pat: (Default)
( Aug. 6th, 2007 06:56 pm)
... or is there something grimly ironic in the fact that in a movie about accepting and empowering the marginalized, one of the main characters is played not by a large actress (like there are a lot of roles for really large older actresses) or a transvestite (a la Divine) or even an out gay man (Harvey, honey, we miss you!) but by a very successful straight white male actor in a fat suit and drag?

However, that said, I did enjoy Hairspray quite a lot. Nikki Blonsky was wonderful, and deserved much higher billing than she got. The supporting performances were uniformly good to very good as well: I have a particular fondness for Amanda Bynes (and the girl can sing!) as Tracy's air-head friend Penny and Allison Janney as Penny's bizarro fundamentalist Christian mother. And John Travolta and Christopher Walken had chemistry as Mr. & Mrs. Turnblad.

But the best? John Waters had a cameo... very minor spoiler ).
Within the span of four days I have taken kids to see The Simpsons movie and, God help me, Transformers: The Movie. With the latter, I knew I was in for a long two hours when it opens minor spoiler )

I will say that a) the transformers themselves were pretty cool (although I found the Decepticons (bad transformers) more interesting than the Autobots (good transformers)) and b) it was nice that they had a female romantic interest/sidekick who was tough, independent, mechanically inclined and who another minor spoiler. )
pat: (Default)
( Jun. 6th, 2007 06:59 pm)
This is locked right now because I am debating the extent to which I have the bandwidth to have a general discussion. I trust y'all to be mannered in your disagreement : )

In a discussion at Making Light, I said "Yes, I know pets are important, but if you have so many that you would not evacuate in the face of danger, you have too many."

I was taken to task by someone who replied "I'd like to rephrase your footnote to explore another point of view: *Yes, I know children are important, but if you have so many that you would not evacuate in the face of danger, you have too many. Hmmm, doesn't quite work anymore...."

Deep breath. Deeeeeep Breath.

Pat's Rant. Warning: may be quite offensive to pet owners. )

And yes, I stand my original assertion: if you have so many pets you feel you can't evacuate -- especially if not evacuating means placing others in harm's way -- then you have too many pets.

Being a pet owner requires one to care for the animal in all circumstances where possible -- including emergencies. If you have animals, you need to have a plan for keeping them as safe as possible in disasters -- which in most cases means evacuating them.****

Because you not evacuating may well not save the animals. It may just mean there is a dead human - or two, or three, depending upon who else has to stay behind if you choose to - as well as a dead dog or cat.

Which does no one any good.

*Cats make me sneeze.
** The answer, [ profile] echidnaboy, is still no. Unless and until you and your brothers start being really dependable in doing your chores, I will not trust you when you say "But I can walk the dog!"
*** On the good side, you pet is unlikely to ever come home and announce he is going to read Revelations and needs you to explain it to him. All because he heard you comment that many C.S. Lewis lifted many of the plot points of The Last Battle from there. Me and my big mouth.
****I recognize that this is difficult to do if you are poor: you may only have the resources to take humans with you, not animals. Which is a tragedy -- but not on the scale of a dead or abandoned child. It is just not.
pat: (Default)
( May. 30th, 2007 10:48 pm)
This video -- a food conveyors-eye's view of the people in a Tokyo sushi restaurant -- makes me irrationally happy.

Thanks to [ profile] epi_lj for the link.
pat: (Default)
( May. 16th, 2007 09:06 am)
On my friends-list is someone who left a Yahoo Group over a discussion about whether people taking cans from recycling bins is stealing.

I figured it would be really rude to discuss it in their journal since they clearly did not want to. However...

I've had this discussion with people before. Municipalities use the money they get from recycling aluminum and glass to help pay for recycling services. When people take aluminum cans from the bins they are taking money that would otherwise go to the city. (Cities get little or nothing from paper.) It is stealing -- albeit not from me, but from the city. Since I have an interest in the city continuing its recycling program, and in its not raising rates to do so, I am perfectly willing to yell at people to get the hell out of my bins.

Note: I am talking about curbside recycling bins that the city is required to pick up. I have no issue with people lifting cans out of sidewalk trash cans in front of stores, since those are handled by the merchants and not the city, and since as far as I can tell most merchants do not sift their trash for recyclables. Cans and bottles taken out of trash cans are removed from the waste stream heading for the landfill -- a good thing.

That said, I do exercise a fair amount of discretion in whom I yell at: the twenty-year old woman in nice jeans and shirt who was looting my bins and putting the cans in her car trunk? Her I'll talk to, and inform her that she is stealing, and generally put the fear of God into her so she leaves (I haven't seen her since).

The homeless guy on the bicycle? Not at all. I'll even smile at him. Maybe even say good morning.

There is stealing, and then there is survival.

The Impossible Dream (The Quest):Brian Stokes Mitchell:Man of La Mancha
pat: (Default)
( May. 9th, 2007 06:08 pm)
The first named storm of the 2007 season, subtropical storm Andrea, sits 150 miles east of Jacksonville.

Don Henley Must Die:Mojo Nixon:Otis
First a note: my mother didn't go west of Texas until she was in her sixties. She didn't leave the Southeast until I was in high school. I view the fact that I've been able to travel a very great blessing in my life.

Now the list... )
Why, yes, I *do* like art museums, considering that every single art museum on that list I've either seen or am longing to see -- and it doesn't even cover a number of other major ones, such as the National Gallery in D.C., MOMA, Guggenheim & Frick in NYC, or the Art Institute of Chicago. And every museum on the list that I've bolded? I'd gladly spend a lot more time in. Ok, except for the Pompidou.
pat: (Default)
( May. 4th, 2007 12:35 pm)
Scroll down to today's (May 4's) online poll. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why the St. Pete Times is the best paper in the country.

Edit: except, of course, that it should be "state" not "national" day of prayer. Oops. Well, it's still a damn fine newspaper.
pat: (Default)
( Apr. 29th, 2007 05:05 pm)
We have a butane torch. Which means in addition to making crème brûlée, I can make things with this.

Jewelry making is so much fun.
pat: (Default)
( Apr. 29th, 2007 01:48 am)
Remember those earrings I was working on designing Friday afternoon?
I finished them )
pat: (Default)
( Apr. 21st, 2007 10:43 am)
Hey, [ profile] si_anemome! Did you know that there is now a LUSH store at Valley Fair?

Bring Back The Magic:Jimmy Buffett:Hot Water
pat: (girl)
( Apr. 20th, 2007 09:28 pm)
My prayers go out to the family of David Beverly, the NASA engineer who was shot today at JSC.

As a trivial aside, any conversation that includes the exchange: "Is the victim anyone we know?" "Don't know, they haven't released the names yet" is not fun.

[Clarification: No, we didn't know Mr. Beverly personally]

The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo):Manfred Mann:Chapter Two: The Best of the Fontana Years
I've looked at the statute they upheld.

Yes, they upheld a ban on a procedure. But, in addition to the things I mentioned this morning, it gets worse....

The findings of fact mention that this procedure is usually performed on fetuses older than twenty weeks, who can "feel pain," but when you look at the actual language of the law... there is no time limit. There is no requirement of viability. This procedure performed on an anencephalic 16 week old fetus with no hope whatsoever of becoming an actual living child could result in the doctor being slammed into prison for two years.

A doctor can go to a State Medical Board after the fact to get a determination that the mother's life was in danger. But that is not the criminal trial. The findings of the Medical Board are admissible, but nothing in the statute says that the findings are dispositive. A doctor could be cleared by the Medical Board and still find himself in criminal court.

Or be cleared by a criminal court and still face civil damages from the fetus's father (if married to the mother) or, if the mother was under eighteen and not married, the fetus's grandparents. Remember, generally speaking, the burden of proof is somewhat lower for civil cases than criminal cases.

My bet? Abortion doctors will be completely unable to get malpractice insurance. Other abortion procedures at this stage also result in mangled fetuses, and I bet in more than one state zealous prosecutors gun for any doctor who performs abortions after 12 weeks.

And this is just the beginning, folks. Expect within days that bans on all abortions after twelve weeks (more liberal states) and all abortions period (more conservative states) to be introduced into state legislatures.

NOW is the time to contact your representatives at both the national and state levels. BEFORE things get worse.
pat: (Default)
( Apr. 18th, 2007 08:28 am)
SCOTUS upheld the "partial birth" abortion ban. They said they were not going after Roe, but for all practical purposes they have gutted abortion protections.

How? By stating that the proper method for challenging an abortion statute is by an "as-applied" claim -- in other words, until a woman is actually prohibited from having an abortion by a statute, until "a condition has or is likely to occur in which the procedure prohibited by the Act must be used." For obvious reasons, this is very bad news. Before now, abortion restrictions were challenged on their face, meaning that they could be challenged (and injunctions sought against their implementations) early on so as to cause the least suffering.

The even worse news? There is no exemption in this ruling for the health of the mother. None. [ETA: There is an exemption to protect the life of the mother.]

Five old men have placed themselves in the position of stating that Congress knows more about proper medical procedures than trained medical professionals.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.
...continue to be bad news.

The Virginia Tech shootings today.

Abraham Lincoln was shot, April 14, 1865.

The Titanic sunk, April 15, 1912

The Texas City disaster, on April 16, 1947, which kills 600.

Bay of Pigs, April 17, 1961 (about the time I was being born, actually)

Waco fire, April 19, 1993

Oklahoma City, April 19, 1995

(If I wanted to be catty I would observe that the current Pope, Benedict XVI was elected on April 19, 20005)

Columbine, April 20.


Help!:The Beatles:1
pat: (Default)
( Apr. 15th, 2007 10:03 pm)
I made red beans and rice tonight, using the Emeril/Food Network recipe. I didn't have tasso, but I *did* have enough bacon grease (I've started saving bacon grease in the fridge after we cook bacon, so I can cook with it sometimes), ham, and I used ham stock which I made last week from the remains of the Easter ham. I used organic red kidney beans from Whole Foods, and used the "quick soak" method: rinse beans, cover with cold water, boil for seven minutes, then let sit covered for four hours. Discard rinse water and cook.

Oh.My. Goodness.

My family has an unreasoning prejudice against beans -- which is great, means more for me. It's sort of on the salty side (probably too salty for many people) due to the ham stock, but full of flavor and richness.

Yum. My stomach is happy.

Help!:The Beatles:1
pat: (Spain)
( Apr. 15th, 2007 12:50 am)
James rented The Godfather from the library. It's been a while since I had seen it, and while I knew it was great, I had forgotten how fantastically great it was.

The baptism scene may just be one of the most powerful ten minutes in all filmmaking.

Help!:The Beatles:1
Me: Hello, I can't get into my DLS webmail account using the web interface... It keeps giving me weird error messages, telling me "You have to be logged in to use this page" while not letting me actually log in.

Tech: What is the account name?


Tech: Is that a domain we host? Are you sure you have DSL with us as well? Are you sure that is your webmail username? I haven't seen anything like that. I don't think it would work.

Me: Yes. I also have a address. I have gotten into both accounts in the past using the webmail interface.

Tech: Well, I can access them from here...

Me: It's funny, my mail program on my Mac can access them too...

Tech: What are you using, Thunder? Eagle? [At least that's what I think that's what he said.]

Me: No, just the Mac OSX mail system.

Me: Wait, I wonder if I can access it through Safari? [opens Safari, types keystrokes] I can! It was a Firefox problem! Great! Thank you for your time!

Tech, sounding bemused: Sure, um, have a nice day.

I feel competent. The Tech sounded confused. I have to admit I was sort of annoyed by the "are you sure?" questions -- of course I'm sure, fool. Although I guess I have to cut him some slack -- he probably gets a lot of questions where the answer is some variant of "turn on the computer." I suppose I should have thought to try Safari before calling them, but it really did not occur to me: it should have, since if it had been a problem with the server, POPmail would have been unable to retrieve anything.


pat: (Default)


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