31 August 2010

Glee!




Dang. That's awesome.

I'd like to note that Tim Gunn, as always, stole the show.

Also: Hurley! And Betty White! And Tina Fey!

Amber Riley has an awesome voice.

All y'all have a great day. I'm spending my morning reading poetry and my afternoon packing. Moving day is tomorrow, flying-across-the-country day is Thursday!

[and, if you're curious what I'm reading...]

[Poem by Tom Leonard]


Epithalamium

For Lucy and Stephen, January 28th 2006


Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediment
Shakespeare says - and maybe it is something to do with minds.
Or there again, something to do with everything else
you can think of; going to the shops, sitting in a bus together,
who you want to waken up beside in the morning,
And who you want to go to bed with - for the rest of your life.
Who you're going to have your most important rows with
who you want to share your silences, who you want to share
your money with, if you have any. Who you want to share
your poverty with, if you don't. Who you can share your poverty with,
and still get on when there's no fancy stuff to occupy your minds.
It's maybe being thirty with somebody, being forty with somebody,
being fifty, being sixty, getting used to ways of doing things
with the same person, getting used to not doing things with them
when you have to go your separate ways to raise the dough
for a house. "The trouble with marriage," I used to say,
"is you have to stop living with each other." All this up at
the crack of dawn stuff, out to your separate jobs,
who's first home at night, who makes the dinner, if anybody
makes it. And all the account business, joint or separate. And the
usual list as to who does what, ironing, hoovering, washing
the clothes. Who does what. Who's got lousy habits. Who thinks
their farts are funny. Who's the most incomprehensible, opaque,
wrongheaded pain in the arse you could ever find, and you've
found them living with you. But give it an hour. Or a day.
And watch out for the wisecracks. There's Chekhov:
"If you can't stand loneliness don't get married" and there's
no shortage of busted-up couples out there who won't bust
a gut with grief if you join them. You stick your own way. To
hell with them. It's not a sentimental thing, it's a serious thing
the most serious thing you'll ever do, if you're doing it properly
as you are. Saying it to others, before others, this is who I want,
this is where it ends and begins with me. And uniquely so.
So here's to you, Stephen and Lucy, standing at that old portal:
here's to a good road before you, and a long one,
and the two of you walking together happily, down it.

--------------------------------------------------------------

isn't that just one of the sweetest things you've ever read?

30 August 2010

In other news

- Mexico fires 3200 police officers for corruption.

- Putin says opposition protesters "will be beaten upside the head with a truncheon."

- They're still fighting (or fighting again) in Mogadishu.

- I'm moving on Wednesday! Hurrah! Hurrah? #Hurrah;

- I'm flying to Florida on Thursday morning! ...very, very early on Thursday morning. We'll see how that goes.

29 August 2010

I'm going to live

in a place where I can be at home
in a place where the colors speak to me

in a place where I can speak back
in a place where no one will think I'm crazy

in a place where I can be crazy but nobody will mind
in a place where the wind asks the trees for their secrets

in a place where I can take dictation
in a place where paper and words surround me

in a place where I can learn how to blow sh*t up with my mind
in a place where the storms will wash the plates

in a place where I can put my queer shoulder to the wheel
in a place where nobody knows Rosebud

in a place where I can flicker 24 frames per second
in a place where everybody knows Rosebud

in a place where I can hear the grating roar
in a place where the blind eye creates

I hope

28 August 2010

Something I saw yesterday

So. I'm very deliberately not alleging anything or accusing anybody of any wrongdoing with this post. For one thing, I don't have any proof that any wrongdoing was done. For another, I would be really uncomfortable and/or concerned for my own safety if what I thought I saw was what actually happened.

Here's a story for y'all - my own experience, nothing more. Disclaimer that I'm sure I've got incomplete knowledge of the situation.


About 4:25 or so PM yesterday, I was biking from my apartment over to Safeway. It's only a couple of blocks. I was riding down my alleyway towards 47th and I saw three bike cops hanging out on the sidewalk across the street. I slow down, make sure to signal, make sure to come to a complete stop before turning, all that stuff, and one of them pulls out onto 47th just in front of me while the others bike down the sidewalk to the intersection of 47th and University Way.

The one in front of me is laughing and talking with the other cops while we're all stopped at the light there (I'm immediately behind him). I hear him say "I've got dibs on this one, all right?" And then I hear the other officers assent. One of them says "All right, dude, if you want a turn."

The light turns green, the two bike cops on the sidewalk cut around some pedestrians in the crosswalk and stay on the sidewalk heading towards Brooklyn. The bike cop in front of me accelerates on his bike, runs the stop sign at 47th and Brooklyn, then cuts left and onto the sidewalk next to the BP. I'm looking right because I need to turn onto Brooklyn.

As I'm turning, I hear the bike cop yelling. I pull onto the sidewalk and look over. The same bike cop who'd called 'dibs' when he was at 47th and University Way is standing over a homeless guy on the sidewalk. I hear the cop say "what the hell do you think you're doing?" He then starts chewing the homeless guy out for hitting him - I can't tell if he means getting in the way of the bike (my assumption) or actually attacking him (highly unlikely, given the homeless guy isn't lying on his face covered in pepper spray). I can't make out the homeless guy's response. I stand there for a couple of minutes while the three bike cops surround the homeless guy and yell at him. I then duck into the Safeway for a few minutes. When I come out, I see the homeless guy sitting on the edge of the curb with his hands behind his back; it looks like he's handcuffed. One of the bike cops is talking on his radio.


So, yeah. That's what I saw. Like I said, I don't know if there was any kind of weirdness going on, and it's entirely possible that the whole situation was a matter of a homeless guy, out of the blue, attacking three bike cops. Given that there was no arrest made that I can find today, though, and that I heard one of the cops calling dibs a block before the situation occurred - it just seems a little odd to me.

27 August 2010

He don't write ish, 'cause he ain't got time




Yes. Those are, indeed, rapper Lil' Wayne's picks for the upcoming U.S. Open. Impressive, and they make it clear that he's a fan, given that he spelled both Djokovic and Clijsters' names correctly.

Dang



I wish my VO2 max was on that level. ...granted, I don't know exactly what mine is, but I'm guessing (just off of the way I huff and puff going up hills) that it's not really anywhere close.

26 August 2010

Oh, that's (quite literally) rich...

Just copypasta for y'all this evening. Source:

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The new administrator for claims by Gulf oil spill victims says it was his idea, not BP's, to require that anyone who receives a final settlement from the $20 billion compensation fund give up the right to sue the oil giant.

But Ken Feinberg told reporters Sunday that he has not yet decided whether the no-sue requirement will extend to other companies that may be responsible for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

He insists payouts from the claims facility he will run will be more generous than those from any court.

Any individual or business that receives a short-term emergency payment from the claims facility that launches Monday will still be able to sue BP.

Feinberg said that in the next few weeks he would release details on how much he is being paid to operate the fund.

Getting ready to TEACH

In the style of...









You will be perfect in every aspect of your writing.

You abuse your thesaurus trying to look smart, you run a mile.

You give me an unclear pronoun reference, you run a mile.

You write me a run-on sentence, and I will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts. And then you will run a mile.

Perfection. Let's go to work.



----------------------------------------------------------





Writing a perfect paper is not about those grades in front of you.

It's not about graduating.

It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your thesaurus, and your computer. Writing the perfect paper is about being able to look your essay square in the title page and know that you didn't let it down because you told the truth.

And the truth is you did everything you could. There wasn't one more thing you could've edited.

Can you turn in that paper with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that, gentlemen - it's perfect.



---------------------------------------------------


More to come, I'm sure.

24 August 2010

On sports and money

Those of y'all who went to Stetson while I was there might or might not remember a column I wrote for the school paper blasting the school's administration for spending money trying to maintain D1 status for athletics when they were, at the same time, talking about how they needed to make cuts in spending everywhere else.

You might also recall an article I wrote some time later talking about a promotional scheme the same people put on that paid cash to anyone attending a certain men's basketball game.

If you recall that article, you probably remember the aftermath, in which the school's athletic director (wrongly) accused me of falsifying my story, admitted that only 12 (!) people had taken them up on their desperate scheme, and tried to have me fired from my work-study job.

Yeah, I wasn't angry or anything.

Anyways - my essential question, as to why exactly schools are spending money on athletics when they're claiming there's no money available for academics, still stands. Even moreso in the wake of this article from ESPN.

Brief excerpt:

A newly released NCAA report shows that just 14 of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools made money from campus athletics in the 2009 fiscal year, down from 25 the year before.

Researchers blame the sagging economy and suggested that next year's numbers could be even worse.

The research was done by accounting professor Dan Fulks of Transylvania University, a Division III school in Lexington, Ky. It shows the median amount paid by the 120 FBS schools to support campus athletics grew in one year from about $8 million to more than $10 million.


You know how many professors' salaries ten million dollars would pay? How many students' tuitions? How many decrepit academic buildings that would repair?

I love me some sports, folks. Y'all know that. But I love learning more, especially seeing as how it's, you know, the primary reason for having universities? ...or maybe that's just me.

Anyways. Y'all have a good day. I'm off into the ether.

23 August 2010

'L' is for the way you look at me

Many thanks to NS, who posted this link.

Some of my favorites from the article, in which young children talk about what love means to them:

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4


"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby - age 7

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine - age 5

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica - age 8


------------------

Yeah. I know I don't usually post sappy stuff on here, but that was just too good to pass up.

Y'all have a great day!

21 August 2010

Just another...

LS posted the link to designboom.com on Facebook, I looked up numbers on congress.org: and Time Magazine and found that it's actually even worse than the artist, Sebastian Errazuriz, realized. Quote from Time, April 13, 2010:

From the invasion of Afghanistan until last summer, the U.S. military had lost 761 soldiers in combat there. But a higher number in the service — 817 — had taken their own lives over the same period. The surge in suicides, which have risen five years in a row, has become a vexing problem for which the Army's highest levels of command have yet to find a solution despite deploying hundreds of mental-health experts and investing millions of dollars. And the elephant in the room in much of the formal discussion of the problem is the burden of repeated tours of combat duty on a soldier's battered psyche.






Heck of an image.

Oh Em Gee

1. It's the weekend!

2. It's actually the weekend! I.E. ...I'm done! No studying, no working! Whoo!

Yeah, folks, you heard it right. Essay finished. Four weeks of reading and (intensive) thinking for the first draft, two weeks of more thinking for the second draft, two weeks of thinking and revising for this final draft, which I finished up last night. Result? Many pages of, if not perfection, at least something that I can walk away from without feeling a sharp pain in my gut.

I slept late this morning for the first time in, literally, weeks.

...or, rather, I tried to. I went to bed at 12:05 after working on my essay for twelve hours straight and then having a single beer (Black Butte Porter, I highly recommend it) in celebration. I pointedly did not set my alarm. Given that I'd gotten three hours of sleep in the past forty-one hours, and eight in the past sixty-five, I anticipated a hibernation-level slumber.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I awoke at 6:15, mostly refreshed and completely unable to fall back asleep.

Ah, well. Morning run (7 miles, 67 minutes), cup of coffee, couple handfuls of raisin bran, new episode of Eureka, and I'm in a fantastic mood for the day. Think I'm doing sushi tonight with some wonderful folk (you know who you are...), though I'm not entirely certain.

Speaking of Eureka - this latest episode was, as is usual for the show, quite wonderful. The ending in particular made me smile. It also made me remember my SU Honors kids. Y'all know I love you guys (and gals).





Really a sweet little scene, there.

My only quibble with "Stoned" was that the good Dr. Grant had his role somewhat minimized for the episode. I really can't get enough of that sepia-toned, sport-calling, gratuitously gentlemanly character. ...and, granted (please pardon the pun; it's entirely unintentional, I assure you), I'm sure that most of the ladies in the audience can't, either.

Anyways - I'm off to the farmer's market, then going to mess around with my violin a bit :) I've been wanting to work out some tunes that have been floating around my head, and it's always a wonderful stress release.

All y'all have a great day! I know I'm going to.

20 August 2010

Cop drives drunk on duty, kills biker, keeps license.

According to the Indianapolis Star:

At 11:20 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, 2010, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police cruiser driven by Officer David Bisard plowed into a group of four riders on three motorcycles stopped at a red light. One rider was killed, and two others critically injured.

A blood test indicated Bisard was drunk and he was initially charged with seven DUI-related felonies. But those charges were later dropped because the blood test had been mishandled and no other evidence supported the DUI charge.


Yup. You read that right. The cop (who's been in five car crashes before this) was driving drunk - a followup article pinned his BAC at .19, almost two and a half times the legal limit - and then, somehow, his coworkers managed to mess up the blood test, resulting in the worst of the charges being dropped.

Quote from the followup article:

One victim's family called the dismissal a "travesty." A legal expert said the police ineptness leaves the public with little choice but to wonder whether the bungled case was more than an accident. And Mayor Greg Ballard has become increasingly frustrated as he seeks answers, as well.

"The people in the city are not the only ones wondering what happened at the scene," Ballard said. "I am, too."

Straub and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Paul Ciesielski repeated their insistence Thursday that Bisard received "absolutely no deference" from fellow officers Aug. 6 after he crashed his cruiser into two motorcycles that were stopped at a light.

The impact of the crash -- which occurred while Bisard, 36, was responding to a request for help serving a warrant, with his cruiser's lights and siren activated -- killed Eric Wells, 30, and seriously injured two other riders.

Bisard surrendered after prosecutors learned a blood test had shown his blood-alcohol level was 0.19 -- more than twice the level at which an Indiana driver is considered intoxicated.

But that arrest didn't come until five days after the crash because of the lag in test results. The delay in arresting Bisard drew scrutiny from some -- as did the fact that no officers conducted field-sobriety or breath tests of Bisard at the scene.


Yeah, you read that right. He was on duty, driving drunk, killed a guy, sent two other people to the hospital, and then his coworkers didn't even conduct a field sobriety test.

Seriously. I've had cops ask me if I was drunk because I was dancing along with my mp3 player while I was walking back to my dorm. Granted, I'm a horrible dancer, but my dancing isn't as bad as, I don't know, killing somebody.

Want more? He gets to keep his license! According to this article, from yesterday:

A judge ruled this morning that a suspended Indianapolis police officer may keep his driver's license while he awaits trial on charges that he was driving drunk on duty when he struck two motorcycles, killing one rider and injuring two others.


Impressive!

It gets better, though! Want to hear the most impressive, if rather unsurprising, part of the story? Quote, again from the original article:

An IMPD report of the accident characterized the motorcyclists as "failing" to move, but traffic safety experts say they did the right thing in staying put.


Yeah. Not only did the cops cover up for their buddy after he drove drunk while on duty, killed a guy, and sent two other people to the hospital, they said it was the victims' fault! Isn't that just peachy?

Way to protect and serve, dudes. I'd say you're doing an exemplary job, as long as the only things you're trying to protect are your own asses, and the only thing you're serving is your own dang self-interest.

Have a great day, y'all - I'm getting back to work.

So this is where I am

It's 8:10 in the morning, I've been up for about two and a half hours now. Last night, I got the final draft of my MA essay mostly done. By mostly, I mean I've got everything more or less where it needs to be and I'm within the page guidelines - I'm just not completely satisfied with the feel of it yet. Then again... I don't know that I'm going to be. I have this feeling that the more I tinker with this essay, the more I'm going to want to keep tinkering with it. So... I'll get back from class this afternoon, give it one more good scouring, and turn it in this evening or tonight. Some folks are going on a hike this evening, and I'd very much like to go, but I know that if I'm not satisfied with my essay before I turn it in, it'll eat at me and I won't be able to have any fun.

Did you catch that mention of getting back from class? I've also got a Spanish final about two and a half hours from now, one that I really haven't started studying for just yet in large part because this got-dang essay has been consuming my thoughts. ...I'm going to go find my textbooks and start learning verb forms now.

All y'all have a great morning! I need coffee.

19 August 2010

I Am Legend: It Didn't Suck!

Remember y'all's reactions upon watching I Am Legend, the Will Smith movie from a few years back?

If you're anything like me, you had a few.

First: Aww, so sad that the dog died.

Second
: That movie would have been awesome, but the ending ruined it.

Remember these reactions? The second one is what I'm aiming at, here. Will Smith blows himself up with a grenade to protect the girl and the kid, who have a syringe full of zombie cure to get to the military? Yeah. Completely bizarre action-movie ending to an otherwise really good film.

...so now I'm reading around, taking a break from this, my last full day of editing my MA essay, and I come across whispers of an alternate ending that wasn't horrible.

...and then I find out that it was actually the ending that the filmmakers wanted to use, but the studio made them reshoot.

...and then I find it's still floating around out there. Here it is.



Isn't that something like 450% better? I'd say 500%, but I feel like that might be a mite bit overkill. The movie is suddenly really good again, hoo boy!

Anyways, I'm going to get back to work. It's going to be a longish night before I'm satisfied with this essay.

All y'all - peace!

18 August 2010

This might be the most awesome

and/or completely retarded thing I've seen in a while.

Trailer:





...and the first quarter of a match:

These are why I love The Onion

Two articles.

First:

New Edition Of Bible Specifically Mentions Second Amendment

CHICAGO—A new translation of the Bible released this week directly mentions the Second Amendment on eight occasions, and includes a version of Psalm 23 that begins, "The Lord is my shepherd, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Positive early feedback praised the new edition for its clean design, readability, and beautiful rendering of proverbs that condemn the foolish ban on semiautomatic weapons for personal use. "For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and give your enemies over to you," Deuteronomy 23:14 reads. "Your camp shall be holy, and if that means exercising your constitutional right to purchase a firearm, then that's your own damn business." The leather-bound book also comes with a handsomely crafted carrying case and a fully loaded, nickel-plated Glock 17 8mm.




Second:
Obama Declares Victory, Sort Of, Depending On How You Look At It, In Iraq

[excerpted]

With the cessation of combat operations, and the declaration of what sources said couldn't be called a complete and utter failure because to do so would be to admit that the U.S. wasted $750 billion, lost 4,400 troops, and killed 100,000 Iraqi civilians for absolutely nothing, both Democrats and Republicans have attempted to take credit for the quasi-victory.

"President Obama deserves zero praise for this borderline accomplishment," Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told reporters. "After all, if it weren't for President Bush ordering the initial invasion of Iraq and making it his central foreign policy initiative, we wouldn't be here right now awkwardly celebrating the muddled outcome of whatever the hell it is we've been doing over there for the past seven years."

14 August 2010

I Have Found It!

Can I just note that I kind of love this show?




This is also so much a better look for the good Mr. Callis than his previous Gaius Baltar persona. Dr. Grant was one of my favorite characters on the show from the moment he showed up, and he hasn't let me down yet. Favorite quote from him this week came in an exchange with Carter; the "I will be sure never to tell you about it" was priceless. Though, granted, Fargo's Terminator shout-out and Allison's to Aliens were enough to make me laugh.

I go Back to May 1937






Isn't that just one of the coolest mods you've ever seen?

According to contrariwise.org, from whence I copied the picture:

This tattoo was inspired by a trip to Bread Loaf this summer, where I studied poetry with Ellen Bryant Voigt. I have always admired the ways we can re-imagine poems outside of typical lineation, how poems can become sculptures and books can be objects of art with textures and breath. A bit of fortune converged with my desire: I have a dear friend in my MFA program whose husband happens to be a tattoo artist, and that husband just so wanted to spend some time on a letterpress, and I had just acquired a Kelsey platen press. A trade was proposed, and Shawn designed the whole thing with wings in mind, something that would also resemble lungs and breathing and the lift of freedom at the end of Sharon Olds‘ oft-studied “I Go Back to May 1937.” The poem is there, on my arm, in its entirety. Olds is my most beloved living poet, and this poem speaks to me with my own work–taking life experiences and professing: “Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.” Olds once said that poetry comes out of her lungs, and now I have this reminder, this collection of gorgeous language, that tells me again and again: don’t forget to breathe, don’t forget who you are.



Here's the poem, if you aren't familiar:


I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks with the
wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips black in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don't do it--she's the wrong woman,
he's the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty blank face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome blind face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don't do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips like chips of flint as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.



Love the poem, love the tattoo. Beautiful stuff on both counts.


In other news, I'm meeting folks from two different apartments this afternoon and this evening, hopefully getting that decision figured out within the next week or so. Both of these places look pretty awesome thus far - one on Capitol Hill, one up in Wedgewood - and my (sadly limited) interactions with their inhabitants have to this date produced positive results.

Good lord, I sound like Data. Again. Ah, well - there are worse things.

Time to go engage my positronic matrix.

(like that, do ya? I know you do...)

13 August 2010

So close...

I know that my Top 5 Album Covers I Have was my post yesterday, but there's just so many good ones that I had to throw a few more up here today.

Here goes, then. I'm going sans explanations this evening, just gon' let 'em speak for their own selves. Apparently in a strange accent. Enjoy!


Flight of the Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky




Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs




Dropkick Murphys - The Warrior's Code




Heartless Bastards - The Mountain

12 August 2010

Another top 5

So here's a list I've been thinking on for a few days now, off and on (mostly off, but it's all good) -

album covers. Of albums that I have.

I'm not going to get overly ambitious with this - not gonna try for the Best Album Covers Ever of All Time - but, eh, there's some really cool ones in my inventory. Do note that most of them I've got in mp3 format, so I don't have them in actual hardcopy (I don't actually own a single CD or DVD) but they're still cool pictures. Note also that I'm not judging the music, or the cultural relevance - just the artwork, and I'm only judging it on the grounds of 'hey, that looks awesome.'

Cool? Cool.

5. The Phenomenal Handclap Band - The Phenomenal Handclap Band



Old-school, colors bleeding everywhere, and it's straight-up awesome. Reminiscent (in all the best ways) of the grand old days before I was born, when Tron was the hot new thing on the block and you had to commute on dinosaurs. Grok my jive, me hearties?



4. Horse Feathers - Words are Dead



Love love love what they did with this cover. It's got this sweet Where The Wild Things Are vibe to it, combined with just enough unsettling pig-on-the-barbie imagery to keep it fresh.



3. Ben Frost - By the Throat



There's something that's just a little bit disturbing about this cover, and, for a long time, I couldn't figure out what it was. I think I've finally pinned it down, though. It's not the wolves, or the snow, or the bright lights - it's the red band and the use of negative space for the words. It makes me think of that old game, Battlezone.




2. Ray Wylie Hubbard - Snake Farm and A. Enlightenment







Okay, okay, so I know I'm cheating with this one. Er... two. Er... this choice. But I didn't want to give away two slots on the countdown to the good Mr. Hubbard, nor could I in good conscience leave either of these scintillating entries off. Seriously. Just look at them. That's some killer work right there.



1. The Dead Weather - Horehound



Y'all know me. You know I hate to be 'trendy' or 'cool,' and god forbid that I blunder into 'hip.' But, as I said, this list isn't about the bands, or the music, or their cultural relevance. And that's one heckuvan album cover.

In other news... I do believe that might be the first time I've used 'heckuvan' in writing. Doesn't roll off the fingers all that well, but I suppose if it's grammatically correct, it's grammatically correct.

Back to work I go.

Have a great night!

10 August 2010

With closed fist

If you haven't heard about this story, here's a brief synopsis, followed by a quote from later in the Huffington Post column:

A guy beat his 17-month-old son. To death. Why? to quote from the article:

"I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl," Jones explained. "I never struck that kid that hard before. A one-time mistake, and I am going to do 20 years."


A May 2010 article in the Miami News by Penn Bullock and Brandon K. Thorp reported on Rekers' 1974 "Feminine Boy Project" at UCLA. The article highlighted the story of a 4-year-old-year old "effeminate boy" named Kraig was subjected by his parents to Rekers' aversion therapy.

Part of the therapy involved putting Kraig in "play-observation room" with his mother, who had instructions to avert her eyes from her child when he played with "girly" toys. An essay by Stephanie Wilkinson published in Brain, Child magazine in 2001 recounts that, during one of the sessions, Kraig became so distraught and hysterical at what must have seemed to the 4-year-old like the withdrawal of his mother's love, that he had to be carried out of the room by the staff. At home, the "treatment" continued, with Kraig being rewarded for "masculine" behavior and spanked by his father for "feminine" behavior.

After two years of treatment, apparently "cured" of his effeminacy, Kraig was held up by the psychologist as proof that his treatment worked until, at 18, shamed and scarred by his diagnosis and treatment, Kraig attempted suicide.

Last summer, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover who committed suicide in his mother's house after months of taunts about how he acted "like a girl" and therefore had to be gay. His mother had to cut down his dead body from the support beam from which he hung himself. The previous year, a 14-year-old classmate killed 15-year-old old Lawrence King, of Oxnard, CA because King came to school in lipstick and nail polish.

As a society, we equate masculinity with force, with violence, with aggression, with being "tough" and invulnerable. We celebrate it those things as virtues. To a widely-varying degree, we look with disdain, or pity, or condescension, or amusement at too much deviation from the prescribed norm. And we occasionally exact a terrible penalty for stepping outside those rigid parameters.



People, I'd say, are people. I've judged people for the way they look or act, before, in no small part because, in my experience, not to do so is to invite attacks upon one's self. This is especially true when you're, say, a quiet, intelligent young person with very refined mannerisms and speech patterns in a hardcore right-wing conservative Christian environment, surrounded by teenagers who're dead-set on proving that they're who they're supposed to be.

I know some of y'all might dismiss Jones' act as a tragic case of a crazy guy killing his kid, and think that I'm, in choosing to quote from what I know is a far-left-wing source, really stretching the story. Maybe I am.

Maybe, though, I chose this article because it's making a really good argument, and making it well:

At the very least, his own violent psychopathology notwithstanding, someone, somewhere, taught Pedro Jones that the worst thing a little boy can do is act like a girl. In the end, it matters precious little when or where he learned it, because a 17-month-old toddler ultimately paid a terrible price for that lesson.

On Sunday night, his little body wracked by agony, blackened with bruises, beaten within an inch of his life, gasping for breath in a world suddenly full of more pain than he could bear, his little light flickered and vanished into the darkness.

Maybe this time, when we read about the death of Roy Jones, before we look away and try not to think of our own children and how truly defenseless they are, not only against violence, but against an adult's determinant view of who and what they might be, we might examine the way in which we see our society and the complex mosaic that makes up our fellow citizens.


There's something there. I know I've got readers from all over the political spectrum, and I know this post is going to offend some of y'all. I'm not sorry about that. This needs to be said. People deserve the chance to grow into who they're going to grow to be without having to be afraid of what's going to happen to them if they don't hide it - whether that be, in this case, getting beaten to death, or, in less dramatic circumstances, losing the only support systems they have (I still remember you, TM), or being targeted with words, looks, laughter, and violence.

If this is cliched and/or awkwardly written, sorry, I'm a little tired, it's past my bedtime. But I had to say it.

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Tiny Vipers - Development

09 August 2010

A Day in the Life

So this was today for me (and, no, I'm not going to post anything by the Beatles) -



5:15 AM - wake up, brush teeth, breakfast
5:30 AM - run (5 miles)
6:15 AM - return, shower, blogpost, coffee, more breakfast
7:00 AM - working on MA essay
9:00 AM - off to school
1:30 PM - back from school, lunch
2:15 PM - off to gym
3:30 PM - back from gym, shower, more lunch
4:00 PM - watch new episode of True Blood
5:00 PM - working on MA essay
7:00 PM - dinner
7:45 PM - blogpost
8:00 PM (est) - homework for tomorrow's class
9:30 PM (est) - shower, bed

...and then I'll wake up in the morning and, more or less, do it over again. Generally a balanced sort of day, I think, between the working and the working out and the eating and recreation - but it is the sort of schedule that gets me a little bit tired after a while.

Of course... at the moment, I've had one day back at work after a really lovely sort of weekend. I've got no right to be tired just yet, yeah? Yeah.

Back to work, then. Less than two weeks to push through, some good work to turn out. Sorry, Trebek.

To the day.

(one final note: what's with all the bike cops everywhere? The last week or so, I've been seeing groups of four or five pouring out of alleyways around my apartment and heading down the ave... it creates this really weird effect where everyone is turning or kind of flinching or trying to get out of the way, wondering what's going on. It's been pretty bizarre. I saw it again this afternoon when I was biking back from the IMA.)

I've got nature on me!

(get it off of me! Somebody get it off of me!)

For those of you who don't remember that particular Monk scene from a few years back... I'd say I pity you, but it's probably just a sign that you have a social life. Or possibly brain damage.

Anyways... weekend spent camping out in the sticks with a bunch of good folks. I'm feeling a little bit tired, but also slightly emotionally recharged as I head into the last couple of weeks of summer quarter. We'll see how my results bear out this feeling.

I'm going to have a cup of coffee and do a little bit of studying, then head out to class. All y'all have a great day.

06 August 2010

Way to go, dude

Big thumbs up today to Roger Huerta who, in case you haven't heard, intervened - hard - in a situation outside of a club in Austin.

To cut & paste from TMZ, from whence came the story:

27-year-old Huerta -- who was once featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated -- was in front of a bar in Austin around 2 AM on Saturday morning ... when some other people began fighting. Roger was near the scuffle ... when he saw one of the men involved punch a female who was standing near the ruckus.

Once Huerta sees the woman collapse to the ground -- he instantly tries to confront the attacker saying, "You just punched a f**kin' girl."

Moments later, Huerta takes off his shirt ... slams his hat to the ground ... and rushes after the man.

Chaos ensues and people scramble after the fighters, blocking the camera -- but seconds later ... a shirtless Huerta can be seen finishing his attack on the other man ... who is sprawled out on the street.

People rush in to aid the bloody man on the ground -- who eventually gets off the pavement -- as Huerta walks away from the battle ground.

Austin PD tells TMZ that officers were called to the scene -- but so far, no arrests have been made.

Huerta's manager tells us, "I have not spoken to Roger yet about this incident, but I can say that it's in his nature to be very protective of women."


While I'm a little confused as to why Huerta took the time to take off his shirt and his hat before he went after the guy - who, I should point out, appeared to outweigh him by easily 50 pounds - I'm impressed by his stepping in. Solid work on his part. There's flat-out no excuse for sucker-punching a girl, ever.

(okay, so I can think of cases in which it might be necessary. But this, so far as can be told from the video, sure doesn't appear to be one of them.)

There's also flat-out no excuse (with the same disclaimer) for letting somebody else sucker-punch a girl... or, really, anybody who's weaker than themselves. Well done by Huerta - count me as a fan.

04 August 2010

Sort of hurrah

So here's an article for y'all to read, if you feel like it.

Otherwise, here's the beginning cut and pasted:

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) -- An Oregon city has agreed to pay $19,000 to settle a federal lawsuit by a man the police arrested for using a cell phone to record the voice of an officer arresting a friend.

Beaverton police Chief Geoff Spalding says it's unlikely his officers would again arrest somebody for recording the voice of an officer, although he's not ruling it out.

A similar incident in Portland prompted city attorneys to advise the police that officers can't seize cameras or arrest people for recording them in public, except in rare circumstances.

The settlement comes almost two years after Beaverton police arrested Hao Xeng Vang, who used his cell phone to capture the arrest of one of his friends at the Valley Lanes Bowling Center in Beaverton.

Vang made no attempt to hide his recording and even narrated what he was capturing, said his attorney, Kevin Lucey.

"He kept on saying, 'Don't worry. I've got it on tape,'" Lucey said.

After about 10 minutes, Officer Jason Buelt seized Vang's phone and arrested him. The city returned the phone in October, but the recording was deleted. Lucey said officials made copies.

After an investigation, Spalding said, Buelt was disciplined for deleting the recording, but Spalding declined to provide details. Buelt is now a detective.

Prosecutors dropped the case against Vang on the grounds the audio quality was so poor it might not have qualified as a violation of the law.

Beaverton city lawyers wrote two memos saying that in most encounters with residents police don't have an expectation of privacy and they should assume they are being recorded.


Okay, okay... so that's actually about the first 60% of the article. But it's all good, right?

...or, at least, it's mostly good. While I'm happy about the police not thinking they should have an expectation of privacy when they're arresting people, I'm not happy that it's even a question, or that they still think they have the right to arrest people just for taking video of them.

Here, let me apply the same logic they do: what do they have to hide? Why are they so afraid of our recording them?

(for those of y'all who aren't aware, this is a post-9/11 thing... they can record us whenever they want, including our phone calls and our emails, whether or not they have a warrant, but it's a felony-caliber violation of wiretapping laws for any of us to so much as take a picture of any of them. hurrah.)

Anyways. /pseudo-rant, /angst, and /linkdr.

All y'all have a great day... I'm getting back to work now. Test in the morning, final draft of essay hopefully finished by Aug 22 or so.

01 August 2010

Then and now









Nuff said.


[by which, of course, I mean... nothing said. Two interesting, but different, songs.]

I'll take the pirate any day






Image is from GraphJam. I found it amusing.

You know what isn't amusing, though? Crystal meth.

(apropos of nothing)

Today's schedule... studying, gaming, studying, sleep. It's a thrill a minute when you're living the academic life.

All y'all have a great day.