Eight Things

Filed under:It's My Life,Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on July 11, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

I’ve been tagged. I thought it was hard enough to come up with five things, let alone eight more. The rules:

The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) Habit: I read while I eat. This is a terrific habit for Mom’s Nights Out, meaning I can thoroughly enjoy a nice dinner in a restaurant without the hassle of finding some non-busy person to go out with me. It’s not so great for family life. I’m eyeing my son as he sits at his little table, eating with a Highlights magazine in front of him, and wondering if I can break this habit in time to give him the traditional Meals All Together ‘Round the Table. It’s doubtful. If I gave it up, I’d have to find some other time in my day to read books instead of the internet. Which leads to

2) Fact: I am a net addict. (So are you. Close this browser and walk away. Can’t do it, can you?) It started in college. It’s awful. Self-discipline? What’s that? Someday I’ll break free.

3) Fact: I am simply not a pet person. I wish I were; I do look at dogs and crow, “Oh, you’re a good dog,” but I’m obsessive about having clean hands, and petting animals on a regular basis doesn’t fit with that. And my house is dirty enough without dog or cat hair all over it, thanks. Other than hygiene, I do have a pretty good excuse:

4) Fact: I am deathly allergic to cats. With some breeds of cat, after an hour in the house with them I start to wheeze as though my lungs are filling up. Not. Nice. I am slightly allergic to dogs, but compared to the cat allergy, not so’s you notice.

5) Fact: James Taylor picked me out of a gaggle of embarrassingly behaved women to shake hands with at the end of a concert in Chicago. You know those stories about women throwing their underwear at performers? I used to think they were largely exaggerated, but now I’m sure some morons do that. No panties were flaunted at this event, but women were leaning onto the stage as far as they could, yelling stuff like, “Come home with me, James!!” I stood in the front row horribly embarrassed for the rest of my sex, clapping and cheering and trying to ignore them. He finished singing “Sweet Baby James,” took his bow, then scanned the row of frenzied women and apparently decided I was harmless. Thank you, James, for your talent (and taste!).

6) On the subject of celebrity encounters, fact: One of my ex-boyfriends worked for a TV station that had its own in-house afternoon kids’ show, starring one of my BF’s buddies as a clown. They brought in lots of minor-to-moderate celebrities for this show, with the result that BF once spent the day escorting John de Lancie, of Q fame. Yes, all right, that’s a fact about somebody else, really. I can’t help it, I like celebrity encounters–

7) I do my best to gin up a cool exterior to hide the fact that inside I’m a giggly, melty fangirl. Sometimes I succeed.

8) I got my first passport today. No plans to travel outside the country yet, but I’m excited nevertheless.

Righto, eight facts for your edification and amusement. Now the eight tags: Sarah, Petitedov, Mad William Flint, nk, Xrlq, Slublog, Chris, Allen.

These are fun enough, except the facts about me are boring enough. I’ve got an idea or two for a meme of my own to spread in future.


Filed under:Heh — posted by Anwyn @ 9:34 am

I don’t think Dawn Summers is really a liberal. I mean, seriously, can’t they take away her membership card for this:

And then when Melissa Etheridge gave her stirring introduction about how she believed in this man and was inspired by him and I thought she was talking about Jesus and then my little cousin said “no, I don’t think so,” and then I said “sounds like Jesus” and she was all “nah, I’m pretty sure it’s not Jesus” and then AL GORE came on the stage and I had to pay her a dollar? That sucked.

I mean, I had to give my cousin the dollar, not Mellissa Etheridge. I wouldn’t even give her a nickel for that horrid “song” she was singing.

Oh, I guess that’s mean cause she had cancer.

But then again, Al Gore said I should live my life like I could be the difference and I’d really like for Mellissa Etheridge not to sing anymore.

I CANNOT believe her craptrap Golbal warming song beat Listen for the Oscar.

Sha. World’s coming to an end, indeed.

Assumes people should be talking about Jesus rather than Al Gore when they discuss how they “believe” in somebody? Check. Assumes artists should vote for Best in Show based on, you know, artistic merit rather than political merit? Check. Makes fun of bleeding hearts who think cancer (among other things) confers moral authority? Check.

But don’t tell Karol. That’d be a quarter of her blog content gone, poof.

Bonus: Buffy. While you’re at Dawn’s, watch this and chortle.

There Are Not 45 Million Uninsured Americans

Filed under:Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on July 10, 2007 @ 8:30 am

Whatever you may hear any Democrat for Socialized Medicine say. See-Dub Geoff, guesting for See-Dub, takes it apart for us in a few short paragraphs: the number of “chronically uninsured” Americans, those who have been without health care for more than one year, falls to 18 million when you take out those who are here illegally and those who happened to be without health care for a short time only at the time of the survey.

As See-Dub Geoff points out:

The 18 million citizens who are chronically uninsured represent only 6% of the population. Turning the health care industry upside down for 1 out of 15 people seems a bit much, and running a presidential campaign on the basis of the welfare of 1 out of 15 people seems like a distortion of priorities.

I’ll go a bit farther: How many of those 18 million are uninsured because of how they choose to live? How many of them could get a perfectly decent full-time job, but don’t, for whatever reason? I was uninsured myself for a full year after I quit my job to stay at home with my son (yes, son continued to have insurance, thanks for asking).

Why do so many Democrats seem so concerned, on behalf of these people, many of whom have as much choice as the rest of us as to how they live, that health care be free rather than that it be effective?

Bonus item that purports to deal with health care, but doesn’t because Michael Moore is a waste of human brain cells. If anybody, even on the left, continues to be unembarrassed by Moore’s inane, leftover, irrelevant spewing, I never want to meet that person. Ever.

Self-Answering Questions

Filed under:It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on July 9, 2007 @ 11:27 am

“Mommy, what does ‘frustrated’ mean? What does ‘frustrated’ mean? What does ‘frustrated mean? …”

Uh, You Know That Rain Out of the Clear Blue Sky?

Filed under:It's My Life,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on July 8, 2007 @ 10:11 pm

It, um, wasn’t rain.

That was on a Sunday night after I’d seen a movie downtown. Tonight, Sunday night, I saw a movie at the same theater and walked back up the same street to get back to my car. It sprinkled … something … on me from the same building. Uuuggghh.

By coincidence I parked my car on the same street as a guy also seeing the same movie as I was … he said, “Maybe it’s just somebody with a kitchen sprayer at an open window.”

I gotta tell ya, I hope that’s all it was.

And next time I see a movie downtown, I walk on the effing other side of the street.

Weeklyish Tolkien: Some That Die Deserve Life

Filed under:Tolkien — posted by Anwyn on July 7, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

‘What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!’

‘Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy, not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity.’

‘I am sorry,’ said Frodo. ‘But I am frightened; and I do not feel any pity for Gollum.’

‘You have not seen him,’ Gandalf broke in.

‘No, and I don’t want to,’ said Frodo. ‘I can’t understand you. Do you mean to say that you, and the Elves, have let him live on after all those horrible deeds? Now at any rate he is as bad as an Orc, and just an enemy. He deserves death.’

‘Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it.’

The Fellowship of the Ring


Does anybody else think Frodo took these words a little too much to heart?


‘I pity you. … Go at once and never return!’

The hobbits of the villages had seen Saruman come out of one of the huts, and … when they heard Frodo’s command, they murmured angrily:

‘Don’t let him go! Kill him! He’s a villain and a murderer. Kill him!’ …

But Frodo said: ‘… But I will not have him slain. It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing. Go, Saruman, by the speediest way!’ …

Saruman turned to go, … but even as Saruman passed close to Frodo a knife flashed in his hand, and he stabbed swiftly. The blade turned on the hidden mail-coat and snapped. A dozen hobbits, led by Sam, leaped forward with a cry and flung the villain to the ground. Sam drew his sword.

‘No, Sam!’ said Frodo. ‘Do not kill him even now. For he has not hurt me. And in any case I do not wish him to be slain in this evil mood. He was great once, of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against. He is fallen, and his cure is beyond us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it.’

Frodo then offers both mercy and sanctuary to Wormtongue, but it comes out that Wormtongue has killed Lotho Sackville-Baggins on Saruman’s orders. Wormtongue draws his knife and slays Saruman.

Before Frodo could recover or speak a word, three hobbit-bows twanged and Wormtongue fell dead.

The Return of the King


The simplest reading of this is that Frodo simply did not want Saruman’s, or Wormtongue’s, blood on his own hands. He accepts the fait accompli without a fuss and is relieved that it’s over. But it’s troubling that, having accepted the role of leader that the hobbits looked to him for, that he chose to vacate judgment in favor of doubt–doubt that he was worthy to judge Saruman, who was most assuredly fallen, doubt that removing him from menacing other innocents was a more proper course than letting him go.

It’s a gray area, for sure. Frodo’s words are valid–Saruman’s actions against the Shire were a specific act of revenge, and unlike reality, one is certain in reading the words of Tolkien that if Saruman had gone he would not have troubled the Shire again. And there’s a line of silliness that is eventually crossed in trying to analyze the actions of fictional characters, as in my upbraiding of Doctor Who for a similar action, but it’s valuable in understanding the story as well as the motivations of the writers. And at least the Doctor assumed responsibility for letting a mass murderer live by taking on his keeping himself. Though I shot down his arrogance for assuming he could keep any potential future victims safe, at least he had an alternative to executing him other than just letting him go. Frodo doesn’t just vacate judgment, like a Pilate leaving it up to the mob; he actively decides in favor of letting a murderer go. This isn’t even Frodo protesting against “death as punishment;” if it were, he should have provided for an imprisonment alternative.

Provided we can all stipulate (and some won’t, I know) that both the Master, in Doctor Who, and Saruman had committed obvious, established crimes for which we don’t need a jury trial to pronounce guilt, then Frodo’s decision to let Saruman go was at best a misguided application of mercy, with a healthy dose of “I’m so tired of it all” and self-doubt thrown in for bad measure. The fact that Tolkien does not allow either Saruman or Wormtongue to escape in the end leaves us to wonder whether Frodo or the hobbits represented his personal point of view as to what should be done in a similar situation.

A passage on Tom Bombadil from The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien may give a clue:

…but if you have, as it were [like Tom Bombadil] taken ‘a vow of povery’, renounced control, and take your delight in things for themselves without reference to yourself, watching, observing, and to some extent knowing, then the question of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless. It is a natural pacificist view, which always arises in the mind when there is a war. But the view of Rivendell seems to be that it is an excellent thing to have represented, but that there are in fact things with which it cannot cope; and upon which its existence nonetheless depends. Ultimately only the victory of the West will allow Bombadil to continue, or even to survive. Nothing would be left for him in the world of Sauron.

Hmm, that sounds familiar. But more of lefty peacemongers v. jihadis another time. Tolkien expounded this theme within the text, when Aragorn talks of peaceful folk living within a day’s ride of creatures who would freeze their blood if they were not guarded ceaselessly–like hobbits. It is very curious, then, that only after seeing (and being one of) those who guard the Shire’s way of life from infiltration and destruction, Frodo would turn to letting go the perpetrators and wearily doubting his own ability to judge what was most proper. Curiouser still that Tolkien, in the letter, describes this as “the view of Rivendell” without committing himself … though the letter in question was very centered on the text. I think it safe to surmise that the justice represented in the deaths of Saruman and Wormtongue was at least as satisfying to Tolkien as it must have been to much of his audience. Why then have Frodo’s voice be at once the dissenting pacifist and the purported leader?

Because: Frodo is shown not to be the leader. The hobbits initially look to him, but in the end they supersede his judgment of release by shooting Wormtongue dead before he can enjoin them not to. Eventually he has passed all claim to judgment or leadership and also passed right out of the world, to Valinor. Leadership falls to Sam, elected Mayor, and Pippin, as Thain, and Merry, as Master of Brandy Hall. Tolkien has shown that those who allow wishful thinking (that all criminals or “fallen beings” could be healed) to affect the practical process of leadership and judgment are showing that they would prefer not to lead or judge and indeed are unfitted for it. Those who assume judgment, as Frodo did in this case and the Doctor did in my other example, must be willing to put the needs of potential victims ahead of their own longing for life and peace without bloodshed. Frodo was unwilling to do this. One can hardly blame him, and maybe that’s why Tolkien put the onus on him rather than a character who had less richly earned the right to be wrong.

Confession of a Cubs Fan

Filed under:Cool,Sports — posted by Anwyn @ 5:32 pm

I love the Cubs, but ask me to pick my next favorite team and I have to go with the St. Louis Cardinals. Yes I KNOW they’re the Cubs’ traditional NL rival for Midwestern dominance. Yes I KNOW they won last year and so are even higher on the blacklist than usual. Yes I KNOW, I know, but who else am I going to root for, the American League? Please.

Besides, the Cardinals are cool. Bringin’ in the chicks with Stitch ‘n’ Pitch night, for practitioners of the needle arts, of which your humble blog hostess is one. Alas, though, it’s going to be a lot easier for knitters like Sarah than cross-stitchers like me, unless I were to gin up a small, simple, portable project rather than the enormous black hole of time and effort I’ve been avoiding working on for a year. Baseball and stitchery at the park–yeah, the Cards are cool.

Whither the Muslim Mothers?

Filed under:It's the Jihad,Mothering,Priorities,Religion,Sad — posted by Anwyn @ 3:01 pm

One line from this Telegraph article that Allah linked in his round-up of coverage about the Glasgow/London bombing attempts really jumped out at me, emphasis mine:

By the time he had graduated from medical school in the Iraqi capital in 2004 his views – already so hardline that reportedly his mother would not dare remove her headscarf in his presence when he was a schoolboy – had become positively toxic because of the US and British invasion.

“He” refers to Bilal Talal Abdulla, 27, being held by the police after the failed attack.

Why aren’t these boys taught from an early age that they’d better fear their mothers more than Allah? Why is it that she feared his reaction even as a schoolboy so much that she did not “dare” remove her headscarf? Surely he was not strong enough, as a schoolboy, to harm her. We know one answer–in a culture that murders women for being raped or for breaking their marriage vows, we can assume that most of them cannot stand up to their husbands and thus will not to their sons, either. Thus the sons are raised as the ultimate expression of the spoiled brat–“Don’t offend me or I will throw a tantrum that will result in your death.” Even in a more moderate form it involves riot violence defended as a natural consequence and a mistaken notion that they have the right to control the speech and behavior of others.

Obviously, also, there are many hardline mothers, or grandmothers, out there who believe in the cause as much as their sons do. But why don’t the more reasonable mothers care enough about their sons’ lives to do everything in their power to halt their progress down this deadly path, possibly to end in suicide bombing? Maybe it’s because they’ve spent years thinking their sons will kill them if they get out of line while the boys’ hardline education at the hands of religious extremists teaches them to do so. What a horrible cycle.

Mothers and feminists should be making common cause to break it. But it’s hard to expect that out of feminists who don’t view motherhood as important in the first place and who spend much of their time, like the hardline Muslims, working to control the behavior and speech of others who offend them. Muslim mothers need to be able not only to speak up but to consistently raise their sons in such a way as to prevent their sons’ departure down the path that will end in their deaths and the deaths of innocents. Western women need to find ways to support them in doing so.

Brain Freeze

Filed under:Mothering,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on July 6, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

While this woman’s all about freezing things, maybe she should freeze her brain for scientists upon her death.

“I told myself if she had needed another organ like a kidney I would volunteer without any hesitation and it is the same kind of thought process for this.”

“This” being freezing her eggs so that her daughter, who will become infertile due to a health condition, can use them if she and her future partner wish.

If she freezes her brain, maybe science can figure out what kind of thought process equates donating a life-saving organ with donating an ethical problem that may or may not enable her daughter to have the dubious life experience of giving birth to her own half-sister.

And on that subject, I’m sure half-siblings everywhere will be relieved to note that some ethicists hold them to no binding family obligations, since half-blood isn’t really sisters:

“Although this means the resulting offspring will be similar in genetics, an unrelated sperm will be used – and this means that the offspring will not be a true sister.”

I stipulate that I have a healthy son of my own and never expect to wrestle with infertility should I want another child. That said, I have no sympathy for anybody so desperate for the experience of giving birth that they will prioritize it over the huge stinker of impregnating oneself with one’s own half-sister or -brother–or the mother who would make that choice available to her daughter.

I Don’t Get This

Filed under:Politics — posted by Anwyn on July 5, 2007 @ 11:34 pm

I keep seeing these photos, in various places, of the two Clintons Sr. together. And in all of them, Hillary looks relaxed,


and happy.

It’s almost like she’s in love with the guy.

Photo credits, in order, AP, NY Newsday, and Newsweek.

I Heart Tony Snow

Filed under:Cool,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 11:15 pm

“Well, fine, knock [your]self out.”

Clintons and Kerrys of the world, take note: That’s how you respond to the idea of people investigating you. If you want people to assume you believe you’ve done no wrong, that is.

Let’s Hear About Her Quarterly Fundraising

Filed under:Church of Liberalism,Jerks — posted by Anwyn @ 7:45 pm

Oh, this is just gonna be fun:

The other day I came out of my short retirement due to yet another Bush flagrant abuse of power. We decided that we would walk from Atlanta to DC to gather a people’s movement for humanity. The longer BushCo are in office, the less chance we have of recovering the heart and soul of our nation, saving our soldiers and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, and saving the planet from corporate and individual waste and pollution. Impeachment, removal from office, and in a perfect world, incarceration for the criminals against humanity, are urgent and necessary steps that need to be taken today.

If by “today” you mean “after we start our walk, once enough congresspeople take note of our demands.” I gotta say, if a “flagrant abuse of power” like the commutation of sentence of a relatively insignificant political pawn, the unfortunate Scooter Libby, is enough to bring her out of “retirement,” Sheehan’s giving herself away with her flagrant inability to stay out of the spotlight.

Malignant bitch.

Since I announced the Journey for Humanity, I have received a lot of support and encouragement, and many “I’ll be with you in spirit.” We appreciate your moral support, but we need your bodies and your dollars if you can’t participate. Our world is in an environmental, political, and humanitarian state of emergency at this point and participation in a People’s Movement for Change, Justice, and Humanity is becoming mandatory by our membership in the Human Race.

The only “emergency” is going to be for people in your route to make sure they don’t have to look at you or your butt kissers, Sheehan. And I wouldn’t take for granted your membership in the capitalized Human Race, either.

H/t Hot Air, Allah with the sick-making Jim Carrey vid.

Happy Independence Day

Filed under:Cool — posted by Anwyn on July 4, 2007 @ 10:49 am

Slublog brings us the Declaration of Independence.

See-Dub brings us an appropriate prayer.

And Allah brings us a Scot who knows exactly what to do about those who seek to discontinue our liberty.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace