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Thursday, April 29, 2010

A-Team + Airwolf = Why Candace likes to watch things go boom.

This post was sparked by someone's reply to the last line of my review of The Losers. I said that The Losers made me wish for The A-Team. A. replies: "Unless the A-team fires guns and hit things, I'm going with the Losers - lots of fun."



I'm guessing A. is younger than  me, and therefore does not know what The A-Team is. I pity the fool...(Sorry - I had to.)

The Losers might be an excellent comic (I haven't read it, so don't know).  I certainly found it to be an entertaining movie - lts of fun, as A. wrote. But it was, in my head, an A-Team imitation. An amusing imitation, but an imitation nonetheless. As I was figuring out why (past the whole "team of soldiers betrayed by the gov't and now on a kick-ass rampage" thing), this helpful equation came to me:

"The A-Team" + "Airwolf" + "Knight Rider" = Why Candace likes to watch things go fast, go flying, and - most of all - go boom.

My dad would be excited to see me embracing the mathematical explanation.

Here are some visuals for those unfamiliar with The A-Team.

One Book, One Twitter

I wish I'd known about this One Book, One Twitter thing  sooner - I would have loved to vote. What!? I like voting! And I'd have spread the word (which I also like doing), and maybe could have gotten other friends interested while we'd all have felt like we were helping to pick the book, which makes stuff like this more fun (at least in my head) and...

Anyway, I think it's a neat idea and I'm going to participate. 
The winning book is not the one I'd have voted for (though it is, in fact, a book that I love). I'm interested to see what sort of discussion it generates.

You can find more information on One Book, One Twitter here, at Jeff Howe's blog (he's the organizer).

Most Awesomest Thing Ever

A friend sent me a link for Most Awesomest Thing Ever and now I can't stop. Toughest match yet? Democracy vs. Han Solo. I's obviously a tie, right?

But Princess Leia's Metal Bikini beats Eliot Spitzer, hands down.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

comedy and some pictures

Warning: watching 3 episodes of The Daily Show back-to-back may cause fits of laughing out loud. Especially if one of the episodes includes the madness that starts at 10:08 in this video (in response to Revolution Muslim's death threats against Trey Parker and Matt Stone).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Say what, now?

A little vocabulary lesson.

1. gay (adj.) - homosexual contemporary usage
2. gay (adj.) - happy, cheerful, bright archaic usage

Somewhere in the world, someone thinks it's OK to use "gay" as a generic term of disapproval. That person may or may not be a raging homophobe. Sometimes the person consciously intends to link sexual preference and disapprobation, sometimes not. But the language is homophobic, whether consciously so or not. Using "gay" to mean lame, ridiculous, or otherwise unappealing is homophobic - I really don't think that's open for discussion. And I can't begin to address the problems of intentional bigotry right now. Here's what I'd like to discuss: prefacing your misuse of hurtful, bigoted language with a phrase like, "for lack of a better word." I see this as similar to the common practice of using the phrase "no offense" right before saying something that is, and can only be, offensive. Those phrases don't make what follows any less problematic. In the case of the misuse of the adjectival gay, it doesn't even make sense. It serves, in fact, to highlight the problem, because there is no lack of better words.

As it happens, the English language contains a great number of ways to express the fact that something is not to your liking. Thinking of situations in which I've heard such sentiments expressed - incorrectly - by using the term "gay," several better, more descriptive choices spring immediately to mind. Odd, strange, weird, lame, boring, pretentious, stupid...those are just the ones that came to mind without really thinking about it, and all of them are fairly commonplace and simple words. The choices may not be endless, but there is no lack of better words. If none of these will do you and you're really at a loss, try a thesaurus (available free online!). Or try an exercise: the next time you want to describe something as "gay," but what you really mean is something like, "I find it unacceptable for reasons that probably have nothing to do with sexual preference," think of how you'd explain to your grandmother what you were trying to say. Substitute those words for "gay." Voila!

eta a response to J., who writes:
I, as a frequent user of "gay" as a term of disapproval, must come to the defense of its usage. Technically, gay means happy, as in "I'm so gay." So it's kinda like Opposite Talk, as defined by the Urban Dictionary, a legit source of reference. Now if we were talking about "homo" or "homosexual", as in "I'm so homo" I'd be right there with you.

Thanks for your reply, J. The fact that gay only technically means happy anymore is exactly the reason that argument doesn't wash. When gay was used pejoratively as far back as the 17th century, the prevailing meaning of "gay" was "happy," and the pejorative use referred to a sort of frivolous hedonism that those using it pejoratively considered sinful. If the standard usage of gay still meant happy, and the contemporary usage of gay as a term of disapproval implied either "unhappy" or "sinfully lacking in seriousness and devoted to petty pleasures," then your argument would be relevant.

But language evolves.

That usage of gay is archaic, and has been for longer than either of us has been alive. Gay, meaning homosexual, is found as far back as the 19th century; its use in-group is known as far back as the 1920s; and it gained prominence in mainstream vernacular circa late 1960s, early 1970s. (I'm speaking here of American vernacular, because language evolves differently in different places.)

We know that gay was used most commonly used to mean happy. But, we also know that it is no longer commonly used to mean happy, and that it is now most commonly used to refer to sexual orientation. So here's the question: do you, in your everyday language, use "gay" to mean happy? And, when you use it as an insult, do you actually mean "unhappy" or perhaps "sinfully frivolous"? I'm not asking if you COULD mean that, given all past meanings of the term, but whether you DO, in fact, mean that. If so, then my criticism doesn't apply to you. If not, it may be worth thinking a little more honestly about your vocabulary.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Second City; Garfunkel and Oates

Some amusing things I was shown over the weekend:

 Sassy Gay Friend saves Ophelia

I wasn't sold on the end until I watched the last one.

Sassy Gay Friend saves Juliet

I think this one is probably my favorite.

Sassy Gay Friend saves Desdemona

"Stop saying Otello - it sounds pretentious."

"Present Face" by Garfunkel and Oates

The weekend that was

Great weekend!

Let's see - first there was karaoke on Thursday:

Then, on Saturday, afternoon, finished season 1 of BSG and started season 2. I like some of where the plot is going, was confused by the emo interlude, and am going to have to try really hard not to throw things at the screen every time Baltar strikes a Jesus pose. His is not the only anvil on the show, but it's the one that was bugging me most last time.

In the evening, I went to a murder mystery dinner (my first), hosted by M. Our mystery setup was a film premiere in the mid-30s. My character was an actress turned gossip columnist named Tat Elyale. Here are some of the other suspects:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Odds and ends

Some totally random stuff I've forgotten to post at other times.

I saw this a couple of years back - can't, for the life of me, remember where. Cracked me up, though.
Is College Bad for Girls?

A Personal Canvass ~ Articles:
Evils of Dormitory Life--Midnight Hours of Who Knows What?

Flirting & Speaking to Male Students Without Proper Introduction & Chaperone.

Reading Improper Novels, Magazines, and Other Suggestive Literature.

Forming of Unladylike Habits that May Harm the Health & Morals of a delicate Girl--Such as Smoking and Card Playing
How, exactly, was this "personal canvass" conducted?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Conversations with myself

Tina Fey dispels the myth of the Oscar curse

Self: HAH! That made me happy.

Also self: But, why do I feel like the skanks who sleep with people's husbands take a lot more heat than the husbands do when these things go public?

Also also self: You know, maybe SNL has been calling out Jesse James for weeks and I just haven't seen it because it didn't invovle Tina Fey, so it didn't get posted somewhere I'd run across it (like the Pajiba post where I saw this).

Self: You know what? Probably not. They've probably been making fun of Skanky McNazi for weeks.

Also also self: Yeah, but, to be honest, I'm kind of OK with that.

All selves nod - figuratively - in agreement.

Also self: But, only mostly ok. 'Cause, while I'm all for mocking white supremacist skanks...

Self: ...and I *did* laugh pretty hard at that last line about curing cancer and still being up against the chick with old school Buick nipples...

Also self:'s not just, or even primarily, them that the woman who cures cancer will be up against. What she'll be up against is the fact that she and her husband both grew up in a world where guys cheat on their wives and the chicks they cheat with catch a lot more venom than they do.

Also also self: Yeah. Something is wrong there. But I haven't eaten yet, so I think I should post the video and let it go.

Self: I want french toast.

Also also self: Yeah, french toast is yummy.

Also self: But I don't have all the ingredients for that. Like bread - I don't have any bread.

Self: Damn.

Also also self: And I shouldn't go out to brunch, because of that whole budget thing.

Self: Double damn!

Also self: Well, let's post the video, and then we can go look in the fridge and wait for something else to sound yummy.

Selves agree, post video, and head to the kitchen.

RIP Dixie Carter

When I read that Dixie Carter, aka Julia Sugarbaker, had died, I was immediately reminded of my mom. No, my mom was not a feisty white woman from Georgia. But she loved Designing Women, and we watched it together. One of my favorite things about the show was always Julia Sugarbaker's uncanny ability to tell somebody about themself. For example:

Friday, April 9, 2010

New and improved pain chart

OK, so I was looking at the links on gofugyourself today, and they linked to this cartoon about sandwiches on a website called Hyperbole and a Half. It was very funny, so I started looking around the site and came across a post that includes a new and improved version of the pain chart I've had to fill out countless times, at various neurology, chronic pain, sleep clinic, podiatry, and general practitioner's offices. I cannot tell you how much I hate that chart. Oh, wait, maybe I can - I HATE IT A WHOLE LOT! Though, perhaps, not as much as the actual pain (usually). You should check out the post for the normal pain chart, and Allie's very amusing explanation of it. Below, I've included just the pictures for Allie's version, which I think is much more apt. Again, you should consult her website for full explanations.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Here's what I've been doing with my research leave today.

Reading about Quebec's Bill 94 (banning niqabs) on Racialicious

Reading responses to that asshole in Virginia:
Adam Serwer @ Tapped.
Jamelle @ United States of Jamerica.
Serwer again.
Jamelle again.
And, with an eloquently worded summation, Ta-Nehisi Coates.
*ETA - Well, what do you know? I'd prefer the proclamation be rescinded - we don't need a Confederate History month any more than we need a KKK History Month - but I'll take an apology and an admission that slavery - not a neutral and abstract idea of "states' rights" - is what led to the Civil War.

Checking out this brief and intriguing piece on race in the workplace at Racialicious.

Reading my friend M's excellent blog. Today, he's talking about Erik Ahn on playwriting and activism.

Wishing I could have a pair of Louboutin's, specifically the Melita 2 (the black and white striped ones, in the high heels gallery).

Knowing that I have to spend that money on many other things. Like car inspection, repair, and registration. (Boo.)

Trying to talk my friend A into a guest post here. (YAY!)

Putting off filling out more forebearance paperwork. (Boo.)

Buying a  ticket to Portland, to have fun times with T. (YAY!)

Spending a lot of money on my car. (Booyay? I mean, it sucks, but also, it's fixed...)

And, finally, contemplating what to read. As part of that, I'm soliciting suggestions, which you can leave in the comments. Give me 3 books you love. If 3 is too hard (as I suspect it will be for some of you), give me 3 in up to 3 categories of your choice  :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

WonderCon 2010, pt. 2

Had a chance to go back to WonderCon today for free (thanks, M!), and decided to make the most of it...

Friday, April 2, 2010

All kinds of excitement

An exciting weekend, and it's only Friday night!

Last night was my second time up singing with my friend C's band. Here are some shots of them rehearsing:
 Something is very wrong in this shot.
The show was a lot of fun. Sorry, I don't have any pictures of that - too bad, because C and I both looked hot! After the show, there might have been some hijinks and shenanigans. Note to self: don't do that again any time soon. Got to bed around 2:30, but without my CPAP; woke up at around 5:30, but without the benefit of real sleep. Tried and failed to go back to sleep, so I dragged myself onto Muni and back to my place (no, nothing that exciting - took cab back to friend's place and was too late to try to Muni home) by about 8. Slept for real for a couple of hours, then got up to get ready. Ready for what?