5/22/2006

All the Pretty Horses

Filed under: — Kate @ 9:48 am EST

I love horses. They are such gorgeous creatures; so intelligent; so graceful. But I’m not really into horse racing. (Though, I must confess to having a touch of the Smarty Jones fever back in 2004. What can I say, he’s a native son and he was the underdog—and I always root for the underdog).

Anyway, like I said: big fan of horses, not so much on the horse racing. I can’t help but feel that it’s a little cruel. It’s a sport in which the athletes truly have no voice (making NBC10’s “Chat With Barbaro” all the more ironic). And there are so many injuries every year. It just doesn’t seem fair.

Now I admit, I don’t know very much about the horse racing world, and for that reason I usually just keep my mouth shut. But what happened to Barbaro over the weekend just makes me sick to my stomach. And it strengthens my feeling that something is not quite right with horse racing.

Your thoughts?

Previously at the Landslide In My Ego:
-Mr. Ed’s Bastard Son
-More Fun With Barbaro

Further Reading:
-Preakness: Barbaro Injures himself, loses Preakness [YouTube]
-Favorite Fractures Leg at Preakness [WaPost]
-Surgeon: Barbaro’s Injuries Catastrophic [ABC News]

Related:
-Chat With Barbaro [NBC10]

See Also:
-Smarty Jones [Wikipedia]

5/10/2006

Going Solo

Filed under: — Kate @ 9:45 am EST

As some of you know, Edo has been toiling at a new job for a while now. One of the many perks is his weekly trip to Asscrack, USA (actually, it could be a LOT worse… so let’s just call it Armpit, USA). Anyway, that leaves me home to fend for myself at least two nights a week, and that’s fine, but I never know how to feed myself.

I’ve become one of Wawa’s best customers, which is bad, but I suppose it’s better than my alternative plan of popcorn and ice cream. Then last night as I was walking home, I had a craving to duck into a casual restaurant along the way, but I couldn’t bring myself to go in alone. I’ve never been able to do that, to dine out alone in public. I guess I’m too afraid of looking like a loser.

I mean, I’m okay in a coffee shop if I have a book or a laptop to keep me occupied, so it looks like I’m alone with a purpose. But in a regular old restaurant—even just a diner—I feel like some sort of outcast if I’m only a party of one. I don’t even like waiting alone at a table when someone is meeting me.

I’m fine doing most other things alone, so what’s my problem here? Is it that eating is inherently a social activity? I’m interested to know your thoughts on this so I can judge just how neurotic I am acting here.

5/2/2006

Like Boxing a Glacier

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:38 am EST

Last night, I got to see Stephen Colbert’s speech from the White House Correspondents Dinner, and wow… how awesome was that?!

Now I understand what all the fuss was about. I’m really glad I didn’t read any of the transcripts beforehand.

I was expecting him to be escorted from the room and locked up in a secret CIA prison for the rest of Bush’s term in office.

Further Reading:
-Re-Improved Colbert transcript (now with complete text of Colbert-Thomas video!) [Daily Kos]
-The truthiness hurts
-All Kidding Aside [WaPost]
-Colbert Does the White House Correspondents’ dinner [Crooks and Liars]
Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner — President Not Amused? [Editor & Publisher]

4/18/2006

To Whom it May Concern: It is Springtime.

Filed under: — Kate @ 1:18 pm EST

To whom it may concern: It is springtime. It is late afternoon.
-Kurt Vonnegut

Okay, I got nothin’ right now. I’m too busy to compose a proper post, but I really needed to write something so that my bare legs were no longer the first thing you see on this page!

So anyway, what’s the first thing you do around this time of year that makes you feel like spring has really started? For me, it’s giving myself a pedicure and wearing a skirt and sandals for the first time (hence the picture below).

3/22/2006

Lieutenant Dan in Space

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:20 am EST

Okay, this is going to sound a little weird, but bear with me.

A few nights ago, I caught a snippet of Forrest Gump on tv. It was the part where Lieutenant Dan says something like “The day you become a shrimp boat captain is the day I become an astronaut.”

I mused that it was sort of funny that Gary Sinise later played an astronaut in Apollo 13 (albeit, a grounded astronaut) along side Tom Hanks.

Then I started thinking: would zero gravity help to narrow the playing field for people who have lost their legs or the use of their legs? In other words, would a life in space be an equalizer for people with certain types of disabilities?

I haven’t thought this through in the slightest—just thought it might make for an interesting discussion.

1/30/2006

They Belong to the Stars

Filed under: — Kate @ 2:02 pm EST

As many of you probably saw in the news, this past Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the Challenger explosion. It’s staggering to me that it’s been so long.

I remember the anniversary of the Challenger every year. I’m not really sure why, but I never need to be reminded by the media. Still, this time I was surprised to hear them say “twenty years.” How could so much time have passed?

The memory is still vivid, even though I was quite young. It hit me particularly hard, because already at the tender age of six, I had decided that I wanted to be an astronaut. I knew all about NASA and the shuttle program, and I fully understood the impact of the disaster.

Although I clung to my childhood dream for a long time, reality sadly and inevitably prevailed in the end. But I never lost the wonder or the fascination with what lies beyond our tiny little corner of the universe.

I was traveling and in meetings all day on Friday and Saturday, but I did catch little bits of news here and there—from the radio, newspapers, television. I was a bit saddened to hear people talking only about Christa McAuliffe, as if she was the sole person to perish in the tragedy. The other members of the crew are treated like a footnote.

While it’s true that she didn’t follow one of the traditional paths into the space program, it does not make her death any more tragic than those of her six crewmates. Perhaps I’m wrong, since I didn’t really get any complete news coverage.

But just in case I’m right, let me remind you that the Challenger had a crew of seven: Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. Take a minute to remember them. All of them.

1/26/2006

Tomato/Tomahto. Turin/Torino.

Filed under: — Kate @ 7:08 am EST

Apparently, there’s some controversy over what to call the 2006 Winter Olympics. Both NBC and the Olympic Committee are using “Torino,” the city’s actual name.

But American media has traditionally used the Anglicized version, “Turin,” so this whole “Torino” thing has turned their worlds upside down.

Evidently, there’s a whole contingent of people who can’t seem to wrap their minds around it. The Shroud of Turin is the only thing they associate with that region, so “Turin” it must be!

Being a native of that region, Edo deals with this quite often.

“I’m from Torino.”

“Huh?”

“Turin…?”

“Oh! Like the Shroud of Turin!”

Never mind that identifying Torino with the Shroud is like defining Philadelphia by the Liberty Bell—that is, if we kept the Liberty Bell hidden away and only allowed people to view it a few times a century.

Okay, I realize that it’s not what most people are accustomed to hearing, but it’s not as if “Torino” was just pulled from someone’s ass. We don’t typically say “Roma” or “Milano,” but we know what they mean… right?

Maybe I’m not the best person to pass judgment, since the words are interchangeable in my household, but come on! Are Americans really SO stupid that they can’t figure this out?

More Reading:
-NBC Says Torino, Others Say Phooey [Early Word]
-Turin or Torino? Depends on whom you ask [AP]
-NBCOlympics.com

12/14/2005

Bah Humbug!

Filed under: — Kate @ 6:04 am EST

Alright, I feel a need to go on the record here and say this…

ENOUGH WITH ALL THE CHRISTMAS BULLSHIT!!!

Every year it just gets worse, and I’m sick of it.

I’ve become so cranky that it’s ruined all the fun and joy for me.

I’m a cold cynical shell of what my Christmas self used to be.

We can’t go on like this, America.

So I am going to tell you how we can start fixing it.

First: Take back the music.
Christmas music should only be played in the month of December—even better, limit it to just a couple weeks. But if we could just keep it contained within December, I believe we would see a marked improvement.

Now, having said that, there are certain songs which must be retired from rotation and never ever played again. No matter what.

They are as follows:
“Wonderful Christmastime,” by Paul McCartney
“Please Daddy, Don’t get Drunk this Christmas,” by John Denver
“Silent Night,” sung by Stevie Nicks
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” sung by anyone
“Feliz Navidad,” sung by anyone

This list is just a start. Suggestions are welcome.

Second: Decorate responsibly.
There should never be any holiday decorations or Christmas lights until after Thanksgiving. Until I gets me turkey and pumpkin pie, I don’t want to see freaking Santa Claus and goddamn Christmas trees all over the place!!

Stores should keep their holiday displays under wraps until the week before Thanksgiving. They get an exception to the “post-turkey” rule, so they can be ready to sell stuff to us on Black Friday. But a week should be more than enough to get ready.

We must permanently ban those awful giant inflatable lawn monstrosities. There’s just no excuse for them. Or at least make it legal for me to sneak around and set them on fire.

Third: Stop bitching about the “War on Christmas.”
There’s no goddamn war! It’s all a conspiracy concocted by Bill O’Reilly and people with a persecution complex and nothing better to do.

Try to remember that if someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” it doesn’t make them an ungodly pagan.* After all, there are a few non-Christians in this country, and what’s wrong with trying to include everyone?

In being ignorant or insensitive about another person’s faith or culture, you exclude them. Do we want to make Christmas the time of year when we ignore everyone who doesn’t share our particular set of values? It reminds me of grade school. “We’re all in the Jesus club, and you other kids can’t play.” That doesn’t seem very Christian, now does it?

Remember freedom of religion? That means everyone’s religion, not just yours. And that means you have to exercise tolerance and maybe make a few compromises once in a while. In order to live among other humans, everyone in this world makes compromises each day. So why should this be any different?

My family celebrates Christmas, so to them I usually say “Merry Christmas.” I have many Jewish coworkers and friends, and I usually wish them a Happy Hanukkah. But I’ve always used the phrase “Happy Holidays” with everyone.

I always saw it as simplified way to say “I hope you enjoy whatever holidays you might be celebrating this year, including secular ones like New Years, as well as all the fun holiday-related activities that you might do on the days before and/or after the actual holidays.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that many people who consider themselves atheist or agnostic—or those who just don’t give religion much thought at all—still come from families with Christian traditions. Remember that religion is not only about faith. When religious traditions exist long enough, some of them become part of culture as well.

My family celebrates Christmas. We decorate a tree. We sing. We exchange gifts. What am I supposed to do? Sit in the corner?

No one is trying to take Christmas away! It will always be there. How, if, or when people choose to celebrate it is a personal choice.

Bill O’Reilly says he’s only trying to promote respect for a holiday that’s celebrated by 95% of Americans. But if 95% of us celebrate it, how is it really in any danger?

*Which if they were, would of course be their constitutional right.

11/11/2005

“They Underestimated the Intelligence of Voters.”

Filed under: — Kate @ 10:24 am EST

I’m a little late in posting this, but I just want to thank the town of Dover, PA for showing the rest of the world that Pennsylvania is not as backwards as Kansas.

It’s a revolution for evolution [Inky]

Update:

Robertson warns Pennsylvania voters of God’s wrath

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city.”

11/4/2005

CNN Makes Me 360 Degrees of Dizzy

Filed under: — Kate @ 10:59 am EST

Seriously, what the hell is the matter with CNN? Some of you may have heard that the news network has recently shuffled their lineup, firing Aaron Brown and giving us more of Anderson Cooper, who will now be on from 10-12 every night.

Too bad, I really liked coming home and putting on AC 360 at 7 PM, when I don’t usually have anything better to do, and watching for most of the hour. Now he’ll be on for two hours at a time when I’m almost always busy.

I love Anderson Cooper, but I fear that too much of him will eventually cause me to feel otherwise. CNN is exploiting the shit out of all the good work he did covering Katrina. Not that I’ll be watching him as often as before, but he’s going to get so overhyped and overexposed that he’ll be ruined. (If that hasn’t happened already).

And while Aaron Brown wasn’t my favorite anchor, I certainly found him more tolerable and interesting than a lot of their other crap. At least he actually summed up the news stories of the day.

So, what’s happening to the 7 PM time slot, you ask? Why, Wolf Blitzer’s “Situation Room.” Don’t even get me started on how stupid the premise of that show is….

“We’re always live here on the Situation Room. And oh, by the way, you’re watching the Situation Room. Did I say ‘Situation Room?’ I think I said ‘Situation Room.’ Look at all the pretty televisions with feeds from international news channels. We’re not going to tell you what’s on them, but look how pretty they are here behind me on the Situation Room!”

So anyway, the Situation Room will now air from 4-6, with an hour pause for Lou Dobbs, and then we get more Blitzer from 7-8. Maybe it’s because they realized that no one wants to watch three straight hours of the Wolf man. I don’t know. But the whole thing just seems so convoluted.

See Also:
CNN Ousts Evening Anchor and Embraces Rising Star [NYT]
Anderson Cooper, CNN’s Man of the Hour [WaPost]
Cooper d’etat! [MOAN.tv]

Links via Wonkette. Don’t bother looking for any info about this on CNN.com.

9/20/2005

Eat Me

Filed under: — Kate @ 2:24 pm EST

Last night Edo and I were having a lively little debate about food. Specifically, about foods that I won’t eat. Like watermelon. And pears. He thinks I’m a defective human being because I don’t like pears. According to Edo, all food aversions besides real allergies are psychosomatic.

I do think that’s true in some cases with certain foods. After my freshman year of college, for instance, I couldn’t drink orange juice without tasting vodka. But that said, I believe there really are tastes that just don’t appeal to some people (excluding those who simply refuse to try something at all).

So I started wondering, what foods do other people dislike?

9/6/2005

Take Your SUV and Shove It

Filed under: — Kate @ 4:00 pm EST

Many of you will hate me for saying this, but I can’t help taking a sort of sick pleasure in watching people squirm about gas prices.

Yes, it’s easier for my car-less ass to sit here on my high horse and sneer, but I really feel no compassion for the people who own big gas guzzling machines. (more…)

Brotherly Love

Filed under: — Kate @ 1:27 am EST

Well, I could go on some more about more of the infuriating crap surfacing in the wake of Katrina. Maybe I will later. But for now, I thought I’d remind myself of the good left in the world. (more…)

9/4/2005

I Can’t Close My Eye and Make it Go Away

Filed under: — Kate @ 6:43 pm EST

I’ve got so much to say that the words are coursing through my brain faster than my fingers can type them. I’m just angry. I am SO freaking angry. I’ve been angry for a while now, but it just keeps growing. There’s almost too much information to process, too much to read while also trying to keep up with the television news I just hope the MSM keeps asking questions after the floodwaters recede. (more…)

8/31/2005

Eve of Destruction

Filed under: — Kate @ 4:04 pm EST

Beyond linking to Attytood’s article yesterday, I haven’t really said anything about Hurricane Katrina. Because really, what could I possibly say? I’m just so desperately sorry for the people down there.

But I will mention a few things here:

-All looters, with the exception of those taking only the food they need to survive, deserve to be shot. [E&P] [WaPost]

-Haley Barbour is a douche. [SunHerald] [News24]

-The Sun Herald website is worth looking at.

-Red Cross Donations

UPDATE: I just read that Lowe’s will match in-store customer donations to the Red Cross (up to $1 million). Cool. [CNN]

8/26/2005

Don’t Criticize What You Can’t Understand

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:35 am EST

I am getting really, REALLY tired of hearing people call Cindy Sheehan “unAmerican.” (more…)

8/23/2005

FYI

Filed under: — Kate @ 9:36 pm EST

There’s currently (9:35 EST) a discussion on Larry King Live about Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, if anyone is interested.

8/15/2005

We Will Teach Our Twisted Speech to the Young Believers

Filed under: — Kate @ 12:16 pm EST

I may regret bringing this up for the umpteenth time, but I saw a good editorial about Intelligent Design vs. Evolution, and I wanted to mention it here for you guys to read.

Fox News host Tony Snow had a column called “Why can’t we have a rational debate” on townhall.com this past Friday (August 12, 2005).

In response to Snow’s column, Media Matters published the editorial Tony Snow’s evolutionary falsehoods. It debunks some of the common arguments used by proponents of ID, and I think it does an excellent job of explaining why evolution can be considered a “theory” rather than just a “hypothesis.” It doesn’t go into anything specific about ID—it just explains the science behind evolution. Anyway, it’s pretty short, and in my opinion, a good read.

6/30/2005

Live 8

Filed under: — Kate @ 12:13 pm EST

Live 8

A lot of people have been asking me if I’m going to Live 8.

Of course I’m going to Live 8. I may not spend the whole day there, but I will certainly be going.

I’m not thrilled with the lineup. In fact, the Kaiser Chiefs are really the only band I’m interested in seeing. But this is more than just a big ol’ free concert. A lot of people seem to have missed that key point. It’s also the biggest push we’ve ever had toward ending the crisis in Africa. And with the finance ministers agreeing to drop 100% of the debt in the world’s 18 poorest countries, we just might see some progress.

If you think this makes me a bleeding heart, you can suck my big toe.

Here’s why this is so important:
-More than one billion people in the world live on less than one dollar a day.
-Another 2.7 billion people struggle to survive on less than two dollars per day.
-Every year 11 million children, most under the age of five, die. More than six million die from preventable causes like malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.
-In some deeply impoverished nations less than half of the children are in primary school and under 20 percent go to secondary school.
-Worldwide, a total of 114 million children do not get even a basic education and 584 million women are illiterate.
[UN Millennium Project]

See also:
Live 8
The ONE Campaign
Make Poverty History
DATA

So anyone planning to be in Philly on July 2nd? Let me know.

6/7/2005

I’m Just Sitting Here Watching the Wheels Go Round and Round…

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:38 am EST

Somebody please tell me…

Why oh WHY do men like to play car racing games?

Perhaps someone with a Y chromosome could explain this to me, because I just don’t get it. It looks so BORING!! And I realize that these games captivate thousands if not millions of men and boys (and probably some females) each day, so there must be something to it. So let me in on the secret. Please, please help me understand!

5/12/2005

Enforced Insanity

Filed under: — Kate @ 5:26 pm EST

Speaking of IDs, I wondered what you guys think of this:

Last week, in anticipation of the new movie, we decided to have some friends over and watch Star Wars Episodes I and II. We don’t actually have the DVDs (waiting for a trilogy), and our local independent store didn’t have Ep. II so Edo decided to rent them from Blockbuster. Biking way further west into the ghetto than I would ever venture, he set out. But when he tried to sign up for a new account to rent the movies, they said no. Want to know why? Because he doesn’t have an American driver’s license. He’s an American citizen. He has a US passport (which he showed them). And all other sorts of IDs, credit cards, etc. But no driver’s license. So they wouldn’t open an account. (more…)

5/11/2005

Sitting On My Crucifix

Filed under: — Kate @ 3:44 pm EST

To me, this image exemplifies what is wrong with this country.


…well, much of it anyway. If I find something that depicts the rest of it, I shall post that as well.

Here’s the website:
www.bushfish.org

[via Wonkette]

5/3/2005

ABC: Association of Bigoted Christians

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:38 am EST

Is ABC providing airtime to Focus on the Family ad after denying it to United Church of Christ? [Media Matters]

So they dismiss an ad depicting a church’s policy that is inclusive and tolerant of all types of people, but approve a commercial from a religious organization notorious for their messages of bigotry and prejudice?

4/12/2005

Sing Along to the Age of Paranoia

Filed under: — Kate @ 12:49 pm EST

So I don’t watch a whole lot of regular television, but in the last week I’ve noticed (what seems to me) some excessive censorship on basic cable. On last night’s Daily Show, they bleeped out the “blow” in blowjob. And last week I was watching the Green Day episode of Storytellers on VH1 (excellent, btw). Now I was expecting them to censor the big ones, but dope? I thought we were past that. They wouldn’t censor it on a cop show (”busted for dope”) so what’s the big deal if it’s in a song? I know the FCC has everyone running scared, but this is cable, not broadcast. WTF?!

I actually tried searching the web for a list of these words and came up empty. So, I want to compile a list of seemingly silly words that are bleeped on basic cable. Here’s my start:

-blowjob (Daily Show, Comedy Central)
-faggot, fags (Green Day Storytellers, VH1)
-dope (Green Day Storytellers, VH1)
-mary jane (Green Day Storytellers, VH1)

(There’s probably more from Storytellers, but that’s what I can remember off the top of my head. They probably killed “cocaine,” too.)

Please add other instances you’ve noticed to the list, and (include the show/network if you can remember). Also, if anyone can point me to a good site for this, that would be great.

4/6/2005

Criminal Indecency: Hard Time for Rough Language

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:34 am EST

Just a quick thing from the pile of mush that is my overworked, underslept brain:

I read an article this morning that got me thinking:
Sensenbrenner to cable execs: Indecency is criminal act

Basically:
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner III, R-Wis., told cable industry executives attending the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. conference here on Monday that criminal prosecution would be a more efficient way to enforce the indecency regulations.

Okay, this guy is a nut. That’s easy to see. But this is what I can’t wrap my head around (possibly due to the mush effect):
Obscene speech is not protected by the First Amendment and can’t be broadcast at any time, but indecent speech can be aired safely between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. because the courts and the FCC have determined that children are not a large part of the audience in those hours.

So here’s my question: What is obscene speech, and what is simply indecent? The FCC does not have clearly defined rules, and even if they did, who decides? People may have differing, or even opposite opinions on what constitutes decency. Personally, I think watching someone eat cow eyeballs or cockroaches is more offensive than a pair of breasts (well, natural breasts, anyway). But that’s just me.

See also:
-When Cleavage Is a Crime…
-Use an Expletive, Go to Prison