Saturday, December 29, 2007
At the risk of looking like I own stock in Hasbro, I just wanted to share this cologne that may have slipped by the eye of the discerning perfume consumer... If it really does smell like the dough, I'm guessing "consumer" may be the right word since I've heard a number of people confess to having eaten the stuff.
Friday, December 28, 2007
One of the narcissistic things about having kids is that you get to relive your selfish childhood memories "through them" (ie. violently shove them aside, seizing the toy and going on to entertain yourself for a good half hour or so before you notice your poor child has gotten wedged between the sofa and the wall and has been calling for you to help them for the past twenty minutes. Okay, not really, but I'm sure that's happened to some poor neglected child somewhere...)
This year, we got my daughter Play Doh. Oh my God, do the memories come flooding back... The smell of it, the way it gets stuck under my finger nails, the way it attaches itself firmly to the shag of the carpet with haunting echoes of my mother's cries of "Bloody hell, not more of the stuff stuck in my beige carpet! Stay on the newspaper, for Christ's sake!"
You'll be delighted to know that this new stuff doesn't seem to stick to carpet fibers as voraciously as the stuff I grew up with. And you'll also be delighted to know that I really don't need therapy despite the fact that I hear my mother's voice all the time despite her being thousands of miles away at the moment. I know my mummy loves me and I intend to inflict the same love on my daughter. Let the cycle continue!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Funny how in the States political correctness prevents anyone from saying "Christmas" without someone getting their knickers in a twist, and yet here's a Muslim country showing respect for the many followers of Christ who call the Emirates their home. It just fills you up with the spirit of Christmas! :)
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Where do we draw the line between accepted cultural practices and violation of basic human rights? Whose moral compass do we follow? Their country, their laws? Our beliefs forced on them? Neither sounds like a promising option.
If an international body, such as the UN, supplied benefits to its members provided they follow universal laws regarding children, would the dreaded "where would they stop? Where would they draw the line?" argument rear its decidedly inevitable head? Would they fear that the UN would go on to require members to only buy Coke products if they mandated laws against marriage with children? People love making the 'slippery slope' argument. It induces a comforting level of hysteria.
I don't know enough about the UN, but Afghanistan is a member. Perhaps the UN isn't interested in rocking this boat? Perhaps the benefits the UN provides wouldn't be enough to sway the government? Obviously, there are plenty of other countries that are both members of the UN AND permit marriage of an adult to a minor, but this is the one example I'm looking at now.
Oh, and to all the freaky weird pedophiles who found this blog because of this particular post's title, you're going to be disappointed. Google analytics scares me sometimes. Because I have had the words "sex" and "children" in my blog- either in unrelated posts or together in a post exposing the exploitation of children- all sorts of disgusting searches have led weirdos here for a split second before they realize these aren't the posts they're looking for.
Monday, December 17, 2007
I woke up and he died once more.
You may only meet four of her kind in your life time, if you're really lucky. She's the friend who personifies all that is good and right in humanity, faults and all.
Anyway, we decided it was about time we went out for lunch together and I suggested a place my family used to go to once in a while. She left a note for her mother and I watched her write in her native language and never realized how beautiful it was until then. She often told me folk tales from her country, which I adored, but seeing her write a simple note to her mother was just as poetic to me!
We showed up at the restaurant and while I was prepared for some staring at our apparent polar appearances, I wasn't prepared for THAT much. We were generally preoccupied in laughing the entire time, and our noticing the room's interest in us made us laugh all the more. She enjoyed the place enough that she tried to take her family there the following weekend. She later told me of the embarrassment she faced when she tried.
Maitre d': You may sit, but the ladies have to take off the head scarf.
My friend: Excuse me?
Maitre d': We can't allow Muslims inside. We sell alcohol. You may sit, but you have to remove your head scarves.
Now, for any non-Muslim here who may not know, this would be like telling a woman she could sit down if she took her blouse off and let out all of Victoria's secrets. Obviously, my friend and her female relatives declined the offer and left.
I was furious with myself for not having known. I really had no idea. I burned with shame for having let such an embarrassing thing happen to one of the nicest people I will ever know. Apparently, when they let us in they risked getting into trouble with the government for permitting a Muslim on the premises and I had NO idea. They must have slipped up, or something. I wasn't angry with them, just myself.
A while ago, my e-mail got wiped out and I lost her contact information. I guess the inevitable will happen and she'll show up on Facebook, and that will be a fantastic day... Because it's about time we were both in tears again laughing at the misfortune of an amphibian in a kitchen device.
Friday, December 14, 2007
The power of minority politics to cloud the judgment of the masses cannot be overstated. One of the great achievements of classical liberalism and Western Enlightenment of our Founding Fathers was the appreciation of the need for our communities to always lift up the rights of the individual over that of the community. Western freedom is maintained in a tradition which questions authority, and rejects collectivism and tribalism. That tradition, while occasionally threatened and violated by various obvious political interests in the U.S. is still a central part of our behavior and character as Americans. Our liberty-culture will turn itself upside-down to help one child, one victim who immediately captures the hearts of Americans.
This mindset is the greatest antidote to Islamist tribalism and collectivism. With my work since 9/11 in combating political Islam, I would have been much less concerned about my safety and that of my family if only the vast majority of my Islamist enemies would simply address the ideas which I raise and debate me in an open respectful forum. However, endemic tribalism, corruption, and often fascism drive a political propaganda machine which would much rather demonize its adversaries than actually address the substance of the issues raised. When they are not demonizing me and other anti-Islamists, or portraying false exaggerated associations, Islamists prefer to just run and hide from open respectful debate about the issue of Islamism. Islamists would rather continue wallowing in denial. They prefer to project responsibility for terrorism upon everyone else in the world, rather than placing the responsibility upon the ideology of political Islam and the toxicity of the dreams of an Islamic state. They would much rather debate non-Muslims or former Muslims, because they can change the debate focus to Islamophobia, rather than the central issue of Islamism.
While I agree in his beliefs as to why extremists struggle to debate issues respectfully, this interview is missing something in the fact that he doesn't attempt to explain why these people are so blind with rage that they'd be willing to kill a bus load of children, for example, to make a point... You don't do something like that without having what you believe to be a damn good reason. Now obviously, I don't condone their actions, but not enough is being done to look into why they do things like that.
I hate to make a patronizing analogy, but if I'm to base my arguments on experience, the best experience I have is as a teacher. In order to extinguish a repeated behavior you find disagreeable, you very basically have two courses of action... Find out why it's happening and provide the student with alternatives OR use punishments or rewards every time the behavior is exhibited or not exhibited. For the lazier teacher, using punishments over and over is the easiest course of action, but if the behavior is still occurring, it's because the problem hasn't gone away or the student is getting the response they want from you and so continue to do it to get that reaction from you.
It's so easy to say "that kid is just plain bad, there's no reasoning with him and I'm fairly certain there's a '666' under his hair. You've just got to lay it on him real hard." For some kids, "laying it" on him may do the trick, but for the repeat offenders, they're either continuing with the behavior because he can't help it (something that may require therapy, drugs) or there's a reason so deeply ingrained it's going to take effort to a) discover what it is and b) find out how to provide the child with alternatives. I have a hard time believing the entire population of Islamic fundamentalists are all clinically insane, despite what their actions indicate. Many of them may qualify as clinically depressed, but not because they were born that way.
They're not a population of evil people. They just react in evil ways because in their helplessness, it's all they feel they can do to make a lasting impression on the world and make their voices heard. They've lost their homes, their land, their businesses, their educations, and no one listens to them because they have been defined by their final actions.
I'm reminded of the musical "Assassins" by Stephen Sondheim. Each assassin felt powerless to make positive changes in their lives and so they lashed out in a way they knew would show the world they meant business. I've seen students who honestly believe there is no way in hell their lives will get any better and it's almost inevitable that they go on doing destructive (often self-destructive) things because they refuse to believe they can make any other kind of contribution to the world or to their own lives.
Now I know there are people who scour the world looking to be offended and someone will take this post to be pro-Islamic fundamentalist, which it most certainly is NOT. I'm just trying to figure out WHY. On the surface, I share Dr. Jasser's perspective, but the situation is far more complex than that and I believe change will only take place once start looking into the "why". I look forward to reading future installments of this interview to see if any of this is addressed.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Glad to hear he's facing it with the kind of humor we'd expect from him... Also glad to hear his stories are being adapted for the small screen... I saw some of the cartoons based on his stuff, but not live action.
To quote Death, "Bugger."
Regarding the first story... What a load of bollocks. How on earth can they argue that the child doesn't fit in when they were the only people to raise her? I think people give up so easily on marriage and child-rearing because they have some misguided conception that it's all sunshine, musical numbers, and rich chocolate Ovaltine. In my opinion, raising a child is a fucking amazing thing for people who a) want kids in the first place, b) are lucky enough to have what it takes to raise one both financially and emotionally, and c) realizes there will always be bumps in the road no matter what you do.
I thoroughly respect the opinions of people who don't want to have kids, and applaud the ones who are safe (ie. contraception, not abortion!) to not have them and not make themselves and their kid miserable. For the ones who accidentally get pregnant and give the kid up for adoption, that's sad, but I respect that decision too... But to adopt a kid as a baby and raise it until it's 7 years old and then want to give it back? What a pair of wankers. One can hope that her going back into foster care may have saved her a life of misery being stuck with a pair of shits who obviously don't love her, but that doesn't change the fact that they're a pair of shits. I wonder how their biological children will feel about the whole story when they grow up and find out about it.
Remember everyone, a child isn't just for Christmas. If the kid's lucky, he'll get to stick around for New Year's too before you kick him out on his ass.
As for the second story, holy Jebus. That poor woman. God knows how freaking annoying teenagers can be, but to try to raise three who had been abused as children must be one of the most emotionally draining adoptions ever. You can't undo something as tragic as that easily, if at all. I'm just grateful for someone like Dawn who is willing to take on a task very few would.
I would feel so useless in a situation such as this... I'd hope there was some busker on board with a guitar so I could smash it over someone's head, because I doubt I could handle myself with fists only.
I try to stop fights at work before they get serious, though I seriously doubt most of them would have gotten serious. They were probably relieved I stepped in so it would look like I had stopped something that otherwise would have been bloody, but really would have resulted in one party revealing what a crappy fighter he is. If they REALLY wanted to fight, I doubt my presence would make much of a difference. I'm not at all imposing and my voice doesn't carry well unless acoustics are on my side.
When I was pregnant, I would forget myself and try to break up a festering situation, but what can you do when there's no other adult intervening? If they had really intended on fighting, the fact that a pregnant woman was in proximity wouldn't mean a thing. Heck, when they're not fighting it sometimes doesn't mean a thing. This one idiot was late for a class and pushed me aside at the top of some stairs before galloping down past me. Luckily, my fall was stopped by the wall he kindly shoved me into, which I managed to use grab on to and avoid falling down the stairs. I actually felt guilty when he got into all sorts of trouble with his mother because of that, but then there really has to come a time when we expect a little more from these kids.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Now if this became a method of advertising for EVERYTHING, that's when it would get annoying. While I don't believe in the paranormal, it makes for good storytelling but I don't think I'll be checking out Paranormal State. The cheese factor looks a little to high for me.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
This is one of my new favorite Christmas songs. And yes, it's meant to be a pardoy of an aging rock star trying to cover up his loss of youth with sexy moves, sexy women, and sexy camera angles. Only... Bill Night IS sexy... If you haven't seen Love Actually, it's a charming romantic comedy with Christmasy bits, sad bits, and hidden nudity bits. I'm not a big fan of romantic comedies, but I liked this one.
TeacherLady: What happened?
Stabbed Student: Nothing. Me an' my sister got in a fight. She stabbed me. With a fork.
We sat in silence for a moment.
TeacherLady: I'm sorry that happened to you. That kind of stuff isn't supposed to happen. You know that's not how to settle an argument, right?
She looked me in the eye and it felt as though we both knew the futility of the conversation. She's a good girl, she knows it's wrong. Some don't, but she does, despite her feigned rough exterior. I've heard students tell me they know they've found the right guy when he doesn't hit them much. What kind of lives must they live to think that's an acceptable standard?
Stabbed Student: Do you have any Band Aids? This stuff is falling off.
I feel my hands go a little weak as I help position fresh Band Aids to hold the gauze over the blue stitches. My forks at home aren't very sharp. What kind of force would it take to dig a fork in that deep?
She tells me 241-KIDS is going to make a home visit. I know nothing good will come of this and I tell her I hope her sister never does anything like that again and that I'm sure she loves her very much, but that she made the wrong decision.
As usual, my student gets almost all of her work done in every class, and when she's finished, she puts her head against her desk and sucks her fingers.
The following are reviews from Amazon.co.uk for the omnipresent Bic pen... Enjoy! (Where else could you find a review for a ballpoint pen that makes reference to Cthulhu?)
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent pen! Some issues...,
But, when that quality carbide ball touched the surface of the paper, it was not ink that came out. From a distance I heard the screams of men and the cackling of innumerable ravens. I stopped, cold and sweating profusely. I looked down at the Bic Crystal black medium ballpoint pen which I held in my hand, only to see darkness. I dashed it against the wall, recoiling in horror. I saw in the corner of my eye my faithful notebook, which now lay on the ground. Once unmarred, I saw now the small mark which I had made with the devil's own pen. It spread across the page like a plague, and looking at it I gazed upon true horrors. For, what I thought had been ink was in fact a portal to a dark, unforgiving dimension. A portal whose maw was now widening to engulf all hope and joy in the world.
'God, what have I done?' I exclaimed as I weeped and fell to my knees, 'What have I done?'
From beyond the Dark Gate I heard these words, words which I can never forget. A terrible, booming voice said to me, 'Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fthagn!'
I ran, blindly stumbling, away from that place and never looked back. My only hope is that none shall follow in the path I've walked down, too blinded by hubris to realize my follies.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
Perfect For Spooling Leftover Linguini (Brava, Bic!),
Just so you understand how much of a stickler I am: every picture frame in my house is level to within a .001% gradient (I readjust daily). You could eat off my floors - if I permitted such activity, which I don't, because, hello, eating off the floors messes up the very floors you're proudly boasting about in terms of their eat-offability. The television is always shut down on an even-numbered channel. There are no forks in my kitchen draws, they're all stored neatly in archive-quality envelopes in an adjoining room.
I am clearly someone who takes order seriously, and I do not skimp when it comes to the tools that stave off the ever-encroaching entropy of the universe. And I can conclusively declare that these pens are the PERFECT (the ***PERFECT***) thing to use for spooling cooked linguini for storage purposes. You'll find that one tightly rolled piece will fit precisely between top and cap. It's as if they made these things for that precise purpose! And for those who double spool, the plastic "grips" the first strand beautifully, so you can get a nice, even second outside spool.
One thing I'd definitely caution about: never spool just-cooked pasta on plastic. Melting is, of course, unlikely, but you'll find that a definite plastic taste will permeate your noodles if they're too hot. I find that cooling the pasta to somewhere between 85 and 90 degrees (I have a battery-powered handheld fan for this purpose) will result in a nice tight spool with no plasticky-aftertaste in the reheating.
Fortunately, the pens are cheap enough to buy in bulk. I don't happen to double spool, so I require several dozen to store a bowlful of cooked linguini. Your mileage, of course, may vary. But at this price, why not go for it?
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8 of 23 people found the following review helpful:
I too was excited about my order of the Bic Crystal ballpoint pen, medium point, black. I had a lot of things to write and this pen seemed like it could really do the job, especially with its 2km write out length!
My package arrived (you're right, that was some good packaging. I even used the styrofoam peanuts with some paint and glue to make Christmas ornaments) and quickly tore into it. I laid out a sheet of my favorite paper (8 1/2" x 11" college ruled), yanked off the cap and thrust the pen towards the paper. Upon contact a small puddle of black ink formed. I wasn't too worried because it was only the initial flow and I felt it would subside. It did at first and the ink began to flow more evenly. Due to the adult nature of my writings I cannot here tell you the words I was forming with this pen but they were magical and for a brief moment the pen was magical too but suddenly and with complete indifference to my magic, the pen turned on me. My letters were getting fatter and the words becoming difficult to interpret. I decided to take a break and try again later so I firmly placed the cap back on and placed the pen in my pocket. In hindsight, I see this was a bad idea. I went about my day in my ordinary way. Later, while alphabetizing my spices I felt a wet sensation on my leg. I looked down and sure enough my pen was leaking in my pocket. I took it out and ink bled onto my fingers and dripped to the floor. Ultimately I got ink on my pants, shirt, hands and face. I'm still trying to get it off my face and feel so embarrassed I don't go out anymore. I really hope this tragedy doesn't befall anyone else. I hope my pen was just a bad apple.
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829 of 835 people found the following review helpful:
Very good if you need to write on paper,
My pen is the transparent type with a blue lid. I selected this one in preference to the orange type because I like to be able to see how much ink I have left so that I can put in another order before I finally run out.
When the initial excitement of taking delivery of my new pen started to wear off I realised that I shouldn't just write for the fun of it, this should be a serious enterprise, so by the second day of ownership I started to take a little more care of what I wrote. I used it to sign three letters, and in each case was perfectly happy with the neatness of handwriting that I was able to achieve.
I have a helpful tip for you that you might not know about - if you let the ink dry for a few seconds you can avoid the smudging that sometimes happens if you rub the ink immediately after writing. Fortunately the ink used in this particular Bic pen seems to dry very quickly.
On the third day of ownership I went on a trip to London and took my pen carefully packed away in my brief case, but I needn't have worried, this isn't some temperamental ink pen that leaks when you store it at the wrong angle. I sat at my meeting and confidently removed the cap from my pen and it wrote flawlessly, almost immediately.
I notice that the barrel of the pen has been crafted very carefully to fit in the pen holder down the edge of my Filofax. It's not so grippy so that it is hard to remove when I want to make a quick note, and yet not so loose that it falls out too easily when I open my Filofax in a hurry. Maybe the choice of surface texture on the pen has some part to play here, because it seems that the inside of the leather grip on the pen holder in my Filofax has just the right level of adhesion that I can be confident when I need to reach in and get my pen it's going to be just where I left it!
Today is the fourth day of ownership of my pen, and I have to say I'm starting to treat it like an old friend. I walk around the office with it clipped in to my shirt pocket and someone in the accounts department actually asked to borrow it while we were both standing at the photocopier. Would you believe it, they actually tried to walk away with my pen! They were very embarrassed when I called after them as they walked down the corridor and asked for it back. You will be happy to know that it is now back, safe and sound in my top pocket, ready and waiting to start writing again.
In summary, I would happily recommend this pen to anyone who is planning on writing on paper. If you are considering a writing implement for some other surface such as writing on a CD, or other non-porous substances then another pen might be better suited, but if it's just plain old paper then I think you will probably be well served by this particular model.
Aww. I like little fluffy stories like this one, even though it doesn't do anything on a global scale, it warms a few hearts at least. If you're dying of thirst in a desert, a tiny sip of water can be refreshing.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
However you spell it, it's Hanukkah time! Just don't let anyone hate on your menorah because it's bigger than what they've got...
Anyway, to my practicing Jewish readers, happy Hanukkah.
|I found some of the comments made by Mr. Burston interesting in terms of perspective from both sides of the Israeli-Arab conflict. While a little over-simplified and obviously biased, thar be truth in bits of it. Now if both sides were better represented in a "quiz" such as this, I'd be a little more interested. The source of the quiz is in the hyperlinked title. |
Self Test: Are you a fanatic on the Middle East?
By Bradley Burston.
Ask fanatics whether they are fanatics, and the answer they are likely to give is a calm No.
It's an honest answer. It reflects a self-conception of clear thinking, unsullied judgment, broad knowledge, and political consistency.
The fact that it is often dead wrong never seems to intrude. It's a primary perk of the genuinely extreme.
So how can you possibly tell if you are, in fact, a fanatic? As a start, take the following self-test.
Part One [30 Points]: True or False - The more I learn about the Israeli-Arab conflict, the clearer it becomes.
Part Two [70 Points]: The following are a list of Seven Deadly Sins of the Mideast. For each, answer the following question, regarding the two sides of the Israeli-Arab divide, with respect to the side that ethnicity, religion, lineage, and/or sentiment place you on.
A. The other side is constantly guilty of this sin.
B. Both sides are often guilty of this sin.
C. The other side is flagrantly guilty of this sin, and my side is often and unjustly accused of it.
D. My side is flagrantly guilty of this sin, and the other side is often and unjustly accused of it.
Example: In an interview on the eve of a state visit to London in late October, Saudi King Abdullah accused Britain of failing to act strongly enough to combat international terrorism. He told the BBC that most countries, Britain included, did not view terrorism seriously enough.
"It will take 20 to 30 years to defeat the scourge of terrorism with vigilant effort," he said. "And I strongly urge all countries in the world, including Great Britain, to take the matter of fighting terrorism very, very seriously."
This, from the nation which remains the world's pre-eminent source of funding for terrorism.
This, from the royal family which spawned - and until he turned his guns around to face them, sponsored - Osama Bin Laden.
This, from the country which brought you 15 of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001, and which did precious little about it afterward.
Example: June, 2006. Seven Palestinian civilians are killed in an explosion in Gaza. It may have been an errant artillery shell, a buried artillery shell, or some other explosive. Israel's response is instinctive.
"The IDF is the most moral army in the world," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tells his cabinet.
"It does not and never has made a policy of targeting civilians."
ASIDE: Let us, for the moment, put aside the debate comparing intentional versus incidental killing of civilians. Let us consider, instead, the possibility that the only truly moral army is the one which never faces an enemy, one which never fires a shot. One which is never at war.
Those who have served in the IDF will attest both to acts of extraordinary humanity under fire, and egregious acts of gratuitous cruelty in carrying out the duties of occupation. Neither, strictly speaking, are policy. They are a reflection of the broad autonomy of action granted Israeli commanders and soldiers.
3. Obscenities of Honor
Example: From a 1998 article http://www.merip.org/mer/mer206/ruggi.htm on Honor Killings in Palestine by journalist Suzanne Ruggi in the Middle East Report:
"Every year, hundreds of women and girls are murdered in the Middle East by male family members. The honor killing-the execution of a female family member for perceived misuse of her sexuality-is a thorny social and political issue. Palestinian activists campaigning for equality find it difficult to stop the killings altogether. Legitimacy for such murders stems from a complex code of honor ingrained in the consciousness of some sectors of Palestinian society."
"The family constitutes the fundamental building-block of Palestinian society. Family status is largely dependent upon its honor, much of which is determined by the respectability of its daughters, who can damage it irreparably by the perceived misuse of their sexuality."
4. Obscenities of Victimhood
THE MECHANISM: [Repeat until convinced]
I am the victim. I am the only victim. There is no other victim before me. The other side, if it suffers, has brought this suffering on itself. The other side, if it suffers, cannot know how my side has suffered immeasurably more. The other side, if it suffers, deserves it.
ASIDE: Examples are legion. In many areas of the Middle East, Muslims of Arab origin mistreat Muslims of African origin, calling them "slave," shunning them or, in cases like Sudan, slaughtering them.
In Israel, there is an elaborate, multi-tiered pecking helix of racism and mutual hatreds, among them the Ashkenazi-Sephardi divide, the Jewish-Arab divide, and local feuds along such ethic lines as Jews of Russian, Moroccan and Ethiopian origin.
6. Obscenities of Higher Law, or, Claiming God's Will for Immoral Acts
MECHANISM: Holy men sanction and legitimize violence against innocents and against institutions of religious denominations they oppose.
7. Lust for Vengeance
Fill in your favorite.
Part One: True - 30 Points. False ? 0.
Part Two: For every C or D answer, 10 points. For every A answer, 5 Points. For every B answer, 0 points.
70 Points and above: Congratulations. You are a true fanatic.
40-65 Points: You are conflicted, and may find yourself envying the conviction and apparent happiness of the fanatic.
Less than 40 points: You are doomed to a certain level of woe. You are the true victim of the Seven Deadly Sins - a moderate.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
So it was with mild amusement that I found this picture today... The tiny illustration wasn't necessary. I feel it would have been better without it.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
These photos taken at the Balducci's on
According to her, the tags were later changed to read "Delicious for the holidays". It's sad that I am perfectly willing to believe this happened, because I wouldn't put it past someone to be so clueless.
Actually, more specifically at the West Bank barrier, as well as the work of other local and international artists. That must be one heck of a powerful art exhibit. I must do a search on Palestinian and Israeli artworks...
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Feel free to saunter over to Sudanese Thinker, his perspective is obviously far more valid than my own.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Boy, I wonder how much jail time she'll get? After all, at that age we ALL know what we're doing, right? Especially when raised by someone who has shown lack of judgement in the area of sex and men too, right?
She made stupid decisions, correct, but what about the older guys who should have known better? Why don't they pay a price for having sex with a CHILD?
MAN, it really pays to have testes and a penis in the Middle East.
* Due to my not taking my own advice to not read and write while I have the flu, I mistakenly wrote that only the child was in custody. Thank you, Qwaider, for noticing my enormous error.*
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Admittedly, it's not every day you get to see a tefillin.
Hey, look on the bright side, it's not just Arabs being accused of looking dodgy on public transport!
Now it's sad to think that men are so incapable of controlling themselves that we really have to block out all visuals, but it's my experience that, for whatever reason, some guys do take many advantages of lightly tinted cars by stalking and freaking out the woman therein. The Gulf news has an article on the topic here. The harassment is driving women (no pun intended) and their husbands to tint their windows to unsafe degrees in an attempt to have the right to be on the roads without a horde of horny perverts putting them and their family's lives in danger.
I like having tinted car windows, and I think they have the right to tint them to a safe level, but something also has to be done about the behavior of the perverts. Something preemptive. What is it that makes the boys of a country grow up to think it's okay to behave that way? I know they love and respect their mothers, so why not extend that respect to other women? Do we honestly need, dare I say it, sensitivity training? That always sounds so... Mushy. And. Californian.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Another article explained how the school wimped out by saying that they realize how offensive this must be to everyone and how the violence depicted in the show is in poor taste given today's climate of violence in schools. The play isn't about school violence. It's a good old fashioned murder mystery CLASSIC and immensely entertaining to watch or read and has been performed in schools many times over.
To be honest, I can see why the school backed off because no one wants to look like a big racist speaking against a declaration made by the NAACP, but honestly... This just makes the NAACP look stupid because it's obvious they don't know the play and surely have far more important matters to attend to than a high school play that USED to have a different name back in the thirties but actually contains no racist matter whatsoever. Maybe. I doubt they're grasping at straws for incidents of true racism.
And why aren't the Indians screaming out that this is racist? The current title apparently threatens them, why aren't they making noise? It didn't even occur to the NAACP that maybe it would be more offensive to native Americans than to African Americans.
Funny how the last time Mr. Hines of the NAACP made such accusations against this school district that he then swiftly offered diversity training to them for a fee. Nothing like creating a problem to then get paid to solve it.
Mr. Hines, there are real problems that need addressing, you needn't go through the trouble of creating new ones out of thin air.
She's been fired by the London Underground due to a misquote. She said she found it "creepy" to use the underground because she hears her own voice warning the passengers over and over to "mind the gap", but they took it to mean that she finds the whole experience of riding on a potential terrorist moving target full of zombie-like commuters, over-burdened tourists, and talentless beggars with guitars they most likely pulled out of your rubbish bin was a bit "creepy". It IS really creepy. Especially when you think about people huddled down there during the War. And the way the train rumbles in the dark before you even see it, and the blast of stale hot air like some sort of dragon in the depths... Now, I love London, and I love the convenience of the Underground, but I'll admit IT IS CREEPY. And that's not even what she apparently meant.
It puts me in mind of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Fun read, that.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Forget for a moment that Islamic scholars of the middle ages were perhaps the most enlightened of their time and instead, look to a modern Middle East where progress and religion seldom go hand in hand.
Take the situation involving a teenage, hormone driven, quiet adolescent version of me.
Teenage TeacherLady: Miss? I was wondering if I could start a club at the school.
Miss: What sort of club?
Teenage TeacherLady: Uh. A debate club.
Miss: No. Not a good idea. Not going to work.
Teenage TeacherLady: Wh... Why? (looking down at the extensive paperwork I had drawn up on topics I was going to have a room teaming with inquisitive, outspoken free minds discuss)
Miss: Well. What would you debate?
Teenage TeacherLady: Um. Abortion. Death penalty...
Teenage TeacherLady: Excuse me?
Miss: Someone will just say "God said this was wrong and that was right. End of discussion." It won't go anywhere.
Teenage TeacherLady: Oh. Yeah. Hadn't thought about that. I was hoping we could have two sides...
Miss: Won't happen. Sorry. I can see what you're trying to do, but any discussion you come up with, someone will stand up and say "God already gave us that answer" and stop the discussion there.
Teenage TeacherLady: Sigh.
I've noticed it's really hard to have discussions and debates with people who think there really is only one right answer to everything, regardless of whether or not religion is involved, and they always get so angry... I guess it's all down to the individual. I've known religious people to be able to discuss things without getting all hot under the collar, but I guess that comes with confidence and inquisitiveness combined and without quite so much egocentric thought processing.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
I've been tagged by Saudi Stepford Wife and once I feel the need to make rules for my blog, I'll let you know.
7 Random and or Weird Facts About TeacherLady
1. I don't wear ANY make-up unless I really have to.
2. I once shed silent tears listening to Mike Oldfield's Songs of a Distant Earth while gazing up at the stars because I knew I'd never be able to go into space. I was a teen, so it was probably hormones.
3. I adore stories of the supernatural but hate it when they're told by someone who actually believes they're true.
4. I get nostalgic for time periods I was never alive for.
5. I stole back the pink shell you took from me when we were 6 and that was the only thing I knowingly stole! (She'll never read this.) Now I limit my theft to the downloading variety.
6. The mere thought of what the interior of a plane smells like makes my stomach turn.
7. I posed for a professional artsy fartsy photo shoot years ago and those photos will NEVER see the light of day. I dig them out once a year or less and smile at them.
Instead of tagging specific people, feel free to be tagged and then post on here to let me know you've done it too so I can wander over and take a peek! If you don't blog, feel free to just post your seven facts in a comment on here.
At the request of the Guy Who Knows a Pigeon Named Frank, here's the soundtrack to TeacherLady: The Movie.
At the beginning: Rainbow Connection- Kermit The Frog.
During my childhood scenes: What a Day for a Day Dream.
During the "rebellious" teen years: Let It Be- The Beatles, Leysh Natarak- Natasha Atlas, We're Not Gonna Take It- Twisted Sister, It Ain't Necessarily So (Gershwin).
When I leave for America (and every time I have to say goodbye): Leaving on a Jet Plane- Simon and Garfunkel and Saying Goodbye- The Muppets and I'll Be Seeing You..
When my father dies while I'm away: Hurt- Christina Aguilera.
When I get the guy: Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)- Ella Fitzgerald and Come Rain or Come Shine- Billie Holiday.During the naughty bits: The Principles of Lust-Enigma.
When I get shit from Arab guys for not marrying one of them: The Lady is a Tramp- Ella Fitzgerald and Let's Face the Music and Dance- Nat King Cole.
Life with the baby and my man: Perfect Day- Lou Reed.
When people from high school who never spoke to me try to contact me on Facebook: Don't Ask Me- OK Go.
In my protest against violence: Zombie- The Cranberries. Yes, I know she sounds like a baby seal in a dryer. Humor me.
As I fade out into the sunset: Mr. Blue Sky- ELO and Rainbow Connection.
Friday, November 16, 2007
To See If I'm Smiling is a film I hope to see somehow. It exposes some of the horrors some Israeli female soldiers were forced to carry out during their service. Identifying the problem is one step towards the solution. Too bad the UN is about as useful as a condom machine in the Vatican (thanks, Mr. Ben Elton, for that one) and too bad there isn't enough outrage .
The other day, the students had to get into groups to gauge the speed of marbles rolling down a little track, noting how it slows down as it reaches the various peaks. I casually stood at one of the tracks and waited for the two students to join me, which they did instinctively. To my surprise, another student joined us, and he wasn't one of mine at all. He is the resident white goth kid of the class and has recently taken to wearing red and black make-up around his eyes and on his cheeks. Much like the goth kid in South Park, he's constantly messing with his dyed black hair, alternately flicking it away from his face and smoothing it down over his features so that you may get to see one eye surrounded by red.
He held the marble out to one of the girls and sweetly offered for her to release it on the track first. We all worked for a little while before:
Girl: What's that on your eyes?
Resident White Goth Kid: Eye shadow.
Girl: (thinks for a moment) It's cool. (smiles)
Resident White Goth Kid: Thanks.
It made my week. Hell, it made my year. You may think it's stupid, but it bowled me over in its saccharine mushiness. I think John Hughes directed that moment and was hiding behind the sinks.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
If I were one of the parents of that school, and especially of one of the abused kids, I would demand heads to roll.
At about 0:50 you can hear the humor in the voice of the reporter as he comments on the artistic endeavors of the bearded chaps. He sounds as though he wants to add "flower pressing" and "crochet" to their repertoire.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Oh oh. Maybe it IS true.
Let me know if anyone finds out this isn't true. I'm started to wonder if people are just going to hop on the "they serve dog in restaurants in the States" wagon...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
WLWD has brought us such great moments as: the cowering in the corner on the phone to security because the kids were throwing candy around the room, and my personal favorite-
Teaching honors math students the Chinese national anthem rather than... Y'know... Math. This morning, he sang for about half the bell, if not more. I tried desperately to find Hot Asian Babe Teacher (and NO, not because she's half Chinese... I just wanted to have proof), but I couldn't find her.
I remember when I used to feel proud of myself that I was selected over other applicants for this job... Now I've lost all self-respect as I was hired by the same people who hired that guy.
Monday, November 12, 2007
At heart, I can tell she is a teacher too. A month or so ago, she attempted to educate my husband in the area of nutrition- She picked up her array of food successively and for each one simply stated:
TeacherBaby: This? (looks at my husband with a patronizing expression on her face and holds up a pea.) No. (Replaces said offending pea onto the plate.)
This? (holds up a green bean) No. (Replaces it on the plate)
Her lesson completed, she proceeded to climb out of her high chair and move onto more important matters of state.
To our great amusement and slight fear, she has also started to mispronounce things with amusing results.
TeacherBaby: Cock! Cock!
TeacherLady: What the...? Oh geez. Oh baby, it's a cookie, coooookie. Dear Lord, we're going to get calls from Child and Family Services.
Thanks to Sesame Street, she is now not only able to say "cookie" correctly, and with a deep, growling gusto courtesy of Frank Oz.
We go through her flashcards and up comes the image of an old fashioned clock, complete with bells on top.
TeacherLady: What's that?
In history class today they discussed the poor sanitation of the United States in the late 1800s.
History Teacher: If you look at the picture on page 636, you'll see a dead horse in the street where kids are playing. Why is there a dead horse in the street? What should have happened to it?
TeacherLady: (Attempting to telepathically convey the correct answer to the sea of clueless faces in the room- "No sanitation laws, no governmental responsibility, that kind of shit should be cleared away by someone! Hello? Can anyone hear my thoughts? Curse my mortal limitations.")
Students: (Stare. Pick noses. Eat Starbursts.)
Clueless student 1: Use it for fur!
Clueless student 2: Eat it!
Clueless student 1: (Still determined to prove horse pelt would make a great fashion accessory) Make a hat...
TeacherLady: (I hope you can read my thoughts right now. Shut up. Please don't ever work at any of the fast food places I may patronize in the future because I wouldn't trust you to be able to put fillings in a taco the right way. Thank you.)
Actually, that girl isn't usually that clueless, so she must have just had an extra serving of stupid for breakfast today.
To quote MamaTeacher, who I want to be when I grow up:
The horse is dead. Dismount.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Wow. I know I'm forgetful as hell, but if I ever leave my car at a gas station after filling up, just lead me out to the woods to die quietly without bothering anyone.
(Note: For those who don't know, the subject title of this post is a reference to an old commercial/infomercial in which an elderly woman forgets where she parked her car because she didn't have the dandy product that was about to be presented)
Thursday, November 08, 2007
TeacherLady: It's because I'm Arab, isn't it?
Hooters representative: Er no. It's the ample supply of cellulite on your thi...
On a serious note, I can see how she isn't being treated fairly at all, so perhaps we can just draw the line at the base of the religion argument. Everything has to be taken on a case by case basis.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
By the way, just in case you notice, my posting will be a lot more infrequent now as I pursue my masters online. Wish me luck!