The New Year’s List

Filed under:Cool — posted by Anwyn on December 31, 2007 @ 10:11 pm

Though the idea of The List was made infamous on Friends, mine’s not as notorious as all that–I’d be happy just hanging out for a while with any guy on the list, never mind sleeping with him. Of course, I’m not ruling the idea out, either …

The list actually isn’t that different from last year’s–only two slots changed out of the five.

1. Matthew Perry: Haven’t seen him since Studio 60 came to a somewhat merciful end. Hope he picks a good next project.

2. Nathan Fillion: I haven’t managed to force myself to watch Desperate Housewives just to get a glimpse. Here’s hoping for better things soon.

3. Josh Charles: A girl can live a long, long time on a few episodes of Sports Night.

4. David Tennant: Currently playing the Doctor. The casting directors of that show know what they’re doing when it comes to picking a Doctor with personality off the charts–he is what makes the story interesting in a welter of uneven writing and a certain amount of camp. Ultimate casting wish: A series of Lord Peter Wimsey movies, with Tennant as Wimsey, Kate Winslet as Harriet Vane, and James McAvoy as Detective-Inspector Charles Parker.

5. And speaking of McAvoy, I keep married men off the general list, both to help me whittle it down and because it just seems rude to do otherwise. So the Honorable Mention slot this year goes to Married Guys, guys it would be great to hang out with and have a beer with them and their wives: Hugh Laurie (the incomparable House), James McAvoy (best period-piece heartbreaker), Jason Dohring (the guy who shouldn’t be that cute but somehow is–personality again, I’m a sucker for the stuff), James Frain (classic tall, dark, and handsome), Adam Baldwin (“Don’t worry, Chuck. When Sarah leaves we’ll get you a new girl.”).

Cheers and Happy New Year!

P.S. Don’t worry, Allahbabe, I still love you too. And I know you know I do not think the sun rises and sets in Fred Thompson’s … belly.

I Have Only One Word for You, Too, Huck

Filed under:Jerks,Not Cool,Politics,Religion — posted by Anwyn @ 10:10 pm


Fun with SiteMeter

Filed under:Blogging,Heh,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on December 30, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

Somebody came to this blog by googling the phrase “how healthy is it to live in oregon.”

Well, it depends. What political persuasion are you, and how high do you like your blood pressure?

I Have Only One Word for You, Ms. Rowling

Filed under:Authors — posted by Anwyn @ 11:18 pm


Someone Lit a Fire Under SeeDub

Filed under:Cool,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn @ 8:47 pm

Damned if you do (want it too much) and damned if you don’t (seem to). The double-twisted vise you’re caught in when you run for president. Fred Thompson has already given an answer that more than satisfies me:

In the first place, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be doing this if i didn’t. I grew up very modest circumstances. I left government, I and my family have made sacrifices for me to be sitting here today. I haven’t had any income for a long time because I’m doing this. I figure that to be clean you’ve got to cut everything off. And I was doing speaking engagements and I had a contract to do a tv show, I had a contract with abc radio like I was talking about earlier and so forth. I guess a man would have to be a total fool to do all those things and to be leaving his family which is not a joyful thing at all if he didn’t want to do it.

But I am not consumed by personal ambition. I will not be devastated if I don’t do it. I want the people to have the best president that they can have.

But I approached it from the standpoint of a deal. A kind of a marriage. If one side of a marriage has to be really talked into the marriage, it probably ain’t going to be a very good deal for either one of them. But if you mutually think that this is a good thing. In this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, then you have an opportunity to do some wonderful things together.

I’m offering myself up. I’m saying that I have the background, the capability, and the concern to do this and I’m doing it for the right reasons. But I’m not particularly interested in running for president, but I think I’d make a good president.

But as SeeDub points out with considerably more heat and extra helpings of what should be, but apparently isn’t, Mr. Obvious logic, it isn’t just what he says but what he does.

No, he doesn’t want to be President. He just loves debating with Ron Paul. He just loves fielding moronic questions from ham-headed local reporters. He just kissed off a plum lifetime job on one of NBC’s flagship dramas, where the catering truck was right there and the interviews by the entertainment press were light and fluffy and respectful and there weren’t any “hand shows” about global warming.

Of course, he’ll always treasure those hours spent in briefings talking about ethanol subsidies to policy wonks. You just know he gets a warm fuzzy feeling coming up hat in hand to strangers, asking them to keep his campaign bus fueled and his commercials on the air. And he just gets his rocks off on having James Dobson wonder whether he’s really a Christian or not. Woo hoo!

Preach it.

Quote of the Day

Filed under:Cool,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn @ 6:53 pm

Daddyman, upon watching Fred Thompson’s video message to the Iowa caucus-goers: “Did he just say he’s going to save the Democratic party, too?”

Electability: “Now I’m asking my fellow Republicans to vote for me not only for what I have to say to them, but for what I have to say to the members of the other party–the millions of Democrats who haven’t left the Democratic party so much as their party’s national leadership has left them. In this campaign I’ll be seeking the support of millions of Democrats who no longer believe that they can trust their own party’s leadership on the issue of national security. I’ll be seeking the support of millions of Democrats with young families who’re beginning to see the economic burdens they may face because of their party’s leadership’s taste for high taxes and politically motivated refusal to fix Social Security and remove the threat of the shortfall in federal benefit plans that could be a catastrophe for younger taxpayers. And finally, I’ll be seeking the support of Democrats who are weary of spin politics and the permanent campaign, and endless attempts to control the media dynamic–who think policy stances ought to be judged on a higher criteria than what works better in a sound bite or fits this week’s campaign message guidance. So I’ll be asking good Democrats as well as independents to give us another chance to see if a Republican president and Congress that’s dedicated to conservative principles can move forward with an agenda that goes beyond mere partisanship and political expediency and actually deals with the long-term foreign and domestic crises we face.”

What makes that statement stand out is the marked lack of any drivel about “consensus” or “bipartisanship.” The reality is that people who agree on issues have consensus; people who disagree can get, at best, compromise. Thompson should appeal to Democrats who are less interested in straight-up opposition to whatever the current Republican administration is doing and more interested in what’s actually best for a given situation. I know at least one Democrat who already said to me, after seeing Thompson on Meet the Press, that he could live with him as president because he seemed like a reasonable, intelligent person–which are the main two characteristics required for working with opposition. Those calling the loudest for “consensus” are usually the ones with the most stridently unreasonable policy ideas–or those with no ideas at all, who prefer to whine, “Can’t we all just get along?” Not so Thompson–he runs the way I’ve always thought most sensible: Vote for me if you agree with these positions I’ve outlined. Period.

Seemingly Outrageous Oregon State Policy to be Tested in Court, Holding Up Civil-Union Law Pending Outcome

Filed under:Not Cool,Politics,Priorities,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on December 29, 2007 @ 1:24 pm

Oregon’s civil-union law passed the legislature this year, and a group collecting signatures to put this law on the statewide ballot in 2008 missed the number of valid signatures by a very small margin–96 short of the required 55,179.

Now the law is blocked in federal court pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the state’s method of verifying signatures. And if the implications of the phrase “random statistical sampling method” are what they seem to be, the challenge isn’t coming any too soon.

Attorneys for the state said that procedures verifying signatures are applied equally to everyone. The state uses a random statistical sampling method to determine whether enough valid signatures are collected.

The Oregonian story is long on personal anecdote, including the old, tiresome tarradiddle about inheritance and medical decisions between gay couples, but short on detail as to how the state goes about verifying the signatures. “Random statistical sampling method” certainly suggests that they take some minority number of signatures and put them through a verification process–and then assume that if two out of ten of those signatures are invalid, then two out of ten of the whole number are invalid. And whether that nutshell I just gave is literally correct or not, this is a document full of math to ascertain that the process is definitely accomplished by estimates and not by verification of the whole number of signatures.

The signature verifications are made in stages. First, a random sample of 1,000 signatures is verified. If the petition does not qualify from the first sample, then the second larger random sample is verified. Qualification of the petition is then based on an estimate of M [where M=number of distinct valid signatures] made from the combined first and second samples. In the event that the petition is not qualified from the combined sample and a second submission is made as permitted by ORS 250.105(3),a random sample of signatures from the second submission is verified. Qualification of the petition after verification of the sample from the second submission is based on an estimate of M made from the samples in the first and second submissions. The methods for determining whether a petition has a sufficient number of valid signatures are described for the following three cases: after verification of the first sample, after verification of the second sample, and, when applicable, after verification of the sample from the second submission. For each of these three cases, examples are given to illustrate the numerical calculations and conclusions.

So in other words, the state “verifies” (unfortunate choice of word, considering how the process is accomplished) a “random statistical sampling” of signatures that are supposed to signify the position of a voter on an actual election question. But instead they’re treating it like a poll–if a random sample is in this proportion, then so must be the whole.

And that’s outrageous. It’s unfortunate in a way that this lawsuit should take place over this particular case–the protests will be wild and vehement, and the motives of anybody who thinks, as I do, that the state’s procedure is a fraud will be questioned to the hilt–but it’s high time this was looked at in detail. I certainly never knew they verified those signatures by poll rather than by count. I’m no statistician, but when I think of 96 short of 55,179, the phrase “not statistically significant” floats to mind.

I wish the judge a stalwart backbone and the plaintiff a good set of mathematicians.

Good for Them

Filed under:Heh,Politics — posted by Anwyn on December 28, 2007 @ 11:50 am

Or, Here’s One for My Kucinich-Liking Friend(s).

It’s great that Pizza Hut’s encouraging people to vote, but a few Kucinich supporters don’t like how they went about it.

Hey, he didn’t say he’d seen one.

(Via Hot Air headlines.)

The Princess Bride

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn @ 10:21 am

Any chance Robin Wright Penn and Sean Penn are divorcing because she looks at his pal Chavez and sees a thuggish dictator?

There’s such a thing as “Fool me once, shame on you …” Maybe she’s been fooled enough.

Happy Tenth Anniversary

Filed under:Cool,Music — posted by Anwyn on December 27, 2007 @ 12:10 am

My college roommate and her husband are celebrating ten years today. Their first dance at their reception was to Billy Joel’s “This Night,” and I played the Beethoven Joel ripped it off from, Sonata Pathetique, second movement, as a prelude to the ceremony. Happy anniversary!

Care to Donate to Fred Thompson?

Filed under:Politics — posted by Anwyn on December 26, 2007 @ 11:52 am is holding a fund drive to reach $248,846 by Friday in order to air Thompson’s TV spot all over Iowa for the rest of the time until the caucus. At the time I donated, 11:06 Pacific, the counter at the campaign website said $9,020. Forty minutes later, the counter was up to $17,927. Not bad for half an hour.

My hope is that with Giuliani lying low and the gilding beginning to rub off of Huckabee, Thompson’s driving effort in Iowa will position him for an excellent showing among the caucus-goers. The campaign’s performance so far has taught me a grim lesson about the limits of internet publicity–that there are a lot fewer people than I thought who, like me, get their information primarily from the web. So this TV spot will be vital for Fred’s final Iowa push.

If you care to donate to the effort, click here:

Fred08 - Contribute Now

People Do Put Some Odd and Funny Stuff on YouTube

Filed under:Cool,Heh,Movies,Music — posted by Anwyn on December 25, 2007 @ 11:30 pm

I get a big kick out of this movie, as campy as it is. Can’t say I would ever have thought of making a tribute video, however.

Plurality of Christmas Ought to Have Been Grounds for Peace, not War

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by Anwyn @ 11:25 pm

Anwyn’s note: I wrote this, posted it, thought better of it, and took it down within about 10 minutes–not something I do with any frequency. But in that time a splog picked it up. I hate those things, and I hate to have posted something, deleted it, and then have a partial record of it somewhere else. So here it is for whatever it’s worth.


Santa and Rudolph and Frosty and Christmas trees with presents under them and turkey or roast beef dinners and lights all over the houses ought to have been devices enough by which to separate themselves from the Christ in Christmas. How many people grew up observing only these trappings of the holiday and never giving a thought to the Christ? Many, I’d bet. But they didn’t bother to stop saying “Merry Christmas” though they no longer contemplated the Christ. Why should they? The holy day had expanded to include those who do not believe in holiness; it took them into a time to be with their loved ones without insisting that they observe the love of God. Yet somehow now the very word Christmas is an offense, an accusatory remonstrance and insistence that they acknowledge the Christ. Whose fault is that? Mine, as a Christian well-wisher? Or yours, hating to be reminded that you’ve already separated the Christ from the Christmas? What do you think I care if you separated it? I haven’t, and that’s all that I’m permitted to judge.

Is that what you meant when you said “Merry Christmas” growing up all those years before you decided to take offense? Did it mean you were pushing an unknown Christ on unsuspecting passers-by and fellow well-wishers? Of course not. Then why can’t you go on with the presents and whatever else is tradition for your family without blustering about the literal meaning of a word that grew beyond its origins to include traditions well away from the celebration of the shock and awe of the birth of the Son of God in a stable?

In an age that insists on plurality, surely Christmas could have been construed already to have enough.


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace