It's been one o' those weeks (as have many of them lately). I ain't got much. I can tell you that Chuck Hagel is pretty awesome, but of course the wingnutocracy would prefer we shut up and accept whatever the President says.
Oh, but I am obligated to provide you with a "Teh wacky" item, aren't I. How about... larvae cheese larvae cheese larvae cheese larvae cheese larvae cheese larvae cheese.
More war discussion: Preach it. Look, this is why we were opposed, and I'm sorry if you didn't like the look of the protests, but you really should have listened and taken us seriously instead of dismissing us all as dirty fucking hippies. Furthremore, this war has flushed a lot of money down the toilet that could have been better spent at home.
This lawyer is very brave, and he's doing the right thing. If you know for sure these people are terrorists, bring them to trial and your evidence should hold up. The system works; it has for over two hundred years.
I am shocked, shocked, to find that the real reason Americans won't take certain jobs is because the respective employers refuse to pay a decent wage.
As someone who endured a round of dieting (and needs to embark on another one), I appreciate when restaurants put their nutritional info online, so I can figure out if there's actually anything I can eat there. I am not surprised that Red Robin won't do so, which should pretty much tell you all you need to know.
Teh music: Ladies and gentlemen, MC Serch!
Lots going around the blogosphere of late about looking at the Iraq war in hindsight, and how those of us who opposed the war from the beginning do or do not deserve any kind of credit or respectability for being right. Take, for instance, Al Gore's of September 2002, which was pretty much spot on as things turned out, but was decried at the time as some sort of traitorious rant.
Then you have this gem from Andrew Sullivan and one of his readers:
Andrew, your reader writes that those who opposed the war from the outset
"understood that the premises of the war did not match the facts on the ground. In particular, they understood the culture, the people, the economics and the religion(s) of Iraq. They also understood the American people, who will not, perhaps sadly, ultimately support a war that does not end quickly unless national security is a genuine and clear issue."
How exactly is this deep and complex understanding expressed in "No Blood for Oil"?
The crux of the problem is that stalwart opponents of the war were, for the most part, nothing like the sophisticated visionaries your reader describes.
Sullivan agrees, and goes on to describe pre-war peace marches as a bunch of puppet-toting irrational Bush-haters.
Now, I'm confused. Haven't we been told for the past six years or so that Democrats' message is too complex? The Republicans have it down to grunt-worthy nuggets like lower taxes, lock up criminals, and America kics ass, and until the Dems could come up with similar sound bites, we would remain a bunch of hopeless loser geek-wonks. Yet now, we're told every single person opposed to the war should have provided a detailed formulation of foreign policy and economics (and do it succinctly enough to fit in the average American's attention span, no doubt).
And of course, Sullivan never held the war's supporters to the same standards of explaining how to manage a sectarian society, nor questions about troop levels, nor questions about how it would effect Iran.
Christ, all these rules, they blow my mind.
To the driver of the green 4Runner that was briefly in front of me on I-66 this morning:
Yeah, traffic was slow, and you wanted to get out of the pokey right lane. That's understandable. But if you absolutely have to cut someone off, here's a tip: Don't cut off big-ass trucks. It may look easy because that semi is going a bit slower than the rest of traffic, but they also have a much tougher time coming to a sudden stop than a smaller vehicle.
And the tanker truck that you chose to cut off? The one that came about six inches from taking off your back bumper? Did you know it was carrying freakin' liquid nitrogen? At least, that's what it said on the back.
Fortunately, the driver of the tanker truck appeared to be committed to rear-ending you, rather than swerving, say, into the space where my car was. I was having visions of being flash-frozen by a sudden wave of liquid nitrogen. What a way to go. And definitely worth shaving thirty goddamn seconds off your trip.
I'm in the midst of my "cook one new recipe from every issue I own" exercise for the January issues of Bon Appetit. I'm down to just two, but I've been having a lot of trouble with the January 2005 issue, which I believe represents the apex of BA's recent trend of uber-foodie pretentiousness. The January issue is always the "Best of the Year" review, and these, according to BA, are the top ten ingredients for 2004/2005:
Ye gods. I'm a rather avid cook, and I've used maybe two of these ingredients in all my days (definitely Meyer lemon, and I've probably gotten organic chicken at som point without really thinking about it). This issue contains such other gems as fig balsamic-glazed duck with pearl onion and pear hash, lamb chops with feta and banyuls-cherry sauce, and spice-rubbed chicken with kumquat-lemongrass dressing. Lots of things that I'm sure are perfectly tasty, but few to no recipes that don't require a trip to the gourmet market (and the few of those recipes there are, I've already made).
Mrs. Fool laughs at me when I rail against this mentality, because she says I myself am a foodie. And I guess that's true. But there's a difference between being a person who likes food and likes to cook, and being so over-the-top that you must put obscure and expensive ingredients in every freakin' recipe so you sound like a parody of a cooking magazine. I can just hear the editor of this issue saying "Can we make this more 'foodie?' Put some crimini mushrooms in that, and some saba vinegar."
I've finally settled on roasted organic chicken with Moroccan spices to represent this issue, but I'm gonna make it with a Purdue Oven Stuffer Roaster.
And then there's 18 percent for 1 percent.
This new plug-in hybrid looks somewhat promising; my round-trip commute is much less than that 40 miles. Not sure I trust GM to execute it properly, though. And for those who say "Yes, but how do you get that electricity? By burning coal?": Bring back the nukes!
The Internets hold Disney accountable for supporting hateful people. Yay Internets.
And lastly, teh wacky: pork stamps pork stamps pork stamps pork stamps pork stamps.
"Man, sorry. Who lives in that castle over there?"
"I'm 37, I'm not old."
There needs to be a word for the act of composing an e-mail, referring to attached documents in said e-mail, and then sending it without actually attaching the files. Anybody got one?
I got an e-mail from my mom this weekend with the subject "My Livejournal."
No. Please, dear god, no.
No, it wasn't. My cousin is in a travelling production of Seussical the Musical, and she's gonna LiveJournal her tour. Ma was just forwarding her e-mail.
Yesterday, with it being all unseasonably warm, I got the brilliant idea to truck the family to the zoo. So did nearly everyone else in the greater DC area. The zoo was as packed as I've ever seen it, and after being turned away at all their parking lots, we parked way the hell up in Mount Pleasant and hiked down the hill. We schlepped on up through the zoo, stopped for lunch, and finally got to our destination: the new panda house.
See, I've been dying to go to the new panda house since the day it opened. Because a long, long, LONG time ago I paid FoNZ to have a brick with our name on it placed in the new panda house. I'm not sure Kristin and I were even married at the time (I think we were engaged, and I was gambling all would go as planned); I know we didn't have kids, because I wouldn't put our as-yet-theoretical children's name on the brick. So after we'd watched the mama and baby panda for a while, I took the girls into the building itself, and after a bit of searching found the brick, and then I called Kristin: "Come on up here, there's something you have to see."
I know they say you shouldn't keep secrets from your spouse, but I kept this one a secret for something like seven years. Remember about a year back when I said FoNZ owed me a favor, and we got tickets for baby panda viewing? This was why.
So next time you visit the zoo, go into the panda house, and look along the wall opposite the photo collage of Mei Xiang. Behold our zoo-based immortality.
I also saw one of the crazier things I've ever seen at the zoo. We were in the elephant house, and Lizzie and I were in a big crowd watching the hippo frolic in its pool (at least, what passes for frolicing when you're as big as a hippo). It was swimming in circles, and then it stopped and backed up so its butt was against the concrete wall. Then it started bobbing its head up and down in the water, making big splashes and giving everyone a chuckle. Then we heard a wet slapping sound; the hippo was wagging its tail against the top of the concrete pool wall.
Hippos wag their tails?! Sure they do! When they're POOPIN'!
See, the tail acts as a windshield wiper of sorts. Hippo shit goes flyin' everywhere, and the crowd backs up from the pool in a hurry. That was all the hippopotamus we cared to see in one day.
The maximum-wankery political stories of the week: Calls for the Democrats in Congress to be nice to Republicans, and non-partisan, since, you know, the Republicans were so nice to us for the past six years. And Jamil Hussein exists, and is now in an Iraqi prison thanks to dumbass wingnut bloggers. Plenty of comment on those items around.
I don't use George Will as a punching bag as much as I used to, but I'm not surprised to find he's still a total weasel.
Teh sports: Fellow Penn State fans will enjoy this look back at the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, in which PSU defeated highly favored Miami to win the national championship. Also, I'm not much of a basketball fan, but I can't help but like this Gilbert Arenas fellow. His swag was phenomenal, indeed. My newly-found love for George Mason hoops is well documented, however, and so I got a kick out of Mason's well-wishes to Boise State.
There is the fact, suggested in the article, that the war is a crock and entirely unnecessary. But thanks to the wonder of the Internet, I think a lot of us are more in tune with what's happening to Iraqis. Every one of those three thousand American deaths is a tragedy, but our misguided actions have resulted in many times that many deaths of Iraqi civilians. Just because they're far away or of a different skin tone doesn't make their deaths unimportant. They had lives, they had families. Every one of them had a story that would be told across the US if they'd been upper-middle class white Americans killed in an isolated incident here.
Read this and then tell me how we've made Iraq a better place.