Strange Brouhaha

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ruth Conniff hits the nail on the head

"Nostalgia for the present" (last paragraph) that "comes out of a deep, unspoken worry" hangs over us all, and our fragile world, in these times.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Cheney is offended!

But you can't bring William Schulz, head of Amnesty International, down. He fired back with, "And if I've offended you, oh, I'm sorry--but maybe you needed to be offended! So here's my apology, and one more thing: fuck you!" (That's my interpretation of what he said, anyway. Tell him what's up, Rocky!)

After the disaster...

I like TeXlipse. If you really want to use TeX/LaTeX with Eclipse, then you want TeXlipse. It is in no way the fault of TeXlipse that I deleted two years' worth of work! But I'm gunshy now, and that's bad, because you can't be worrying about workflow when you're writing, and if I kept using TeXlipse, I'd be worrying about workflow.

My M.O. up to this point has been to use only the most basic of tools: the vi text editor (actually vim) and the Unix terminal. It's been a great system, actually. Among other things, it's highly portable: I can work in the same way on pretty much any machine, even Windows, and have writing and typesetting and previewing function more or less alike, anywhere.

But part of the impulse that drove me to seek out new ways of working was the nagging sense that, although I had a good way of working, it was not necessarily the best way. After all, I'm using a modern GUI, and if you've got the tools, shouldn't you use them?

As it turns out, the answer is "yes and no." I'm definitely more of an "if it ain't broke" type of person when it comes to processes--and witness what happened when I made an arbitrary change. The "yes" part of the equation is a little more compelling: it's getting tough for me to SEE the terminal. So I sort of need to make a change, whether it's using a larger typeface in the terminal application, or switching to a GUI program.

Right now, I'm trying out TeXshop for Mac OS X. It's got a lot of nice features, although the syntax coloring leaves a lot to be desired, especially when a person is switching from vim. I'd also like to see line numbers in my source file.

(I'll be trying iTeXMac soon, too.)

Will I Never Learn?

You may recall a while back I posted a little bit about having lost a few days' work to accidental deletion. I titled it Today's Lesson Learned, but apparently it was never actually learned. I was testing out an Eclipse plugin tonight for working with LaTeX files. It's a pretty good plug called Texlipse. There are a few flaws, and it really needs its own Eclipse perspective (they're working on it), but it seems to work pretty nicely.

I was rearranging some of my source files from within Eclipse, using the Refactor command to move files around. I accidentally moved some files into my main playwriting directory. No problem, right, just move 'em back out. Moved 'em out. Went to the command line to delete the old files, went back to Eclipse to delete the duplicate project.

Oops.

I have now lost every single play I have written since I made the transition from writing on a desktop machine to writing on my laptop. There is no backup. I have hardcopies of exactly two of several dozen works.

I am a fucking idiot.

It is one a.m. I have spent the last three hours trying to recover the data, failing miserably, and wishing I was dead.

Words fail me.

Friday, May 27, 2005

You may say I'm a dreamer....

Oh dear god, how I would love it if George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld got arrested and charged with war crimes. God, how I would love that. And I'm proud that Amnesty International USA is publicly calling for this to happen, and proud that Matthew Rothschild wrote that article about it. Those are the real American patriots, folks, the real true Americans. The ones who want to "see who branded this hideous scar into our American body" (Rude Pundit) and do something about it.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

We Suck, Part II

Americans agree with Democrats but vote for Republicans, apparently because they strut around in flight suits looking tough.

So even though George Bush and his neocon pals have done a better job expanding the membership of Al Qaeda than Osama bin Laden ever did, and have left us wide open to further terrorist attack, and have ignored North Korea, and made everybody hate us, and in short pretty much took off our clothes and left us naked on a street corner at midnight in the bad part of town....they LOOK tough. And they like to torture people, which must mean they've got the "stomach" to protect us. So we'd better stick with them.

Ohhhhkay. Yep, that makes a whole lot of sense.

Wake me up when it's over.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

We Suck

Compared to our peers in the industrialized world, our overall poverty rates are higher, our child poverty rates are higher, our child mortality rates are higher, our infant mortality rates are higher, and our life expectancy rates are lower. In short: more of us are poor, even more of our children are poor, more of our babies die, more of our children die, and the ones that live--don't live that long anyhow.

Something's been happening to paradise while we weren't looking, people. If we've got more people doing worse, then how exactly are we the best? Hint: we're not.

It's only ignorance and ingrained prejudice that keeps us from realizing that our castle has grown shabby. Oh, and the Fox News people yammering their hysterical propaganda all the time.

You know what this is? It's Russia's Revenge. Pretty soon we're going to be lying in the gutter with Russia, and the glorious yet epically dysfunctional and tragic beauty, who never recovered from the Mongol Invasion, will leer at us and say "Ha ha! Now you're down here too! And you did it to YOURSELVES!!"

And she will be right.

Blah blah BLAH blah blah

Now, I'm sure that apologists will say that what Little George MEANT when he said "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" was that all phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom were completed. Maybe not, though. Maybe CNN is next on the Administration's hit list, for using the phrase "major operation" a few too many times.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Glorious Rude One Strikes Again

"Remember: Hogan's Heroes were guilty."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I Believe This Penalty To Be Appropriate

Hey, check out this article from CNN about the former pastor of a defunct church in Louisiana being nabbed for sex crimes against kids. Note down near the end where they lay out the possible penalty in that state if you are convicted of aggravated rape of a child under 13: DEATH. I'm totally down with that. I don't think we should emulate Louisiana in any other way, but that one's pretty good.

Friday, May 20, 2005

And

I will leave it to my husband to complain about all the TINY CHILDREN taken to this movie.

Star Wars Episode III: Spoiler alert

And I repeat: SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT.

First of all: no matter how George Lucas numbers the episodes, they should always and only be watched in the order that they were released in theaters. Think about how "Episode IV" begins, with exciting action followed by comedy patter from the droids. That is not, repeat, not, in any way tonally appropriate after the mass epic tragedy of "Episode III." It is appropriate to a beginning--not a middle. Watch the films as they were released, not as they are numbered. It is perfectly legitimate to tell the second part of a story first, and then go back and fill us in. Besides, it's a lot more subversive to have things end on the stark and tragic note struck by "Episode III."

As happened with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Star Wars" started out fun and then became angst-ridden and tragic, even horrifying. It deepened (or at least darkened) as it went along, taking us with it.

I was relatively impressed by "Revenge of the Sith." It was a lot better than "Phantom" and "Clones." In fact it's the strongest entry aside from "The Empire Strikes Back," which is the best of them. (No, "Star Wars" itself is in no way the best.) Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine deserves an Oscar (I'm serious) for what he did with his incredibly wooden, expository dialogue. He had the worst lines in the whole film--just for one example, he had to sit there and tell a long story about a Sith Lord no one had ever heard of before--but he created the best moments.

And contrary to all my expectations, they actually did provide a coherent motivation for Anakin's turn to the Dark Side, and they did it in a way which saved some sense of his humanity.

Then they made me furious by ABANDONING IT! But I'll get to that.

Anyhow, Anakin is being bothered by prophetic dreams that his pregnant wife will die in childbirth. Since Anakin has already lost his mother twice (by being taken away from her in PHANTOM and watching her die in CLONES), we can credibly believe that he's psychologically vulnerable to any thought of losing his wife. He is additionally confused because the Jedi Council has asked him to spy on Chancellor Palpatine, whom he considers a personal friend. At this fraught moment in his life, Palpatine tells him that there was once a Sith Lord (the long speech) who went so far into the Dark Side that he learned how to "create life" (giving a very frightening hint as to where Anakin's own unexplained conception might have come from) and how to prevent death. Anakin is deeply struck by this.

Later, it becomes obvious to Anakin that Palpatine doesn't just know about the Dark Side from hearsay; he realizes Palpatine is Darth Sidious. He reports this to the Jedi Council, because his motivations are still basically proper, but he nonetheless hopes to play both ends against the middle and get Palpatine to teach him the secret of life (presumably from jail). When Palpatine resists arrest and the fight between him and Mace Windu threatens to become fatal, Anakin pleads with Windu to save Palpatine. Palpatine pretends that he's weak and about to die; when Anakin intervenes on his behalf, Palpatine immediately blows Mace Windu away.

This clears up Anakin's confusion. He now sees that Palpatine is evil. "What have I done?" he asks. But he knows what he's done, and he knows why; he's just lost any self-protective illusions about it (formerly provided by Palpatine's oft-repeated line that the Jedi are secretly conspiring against the republic). Without urging or provocation, Anakin now pledges himself to Palpatine's service on the condition that he receive the knowledge to save his wife. Palpatine gleefully names him Darth Vader and orders him to go right out and start killing Jedi and tradesmen. It is made clear that the new Vader is sickened by what he's doing, but he's determined to do it in order to gain the knowledge he needs. He knows he's made a deal with the devil; he knows he's become evil in a classic, Miltonian sort of way. It's genuinely tragic.

Why, then, when confronted by Padme and Obi-Wan, does he suddenly start going on about the Republic again? And how he's saving the Republic from the Jedi--no, forming an Empire--no, back to saving the Republic from the Jedi (during the long fight with Obi-Wan)? He knows that's bullshit. He *saw* that Palpatine was lying about the Jedi being against the Republic. He made clear that he was choosing to throw in his lot with Palpatine to get the knowledge he wanted. Why change his story? He still has plenty of material to attack the Jedi with: "If you had let me have the knowledge, I wouldn't have HAD to turn evil! It's YOUR fault!"

So that was annoying. But up until that point, "Sith" was pretty dramatically coherent for a Lucas-penned-and-directed Star Wars movie.

It WAS kind of a shock that Obi-Wan Kenobi, after cutting off three of Anakin's limbs and watching him writhe in agony as he slid ever closer to the molten lava with which he would soon catch on fire, did not have the decency to mercy-kill the poor sonofabitch, but just gave him one last tongue-lashing and marched off. Obi-Wan Kenobi as a character has suffered the most from the needs of Lucas's storytelling. In order for Vader to become the same person as Anakin, Obi-Wan had to become a liar, and in order for Anakin to remain alive to be put in the suit, Obi-Wan had to become a sadist. The poor guy!

And finally: Yoda was cool. The audience applauded his action beats, and deservedly so.

The whole thing was not nearly as bad as I had feared it would be. Against all odds, they found something honest and coherent about Anakin Skywalker to drive his transition to the Dark Side, which was more than I had hoped for. And I think it's genuinely surprising. I think we all expected it to be about power, and in fact, it wasn't. It was about love.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

So It Has Come To This

Yoda using the Force to get a Diet Pepsi. Sigh. Well, why not, Lucas has already made Obi-Wan a lying sack of crap.

We are going to see Episode III tomorrow morning. We will have a review shortly thereafter.

Uh..."backwards-compatible" in what sense?

The PS2 is a great gaming console. It has great games (I've been playing Burnout 3 lately). It is backwards-compatible with the original Sony Playstation. "Backwards-compatible" means that it will play absolutely any game made for the PlayStation. This is possible because--if I remember correctly--the PS2 uses PlayStation silicon for one of its subsystems. It's not an emulator, it's an actual PlayStation. The controller ports are the same, so you can use PlayStation controllers with the PS2, and the memory card slot is the same, so you can use PlayStation memory cards in the PS2 (and indeed you must, if you play PlayStation games; the PlayStation can't write to or read from PS2 cards).

The Game Boy Advance is a great handheld. It has some pretty good games (I'm still slogging through a season of Baseball Advance). It is backwards-compatible with the original Game Boy. "Backwards-compatible" means that it will play absolutely any game made for the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. I can still play this absolutely frustrating Game Boy Formula One game that I have, and it's just as frustrating on the GBA as it was on the original. (The Nintendo DS, I think, sacrifices the total backward-compatibility, but it does play GBA carts.)

Backwards-compatibility is hot in console gaming. After all, gamers have a lot of money invested in their library of titles. You want gamers playing your newest console, even if they mostly play the older games, because you know that eventually they will move to next-generation games--and you want them to stick with you. It makes good sense from the business side, although it's not mandatory: look at Nintendo's consoles.

So we come to the XBox 360, the recently-announced sucessor to Microsoft's XBox. Microsoft is claiming that it is backwards-compatible. "Backwards-compatible" in this case apparently means that it won't play any original XBox games until they're recompiled. So you can't just stick an XBox disc into the 360 and play.

Now, the situation is entirely understandable, given that the 360 has entirely different CPU and video architectures. We learned the hard way in the mid-90s, with Apple, that the switch from CISC to RISC processors was a difficult one. At a certain point, Apple just had to say "No more 68K software!" It was a wildly unpopular decision, but they had to sacrifice backwards-compatibility for forward thinking. I think Microsoft needs to do the same thing here. The 360 is NOT backwards-compatible in any commonly-held sense. Just cut the doublethink.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mac Software I Am Using

For no good reason, I'm trying out the Firefox web browser on my Macintosh. I've been using Firefox for a while on my Windows and Linux machines (back when I actually had Linux machines) and it's a great browser. I just never got around to installing it on the Mac; after all, there's nothing really wrong with Safari. It does, however, make for a more unified cross-platform browsing experience.

(I do find it annoying, however, that Firefox doesn't recognize some of the keyboard shortcuts that I'm used to using with Safari, like cmd-up for "top of page" [the same, I know, as fn-left]. But I'll get over it.)

Also for no good reason, I've replaced the default Terminal.app with a free terminal program called iTerm. Actually, there is a very good reason I'm using iTerm, and that is that you can redefine the ANSI colors. I'm a light-gray-text-on-black-background guy, and the regular ANSI blue--which ls -G uses to denote subdirectories when you do a directory listing, and which is also an important color in the vim colorscheme I use--is too dark to see comfortably against a black background on the Macintosh. (I've had that problem under Linux with gnome-terminal, too.) You can see it against a white background, but I don't like a white background. I've been able to considerably lighten the blue, which is fantastic. It makes Terminal usable with the backlighting turned down.

The one thing I don't really like about iTerm is that it's very poorly documented. I'm considering offering to write a manual for the application, actually, because it's a fairly good piece of software. There are a lot of interface clunks to deal with, and if the app itself can't be revised to be a little more consistent, at least the inconsistencies can be documented.

I've also switched from OpenOffice.org to an adaptation of OOo called NeoOffice/J. NeoOffice/J is a true Mac OS application; the only available Mac OS version of OpenOffice.org required X11 to run. This is not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but it meant among other things that it was a Unix app, not a Mac app, and if I recall correctly, you couldn't cut and paste from OOo into a Mac app like TextEdit. Bad bad bad. I have yet to really stress-test NeoOffice, but it's certainly better than having to run the "StartOpenOffice.org" script to launch X11 to launch OOo.

Let's see, what else? This isn't exactly new, but I'm using Eclipse for Java development, as well as to deepen my understanding of JUnit unit testing. I like using Apple's XCode, but (because I'm dumb) I can't figure out how to integrate JUnit into it. I dunno, maybe you can't. There's certainly no info on it on the web.

I have yet to spring for the upgrade to Tiger, the new version of Mac OS X. It has a lot of cool new features (like Dashboard, although the horrible security hole [which they're fixing] is a big turn-off), but I think I'm going to wait a bit before I drop my dough on it. I don't really need any of the new features, and I'm comfortable with the way things are working right now.

Digression: I ordered replacement feet for my iBook yesterday. They arrived today. Now, I like Apple a whole bunch, and it kicks ass that "3 to 5 business days" turns out to be "under 24 hours" but the feet came in two small plastic zip-top bags packed in a 9x5x2-inch cardboard box with acoustical foam padding. I think that a #11 envelope would have worked just as well. But I'm not complaining, really, since my iBook no longer wobbles when I type. (No, it was not free. I wasn't expecting it to be. It was worth the small price.)

An Open Letter to George Galloway: Please Stay, and Bring Your Friends

It was exhilarating for me to read about George Galloway ripping Norm Coleman five or six new assholes at once over Coleman's specious and ridiculous allegations against him. The manly British parliamentarian marched in here and showed us all how it's done. I was in awe.

And I have a request.

Mister Galloway, could you please stay, and bring a couple hundred like-minded friends from Britain with you? You all could occupy the seats currently held by Democrats. They can step down and become your assistants while they learn how to have a spine. Once you've got everything straightened up around here, and are sufficiently convinced that your American assistants are qualified to resume their posts, you can go back home. Deal? Please?

Thank you, A Concerned American

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

And Yes, This IS Still Rob's Blog

...even though this is my ninth post in a row. I am sure he will post something sometime.

Okay, so anyhow. Media Matters' Open Letter to the New York Times should be read by everyone. It says a lot of things that really need to be said.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Attention, Foreign Countries Who Do Not Like Us

Stop with the delusional belief that attacking us with overwhelming force will teach us a lesson. (You need to go nine paragraphs down.)

Here we have a Chinese military person laying out the reasoning that has broken empires in the past: All we gotta do is show the Americans we mean business, and they'll crawl away. (In this case, they're threatening to sink an aircraft carrier.)

Please. People. This has NEVER WORKED. Why do you keep thinking it's such a great idea? This was the rationale behind the attack on Pearl Harbor: We'll just show the Americans we mean business and teach 'em a good lesson and scare 'em, and they'll snap shut like a turtle!

Which is why, on December 8, 1941, we immediately declared war on everything from Mercury to Neptune and went nuclear (literally, although it took a few years) on everyone's ass.

The same reasoning was used on 9/11, to intimidate the hated Americans. And whereas I find the administration's response to be woefully stupid, self-defeating and cruel--attacking third parties, setting up medieval jails--it has nonetheless been right in line with our national character. It has been all-encompassing ("The War On Terror"), relentless, and supremely aggressive. The fact that it's been misdirected and mishandled this time should not disguise its connection to the historical pattern. This is Roosevelt's exact World War II policy, except crafted by a moron. A moron with issues. Well, that's another post.

So anyhow, Chinese people: what is this about making us go away by sinking an aircraft carrier? That is the dumbest thing you could possibly do! Here's the truth: most Americans don't give a shit about Taiwan. Just like we didn't give a shit about Europe or the Japanese Empire back in the 1930s, or the issues of the Middle East in the 1990s. But we do give a shit about our aircraft carriers, symbols of national pride and strength--just as we gave a shit about the Old Arizona (battleship!) and the Twin Towers. For the last time: DO NOT GO NEAR OUR SYMBOLS!! Have you learned nothing? Defeat us by selling us cheap shoes and building us cheap databases, not by pushing us down in the international schoolyard. Jeez!

I am not saying we *will* kick your ass if you try it. I am saying we will *try* to kick your ass if you try it, which is really much worse for all concerned. So please: don't grab Taiwan. *Buy* Taiwan. *Erode* it. *Absorb* it. And leave our aircraft carriers alone.

Yours sincerely, a concerned American for peace.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

What is the MATTER with these people!?

And, as both the Rude Pundit and Ayelish McGarvey, last paragraph on the page implicitly inquire, where is Bill Clinton's really really really big groveling apology from the media shits who acted like he was the epitome of writhing human decadence--when there were THESE wackos running around loose all the while?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Yeah, but HOW?

This melancholy essay on the power of fanatical nationalism to sweep civilization aside is worth reading. But Scheer acts as if the Nazi phenomenon just plopped down in everyone's midst one day in Deutschland and that was that.

No. It was carefully and deliberately crafted by individuals, and one thing which I think has gotten too little attention has been the role of propaganda in the Nazi ascension. In other words, there's too much about Hitler, not enough about Goebbels.

In a way, Hitler was just a symbol. A strong case can be made that Goebbels was the real heart of National Socialism. He hated Jews even more fanatically than Hitler did, if you can imagine, and I think that the Final Solution was actually *his* idea. He also happened to be an early mass-media genius. He was the one who whipped people into irrational frenzies, played on their darkest fears and subconscious conflicts, promised them their dearest hopes, lied to them outright when necessary, unfurled those giant swastika banners to make them feel cowed before the vastness of Nazi power, made them feel like everyone else was on board so they should be too. When you see the theater of fascism, when you see those terrifying parades of Nazi soldiers on the History Channel, when you see Hitler spitting into the microphone as he screams out his nutbar speeches in front of the banners and the adoring crowds, when you see the crowds making the fascist salute, you are seeing the work of Josef Goebbels. You are seeing his vision. *That* is what people bought into. Naziism was largely a media-driven phenomenon. The forces that unleashed savagery in the German breast are actually a lot shallower and stupider than we usually suppose. I think Goebbels is laughing somewhere in hell. "You idiots, agonizing and beating your breasts over how we made people want to do such evil, delving into the dark corners of religion and the economy. Please! IT WAS THE BOOTS!!"

Sigh.

Back To Complaining

Training camp for the hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan women who decide to work as housemaids in Saudi Arabia so their families can eat:

"Okay, girls! First, remember not to do anything wrong. Ever. Then, remember that your employers might tie you up, beat you, and cut your hair off anyhow. But you might be saved by their son or mother-in-law, who might take pity on you and hustle you to the airport when they're not home. But if you're *not* saved, and you don't die, then you'll be away from your children for anywhere from two to ten years. And your husband will probably start screwing around on you. In fact, um, we actually have kind of a problem with them raping their DAUGHTERS when you're not around. So before you leave, you might want to take any female children you have and board them with their grandmothers or something, to keep them safe from their dads. And remember, girls: after all that, YOU MIGHT NOT GET PAID. Happy trip!"

I wish I was making this up.

Tutankhamun

I loved ancient Egypt when I was little. (I still remember making trouble for a museum docent who tried to pretend to us kiddies that canopic jars were used to hold "their pretty jewelry." "Those are CANOPIC jars," I said loudly, "and they put their INTESTINES in them.")

Now, they've reconstructed the face of King Tutankhamun. Be sure to look at all the pictures.

To think that this human being lived and died over 3000 years ago is awe-inspiring to me.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

You're gonna love this

Sometimes rabid conservatives start acting all hoity-toity and intellectual, so as to make their prejudices sound better. I stumbled by accident across one of their screeds this morning. (Imagine my surprise to discover the old stereotype about successful women being 'less womanly' dressed up in important-sounding scientific language.)

But the real gem on this site is their assertion that calling a same-sex union a "marriage" constitutes an Orwellian destruction of language. You just gotta love that. Scaling the heights of absurdity, they assert that our capacity to describe and thus to *conceive* of a male-female union shall be destroyed once the word "marriage" applies to same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex ones. "Marriage," in their mind, apparently has some mystical meaning beyond "legal domestic partnership with sex." And we can't share. It either applies to men and women only, or not at all.

Whatever planet these people live on, I hope they're happy there. I just wish they'd stop broadcasting to the rest of us.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Cause and Effect

Lemme juxtapose two little things for ya. This (a report on the leaked British intelligence memo which baldly states that Iraq was a deliberate Administration lie) and this (in which an American soldier desperately cradles a dying Iraqi child who WOULD BE ALIVE IF THOSE SONS OF BITCHES HADN'T SOLD US THIS WAR!!) (You gotta sit through an ad for that one.)

There's really nothing more to say.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

YES!!

Sit through an ad to learn how the Brazilian government has stood up to right-wing pressure from the United States government and said "Keep your damn $40 million, gringos, because we've got better things to do than insult prostitutes when they come to us for condoms [which you didn't want us to distribute in the first place]!"

And to Senator Sam Brownback, manipulatively going on in the article about how "prostitution...is harmful to women"--no shit. Guess what: getting AIDS is even more harmful to women. Condemning prostitutes doesn't make prostitution go away. It makes *prostitutes* go away, ensuring they will not return to your clinic to get whatever human mercy a caring doctor can provide, but it does not make prostitution go away. If you really cared about women, you'd want women stuck in lives of prostitution to have whatever help they could get.

But anyhow, Brazil is my hero today. If there are any Brazilians reading this--give yourselves a kiss. In fact, the whole continent of Latin America is rising up. (It takes a bunch of paragraphs to actually get to the discussion of Latin America, but it's worth it.) To those of us who sat through the extremely dark days of the 1980s in our relatively liberal Catholic schools watching footage of Salvadoran Death-Squadded nuns being dug out of their shallow graves, what's happening in Latin America now is a true human miracle. For the liberal left on that continent to have survived what it has survived, and now to be peacefully emerging into power, is truly inspiring. Here's hoping that Little George stays preoccupied with Iraq until it's far too late, and Central and Latin America become the ground of our dreams.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I Swear I Am Off The Percocet

Here's a dream I had last night.

My absolute best friend in the entire world--not that I could tell you who it was, since it was nobody I knew--needed my help to enact a ritual. This ritual was Indian in my dream, but even though the only thing I know about India when I'm awake is that the nan is really good at Maharajah, I am fairly confident that nobody in India would recognize this ritual. I don't remember what the ritual was for.

It began with my friends and their daughter dressing up in giant gingerbread man costumes and dancing in the rain. Then, another friend of ours was to stand in the courtyard of an apartment building, eating a donut. I was supposed to grab a frozen giant squid--just go with me here--and carry the squid onto a third-floor balcony, where I would act as a puppeteer and make the squid "talk" to the donut. These things I did.

Then I was supposed to change into a tuxedo that--I swear--Pam Grier was supposed to bring, so that I could go down to the first floor balcony and play Joe Satriani's "The Bells of Lal" on a Yamaha Clavinova. This was very important, for some reason, and I recognized the Clavinova box because I had to move so many of them when I worked at the music store. Nobody had set up the Clavinova, Pam Grier was nowhere to be found, and my cousins were coming over for dinner!

The gingerbread man costumes got drenched in the rain and everybody fell down.

I wonder what happened to the giant squid.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Here's How Sick I Am

So on top of the back pain (much better) I have a cold now, too. (I know, whine, whine, whine.) When you have a cold, you cough. When you cough, you tend to sort of double over. This places strain on the back. Ow.

Here is how sick I have been. I watched Juwanna Mann and kind of enjoyed it. It's perfectly standard for its genre, and that was okay by me. I would pick this over the gold standard of shitty movies, Barb Wire, any day of the week.