Monday, June 29, 2009

Her name is Elizabeth

...and whatever you do, don't call her LIZ!

Oh, just kidding. This curly-haired sweetie won't mind. Yes, she's real. Here's more about this precious and pricey piggy along with another photo.

Lame blame game

The most bizarre thing I heard all weekend (regarding politics) is Rush Limbaugh's claim that Mark Sanford's affair is Obama's fault.

Yes, He said that. Even though the affair started back in 2008 or even 2007. Whaddya think, dittoheads? Are ya dittoing that one too? Really?

The other finger pointed the wrong way is that of Maria Chapur, the Argentinian lover of Mark "Sanctity of Marriage" Sanford:

[source] But she denied the "hacker" is a friend of hers _ as has been widely reported here _ saying he is as much a victim of the media frenzy as she.

"I have a strong suspicion of who is responsible for this evil act that was directed at me but also destroyed the lives of so many others," Chapur said. "But without sufficient proof, and for legal reasons, I am obligated to not reveal the name.

"It is not for me to judge anyone. I leave it all in the hands of God," she concluded.
[emphasis mine]

Sooo, someone accessed her email. Not very nice, and not defending that, but she seems to think that getting caught was the main source of the problem here. The hacker destroyed those lives, Maria? Maybe you should take it out of the hands of God and take some responsibility for your own actions.

Cartoon from Savage Chickens

The Cool and The Uncool

The “Cool House Tour” is a tour of houses which have gone to great lengths to become green dwellings. It’s an admirable effort, not only are these remodeling / building / and passive design elements (such as incorporating shade trees) good for the planet, they represent long-term savings for the consumers – savings on energy bills, etc.

For me it’s just partly to see the green renovations but mostly to just get to see all the marvelous houses. The art studios, the kiddie accommodations you wish you'd had, the courtyards, the tile, the gorgeous patios, the incredible countertops and showers and closets, and gizmos! In this pic you can see a screen that goes up or down with push-button controls. Then the doors behind it can optionally be opened accordion-style to completely open the area to the courtyard. Gah! Plus, these people are just so damned organized! And tidy! Even with children! And pets! grrrr.

I have to say that while MrB is inspired and encouraged when he gets home from a House Tour, I mainly just feel like an inadequate failure. That grrrr is not for all those people whose houses and lives are better than mine - it's for me. What a loser I must be to have all this clutter and such a huge pile of things I've been meaning to do but can't seem to start - and all of them covered in dust.

New Despair.

(I have house envy... and regular envy. In fact, I am green with envy... does that count as being green?)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June - hot. July - same. August - yup. September - ditto.

We are in full-on summer right now. It's been about 105° all week, in the shade, actual temps, not counting heat index which has been as high as 114°. I really tend to wimp out in this heat. It makes my head hurt.

Saw quite a few of these queen butterflies recently enjoying the front yard shrubs. This blue mist is like crack for butterflies.

We are at maximum sunflowers now. The birds are enjoying them, especially the dead heads, which aren't real pretty but they serve a purpose.

Friday, I couldn't bear to try and endure KGSR's Fan Fare Friday. I usually go to that. It's broadcast on the radio, and that's the way I experienced it this year. Friday night we went to a big concert event with Sarah Jarosz and The Greencards. Maybe more on that later. Today (Saturday) we basically ran errands, and on Sunday is the Cool House Tour. MrB is pretty big on going to that. He's a greenie. Anyway, we will be trudging around looking at houses and then getting back in the hot car for several hours tomorrow while the temps exceed 100°. Nuts. But it's really very interesting and always enjoyable, although I expect my brain will feel like it's been skillet-fried by afternoon.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Furbaby Friday - the Boxers

Henry's not too sure how he likes this new apartment. It's got a nice patio, but the paparazzi just won't give him a break.

Jax has been enjoying his beer box, and looking very much like Nonie from the online comic strip The Mows. Yes, there's a cat in the box, and it's a black cat - another belly lick-shaving black cat just like Jax, only Nonie is a girl. The other kitty character is Tigey. The cats in the strip are based on real cats. Anyway, the Sessions box is a big hit with Jax, as he has been happily punching holes in the top edge for customization. Henry has jumped in there a couple of times, but has pronounced it stinky and gotten right out.

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at When Cats Attack on Sunday - -

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health care for profit

Ex-insurance exec confesses health insurers dump sick people
This is testimony from former Cigna senior executive Wendell Potter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. They will scour your past for anything that might qualify as as a pre-existing condition, and then they can deny coverage even though you've kept up premium payments. So, all you anti-health-care-via-government folks - do you trust Cigna? or Humana? or any of the other bottom-line oriented corporations?

More on pre-existing conditions (CNN): The industry's trade association, America's Health Insurance Plans, has a proposal to help people with pre-existing conditions as part of a comprehensive health-care reform plan.

But there's a catch: The association says insurance companies could guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions only if all Americans are required to purchase coverage. If that happens, the group says, not only would people with pre-existing conditions be covered, their premiums would not be higher.

I've heard these stories many, many times - so, no, it's not surprising.

Read the articles at the links. There's lots of information there. I'm sick of hearing about America's health care being the best in the world. That's incorrect, and the people spouting that are highly delusional, or filthy rich. All people need to have health coverage. It cannot be based on employment status or existing health conditions. Everyone needs to be covered, that's the minimum we should accept or it isn't really reform.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

OK, now resign.

What a day! I figured there would be another shoe to drop as part of the ridiculous Sanford meltdown. Affairs aside, how incredibly irresponsible are these actions for the Governor of a state? Check out this timeline at TPM. First the silly cover story about "hiking" - did his staff lie for him, or did they really not know anything? Worst of all is that the Lt. Governor had no clue where the Governor was.

Sanford was one of those voting to impeach President Clinton:
[source] This is "very damaging stuff," Sanford declared at one point, when details of Clinton's conduct became known. "I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign)... I come from the business side," he said. "If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he'd be gone."[*]

Explaining his decision to back impeachment articles against Clinton, he added, "I think what he did in this matter was reprehensible... I feel very comfortable with my vote."

Sanford's complaints were directed primarily, although not entirely, at Clinton's lying about the affair rather than the affair itself...

[*] Um. That's not really true. Business people get away with that stuff all the time, affairs and accompanying cover-up lies. What they wouldn't get away with is seriously dropping the ball on your responsibilities, leaving the State with no one in charge when you are off the grid, MIA, and agencies are using taxpayer money trying to track your ass down.

That's not where the hypocrisy ends. Looks like he spent over $21,000 of taxpayer money on international travel last year - some of it in Argentina - and this is after his big fuss on trying to turn down stimulus money. Republicans care soooo much about those tax dollars.

The list of Republican presidential hopefuls just got smaller. hee hee.

Now here's the rest of it. If Sanford's staff knew the truth about this and lied for him while he used taxpayer money on romantic entanglements, I want to hear some 'splainin'.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father Sun

[Slideshow of Stonehenge Solstice 2009 at BBC news] The caption for this picture quoted a man who claimed to be a Stonehenge Druid, and I am hoping a nice Druid and not one of those nasty cannibal types. Have you seen National Geographic's recent feature on new discoveries about Stonehenge and its creation? Fascinating stuff - pre-dates the Druids by quite a lot, and apparently the Druids just took it over at some point because it really is a pretty cool place. This day was called Midsummer from ancient time, and is still called that in many places around the world. I don't know how the day became designated as the first day of summer in the USA and other places, and I have to wonder why someone would pick the day that begins the shortening of the days as the BEGINNING of summer. Makes no sense to me. Anyway, Midsummer is always a day that I wish I could be "Pagan For a Day." Hey, I could very easily become a Pagan if it didn't involve having gods. At least their holidays are to celebrate very real earthly events, like the solstices.

As for real earthly events in this geographical spot, here's our weather forecast. That partly cloudy stuff coming later in the week is only going to run up the humidity.
[update: jun30: it ended up being several degrees hotter than predicted. whew!]

There are lots of activities coming up, but more and more I limit them in the summer. The Greencards play on Friday night (an outdoor show at Threadgill's) with Sarah Jarosz opening, and we are doing that for sure, but I believe that this year I will give a pass to KGSR's annual Fan Drive all-day concert at the same venue on the same day, because I don't want to be completely depleted from a whole day out in triple-digit heat. Here's the lineup at Threadgill's:
7am: Dean Seltzer
8am: Grupo Fantasma
9am: Rosie Flores
10am: Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox
11am: Kelly Willis
12pm: The Band of Heathens
1pm: The Gourds
2pm: Bill Carter
3pm: Surprise Guests!
4pm: Seth Walker
5pm: Bettysoo
6pm: Vallejo – Debuting their brand new single

...okay... tempting... now I am thinking I might scoot over there at least to catch Vallejo. Then I can coast into the evening after the blazing sun sets at 8:36 PM.

As for Father's Day around here, this is one of the cards received by the Dad of the house:

Friday, June 19, 2009


Does this look like food to you?

This stuff would make me step back a few paces.

See lots more really weird stuff that somebody thinks is food at the Food Network Humor blog. Found via J-Walk.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Purrsday Night - No excuses

Jax issues a reminder that catblogging is being neglected around here, and things had better show some improvement - or else.

Maybe this blog owner has been just a tad too busy playing Circle the Cat to keep up with the weekly cat duties. She can't be blamed. It's addictive.

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at CatSynth on Sunday - -

Paul McCartney's birthday

I really like this sweet love song from Flaming Pie.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pillow shams

Freaky, huh? It's called the Boyfriend Arm pillow. Also works as a Prom date or surrogate father.

Is that one creepier, or this one? You stick your right arm inside it, as you are entitled to do by the 2nd Amendment.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Again, if Sarah Palin can’t take the heat, she should stay in Alaska. And if she going to turn her children into political tools they will become just as much fair game as any other person. If she truly wants her kids to be protected from the media, she wouldn’t have made them part of the Presidential campaign, dressed them up in clothing and assessories paid for by political donors [screen snagged HuffPo] (if that’s a leather handbag, it could easily have cost $700-$1000), and trotted them out at every event.

Now Bristol, a victim of the failed “abstinence only” championed by her mother and people like her mother, is the teen ambassador for the Candie's Foundation. Here she in on the cover of People Mag, showing the world how great it can be to be sporting a beautiful baby on your graduation day. (Oh wait – she’s supposed to be trying to discourage other teens from emulating her. Way to not do that, Bristol.) Candie’s is known for helping teens look as slutty as possible, and they have Britney Spears as their spokesmodel – another paragon of inspiration when it comes to motherhood and what NOT to do. (This is as hypocritical as the tobacco companies claiming that they don’t want young people to smoke). There’s nothing wrong with looking slutty or being slutty – but there IS something wrong with bringing another person into the world just because you didn’t take precautions – especially if you are putting yourself on a pedestal as a public model for best behavior.

Update: Ms. Palin has apparently accepted David Letterman’s very lengthy and thorough apology – and hopefully will call off her league of pit-bulls calling for his resignation. While media people like G. Gordon Liddy, Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, Ann Coulter continue on unapologetically after all the hate-speech that is partly responsible for incitement of domestic terrorism and murder, it’s pretty amazing what Letterman has willingly put himself through over a crude, tasteless joke.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dick tater

I actually had TWO uncles (not related to each other) who went by the nickname "Tater."

More really interesting-looking fruits and vegetables here.

{addendum} Oh dang! Konagod has posted this one previously, so here's dick tater 2 (in honor of the other uncle)

In what month is the May Day demonstration?

These are some highlights of the "stupid tourist" lists compiled (from travel agents and others) by the UK Daily Telegraph. 20 items in each compilation.
List 1, List 2, List 3

A tourist at a top African game lodge overlooking a waterhole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel "inadequate".

"No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled."

"The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the accommodation'. We're trainee hairdressers - will we be OK staying here?"

"It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

"I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

"On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food at all."

"We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels."

An angry guest came down to the front desk of a Holland America Line cruise ship demanding a different room. The attendant tried to calm him down and find out why he disliked his cabin so much. He responded: "I paid a lot of money for this cruise and was promised a sea view, the only thing I can see through my window is the damned parking lot!" We’d not yet left the dock

"The disappointment telling the children that the reindeer could not fly was incredible…you must state this clearly in your brochure in future"

"I realise that there is no electricity in the Wilderness Cabins, but there should have been somewhere to recharge my phone"

"You said that your local Slovenian reps spoke English, but you failed to mention the Slovenian accents"

An American lady tourist visiting the amphitheatre at Epheseus, Turkey, said: “If this had been built in America they would have put an elevator in.”

“The sand was too hot. The brochure didn’t tell us this”.

"Why on earth did they build Windsor Castle on the flight path of Heathrow?"

"Can I wear high heels in Australia?"

"Was this man-made?" asked a tourist at the Grand Canyon National Park

"Do you know of any undiscovered ruins?" asked a tourist at the Mesa Verde National Park

"Is Wales closed during the winter?"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Goodbye Uncle

My favorite uncle (out of 35-40 by blood and marriage) just died on Friday. That's him above, sitting on a car in the desert during a trip from Illinois. Also on the car are 1957 plates and a bumper sticker from the "Waring Auto Theatre" in Carbondale (fancy name for a drive-in!)

It was the emphysema that got him, even though he suffered through so many other things in his life he was mainly ravaged by his years as an alcoholic and a smoker, it was the tobacco that got him (just like it got so many other of my family members).

Some of the following was told to me by my mother, grandmother, and others. Some of it I know from first-hand experience.

He is the one responsible for my parents meeting each other. He and my dad (Bill) were buddies. He was in the drunk tank at the local jail, so Bill came over to the house to get his older sister (my mother, Lola) so they could go get him out. That’s how Bill and Lola met.

He was just a teenager when he moved in with his brother and wife, who was the biggest drunken whore and worst mother in ten counties. I'll resist writing more about her now, there's too much stuff to write. I will say that his brother died young, and asked him to promise to marry his widow and raise his 3 kids (since it had apparently already been consummated...). He kept his word, married his brother’s widow and stayed married to her through her natural life - 40 more years until she died (a victim of congestive heart failure and also emphysema). Both of them were alcoholics, and his wife was also a sex addict.

(When my female cousin called me to tell me about his passing, she was also calling him "Uncle" - and this is silly that I never gave it any thought before, but he was her uncle too. She said, "yup. He was my uncle-daddy." And sure enough, he was. I always thought about him being her dad, but, of course, he really wasn't.)

I spent many many hours growing up, along with my cousins from 2 other families with drinking issues, hanging around waiting in the dive bars while parents, aunts, uncles tried to talk somebody or another home from a binge. All the families I grew up around were highly dysfunctional.

The couple dealt with those issues until they were well into middle age, then his wife found Jesus and he got on board with that too, they were both needing to straighten out anyway, so it seemed to help. He wasn't one (like her) to have visions of Jesus in the cloud formations, or even to mention religion, he was just a really nice and good person who always took the hand he was dealt and played it for better or worse. He had a great deal of loyalty, tolerance and patience.

When my mother was in her downward spiral from her emphysema, she was living in the same town with him, and he ended up being a primary caregiver for her in her final years (whereas I was living a couple thousand miles away -- I could visit but was unable to bear the caretaking burden). He visited her every day, took care of her paperwork, ran errands, hired nurses, and also had to endure her growing outward hostility toward those most closely related to her. He was made of stronger mental stuff than I was, that's for sure. We comforted each other by blaming her lack of oxygen for at least some of the hostility. He withstood it, even when he had plenty of health issues of his own.

A few years after his wife died, he married a woman who was one of those extreme right-wing fundamentalists. I've blogged her in sadly hilarious ways here before [here's where Jesus appeared in her son's shower and here's a vile christian racist email I got from her] - never met her and don't need to.

She's the reason I got completely out of touch with my uncle. I never confronted her on her beliefs (what's the frikkin point of that? Is anyone going to change their mind?), and she seems to be absolutely convinced that she is God's tool and mouthpiece.

My cousin has said that she thinks the the rest of the family are not going to honor his wish to be cremated. This is one of those weird christian things - my own mother, after years of being open-minded toward all kinds of religious beliefs, became very fundamentalist at the end - absolutely refusing cremation because she was going to need her body intact for The Rapture - even though cremation was the only option that was we could all afford.

I've been busy going through the trunks looking for old pictures so I can send to my female cousin before she herself dies, she's had cancer for a couple of years. I can't get much information out of her about it, but she hasn't offered much hope. She'd love to have these old pictures - and, as much as I love them, it's better to get them sorted and circulated.

I've got up to 6 aunts and uncles left. One aunt is in a nursing home in Roswell NM. One is the above-mentioned handmaiden of the God of the white people. One more I know is alive. The rest I can't even find on Google. Almost all gone...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sarah Jarosz tonight at the Cactus

She's 18 years old, just graduated from high school, and is about to release her first CD on the Sugar Hill label. Incredible. She's got Alex Hargreaves and Samson Grisman in her band - 2 equally phenomenal young players. The "official" CD release will be next Tuesday in Nashville, at the Station Inn, but we get to have an early one here in Austin because Sarah is our girl (actually from Wimberley, which is down the road a few). Her website. (pronounced "jah-ROSE")

Tags: - - - - -

Monday, June 08, 2009

Soloman's 700 porcupines

I have no idea whether these were actually gathered from 5th & 6th grade students in Ohio as the intro says, and I don't care. They make me laugh.

The following excerpts are actual answers given on history tests and in Sunday school quizzes by children between 5th and 6th grade ages in Ohio. They were collected over a period of three years by two teachers.


Ancient Egypt was old. It was inhabited by gypsies and mummies who all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that all the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandos. He died before he ever reached Canada but the commandos made it.

Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines. He was a actual hysterical figure as well as being in the bible. It sounds like he was sort of busy too.

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a young female moth. Socrates was a famous old Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. He later died from an overdose of wedlock which is apparently poisonous. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

In the first Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuits, and threw the java. The games were messier then than they show on TV now. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out "Same to you, Brutus."

Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonized by Bernard Shaw for reasons I don't really understand. The English and French still have problems.

Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen," As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted "hurrah!" and that was the end of the fighting for a long while.

It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood.

Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented Cigarettes and started smoking. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper which was very dangerous to all his men.

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He Wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Since then no one ever found it.

Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress.

Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backward and also declared, "A horse divided against itself cannot stand." He was a naturalist for sure. Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show.They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.

Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large. Bethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf that he wrote loud music and became the father of rock and roll. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up.

Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbits but I don't know why.

Charles Darwin was a naturalist. He wrote the Organ of the Species. It was very long people got upset about it and had trials to see if it was really true. He sort of said God's days were not just 24 hours but without watches who knew anyhow? I don't get it.

Madman Curie discovered radio. She was the first woman to do what she did. Other women have become scientists since her but they didn't get to find radios because they were already taken.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

B-day, 6th of June

My dad was born on June 6, 1923, so today would have been his 86th birthday. He died in 1967 after spending 27 years in the military (Air Force). He was 44 (and I was nearly 14). Here he is with his sister Nellie. This was taken sometime in the 1940s. He enlisted well in time to be there for the big one - dubya dubya two - but he liked the life and stayed in. The patch on his sleeve means Corporal, Fifth Grade, Army Air Corps. His final rank was NCO, Tech Sergeant, Air Force.

He was from Makanda IL, a tiny village in Little Egypt south of Carbondale. He was the youngest in the family with 5 sisters and 4 brothers. I guess they ran out of names when they got to him, because they named him Junior with middle name Bill (as if Junior wasn't hillbilly enough, his official middle name was a nickname). He changed his name to William for the Service, but he was always called Bill. There he is in his school picture!

His father died in 1938 (he, his dad, and 2 of his brothers died in their 40s from heart attack - so I guess he was about 15 when his dad died). Above is what is probably one of the only pictures of his blacksmith shop and Red Crown gas station in Makanda. I guess you could research that car and the gas to tell when this picture was taken, but the shop was supposedly opened around 1900. [addendum: I've identified the car on this page as being a 1924 Ford Model T 5 Window Coupe. Scroll down about halfway.]

My dad is buried in Makanda with some other family members (not with my mother though - she's the one who ended up in a military plot in Santa Fe NM - but spouses do their time in the Service too).

Hop onboard the ethernet, you GOPers

Norm Coleman [LINK]:
"In the end, we need to compete, as I've said before, we need to compete in each and every kind of forum," said Coleman. "And whether it's on the ground traditionally, or today it's in -- it's in the ethernet. It's in the -- you know, it's online. It's in the blogs, it's Twitter, it's Facebook, and the next iteration."

Friday, June 05, 2009

Furbaby Friday - bringing the cute

Henry's 16 seconds of aaaaaaah. Hope this makes up for missing a catblog last week.

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at Adventures in Cat Philanthropy on Sunday - -

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Mane attraction

Need a giggle? Who doesn't? Visit the slideshow of horsey hairdos (includes tails) here.

Um. Yeah.

From the bins

Well, I can't have a movie post without a note about David Carradine. So so sorry to hear the news about him. They are saying suicide [edit 6/6] erotic asphyxiation.

Here's a quick overview of a few recent DVD rentals (I keep my list waaay down there near the bottom on the right sidebar). I already ranted on and on about Slumdog Millionaire, so let's move on from there.

The Reader (2008)
This one is outstanding. One of the best pictures of the year, and deserving of the awards. Kate Winslet pretty much swept all the best female acting awards, and I don't disagree with that, but young David Kross (who plays Ralph Fiennes as a kid) was my favorite actor in this.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
This is the 2005 version with Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer. I never even heard of this before, and the movie name is kind of deceptive since it seems to refer to James Bond, but the movie has nothing to do with James Bond. This is a wonderful, dark comedy, violent with a twisty plot set in LA. Val Kilmer is gay in this (he does have a screen kiss but I wouldn’t call it a love scene). Anyway, this one was good, and I'd like to re-rent and listen to the commentary some day.

Changeling (2008)
The only negative comment I have on this is that it's really, really long and feels that way. Other than that, I really enjoyed it - partly because it's based on a true story that was fascinating. It's directed by Clint Eastwood, who also does a great job on the music. I liked Angelina Jolie in this better than any other dramatic roles I’ve seen her in, much better than A Mighty Heart (even with the extra cool factor of that one being filmed in Austin). AJ is a real natural for the action movies, and I love her in those (like Wanted and Mr. and Mrs. Smith) but this one really lets her turn on the emotions.

The Visitor (2007)
There are so many different things with this name... but this one is worth looking for. It's directed by Tom McCarthy, who also directed The Station Agent. It's a really good story about a man (played by Richard Jenkins) who finds meaning in life after unintentionally becoming involved with people from other cultures. An excellent story.

Seven Pounds (2008)
We are used to seeing Will Smith bringing some comic relief to almost anything he is in, but this role is not like that. This is a love story, and it will tear you up pretty good. the word "tear" has a double meaning there. It's a weepie. Hell of a story. Also stars Rosario Dawson and her beautiful lips.

Wow, now that was a somber and dark bunch. I recommend all these but am thinking maybe we should lighten up a bit.

Monday, June 01, 2009

It's not about reproduction

I really like the point being made by Alec Baldwin in this HuffPo posting, "Why Childless Straight Couples Make the Case for Gay Marriage," even though I prefer the term "childfree" to "childless." Childless sounds to me like children were desired and attempted but never accomplished (like "barren"), and childfree, to me, sounds like a choice was made. That's how it is in my case.

I find it offensive when people equate marriage (or even relationships) with childbearing. Two. Different. Things. Bearing and/or raising children is an option – not a requirement. This can be done whether you are single or married, and raising children may be done by persons of either gender. It can be done by one person or several, and it should be done by choice – hopefully by people who will be good at it.

The concept of “sanctity” in marriage is purely religious.

I really believe that it is only a matter of time before it becomes very obvious to the majority of people that putting gender qualifications on who can marry whom is unconstitutional, and also silly.

Person A can legally get married. Person B can legally get married. If you are saying that Person A cannot marry Person B, and your reason is not because they are too closely related (and might produce offspring with birth defects) then your reason for that has to be religious – especially since two people of the same sex will not produce offspring.

My chosen family consists of 1 human partner and an assorted number of cat kids. I've got a piece of paper for the human. That's what this is about. We chose to get a piece of paper, and we had the right to get one. A Judge did the ceremony in a hotel room, and we are just as married as we can be, even though a church had nothing to do with it and we decided there wouldn't be any more little humans added.

Let's get the Religion out of our government - that's the best way to preserve the sanctity of many of the brilliant secular ideals held by The Founding Fathers. Rights and Freedoms.

Why do these sanctity of marriage people hate our freedoms? Why do they hate America?