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

Archive for November, 2008

Did you, perhaps, think Forrest Gump was good with ping-pong balls?

Posted by Lissa on November 26, 2008


The only way this could have been cooler was if he concluded the match by vaulting across the table and RIPPING OUT HIS OPPONENT’S SPINAL CORD.  Then making babies with the guy’s pretty wife.  Seriously, it’s that awesome.

This concludes our regularly scheduled testosterone/estrogen booster.

(h/t The Corner)

UPDATE: Gracious, I didn’t think it had to be said: Yes, that is Bruce Lee; yes, he is using nunchuks to hit ping pong balls.  Hell yeah.  Oh — and yes, at one point he kicks one instead of hitting it.  He’s allowed to do that because HE’S FREAKING BRUCE LEE.  🙂

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Plus, I’ll bet he could kick Harry Potter’s pasty little butt

Posted by Lissa on November 26, 2008

Via The Corner, it turns out that the new teeny-bopper fetish — that o-so-studly (gag) teenage (vegetarian!) vampire — has some pretty old-fashioned manly attributes that the teeny-boppers adore:

Apparently, the perfect guy should:
be too much of a gentleman;
be really smart;
smell extraordinarily nice;
have eyes only for you even if he is surrounded by hot girls;
quote Shakespeare;
stand in front of you in a protective way when you are in danger;
give you his jacket when you are cold;
have morals;
love you for what you are inside, not for how you look;
be charming;
sparkle in the sunlight;
have a nice family;
always pay for everything;
have been pretty much single since 1901;
hold your face while he kisses you

And just think how much they’ll SQUEE when they find out you can have all that — and from a guy who doesn’t drink blood!!  (Well, they can have most of it, anyway; I tend to think poorly of women who expect men to pay for everything, men who sparkle in the sunlight usually have an offputting addiction to body glitter, and if he hasn’t dated since 1901 . . . well, the times they are a-changing, y’know?)

And the funniest part?  An old-fashioned gentleman who had all of those attributes listed above but DIDN’T happen to be a blood-drinker of a different species would probably be labeled as an old-fashioned, out-of-touch fogey by those girlies.  Truly, it is to laugh.

(P.S. The article refers you to the actual site with “50 Edward Cullen Characteristics That Every Guy Should Have” and I know I should have sifted through there for my list, but DUDE — they lost me at “10. Have an extended an [sic] sophisticated vocabulary”, “14. Suddenly appear out of nowhere and kiss you passionatley [sic]” and “20. Quote Romeo ( Shakespear ) [sic].”  Oh HELL to the NO.  This job doesn’t pay enough for mental torture like that.)

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This comment deserves its own blogpost

Posted by Lissa on November 26, 2008

Sadly, it wasn’t a comment on MY blog, but whatever — it’s cold and early and I’m feeling froggy.  During a conversation about good female actors versus poor female actors, physics geek left this gorgeous, multifaceted gem of a comment (parents, cover your children’s eyes):

Julia in undies and Angelina undressing
Clothes on the floor and the sheets are a messing
Connelly wearing naught but G-strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Naomi on ponies a la Lady Godiva
Keira Knightly and friends bathed in my saliva
Wild girls that like to shake their groove things
These are a few of my favorite things

There’s more, but I was laughing too hysterically to steal anymore.  Plus, Rachl Lukas is awesome and might kick my ass for stealing her blog comments.  Therefore go here to read the whole thing!

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Yeah, I’ll take that score

Posted by Lissa on November 25, 2008


However, I’m fairly sure that five years ago I’d have been lucky to get a 70.  Hooray for the alternate media! 

And you, dear blog readers?  Aren’t you just dying to test your civic knowledge?  Leave your score in the comments, if you like!

For full disclosure: These were the questions I got wrong (spoiler alert, so don’t click until AFTER you take the test!)

(UPDATE: The pagination can’t decide whether to work or not, so the spoiler text is in white; highlight to read it.  Stupid pagination button.)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad dog!!

Posted by Lissa on November 24, 2008

Those of you who own shotguns . . . . tell me, is this normal?

Marcum says his son, Matthew, was standing in Tillamook Bay at the start of duck-hunting trip when his dog jumped into the boat, setting off a 12-gauge shotgun.

The blast blew a hole in the aluminum boat before hitting Marcum, who is recovering from injuries to his legs and buttocks at Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

At first blush I’d think something went very wrong with gun safety there, but having never gone hunting nor toting shotguns about, I really don’t know.  Educate me, my minions!

(h/t Don Surber)

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Have I mentioned that I hate Mondays?

Posted by Lissa on November 24, 2008

I believe I have, and yet . . . eat sh*t and die, Monday.  (Just in case.)

Somehow, my computer at work refused to change my password and I ended up logging five calls with the Help Desk of Ye Olde Financial Firm as they tried, over and over, to fix it.  Only took an hour and a half, yay!

Oh, and how’s this for unfair?  I get to sit on my hands and fight with my computer (yes, while sitting on my hands.  I’m cool like that) while Mike ends up with a day at home.  Hmph.  (Just kidding, he’s making me dinner and baking bread and vacuuming and doing manly things like getting rid of an old coffee table.  It’s just that . . . why couldn’t MY building lose power too??)

Enough griping.  I’ve got a busy few days coming up because an old friend from NYC is coming for Thanksgiving.  It’ll be awesome to see her, but Much Cleaning must be done!! 

P.S.  I know, this was an extremely boring post.  Go here for something more interesting.  Then write over and over again, “I shall not hotlink nor plagiarize.  I shall not hotlink nor plagiarize.”  (H/t Cold Fury)

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Promoting Yank-Brit understanding

Posted by Lissa on November 22, 2008

With our Dear Rachel and The Fabulous Weasel off to the UK, it looks like we’re going to have to brush up on our Brit-isms.  Fortunately Iowahawk has already begun to build bridges:

And I think it goes without saying that the United States and the United Kingdom are co-united in our fervent desire to deport Madonna to one another.

That’s just the beginning, because we still have much to learn from each another. For example, you can teach us how to brew non-urine based beer, while we can teach you how to drink it cold while shooting machine guns. We can teach you how to spice up your boring F1 races with 40-car pileups, and you can teach us how to put topless chicks in our daily newspapers.

The rest is just as good, go read!

(h/t Treacher)

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More book fun!

Posted by Lissa on November 21, 2008

I can’t resist a good meme 🙂  (Although since I tagged people for a book thread not too long ago, I’ll throw this one open to anyone who wants to play.)

–Share seven random or weird Book Facts about yourself.
–Then tag seven other people.
–Notify the seven others that they have been tagged.

1. When I think a book is excellent, I read it at least five more times, more often twenty.  There is one big honkin’ exception to this rule: Pet Semetary.  I was so frightened that I slept (sporadically) with all the lights on for WEEKS afterwards.  I do not intend to ever open this book again.

2. Speaking of Stephen King, I made the absolutely moronic mistake of thinking that, since I saw the movie of The Shining, I knew the plot and wouldn’t get too scared if I read the book.  In my defense, when I was a kid we used to break thermometers to play with the mercury inside; I can blame mercury poisoning for my frequent moments of idiocy.  More weeks of sleeping-with-the-light-on.

3. I am a total glutton with books.  I tend to re-read books over and over again because when I start a new book I often can’t put it down until I’ve finished it.  I’m no longer a college kid and thus four-AM book-reading sessions take a bigger toll on me; much safer to read something I’ve devoured already.

4. I still read kids’ books.  There’s nothing better on a cold, rainy day then a warm bed, a cup of coffee and a session of Little House on the Prairie.

5.  I read more quickly than anyone I know — if it’s something I enjoy.  When the seventh Harry Potter came out I got home around 12:45 AM and finished all but the last forty pages before leaving for work at 5:50 AM.  (Why can’t I read work materials that fast???)

6. I buy classics in the hopes that their lying about will inspire me to read them someday.  The day has not yet come for The Moonstone, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Don Quixote and a host of others.

7. I try to suck my older sister into reading books.  I found that if I left books on top of the toilet for long enough, she would EVENTUALLY pick them up and read the first chapter or so.  For a really good book, that’s more than enough 🙂

Anyone who wants, please join in!

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Now, everyone roll your eyes in unison

Posted by Lissa on November 21, 2008

I think it’s a good idea to only make rules that you are willing to enforce every time. It’s better to have a few ”hard” rules that you will enforce every single time than to have a whole bunch of soft ones that sometimes apply and sometimes don’t. It’s too confusing for kids if they are sometimes allowed to and sometimes aren’t.

That’s from the Berkeley Parents Network.  Isn’t it funny how such good, simple, pithy advice is accessible to parents in even the looniest of areas, yet somehow we can’t get the politicians to live by those rules?  Do they not have kids, or something?

Her husband just signed a smoking ban into law in April. Now Iowa first lady Mari Culver admits she already broke it.

The wife of Gov. Chet Culver released a statement Thursday saying she quit smoking last year but started again a few months ago and smoked in a state vehicle.

The ban outlaws smoking in most workplaces, including cars of employers.

Hmmm, let’s check:

Mari and Chet Culver have been married for 14 years and are the proud parents of two children, Clare and John.

So much for that theory.  Being parents, they at least SHOULD have an inkling that putting a lot of petty, stupid, unenforceable rules on the books is a waste of time and cheapens the authority of the law.

Folks, I don’t like cigarette smoke.  I don’t like breathing it, I don’t like it permeating my hair, and I don’t like having to dry-clean my coat after spending a night in a smoky bar. 

You know what I like less?  The government deciding that no bar owner in the Massachusetts has the right to decide if his/her bar should be smoke-free or not.

It’s all for The Children — er, The Workers, of course. 

July 2004: A statewide smoking ban in work places (including restaurants and bars) now in effect.

Sure, I appreciate not reeking of smoke after going out at night.  But since I have friends who smoke, I end up stuck outside.  Which means I either freeze, or go home covered in mosquito bites.

I’d really rather pay the dry-cleaning bill.  Damn Nanny State.

P.S. Chet Culver is a Democrat.  I find that relevant only because I think, if the wife of a Republican governor got caught smoking in a state vehicle against her husband-enacted laws, you’d find the party affiliation in the article.

UPDATE: Speaking of cigarette laws . . .

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Businesses and Civil Rights

Posted by Lissa on November 20, 2008

I admit, when I read that eHarmony had been convinced to offer same-sex dating services, I thought it was a good thing.  Then I read a few lines farther and realized that “convinced” is probably not the right word:

The Pasadena-based dating website, heavily promoted by Christian evangelical leaders when it was founded, has agreed in a civil rights settlement to give up its heterosexuals-only policy and offer same-sex matches.

EHarmony was started by psychologist Neil Clark Warren, who is known for his mild-mannered television and radio advertisements. It must not only implement the new policy by March 31 but also give the first 10,000 same-sex registrants a free six-month subscription. [snip]

The company said that Warren was not giving interviews on the settlement. But attorney Theodore Olson, who issued a statement on the company’s behalf, made clear that it did not agree to offer gay matches willingly. “Even though we believed that the complaint resulted from an unfair characterization of our business,” Olson said, “we ultimately decided it was best to settle this case with the attorney general since litigation outcomes can be unpredictable.”

The libertarian in me thinks that every owner has a right to run his/her business as s/he sees fit.  The civil-rights supporter thinks back to Jim Crow laws and disapproves of discrimination towards customers on any basis.

In this case, the libertarian wins.

I find it distressing that a dating site set up by a person who “didn’t want to feature same-sex services . . . because he felt he didn’t know enough about gay relationships” was forced to provide such services on his site and grant a free trial into the bargain.  To me, it’s not whether gays have the right to use dating services — of course they do.  But there are a number of sites that offer that service — go here to see just a few.  So it’s not the question of whether those services are available; it’s the question of forcing a man who does not want his business to provide such a service, to do so.

I can’t agree with that.

As always, it’s a good idea to look at a hypothetical inversion and see whether it would pass muster.  Would Gay.com be forced to provide dating services for Christians who thought homosexuality was immoral?  How would that at all make sense?  They’d be told to get their own damn site, and rightly so.

Again, I don’t like the idea of businesses turning away customers for any reason stemming from skin color, gender, sexual preference, religious preference etc.  But I think it is their right.  If it’s a reason you think is immoral — e.g., a barbershop refusing to cater to blacks — feel free to write letters, picket, or in other ways try to convince the business it would be in their interest to change their policy.  Speak with your pocketbook.  Speak with your feet.  Don’t speak with your lawyer.

On the subject of barbershops — don’t forget that lawsuits and judicial fiat often have unintended consequences that don’t help anyone.  For example, in Collegetown, NC, where I went to Ye Olde Liberal Arts College, there was a barbershop that used to cater exclusively to black folks.  After all the lawsuits came down — remember, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenberg was a NC case — the barbershop catered to people of all colors.  Guess what?  The owner of the barbershop DID NOT LIKE THAT.  He’d made more money specializing in cutting the hair of black people; he did not want to offer broader services and cut white folks’ hair as well.  (Different technique, different tools, etc.)  As Thomas Sowell reminds us:

Far from existing from time immemorial, as many have assumed, racially segregated seating in public transportation began in the South in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Those who see government as the solution to social problems may be surprised to learn that it was government which created this problem.

Many, if not most, municipal transit systems were privately owned in the 19th century and the private owners of these systems had no incentive to segregate the races.

These owners may have been racists themselves but they were in business to make a profit — and you don’t make a profit by alienating a lot of your customers. There was not enough market demand for Jim Crow seating on municipal transit to bring it about. [snip]

The incentives of the economic system and the incentives of the political system were not only different, they clashed. Private owners of streetcar, bus, and railroad companies in the South lobbied against the Jim Crow laws while these laws were being written, challenged them in the courts after the laws were passed, and then dragged their feet in enforcing those laws after they were upheld by the courts.

These tactics delayed the enforcement of Jim Crow seating laws for years in some places. Then company employees began to be arrested for not enforcing such laws and at least one president of a streetcar company was threatened with jail if he didn’t comply.

In this case, I may like the result — that gay folks have access to eHarmony, a popular dating site — but I can’t approve of the means, i.e., judicial fiat and fear of lawsuits.  The ends do NOT justify the means.

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