Archive for January, 2006

duty vs. intelligence?

January 28th, 2006 No comments

A few days ago my mom tells me that the evening news announced the airport was hiring screeners. So I went to the informational thing today and, I dunno.

A long, long time ago a naive Doom (hard to believe, I know, but I was 11) joined an organization called the Sea Cadets. I was wide eyed, earnest and all that crap. In the local unit I met another group of serious minded youngsters (how awful is it to be serious minded before puberty, let alone high school?) and we were going to be seals (I’m sure none of us even joined, no, wait, one joined the National Guard). We were the hardest core group of pubescents you’d ever seen. Looking back, I know how silly and pathetic we were. But we believed. It was about duty and sacrifice and Doing Your Part.

Predictably, it was a disaster. Asthma is one of the great fortunes of my life because my painful awakening did not come after giving my life to the US Government (because I was going to be an officer, and they’re fucked forever, instead of just for a few years after their enlistment ends). However, that dutiful, sacrificial boy was put to good use by several employers who happily worked my stupid ass into the ground for no reward whatsoever.

So today, I go to this thing. And part of me yearns to recapture that feeling, craving duty and certainty of purpose like a drug. But the rest of me is whacking that idiot over the head with a frying pan screaming that it’s just another form of self-righteousness. Which, without question, it is. And then there’s the knowledge that the good people rarely get put in charge (thank you, Scott Adams) so the very worst people have their say over the dutiful sorts.

After the opening spiel, well, immediately after that they ran a slideshow completely soaked with patriotism about 9/11 with “Imagine” and “Proud to Be An American” played back to back (which is about the most inappropriate combination of tunes I can think of, akin to Helen Reddy followed by Snoop Dogg) and after that I felt like I needed some insulin to counteract the sugar that had been forced into my bloodstream. So I went outside after the slideshow, because I was torn about the whole thing. My sensible side was screaming that I should run, run far away, but the duty junkie hadn’t been shut up yet. So I went back in to talk to the screeners they had doing quick interviews. At the end the guy asked if I had any questions and I asked him about the slideshow, using the word “cloying” to describe it. He seemed to think that was not an inaccurate assessment. He said that the TSA was a fine place for cynics as long as they could do their jobs (hello, duty, remember??).

I don’t think I’m going to follow through on it. I’m fairly sure the pool of dutiful people capable of taking a nuanced world at face value is really small and I won’t find many of them in gubmint service. Why is a sense of duty and a good work ethic so rarely combined with intelligence and discernment?

Oh, and to reinforce that, there were 20 or so screeners (the “elite”, which means cherrypicked to leave the droolers out of sight) there were about as many suits running around, most of whom looked like televangelists.



2-14 Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

January 23rd, 2006 No comments

I got caught up on my GA tivos just in time, well, okay 3 or 4 hours in advance to actually watch this episode live.


Not a really strong episode, I thought. The theme of each episode can be pretty heavy handed sometimes and this one was an occasion where maybe it would have been wise to reel that in a tad. But the Yang/McDreamy dynamic was pretty good. I don’t think they’ve had much face to face time so far. Besides, McDreamy needs the perspective about him and Meredith and Bailey can’t deliver it all the time. If anyone’s more capable of non-offensive emotional brutality than Bailey, it’s Yang. Go her.

And there’s always the dialogue, with it’s kind of spastic pacing. Witness the dog conversation in the locker room. Rapid fire emotional sputter, then a big pause, then an outburst. Awesome.

Burke gets cooler and cooler the more we see him.
“The next time you forge my signature, let me know. Save me the trip.”
“That’s it? You’re not going to yell and say ‘dammit Grey’ and storm out?”
“I will if you want me to.”


It was also the night of the annoying women patients. Sylvie and Naomi. OMFG. How did Naomi’s husband handle it? I’m willing to bet a lot of people found Sylvie to be sweet. Me, I was hoping George would break out the ether on her, wrap her up in a carpet roll and leave her for the recycling people. But maybe I’m just a jerk.

The nurse thing. Did that just come from nowhere, pretty much? I know, not exactly, but two weeks, three tops prior to the strike? Hm. I wonder how long they’ll drag that out. Funny how Bailey and the nurses go away in the same episode. I hope that’s not a message. I think Shonda Rimes might have been a nurse. Hmmmm. I should check on that if I can find the energy.

I’ve been noticing that a large portion of my page hits come from search engines regarding Grey’s Anatomy. I guess I’d better step up to the plate on that. Since none of my friends seem to be reading this thing.


I’z famis!!!

January 19th, 2006 No comments

Stupid moralists

January 18th, 2006 No comments

It looks like Oregon’s assisted suicide law is big news. It’s the lead item on the Times’ website.

One thing that’s not so clear in the reports (although the Times mentioned it in the International Herald Tribune) is that we voted on this twice. It was put on the ballot (referendum to you Europeans) and we passed it. Then the state legislature referred it back to the voters and it passed by a greater margin the second time.

So, fuck you Ashcroft.


Here in Oregon, the issue was initially contentious, passed by a bare margin in 1994. But the more that people outside the state criticized the law, the more support it gained here. When it came up for a second referendum in 1997, it was upheld 60 to 40.


Popping the quiz cherry…

January 11th, 2006 No comments

hi. cram it.

Who’s Your Happy Bunny?
brought to you by Quizilla

School’s going well. Update later.

p.s. this Bunny is far superior to that one.


Men behaving marginally

January 9th, 2006 No comments

Buddy was in down from Utah this week. He’s actually here until Wednesday but I won’t see him because school starts tonight. Last night we went out again and he observed at one point that we hadn’t gone to a single bar his entire vacation that didn’t feature naked women.

Hm. Interesting.

So, as I said, school starts tonight. I’m pretty sure I’ve got most of my shit together. I guess I could use a few more pens but I’ll survive for now. Got all my books, got my schedule printed out, got paper and assorted shite. Cooking some stuff right now for lunches this week.

I really need to get on backing up my iMac so I can try to fix the problem I’m having with the wifi card on it. That’s another thing humming in the background.

I’m not going to make it to the gym today. Poo.


The Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar goes to….

January 5th, 2006 No comments

I went to get my books for Winter term and one of the books I had to get for my script writing class is the LA Confidential screenplay.

Ooooooooooooooooooh, wow. That movie is great, and the book is great, too. The two writers absolutely deserved that Oscar. There’s a making of/development of thing on the DVD (and the VHS) where James Ellroy said he and his agent laughed when they sold the movie option for the book, thinking it would never be filmed because the book is unmanageable.

Now I’m really excited about this class.


They call it superstition

January 5th, 2006 No comments

From I was born 11 minutes into Aries, so I start with that, and go onto Pisces (I’m a steam sign, how can I not be doomed? ;-) )
Sun is in 00 Degrees Aries.
By nature, you are very energetic and high-spirited.
Uh, kinda.

You are fiercely independent
Not “fiercely”.

You must be first in everything you do.
Eh, kinda. It doesn’t hurt.

…, and you enjoy taking risks

You are the one who will rush in where angels fear to tread.

Quite brilliant at initiating new projects, you are terrible at following them through to completion.
Sadly true.

You are an enthusiastic leader but you tend to be a reluctant follower.
Uh, mostly. I love being in charge but I can follow someone who’s not an idiot.

Often you are quick to anger, but you usually recover just as fast, regretting later things you said when you were upset.
True, too true.

One of your best traits is that you are simple and direct, blunt and honest — just be careful you do not hurt others’ feelings.
Heh heh. Yeah.

Your need to be competitive at all costs may provoke resistance from others, but, as long as you maintain your usual Sunny good humor, this should not prove to be a major problem for you.
None of THAT is true the slightest.

Sun is in 29 Degrees Pisces.
Extremely sensitive and emotional
Uh, yeah. *cringes*

You absorb the emotions of others (whether positive or negative) like a sponge.
Hmmm. Depends on if I care about the person or not.

Emotionally vulnerable, you are easily upset and tend to cry readily
Before my heart died, yes. ;-)

You are at your best when you can structure your environment in such a way that you are surrounded by positive, upbeat people.
These people actually tend to annoy me, but I can’t say this is inaccurate.

You are very helpful and understanding of the needs of others. Indeed, at times this can be a disadvantage, because you can be a sucker for anyone who needs help.
Especially if she’s cute.

Shy, dreamy, romantic in nature, you delight in retreating into your private fantasy world.
Damn skippy.

Just be careful that you do not get lost in it!
Too much time in strip bars, that.

Trust your intuitions — you may be quite psychic.
HA! In the words of Rob Gordon: “Well, I’ve been listening to my gut since I was 14 years old, and frankly speaking, I’ve come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains.”

This reminds me, I simply must find my copy of High Fidelity, or buy another one.


I <3 Elliot Spitzer

January 4th, 2006 No comments

Can we get this guy to take his act nationwide?

From CNet: Probe may delay change in digital-music prices
By John Borland

“New York State begins inquiry as labels increase pressure on online music stores to change their standard 99 cents per song pricing structure.”