIFYING. I once pulled all of my dresses out and put them on the bed, lining up the waists and shoulders...all generally the same, what with having bought them to fit my body, but then I looked at the tags. 10. 8. 10. 12. 12. 13/14. 10. WHO IS IN CHARGE HERE? It does not help that once you leave the relative safe haven of dresses you enter the demonic level of separates, in which I wear a different top than I do bottom. AWESOME. I looked at roughly 100 pairs of pants online and NONE of them looked to be both the right length and the right waist.

SO, when the Rockin' Accounts Payable Chick told me I had cute clothes, I just about wet my pants out of joy because I work SO HARD to find great stuff that looks good, and having that effort recognized is straight up euphoria. Thanks, PAPC!

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Case Against Evolution

As part of my job, I process rebates for refrigerators. One of the things that boggles my mind on a routine basis is the phenomenon of people getting IRATE, seriously irate, when I send them a denial letter because they were missing information. Let's simplify - you want me to give you, as a reward for doing something that will a.) help the environment and b.) save you money anyway as your electric costs go down, $150, basically for free, or if you'd like, the 41 cents it costs to mail your application. I am willing to do this. However, I would like you to send me a couple things, all of which you have in your posession. To wit:

1. Completed application form.
2. Receipt from your purchase.
3. Yellow EnergyStar label which comes attached to your fridge.
Again, YOU HAVE ALL OF THESE THINGS. This is what an EnergyStar label looks like. You will notice that when we say "yellow," we are not messing around. We mean yellow of the retina-scorching variety.
In order to complete your application form, you need to know or find out your address, your name, and some information about the fridge you just spent probably upwards of $400 on. I have learned, even at the grand old age of 24, that although I will make damn sure I know everything there is to know about anything I am spending $400 of my own personal money on, this is not true of everyone. Luckily, we have the Retinal Demolition Device that tells us all about the new centerpoint of your kitchen. The important part of the form looks like this.

Sorry it's small. However, you may notice that while you may not know this off the top of your head, you can easily locate the information. Observe.

Again, I know this is small, but my god people it's full size in real life and WHY ARE YOU HAVING TROUBLE WITH SUCH A SIMPLE FORM? It says in at least eight places on the application that all information can be found on the yellow EnergyStar label, and that's even before you take into account any times that the person giving them the form mentions it. I understand some confusion about the icemaker, because the form means "is there an icemaker in the door" (...which would save energy because you are not opening the door to get ice) but is not very clear about it, so people often think that having an automatic icemaker inside of their fridge counts, but instead, about half the applicants just...don't circle anything. I don't get it.

My favorite though is when people circle MULTIPLE TYPES of fridge. The categories are: side-by-side, top freezer, bottom freezer, and single door. Why on earth would you review these choices and then circle BOTH side-by-side and bottom freezer? I mean, yeah, some of these fridges have two sections, and one is half fridge, half freezer, the choices not indicate that we want to know basically how the doors are oriented?

I hate to get all philosophical on y'alls asses, but I learned how to fill out a form pretty early. I also learned to READ the form before letting pen touch paper pretty early. I wish I knew when and where specifically I learned this, so I could be all snide and start with the "my momma taught me" lines was just a survival skill. I sort of start freaking out when think about how many people's forms come in completely discombobulated and screwed up because somehow, some of these people filled out college applications. All of these people probably filled out job applications. And you know what, I bet that those applications, for school and work, were FLAWLESS, because "those matter." Why not apply the same level of detail to your whole life? What is wrong with that? Ick.