Thursday, June 29, 2006

photo dump, redux

More pictures from my kiggity-camera on the photoblog. Enjoy sleeping cats, sunflowers, and drinking shenanigans. You'll like those, I look pretty slutty.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

cleaning house

The blogroll is finally updated, broken and outdated links fixed, plus new sites added, including my collection of intahwubs comics. Please to enjoy, thankyou.

One more day til the great Wisconsin Summer Adventure '06- leaving on Friday, coming back next Sunday. Hurray!

Last night= shenanigans. After deciding it was time to finish off our supply of WI beer that was getting old, Jason, Chuck and I watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks in a sort of impromptu drinking game. We followed that with a parade and the ceremonial writing on of pink paper. Jason and I then stayed up til dawn talking, good times!

Upcoming: A post on Child's Pose: The Inner Weight of Yoga.


Or maybe I'll just go to Wisconsin now.

Monday, June 26, 2006

as if you needed further proof that our society is officially gone haywire

Now we can blame the Daily Show for making youth even more apathetic voters

Then they measured the students' attitudes toward politics, President Bush and the Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.).

The results showed that the participants rated both candidates more negatively after watching Stewart's program. Participants also expressed less trust in the electoral system and more cynical views of the news media, according to the researchers' article, in the latest issue of American Politics Research.

Translation: Why can't you fall back in line, you whiny children? Here we go giving you the right to vote (and die, and buy porn) at 18, and you waste it away so selfishly? This system was created fool and failproof, so shape up and vote for our mediocre candidates!

Seriously, what is wrong here? When did America stop trying to find out what might actually be the reasons for (voter apathy/homelessness/teenage pregnancy/air pollution/terrorist attacks, etc) and start mindlessly blaming whatever straw man we could find? Can we please have a return to common sense and intelligent discourse? Instead of blaming the one place on the airwaves where this kind of thing actually does take place?

(Jon Stewart was in my dream last night- me, lost in NYC, inexplicably armed with my copy of America: the Book, ran into him and he helped me. He also autographed my book. This is NYC dream #3: what does it all mean?)

Friday, June 23, 2006

summer sunshine

Let's get one thing out in the open: last summer, the weather was MISERABLE. Living in Dallas is like living someone else's armpit: it's mucky, kinda stubbly, and you're not really sure you know this person well enough yet to be dealing with their underarm sweat.

Except it's not really humid. Just hot, bakingly, blinding hot, the sun pours down on you for interminable amounts of time until you run (nay, walk as briskly as your heat-headache will allow) to the nearest shelter. If you're like me, and you reject indoor climate control on environmental and financial grounds, this can mean your apartment is every bit as stuffy as the armpit outside. Despite your better efforts to use fans, creative window/blind techniques (open at night, shut during the day), your apartment's generally crappy insulation and proximity to miles upon miles of heat-sucking pavement tend to resist such tactics.

And you, once firm in your beliefs that summer should be spent in the mode of perpetual frolicking, are forced to admit that the only thing you feel like doing (less taking ending naps and sticking your head in the freezer) is play video games wearing as little clothing as possible.

All this in mind from last summer, I've been dreading this one. As the weather grew nicer and the grass greener, I could feel my inner urges to dabble in recreation (frisbee! bikes! gardening!) conflicting with my intense fear of the heat-headache and the languidity.

But you know what? Perhaps it's the build-up, the overexcitement, or the fact that Denton is not entirely covered in pavement ("Welcome to Denton! Ten More Trees Makes A Difference!"), or even that my house is situated at what seems like the mostly northerly inhabited part of the town, poised to receive the best of prairie winds, but this summer has been quite pleasant.

We have our cooling system all set up: windows and blinds closed during the day, wide open as soon as the shadow hits them, a fan in each bedroom window, one pointed outward the other in, little clothing as possible. I know most people are surprised (some incensed!) that we don't use air conditioning, and I know Jason's room is quite warm in the afternoons due to the sun's heady progression to the West, but for the most part we're comfortable. And I've ridden to school on my bicycle, sweaty and hot when I got there, but not unbearable so. I've played ultimate frisbee and worked long hours in the yard, all without what I thought were the unstoppable effects of heatstroke and having my mind burned away by the fury of Texas's empty blue sky.

I may have adjusted since last year. After all, even Austin to the South was more than bearable. But I'm still inclined to think that things have been unseasonably cool.

Or maybe I should try to get out of my house in the middle of the day more.

Monday, June 19, 2006

yourself in a sunflower

ever been astounded, face-to-face, with a flower?
see it at eye level and it becomes a fellow, a friend
someone who takes from you, reflects it back
brilliant and delicate, magnified, justified
as if you were the sun and it followed you
tracking your thoughts and receiving your warmth
breezes may bend it, rain may drown it
but only it may turn to the sky and know
that there is no difference yet between us.

back from austin, full of vegetarian food

Pictures are up from the trip to Austin.

A roundup:

Friday we had dinner with Chuck's grandmother and uncle, at a veggie restaurant called Mr Natural- veggie/vegan Mexican food. It was pretty good! Afterwards we took on the town with Doyle, Amanda, and Andy, friends of C's from high school. 6th Street was pretty rocking and we toasted and got toasted! A night well rounded.

Saturday we explored the capital building and then went to the Cosmic Cafe, another vegetarian (Indian inspired) place that was absolutely the coolest and yummiest place. I've been to the CC in Dallas but it doesn't live up quite to its Austin sister. Cool ceiling, too. After that we explored Town Lake and spontaneously kayaked! We saw turtles, a funky bird, and grapes. Fell in love with hills and trees all over again.

We ate at a noodle house that wasn't quite as good as we wanted it to be, and then took in a late night showing of Rocky Horror. Good times. There were boobies and transvestites, as there should be, so it was a night well spent.

Sunday morning we went to Mother's Cafe and Garden for brunch, which was good. Veggie restaurant No. 3! Can you believe it? All packed up, we headed north to Georgetown and stopped for a tour of the Inner Space Cavern. It was amazing. I'm still reeling from the experience of being in total darkness- we got to a room where the tour guide turned off the lights and let us see what it felt like. I would have asked if we could do it again but the lady next to me was freaking out about it. I felt badly for her- because for me it was definitely akin to a religious experience.

And then we drove back home. We took some smaller highways for fun and ended up driving through Crawford, Texas, population 706 (plus Cindy Sheehan). No crazy signs to make fun of, so it was kind of a let-down.

Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

hell outta dodge

Chuck and I are off to Austin for the weekend! Austin is home to some kickass bloggers like Twisty Faster, Amanda, and Norbizness, and former home to my favorite of the favorites, Pamie, but since I don't know any of these people nor do I do anything but lurk on their blog sites, I will not be meeting them. Instead I will be indulging in food, beer, and liberal surroundings for what is sure to be a too-short vacation. We will be having dinner with C's grandmother and uncle, drinking with a friend of his from high school, and otherwise just taking on the town. Will it be red when we are finished? That remains to be seen.

If you are in Austin and would like to join us for beers, please do drop a comment.

Adios, smelly DFW!

book wormin'

Since it is summer, naturally I have been reading a ton. Here is what I have finished so far:

Always Coming Home by Ursula K Le Guin. This the first of her works I have read. It is an account of a (fictional) people that will exist in Northern California after our society self-destructs, basically. I liked her interweaving of stories and cultures, plus the idea that in the future, violence, patriarchy, and warfare will be a disease as effective at stamping out the civilizations that cause them as any biologically disease is today.

Clay's Ark by Octavia Butler. Quite a page-turner. Multifaceted characters of both genders and many different colors! How sadly unique!

What's the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Frank. I like the idea that politics used to be more about economics and class- moral issues were left to guess what? the church and the individual. Weird. I wonder if we'll ever get back to that?

When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone. I've been working on this for a long time, and I finally finished it. Fascinating and eye-opening. It makes me want everyone to take the time to look beyond the dominant religious paradigm and see into history.

Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd. I picked this up at the library yesterday and am almost through. I'm enjoying it- except for maybe the overly dramatic stuff- and it goes well with what I just read it Merlin Stone's book.

More books on the reading list to follow:
Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex
The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth about Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood and Marriage

Anybody got anything to recommend?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

photo dump

I've had some pictures on my camera for a long ass time, and I finally got them up. You can see a select few at the photoblog. My garden is much bigger now and has produced peas and radishes! Zucchini and sunflowers well on their way. The Tim and Allison pics are from a ways back when we had an impromptu Dallas pizza and beer party. Twas fun. Otherwise, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

time for some new tunes

My listening library needs some dusting off and good new additions. Since I'm technically broke I need to do this free- or at least on the cheap. Anyone wanna start a mixed CD swap?

The theme would be: Are These Songs Filled with Unintended Meanings?. Inspired by the posts at Pandagon here and here. Basically, somebody with a Low Irony Meter came up with a list of top conservative rock songs- which might be possible but sure seems daunting- but the thing is he used groups like U2 and The Dead Kennedys. Waaa? Check it out for yourself, and you'll see what I mean.

The rules are:
Send me an email with your name and address, saying you are participating. The deadline to email me is June 13th (one week). That day, I'll compile all the addresses and send them out to each participant so you can make and send that many CDs. Go on the cheap here- hell, I don't even need a CD case. Just a simple paper wrapper'll do.
Make a mixed CD of songs that could be interpreted in completely the wrong way (if it's a song with a liberal viewpoint, explain how a conservative would see it, and vice versa. If it's not a religious song but could be taken that way, or vice versa you get the drift). They don't have to be rock songs- anything'll do.
Explain in writing why you picked those songs.
Make x number of copies.
Enjoy the rewards.

Who's a go?

Monday, June 05, 2006

pharyngitis- fun for the whole family!

I woke up today delirious with a high fever. I couldn't escape the dream I was having, it just kept repeating over and over. My ears hurt when I swallowed. My head was hot but my body was shivering.

This is what happens when you don't use your health insurance for two years, and then cancel it due to insufficient funds. You actually do get sick.

Thankfully, UNT offers free visits to the nurse. Acute pharyngitis- where the hell did I get that? Just short of strep throat. $50 for my prescription- antibiotics- and I'm on my way. Sheesh.

Anyway, I was supposed to start my summer class today but I couldn't sit up without being woozy, so I missed that. Tomorrow, I guess.

Meanwhile, I feel somewhat better, but I cannot stop sweating. Since I'm already simultaneously hot and cold, I feel a bit like one of those misting machines they have outside of restaurants in the summer.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

be the change

Last night Chuck, Jeremy and I saw An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore film about global warming.

While it was a bit of preaching to the choir for Chuck and I, I think everyone should see it. Good science, frightening stories, and plus, Futurama!

I wish, like I often do with political call-to-action films, that there had been more 'what you can do' at the end, but a lot of that is covered on the website.

Anyway- go see it!