Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Archive for July, 2008

Now laugh at my cat!

Posted by Lissa on July 31, 2008

Turns out, the Ace bandage video didn’t come out well, so here is Rajah trying to bite my fingers.  (I’ll have you know this is my first apartment, known as The Hobbit Hole — little POS basement apartment which was a good start for living on my own.  Don’t worry, I’ve moved up and on!)

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A mindset is a difficult thing to change — but not for the reasons you think

Posted by Lissa on July 31, 2008

Neo-neocon wrote an intensely interesting account of how her mindset changed from a staunch Democrat liberal to a, well, neo-neocon.  She writes at length of how difficult it was to question all her assumptions, her frame of reference, and how she changed political parties.

I wish I had that much detail, and insight, of how I came around to my present mode of thinking.  I don’t.  I wish I’d kept a blog back in those days so that I could pull actual details, articles and websites that changed my worldview.  I don’t.  However, I’m going to try and explain it anyway.

Like Neo, I really believed in the left side of the political sphere as I grew up.  I have a very vivid memory of ranting in my diary about how “god-damned George Bush wanted to go to war the whole time, the false jade LIED to get elected and then just did what he wanted!”  Um, that was the first George Bush; I was ten.  Curses learned from company around me and “false jade” from The Chronicles of Narnia.  Shut up.

I truly believed in affirmative action.  Like all my friends, I made fun of Clarence Thomas and railed at his utter hypocrisy at wanting to ban a system that he freely used to get his current position.  “Like he’d even be on the Supreme Court if he wasn’t black, and NOW he says it’s wrong!”

I truly believed that Democrats cared about the poor, which is why they tried to help them, and that Republicans (and all conservatives) didn’t care about the poor, which is why they resisted helping them.  Rich white men ruled the United States, you could tell just by examining the Presidential rollcall and the Fortune 500 CEOs, Q.E.D.

So.  How did I get from there to here?  Truthfully, I’m damned if I know.  I think, like Neo, it started around the time of our war in Afghanistan.  I started having contradictory impulses — on the one hand, I *did* think our country had been attacked, and I sympathized with the need and desire to protect ourselves.  Also, the Taliban were hardly an endearing bunch.  But, on the other hand, one part of me darkly looked forward to the pounding that America would take, invading land that didn’t belong to her, being stupid enough to follow the Soviet Union’s footsteps, and wondering only whether we’d escape with the level of casualties that the USSR sustained, or if it would be worse.

Unlike Neo, I didn’t start checking blogs and alternative sources of news at that point.  I simply logged the inevitable defeat in my mind as a foregone conclusion and went about my business.  I continued doing so as Operation Iraqi Freedom came about and, instead of spending a weekend in France, I spent it sitting on a couch in London watching tanks roll towards Baghdad.

Again, Saddam Hussein was hardly an endearing opponent, so I didn’t feel any particular guilt about the invasion.  Also, due to copious reading of Tom Clancy growing up, I was generally admiring of and sympathetic to American soldiers.  I suppose at that point I was fifty-fifty; I wanted our soldiers to succeed, but I completely understood those who protested another imperialistic meddling foray by America-Who-Thinks-It-Runs-The-World.

So, when did it change?  I think it was late 2003 and early 2004, when I started reading blogs on a regular basis.  My father introduced me to Michelle Malkinand it was FASCINATING to see news and opinion presented in that way.  I didn’t agree with a lot of what she said — it went against everything I’d grown up believing — but, then again, she was a minority female, so I couldn’t dismiss her opinion out of hand.  I couldn’t stomach Daily Kos, but I tried to find left-hand blogs that would “cancel out” Michelle’s work.  I read The Moderate Voice, Think Progress and Oliver Willis, as well as my usual New York Times.

It didn’t work.  Perhaps I’d just picked the wrong left-wing blogs, but the writing just wasn’t as INTERESTING.  It couldn’t hold my attention.  I’d read them every day, but I’d race through the articles as quickly as I could before racing over to Michelle’s.  The left-leaning blogs were the vegetables I made myself eat before relishing the meat and dessert.

At this point I was severely uncomfortable.  As I’ve mentioned before and can’t emphasize enough, my family is very left-leaning.  (As I’ve also mentioned before, they are also intelligent, loving and caring, so think twice if you’re planning on dissing them in the comments.)  What if, God forbid, I became a conservative?  That would be unconscionable.  I’d gotten into enough passionate arguments over whether the United States had the *right* to invade Iraq; I could only imagine the difficulty it would create if I started advocating gun rights and the like.

I sent out a cry for help.  I emailed my liberal, politics-following friends (good, intelligent people all) and asked for assistance.  I explained that I was starting to lean toward the conservative side and asked for blogs, articles, arguments — anything that would help keep me firmly in the liberal camp.  I received back a few variations of “Bush is an idiot” and “Bush is a horse’s ass.”  Despite the lack of liberal counterbalance, I did vote (unenthusiastically) for John Kerry.  Yes, as Mike likes to tease me, I did vote for John Kerry before I was against him.  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Around this time, I started backchecking how that Afghan war was going.  I’d followed it casually — I still do — without really analyzing details (a mile wide and an inch deep, remember?).  I was really shocked to realize, and remember, what I’d THOUGHT was going to happen in the invasion, versus what had actually happened . . . and that NO MEDIA HAD REPORTED THAT THEY GOT IT WRONG. 

I couldn’t believe it.  All through college, I thought I’d been very diligent and responsible in following the news — I read the New York Times as well as the Economist, and occasionally the Wall Street Journal.  Now I discovered that the media had darkly — almost spitefully — predicted the worst in Afghanistan, had gotten it wrong, and had not acknowledged that they got it wrong.  This, to me, was the real problem.  It’s understandable to make an incorrect prediction; we all know that hindsight is 20/20.  But you have to acknowledge that you got it wrong, or you lose credibility.  That’s a very basic rule for human interaction; why didn’t it apply to the media?

So I started looking for news sources that either got it right, or were willing to admit and analyze where they’d been right and where they’d been wrong.  I started reading more blogs that were honest, and unapologetic, about their conservative leanings.  Once I did that, I realized how the mainstream media also was unapologetic about its liberal leanings . . . without being honest about it.

It sounds extremely trite, folks, I know . . . but I felt betrayed.  I’d been diligent, and conscientious, about keeping myself informed about the world . . . only to find that the media had been filtering the world to show me only one side.  And with that, I dove headlong into the opposition.

To be continued . . .

P.S.  I’ve got one, maybe two more posts on the subject, then that should be it.  This is not set up to be a super-serious blog, so fret not.  I just want to record my journey so that *I* remember it, and then I’m going back to cats, food and fun.

UPDATE: Linked by ShoothouseBarbie, thanks!

UPDATE 2: Linked by Bookworm (and second-hand by Flopping Aces), thanks!  Also, Neo linked Part II.

Posted in "Deep thoughts" or something, Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: , | 23 Comments »

Good morning!

Posted by Lissa on July 31, 2008

Morning y’all!  I’m working on a longer post right now, so I’m tossing out a kitty pic to fill the space until I’ve got that done.  Thanks everyone for voting and for your comments; they make me all warm and fuzzy inside 🙂

BTW, my kitty is VERY cute, but he’s also VERY dumb.  He thinks he’s a dog — he likes to chase his tail, sometimes jumps in the shower with me, comes when he’s called, and fetches toys (sometimes).  Next time I’ll upload the video of when I wrapped his midsection in an Ace bandage and laughed myself silly as he frantically rolled about the floor.  I’m evil that way.

These were taken AFTER the Ace bandage incident, so obviously he forgives me.  After all, he got treats as reward for his humiliation, so all is well.

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Gentlemen, start your pedicures

Posted by Lissa on July 30, 2008

Oh, for cryin’ out loud.  (But don’t!  It might smudge your mascara!)

In an increasingly metrosexual world, perhaps it was just a matter of time.

But yesterday a high street store announced that it would start stocking makeup designed just for men. [snip]

‘Men are more obsessed with their appearance than ever before.  There is no longer any pain in being seen to be vain.’

He added: ‘We believe there is a real market for cosmetic products.  The majority of our customers are women and we believe that these products will be bought by women for their partners, as well as by men themselves.’

You know, I did have a guy friend in high school who occasionally wore mascara; he had a white streak in his eyebrow that made him self-conscious, so he would sometimes use black mascara to cover it.

I had another guy friend in high school who often wore make-up.  He was gay.

Men, welcome to the new level of pussy-whipping. 

This whole thing blows my mind, truly.  It’s one thing for punk-rock stars and effeminate High School Musical types to wear make-up, but they really want regular guys on the street to wear it too?  And they want WOMEN to buy make-up in order to FORCE THEIR MEN TO WEAR IT? 

Female: “Honey, do these pants make my ass look big?”

Male (without looking):  “No dear of course not.  Are you ready to go?”

Female (looking him up and down):  “Well, *I* am, but YOU’RE certainly not.  Just LOOK at those unadorned eyes!  Get back in that bathroom mister and put your guyliner and manscara on.  I didn’t buy it for ME, you know.  My delicate graceful fingers could handle REGULAR eyeliner, I bought the one that looks like a gluestick to accommodate your clumsy paws.”

Male:  “Dear.  That stuff makes me feel like a cheap whore.  Also like a eunuch.”

Female:  “Dear.  You’ll be soliciting sex from a cheap whore for the next two years if you don’t get your little fanny in there and get pretty.”

Male: “I hate my life.”

Let’s do the poll thing again!  (I had fun with it yesterday)

(h/t The Corner)

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Experiment warning!

Posted by Lissa on July 29, 2008

In case y’all haven’t figured it out by now, I don’t have a particular theme nor purpose to my blog.  There will definitely be some gun posts, since I’m interested in the tools and also the subject, but this won’t be a gunnie blog; I don’t own a gun yet, so I think that disqualifies me.  There will likely be some political posts, but I follow politics the way some people watch soap operas: I have absolutely no delusions that I’m smart enough to really analyze the serious stuff, so I go a mile wide and an inch deep.  Plus, the only people I can guarantee are going to check out this little doo-hickey are my friends and family, and since most of them are liberals this site can never be liberal-bashing, or at least must always do so in a genteel manner.  Really, this site is my attempt at making a record of things that interest me at the moment, which is why it includes my stabs at domesticity and occasional (forgive me!) pet posts.

That being said, I’m curious whether I read the same sites as everyone who mosies over here.  If not, I can draw your attention to snippets I find interesting, every once in a while.  If so, then I shouldn’t bother unless I have a brilliant original thought/analysis/snark (don’t hold your breath).

With that, I introduce the very first LookingForLissa poll!  Do me a favor and check off all the sites you regularly access for news.  I check the first five every day, six through nine almost every day, and the rest only occasionally.  Let’s see if this works! (Note that you can select more than one; we’re, like, high-tech here and stuff.)

Posted in News/politics | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Bloggershoot, Odds ‘n’ Ends

Posted by Lissa on July 28, 2008

My god, you must be thinking, Lissa wrote REAMS, entire virtual LIBRARIES about her experience at the Second (sort of) Annual Northeast Bloggershoot.  Surely she can’t milk yet another post out of it.  To which I respond, “O ye of little faith!  Those posts increased my daily views by a good factor of ten, and you think I’m not going to wring one more post out of it?  Oh, and don’t call me Shirley.”

In No Particular Order:

¤ Doubletrouble mentionedthat the Mrs. thought I was brave, coming to a random spot in the middle of nowhere to meet lots of strangers with guns.  I actually did think about it, but I didn’t *worry* about it.  It’s not the same thing as going off to meet an “internet boyfriend,” if you know what I mean.  I’d been reading Jay G and Brucefor months; I’d seen pix of Jay G and I think a few of his kids.  I figured that most likely I was going to meet a group of friendly, gregarious, law-abiding people who would provide great conversation and access to lots and lots of pretty guns; and I was right.  That being said, I left a note for Mike before I left: “Hi sweetie!  The Meet today is at XXXX Rd and XXXX St in XXXXX, New Hampshire; Jay G is my contact, his cell is XXX-XXX-XXXX and his blog is http://stuckinmassachusetts.blogspot.com/”  I also left the precise location (per Google maps) and direction emails open on the computer.  Oh, and I politely declined Jay’s offer of carpooling and drove myself.  Basic precautions 🙂

(Meaning, basic precautions when meeting strangers in a strange place, not basic precautions about not getting in a car driven by Jay G.  I have seen nothing to make me believe Jay’s a crazy driver, although I now know the risks of distracting him with conversation.)

¤ Brought up from my comments, ’caused it amused me just that much:

“I love you, you love me
Let’s all go and kill Barney
With a .410 bore
Lying on the floor
No more purple dinosaur!”

¤ Also from the comments: “Breda, PLEASE come out this way! That gathering will be the “Meet, Greet and Worship Breda” Bloggershoot”  To which the Marvelous Breda replied (she did, I swear, click the link):

“well, gosh, Lissa. How could I possibly resist an invitation like that?”

So the only question is, when?  Jay G, MAKE IT HAPPEN!  AGAIN!!!

¤ Your necessary LawDog links!  Here’sthe story about LawDog restraining a murderous toy; here’s the Snake Story.  And here’s the movie lines I loved and could easily hear y’all saying.

¤ Finally, some happy snaps:

(Anonymity preserved as requested.  Next time I’ll do a better Photoshop, promise.  Although, it makes me giggle the way it is.)

Dieeeeeeee, Furby.  Death!!!!

Thank you all so much.  It was lovely to meet each and every one of you.  Hopenchange!

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Heath Ledger makes Jack Nicholson look like Matt Damon

Posted by Lissa on July 28, 2008

Wow.  Just wow.

According to rumors, a posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger is a pretty good probability.  Since I could not care one tiny bit less about the Academy Awards nowadays — I don’t know most of the movies, so I just buy the People to laugh at the awful outfits — it didn’t bother me, but it didn’t interest me.  I figured it was the same deal as Al Pacino’s Oscar for Scent of a Woman ; I mean, did anyone think *that* was Pacino’s defining role?  Good lord, do you realize that Malcom X  and A Few Good Men  were competing that year?  But Pacino didn’t snag any Oscars from The Godfather  trilogy so they threw him one in 1993.  Kind of a lifetime achievement award dressed up as Best Actor.

This is nothing like that.

We saw Batman – The Dark Knight  yesterday afternoon.  (A side note: it is TOTALLY worth a forty-minute drive to the one Premium Theater in the area, which will serve you beer and wine, deliver good basic pub food to your leather recliner and tray table, and prohibits anyone under the age of 21, nicely eliminating screaming five-year-olds AND obnoxious teeny-boppers.)  No spoilers are necessary.  It’s a Batman story, for goodness sake — he battles evil, he semi-battles the forces of good who are semi-aligned against him, he ends up defeating the bad guys but also having to take some personal damage, yadda-yadda-yadda.  I’ve seen all the Batmans thus far (including Batman and Robin, to my great disgust) and Christian Bale makes a great Caped Crusader.

Heath Ledger was something else entirely.

The last (and only) time I’ve seen a character that sociopathic, that psychopathic, played with such consummate skill that it freaked me the HELL out, was good ol’ Jackie-boy in The Shining.  I’m not at all surprised that Ledger had trouble sleeping; I can’t imagine having to wear the skin of that character for weeks.  I bet that his fellow actors liked working with him, in that they wouldn’t have to act at all; they’d genuinely be disturbed and creeped out.  I most certainly was. 

By the way, I was sad when Heath Ledger died.  He was a good actor and seemed like a nice guy.  However, his death, like Anna Nicole Smith’s death, were not what I consider earth-shaking ground-quaking news.  After the first 48 hours or so of non-stop Ledger on the Gossip Girls Network — er, the news — I was reduced to shrieking, “I KNOW!  I KNOW HE’S DEAD!  I’M SORRY HE DIED SO YOUNG AND TRAGICALLY!  NOW FOR CRISSAKE GET OFF YOUR FAT ASSES AND COVER SOME ACTUAL NEWS!!!”  Anyone else?

*When I say he made Nicholson look like Matt Damon, I’m only comparing their Joker roles. 

**Everyone can quote lines from A Few Good Men (I know some of y’all can’t resist, so go ahead and leave them if need to).  Can you reel off one line from Scent of a Woman?  That’s what I thought.

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In which I return-eth

Posted by Lissa on July 28, 2008

Good morning!  Ah, another charming Monday.  The definition of a good Monday is a day in which you neither go postal nor contemplate death by (or to) bike messenger.  Or, Labor Day. 

Posts coming up today on the new Batman movie, as well as my last Bloggershoot odds ‘n’ ends.  Just wanted to check in and say, I missed y’all!

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Need a laugh?

Posted by Lissa on July 24, 2008

Okay, so, look at my blogger pix too, but make sure you go read Crystal’s post today.  Internet prayers, a PR0N-stache airplane flier and a slide that now, thanks to Crystal, has a No Fat Chicks Allowed sign.  Have fun, and come back soon!  I’ll miss you!

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Bloggershoot, Part the Third: The Gunnies! (And pix)

Posted by Lissa on July 24, 2008

Well, amen to that.  Bruce, were these yours? 

As I wrote before, I am extremely sad I didn’t get a video of Bruce singing while we waited for our subs to be ready.  He was not exactly how I pictured him while reading his blog; I thought he’d be older and more dryly cynical.  I would not have guessed that he’d stand around singing songs about potatoes in a perfect Maine accent.  Bruce, perhaps if you posted a picture of yourself in a kilt for your “About” page, we could avoid these misconceptions in the future?  Although, really, this shot would probably have the same effect:

Which we do we like better, boys ‘n’ girls?  The TeleTubbie with its insides on the outside, or the lil’ Shrek dolls waiting to be murdered?

Bruce and Jay were the only folks I actually “knew” (on an Internet basis) before I headed up to the Meet.  Unlike Bruce, Jay was pretty much what I expected, looks and temperament wise.  I think this picwas all that was needed to get an accurate feel for Jay.  (By the way, I’d change it to “If you make her cry, I will make you bleed.”  Just sayin’.)  He ran around all day like an insane yet friendly hybrid of Dr. Evil and John Malkovich, garnished with a dash of the Monopoly guy.  And his bayonet charge was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a loooooong time

I hadn’t run across Ted before the meet, but if I had I’d be surprised at how young he was.  Ted, are you sure that picture is of you?  It doesn’t look like you!!  Poor Ted sat next to me during lunch so he had to listen to me the whole time; sorry, mate.  As a silver lining, I amused myself by force-feeding him cookies 🙂

Here’s my best shot of the range along its length; you can see poor Laa-Laa dangling, desperately trying to believe that one day — ONE DAY — this death-by-a-thousand-shots will come to a merciful end.  And perhaps some nice little girl will take her down, and bring her home, and patch her up, and she’ll wake up as the Velveteen Rabbit.  Or maybe even Sleeping Beauty.  NOT LIKELY, YOU IRRITATING YELLOW SPAWN OF CHILD-SATAN.

Oh yeah, and you can see, from left to right, zeeke42, JD and TOTWTYTR.  Sorry guys, I got distracted by my gut-deep dislike of moronic singing pieces of [bleep].

I just thought this looked cool:

As did these:

A few more odds and ends tomorrow, but I suppose we have to end the post with this:

I hope Justice Stevens has nightmares about this.  And incontinence.

I didn’t mean that.

Or maybe I did.

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