October 31, 2005

Death Becomes Her Blog

I'm covered. Are you?

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Dowdy over Dowd

Maureen Dowd makes me want to throw-up. Yes, I mean vomit, regurgitate, puke. And it's not just because she's jealous of Caitlin Flanagan because Flanagan has a husband, children, and does some writing on the side (hardly an 80 hour a week "career") and might just be happy with those demanding, energy-depleting humans: editors. Well, maybe that's a little bit of it.

First problem: not every woman attends Harvard. Second Problem: not every woman will attend Harvard. Third problem: not every woman has attended Harvard. Fourth problem: not every successful woman (and this can cut anyway you slice successful) has attended Harvard, nor will every potentially successful woman attend Harvard. Maybe the problem is Harvard, and not men.

It is really infuriating that Dowd presumes that those of us not in the journalism field or that haven't attended an Ivy League school aren't smart enough to analyze statistics like this one:

A 2005 report by researchers at four British universities indicated that a high I.Q. hampers a woman's chance to marry, while it is a plus for men. The prospect for marriage increased by 35 percent for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women, there is a 40 percent drop for each 16-point rise.

Oh, so that's the real issue: the smarts. Smart women can't get a man, but wait, I thought they don't want one? Or is it that the less intelligent women aren't intelligent enough to reject the abominable sex? So are we complimenting those who have smarts and feeling sorry for those fools lacking enough to find only a man appealing and not a graduate school application? Or could it really be that the small sample of females in the British study actually represent just that? A small sample.

Silly women taking the name of their husbands and embarrassingly wearing unfeministic unfashionable tee's with sequined "Mrs." on them. Damn it! They are supposed to be fighting to retain their own surnames, or to at least do the name scaffolding and hyphenate! Haven't we taught them anything? After all these years it should be the men throwing wedding showers for other men,eating cucumber sandwiches and drinking mimosas. They should be wanting to wear t-shirts that say "Mr." Oh. Wait...Poor women, having to pay all that money to Harvard Business School and not able to say anything because all the men will tuck tail and run. That's why the women went to HBS, right? To gain bragging rights? Or wait, was it to because they wanted to be able to get a man, or was that a man's job?

You see, all men are the same, while we women are a varied and multi-dimensional sort. All men want exactly the same exact thing from a woman: her job. Or did I misunderstand the article?

h/t: The Llamas via Lileks.

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October 30, 2005

Blame Laid for De-Plumed Plame, er, huh?

Baldilocks summarizes in perfectly understood words the whole debacle.

She mentions Mr. Goldstein, whose source, the Dolphin in the Peacoat, I find enigmatically interesting.

Oh, and Ace is quoted, too.

So, this reveals that I haven't, indeed, been reading The Aeneid, but you know what? I can't stand The Aeneid anyway. It's nothing but plagiarism with a slightly varied theme. Booooorrrrring!

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Reason Number 1 to like The Llamas: Old-fashion, classic insulting.

Heh. What Yankees (in the eighteenth century sense of the word).

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All I Want for Christmas is...

My Own Domain, my own domain.

I got my own domain and will soon be moving to Expression Engine and will (hopefully) soon have a new-do (but still incorporating the classic colors) and retaining the beautiful banner that Pam made for me. When it is ready, I will post a link on this site and e-mail (those whose e-mail addresses I have) to remind of the update.

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Help- I need somebody, not just anybody

Can anyone give me an example of the difference between a sycophant and a courtier (not the medieval reference)?

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October 29, 2005

Shortsighted? Outsmarted?

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy by Thomas Sowell arrived in my mailbox this week. Between reading Ovid's Metamorphoses, understanding predicate nominatives and the misunderstood depth and definition of pronouns, finishing up Nectar in a Sieve and preparing for a midterm discussing the current state and perceived state of Education in the United States, I have slipped in at least the preface. My favorite quote:

The rise of the mass media, mass politics, and massive government means that the beliefs which drive a relatively small group of articulate people have a great leverage in determining the course taken by a whole society.

If I had been in church, I would've loudly verbalized an "Amen!" In fact, I think I did, although I was only in my bed.

Little Miss has a link to an article on Townhall.com by Mr. Sowell. Once again, I find myself nodding in agreement.

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A poke in the eye

My thoughts and prayers for Pam and all the residents dealing with the aftermath of Wilma.

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October 28, 2005

Physics Lesson for the Day

Einstein Image Generator

h/t: The lovely BlogPreggo: Margi

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October 26, 2005

Proud to Be

A conversation over at Rightwingsparkle reminded me of listening to Talk of the Nation yesterday. The subject: The Average American. Yep. I'm one (13 out of 15 keeps my "average" within The Average American). Are you?

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Rae at 07:20 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (1)
» Absinthe & Cookies (a bit bitter, a bit sweet) links with: Under Averaged

October 24, 2005

Doctor My Eyes

Jackson Browne is one of the artists I listen to when I have to think. He reminds me of being a little girl and riding a dark highway; his accompaniment the VW engine backed by tires against concrete, the beat kept by the wipers moving back and forth; the percussion was the rain, the streetlights announced another sleeping town and that mournful, powerful piano he played rolled us through the blinking lights and on into the night.

I will be purchasing the acoustic compilation released earlier this month and travel the once enigmatic highway of my memories.

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October 23, 2005

In My Stall

I have decided what my novel will be entitled and I have a rough outline. The piece I posted a few days ago is a tiny part of a much larger writing that I simply must get out of my head.

My decision came in the bathroom of the theater. This weekend I went to see In Her Shoes. It was true that I had purchased a very tall Diet Coke and had to crawl across six very polite, patient people, but I also felt like I was struggling beneath a pillow placed firmly over my face; I was suffocating. By the time I got into a stall, I was nearly hyperventilating and I began to cry. I had a small conversation with myself, my back against the door, top two buttons of my jeans open, my hands rubbing my brow, my nose, my chin, over and over.

I have to write this story. I have to get it out of me. I have to pull it out of time and a backward space. God, I miss my grandmother. I miss knowing her as an adult granddaughter. I miss hearing her voice and knowing her story, the one that my mother only knows through the eyes of a disappointed little girl and a jaded woman. Where and how did it all begin? How did all these women ever get so f**ked up?.

I recommend the film. Full review forthcoming.

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October 19, 2005

A New Day

Thanks to Papa Pixy, who sits high on Mount MuNu, my blog has been restored to the protective powers of the Blacklist.

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October 18, 2005



I haven't been hit like this...ever! I have a nice widget that tells me the name of the person commenting. So, as I was reading this evening, I got a string of tongue-twisting "names" of email senders.

Sigh...I have since deleted, non-stop, over 40 individual disgusting wretching spam comments. And they keep coming. I submitted everything to the Blacklist and it either takes a few days to update, or it DOESN'T work. I say, Blogger even has spam protection now? I am exhausted!

This spambot isn't just hitting the archives. No, this viscious parasite is digging around on the top shelf. So, if I happen to get to sleep tonight before detoxing ALS, please excuse the junk.

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It's Not Your Fault;

you're not alone.

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October 16, 2005

This has been floating around in my mind for a few weeks. It's just a piece, not the whole thing.

The house is always the same in my dream: large, 12 foot ceilings, 32 paned windows, stairs that are steep and leading to rooms I cannot access: my mother's home in Southeast Oklahoma on a street named for the second president of the United States; the others followed south to Johnson. In this very Democrat dominated corner of the state, Nixon didn't get a block named after him. That's when time and growth stopped in this town.

We moved there the year my brother was born. He was the only heir to the name no one could pronounce but everyone knew. His father had married my mother, an outsider, a foreigner, only after living with her for seven years, then killing himself five months later, leaving her pregnant and neither wealthy, nor the heir to his estate. She packed us up and bought the house on the street with no other children. Behind gingerbread trim, the other houses held tucked-away aging widows bestowed with the same names of the flowers in their meticulously kept gardens: Rose, Myrtle, Iris. Every Sunday the sons would come to either take their mothers to church or to visit on the side screened porches taking coffee poured from polished silver decanters- black, no sugar.

The women who had known her husband in high school smiled politely, then pushed their shopping carts past us, into isle three to gossip by the bread. They couldn't help but compare their own small bosoms and wide hips, polyester pants, frosted-Farrah hair and fake nails to her still young, firm breasts, slim waist, Levi's and polo, blunt cut naturally coordinating chocolate milk-brown hair and eyes, but it was her confident walk and presumption of acceptance that fueled their fire of resentment and jealousy. It was quickly decided that she was there to steal their men or at least bed them.

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October 15, 2005

Take That to the Bank

My blog is worth $203,798.94.
How much is your blog worth?

From Craig and the Mrs.

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October 14, 2005

It's All Greek to Me

A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law commented, mentioning something about the "Chabahs." I made a mental note to ask my brother to interpret next time we talked. He called me soon after, while sitting on his deck, imbibing a delicious red. He told me she was referring to some sandals that she bought online by clicking on "Day by Day" by Chris Muir and then clicking on the Blogad for Chabah sandals beneath the day's strip.

So, I clicked through, too . I purchased three pairs of the cutest sandals with the coolest names:

My selections:



(All pics from the Chabah website.)

They arrived today. They are just as cute on my feet, and quite comfy with the woven grass and linen tops. I appreciate the foam soles for slight support and strength of the sandal. Thanks, Damien :D

In other Greek related news, I had purchased the first three of Mary Pope Osborne's retelling of The Odyssey for children for C last week at the local elementary school book fair. That was all they had. I had high hopes she would enjoy them as she picked them out herself. I tucked her in with a kiss, prayers, and after her regular night time reading. The next morning when I went down to awaken her, she sat straight up and told me how she had continued reading after I turned out her lamp (via booklight). "I read the whole thing, mom!" To know that she so enjoyed reading something far outweighed her subversiveness, so I immediately ordered the remaining three of the series from Amazon. They arrived today. She was thrilled and placed them on her bed. Next to her booklight.

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An American Epic

From this week's edition of comes a very positive article about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by journalist, and member of the LDS faith herself, Elise Soukup.

Soukup doesn't back up statements such as these (in which Soukup is speaking of specific doctrine that come directly from Joseph Smith): So does the emphasis on high moral standards, family ties and community service: Mormonism appeals to the fundamental human impulse for connection, security and a promise of rewards not only on earth but beyond time and space with appropriate quotes. This is a statement of perspective, but of whom? Hers? Sources she interviewed? The church? Her article reads more like a PR pamphlet that acknowledges a few spots on the past without serious examination of the extent of these (polygamy, lawsuits, debt and enemies), and even ends with a justification by Smith himself: 'I never told you I was perfect,' he told his followers. 'But there is no error in the revelations which I have taught.' What a nice, tidy finish. I cannot help but wonder at the four-star rating the article received. It has been anticipated and publicized by the church as forthcoming. I conjecture that it hasn't receive five-stars because it does at least mention a few of the blots on the church history of the man they claim founder of their religion.

The continued story interviews the current prophet of the church, Gordon B. Hinckley. Even these questions don't resound with the supposed lack of bias reporters are allegedly held to in giving "just the facts." For example: Why do you think the Lord chose Smith? Why was he the one? I have never read of a professional referring to Jesus Christ as "Lord" unless they personally believed he was.

This is a feature article, and Elise was assisted by Jon Meacham, the managing editor of Newsweek and distinguished writer of American History. He has an obvious interest in history and it is true that Mormonism is unique to the United States from an historical perspective: it is our own home-grown religion.

The growth of the church cannot be denied; however, more converts now are in Latin America and outside of the United States. How does the saying go? "A prophet is never welcome in his own town." With divorce rates for LDS no different than the national average (but certainly those LDS who live in communities with a higher percentage of the population receive greater societal pressure to remain married), why does the church continue to quote its allure as the perfection of the family?

This is the most polite society in which I have ever lived. They are hospitable, generally thoughtful, some of the hardest working people I have seen, and if they have trumped other protestant faiths in any particular way, it is the reverence they place on wives and mothers and education (something called "The Utah Paradox" exists here: less money per child is spent on education than the national average, but the kids consistently do very well on standardized tests). They could teach some of the denominations a few lessons about preparedness, organization and deference. While their faith influences these things and makes it a "nice" place to live, these qualities don't eliminate the challenges of frail humanity, but then, I suppose that no one religion does; rather, it is the one to whom each faith subscribes that offers relief from the fragile state of mankind.

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h/t: demosthenes

Read more An American Epic »

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October 13, 2005

So True

Last night as I was nagging E to finish her Algebra assignments, she said: "Mom, I will get them done. Isn't my educational success at this point up to me?" She read the surprised agreement on my face, smiled, and said goodnight.

Oh, and she finished that math, too.

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Grammar Cop:

Updated:Patrick pointed out the website of Mr. Brians (see, another whole phrase allomorph). Bookmark it! Thank you, Patrick.

I make many grammatical errors. Most occur as a lack of editing, but some are a result of bad habit. I have gotten better and am actually quite confident when I must label parts of speech or if I am asked to spot errors. Is it just hard to check your own work?

Thank goodness for the work of Paul Brians ("of Paul Brians" is called a "whole phrase allomorph" because it feels odd to make some words that end in "s" possessive. Now that's useful for life, huh?) in Common Errors in English Usage. I have been telling people for years (props to R) that when they say "I am nauseous" that they are saying they make people want to vomit. According to the author, the correct way of announcing an upset stomach is to say "I am nauseated." When I read this to A, she correctly used it in a sentence: "Public nose picking is nauseous." That's my girl!

Interesting note: Mr. Brians tell us that "the English use 'sick' exclusively for vomiting; when Americans say they feel sick, the English say they feel ill. Americans visiting Great Britain who tell their hosts they feel sick may cause them to worry needlessly about the carpeting."

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October 11, 2005

Homogeny-Ain't It Grand?

Sometimes I really dislike living here.

We couldn't get The Constant Gardener* (which, btw, I saw elsewhere) into theaters, but Mobsters and Mormons has been playing for weeks.

There is a whole genre of LD$ films out there that no one outside of Idaho, Utah, and Arizona knows exists. They typically parody their own culture and "good-naturedly" play off of the stereotypes of the world, but the films are didactic and filled with vernacular and inside references familiar only to themselves. It takes living here for several years for the religious colloquialisms to be understood ("Ward"- the congregation you are assigned to according to your geographical location. You can still attend where you wish, but it is discouraged and rarely done. "Singles Ward"- the wards usually in the vicinity of colleges and universities provided for all the unmarried people to attend, thus providing them with opportunities to meet other unmarrieds and find a mate).

What was the point of this post? Oh. Yes. I miss diversity.

It's all about profit. I know.

*I stand corrected. Two weeks after its premiere, it is now showing in a city south of here.

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Give Him a Bit of Cheese, Please

Oh no! Fire destroyed the warehouse in which the props and sets from Wallace and Gromit films are stored! I love those guys. The girls and I have been looking forward to The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (we're going this weekend).

Nick Park is quite the thoughtful gentleman:

"Wallace and Gromit's creator, Nick Park, said the earthquake in South Asia helped put the loss into perspective.

'Even though it is a precious and nostalgic collection and valuable to the company, in light of other tragedies, today isn't a big deal,' he said." (via CNN.com)

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Peaceful Measures

This week in one of my English classes, we're reading Lysistrata* by Aristophanes. Part of me can't wait to see the squirming, to feel the embarrassment in the room. Remember the culture in which I reside...

*The women of Greece (both of Athens and Sparta), tired of the Peloponnesian War, decide to hold out on giving up the goods to force an end to the fighting.

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October 10, 2005

Some nights I wish to be driving in the cold. This is one of those nights.

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More Fun Blog Fluff

You are Ephesians
You are Ephesians.

Which book of the Bible are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


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October 09, 2005


O.K. So, I invited myself to the game, but this looked like such fun. You don't mind, do you, Tulip Girl?

The rules are:

1. Search your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (this is meant to say something about you).
4. Post that sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.

The fifth sentence of my 23rd post: I am young at heart and love children's literature and film.

I am tagging (and this in no way requires compliance; answers in the comments section will do):
Robbo and Steve

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Hand Me My Button, Please

Yesterday at 10:20 A.M. I showed up at the outdoor theater, one of the three used for the Shakespeare Festival, to watch my lovely, chaste daughter portray a woman of ill-repute in a stylized version of Pericles. In August, E auditioned for the Drama II class and was the only freshman chosen. This group was riveting (as one of the judges even told them during their evaluation)! The audience was immediately yanked from their seats and pulled into innocent yet cunning Marina's plight: stolen from her mother's home by pirates, sold to a brothel and marketed for her virginity, she must find a way to preserve her maiden virtue and escape to return to her father's home. The kids did a terrific job of filling a large stage and yet creating an intimate space of interaction and genuine response. It was truly thrilling.

E was trying her best to wiggle her hips, of which she has none, and attempt to be the seductress, of which she has absolutely no knowledge or ability. She had called earlier in the morning requesting pantyhose. R made the purchase and went to find her amongst the 2500 other kids on campus. Unable to find her, he queried the director as to her whereabouts. Mr. B responded, with a grin: "Around the back of the theater, you'll see a group of girls that look like sl_ts. That's where she'll be." R was a bit taken aback, but when he saw his daughter, he could do nothing but agree.

A ten minute performance left the remainder of the day to be filled with the freedom of roaming, mixing, and making new friends while awaiting the awards ceremony that announced the winners of the competition. Somewhere near nine last night, E called me. She was ecstatic. They placed second, right behind a private school for the arts.

I drove the wet streets to pick her up. Gone was the heavy blue eye shadow, bright pink cheeks, false eyelashes, red lips, the corset and ripped nylons. Here was my girl, tired and satisfied, the best combination for ending a day.

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October 06, 2005

Head on Straight

My girls have a finely tuned sense of humor. They are especially keen at puns (Nathan, The Pun King, would be impressed), in both understanding and creating them. Being children, anything that has to do with the body or can elicit a squeal of disgust from their mother is quite satisfying, as well.

We recently purchased the book Parts by Tedd Arnold. The nameless, ping-pong-eyed boy is filled with angst over the deconstruction of his body. When some gray, gooey, unidentifiable object slips from his nose, he fears his brain is falling out. The lint in his navel? He's losing his stuffing. The girls found this book quite hysterical, so when we saw Even More Parts, we knew we had to get it. It ended up being a late night, so I set the book (along with several others) next to K's bed, intending to read them tonight before our chapter in Mary Poppins Comes Back.

K took some time to peruse her new literature this morning. After lunch she brought Even More Parts to me, telling me it was "hilarious." This time, Mr. Arnold explores those euphemisms that are often so puzzling to children. He accompanies the confusing idioms with amusing illustrations of the frantic, nameless, ping-pong-eyed boy imagining the literal effect of such sayings. We giggled over "I'm losing my mind," and " My nose is running." I turned the page and we laughed when the boy placed his screw-on arm and leg, complete with shod foot, onto the counter as the equally ping-pong-eyed cashier checked the drawer for change-- more arms and legs. Beneath the full-page illustrations are smaller ones with more bug-eyed cohorts enacting similar phrases, "I had to foot the bill," or "I had to pay through the nose." I paused as K then reached behind her, literally to her behind, screwed her face up and in pretended effort jerks her arm. She placed her fist in on the table, and opening it said, "I bet you my bottom dollar."

I fell to pieces laughing.

May I take a moment to say, I really, really, enjoy my kids?

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October 05, 2005

I found pieces of my childhood scattered across the sidewalk this morning. I was delighted to find bits of Oklahoma whirling down from the sky, landing at my feet. Stooping, I began to gather the delicate pods. I gently held them in my hand, afraid of crushing the fragile, encased fruit, winged for escape, outfitted for traveling the winds to other lands, fields, or merely a few inches away to the northern corner of the yard. In a moment of frivolity, I threw them from my hand, watched them rise, pause in civil disobedience to the law of gravity and spin dizzily to the ground, their whirring faintly tickling my ears.

I collected several choice pods and slipped them into my pocket to bring home to the girls as reminders that pieces of their own childhood in Missouri have found their way here.

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October 04, 2005

At Close of Day

Tonight after I finished praying with A, I opened my eyes and found hers watching me. I asked her if she had them open the entire time. She then told me that she could not help herself, that sometimes when I pray it sounds beautiful, like I am telling a story. My children compliment me in the most simple ways.

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October 02, 2005

Why (again)?

Yeah, a poem, I can write. Rewrite a fable with modern day themes- check. A ten minute play?

See Rae.

See Rae fret.

See Rae become anxious.

See Rae stress.

A ten minute play. It will be the death of me, I am sure. Or at least of any remaining brain I have.

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