Wednesday, November 22

bushies just can't hack it like they used to

Scoop: Clear Evidence 2006 Congressional Elections Hacked

Not so shocking, but still those Republicans manage to keep on reliably disgusting us.

"We see evidence of pervasive fraud, but apparently calibrated to political conditions existing before recent developments shifted the political landscape," said attorney Jonathan Simon, co-founder of Election Defense Alliance, "so 'the fix' turned out not to be sufficient for the actual circumstances." Explained Simon, "When you set out to rig an election, you want to do just enough to win. The greater the shift from expectations, (from exit polling, pre-election polling, demographics) the greater the risk of exposure--of provoking investigation. What was plenty to win on October 1 fell short on November 7."

Tough break, eh, W?

this headline cracks me up

This might be the funniest headline of the day if it didn't concern one of the planet's most famously obnoxious individuals.

Friday, November 17

send a real woman to do a woman's job

The great womenfolk over at Salon, my favorite daily read, have done the dirty job someone's gotta do and picked the REAL sexiest men living.

Ripping "that big bland celebrity flip book" (you know which one they mean -- even I get their daily gossip in my InBox) a new one and telling them to get some guts already, they demand of that camel-committee to come up with someone more "mentally stimulating [than] Matthew McConaughey," for godssake.

Yeah yeah I adore George as much as the next woman, but as the fed-up Salon staff quite rightly says, "Quit selecting George Clooney already. He's the zenith of sex appeal -- picking him is cheating."

So they've given us a dozen of their choices, topped by the marvelously manly Stephen Colbert -- whom I bet even George Clooney has the hots for -- plus 11 more that include three of my all time favorites: the very very spongeworthy Alan Rickman, Mark Ruffalo and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

And of course, they couldn't resist cheating just a tiny bit, offering us a list that culminated with Jon Stewart. Hey girls: he IS the George Clooney of our parallel comedy-lust universe.

Can't say I blame them a bit.

Tuesday, November 14

islam vs christianity: the Daily Show version

"Steve, this debate is about religion; let's discuss it rationally."

This brilliant clip of Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert arguing which religion is better is already a couple of months old, but I hadn't seen it yet, being unable to catch Jon Stewart regularly.

The pray-off proves nothing, but they do find agreement on one fundamental point: their common "enemy".

Mordant comedy just doesn't get any better than this.

Saturday, November 11

welcome to Smokey

The squarepeg family is now managing a fine balance between the human and feline populations. We have brought a pedigree 5-month-old Russian Blue into the mishpocha, and she is every bit as sweet-natured as our 1-yr-old Pinky is witchy.

It only took a couple of days for 17-yr-old Sunny to grumblingly let her share his basket, but Pinky hissed and whacked her for the first two weeks. (Nearly every day, I give thanks that she has no front claws.) Sweet Smokey is already turning nursemaid to old-man Sunny, licking his head and neck for long minutes while Sunny luxuriates in her TLC.

Smokey has been with us three weeks now, and mr. and ms. squarepeg fight like two children in kindergarten over her, just as they used to over Pinky. What's more, Smokey is now getting the coveted kitten food, and fattened-up Pinky's had to move on to the less rich adult food. Is it any wonder Pinky resents her presence?

Three cats is really quite a lot, but I don't know how much longer Sunny will last, which is why we adopted Smokey ... the thought of being alone with Pinky is a bit chilling. Sunny's been declining for the past year, and he's clearly quite ill today, just lying around, with signs of diarrhea and loss of appetite. It's back to the vet for him tomorrow, poor guy.

[Update: Nov 12 - Sunny's hospitalized on IV at the vet for the night, diagnosed with progressing pancreatic disease. We'll probably take him home tomorrow and see if this treatment helps him feel better for a while longer, but no one can say if this will be a week or six months. I'm resigned to saying good-bye slowly.]

Tuesday, November 7


My 14-year-old daughter calls me a psychopath.

I'm hurt. I'm insulted. I'm wondering, "What if it's true?"

Her definition of a psychopath is one who yells when [other one] has "done nothing". Well, that's exactly the point, isn't it? She does nothing. No homework, no room tidying, no dishes, no respect. But lots of complaining, tv watching, computer messaging, music downloading and of course hair washing.

Apparently her life would be perfect if I just did what I was told -- served up the food, handed out the money -- and didn't yell at her.

The truth is that I do tend to fly off the handle at relatively petty infractions, or even suspicions of infractions. She's reached an age where I rarely take anything she says at face value, since everything that comes out of her mouth appears to be crafted to elicit a reaction that would be pleasing to her.

And by "pleasing to her" I mean giving her money.

So there's always this sort of edgy, cagey, circling and sniffing in order to find the way to the truth of any matter. Perhaps this does make me just a teeny bit psychopathic.

We looked up psychopathic at (her suggestion) and got: A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

Well, that's not me! I may be somewhat antisocial and even aggressive, but I'm definitely not perverted, criminal or amoral [ok, no one's a saint, right? there's a continuum, and I doubt I could be judged as sitting too far past the middle of it]; and I'm relatively empathetic [I cry at movies!]; and remorse? hell, I'm loaded with it. But 15 years ago in this country, "childfree" was absolutely not an option. :P

It also said "`psychopath' was once widely used but has now been superseded by `sociopath,'" so we looked that up too: Someone whose social behavior is extremely abnormal. Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.

Even my daughter admitted that that described her almost perfectly.

Still, to be fair, if typical teenage behavior tends toward the sociopathic, perhaps it can no longer by definition be considered "abnormal".

And I submit that it follows, therefore, that mommies who are driven to psychopathic behavior by their sociopathic teenagers are also, by virtue of residing in this category, "normal".

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Monday, November 6

David Grossman's speech

This should really be read by everyone. It's author David Grossman's speech, translated in Haaretz, at the Rabin memorial on Saturday November 4th, on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the assassination of the Prime Minister. He was fairly scathing in the remarks he addressed to the current Prime Minister.

Maybe Olmert will find the humility to heed those remarks.