27 January 2010

The rumors of my death ...

... have only been partially exaggerated.

I'm up to my ass in alligators at work, y'all. And not the fun Zydeco-playing kind.

There's no sign of respite in the near future. So, if my blog posts seem few and far between for a while, or a little "light" in other ways, well, now you know why.

Oh, I don't plan to stop posting. Or to take an infamous "blogging break". But I've only a finite reserve of energy at the end of the long days, lately. And, frankly, I'd rather spend that rolling around on the floor with my kids.

Kind of like the cook who always eats take-out or the maid whose house is a mess, the last thing I want to do at the end of a long day of writing for work is to whip out the laptop for more tap-tap-tapping out of my soul into the (virtual) page.

So, if you don't see me 'round much, either here or in your comment boxes, don't take it personally, yeah?

Au revoir,

26 January 2010

I can, I will, I do

The New BNL album comes out just after my birthday. I'm just sayin'.

22 January 2010

I need a hero

I was playing with slide a little while back and made this little collection of some of my favorite pop culture "heroes".

It's no secret I'm a sci-fi junkie. So, it's probably no big surprise that almost all of these characters are from that genre. I may be biased, but I think sci-fi/fantasy movies and shows almost always have the best characters - good and bad. Hmmm, maybe I'll make a villians list next. ;)

Who are your favorite pop culture "good guys"?

Captain Mal Reynolds, Firefly
Zoe Wash, Firefly
Sarah Connor, Terminator
Han Solo, Star Wars
Princess Leia Organa, Star Wars
John Chrichton, Farscape
Aeryn Sun, Farscape
Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, Battlestar Galactica
Hannibal King, Blade Trinity
Trinity, The Matrix
Dr. Horrible
Lara Croft, Tomb Raider
Wolverine, X-Men
Selene, Underworld
Alice, Resident Evil
Leeloo and Corbin Dallas, Fifth Element
Violet, Ultraviolet
Max Geuvera, Dark Angel
Padme Amidala, Star Wars
Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Wars
Harry, Hermione and Ron, Harry Potter
Aragorn, Legolas and Boromir, LOTR
Arwen, LOTR
Eowyn, LOTR
Jack Sparrow and Will Turner, Pirates of the Caribbean
Elizabeth Swan, Pirates of the Caribbean
Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: TNG
Katherine Janeway, Star Trek Voyager
Dylan Hunt, Andromeda
Seely Booth, Bones / Angel, Buffy)
Mick St. John, Moonlight
Veronica Mars
Batman / Bruce Wayne
Bobby Goren, Law & Order: CI

11 January 2010

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others

*** Soapbox Alert ***

I don't talk about politics much on this blog. I'd guess that anyone who's been reading a while can figure out that I tend towards more of a liberal bent. But I don't usually feel the need to shout my political opinions to the masses.

So, I don't pull out the old soapbox very often. And you can bet that when I do, it's a topic that I'm passionate about.

If there's one "political" topic that really gets my blood boiling, it's same sex marriage. It stands out as one of the most important topics of our time because it's not about "politics" - it's about upholding one of the most fundamental principles of our government: The ideal that every person is equal under the law.

Today, the Federal Courts will hear an appeal about California's recent Prop 8, which created a legal double-standard in our constitution - one set of rules for homosexuals and one set of rules for heterosexuals.

(It actually also created a third legal class: Homosexuals with marriage rights grandfathered in because of the brief amount of time they were "legal". Hello, Alice. Welcome to the rabbit hole.)

The outcome of this historic federal case will obviously have far-reaching effects, establishing a precedent for whether or not federal Constitutional rights "outrank" state legislation to the contrary.

California has a reputation for leading the socially liberal charge. But, as I've mentioned before, our state is actually deeply divided on many such issues. The Coastal and urban Southern parts of the state do tend to be very liberal. But the Central and Northern parts of the state - especially the more rural agricultural areas - are as conservative as the rest of the bread basket states.

I have never been so hyper-aware of the fact that I am a speck of blue in a sea of red until the political campaigns surrounding Prop 8 started hitting the streets. My "No on 8" yard sign felt like a sad and lonely little flag of defiance.

But I didn't give up hope. I had naive faith that right would prevail. I simply could not believe that our system could fail so catastrophically that a situation could be created in which citizens could strip rights from other citizens with no overwhelming cause. It was too Orwellian to be true.

And then Prop 8 passed.

And I thought, well, it will be overturned on appeal. That's why we have checks and balances built into our governance - to catch these abuses of power and right these wrongs. Surely it cannot be "legal" to uphold such a clear "separate but equal" end-run around equal rights?

And then Prop 8 was upheld.

Today, I want to have faith that reasonable people taking a unbiased look at the facts will have no choice but to conclude that Prop 8 is a clear violation of the legal - the inalienable - rights granted by our federal constitution that all citizens are equal under that law.

The rights set forth in our Constitution seem so simple; we sometimes take them for granted now. But, for our founding fathers, it was a paradigm-changing philosophy that set their fledgling constitutional republic apart as a nation of new ideals.

We have, as a nation, not always lived up to those ideals of equality. But we've been moving the right direction - slowly but surely - throughout our history. Socially, each generation has learned to be just a little more compassionate and tolerant than the last. Legally, the precedents over the last 200 years have been building a ladder toward that high-minded ideal set forth by our founding fathers so long ago.

And today, the Courts will hear a case that could throw us back down to the bottom rung.

I have to believe that the Justices in this case will see this equal rights setback for what it is.

I'm holding onto that hope. Because the alternative is too frustrating and frightening to consider.

Because if the "majority" of voters can decide that a whole class of people can be denied equal treatment under the law - in any form - then who or what will be on the chopping block next?

They first came for the communists, 
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the Jews, 
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, 
I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak up. 

[Post title: Animal Farm by George Orwell]


08 January 2010


I'm waxing philosophical over at Venus vs Mars today, rehashing my thoughts about introverts and the extroverts who love them.

Stop by and say hi, won't you?

07 January 2010

In which I am made to sound more interesting than I actually am

One of my favorite Dad Bloggers (heck, one of my favorite bloggers, period), SciFi Dad, has been doing his investigative-journalist impression again. And this time, I was his willing victim.

Read all about it over at Tales from the Dad Side today!

 Comic borrowed with permission from: http://www.xkcd.com/

04 January 2010

They're more what you'd call guidelines

There are some things I just don't do. Topping that list: Diets, the Chicken Dance, and New Year's Resolutions.

The first two are pretty self-explanatory, yes? As for New Year's Resolutions, I've always figured if there's something you want to do, just do it. Be here now, right?

And yet, it's the first week of January and it feels like I should acknowledge the new year somehow ...

At first, I was thinking of just recycling last year's resolutions - you know, being all green (and lazy) about it and stuff. Plus, I rather liked that list. And it's still pretty relevant. Besides, don't most people just make the same resolutions over and over again, anyway?

But then I figured if I put my mind to it, I could probably come up with at least 5 new ways to "better" myself in 2010. In addition, of course, to my annual review and update of my Zombie Survival Plans. That's a given.

Mind you, I still don't do "resolutions". These are, to quote a pirate, "more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules."

5) Try to refrain from (openly) mocking people who think the world is going to end Dec. 12, 2012 (or Dec 21, 2012 or whatever the hell it is). (This one's gonna be tough.)

4) Buy fewer things from China. (I was going to say "Stop buying things from China", but I decided to be realistic. That is MUCH harder than it sounds. Seriously. I dare you to try.)

3) Spend more time Hiking the Applachian Trail with my husband. (The ZenHusband has already pledged his strong support for this one. In fact, he suggests it should be #1. Go figure.)

2) Spend less time caring about celebrity scandals and "news". Oh, wait. What's less than zero? Okay, so, scratch that one, then.

2) Spend more time playing. (You should do this, too. Everyone should.)

1) Continue to (try to) follow these "Rules for Life". I do think the world might be a better place if more people lived by these "rules".


1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's the only way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go some place you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
20. Never stop learning.

So, what are your guidelines for 2010? 

And, perhaps an even more pressing question: How do you say 2010? Is it Twenty-Ten or Two-Thousand-Ten? Please, discuss.