Friday, July 31, 2009

Adventures in Adorkability, Part Next

The term "adorkability" comes from Dorothy Snarker. The rest is, well, right here.

I will point out two things. First, I too fish purely for the fun of casting and reeling, having learned long ago not to expect any actual fish to come out of the water at the end of my line. Although, despite that, she manages to reel in some pretty killer fish. And! Second! If we're going to be totally honest here, if Rachel Maddow did use sex toys for bait, well, ... *cough*

Musical Interlude Friday

Jill Sobule is pretty cool. Listen to this 1995 cut and then read her Katy Perry quote, below.

Yeah, '95. Now about that other, much more recent song about girl-kissin' for the benefit of the boys watching in the bar?

As a musician I have always refrained from criticizing another artist. I was, “well, good for her.” It did bug me a little bit, however, when she said she came up with the idea for the title in a dream. In truth, she wrote it with a team of professional writers and was signed by the very same guy that signed me in 1995. I have not mentioned that in interviews as I don’t want to sound bitter or petty… cause, that’s not me.

Okay, maybe, if I really think about it, there were a few jealous and pissed off moments. So here goes, for the first time in an interview: Fuck you Katy Perry, you fucking stupid, maybe “not good for the gays,” title thieving, haven’t heard much else, so not quite sure if you’re talented, fucking little slut.

God that felt good.

Love! More stuff, including free downloads, on her website.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Seventeen years ago today, also on a Thursday, I woke up early in the morning with a very profound pain shooting through my back. And seventeen hours of back labor later, I had a hungry little guy squinting up at me. He's a little bigger today than he was back then, but still every bit as hungry.

He's also the best thing that ever happened to me, either before or since.

Happy birthday, beautiful boy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The girlfriend gets home this afternoon after having been in DC for a week. It's nothing unusual; one or the other of us is typically someplace else at least once every couple of months, but I still get a little antsy in the last few hours of waiting for both of us to be home at the same time again.

When I was in high school, my stepdad took a second job driving charter buses on the weekends to bring in some extra cash. Being a typically self-centered teenager, I secretly rejoiced every Friday night in the knowledge that he would be gone early the next morning and not return until late on Sunday. He was a smoker and I wasn't crazy about him anyway and was glad to have him out of the house for two days at a time. I never thought about my mom facing weekend after weekend--the only time they really had to be together--without him, and how the runup to the Friday nights that signified liberation to me must have felt much differently to her.

And that's why I don't spend much time wondering about what our respective kids think about the periodic absences that swing one way or the other. My girlfriend's coming home this afternoon, and I'm watching the clock.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

BOTL: Your Internet Home for "abby wambach girlfriend" Google Searches Since 2007

Nothing brings readers here like these three magic words typed into Teh Google search box: abby wambach girlfriend; enough, in fact, to make this blog the Number Two result for that particular query. I have no particular desire to make it to Number One. Be that as it may, finally, tonight, an answer:

I have no idea who Wambach's girlfriend is.

Somebody else does, though, and the lucky winner appears to be Washington Freedom midfielder Sarah Huffman, with "lucky" contingent on the Wombat having grown a bit since the whole l'affaire Solo.

You heard it here first. And now that that's out of the way, can you please explain the healthcare debate to me?

Palin Makes It Official, Appears Unclear on the 'Lame Duck' Concept

Sarah Palin put on a lovely resignation ceremony today, complete with a speech and a reiteration of the original reason she cited for stepping down: she does not want to quack.
Some still don't see why she's quitting, she said.

"It is because I love Alaska so much, sir, that I choose to avoid the typical last year, lame-duck session in office,'' said Palin, who had decided not to seek a second term when she announced on the eve of the Fourth of July that she would step down today.

Um. Did no one remind her that she's only in her first term, and so wouldn't need to worry about the lame duck thing for another four years? Wow, she sure showed us! By pre-emptively creating a very short, two-week lame duck period by announcing her intention to resign on the 3rd, and then circumventing it by plain up and quitting before anyone had time to build a decent blind. It's a deliberate straw-manning of her credibility. I'm sure this logic is impeccable somewhere north of the 48th parallel, hanging a left once you get past Vancouver, but it's a bit much for my addled brain to handle.

If I May...

If I may say a word about the Fox Soccer Channel's broadcast team for the WPS game of the week, can I get an exemption from the one-word limit since you flippin' numbnuts dipshits is four words? Mark Rogondino: please, please please stop saying "she calls her own number" every goddamn time a player carries the ball in and shoots rather than passing. She calls her own number? Instead of, like, handing off to the tailback? Calling your own number is not a soccer reference. It is an American football reference. To a quarterback sneak. So knock it the fuck off already. Jenn Hildreth: please, please please skim the Laws of the Game again and make a little note you can hang in front of your eyes and point out to your boothmate reminding you that there is no such thing as "offsides" in soccer. The term is offside. No plural.

These are little things. But the little things are often the difference between sounding like you know what you're talking about and sounding like a flippin' numbnuts dipshit who drew the soccer assignment because all the primo Fox NFL sideline reporting jobs were taken. Both of you played the game in college, so you should know better.

If I may say a word, the word is for fuck's sake. Hmmm. That still may require an exemption.

A Confession.

I am baffled by the healthcare thing. The debate fired up while I was on my mostly-disconnected-from-the-news road trip, and now I feel like I'm squarely in my recurring school nightmare, the one where I realize it's finals week and I've forgotten to go to class for the past twelve weeks. Single-payer? Public option? Jon Kyl? It's all a mystery to me beyond annually rising premiums and Cigna resolutely refusing to put the only migraine med that works into its $10 co-pay tier.

The Daily Star ran a five-way discussion on its Sunday backwards op-ed page this morning, featuring Kyl and John McCain along with our intrepid southern Arizona representatives, Gabrielle Giffords and Raul Grijalva. One cup of coffee was not enough to jolt my brain into reading comprehension mode, much less analytical mode, so I'll have to go back to those and possibly take notes since there is probably very little chance that Rachel might show up on my doorstep today to explain the whole deal in soothing tones while handing me Otter Pops and dabbing my forehead with a cool cloth.

One sphere where we can all be fairly confident is the singular level of incoherent insanity Michelle Bachmann (R-Crazypants, MN) will exhibit on any given day. In her latest eruption, Rep. Bachmann has been arguing against affordable healthcare for everyone because it will force people like her to wait in longer lines. You know, after they let all the riffraff into actual doctors' offices instead of shunting them off to George W. Bush's lauded great American populist healthcare option, the emergency room. Michelle Bachmann understands doctor's offices because she has five kids of her own and claims to have 23 foster children as well. No word on the inconvenience historically posed to the suckers who took an extra ten seconds getting out of the house and thus ended up in line behind the Bachmann brood every. damn. time.

I'm off to study now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Best Memories Are the Ones You Can Eat

Two weeks removed from eating a swath through the Pacific Northwest, we broke out the Pike Place Market Cookbook and tromped over to 17th Street to shop and cracked our knuckles and whipped up a batch of the crab cakes we swooned over at Pike Brewing way back on July 3.

Crab cakes with chili-coconut sauce and baby greens.

We arranged the cakes artfully over the sauce. We tucked a tuft of greens to one side. We cut, we held our breath, we bit...

FUCK YEAH. Nailed it.

Next time, cilantro instead of the prescribed flat-leaf parsley, and more coconut milk. Because that just might be even better than the originals, which are pretty damn good.

And the only thing better than the shared experience of the original chompfest at Pike is being able to recreate that shared experience after the fact and finding that it comes with a new bonus layer on top: it's no longer just wow, this is amazing, but wow, this is amazing, and we made it.

I had fretted early this morning that the Northwest trip would wind up lost in the shuffle of the kid's crazy packed summer, a vague footnote somewhere in the back of his brain jumbled with volleyball, Disneyland, and hanging with his buddies. Tonight I'm pretty sure it's going to stick. He can't wait to get back in the kitchen and see what else we can do.

Just a Question

If a featured MSNBC commenter called for a terrorist group to execute a captured American soldier during wartime because said commenter decided from the comfort of his stateside rumpus room that the soldier was a deserter, what would the FOX reaction be? Seriously, what manner of imprecatory hellfire and death threats would they rain down on the commenter, who they would certainly brand an un-American, troop-hating traitor? But Fox let Ralph Peters spew this crap unchallenged?

Hey, for all I know, he's absolutely right. But--and this is the kicker--I don't know. And neither does Ralph Peters. Until Bergdahl is returned and some semblance of truth that can withstand critical questioning is slapped together on this one, Peters and his ilk need to STFU and devote their considerable energy to praying to their god that an American kid in the stress of combat in Afghanistan comes home safely.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


...because I couldn't write my way out of a wet paper bag right now even with a really sharp pencil, and because whatever word-whacking ability still left in my brain needs to be directed at work projects, and because I don't have any video-making talent to speak of, here's something delightful via Joe.My.God. to fill some time.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I am playing strip poker with the thermometer and losing, badly. It was something like 109 outside today and only marginally cooler than that inside, so by 4:30 I was reduced to playing Wii in my underwear. Can the neighbors see? I don't really care. Do my readers now have uncomfortable images in their brains? I don't really care. It is the hottest mid-July monsoon season I can recall, and clothing levels are going to stay just on the wrong side of acceptable.

What's for dinner? Dinner? The hell you say. Or, as my brother says, got any other stupid fucking questions? Fudgecicles are for dinner. They bring sweet, sweet relief for all of two minutes before we segue into discomfort and, no more than three minutes later, back to full-blown misery.

The clouds roll in, finally, blotting out the sadistic sun. Tonight's interpretation of Summer Storm features only a few lightning flashes and thunder cracks as prelude to rain showers in three acts. Dialogue is minimal and the characters aren't really fleshed out to my satisfaction before the curtain falls and the storm caravan rolls on to the west, where from this angle it appears to be trying a little harder.

So the day was given over to watching soccer while attempting minimal movement, that mainly between the chair and the floor in front of the fan, while suspending arms and legs away from contact with any heat-retaining surface, sweating, dozing, and sweating some more. Wambach got international goal #100 while Amy Rodriguez continued to flail. Tobin Heath staked a solid claim to more playing time and we wondered who the new holding midfielder will be, since there's no way Boxxy lasts until the World Cup. In WPS action, Tash Kai staked a solid claim to the number two place in line outside the team shrink's office, right after A-Rod, and the Red Stars watched their slim playoff hopes evaporate off Kerri Hanks' right foot in stoppage time. In related news, the Red Stars' back line spent the immediate 60 postgame seconds looking for holes to crawl into rather than going into the same locker room as keeper Caroline J├Ânsson.

Let me know when it's October, yeah?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Whatchoo Talkin'....

Yeah, yeah. No. I'm sorry, but just no. No no no.
Goodbye Sears Tower, hello Willis. The letters on  Chicago's  best-known building were changed Wednesday and a formal ceremony marking the  switch is Thursday. London-based Willis, an insurance brokerage,  got the naming rights in exchange for leasing three floors of office space.

It will always be Sears Tower. Suck it, Willis.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sotomayor, the Final Word.

Well, it should be the final word, and she delivered it herself.
As you know, my speech was intending to inspire the students to understand the richness that their backgrounds could bring to the judicial process in the same way that everybody else's background does the same. I think that's what Justice Alito was referring to when he was asked questions by this committee. He said, you know, when I decide a case, I think about my Italian ancestors and their experiences coming to this country. I don't think anybody thought that he was saying that that commanded the result in the case. These were students and lawyers who I don't think would've been misled either by Justice O'Connor's statement or mine in thinking that we actually intended to say that we could really make wiser and fairer decisions.

Suck it, Sessions.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

As Expected, Arizona Restricts Access to Abortion

Governor Jan Brewer signed a few highly annoying abortion restrictions into law yesterday, including a required 24-hour waiting period, a reiteration of the ban on intact dilation and extraction, a redundant requirement that women seeking an abortion be informed of its risks and alternatives, strengthened parental consent requirements for minors, and a self-righteousness conscience clause exempting healthcare workers from participating in an abortion or even dispensing emergency contraception.

Because nothing should give a fundamentalist pharmacist a bigger hard-on than denying Plan B to a woman who may then end up seeking an abortion as a result.

None of this is surprising, as all of these measures had wound up on former governor Janet Napolitano's desk at one time or another over the past few years, only to be vetoed. Despite Brewer's unexpected rational thinking about state taxes in the face of a monster deficit, her social conservaservaSERVAtism is as unchanged as ever.

Curiously, I find myself more frustrated by the emergency contraception clause than by the restricted access to actual abortion this time around. Maybe it's because the exemption betrays a continuing ignorance of how Plan B actually works, which, if you're a medical professional--and particularly if you're a pharmacist--is inexcusable. I've flogged this to death on this blog, in comments on other blogs, in letters to the newspaper, and to random people I meet in the grocery store, but it apparently bears repeating: Plan B is not an abortifacient. Plan B does not interfere with conception or implantation. Plan B functions only to inhibit ovulation for the length of time that sperm are viable after ejaculation. Plan B does not cause abortions. It has been hypothesized that in a very small number of cases, Plan B might prevent implantation, but this is both highly unlikely and untestable, as there is no test for conception prior to implantation. So demanding that scientists prove that Plan B does not interfere with implantation is on the same level as demanding they prove that eating Twinkies or staring at the sun or hopping on your right foot five times while chanting nobabynobabynobaby does not interfere with implantation. You can't prove a negative, but you can predict with pretty good certainty that a drug that acts to maintain the uterine lining will not make the uterine wall a hostile environment to a zygote.

So science is trumped by hysteria, and Arizona women woke up this morning to find that the barricades between them and a still-legal medical procedure have been piled even higher with razor wire and old tires, and some of the tires have started to be set on fire. How's that DHS job treating you, Janet?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sotomayor Hearings: Here We Go

Clicked over to the live stream of the Sotomayor confirmation hearings just in time to hear Jon Kyl express his grave, grave concerns that she feels foreign law is worth looking at as a means of maintaining America's world standing, and that she might not be able to set her personal biases aside when hearing cases.

Because only white male corporate lawyers have neither ethnicity nor gender.

Thankfully, Schumer is now riding to the rescue, pointing out that she is much more even-handed than people like Sam "Record Number of Dissents" Alito, and has even appeared to be completely color-blind in several instances. Will it matter when it comes to Republican votes? Probably not. Thankfully, it shouldn't matter.

Interestingly to me as a current Arizonan, Senator Kyl framed his foreign-precedents concern in terms of "the will of the American people, as expressed by the Constitution." Hmm. Kyl seems to have forgotten that one of the primary functions of the Constitution is exactly the opposite of that--not to express the will of the people, but to protect the country from the will of the people when the people are largely made up of short-sighted, self-interested nutjobs. Come on, Jon. You can do just a little better than that, can't you?

Oh, wait wait wait--Lindsay Graham is most disturbed by her speeches! And takes the "wise Latina" comment out of context yet again. Oh, and he's convinced that she's going to decide cases differently than he would, so what should he do given that knowledge? He doesn't know what's in her heart, and since that's Obama's standard for voting on judges, he can't vote for her on that basis and that's going to RUIN THE JUDICIARY. He wants her to be able to speak her mind, and to believe in things, and doesn't want young lawyers to feel they can't do those things, but gosh darn it, those speeches are just disturbing, and Lindsay respects elections and Obama won but that means... Frankly, I'm not sure what he's trying to say here. He's not sure she deserves to be here, but she's had a distinguished career and has good character and should be here, but Obama's set a bad standard in motion by talking about hearts and shit like that, so nobody's ever going to be able to vote for a judge again because no one knows another's heart?

Maybe more later. They know she's a swing appointment. Graham's leopard-prints are in a knot because of the 5% of cases she's not going to decide the way he wants, as are Kyl's. And probably everyone else's. I wonder how long this will go on.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back in the Desert

Know what? It's really fucking hot and miserable in Tucson in July.

I woke up in the middle of the night my first night home and took a full 60 seconds to figure out where I was. Tent? No. Hotel? No. Picnic ramada on the beach? Possibly.

Many many things transpired while I was gone. John Ensign. Steve McNair. Some guy named Michael Jackson may have died, not that anyone noticed. Actually, my personal favorite moment of the wall-to-wall coverage I was subjected to during a hotel breakfast was Anderson Cooper intoning, "There has been some question over whether it will be an open casket. Many people are hoping it will not." Possibly the best epilogue ever.

In other news, well, other news will follow once I'm finished with the sad task of packing away the camping stuff.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Roadblogging: Seattle, Again

I spent the last 20 minutes wrangling with a post of photos and captions that did not want to line up properly. And finally said fuck it and deleted the whole thing. Instead of photos, words.

This is probably the last epic road trip I will make with my son for a long time, and certainly the last one of this nature, when he's still a kid--an almost-17 kid, but kid nonetheless--and there are a few vestiges yet of him looking to me to show the way. After two weeks and the long drive home looming in just a few days, we have simultaneously been gone forever and only just left.

Planning this trip I thought it would be mostly camping and fishing, with college visits the official excuse for taking three weeks of vacation to traipse across the Pacific Northwest. It hasn't quite turned out that way, with far more hotels and sushi bars than tents and wriggling silver fins and scales on the end of a line, but that's okay. He's not the dirt-rolled camping critter he was when he was five, and my aching shoulder is probably better off for having spent more nights on a bed than on a Thermarest. We never had much luck catching fish anyway, and our tortillas got soaked, so...

So we drive from city to city, mostly me behind the wheel but sometimes him as I clutch the armrest and try to keep my voice modulated. We take scenic routes when we come across them, the slow meander through the redwoods and the waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge making up for the scuttled plans of camping on the Oregon coast, his unmasked wonder at the giant trees and quiet, impossibly green moss-draped rocks and rushing streams bringing me a deep satisfaction and pride. I am glad he has seen these things and found them beautiful. I am glad it was with me. Even though the larger waterfalls themselves were crowded with other tourists, we somehow managed to be the only car on the roads between them, allowing a slow, solitary exploration unintruded by other people.

He plucks a long strand of grass from the rock and pokes it into my ear as we walk up the trail and says nature fight! and grins.

Magic moments are hard to come by. I'll take these.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Roadblogging: Seattle

Dear Seattle's University of Washington District,

Your road system sucks.

Blow me,

Roadblogging: Washington

George, Washington. Really. And is his picture on the water tower? Of course it is.