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Signs of Friction

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11/15/09 04:40 pm - Joining the 21st century

Having a lot of fun with newly acquired technotoys, a 1080 HDTV with Bluray DVD player, and an iPod nano for my tunes. I haven't enjoyed anything so much for years! Watching DVDs I've seen a hundred times seem all shiny and new again, even if the Wolfie puppy seems a little intimidated by the sound quality. I even have my last gen Xbox hooked up for one stop entertainment. Life is good.

I'm watching the old "V" and "V" the final battle waiting for new episodes of the new series, which has been uniformly excellent so far. I'm really pleased. It's been a long time since I've had destination television, since Battlestar Galactica left the air, as a matter of fact. Nice to see old sci-fi regulars showing up on the new show, too.

9/7/09 01:53 pm - Just disgusted, thank you very much

This is the second time in the past two weeks I've read that people who are a nice, normal size 12 are referred to as "plus-sized." I can't believe the idiocy that tries to make women believe such a thing is bad, or wrong. In that skewed worldview, almost everyone is overweight, and only people who are outliers on the weight bell-curve are "normal." There's something very, very wrong here.

I am one of the outliers, but I would never want anyone to follow my example. Yes, I'm still in some nebulous area between size two and size four in my forties, but I battled eating disorders for thirty years before I finally conquered them. It wasn't fun, and it was never, ever pretty.

The media never do women any favours. On one page of a magazine, a woman will see an article exhorting her to be proud of herself as she is, and on the next page, there are cruel photographs of women in bad angles and circumstances, ridiculing them for their weight, when all of them are actually relatively normal. What's the real message here? Be proud of yourself, but be prepared to be excoriated for it? The longer I live, the thinner the line between image and reality seems to be. So thin that there's barely any connexion at all.

And, by the way, if anyone ever does manage to get to the size the media says we're supposed to be, she'll find stores don't carry clothes in that size because there just isn't any profit for them. Good luck finding anything to fit. Retail caters to people, not illusions.
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11/11/08 03:07 pm - My father, a veteran, one among many

In honour of the day, I thought I'd write a (very) little bit about my father, who was a veteran. He served in the US Navy during the Second World War, on the USS New Mexico (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_New_Mexico_(BB-40); http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-n/bb40.htm).

One story he told me about his service, that I wish I remembered more completely, was that on the occasion of one of the kamikaze attacks on his ship, he was sent away from his usual duty station by one of his superiors. Had he been at his post when the Japanese plane hit, he would have been one of the fatalities of the day, and not my father of beloved memory.

For my part, I'm grateful things fell out the way they did.

3/27/07 11:02 am - An observation

The wheels of justice based on the English common law grind slowly and exceedingly fine - witness the fictional Jarndyce v. Jarndyce in Dickens' Bleak House or the Bahamian case from 1969 that held up Daniel Stern's original inquest date in October 2006.

3/16/07 12:38 am - Notes from the Wyrd front Pt 2

The puppy's nickname is Hoover because he puts anything he finds on the floor in his mouth - anything and everything, no matter how vile to the casual observer. My mum is appalled by the idea the puppy would probably enjoy kitty crunchies. Imagined coprophilia pushes the humour barrier, here.

***

If my mother thinks the Republican party won't run Jeb Bush in 2012 or 2016, when the electorate forgets what a thorough disgrace his brother was as president, I think she's underestimating the stupidity and overestimating the attention span of the average voter.






3/13/07 05:55 pm - Notes from the Wyrd front

Sometimes want of fashion is a fashion statement all its own: ankle length black leather coat, union jack tee, grey exercise pants, black wellies with a cheerful band around the top reminiscent of tweed....

Got into a discussion waiting for bagels that what's needed now is a caffeine patch.

***

Had the nicest discussion with an 85-year-old veteran who flew bombers in the Second World War, while I was waiting for my coffee at Starbuck's. He was talking to an 82-year-old friend about the fact that this September's reunion would be the last, because the few remaining members of the bomber wing were getting too old, and too frail, to continue getting together every year.

I told him my father was a sailor on the USS New Mexico during the war. He served 1944-45; and, he was in Tokyo Bay during the signing of the surrender before being discharged. The bomber pilot served during the occupation as well, and I told him my late husband's father served in the occupation forces, though not in the war. 

He asked if my father was still living. I said no, and accepted his condolences. I also mentioned that my father's ship was kamikaze'd three times -- twice in one day -- but never sank. I didn't get to mention that my father might have been killed by the second kamikaze attack if the circs were even very slightly different.

Didn't get to mention that Jim's uncle died in the war, either -- he was being transported in the hold of a Japanese ship to a POW camp, and the ship was sunk by US bombers while he was on board. Maybe the 85-year-old I talked to took part in it. Stranger things have happened.

I think the 82 year old was trying to flirt with me a little - it was cute. Neither one looked a day over 75. I would have guessed 70-75, if I was asked. They must have lived right.

When my coffee was ready, they wished me a nice day, and I said that any day I could get out of bed was a nice day - I think they understood the sentiment. I think they appreciated someone my age honouring their service and sacrifice, as well as knowing enough about the war to talk intelligibly about it.

I hope they enjoyed talking to me even half as much as I enjoyed talking to them, because that would still be quite a lot.

3/12/07 06:23 am - The joys of dog ownership

Trip 1: (to get the newspaper - 40 degrees outside) tee shirt, bath robe, bare feet... nothing.

15 minutes later, puppy whining on the stairs.

Trip 2: tee shirt, shorts, bare feet... nothing.

15 minutes later, puppy ate a little food, very little, but it made me hopeful. Foolish hopes.

Trip 3: tee shirt, shorts, bathrobe, wellies, cigarette... nothing.

Puppy's going to do his business on the floor this morning, whether he likes it or not.

2/28/07 12:19 am - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Redux

Too bad the bloke who made the documentary "Super Size Me" is American. If he were British, maybe Prince Charles could convince someone to put him on Mummy's next Honours' list.

2/27/07 04:51 am - When the going gets wyrd, the wyrd turn pro

I heard the ancestors of the late Senator Strom Thurmond of North Carolina (hanging head in immense shame, even though he's not my fault in any way) owned the ancestors of the Reverend Al Sharpton. And this on the same weekend the state of Virginia "expressed deep regret" for the institution of slavery. They didn't apologise, mind, but they did express deep regret. It's a start, I suppose.

***

I am 41 years old; I haven't been able to find work since I moved to North Carolina; I live in my mother's basement. My life sucks like a black hole when you reduce it to those stark dimensions. My plan (circa 1975) to become the darling of investigative journalism and work at the Washington Post never really worked out.

And yet, at this moment, with Wolfie lounging across my forearms as I type, I am a pretty happy camper all the way around. When Wolfie returns my hair tie, so he can remove it from my hair when I put it up again, even more so.

***

I want to quit smoking again. I'm not going to waste the cigarettes I already have; I'm just not going to buy any more. I'll see how it works out.

2/26/07 04:03 pm - What is the plural of "faux pas," anyway?

Get the puppy a gate. He made it half way up the stairs this time without being watched. Didn't like his trip to Sam's Club, though.

***

The court of peeves, fashion faux pas, and grammatical errors is now in session. The Honourable Judge ______ presiding. (Played by Rowan Atkinson, this time.)

"What happened to the last judge?"

"What makes you think you have the right to ask any questions, here?"

"Just curious, your Honour."

"You know where curiosity got the cat, don't you?"

"Was that a threat, your Honour?"

"Stated or implied? -- Yes, no, well, there happens to be a moratorium against capital punishment at the moment, but you never know, do you?"

"Haven't we deviated from the issue?"

"Who gave you permission to ask any questions, here?"

***

Gwen Stefani rapping a yodel or yodeling a rap on Jimmy Kimmel? Okay.... it's all good.

***

I really am doomed to over-analyse everything to death -- road kill in the headlights (splat) -- conduct the necropsy;  check the findings; haven't we been here before?

***
(paraphrased from National Public Radio) Some people believe humans are hard wired for violence, and if the switch for it is flipped in childhood, they'll wind up invading Poland a few decades later.
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