Friday, December 4, 2009

Mexico bound

Sombrero Tomorrow morning we're off to Cabo San Lucas for a week. The flight leaves at 6:45, so guess who is pulling an all-nighter?

Here is my logic:

For some time now, I've been staying up until 3 or 4 am.

If I tried to go to bed at 1 am or so, I'd just lie there and not be able to sleep.

If I went to bed at 3, I'd be getting up in about an hour, and would feel like shit.

If I were to go to bed early, that would end the night; I couldn't very well get on an early morning flight and order a drink, now could I? But if I stay up all night, then I will be pleasantly happy and tired on the flight and can drift off to Snoozeville.

Sounds like a plan to me, and incredibly logical. So I'll be doing my thing until around 4 and then hopping in the shower, and do my last-minute packing. I've definitely been in a homebody mood lately, so I kind of hate to leave, but it will be nice to experience some warmth, sun, and sand. Maybe a little tequila, too...might pay a visit to Cabo Wabo, Sammy Hagar's cantina down there. I'll be careful, though...tequila is dangerous for me!

I'm looking forward to some delicious, authentic Mexican food, and I'm thinking there might be some fresh seafood in there somewhere, too, since it's right at the tip of Baja California. My Mom was kind enough last evening to tell me a story about a friend of hers who went to Mexico and ate something that caused her to have four feet of her colon removed and to be put into an induced coma. Thanks, Mom. As a microbiologist, I understand the dangers of food poisoning, so I don't plan on buying any fish tacos from street vendors. I'll be careful, and hope to avoid a colon blowout.

I won't be reading a lot of blogs while I'm gone (Since I won't be reading much, if you need me to know some news, please email me at, but do you think you're going to get a break from me? Oh no...not at all, my preciouses. I'll be taking the laptop and I just got a new cordless mouse today (gotta get that hooked up tonight). There is wireless high speed in the rooms, so you can't get away from me that easily! Bwah-ha-ha-haaaa! Expect pictures, perhaps a video or two, and quite possibly a tequila-fueled ramble...or three. You'll see me on Crackbook, too. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Ladies and the Tiger

Tiger's big check Since I've written here about how much I like Tiger Woods and admire him as an athlete, I suppose I should comment a bit on this "scandal" that is making big news at the moment.

It looks pretty obvious that he cheated on his wife, which proves the longstanding Bob & Tom-ism that no matter how good-looking a spouse is, there are always going to be some people that want to fuck some strange. Didn't both Cindy Crawford and Christie Brinkley get cheated on? Tiger's wife is gorgeous, but for whatever reason, he decided to go after something different. I'm not going to pass judgment, because that's above my pay grade, and I don't know either firsthand or secondhand what took place.

I'm reading that it's pretty evenly split between genders as to how people feel about it. Most women think she should take him for everything he's got, he's a total cad, they hope she took a golf club to his balls (and I'm not talking about his Nike golf balls). Most men think that although he was wrong, he admitted his mistake, he's human, and he and his family should be allowed their privacy.

I have to say that I'm not the typical woman, but you've probably figured that out already. I tend to agree more with the guys I referenced above. This is a personal matter, and let them have some privacy. I also have a hard time with people getting millions in a divorce from a spouse who made much of their money before they even met each other...think Heather Mills McCartney and Sir Paul. Of course, this is all just speculation about Tiger and his wife, and I haven't heard any mentions of divorce. It's probably a natural reaction to wonder if it might not happen.

Phelps3 It looks like his endorsement companies are sticking by him, and I'm glad. I'm still pissed at Kellogg's for dumping Michael Phelps for smoking weed...yeah, that guy is a real slacker, isn't he? If Nike dumped Tiger for infidelity, I'd start to wonder even more about our weird and twisted morality in this country. It's okay for government higher-ups to authorize the use of torture on prisoners, but it's a heinous crime for athletes who excel in their sports to smoke a little weed or cheat? That is fucked up.

When it comes to being a role model for kids, we had this conversation a long time ago, when Charles Barkley first said it. He said he was an athlete, not a role model. It's okay to admire people for their athletic skills, and you all know how much I love sports. But that doesn't mean I know what they're like in their personal lives, and that is none of my business. You'll notice in my first sentence here that I said I admire Tiger as an athlete. He also has done a lot of great charity work, and I admire him for that. But I don't know him personally, and it would be silly to say that I admire him as a person. Because I don't know him.

Having said all that, if I had known that Tiger was on the prowl, why couldn't I have been in the right place at the right time? Drat. (I kid, I kid!)

The old switcheroo

Birthday 45rpm Shane Before I get into that, I just wanted to wish Cousin Shane a very happy birthday! Those of you who have been reading for a while have heard plenty about Cousin Shane over the years. He truly is like a brother to me, and one of my best friends. We have similar senses of humor, we crack each other up and sometimes go into gales of hysterical laughter over the silliest things (I still remember him playing air guitar using my leg), we have a mutual love of music and have been to many concerts together, and he's just one helluva a great guy. We have a Cosmic Cousin Connection, and I hope you'll join me in sending him some birthday love.

As for the switcheroo in the title...after President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, many on both the right and left are now calling this "Obama's War."

Exsqueeze me? The guy inherited this idiotic, poorly planned war from the idiotic, poorly planning previous administration, and suddenly it's his war?

I'm getting more than a little sick of hearing about how Obama is destroying this country, and I'm especially getting sick of hearing assholes like Dick Cheney saying it. That foul blight upon humanity did more to destroy our reputation around the world than anyone in recent memory, and Cheney2he has the nerve to keep yakking about how Obama is doing everything wrong. This is the same walking, talking pustule who keeps trying to justify our use of torture (America does not torture! There is no grey area here!), and wonders why people around the world hated us for so many years! Everyone hates a bully, DICK, and your despicable swagger, insane braggadocio, and psychotic lust for dominance brought us close to diplomatic destruction. We do have domestic terrorists, and I believe one of them is named Dick Cheney. Talk about doing everything he could to hurt our country....! He needs to go on another hunting trip and instead of shooting his buddy in the face, trip and blow his own head off. Or else shut the fuck up and let our President do his best to repair the damage that was done long before he took office.

This is just one part of the mess that Obama inherited, along with an economy teetering upon the brink of destruction due to economic practices set in motion by Mr. Trickle Down himself, Ronald Reagan. So everyone needs to chill the hell out and understand that we didn't get into this clusterfuck on Obama's watch.

For the record, I'm not thrilled with the decision to send more troops to Afghanistan; however, I believe our President listened to all advisors and made the best decision possible in what is a FUBAR situation. People were clamoring for him to move quickly. I applaud him for deliberating and learning about the situation rather than making a rash decision. What a refreshing change.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mike, you look toasted

Huckabee3 No, are toast!

It didn't take long for the news to come out that the cop shooter in Washington was pardoned from what was essentially a life sentence by the Arkansas Governor at the time, Mike Huckabee. (No disrespect towards the victims are meant in my caption. No, every bit of any disrespect is intended for Huckabee.)

I think it's safe to say that this pretty much dooms any chances he had for running for President in 2012, especially since he's faced this issue before with his pardon of a rapist who went on to rape and murder another woman. In doing some further reading, I'm disturbed by his penchant for commuting sentences.

According to an article on Politics Daily, Huckabee often let politics and connections influence his decisions. What is more disturbing to me is this:

Other prisoners, such as Clemmons, claimed to be on the straight and narrow after religious rebirths. Huckabee was "a bit of a sucker sometimes for the noble notion of personal redemption" because of his own background as a preacher, John Brummett, a columnist for the Arkansas News, wrote me in an e-mail. "He was perceived as soft or oddly sympathetic to prisoners. For a couple of years, the big political story in Arkansas was that Democrats and prosecutors professed themselves aghast at the rate at which he commuted the sentences of violent offenders."

Why did Huckabee grant the commutations? Joe Carter [former research director of his presidential campaign] says it was courage mixed with political naivete ("The governor seemed genuinely surprised that he was held responsible for the criminal acts committed by those whose sentences he had commuted as governor") and too much trust in conversion stories ("The opinion of clergy appears to have carried a great deal of weight in the decision-making process"). Carter concludes that Huckabee is an appealing candidate because of his empathy and belief in the individual, and for those same reasons he will never get to the White House.

This goes back to what I wrote the other day about keeping religion out of political decision-making. Huckabee's thinking process was obviously clouded by his own religious beliefs. As a preacher, he wants to believe that redemption can occur through Christ. But why would you take the word of clergy, let alone that of the convicted criminal himself, over that of prosecutors and professionals who maintained that some of these people were continued menaces to society? I definitely believe that people can turn their lives around. But to believe the veracity of every jailhouse conversion that comes down the pike is the height of naiveté, and there is case to be made that it is atrociously negligent.

When we saw Huckabee speak a while back, I was perplexed by his little tale of "Hucktown." I wrote this at the time:

He went into this weird shtick about a fictional place he called "Hucktown," where there was only one law: Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. Because of this law, Hucktown had no economic woes, no need for a large police force, no drug problem, no crime, blah blah blah...basically, all of our problems are due to the loss of our "sense of decency" and our lack of "ethical behavior."

WTF? I wrote down on my little pad of paper "Simplistic." To me, that is a fundamental problem with the recent Republican agenda...they want to return to a time that never existed. He painted a pretty picture, but you know what, Mike? There will always be liars, cheaters, and thieves. There will always be those who are motivated by nothing more than sheer greed. It's laudable to hope for better, and to believe the best of mankind, and you all know that for the most part, I try to be that way. I'm also a realist, and I know that there is no changing human nature, and that's why there must be regulatory agencies in place. Wow, he totally sounded like a Pollyanna on that one. "Everyone is wonderful, trust that they'll do unto you the way they would want you to do unto them!" Riiight, Mike. I bet they'd do unto me, all right.

It would seem that that is the way he lives his life, and hey, more power to you, Mike. However, this attitude, colored by your beliefs, led you to pardon some very mentally unstable and dangerous people, and now more people are dead. If you want to live your life that way, have at it; however, it is dangerous to let such a simplistic world view influence what should be a rational, logical decision based upon documented evidence from professionals. "Yeah, I killed a buncha people but I love Jeebus now" just isn't good enough.

Palin witchcraft Susan Atkins also became a born-again Christian while in prison. Remember her? She was the Manson family member who repeatedly stabbed Sharon Tate--and her eight-month old fetus-- while Tate pleaded for mercy. Henry Lee Lucas, the notorious serial killer and profligate liar, also had a jailhouse conversion. They both rightfully died in prison. There are countless others. Even that skank Paris Hilton took to reading the Bible in her cell during her incarceration and declared herself a changed person. Odd that we haven't heard more about that since she's been out.

My whole point is that it is exactly this reason that religion has no place in politics. Huckabee's own belief system, based on his religion, caused him to make horrible decisions. With a snowball's chance in hell of winning the GOP nomination in 2012, I would guess that most of his supporters will throw their support behind Sarah Palin, who quizzed Billy Graham about what the Bible had to say about Israel, Iraq, and Iran. Yeah, way to trade up there, people. Go from a guy who lets violent criminals out because they say they’ve found God to someone who apparently thinks she has a direct line to God and wants to blow the holy hell out of people based on what the Bible has to say about it.

Palin and others of her ilk are the first to squawk about how they're losing their freedom of religion. Bullshit. They're taking away our right to freedom from religion, whether personally or within our government. Such demagoguery is incredibly dangerous, and I hope there are enough of us who realize that.

Feedback and Distortion

FeedbackRabbit rabbit rabbit! Evil spirits begone from Nutwood! Happy December, everyone. Urgh.

I would like to thank everyone for their feedback on the little divider bars I gave a trial run to the other day. (I kid with the graphic.) Based on popular opinion, you won't be seeing those again! (See? I do listen to you all, and I appreciated your honesty!) Frankly, I felt the same way when I put them up...I felt they looked a little too clunky and awkward. I've found a few others, and will test those out here and there, and maybe I'll put up a poll to see which one you like best. Although I don't feel the need to restrict myself to any one particular type, and will change it up here and there.

I also appreciated David's feedback about liking the separation of subjects. Thank you my dear for the excellent suggestion, and for those entries in which I write about a few different things, I'll be sure to use divider bars! (I'd just been using a few tildes to separate them before. I feel like gussying things up a little bit.) I can also accept that David doesn't want to read about Notre Dame...after all, he's a Nittany Lion!Divider bar4Hey, speaking of Notre Dame (feel free to move along David, although there’s a little dirty whorish mouth stuff coming up), the Charlie Weis era is over. As expected, he got the boot today. I wish him well, and I'm sorry that things didn't work out for him here. But you just don't continue as football coach at ND with such a crappy record. And it ND footballwas abysmal, worse than any other recent coach. I have no idea who they'll hire as coach. Right now, I don't really care. It was a crummy season, I'm kind of relieved it's over, and if they go to a bowl game, I hope they win with the interim coach. In the meantime, I turn my sights to my Colts, who are 11-0 along with the New Orleans Saints, who beat the Patriots tonight. Although "spanked" might be a better word! That's right, they pulled down the Patriots' knickers, turned them over their knees, and spanked them. Spanked them soundly, because the Patriots were being a bad, bad little football team....

I'm sorry, what was I saying? Oh yes. The Colts and the Saints are both still unbeaten. Milwaukee Dan #2 wondered about the possibility of a Super Bowl with two 16-0 teams. That might be a sign of the End Times, buddy (along with Sarah Palin getting into a position of national prominence and the Cubs and White Sox meeting in the World Series), so be careful what you wish for. Highly improbable, but wow, wouldn't that be something? I have to say that since I love New Orleans, and since they're still struggling after Katrina, I have a soft spot for the Saints and love seeing them doing well. But if they play the Colts, the Saints are goin' DOWN, and not in a good way!Divider bar4Warning: Rock Band stuff ahead! Not too much, but I'm really proud of myself about tonight. Over Thanksgiving, I discovered from my niece the way to unlock more songs. (Thanks, Jana!) Instead of playing Quickplay, you have to go on Tour. First I had to name my band, and may I introduce to you the one and only Dirty Pleasures? Dirrrrrtyyyyy Pleaaaaasurrrrres! (Think Beatles and Sergeant Pepper.) Some of you might recall my embarrassment when I was chatting with a friend and referred to my guilty pleasure movies as my "dirty pleasure" movies. I thought it was a natural for a band name.

Johnny Ramone Okay, so I went on tour, singing vocals. I plowed through the first few and unlocked my first new songs! Got through the next batch, too (including 100% on a song I'd never even heard by Queens of the Stone Age) and unlocked a few more. Went back to Quickplay and the new songs were all there, so I did them all on guitar. Got to do "Paranoia" (both vocals and guitar), "Rockaway Beach" on guitar (Ramones), "Here It Goes Again" on guitar (OK-Go), a handful of other fun ones, and an especially fun one, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." Wheeeee! It was even the full version with the full guitar solo! It seems these are all a tad bit harder than the earlier songs, and I'm kind of digging the challenge. I think my fortes are vocals and guitar. I can't do drums for shit, and bass is boring!

Oh, incidentally, when we were playing Beatles Rock Band with my sister, et al, I switched guitars with my brother-in-law Tom. He was like, "What the hell? I'm six feet tall, and this is too low for me!" I told you I sling low. Maybe not as bad as Johnny Ramone (may he rest in peace), but apparently pretty low. Do I have freakishly long arms or something?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A rainy football Sunday

Colts2 I'm watching my Colts, hoping to see them go 11-0 for the season! (Update: Game over, Colts win 35-27!) At least I have a bright spot in Beth's Football World™ with my Colts. Not so with Notre Dame. They lost their last game of the season last night, and that was four in a row. They finish the season 6-6, and now we're all speculating when Charlie Weis will be fired, not if. What's really upsetting to me is that it's looking likely that both Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate will forgo their senior seasons and go into the NFL draft since Weis will be gone. I was sure enjoying watching both of them develop into amazing players, and was looking forward to seeing them play next year. I doubt that will happen now.

I was kind of down about it last night, but today I'm more philosophical. I'll be interested to see who is tapped for the coaching job. In Beth's Football World™, they'd coax Tony Dungy out of coaching retirement and get him. Heck, he's got a relative in town...I think it's one of his brothers! C'mon, Tony, we'd love you here...and you've got family here!

Hey, a gal can dream.

So it's been kind of a gloomy, rainy day today. I've been taking care of some odds and ends around the house, cleaning up the kitchen, that sort of thing. I got an entry written for I Stand Corrected, so if you get a chance, pop on over there and read my fascinating treatise on the semicolon. You'll laugh, you'll cry, it'll become a part of you!Argyle pattern3 tiny barI was having a very mellow day until I heard that one of my Senators, Richard Lugar (R), suggested on CNN's "State of the Union" this morning that we delay the health care reform debate for a year so we can focus instead on Afghanistan and the economy. Are you kidding me?!

Armageddon I am highly disappointed in Senator Lugar. He's always been a moderate Republican, with plenty of foreign policy knowledge. I wrote to him some time ago to urge him to support health care reform, and I got a letter back stating that he felt that with the economy being in the state it is in, now was not the time to tackle health care reform. Of course, every indicator shows that we are out of the recession, but employment will take some time to recover. The actual economy itself is beginning to recover. I felt at the time that it was a convenient excuse for him. Now that things are beginning to improve in that regard, his next excuse is Afghanistan.

What is it going to be next, Dick? A plague of locusts? An asteroid rocketing toward the Earth—and another crappy movie about it? A new Britney Spears CD? There is always going to be something. A natural disaster here or on the other side of the world. A country facing famine. An ethnic group experiencing genocide. Things that we will need our attention around the world in the interest of our shared humanity. Now is the time to make a difference for millions right here in our own country, make sure that they have decent health care, and don't have to live in fear of losing their homes because of one devastating illness. Now IS the time. No excuses, Dick. You can expect another letter from me soon.Argyle pattern3 tiny barYet another reason to love Facebook. (I have several.) We've reconnected with our friend Andy. He's a Notre Dame grad, and was an intern at Ken's company. A few years ago, he headed out to California to attend grad school at Cal Tech (he had a chance to go to MIT, too, but chose California weather over Massachusetts...I don't blame him). We had sort of lost touch a while back, but found each other on Facebook and talked on the phone tonight. It was great to hear his voice, and I'm so glad we reconnected. At the risk of sounding like a fucking schoolmarm, he's such a nice young man!Argyle pattern3 tiny barSpeaking of the F-word, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who showed appreciation for my dirty whorish mouth. You all are so sweet!

[Postscript: What do you think of the little divider bars? Do they look okay, or are they annoying? Too busy? Any feedback would be welcome.]