What would a Minoan goddess do–vague thoughts on gratuities and peon empires

Not doing the Hooters jiggle

This is a long post. As long as it is because it’s a subject I didn’t want to occasion any sense of trivialization, which I felt was happening in an initial shorter version.

The Maidenform dream and the election train

Alicublog makes the post Guy Thing in response to Sex, Women and Conservatism by Dallas Claymore at the Citizen Journal.

In the meanwhile, that Internet philosopher, “Free online casino” attempted to comment on this website,

When women forge their own ‘gender identity’, in the way the feminists recommend, they become unattractive to men – or attractive only as sex objects, not as individual persons. And when men cease to be gentlemen, they become unattractive to women. Sexual companionship then goes from the world. by free online casino game

The Free Online Casino philosopher is exceedingly prolific. It’s also got an unnerving bit of oracle bot to it that at the crankiest of times anticipates where the brain is wandering and plunges right through the looking glass dragging along PKD, John Cage and Timothy Leary into electric lands of internet potshot I Ching where Satan as opposer says “J’accuse” pointing at yon mountain which is you of course, all being you, you being god is all, and Satan having a high old time crashing every righteous brain party it predicts in your future. Up conjuring down, left conjuring right, in conjuring out, the bases are covered and what’s frustrating is Anti doesn’t believe a word of it, Anti’s just there for sake of making sure there’s a position to be established. If Anti believes in anything it’s making maps.

I’ve been working on this sorry post several days only to have it twice destroyed by my not saving and my DSL going down and taking my work with it. I thought maybe I should drop the post entirely but I kept going back and looking at the graphic of Ms. Snake Minoan I’d made and thinking what would your typical Hooters customers do if this woman walked in the door, and what would she do if handed a Hooters t-shirt and shorts and told to sing “I wish I was an Oscar Meier Wiener” for her supper. I’ve no idea what her response would be as little is known about the Minoans, but she doesn’t look the cheery and reassuring Malibu Barbie performing a snake goddess dance.

Continue reading What would a Minoan goddess do–vague thoughts on gratuities and peon empires

Two Edward Hopper windows

There was even hail. Then drizzle. H.o.p. went to the toy store with Marty then the studio. The toy store was a ploy to distract and make him not worry about mom visiting at the hospital. H.o.p. said just this once and I explained I may be spending some evenings keeping company there over the next few weeks. H.o.p. didn’t cherish the idea.

I hadn’t wanted to bother with my knap sack in which is my scrawled list of must know numbers. I realized I needed to test my husband’s phone number on him as I reverse numbers and I was going to need to call him when I was done. Stress and being tired can exacerbate so I wanted to write the number down. “Your phone is…?” No, he said I had reversed numbers. He told it to me. I repeated it back, again reversed. He handed me his business card.

Unless you’re pregnant and alternating smiles with grimaces, or wearing a name tag, no one knows what business may have taken you down to the hospital and people are generally friendly in the speak-softly-give-nod friendly ways of buildings where individuals of a variety of races, cultures, ages, politics, fashion preferences, and economic status are brought happenstance together by disparate concerns which are same-boat enough to have you brushing shoulders at the entrance, the information desk, riding the same elevator together. If you ask directions a friendly woman in a flowered hospital smock and crayola cornflower blue pants may tell you three times over in as copious detail as she can because she’s assuming nothing other than significance has brought you here, has you asking, significance is stressful, good or ill, and she wants to make sure your trip through the maze of hallways is smooth.

Continue reading Two Edward Hopper windows

Ongoing confession of a long-standing party-pooper pessimist

Back in the early 80s, there was a lower economic area of Buckhead that began to eat itself in the hopes of attaining glory. We lived in the area right before it began to chow down. The name of the apartment “complex” may have been Oak Hill. My husband thinks it may have been Oak Hill. I don’t have a clue. And he’s not certain because that isn’t how it was known. Its common name was “Viet Cong Villa”. The buildings were dark red brick, each consisting of, if I remember correctly, 4 to 6 townhome type apartments (upstairs and down), either two or three bedrooms, probably built in the 40s. The Emory family-student housing complex was in the same style, the one they tore down and replaced around the time of the Olympics.

The name “Viet Cong Villa” should clue in as to the neighborhood. I don’t know why but a large number of Vietnamese families had settled in the complex. Extended families of cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. There was also a significant-sized “hispanic” community and a number of other nationalities. In our little cul-de-sac we were the only household with English as the primary language. The two apartments on our left were Vietnamese. The one on our right was Hispanic. The next building was all Vietnamese with the exception of one German family. The complex was probably close to 90 percent Vietnamese and Hispanic.

Between 1975 and 1984 about 8000 Vietnamese arrived in Georgia as refugees, poor, bewildered, struggling to cope with new culture. One set of my grandparents lived in southwestern Missouri and a number of Vietnamese had landed there as well, not quite so easy to overlook, seeming like a wayward flock of birds blown off course by a storm, about as inobvious as if if you were watching Shirley Jones and Robert Preston in “Music Man” and suddenly there was this group of Vietnamese extras in the background who you could swear weren’t within two worlds of the parade your last viewing. But there are a lot more buildings in Atlanta where the roads snake around and about instead of squaring off in neat orderly blocks, and those faces disappeared into the fringes in the midst of the city, hidden in the nicks and tucks of those roads, such as at Oak Hill, the entrance to which was deftly hidden in plain view at a stop light at an imposing RR trestle that served as a gate to Piedmont Road’s ascendance into Buckhead. Most people we knew or know never realized the apartment complex even existed.

Continue reading Ongoing confession of a long-standing party-pooper pessimist

And she stole all the curtains and the dresser

Consider this two posts in one.

Happen (yesterday morning now) across the story at Pandagon. The IMAX movie, “Volcanoes of the Deep Sea”, banned at venues in southern states (GA, SC, NC and TX). Why? Because it mentions the dreaded big E word. Even the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Texas has declined to show the film, not wanting to spark controversy.

More here at Edpolitics and then at Panda’s Thumb.

A spokesman for the Science Museum in London described the development as worrying: ‘It is a very tight market in the Imax business and we would be extremely disappointed if this sort of pressure led to a narrowing of the market for popular Imax films.”

So march on the Creationists who are endeavoring to “take back” America from the terrorist nonpuritans who threaten to destroy holy capitalist industry with irreverent speculation on bipedalism.

Continue reading And she stole all the curtains and the dresser

Why the bass player cried that night

Five or six years ago I tried blogging. We lived across the RR track, right next to the RR track, our too picturesque view of the world being the RR track and beyond it the large warehouse of a large dry cleaning establishment into which I never saw a single customer walk, which let the letters of its neon sign evaporate into the ozone one by one before closing up shop, and as part of an old edition of Bigsofa I made a page called Across the RR tracks then decided to convert it to a blog. I had worked up a nice graphic of a RR track and a decent layout. I set up the blog at Blogger. I got up maybe two or three mundane posts with great difficulty as Blogger didn’t like to work for me, and then couldn’t get it to work again, which a number of people were complaining about at the time, that Blogger had completely broken on them or they could only get it to work occasionally. It was then a fairly unreliable service. I tried again for a little while but was uninspired also by the blogging community. Either I didn’t know my way to certain parts or what I was looking for just wasn’t there yet. If there was a progressive political closet I didn’t find it and six years ago there weren’t many doors to knock on. Saying I was unimpressed sounds judgmental when the situation was that the usual subjects weren’t any I felt moved to link to, or follow or comment upon. I see a couple of the same voices out there doing politically-based blogs now but they weren’t blogging politics back then.

Who were the archibloggers in progressive politics?

Continue reading Why the bass player cried that night

Amaryllis eyes

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Took a digi snapshot last night of our amaryllis for family. The “eyes” effect is actually just an accidental trick of light and shadow, the white being the wall behind the flower. Still, quite something. I looked around on the web at other photos of amaryllis and didn’t come across anything even vaguely similar. Was having a couple of weeks ago a conversation with a photographer friend about how our brains are configured to look for patterns in things and perhaps especially facial features. Click for slightly larger view.

I was back at the bottom of the hill, it was night, and I had started my walk up it

Wednesday a.m. I was still stressing over CSS when from the other room came ooo, nice tingly tinkly xylophone on PBS Kids. Early millennium gateway to jazz of yesteryear. For the second time in two days I felt briefly upbeat. And then PBS took my new happy theme music away and returned to the Arthur show. I’d labored on CSS all night, a constant stream of water dripping sounds accompanying, courtesy of H.o.p.’s computer and a browser window he’d left open on Brainpop world. Altering my reality would have been as simple as me putting one foot on the floor, leaning over and turning down the speakers on his computer. But I’m so used to H.o.p. using these sound clips as background atmosphere, even when he’s asleep I don’t think to turn them off. That lethargy may change now. I’ve got new speakers on my computer, my others having died, and they are some good sounding speakers with bass end. Some of the music on websites H.o.p. likes to visit sounds considerable-different. His eyes go wide. Wow.

Lionelhampton.nl has a lot of samples available which is what I’m going through now, a couple of days later, Arthur again on because H.o.p. is crazy about cartoons. He likes the xylophone too. “Where’s that music coming from?” he asks. I show him. “Can I keep that song?” Sure thing.

Yesterday I posted the ramble on Loon via Coulter, which I’d written Sunday but quite often it takes me several days to decide, yeah, maybe I’ll go ahead and post. So last night I dreamt about my junior high…

Continue reading I was back at the bottom of the hill, it was night, and I had started my walk up it

The birds are singing for me and my dying mouse

Having entered upgrade and theme adjustment limbo, I was back at it early (couldn’t sleep) staring at the screen wondering where in the world my “edit” links had run off to. They’d been there a few hours earlier when I fell over on the bed, I knew it. Idiot that I am, didn’t occur to me that I wasn’t logged in but those of us who are more challenged than others, I think we have gifts to offer, such as making others feel good about themselves. Anyway, hark, I realized that was the soft sweet sound of birds tweeting I’d been hearing just under the roar of our lame loud air purifier. Checked the clock. Was about 5:30 a.m. The time about right. It occurred to me I’d not heard morning birds in quite some time, you don’t get warblers much around here. At least not loud enough I can hear them in the apartment. I saw and smelled new green, rose-yellows of dawn climbing above the neighboring brick apartment building on our east side. There are no windows in this room but the soul has a peephole. Yes, sing in the spring. My gravelly heart softened slightly. I answered email and took care of a few other computer chores while procrastinating on what might demand real decision-making or using left and right click on my mouse which mostly died last night. A while later I realized the birds were still singing. Persistent suckers. Spring will do that. I read a few blogs while I considered what to do about my edit links disappearing when they had been there last night, then I realized I wasn’t logged in and logged in and found the edit links were back which would have been good if not so disorienting, cause and effect not one of my stronger suits. Marty got up which meant I was probably now officially up and not just sleepless, and I realized the birds were still singing. Very rare for our city alley to sound like a tropical bird sanctuary. At which point I looked past the roaring air purifier over at my son’s computer. He still had up on the monitor a math game he’d been playing last night. I went over and leaned my ear into his speakers. Yep. Behind the math game window was another game he’d been playing,. Jungle theme. Like I said, some of us are more challenged than others.

“You know there are four monsters,” my son says to me as he enters the room, first words out of his mouth this morning. He tells me the names of the monsters. Well, doesn’t just tell. An annunciation meant to illuminate mom on their glorious nature. I ask him if he made up those remarkable names. He says no. I say oh where did you learn them. “My brain,” he says, and goes off to watch PBS and Caillou then comes back in and asks me if I want to be a bear and tells me he’s a bear with sharp claws and off again he goes to watch Caillou, calling on mom to follow with his two foot high stack of drawing paper and a handful of pens. “Lots of pens,” he says, “I want lots of pens.”

Reading back over the post, quite a dyslexic morning we’re having here. Three in one sentence alone. He’s becomes his. Follow becomes fall. Pens becomes pins. I had thought I wrote he’s. I had thought I wrote follow. I had thought I wrote pins. The words were in my head, I was seeing them in my head as I typed them out, and I could have sworn my fingers were typing them out true, but no.

“Mommy, there was a dragon and it had a cut shaped like a lightning scar because of the evil monster lizard. Everyone who saw it blew up because of its monstrous powers.”

What can I say but that I’m glad I don’t have to clean up after it.

Karen gets a quoter: When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds

Kelli Davis, a student at Fleming Island High School in Green Cove Springs, Florida, wore a tuxedo for her high school yearbook picture. Sam Ward, the school’s principal, said it must be removed because Kelli was wearing boy’s clothes and was not following the rules on dress. The decision was debated at a school board meeting attended by about 200 people, at which 24 people spoke, the majority of whom supported Kelli. The school board took no action and so the picture will be pulled. Bruce Bickner, the school board attorney, said there was no written dress code for the pictures but principals had the “authority” to set standards.

Karen Gordon, no doubt a proud patriot, attending the board meeting, applauded Ward’s decision. Said Karen, “When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds.”

This astute appraisal of the situation appears to belong all to Karen. She thought it up in her very little-bitty own, or her husband did, or her pastor did, or maybe Principal Ward said it at a PTA meeting and Karen was so impressed that the words were impressed upon her brain with the near vehemence of the ten commandments. I looked up “in Google “When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds” and there were no returns. Karen, if she knew this, would be so proud she could about pop.

Back to the tuxedo for a minute. The argument couldn’t possibly be about a woman wearing trousers as I have never seen a class picture in which the whole person is pictured, instead it is usually a head and shoulders shot. Never mind that pants on females is the norm. Back in the late 60s pants on females were, yes, an issue in ass-backwards conservative America but I remember somewhere along 1969 girls being permitted to wear pants to school in most parts and then around 1972 jeans became acceptable. It’s true that at church services and rights of passage (weddings, funerals) dresses on women still tend to be the norm, a quirk that is attributed to etiquette, but defies rational explanation. Just like the gold standard is another culture quirk. And eating with forks or fingers.

Head and shoulders shot. You can’t see the pants, so the pants couldn’t be the problem. Is it the bow tie? Are bow ties overtly masculine? Have I missed some phallic symbolism in the bow tie that marks it as sacred to the male? Or maybe the school system doesn’t want to appear to be promoting a service industry career for women, tuxedo shirts and bow ties not uncommon as service uniforms in the restaurant or catering world?

Uniformity. Pants weren’t ever an issue, actually. Kelli showed up for her school photo and what happened was there were drapes for females to put over their bodices and tux tops for the guys to don. Kelli was uncomfortable with the drape baring her chest. She opted for the tux.

Kelli happens to be lesbian. Kelli’s mother says her lesbianism has nothing to do with the matter, that it’s a human rights issue. The papers beg to differ, lesbian being in most of the headlines. An article by Susan Clark Armstrong at altweeklies.com certainly suggests that lesbianism factored in principal’s decision, and that Kelli believes this was a factor.

Reason wasn’t a factor, that’s for sure.

Kelli is one of those problem students that cause headaches for school administrators every year. You know the type, the kind of person who feels compelled to try for a little self-expression and autonomy. There’s nothing that can throw a cog in the orderly wheels of a fine-tooled school system, the machine to seize up and start throwing gears, than a picture of a woman in a bow tie crossing the desk.

Truth is, Kelli’s lesbianism is a factor, but she would likely have had the same response in that school if she’d not been a lesbian. The problem in Sam Ward world is anyone, male or female, exercising a bit of brain matter and questioning our largely haphazard potluck culture table, what makes sense and what needs to go in the trash. Karen Gordon fully grasps the problem when she defends the principal’s position with her statement, “When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds.” She knows that when individuals start thinking for themselves in school, there’s no telling what can happen.

You know Sam Ward and Karen Gordon. You remember them, don’t you? Sure you do. They’re the students whose only question was ever, “Will this be on the test?”

Meanwhile. It’s tough to concentrate when your seven-year-old is rolling the bathroom in wet toilet paper and painting vanilla yogurt on the bathroom mirror. But I try. Besides, he was kind enough to make a movie of it for posterity so I’m not missing anything. He and his dad were supposed to be playing Ultra Seven and King Joe. H.o.p. and I played Ultra Seven and King Joe last night for quite a while. This was after one of his questions on mortality, asking me if I was going to die when I got lines all around my eyes and was on a cane. He asked me what it was like when people die and asked me to act it out. I at first demurred then figured what the hell and did a good old drawn-out stage death. H.o.p. said I did a good job of dying. Then suddenly I was Ultra Seven and he was King Joe. When he was later doing his reading program, he’d had enough of one of the games at one point and moaned his hand was oh so tired from clicking the mouse (yeah, right, this is a kid who draws four hours a day and can play computer games for hours). I said hey I’m Ultra Seven trying to reach and attack you before you can get to the end of the game. He liked that. He liked it so much we played it over and over again. I’d start toward him, he’d yell freeze and I’d stay in that frozen position for a while and then he’d say I could go and so on and so forth. Thus does H.o.p. continue down the reading road in his own fashion. I laid down on the couch to rest my head this evening and when I came back in he had the reading program up and was doing the next episode.

H.o.p.’s itinerary for the day

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H.o.p.’s itinerary

Who wouldn’t like a daily itinerary like this one? There’s at top (1) going to the office supply store to get paper (drawing of pen and paper to the right) (2) going to the “singing store” to make CDs (computer and CD case just left of musical note house) to give to (3 fingered hands on the right exchanging CD) someone at a music store (4) and then going to the video store to get a video (upper right is a video box) and then at last to the toy store (bottom left) to get a Dino Rider, a T Rex toy they stopped making in 1988 (the handsome creature on the bottom right). Yes, there was no Dino Rider, but H.o.p. had to see for himself there was no Dino Rider. “There may be one. They may have it. I might be wrong and I might be right. But let’s go find out.”

Of course he comes home with a 2 pack of Transformers and another Mega Bloks Dragon for his collection.

H.o.p.’s a dramatic one. He didn’t want to go to the grocery store. By then, he said, he was so tired, “I’m going to pass out.” When he was told he wouldn’t have milk or toilet paper all night he changed his mind.

He’s still loving his reading program. He did two episodes yesterday just for fun, taking digipics of the screen which is what he does. On his computer right now is a Brainpop flash he’s been watching for three days now. Moby and Tim educate on “Flight”. Tim gets air sickness and vomits. (They know what kids like.) H.o.p. stopped the animation on Tim in mid upchuck and so, well, there it is, in our supposed dining room that functions as a computer/living/work room, glance over from the table and there is Tim regurgitating perpetually.

I’m gibbering already

The doorbell rings. Our friendly neighborhood USPS woman with a box. (And she is friendly.) H.o.p. grabs a fork and begins his transformation of the carton. He punches holes. Gets a flashlight and shines it through the holes onto the wall. “Look, a Phoenix!” And it is. A magical flutter of light wings and wisp of body that soars up the wall to the ceiling. He gets his puppet Phoenix and shines the flashlight through it so it is radiant orange and gold.

My brother and sister-in-law were over Sunday with their little girl who is a remarkable combination of brilliant, inquisitive intelligence and enviable, easy-going, even-tempered, good-natured, self-assurance. They brought a gift of homemade whole wheat bread made from grain they themselves ground. The bread is a perfectly formed loaf, light rather than dense and chewy stick-to-the-back-of-your-throat dry like my homemade whole wheat bread used to be eons ago, the one or two loaves I made.

Speaking of something that would be hard going down if not oiled by (alas) history and the travesties of Newt Gingrich, Sonny Perdue and Zell Miller (to name a few), is the announcement that Duluth’s Ralph Reed, of Century Strategies, will be running for Lt. Gov. in 2006. My first thought was I guess now I’ll be paying more attention to Georgia’s hopeless situation (I’ve preferred to block all knowledge Ralph Reed was down here) rather than South Dakota’s, and then just a few short minutes after that thought the internet reveals that Ralph Reed’s public campaign contributions, 15 lined up at Newsmeat, include one to John Thune for South Dakota in 2002 and another for John Thune for U.S. Senate in 2004.

Continue reading I’m gibbering already

Tip: State Court Jury Duty and bored? There’s Scrabble and Backgammon in the coat closet

I phoned in and listened to the recorded message thinking I hope I don’t really have to be paying attention to any of this. No, such luck. Yes, I know it’s my sacred civic duty so tar and feather me already but one of the last things I wanted to do was to be honored with the privilege of jury duty. We’re self-employed and homeschooling. My husband would have had to cancel his studio session today in order to stay home with H.o.p. but his brother, who had just moved down from NY Saturday (“The most frightening thing in the world is waking up and realizing I moved to Atlanta”) dropped by Sunday evening and offered to babysit. Also, H.o.p. was concerned with mom having to go to a government building. He hears enough about the government that concern is the first response (no, not shame on me, shame on them) upon learning that mom is going down to a government building. (“It’s all right, sweetie.” “But President Bush is in the government building.” “Not this government building.”) The kind of concern that isn’t assuaged when he says, “Don’t go!” and I say but I must and he demands why and I tell him the not-so-fine print that the government will hit me with a hefty fine or submit a bench warrant for my arrest if I don’t go, which means a court date regardless. I mean, they make jury duty so inviting in the first place, don’t they? If instead you opened your mail to “Summoning the Honor of Your Presence for coffee and homemade blueberry muffins with prosecution, defense and judge” then I’d feel a bit differently about it, more relaxed, even if the fine-print said the coffee and muffins would be at my own expense. Send me a blue slip that says Summons for State Court Jury Duty 8:15 a.m. Monday or you’re arrested and I get testy.

Continue reading Tip: State Court Jury Duty and bored? There’s Scrabble and Backgammon in the coat closet