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Postings are in chronological order, with the most recent entry at the top.

Sept. 2003

Ume's mother is an enthusiastic sort, always brimming over and whatnot. She says things like, "You're so wonderful!" And then she wants to hug you and feed you a lot.

Mrs. Boshi's enthusiasm extends into the culinary arena for sure. "Ooh, I found a marvelous recipe for rice pudding, it's Spanish!" And this is a good thing, Mrs. Boshi is always cooking us terrific stuff, only... only... well, she's enthusiastic and overbrimming and so when you're mouth is watering because of the gallon and a half of magical rice pudding stuff that she's got on the stove and she says with a gleam in her eye, "It's going to be fantastic, I put cream in it!" - I have a hard time not wincing visibly (I'm an ingrate, I know, but this happens often and so I'm forced to comment).

As I've said, she's overbrimming, so when Mrs. Boshi says "cream", she means cream and lots of it. She means heavy cream. She means artery clogging, heart stopping, 100% bad assed cow juice. And earlier that same day, I'd watched, with morbid fascination, as she'd added a stick and a half of butter to the pot...

When I eat food, I prefer not to hear my arteries' complaints slowly fade into a hardened silence. I'm funny that way. Ume's funny that way too and tried for a time to gently redirect her mother's enthusiasms toward things like, maybe, reduced fat milk and exercise... to no avail.

In the past, we've considered the concept of dieting a beastly habit - a preoccupation of the undisciplined, a mainstay of an excessive culture whose daily intake is polluted with more garbage than nutritional substance... and yet, we're considering cloak and dagger operational tactics to get Mrs. Boshi on one. Hell, we need one after having visited for a weekend.

We're forced into such skullduggery, because Mrs. Boshi, whom we wish to keep around as long as possible, is having none of our gentle type tactics. She's not averse to exercise, she's just averse to doing it on anybody else's schedule - "I'll exercise once today and maybe again sometime next week, isn't this a marvelous runny Gorgonzola?" is more her approach. She's averse to (even though she says she's not), changing her daily intake of not good for you (even if it does say organic on the label) food stuffs. When Ume valiantly confronted her about the amount of butter that had gone into the Spanish! rice pudding, Mrs. Boshi laughed and said, "Oh, it wasn't that much." And yet, when the pudding had cooled you could have bounced a silver dollar off it and put a dent in the kitchen ceiling.

"E-gads Brulee!" you say (it's uncanny - you're sounding more and more like me all of the time...). "What kind of talk is this for liberal minded feminists who are also lesbians and supposed to be unlookist and unfettered and fancy free and fat loving and non-ageist and wrinkle embracing and whatnot?" (I mean, it's uncanny, you really do sound like me...) Well, here's the facts: Mrs. Boshi has some health problems and those health problems are not helped by her buck-the-system eating habits (the system being the one her pushy kid and cohort are trying to enforce... I mean, encourage). Mrs. Boshi ain't that old, she's got a-ways to go and she could have a much improved quality of life now and in the near-distant future if she picked up a habit that may be beastly (namely, a healthy diet), but might also make her feel better. And that's my big thing, feeling better. A struggle over weight because you want to fit into a particular pair of jeans or you want to look a certain way in a bathing suit isn't what I'm about - simply losing some weight that creates mechanical problems for your body and makes you feel less lively - that's where I'm at. Believe me, I come from a family where the weight issue was way oppressive - women had to look a certain way, be a certain size - I hate that crap. So now that I've finished dancing nimbly through the cultural mine fields, on I go!

We've come up with some reversive psychologic tactics to zip in under the radar and get Mrs. Boshi on a diet. We'll tell her stuff, like, "I hear George Bush likes butter..." (The mere mention of George Bush breaks Mrs. Boshi out in quasi-socialist conniptions.) "... and he always has his butter with a side dish of cream, because neocons say it's especially good brain food." Mrs. Boshi'd drop 10 pounds in five minutes with the agitation that'd do her. We'll call it the NeoConniption diet.

And here's a photo of the petition (along with Sen. Dorgan - D, and Sen. Lott - R) that helped get the 55-40 senate vote to overturn the FCC rules change. Pretty, ain't it? Ah, nothing like democracy in action... click here

Now for the big fight, the House! Bush has promised a veto if the rules are overturned... But that's back when his pole numbers weren't sliding north on a greased pole.

Avast ye!

You can get more info from: www.mediareform.net/

mussels on the beach...

mussels in my bowl...

recipe of the summer - mussels with linguine, definitely
so simple to prepare, it's criminal
not to mention cheap
but then, I suppose that depends on your choice of beverage...

the summer has sailed by, no?

Okay, I'm not the only one having problems seeing my content over ads. Some people aren't seeing my pictures either, they're seeing a generic image loaded in by the server. Easy fix for that, maybe, is to click here. If that hasn't fixed the problem (note and bookmark the new address if it did), it's probably got to do with you being as particular/paranoid/security conscious as me and having cookies turned off in your browser. If you go into the preferences and choose the cookie option that lets you ask for each site, instead of rejecting them outright, then reload the web page, you may get rid of the generic images.

Far be it from me to tell anyone to turn on the "accept cookie" option. Though, accepting cookies, if you're careful to not let your browser and ip address be linked to your personal info, isn't as bad as having adware and spyware loaded on your machine - gak! If you're a PC user, you do yourself a big favor by downloading ZoneAlarm - it's a firewall and it's free! Mac users can get BrickHouse free (also a firewall), but it doesn't help prevent spyware and adware from reporting back to the mother ship. There's a free program for macs that seems to address the spyware/adware issue called MacScan.

I'm sure I don't have to tell y'all about having anti-virus software...

Surf safe!

Ah, the internet! You too can surf over to Andrew Bird's (once a Squirrel Nut Zipper participant) site and check out one of his latest creations, "Lull". I enjoy his "The Swimming Hour" and "Thrills" CDs. He's hugely eloquent on the condition of the bent mind: click here

"Oh yeah, of course You know you can't ride the concept of the horse But still I try"

 -- "Case In Point", The Swimming Hour, Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire

I got a good laugh reading this:
Can't You be Civil, You Lying Idiot? by Ellen Goodman (09.18.03, Boulder Daily Camera): click here

This is a little more sober in nature:
An Occupied Country by Howard Zinn (to be pub. in The Progressive, 10.03): click here

NeoCon 101 anybody? click here

According to this article, it's going to get worse before it gets better... tell me something I didn't know...
Exploiting the Atrocity by Paul Krugman (09.12.03, New York Times): click here

Amanpour: CNN Practiced Self-Censorship by Peter Johnson (USAToday, 09.15.03): click here

Cheney's Misspeaking Streak by Derrick Z. Jackson (09.17.03): click here

Bush Distances from Cheney on Saddam-9/11 Link by Steve Holland (Reuters, 09.17.03): click here

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Ye hearin'? Good. 'Cause as of now I'm starting a links page (about damn time, you say). I just couldn't contend with all of that clutter on the left crowding out my precious thoughts. To say nothing of these damn new ads splashed in the middle of my content (I don't know if everyone gets 'em or it's just me, but they're annoying! and they go over the words... hello!). What's the point of having a web page if no one can see the bloody thing, I ask?

Hmmm... If a web page is covered by an ad on the internet and no one can read it, does it exist? Technically, yes, but my existential fumblings in the digital wilderness... oh, blah, blah, blah - I moved my links to a new page. Click the "Links" link over in the list to the left if you wanna peruse 'em. Or: click here

At first I thought, "Someone must be provoking a child."

But the noise persisted... past the time I thought it would have taken for a child's lungs, even in my neighborhood, to collapse.

Then I thought, "Perhaps it's a drill that's not been oiled."

But the noise persisted... past the time it would have taken even the brain dead to have oiled it.

And then... after a week of this persistent noise starting and stopping and splintering it's way across my fragile conscious, it finally occurred to me - it's a bird. Some idiot has gone and got a friggin' parrot!

Now, before I get concerned notes on child provocation and parrot worthiness, let me assure you that I hold no grudge against either class of creature - as such. I'm quite fond of children, especially the quiet ones, and parrots are magnificent examples of the colorful exploits of the evolutionary process what took place in tropical parts... which is where parrots belong - not in frigid northern climes of an urban nature what are near my ever particular head innards. Again, why do I live in a city? With parrot neighbors?

Read Like by Ali Smith - not my thing really, but there were a couple of passages that I thought were good:

And this one:

Oh yes! An interview with Paul Krugman! About his new book (The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century) and the dangers of unchecked neocon radicals (is this guy smart, or what?) (Fresh Air, RealOne, 09.10.03): click here

For a text interview with Krugman about his book: click here

And here's a fascinating interview with Anne Garrels, whose new book, Naked in Bagdad was just published (Fresh Air, 09.11.03): click here

Tonight will be a stomach-churning moment for Mr. Bush, and he must be puzzling over how he got snarled in this nightmare, with Old Europe making him beg, North Korea making him wince, the deficit making him cringe, the lost manufacturing jobs making him gulp; with the hawks caving in to the U.N. and to old Saddam Baath army members who want to rebuild a security force; with Representative David Obey demanding the unilateral heads of Rummy and Wolfie, so that "Uncle Sam doesn't become Uncle Sucker"; with the F.B.I. warning that more Islamic terrorists who know how to fly planes may be burrowing into our neighborhoods.

Does Mr. Bush ever wonder if the neocons duped him and hijacked his foreign policy?

Excerpted from: From Swagger to Stagger by Maureen Dowd (New York Times, 09.07.03): click here

Everybody surviving the heat waves and the blackouts and the computer viruses and the general state of all that's life in these times? I hope so.

Stuff we experienced recently in, around and on our way to Acadia National Park

"Mountains" in Acadia with Ume on top
she looked so cute up there
Mosquito bites
do we note a trend?
yeah, like, she tastes better
Unique flush mechanisms on toilets
clever bastards
Sightings of Mars (the closest it's been to Earth in 60,000 years)
made trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night that much more scenic
Bald Eagles
7 foot wingspan, need I say more?
nifty lookin'
Falcons (poss. peregrine)
also nifty lookin'
Spotted sandpiper
odd little jobs
Great Blue Heron
got within 10 yds. of one - not sure I'd want to be any closer, those huge beaks are intimidating
way close to one... maybe too close - fascinating, but ugly
Notable glacial erratics
and a pretty little erratic it was too
Long horned beetles
Ume followed it around for a half hour
Swarms of horse flies
picture a fly that's an inch long, whose bite (a prim looking native told us), "Hurts like a mother!"
Indian pipe (flower)
this stuff looks like an alien weed, a translucent flower with the look of a mushroom
Cronk's Quality Animal Urine
8 to 10 bottles
Ume came out of a place where we were fueling up in Northern Maine and asked, "I'm not sure I want to know why, but they're selling animal urine in that place." It seems to be a hunting thing...
Small, feisty, tiring Brulees
and I thought I was hyperactive as a tot, must be genetic
Ume visited a good five minutes with each one - "This one's interesting!"
bummer! I sooo wanted to see one, they're so funky

You know, we may have won the Cold War, but the Russians got Maine. After our recent travels up there, I'm convinced of it. You couldn't walk ten paces in a populated area and not hear a Russian accent.

That's cool an' all, as long they keep the Borscht to themselves. I can't abide Borscht! My mother, thinking she was being cosmopolitan, I'm sure, used to terrorize us with the stuff. And liver and onions, don't even talk to me about calves' liver... not that the Russians are responsible for that, but honestly, what was that woman trying to do to me?

Money dignifies what is frivolous if unpaid for.

-- Virginia Woolf  

A terrific discussion with children of gay parents - is it just me, or are these children frighteningly articulate? (OnPoint Radio, 09.04.03): click here

In the news...

Wait, wait! You mean we actually need the support of other countries? The most awesome, super-fantastic, turbo superpower ever - we need the cooperation of puny little states with conventional armies and smaller economies and stuff? What a concept! I bet this was Donald Rumsfeld's master plan all along... it may not have been, but he'll try to convince everybody it was...

Bush Turns to U.N. for Help Stabilizing Iraq by Steve Holland (09.02.03, Reuters): click here

U.S. Looks to UN to Encourage Troops to Come to Iraq by Evelyn Leopold (09.03.03, Reuters): click here

Great discussion about the economics (and politics) of the reconstruction of Iraq (you mean, Iraqis, the people we "liberated", want a hand and a say in what happens to their own economy? No way!), Iraq Contracts (Talk of the Nation, 09.03.03): click here

This is our coalition? No wonder why we're knocking on the door of the UN.

The United States has about 150,000 troops in Iraq and is supported by about 21,000 others, 11,000 of them British.

U.S. Faces Weakened Hand in Iraq Negotiations by Randall Mikkelsen (08.03.03, Reuters): click here

If you've been following the news, you know Iraq is a mess - much like Afghanistan (do we note a trend?). If you want to read some interesting articles about what's going on in Bagdad, take a look at this site: http://www.baghdadbulletin.com/

Some good articles on Common Dreams:

Fistfuls of Dollars by Paul Krugman (08.29.03, New York Times): click here

Change Needed by U.S. in Iraq: Resistance to American Occupation is Growing, Thriving on the Country's Instability by Scott Ritter (08.31.03, Baltimore Sun): click here

Time Bomb Ticks Beneath the Economy: Huge Federal Deficits Could Stall Investment and Send Interest Rates Soaring by Robert B. Reich (08.29.03, Los Angeles Times): click here

Ways to Win by Jonathan Schell (to be published in the 09.1/8.03 issue of The Nation): click here

There's also an interesting interview with Schell about his book, The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People, here (4.23.03): click here

Here's an article that mentions an interesting book (Weapons of Mass Deception by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber) written by a couple of ad executives on the mechanics of the propaganda machine that lead to the war in Iraq: Lessons in How to Lie About Iraq: The problem is not propaganda but the relentless control of the kind of things we think about by Brian Eno (Observer/UK, 08.17.03): click here

Here's a story that I think shows our current state of domestic political affairs on so many levels: Bush Judicial Pick Estrada Backs Out (Talk of the Nation, 09.04.03, scroll down and click Bush Judicial Pick Estrada Backs Out link): click here

The Republicans have accused the Democrats of being anti-Catholic, anti-Hispanic and just about everything else for resisting right wing judicial nominees that they've attempted to ram through the nomination process. And then they turn around and try to use the resistance to these extreme nominees to sway Catholic and Hispanic voters to vote Republican (think someone was taking notes while Clinton was in office?).

The race, ethnicity and sexual orientation cards are going to be ugly in this upcoming election season (I'm not a pundit - just a pessimistic dilettante). The Republicans will attempt to portray the Democrats as the spineless, high-spending, black and gay loving party . And because, even though people like to say we live in a racially blind society (ha!), that kind of thing works. And Hispanic voters are big time important and getting more and more important (I'm only talking electoral numbers here, Hispanics are inherently super duper important - especially mine, Ume) and have shown tendencies (on a broad scale, not an individual scale) toward the Republican party (something someone said on the radio in the context of this issue explained this bizarre happenstance to me recently, "The Republicans are the party of winners!" - yeah, I said (I talk to the radio a lot), and the Democrats are also associated with the civil rights movement and blacks and don't tell me that racism isn't just a small factor in that overall party affiliation equation - even among immigrants, a traditional base for the Democratic party).

It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out, no?

2003 Déjà vu - August - July - June - May- April - March - Feb. - Jan.

2002 Déjà vu - Dec. - Nov.- Oct. - Sept. - August - July - June - May - April - March - Feb. - Jan.

2001 Déjà vu - Dec. - Nov. - Oct. - Sept. - August - July - June - Misadventures- April

Compassion Fatigue Entries - 2001

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