Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Assigned Reading
This article by Victoria Toensing at The Weekly Standard is today's required reading.

It is the clearest, most concise, and most reasonable thing I have read on the NSA foreign wiretapping business.

Don't miss this.


In Article II, the Constitution establishes the president as commander in chief. As such he has inherent authority to conduct warrantless surveillance for the purpose of acquiring foreign intelligence information. He does not have the authority to close banks, seize steel mills, or raise our taxes; he does have it to get battlefield information about an enemy who has killed thousands of us on our soil and threatens to do so again.

No court opinion denies this constitutional authority to the president. All federal appellate courts that have considered the issue, including the FISA appeals court, have recognized such authority. The Supreme Court, over three decades ago, emphatically specified in the Keith case that it would leave this issue to another day. In doing so, the Court provided a clear indication that foreign surveillance is not domestic surveillance.


Read the entire thing.
posted by Phoenix | 10:54 AM | 0 comments

Hair we go again...
Every once in a while I get this urge. I am driven to make a change in my appearance. Usually I am able to ignore this sensation, but I am currently feeling the urge strongly. Maybe I am under additional self-doubt from the post-pregnancy thing. I don't know. I just feel the need for a change.

This is a particularly dangerous thing for me. I have naturally curly hair that has a mind of its own. It is a beast that has to be tamed. But I am soooo tired of it at the moment. I have an appointment for this afternoon...do I have the guts to pull the trigger?

Time will tell.
posted by Phoenix | 10:43 AM | 1 comments

Why is it that I have never been called to serve on a jury?

I am a taxpayer in good standing. I'm a registered voter. I'm not in prison.

It just seems odd to me that I've never even been called to sit in the jury pool.

Don't get me wrong. It isn't like I'm looking to give up my own agenda, it is just that I have always been curious about serving on a jury, from a sociological perspective. I want to do my part and serve the ends of justice, but I am curious about the interplay between personalities in that sort of an environment. I guess I'll never know. I suspect that I am too opinionated and my answers to the questionaire would get me bounced in no time flat. Nevertheless, I would serve impartially if asked. You know, now that there aren't anymore vacancies on the Supreme Court.
posted by Phoenix | 10:36 AM | 0 comments

Monday, February 27, 2006
Tax Code Explained
Just go read it. It is worth the time.

h/t: WitNit
posted by Phoenix | 10:33 AM | 0 comments

Boozin' and Snoozin'
This weekend I consumed alcohol for the first time in 11 months. I had a chocolate martini. Three sips in I was buzzed. Halfway through the martini I was drunk. At the end of the martini I was lazy and talking to my salmon dinner.

It is going to take me a while to work up to my pre-pregnancy tolerance levels.

Not only am I a cheap date, I am also a short date. One drink and dinner and I am ready for bed.
posted by Phoenix | 9:24 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Swing... swwwing...ssswwwinggg. Posted by Picasa
posted by Phoenix | 8:17 PM | 1 comments

What? I didn't do it. I swear! Posted by Picasa
posted by Phoenix | 8:15 PM | 2 comments

Mommy put me in this red dress just for pictures.  Posted by Picasa


posted by Phoenix | 8:14 PM | 0 comments

How you doin'? Posted by Picasa
posted by Phoenix | 8:13 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, February 23, 2006
They were right...
That's right. I can now admit it. They were right.

'Bout what?

I'll get to that.

Regular readers will know that I am a bit anal. I am detail-oriented to the point of near madness. I have lists. I have lists of lists. I have agendas, plans, methods, and procedures. I am a control freak. I am a type-A, first-class, detail detailing, planning and recording madwoman. Mine is the kind of personality that makes other people either run in fear or stand slack-jawed in awe.

Those people who know me well told me that motherhood would send me to the rubber room, and my children to 20 years of analysis.

They may be right.

I am going to have to start letting a few things slide if my sanity is going to be preserved. And, I don't want my children to despise me.

This is going to be a painful process, I just know it.
posted by Phoenix | 12:40 PM | 2 comments

One for the "Thank God I'm an American" File
Germany has convicted a man and sentenced him to one year (suspended 5) for...wait for it...insulting Islam.

Excuse me for a moment, (coughing) butwhataloadofcrap!
DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - A German court on Thursday convicted a
businessman of insulting Islam by printing the word "Koran" on toilet paper and
offering it to mosques.

Apparently the Germans have codified this into law. So, don't go insulting anybody's beliefs in Germany, unless of course you are going to insult Judaism, Christianity, or Democracy.

It is a load of bullshit, but you didn't need me to tell you that.

If we can't attack each other's beliefs, ...well then, I want you to know that I am offended. I am insulted by the sheer stupidity of this sort of law that runs counter to freedom of expression! Whatcha gonna do about that? How the hell are we going to get anywhere? This lunacy reminds me of a Monty Python skit:

M: Ah. I'd like to have an argument, please.
R: Certainly sir. Have you been here before?
M: No, I haven't, this is my first time.
R: I see. Well, do you want to have just one argument, or were you thinking of taking a course?
M: Well, what is the cost?
R: Well, It's one pound for a five minute argument, but only eight pounds for a course of ten.
M: Well, I think it would be best if I perhaps started off with just the one and then see how it goes.
R: Fine. Well, I'll see who's free at the moment. (pause)
R: Mr. DeBakey's free, but he's a little bit conciliatory. Ahh yes, Try Mr. Barnard; room 12.
M: Thank you.(Walks down the hall. Opens door.)

M: (Knock)
A: Come in.
M: Ah, Is this the right room for an argument?
A: I told you once.
M: No you haven't.
A: Yes I have.
M: When?
A: Just now.
M: No you didn't.
A: Yes I did.
M: You didn't
A: I did!
M: You didn't!
A: I'm telling you I did!
M: You did not!!
A: Oh, I'm sorry, just one moment. Is this a five minute argument or the full half hour?
M: Oh, just the five minutes.
A: Ah, thank you. Anyway, I did.
M: You most certainly did not.
A: Look, let's get this thing clear; I quite definitely told you.
M: No you did not.
A: Yes I did.
M: No you didn't.
A: Yes I did.
M: No you didn't.
A: Yes I did.
M: No you didn't.
A: Yes I did.
M: You didn't.
A: Did.
M: Oh look, this isn't an argument.
A: Yes it is.
M: No it isn't. It's just contradiction.
A: No it isn't.
M: It is!
A: It is not.
M: Look, you just contradicted me.
A: I did not.
M: Oh you did!!
A: No, no, no.
M: You did just then.
A: Nonsense!
M: Oh, this is futile!
A: No it isn't.
M: I came here for a good argument.
A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
A: It can be.
M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
A: No it isn't.
M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
A: Yes it is!
M: No it isn't!
A: Yes it is!
M: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.(short pause)
A: No it isn't.
M: It is.
A: Not at all.
M: Now look.
A: (Rings bell) Good Morning.
M: What?
A: That's it. Good morning.
M: I was just getting interested.
A: Sorry, the five minutes is up.
M: That was never five minutes!
A: I'm afraid it was.
M: It wasn't. (Pause)
A: I'm sorry, but I'm not allowed to argue anymore.
M: What?!
A: If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.
M: Yes, but that was never five minutes, just now. Oh come on!
A: (Hums)
M: Look, this is ridiculous.
A: I'm sorry, but I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid!
M: Oh, all right.(pays money)
A: Thank you. (short pause)
M: Well?
A: Well what?
M: That wasn't really five minutes, just now.
A: I told you, I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid.
M: I just paid!
A: No you didn't.
A: No you didn't.
M: Look, I don't want to argue about that.
A: Well, you didn't pay.
M: Aha. If I didn't pay, why are you arguing? I Got you!
A: No you haven't.
M: Yes I have. If you're arguing, I must have paid.
A: Not necessarily. I could be arguing in my spare time.
M: Oh I've had enough of this.
A: No you haven't.
M: Oh Shut up.

h/t: Drudge
posted by Phoenix | 12:15 PM | 0 comments

Seeing Both Sides of the Argument
I have been reading and listening to a lot of the coverage on the Dubai Control of US Ports controversy. The problem is, I can see both sides of the argument.

On one hand, I agree that on the face of things it seems foolish to give a foreign power control over important US commerce hubs. I can see the danger in having a company, owned in part by a nation with a large Muslim population, have control over something so sensitive. However, I would suggest to you that it is foolish of us to give control over our ports to any nation, no matter how friendly! Ought not we be handling these things ourselves? Would we outsource the work of the FAA? I don't think so.

On the other hand, I can see the bigotry claims too. This is a country that has been a friend and partner in the War on Terror. I can see the value in rewarding their commitment and the strong message of friendship it sends to other Muslims. I am very aware of the whodunit of September 11, but I don't know that it is fair to punish someone because of their potential to inadvertently be taken advantage of by some sinister character with malice on his mind. It is almost unAmerican to pull this guilt-by-association crap.

I agree with the people that it seems idiotic to cede this sort of power to a foreign entity that might be susceptible to enemy infiltration. On the other hand, as an open society, we have that same problem here at home.

I don't have the answers. And I, for one, am not ashamed to admit it.
posted by Phoenix | 9:49 AM | 2 comments

Heads Up!
I want to bring your attention to a new blog on the block: Expat Exchange. Lots of Bermudian goodness to be had there! Check out what the sleek Pywackett has to say.
posted by Phoenix | 9:44 AM | 0 comments

Random Observation
Is there nothing that Jessica Simpson won't bare her upper thighs to hawk? The girl is overexposed in every sense of the word. Would it kill her to cover up a bit? And, barring that, does she have to add her name to every marketing campaign? What I wouldn't give for a Jessica-Simpson-free-zone!

That is all.
posted by Phoenix | 9:28 AM | 0 comments

Dating Perfection
This week's topic for the Demystifying Divas and the Men's Club is The Perfect Date.

I haven't done much formal dating in my life, queen of the long-distance relationship that I am. However, Prince Charming and I do manage to have a "date night" for just the two of us every now and then. If I were to have my heart's desire in this activity, what would it entail?

I've been up since 2 a.m., so I am tempted to say "10 hours of uninterrupted sleep," but that isn't really the intent behind the topic, so I'll have to actually put on my thinking cap.

... ... ... ...

Okay. Here it is: If you want to please me, take me out to supper to my favorite restaurant. Ply me with chocolate martinis until I am giddy and walking funny. Feed me a fabulous meal (but don't go all out, if I'm tipsy I won't eat it all anyway). Take me home and let's get into something more comfortable. cuddle with me on the couch under a blanket while we watch a movie. Let things take their natural progression. Stay in bed with me until noon the next day, then get up and make me breakfast.

Of course, the chances of this ever happening again are pretty slim. Diaper changes are not romantic. Neither are 2 a.m. feedings. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure I want to drink until she's sleeping through the night. I don't think mommies should be tipsy when making bottles and feeding baby.

So, in light of this life change, I would settle for a nice meal that I don't have to prepare or clean up after, a movie at home, and then someone to rub my shoulders and kiss me. That would be enough.

After writing that I realized something: I'm so dull.

Oh well. For more stimulating responses see what the other buxom, luscious, and flirty girls have to say. For the male's perspective, see the thoughts of the Men's Club: Mark, Jamesyboy, and Jim. Nugget is weighing in on the topic too!
posted by Phoenix | 8:28 AM | 5 comments

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It had to be done. This perfect message from Cox & Forkum.
posted by Phoenix | 11:25 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Must Read
Pure Mark Steyn:

So anyway David Gregory's going bananas and yelling "I will yell!" and "Don't be
a jerk!" at the White House press secretary, and there's more smoke coming out
of his ears than from Ronald McDonald in Lahore, and I'm thinking, you know,
maybe Karl's latest range of Rovebots that he planted in American media
corporations are just a wee bit too parodically self-absorbed to be plausible.
And then this lady pipes up and asks, "Would this be much more serious if the
man had died?"

Well, maybe. And maybe it would be even ever so much more serious still if, after peppering him with birdshot, Cheney had dragged him into a safe house in the Sunni Triangle and decapitated him with a rusty scimitar while shouting "Allahu Ahkbar!" and then sold the video to al-Jazeera.

As they say, Read the Whole Thing.
posted by Phoenix | 3:35 PM | 0 comments

Call Me Naive
The state of American politics is disgusting to me. When did things deteriorate to this point?

Democrats and Republicans in Congress no longer represent their constituents. They no longer participate in active, informed, and civilized debate. When did every issue become an epic battle between good and evil (parts assigned depending on your perspective)? Is there no room for a reasoned middle ground of consensus and compromise? Do the two sides even still have the basic core beliefs?

I only ask because sometimes it seems as though they are disagreeing just to be difficult, as though the mere idea of being against the other guy/party/idea is the winning thing. In many cases these days, they don't even bother to offer up ideas of their own, as though ideas are taboo, and instead sit and wait for some issue to arise so that the proverbial and rhetorical battle lines can be drawn anew. It disgusts me.

It is supposed to be that we send our best and our brightest to lead us. Instead, it seems we can only be bothered to send the lowest common denominator, who is usually the guy looking to get the job, not necessarily the guy who has the skills, fortitude, and mind to do the job.

Is it naive of me to wish that our politicians would spend less time on politics and talk shows and working on getting reelected, and more on actual governing? Instead of bi-weekly constituent breakfasts, wouldn't it be nice if they spent 50% of their daily time speaking to constituents and 50% in meetings and on the floor?

I am so tired of the inflated rhetoric, the name-calling, and the perpetual mudslinging. I'm tired of the incredible desperation in the air where everybody wants to control the next news cycle. I'm even tired of the partisan coverage in the news. It is as though the facts don't matter. They exist merely to be spun into something to feed the mindless masses.

So, call me naive if you must. I'm thinking we could do better.
posted by Phoenix | 2:23 PM | 1 comments

Just so you know...
Things will be changing around here. We are doing some redecorating. I hope you like it.
posted by Phoenix | 12:16 PM | 0 comments

I'm very busy today. More later.
posted by Phoenix | 12:02 PM | 0 comments

Friday, February 17, 2006
Long Rambling Snow-Inspired Post
How does that un-inspired title grab ya?

So, as I mentioned yesterday, it snowed here. A lot. Tons even. I even got to go home early and my usual 25 minute commute took twice as long. But, I did get home safely only to discover a snow situation in my driveway that needed tending.

You may not know this about me, but I'm a do-it-myself kind of girl. I was single for so long that I just adapted. No suffering wimpy "lawdy, hep me please!" girl am I! And, I figured that my recently pregnant body could do with some exercise. I grabbed my shovel and started at it.

Now, it should be noted that we do own a snowblower and this would have made the job easier. However, our ownership of this machine is a relatively new development and I do not yet know how to operate it. And, growing up on the farm as I did, I was taught not to go willy-nilly operating equipment without knowledge of the dangers, etc. My dad would have spanked me if I had burned up a motor or something equally horrifying to a piece of his equipment. Operating Equipment without training is a mortal sin, I'm sure. "You could hurt yourself or someone else..." was ringing in my ears.

So, I wrapped myself in the "exercise is a good idea" plan and went about clearing the driveway. It was really cold and windy. I got about half of the driveway cleared when the Prince who lives across the street took pity on me. He brought his snowblower over and finished the driveway and the sidewalks. I owe him a case of something alcoholic, I'm sure. Particularly since I was in grave pain an hour later. Pain from the midsection where they sliced through the muscle to get to Bunny Boop. Yowza. I wanted the good stuff, but I settled for Tylenol.

So, I owe him big. If I had done it all myself, it might have killed me.

Which brings me to my next point: I love men. They are so wonderful. How great was he to just come and help like that? Men, in general, are really great. This princely man was even kind enough to say that he loves being out in the snow when I told him he didn't have to help me, that my husband could finish the job. Really great.
posted by Phoenix | 9:50 AM | 1 comments

MSM Hypocrisy

Cox and Forkum are really good at pointing out the living jokes, aren't they?


posted by Phoenix | 9:46 AM | 0 comments

I swear, everytime I flip the channels, I run into olympic curling coverage. Is this the only Winter Olympic Sport?

Sport. That's a laugh. I mean, aren't we really talking about the Upper Midwest's answer to shuffleboard? Talk about a game that must have been invented by three drunken guys.

I can see it now:

Denny, Danny, and Ike are out ice fishing and drinking on the local pond. They have reached the silly drunk phase and are now looking for mischief.

Danny says, "Hey! Look at that big rock."

Ike says, "Denny, I bet you can't move it. I bet you a case of Old Milwaukee you can't move it!"

Denny gets that look in his eye. He was the bright one; he still had all of his teeth. "Oh yeah? You're on!" Denny walks over to the big rock, leans down, and proceeds pushing it. He lets go and the rock slides another 7 feet across the ice.

Ike says, "Aww, man! Double or nothing you can't get it across the pond and hit a target."

And so, curling was born. Or at least this is how I imagine it. I'm too lazy to research the actual origins for you. In the meantime, how cool is it that it developed into such a cult following that it is now an olympic event? Perhaps they were just desperate for winter sports?
posted by Phoenix | 9:37 AM | 0 comments

My Gawd!
The MSM is ejaculating so spastically over the Cheney hunting accident...you'd think he had burned a copy of the Constitution as tinder for setting a cross on fire on the lawn of a church that was littered with dead babies.

So much real news to ignore, so little trivia to obsess about, I guess.
posted by Phoenix | 9:16 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, February 16, 2006
Required Reading
Point & Click. Now. Just do it.

Loss of MSM Credibility Due To 2 Factors: Dishonesty and Cowardice

Just go read it already. There's going to be a quiz later.

h/t: American Geek
posted by Phoenix | 11:56 AM | 0 comments

As in, I'm just loving the delicious taste of this bit of irony.

You should read the whole thing, but the gist is this:

The tiny autonomous island non-nation of Aland may hold the power to derail the next go-round on the EU Constitution. Aland is attached to Finland but maintains the power to veto international treaties that Finland might take a notion to sign on to. Aland is in a snit over the way they feel they've been treated by the august body at Brussels. Said snit is a direct effect of EU measures that cost Alanders the right to fish with traditional-type nets and hunt spring duck. The threat of losing their Swedish chewing tobacco appears to be the last straw, however, and now they've sent an emissary to Brussels to make a few threats of their own. Power to the People, man!

h/t: Outside the Beltway
posted by Phoenix | 11:43 AM | 0 comments

Sour Grapes
The MSM has pissy pants.

And, just for the record, I can say that from experience. Bunny Boop whines just like they are when her pants are pissy.

Prepare yourself for a whole slew of metaphors linking politics to the diapers of my child.
posted by Phoenix | 11:19 AM | 0 comments

And I mean that sarcastically.

Currently, snow is coming down in dumptruck loads. I mean it, you can't see out the windows. My office isn't even on wheels and we are experiencing white-out conditions.

Earlier we even had Thunder-snow and Lightning-snow (thunder and lightning while it is snowing). I had never seen that before.

The roads are going to be horrid.
posted by Phoenix | 10:16 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The Proud Work of the Jihadists
Lo! Look at the honorable foot soldiers of Islam and the fruits of their labor:

Baghdad Bomb Kills Children Walking to School

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A bomb exploded Wednesday on a central Baghdad street, killing three girls and a boy as they were walking to school, police and relatives said. The dead included two sisters and their brother.

Congratulations to al Qaeda in Iraq. I'm sure those four kids were undercover agents doing the "Great Satan's" work.

posted by Phoenix | 11:00 AM | 1 comments

Hypocrisy in the Media
The title of this post almost seems redundant, but there it is. You want an example of this hypocrisy?

Western media outlets have almost universally bemoaned the Mohammed cartoons and disavowed the few print outlets that have run them. They claim that they are "showing respect" to "the Muslim Community" by not printing them and don't seek to "further incite violence."

But really, they are just buckling to the pressure of the threats of violence, allowing words to provoke enough fear that they won't even stand up and fight for the one thing that they've always been so eager to fight for: freedom of speech. Let's face it, without freedom of speech, the MSM can't even claim the tenuous hypocritical grassy knoll they've held for the past 30 years.

They are a bunch of fucking pansies.

However, apparently it doesn't insult Islam or "incite violence" to rehash the Abu Ghraib shame and make public 60 new photos.

Yeah. The MSM is so fucking brave. It is really easy to speak "truth to power" when you don't have to worry about the US Government planting a car bomb in front of your office or sending in a suicide bombing intern to do the dirty work.

You assholes in MSM want to "speak truth to power?" Call a spade a spade, a murderer a murderer, and apologize for the hypocrisy inherent in your own cowardice.
posted by Phoenix | 10:38 AM | 0 comments

Unintended Consequences
I was chatting yesterday evening with someone about current events and something quite startling occurred.

First, however, I should point out that this person is very sensible and not particularly prone to outrage on any given issue. In fact, I'd even go so far as to label this person "the moderate's moderate."

Last night, we were discussing the Cartoon Jihad and this person made the following statement, almost cutting me off in mid-thought to get it out (the gist):
You know, I'm not one of those people who gets riled up over every little
thing. I have even gotten past the worst of the pain of September
11th. But this whole thing with the cartoons has me just
pissed! Now, instead of being one of the people who are urging calm,
I find myself ready to go to DefCon 1. Bring it! Bring me their
heads on pikes. There is no compromise possible with people who won't even
allow for the possibility of a different viewpoint. They need to just

All of which, as I said, I found quite startling in that it signals a change. I don't think the idiots who are busy burning embassies and KFC's over some B-level cartoons published last freakin' year thoroughly considered the fallout of their planned outrage. If you lose the compassion and understanding and interest of the folks in the middle of the argument and they all move to the right...how long is it before one giant can of whoopass is raining down upon your ears?

I'm not suggesting that these cartoons will lead to a global war and clash of civilizations, but we are building to something. There just seems to be a crescendo building. If I were one of the thugs acting like it was Mardi Gras on Crack, I'd be mightily concerned by the fact that the conciliators are no longer interested in reconciliation, but in the aforementioned can of whoopass.
posted by Phoenix | 10:21 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Best of the Blogosphere
Just read this sentence from the fabulous Noble Eagle and try not to laugh:
On a side note, statistically speaking, it's still safer to huntwith Cheney than
it is to hitch a ride with Teddy Kennedy.

That's just delicious! Read the rest.
posted by Phoenix | 11:41 AM | 0 comments

Look Kids! Big Ben and Parliament...again.
There is a new fashion in traffic management here in the socialist stronghold of Madison.

Yes. I'm talking about that most ridiculous of traffic nightmares, the roundabout.

Who the hell thought this was a good idea? Introduce a new traffic feature and watch the natives go round and round in confusion! Fun for boys and girls. And just watch the ensuing traffic accidents when people don't yield to the circle, or have to merge two lanes into one as they exit the circle, or people don't realize the circle is one-way....

Stark-raving lunacy, that's what it is. A four-way stop would have been easier, but oh no! Not for us Madisonians! We've got to be all chic, even in our traffic features. Argh.

It is a damn goat and pony show round here.
posted by Phoenix | 11:27 AM | 0 comments

Valentine Memories
Back when I was young and cute in grade school, Valentine's Day was very exciting. In fact, one day still is vivid in my memory.

I was living in Lexington, KY and going to Lansdowne Elementary School. As part of the holiday, we all decorated white paper bags and hung them on the wall as our "mailboxes" and on the day, we all brought in our Valentines and distributed them to the rest of the mailboxes.

Why does this particular Valentine's Day stick in my memory? Well, that would be because my mailbox fell off of the wall it was so heavy. And, it wasn't just heavy with Scooby Doo and Smurf and Garfield valentines, either. Oh no!

I received a gold necklace from Danny Boone and a heart-shaped box of chocolates from Kit Carson. On that day, all the other little girls hated me. They wouldn't even talk to me! Now, today I can understand that they were jealous, but the little me was heartbroken by this abandonement by my friends over one creepy boy and the one I called my boyfriend showing a little favoritism.

Still, it is a fun little memory.
posted by Phoenix | 11:11 AM | 0 comments

Would You Be Mine? Or, would you rather be Hershey's and Hallmark's?
Today, on a very special episode of the Demystifying Divas and Men's Club...

The ladies and gents are taking on a very topical issue. Namely: Valentine's Day - Romantic Right On! or Corporate Con?

This, for me, is the same argument I make to those folks who loudly bemoan the commercialization of Christmas. My answer? It is what you make of it! Valentine's Day doesn't have to be just about Hallmark cards, Hershey kisses, and roses. Valentine's Day is about love. It is about showing that special person that you treasure them. Much like Christmas, Valentine's Day isn't about getting, it is about giving and sharing.

What better goal exists, I ask you, than taking one day each year to rock the world of your loved one? You have to really kick it up a notch and impress upon your special someone just how special they really are. This need not be done with diamonds, flowers, and chocolates! However appreciated these items would be, they are not required. Rather, you could make your lover's favorite meal, serve him breakfast in bed, or even have his vehicle detailed and uncluttered.

If you ask me, the reason these holidays have become so commercialized is because of people's lack of creativity and laziness. (I hold the same theory for the increasing use of gift cards at Christmas.) People are too lazy, too busy, or too unimaginative to put the thought into what would make a really exceptional gift or gesture. People stress out over this, often having anxiety fits over the desire to get the holiday in the rearview mirror. These are the Anxiety Gifters (TM). I know about this problem because I have become something of a cottage industry for gift ideas and personal shopping. I don't want to pick out your panties, but I can give you a few new ideas for gifts for your special one.

Now, I offer this valuable service for free, but where a need exists, the free market system will work to fill the need. Hershey, Hallmark, FTD, and the jewelry chains know you suck at coming up with gift ideas, so they bombard you with ideas that conveniently can be obtained at their retail locations. Can you blame these businesses for seeking to fill a need? I can't. In fact, I admire their fortitude. I just wish they would get a little more creative!

I love Valentine's Day. And that's not just because the florist just delivered three bouquets to me here at work. (My wonderful husband sent me a dozen velvety red roses for Valentine's Day, another arrangement for our wedding anniversary, and a single red rose and a balloon from my 8-week-old daughter.)

Whatever you do, reach for your honey and kiss them into oblivion today. Do something creative and memorable that will touch your special someone. Do the candy, flowers, diamonds, and card route if you must, but do it with flair! Make her go on a treasure hunt to find it or hide it in the shower so it is the first thing she sees in the morning.

But, show them you love them. And don't blame Corporate America on your inability to shop or think for yourself.

Go check out what the other Divas have to say: Theresa, Arielle, and Silk.

Get the manly point of view from The Men's Club: Jamesyboy, Mark the WitNit, Jim, and Darren.

P.S. - Happy Valentine's Day to you. I hope you get some extra special lovin' today.
posted by Phoenix | 8:22 AM | 2 comments

Friday, February 10, 2006
Things that Piss Me Off, #747 in the series
Do you know what really pisses me off?

Cindy Sheehan has so thoroughly hijacked the story of her son's sacrifice that Casey Sheehan is now identified as "the son of Cindy Sheehan."

That's more than a damn shame. It is a f-ing tragedy.

No shame.
posted by Phoenix | 10:25 AM | 2 comments

Breaking News
This just in:

More cartoons are prompting violence and diplomatic sword rattling. Jacques Chirac, President of France, is leading the French in a revolt over the Looney Toons character that is a dancing and singing frog. The frog appears with in a top hat and carries a cane as he tap dances and sings. The French find this cartoon offensive and derogatory, claiming that it degrades and debases the French character to a bunch of entertaining fools.

President Chirac was reported to have said, "Those Americans! They will not paint us this way anymore! This means war!" Chirac was also have said to have been angered by the haughty and oafish portrayal of "Gaston" in Walt Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

Quick on the heals of President Chirac's public statements, Russian President Vladimir Putin held an impromptu press conference with members of the world press. "Americans give offense at every turn. It has not escaped the Russian People's notice that the hyenas in Walt Disney's "The Lion King" are meant to portray they proud heritage of Mother Russia in a negative light. Just see if we sign on to any American-sponsored measures at the UN now!" Mr. Putin was said to have tossed his head in the manner of an 8th-grade girl before stalking angrily from the podium.

Closer to home, Ducks Unlimited, the hunting group, is protesting the portrayal of the "proud bird" as a silly and ineffectual and often times morally vague beast, as is portrayed by Daffy Duck. The group is threatening to burn Warner Brothers Studios to the ground if their demands for the immediate retirement of Daffy are not met. Warner Brothers could not be reached for comment.

The Cartoonists Union issued a press release stating, "Things have been taken out of context. The cartoonist's union works to entertain, not to offend. So, where some have taken offense, none was intended. Nevertheless, we would urge the world to relocate its sense of humor and remember that we have a constitutional right to free speech, but there is no recognized right, constitutional or otherwise, that protects one from being offended."

The US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack called the press corps in for a brief conference. He indicated that his remarks were for the French and Russians and were limited to two words. He said, "Bring it!" before turning on his heels and exiting.

President Bush was caught by reporters as he stepped on to Marine One to fly to Camp David. When questioned about the growing brouhaha over cartoons he affected a voice and had this to say, "Th-th-th-that's all folks!"

This satire brought to you free of charge.
posted by Phoenix | 9:59 AM | 1 comments

I have no idea who this guy is, but...
He seems to have a Saddam Hussein-sized ego.

I would remind him, if I could, that when egos get that big you run the risk of tripping over them!
posted by Phoenix | 9:55 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, February 09, 2006
Spewing PopTart on the Screen
Today's Hatemonger's Quarterly is classic:

In fact, Scott appears to be something of a nerd’s nerd: At the beginning of his
expatiation, he explains that he decided to reflect on [Danish Mohammed
Cartoons] because its his “way of dealing with my D&D group rescheduling and
then deserting me once again” (the emphasis is the nerd’s).

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Wow, that’s uncommonly lame. This chucklehead is practically an über-loser. If your Dungeons & Dragons group is leaving you out of the loop, you are essentially the collegiate equivalent of a leper among the untouchables.

And, again, his photo seems to bear this out: He looks as if he’s been repeatedly hit with a flail that does about three to six points of damage. His is a face, apparently, that even a Dungeon Master can’t love.

Read the rest. It is priceless. Just put the pop tart down first.
posted by Phoenix | 10:06 AM | 0 comments

Fatwa Me!
Invite yourself to be Fatwa-ed and claim your title of infidel.

h/t: CalTech Girl
posted by Phoenix | 10:03 AM | 1 comments

Clever Comebacks
So we have reached the juvenile level of discourse?

The leader of Hizbullah, heading a march by hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite Muslims on Thursday, said US President George W. Bush and his secretary of state should "shut up" after they accused Syria and Iran of fueling protests over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah urged Muslims worldwide to continue demonstrations until there is an apology over the drawings and Europe passes laws forbidding insults to the prophet.

Maybe he should have added a "nanny-nanny boo-boo" too.
posted by Phoenix | 9:32 AM | 0 comments

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder...Or Go Wander?
Daylight spent the night without you
But I've been dreamin' 'bout the lovin' you do
I won't be as angry 'bout the hell you put me through

Hey man betcha you can treat me right
You just don’t know what you was missin’ last night
I wanna see you beggin, say forget it just for spite

I hate myself for loving you
Can't break free from the the things that you do
I wanna walk but I run back to you,
that's whyI hate myself for loving you

For once, the weekly Demystifying Divas and Men’s Club topic is one that I can actually speak to from real experience. Vast Experience. I practically have a doctorate on the subject. The topic is long distance relationships: Does absence make the heart grow fonder? Or, does it actually make the heart go wander?

Let us examine.

There are many things that you will find in long distance relationships. Chief among the tangible things are high phone bills, excessive outlays of cash for travel, and lots of stamps. However, the intangible things are more important to this discussion. These intangibles include deceit, heartache, work, and angst.

I would like to assure you that long distance relationships are easy, but that would be a lie. They are not easy at all. They are fraught with perils, problems, and doubt. Very few long distance relationships finish the race. This is due in large part to the difference between men and women and the answer to that 'distance makes the heart grow fonder' question.

I would say that in the case of women, yes, distance does make her heart grow fonder of him. This is because she isn't subjected to the itching and scratching of his daily presence. Her mind is able to gloss over his foibles and smooth out his rough edges. She is able to romanticize him because he isn't around to muck the picture up. His perfection can be preserved from his own deleterious and defiling nature. His distance allows her to make excuses for him. Excuses that, because she has crafted them, are so much better and easier to believe than anything he might come up with and offer on his own behalf. I tell you these things because I've been there. I know. It is very easy to grow fonder of a perfected, romanticized creation of your own making.

In the case of men, however, I would say that they mostly fall in that 'distance makes the heart go wander' category. The fact is, long distance relationships require the kind of work that is anathema to men. Most men don't like chatting on the phone, for example, which is a basic pillar of long distance relationships. Communication is key, and most men just don't have the stones for it. They also don't like to write letters or emails, or read them for that matter, so this does not help either. In fact, men are more hands-on when it comes to relationships (if you know what I mean). They want and need a right hand gal pal, not some nebulous and distant idea of a women that requires a lot of work to maintain. If she were a classic car she might be worth the work, but a Midwestern Farm Girl? Not so much.

There is more to long distance relationships than just work though. There is also the very real danger of deceit. Because of the nature of the relationship and non-proximity communications, there is no sure way of recognizing the bullshit and deceit (if you are lucky enough to get him on the phone.) You don't really know if he has been pining for you or if he's been banging the bartender on every other Tuesday. (He's not going to tell you about the Bartender.) He may lie about how much he is working or what he has planned. You want to think the best of him and will find it very difficult to separate the bull from the..., you know. Trust me, been there, done that.

The last big peril of the long distance relationship is self-loathing and angst. It is these qualities that prompted me to include the Joan Jett lyrics at the top of the post. These qualities derive from the fact that long distance relationships are deceptive in and of themselves. Because you end up talking so much to each other, these relationships tend to get very emotional very quickly, and sometimes artificially. These very deep feelings, when coupled with lack of communication and doubt can develop into "I hate myself for loving you." The separation can be frustrating (both sexually and otherwise) and begin to wear heavily on one. People in your real life may even begin to question whether this Mr. or Ms. Wonderful actually exists. Again, trust me, this does not feel good.

I find, however, that I can not end this post on a negative note, so I will leave you with the following.

Long distance relationships can make it to the finish line. I was in a 6-year long distance relationship and that man became my husband. It wasn't until the last year (when he had decided to pop the question and was working up to it) that he got good at the communication part. In fact, our twice-monthly conversations ramped up to 5 times/week communications. I wanted to ask, "who are you, and what did you do to my boyfriend" but was afraid of the answer I might get! If you want a long distance relationship to work, you have to be honest (both of you) and you have to work at it. There is no substitute for the hours of communication and weekend meetups. If you don't do these, you are doomed. Doomed! I say. Make room for the other person in your life. There are no easy answers, you will just have to figure out what works for you. There is hope, if you can avoid the landmines along the way. But, now that I've told you what they look like, you should be better prepared.

Anyway, go check out what the other Saucy, Sophisticated, and Scandalous Divas have to say on the matter. When you are done with that, get the flip side of the picture from the Debonair, Dashing, Dangerous, and Dreamy members of The Men's Club. (Why is it that I always imagine them in a luxe room full of leather-bound books in a haze of cigar smoke, each of them wearing a silk brocade smoking jacket and sipping a brandy?) I'm not sure whether Mark has been officially given his ceremonial humidor and initiation or even if he'll be posting, but he may.

Also, keep your eyes open next week. The Divas & Men will be posting on Tuesday with a holiday-themed topic!
posted by Phoenix | 8:09 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, February 08, 2006
100 Things
This post was inspired by Mark at WitNit.

Here are 100 Things you didn't know about me:

1. I was born December 1st, 1973 in Elkhart, Kansas.
2. I had attended 9 schools before I got to high school.
3. I started kindergarten in the famous Dodge City, before we moved to Salina, KS.
4. My favorite picture of myself as a child is of my sister and I in Dodge City. The picture was in the newspaper. I was riding my kick-n-go and my sister was running along behind.
5. The Salina schools were over-crowded (too many kindergartners moving to 1st grade) when I went through, so I was always in a grade higher than normal. For example, I learned the 1st grade material in a 2nd grade classroom. This continued until I was a third grader. I believe to this day that this provoked my love of learning, my drive for excellence, and my over-achieving ways. It was so delicious learning to write in cursive a whole year early. (They couldn't help me from over-hearing the teacher's lessons to the other kids.)
6. My excellent math skills in Salina earned me a trip to the then-Brand New Showbiz Pizza Place with my teacher. Very cool.
7. I was largely unimpressed as a child with the educational system in South Carolina. I thought writing out the Pledge of Allegiance as a handwriting assignment was stupid. I thought the least the teacher could do was give us other texts to copy. I also thought the teacher was an idiot for not recognizing when I was blatantly plagiariazed, word for damn word, by another usually stupid student. You would have thought his sudden A-level work was a clue, but barring that, she could have noticed that she hung it up on the wall right next to my own piece that he had copied. Idiot!
8. I also went to schools in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky.
9. It was at this time that I organized a strike.
10. It was also at this time that a war was started with the guy (adult) who cut the wire running between our play phones.
11. I was big into Barbie. My Barbie was CEO of her own company, a mother of three, and gorgeous, of course.
12. I had Barbie's RV.
13. When I was young I had a white satin Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders jacket with my name embroidered on it. I was soooo cooool.
14. I also had a Farrah Fawcett hairdo. Feathers. That was where it was at.
15. Do you remember parachute pants? I had a parachute skirt!
16. I don't like insects. You take 2 entomology classes, become familiar with all of the cockroaches in the world, and then judge.
17. However, 2 entomology classes means that I developed a real talent for drawing insects. I had to be able to identify them on practical exams, so I would draw them and study my sketches.
18. That didn't work the same for plant pathology.
19. It is difficult to draw bacteria oozing.
20. I had a different roommate each year of college, and two my junior and senior years.
21. My dad insisted that I take my car to college.
22. I parked my car at the Skulls house.
23. I lived in a sorority house for one year.
24. One of my sorority sisters accidently destroyed one of my projects. I was drying weeds for my weeds course AGRON 326, and somebody threw it out. I was incredibly angry. They had moved a note and several of my school books that were pressing down on the stack of newspapers and plant materials.
25. My hair is naturally curly.
26. I didn't start wearing glasses until I was 28-years-old.
27. I played the violin in the fourth grade. But I really sucked at it.
28. I modeled in the sixth grade. I was good at it, but I hated it.
29. I was the only member of my peewee cheerleading team that had any rhythm. They sucked.
30. I took one piano lesson. I lacked patience.
31. I took one baton twirling lesson. I finished the lesson my sister hated.
32. I wish Bucky Katt was my cat.
33. My sister and I have a HUGE collection of Archie Comics. I mean HUGE. It is under threat of eviction at the moment.
34. I used to fire my sister all the time when we played pretend office. I would then rehire her as someone else.
35. My husband is the friendliest person I know. It really irks me how he gets along with everyone.
36. My sister (spysistah) is good at almost everything.
37. She is better with a rifle than me, but I am better with a handgun.
38. 4 is my favorite number.
39. I think cowboys and soccer players are sexy.
40. I believe in magic.
41. I believe in love before sight.
42. I wrote to President Reagan in my childhood to protest the fact that I was required to pay income taxes but lacked representation in Congress. I couldn't legally vote, so it was taxation without representation.
43. He told me my parents were my representatives.
44. This did not satisfy me.
45. My husband and I live in a house that we built. Well, we had it built. We picked out everything inside and chose the plans and had them changed to suit us.
46. I have a state of the art kitchen. Can you say employee discount? My husband works for SubZero (which owns Wolf appliance).
47. I graduated college in four years - with High Honors.
48. I like a mimosa every now and then.
49. My favorite drink is Captain Morgan & Coke.
50. I am eligible for membership in the DAR.
51. I think that is cool.
52. I love diamonds.
53. On a daily basis I wear about 4.5 karats tw.
54. I am very loyal.
55. But you really don't want to cross me.
56. I graduated fifth in my high school class of 350.
57. I still talk to my high school French teacher. Mais oui.
58. I was a Peer Listener.
59. I was also on the Student Council for 4 years and got to have a entire hour for lunch each day.
60. I was also President of Beta Club, a member of the French Club and National Honor Society.
61. I graduated high school without ever doing any drugs or drinking any alcohol.
62. To this day I still have never done any recreational drugs.
63. I don't look kindly on recreational drug use. Just say no.
64. I love tights.
65. I do my own manicures.
66. I love to sing.
67. I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo.
68. I love it.
69. I love to travel.
70. I think chocolate and caramel were made for each other.
71. I love to bake.
72. My first name is also the name of a city.
73. But I was named for a person.
74. My daughter's first name is also a city.
75. She too was named after a person (not me).
76. I am a potterhead.
77. I love cherry pie.
78. I have arranged to have the blog skin redesigned.
79. I am a perfectionist.
80. But only about some things.
81. I started college on track to become a Chemical Engineer.
82. Then quickly changed my mind.
83. My sister is my best friend.
84. I think she is a spy. (You may have known this.)
85. I have lots of lists.
86. I also have a scoring system for my personal vendors. It is a lot like baseball. There are currently two vendors in serious danger of striking out.
87. I love balancing my checkbook. I delight in it actually.
88. I hate to buy gas. I hate gas stations.
89. I prefer to drink from a goblet rather than a glass.
90. I have a very specific way of folding laundry. Don't mess with my towels!
91. I believe I mentioned my OCD?
92. I don't own a purse that cost less than $60.00. Most of them cost more than $200.00.
93. However, I'm so picky about my purses that it is rare that I find one I like. Right now, for example, the styles are all way too 70's Disco and Gangsta Girlfriend for me. Eww.
94. I love cashmere and silk.
95. I like to wear both with denim.
96. And pearls.
97. My child is the center of my universe.
98. My third wedding anniversary is next week.
99. I was married on Valentine's Day.
100. I have a hard time forgiving myself for missteps, miscalculations, and rudeness.
posted by Phoenix | 11:58 AM | 1 comments

You know, those rainy days in Bermuda are looking pretty good right now.

Wisconsin is a frozen tundra, shut out of the sun, sucking my soul dry.

Desiccated, I tell you. Withered. Limp. Dry.
posted by Phoenix | 11:55 AM | 0 comments

Little Things, OCD?
I am a freak.

I am. I am a freak.

I can't help it, it is just how I am. I suspect that I am more than a little bit "Monkish" and am rapidly developing OCD.

Why am I this way?

Why can I not just let the little details slide?

Why is it that I obsess about where Bunny Boop's pacifier and pacifier lid are and the state of their cleanliness? Why is it that I obsess about where the 3 pens that I keep in my purse are?

Why is it that when one of these small items goes on walk-about, I can't find peace in my own head until said item has been recovered and returned to the rightful place? I am a freak! My mind just tosses and turns. Even when it is busy doing something that occupies it like balancing the checkbook or working, the back of my brain is still trying to solve the problem of the missing detail. My mind is on a miniature seek-and-recover mission for a freakin' pacifier cover. Or a turquoise pen. Or the notecard that has my planned list of destinations in order of best traffic flow and geography.

I know that I am this way because of my mother. All of my life she has been losing things: car keys (at least twice per week); mail; important documents like passports, birth certificates, and W-2's; purses; pearls; shoes; etc. When I used to live with her, it was a frequent happenstance that everyone would have to drop everything to ransack the domicile to locate the missing item.

I know that this stressed me out as a child and as a child and adult under my own power I choose to not live this way. I need to have the power over my own life. I will not be late because my keys are AWOL. I have a hook that hangs just inside the door to the garage where my keys are hung each time I come home. My kitchen tools all have a place, though some are more specially placed than others. I keep my purse in the same place inside the house. I keep a list of things that I have loaned out so that I will not forget and spend two days looking for an item! God help you if you move one of these items on me. It isn't pretty to have me coming at you with recriminations that you are trying to drive me crazy. Back away slowly, careful not to startle me.

I just want to say that this craziness in me has only gotten worse since the baby came. Where are her toys? Where are her burp rags. Blankets, socks (damn those slippery little invisible socks), bottle caps, t-shirts, aaarrrrgh!

I need a massage. A massage, a nap, and a pedicure. And for people to stop moving shit around!

Yes, yes. I am a freak. But, admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery.

(insert maniacal laughter here)
posted by Phoenix | 11:35 AM | 2 comments

Your Assignment
Your assignment for today (no, you do not get to choose whether to accept it or not) is to go read this post by the American Geek.

Just do it.
posted by Phoenix | 11:33 AM | 0 comments

Invitation to those in an uproar over those cartoons:
Go Piss Up a Rope.

Clearly, you understand protests, the burning of flags, and the attacking of people and buildings. However, your blatant disregard for other people's views is very unattractive and disingenuous. You don't get a double standard. You don't get to do and say what you want but limit the actions and views of others. It just don't work that way. Not even in Mesopotamia.

So, again, I cordially invite you to collectively Go Piss Up a Rope.

I'm done with this brouhaha and am now choosing sides. Courtesy of The Noble Eagle (blog papa) and Cox & Forkum, I give you the following very scary images:

That's so inflammatory -- I am feeling the urge to torch something! (extra sarcasm, for your edification)

Bloggers can join the Cartoon Blogburst here.


posted by Phoenix | 9:04 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I am deep in a pit of my own angst. I can feel my guts roiling from the turmoil in my head. I'm doubting and redoubting myself at every turn. I feel alone and unworthy of the task before me. I suspect that I miscalculated, but I don't know for sure.

Dammitall, anyway!

Crap, crap, crap.

I have to find a solution.
posted by Phoenix | 1:18 PM | 2 comments

Catering to Geek Fantasies
I stumbled across a news story this morning that I find really disturbing.

TOKYO (Reuters) - "Welcome home, Master," says the maid as she bows deeply,
hands clasped in front of a starched pinafore worn over a short pink dress.

This maid serves not some aristocrat but a string of pop-culture-mad customers at a "Maid Cafe" in Tokyo's Akihabara district, long known as a Mecca for electronics buffs but now also the centre of the capital's "nerd culture".

"When they address you as 'Master', the feeling you get is like a high," says Koji Abei, a 20-year-old student having coffee with a friend at the Royal Milk Cafe and Aromacare.

"I've never felt that way before."



In the cafes, girls dressed in frilly frocks inspired by comic-book heroines wait hand and foot on customers, mostly male, who might have once been obsessed with naughty schoolgirls and nurses.

At one cafe, maids get down on their knees to stir the cream and sugar into the customer's coffee.

You've got to be kidding me!
At Royal Milk, diners can follow up a meal with a range of grooming services,
including ear cleanings.

Double Ewww!


Patronage is also on the rise among young women, some hoping to snag a geek and turn him into Prince Charming in a real-life imitation of last year's hit movie "Train Boy", a love story set in Akihabara that also became a popular TV series.

That's even more disturbing! Are they really so desperate? They want to play Pikachu for the rest of their lives?

"These cafes offer a chance for men oppressed in their daily life to escape into
a fantasy world
," said social commentator Tomoko Inukai, adding that the
phenomenon hardly helped to promote gender equality in a largely male-dominated

They are oppressed? How? They haven't solved the final level of some video game or another and this somehow oppresses them? Poor boys! Forgive me if I don't feel their pain.


Besides serving diners from a menu of inexpensive cafe fare, Hinaka also offers fully clothed massages, and for 9,000 yen ($75) customers can chat with her in a private room cluttered with comic books, character figurines and animation DVDs.

It sounds like pRon for Geeks! And, can I just say, Eeeww?

Just reading that article made me feel dirty. Kinky Japanese Freaky Geek Boys!

(The article does continue if you are interested.)
posted by Phoenix | 9:18 AM | 0 comments

Monday, February 06, 2006
Wisconsin: Nanny State of Idiotic Cowards
Warning: The following post is a BFR (Big F-ing Rant).

There are three minor news stories in recent days that illustrate, for me, what is wrong with Wisconsin. The confluence of these three news stories, all of them about pending legislation, confirm what idiotic cowards we have running the nanny state.

Issue the First: Concealed Carry

Regular readers know that I narrowly averted being raped at college. They also know that a second individual stalked me in college. As such, I am pretty adamant about my right to protect my life and what penises enter where. I would like the right to carry a weapon concealed on my body or in my property to insure my continued existence and the right to decide who I have sex with. Call me crazy. Here in the state of Wisconsin, the matter of concealed carry has come before the legislature a great many times. Each time, the governor has vetoed the measure and overrides of the veto have failed. The last two times, the overrides have failed because legislators who originally voted for the measure changed their votes under political pressure. Simply put, these assholes lack the courage of their convictions and would prefer that I be raped. This may seem like an extreme reaction from me, but I assure you it is visceral and heart-felt.

Issue the Second: 8-year-olds to hunt

Now, don't get me wrong, I believe in 2nd Amendment rights strongly. However, I find it ironic that the Nanny State wants to make it legal for 8-year-olds to kill animals but that I can't have a weapon on my person to prevent violence being done against me.

Issue the Third: Car Seats for 7-year-olds

This is absolutely asinine! The Nanny State wants to require the people of Wisconsin to keep their children in car seats until the age of 8. 8! A further requirement involves height. That is, under 4'9" tall, you must be in one of these car seats. I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous! I wasn't taller than 4'9" until high school. I am offended by the notion that a simple buckle-up rule isn't good enough. I am offended by the fact that this demeans young children and keeps them from taking the initial steps of growing up. How demoralizing to be in a car seat when you are in the 2nd and 3rd grade! A better question is, will the Wisconsin taxpayers be buying car seats for all of the school buses that take all of those kids to and from school? What crap! And how the hell are they going to know how old my child is, huh? Are they going to require me to carry a birth certificate to prove that my child is old enough not to require a carseat? Pffffbt!

But really what vexes me is the message that these three bills send. Apparently we are too stupid to take care of our kids until the age of 8, at which time the state wants to celebrate their freedom by letting them hunt, but still, I can not protect the lives of my child and myself by carrying a weapon concealed on my person. So, when the cops discover my dead and violated body in a pool of blood next to my child, I suppose they will enjoy knowing that she was in her carseat up until the day she got her own rifle.

It is so fucking stupid! I could barely lift a rifle at the age of 8 and I was decidedly not interested in killing an animal. On the other hand, I would have been mortified if I had been required to sit in a carseat at that age.

Whatever happened to reason and common sense?

posted by Phoenix | 10:05 AM | 4 comments

The Cartoon Jihad
This story is all over the news, but I just wanted to vent about it for a moment.

For those who have been visiting the planet Zarkon and are therefore not current on global events, here is a recap:

The "Arab Street" is up in arms over some cartoons that were published in a Danish newspaper. These cartoons were of the type that you often see (like President Bush portrayed as a cowboy riding a bucking missile aimed at Iraq) in these countries, except this time the subject was Islamic extremism and the image was of Mohammed. Muslims do not like this portrayal as it is expressly forbidden by Islamic faith.

Now the "Arab Street" is foaming at the mouth and has reached full froth. These cartoons were published back in September 2005, I believe, but the issue has only just reached the masses. Now they are boycotting Danish goods, burning Danish flags, and attacking Danish consulates.

So much for the "religion of peace", eh?

I find it incredibly ironic that these people are using free speech to protest...free speech. Certainly the Danes are not beholden to Islamic law, but rather their own laws. Certainly these peoples, Muslims included, have made mockeries of the United States on a regular basis and have drawn unflattering caricatures of our leaders and beliefs. But that must be okay. They can offend us, but god (or Allah) -forbid if their feelings get hurt.

What these people can't seem to get through their thick heads is that they can't have it both ways. If you are going to protest this, that, and the other thing all the while defaming and abusing the leaders and beliefs of other countries, you have to understand that turn about is fair play.

Did they protest when multiple people were beheaded in the name of Allah? Nope. They most definitely did not. Do they protest when thousands of people are murdered in the name of Allah? Again, they said not a peep. So, I must take from the deafening silence that they condone these actions as perfectly acceptable. As a matter of fact, some contend that beheading the insulters of Islam is the answer (scroll down to see picture).

So, according to their behavior, apparently I am entitled to urge my Congressmen to call for the immediate carpet bombings of Lebanon, Damascus, and the Palestinian people when they burn the American flag and our leaders in effigy. But I don't do this. Why?

Because I recognize their right to speak their minds and protest. Their burning of flags and stuffed dolls doesn't actually hurt anyone, so where lies the harm? However, when they start burning buildings and calling for beheadings I find I can not be quite so reasonable. This is not acceptable behavior by any stretch of the imagination and should be condemned by all peace-loving peoples.

They can, to use a favorite family expression, "get glad in the same pants they got mad in." I, for one, am sick unto death of their double-standards and righteous indignation. You want righteous indignation? I am still mad as hell about September 11th. I can spew vile filth from my mouth too!

Fuck 'em All. Bastards.

Oh, more coverage on this can be found by Michelle Malkin, The Wizard, and The Hatemongers.
posted by Phoenix | 9:21 AM | 1 comments

Better Than Britney
My life is better than Britney Spears' life.

Reason #97, courtesy of Lawren at MP&S: I will never have to shout at my husband on the street and send my bodyguards chasing after him to prevent the piercing of my child's body parts.

Man. That is just so sad. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Now she's just a joke and future participant in some celebrity reality show. Blech!
posted by Phoenix | 8:19 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, February 02, 2006
Sports & Shopping
Thursdays are all about answering the tough questions. I must toss my feather boa over my shoulder, kick my stilettos under the desk, and hunch over the keyboard to bring you all the wit and wisdom you can handle. Such is the job of the Demystifying Diva. Don't ask me what this noble goal requires of the Men's Club, but I suspect it has something to do with smoking jackets, brandy, and cigars.

Anyhoo, this week's topic is: Men & Sports vs. Women & Shopping - Similarities? Compare and Contrast.

Hmm. A real thinker.

I suspect that this question has its root in stereotypes. You know: knuckle-dragging, beer-drinking male sportsfans and empty-headed, materialistic shopaholics.

I suspect, however, that there is at least a grain of truth in the stereotypes. If there weren't, the stereotypes would not exist, right?

Men enjoy sports for the camaraderie and the opportunity to imbibe alcohol, munch nutritionally questionable snack foods, and live vicariously through the heroics of others. What's not to like in that little tableau? While the beer is good, men don't need sports to drink beer. Likewise, sports are not a requirement for the scarfing of large quantities of junk food. So, I am left with the vicarious thrills.

Watching sports and playing sports allows today's men to associate with winners. They get to high-five when "they" make a three-point shot or do their own touchdown dance. They get to belong to the team, so to speak, whether they ever get to the locker room or not. Sports then, I imagine, feed the fantasy life of men. They imagine themselves as a balder Favre, a shorter Shaq, a skinnier Mark McGwire, or even a younger Barry Alvarez (for the ones who wanted to be coaches). They get to "be" like...(forgive me)...Mike.

On the flip-side, women enjoy shopping because it permits an escape from the housework, oftentimes comes with the companionship offered by a shopping partner, and gives a feeling of power when you get a good deal or find something very great. Again, this tableau is pretty attractive. Who doesn't want to feel as though they've escaped the dreary details only to discover a treasure? Certainly there are other ways to get out of washing windows and dusting and other opportunities to spend time with peers. But, that elusive A-Ha! feeling is where the real pull comes from.

In many ways, finding that $340 pair of Italian slingbacks for $70 is the same joy that the couch-potato sports fan gets when "his" quarterback throws the game-winning touchdown. Both activities give the participants a good feeling. They are escapes from our hum-drum lives. And, if you think about it, Day-After-Thanksgiving Shopping is quite a bit like a football game: unnecessary roughness, personal fouls, roughing the refs, etc. Best Buy at 3 a.m. requires stamina!

Of course, the activities differ too. By and large the obsessions are different because men and women are different at the crux. Women don't paint their chests to celebrate the opening day of the holiday shopping season. There is never any discussion of shirts vs. skins when it comes to shopping. President's Day matters not a bit to the sportsfan because it doesn't really interfere with March Madness.

That's it, I've exhausted my thoughts and clever bon mots on this topic. For more education, check out the other Dynamic and Delightful Divas and the Men's Club submissions from Mr. Swagger himself and Newbies Jim and Darren (Welcome!).
posted by Phoenix | 10:37 AM | 3 comments

On Groundhog Day
Happy Groundhog Day to you and yours. Verily, this is the butt-crack of American holidays.

Have you considered how this day might be construed by brand new immigrants to the good ol' USA?

Imagine the young man just arrived from some Eastern European country. All he knows of America is power: economics, military, freedom, and technology.

Imagine he gets off the plane (who arrives by boat except the Cubans?) and buys a copy of USA Today to discover it is Groundhog Day. Huh? This rich nation of technology leaves weather prediction to an overgrown rat that we pull out of a dark hole on one arbitrary day of the year. I wouldn't blame him for thinking it odd. I think it is odd. April Fool's Day makes more sense.
posted by Phoenix | 10:27 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

London at rest Posted by Picasa
posted by Phoenix | 9:22 PM | 1 comments

I'm busy contemplating the universe, or maybe politics. I'm not sure. Posted by Picasa
posted by Phoenix | 9:21 PM | 3 comments

And so, you see... Posted by Picasa
posted by Phoenix | 9:21 PM | 0 comments

Are you here to see me? Posted by Picasa
posted by Phoenix | 9:21 PM | 0 comments

GO BADGERS! Posted by Picasa
posted by Phoenix | 9:20 PM | 0 comments

Mmm. Mink! Posted by Picasa
posted by Phoenix | 9:18 PM | 0 comments

I feel like luke-warm crap today. I've got a bit of a headache and a large dose of don't-give-a-shits.

SOTU? Whatever. Didn't watch it. Don't care what the Dems had to say in response. I'd rather have a nap.

Bunny Boop is at the sitter's again. Dropping her off everyday makes me feel guilty. And, I worry that she will imprint on the babysitter and forget me. Afterall, the babysitter has almost all of the awake and alert hours, right? Yeah, the anxiety level is off the charts today.
posted by Phoenix | 10:13 AM | 1 comments


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