Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Shoes Blogaround, Part 2

Not that I'm giving up Payless entirely, mind you. After all, Aravon shoes only seem to come in black, and I'm desperate for a pair of 9.5W brown flats that won't fall off when I put my orthotics in them. I wonder if these are too casual for the office...

• My favorite blog post about the Denver Democratic convention is probably from local gal Anne Zook. And I loved Bryant's observation that If Democrats will only Jump Thru these Hoops, Republicans will Provide More Hoops.

• If it's Sarah Palin vs. a polyp, I'm not sure which I'd choose. Seriously, while Digby notes that she has a good home-based rep, I don't agree with any of her stated opinions. Republicans should have been clued into the fact that we didn't all vote with our lady parts even in the primaries. On the other hand, Avedon collects a series of quotes from bloggers who remind us we shouldn't "misunderestimate" the results of this seemingly bizarre decision by McCain. It's sexism versus racism, 21st century style! Just like the primaries! Only this time the media pundit "kewl kids" will be calling critics on sexism instead of joining them. Oh, and Tigh/Roslin '08 is currently down, but here's the site's key photo, care of Newsarama, io9 (where I first saw it) and other places:

I don't watch Battlestar Galactica, but all you need to know is that the Roslin character usually wears glasses and looks a lot more like Sarah Palin than either Tina Fey or That Cinemax Librarian Character. Digby's worth following on Palin, of course, and Lance also has some good thoughts about this piece of stunt casting. Also, if you haven't yet read it, Lance has a nice post about religion and the public sphere which we may want to bear in mind given that even the Daily Show noted how many God-mentions there were at the Demo con.

• Dorothy Snarker's tribute to Rachel Maddow made me smile. I just hope Maddow hasn't already become too corrupted by the self-absorbed Beltway Village punditry that runs amok at MSNBC (and which claimed its latest would-be progressive victim, Keith Olbermann, sometime around the beginning of 2008), but I'm crossing my fingers and DVR'ing her show right alongside -- and after -- Countdown starting this coming Friday.

• As I alluded to on Friday, of major interest to liberal political bloggers is that Kevin Drum has moved from the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog over to Calpundit Mother Jones. Steve Benen and Obsidian Wings' Hilary "Hilzoy" Bok (also an occasional Pen-Elayne commenter) have taken over. I'm delighted about this; I haven't read Steve before but I've already bookmarked two of his posts, on the faux-feminism of cynical Republicans and the actual feminism and courage of Hillary Clinton responding to McCain's ads quoting her out of context to smear Obama. I still can't comment on Political Animal, and Kevin never did figure out why, but I can always make comments to Hilzoy on ObWi and, fortunately, the Mother Jones blog has no such commenting problem -- and provides a full site feed to boot!

• Also, just a reminder that Roy Edroso is also blogging at the Village Voice, where he brings, us among other things, The Harrowing Adventures of President Obama; and that Melissa "Shakespeare's Sister" McEwan continues to shine at the Guardian -- two recent posts of hers that I liked speculated about how the upcoming GOP con is the beginning of the end for the nutbar wing of the party, and how suddenly magnanimous the press was to Hillary Clinton for a brief moment before business as usual slunk in again. (Eric Boehlert has some good thoughts about this as well.)

• Marisa Acocella Marchetto, the Cancer Vixen herself, has a great deal of empathy for Elizabeth Edwards' situation, and recounts the story of what happened when her husband was propositioned shortly after she was diagnosed.

• PZ Myers articulates his opinion on the "tribal custom" excuse for barbarism quite nicely indeed.

• RJ Eskow is collecting "McCain's Houses" jokes. So's Mark Kleiman.

• Congratulations and big hugs to Elaine at starting the newest phase of her life. And a very belated mazel tov to Rachel!

• This is very cool indeed; the NY Times profiled Noz' house. At least I think it's Noz' house, he could be joshing.

• Dover Bitch at Hullabaloo reminds us how, once again, Republicans are changing the meaning of words. C'est nes pas un blog post, she says!

• Susie Madrak's blog never fails to inspire me. She finds such great stories, and they're all worth reading! Check out her link posts about solar parking lots, the Heaven's Angels biker group that does pet rescue, Kids for Coltrane and the Wine Spectator hoax.

• Bryan provides us with YouTube links to some good ol' rabble-rousing protest music.

• Whew! Jenna Fischer is finally out of Rainn Wilson's car trunk!

Uh-oh, looks like there's going to be a Part 3 of this blogaround, I haven't quite finished reading News+Views Groups... Ah well, on to September!
Of Gum Wrapper Chains and Mom

We drove to Mom's yesterday, where she gave me this wonderful article about gum wrapper chains. I still have all of my gum wrapper chains, and am delighted beyond belief that today's teengirls are still doing it!

Also wanted to pass along this tasty photo of the Oysters Rockefeller I had at the nifty place we went out to eat:

And this photo that Mom took of me, Robin, my brother Jay and sis-in-law Kara:

I know I'm large, but I'm not kidding when I say the couch makes me look a bit larger still. Kara's quite svelte but you'd never know it by this. Ah well. The drive there and back was remarkably traffic-free for a holiday weekend, and we even avoided the Jersey rain!
Silly Site o' the Day

Via Keith R.A. DeCandido, It's Just Some Random Guy and his very funny action figure videos parodying the PC vs. Mac ads.
New Shoes Blogaround, Part 1

Okay, I'm a convert. New Balance (mute your sound before clicking on that link) sneakers really are that good. And they're worth the money. My feet had been cramping, my legs and knees aching, and I keep forgetting that whenever stuff like that happens it's usually because I need new sneakers. I'd had my old Payless ones for over a year, but now that I'm more active the cheap stuff just won't do. So on Friday I walked into my local New Balance store and out with a pair of 1123's and, my goodness, what a sea change! My whole body feels better now. They have a line of office-type shoes called Aravon, and I think I'm going to stock up on a few of those next. Although I'm not sure I want to become an OMG Shoez person, this stuff makes it awfully tempting.

So it's the end of the month and so much has happened, so many posts are still bookmarked... and I'm bound and determined to take care of that today! After all, what are 3-day weekends for? Of course, it'll be way too much for one blog post, so I'm splitting them, roughly down the middle between culture and politics (although of course so many people, like me, blog about both at the same time):

• I don't plan on making this a regular feature, but I have so many coworkers now that interesting conversations are bound to happen. Speaking of being a convert, one of those coworkers now swears by something called MonaVie, which is basically acai juice mixed with some other stuff. Apparently this has become a pyramid-scheme the likes of which I haven't seen since Amway (you did know Amway's still around and has rebranded itself as Quixtar and their commercials are all over Olbermann's Countdown show, yes?). Here's an interesting article about the debate surrounding this potion's supposed miracle cures. I tasted acai juice once and didn't care much for it. Tasted a bit like... snake oil. Speaking of which, Shayna at Slashfood gives a heads-up about the pending legal battle between the sugar industry and sucralose manufacturers. This is yet another reason I like to stick with the non-chemical no-cal sweetener stevia, which is kind of the opposite of snake oil. The packets ain't cheap, but you only need half of one per cup of tea, so they last awhile.

• Leftover San Diego posts: Colleen passes along a truly horrendous con wrap-up wherein the fanboy complains about all the middle-aged women present. It's like, "Mom's ruining my fun!" Very weird, and very insulting. On a related but far more positive note, a blogger on Feministe calling herself Daisy Deadhead has a post full of great links to older female bloggers. Of which I guess I'm one now, being 50 and all.

• Heidi Meeley announces GirlWonder.org's Con Anti-Harassment Project, in which I will be participating, time permitting. (And Ragnell reminds me that GirlWonder also has a map for locating female-friendly comic book stores, so check it out if you want to add your local shop.) Ms. Meeley also has the results of an informal poll she took among non-comics reading friends about how they view comics and comics fans.

• Heidi MacDonald has a nice overview of the Virgin Comics implosion (I was not surprised at all about this; they struck me from the beginning as "the latest Tekno," all about famous people lending their names to stories that didn't seem to draw readers in) as well as musings about more than one "female cartoonist whose name had been completely lost to the sands of time in the great lost era between Rose O’Neill and Julie Doucet, and how women of her level of achievement were almost always lost to the sands of time, leaving those who come behind to have to reinvent the wheel over and over again." This is why I wanted to start an adjunct page on the Friends of Lulu website paying tribute to "women in comics 'herstory'" but never got around to finishing the page. (I still have it, and the accompanying illo, if anyone wants to try and tackle it.)

• Leigh Dragoon passes along a terrific essay about Why "Strong Female Characters" Are Bad For Women. Key line: "I think the major problem here is that women were clamoring for 'strong female characters,' and male writers misunderstood. They thought the feminists meant [Strong Female] Characters. The feminists meant [Strong Characters], Female." I also like Kalinara's additional observations about this, including discussion of scantily-clad characters. Val D'Orazio has a great take on this; she's not the only one tired of female characters suddenly losing clothing when they turn evil! "It's like, she's evil -- but she looks like a sex worker. She's evil -- but she could totally 'do' you. She could beat your ass -- but you could totally enjoy it."

Jehanzeb Dar reviews Marie Javins' day job. Hey Marie, did you contact her yet?

• Avalon's Willow has no patience for writers and artists who won't even try to broaden their horizons. And Melissa Silverstein continues to ask, Where are all the female movie critics?, and answer (naturally), here in the blogosphere, for one.

• Max Schrem at Slashfood examines the nation's biggest kosher supermarket, located in my old Brooklyn neighborhood where I first lived when I moved out of my parents' house, mere minutes from tons of halal stores. I love New York City's cross-cultural tolerances. And Robyn Lee at Serious Eats displays some weird food-related album covers. The sad thing is, this is probably just the tip of the tragically tasty iceberg.

• Robyn also looks at the daily calorie consumption of Olympians -- that's right folks, the fat girl (weightlifter Cheryl Haworth) takes in far fewer calories than most of her competitors. So can we please immediately shoot down any proposed legislation based on erroneous assumptions like "fat people aren't as healthy as thin people" and "people are fat because they consume more calories" rather than actual scientific studies relating to carb/sugar intake and the types of over-processed foods foisted upon consumers that weren't around a generation or two ago?

• The last food item for now: Budgie and about 100 other blogs, particularly on LiveJournal, have been passing along The Omnivore's Hundred, "a list of 100 things that [food blogger Andrew believes] every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life." I've had about half the things listed, most of the other stuff I've never heard of, and I persist in believing that certain things on the list are decidedly not smart for human consumption (like uncooked or undercooked meat).

• Okay Len, you're forgiven for not being around because you've been going around being all famous and like that.

• Kath David reports on Peter's recent involvement in a George Takei roast.

RiffTrax is giving audience members a chance to submit their own riffs for money.

• Val doesn't get the whole modern bubblegum thing. Well, I've seen most of the late '60s and early '70s bubblegum phenoms first-hand, and remember them well, particularly those in which I was directly involved, and I don't think the idols of that age were any more rebellious than the ones we have nowadays. Of course, I was in college by the time punk came around, and I was too young to have noted the British Invasion as it was happening, so maybe I just missed "rebel rock" by a half-generation on either end.

• Dick Cavett questions why anyone would want to be a comedian, as Gary Sassaman spends An Evening With Groucho.

• I'm not sure I've had time to miss the Olympics. I thought the coverage could have been more varied, I got real sick of prime-time tush-volleyball real fast, but the opening and closing ceremonies were stupendous. And I did want to mention Laura's post (good luck with the house stuff, Laura!) about Michael Phelps' competitor Milorad Cavic, who's been blogging about the contest and other things.

• One of my new company's perks is gym discounts, but I haven't gone yet, in large measure because the attitudes Kate Harding describes here are still all too prevalent.

• Lastly, Sarah Dyer passes along good news about a kid-friendly version of YouTube.

Back later with part 2, for which I need to first catch up on reading the News+Views blogs.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

I haven't the words to express my profound thanks to Kalinara for posting this video on her blog:

I'd never heard Rippy the Gator before, but it's very similar to a lot of early '60s British kids' songs that Robin occasionally plays for me.
Belated Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

Hearts and flowers this week! Here's Amy lounging about on the couch atop a sheet we'd been using as a recliner cover, our Ikea "heart with hands" pillow next to her:

And here she is sniffing at the gorgeous flowers my boss got me in thanks for helping him with a big project this past week:

Real ikebana, isn't it? And have I mentioned I love my job? Here's a bonus video about the Cat House on the Kings shelter:

Via Meg at Cute Overload.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Finally finished watching the Democratic National Convention speeches, so now I can get back to reading blogs, most of which are probably deep in discussions about them by now, even as McCain attempts to steal the spotlight. He wants it so badly, let's give it to him:

Via my ex-husband. Thanks Steve!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

After a particularly lengthy typing/transcribing/writing session for much of my workday, I spent most of the rest of the afternoon and evening AFK, so sorry I haven't blogged till now. Been watching the DNC speeches on YouTube. So far I'm only up to Monday's speeches. "Uncle Teddy" hit all the right notes and it was just a blessing to see him there; I liked Craig Robinson giving his estimation of Obama's character from the POV of a basketball coach; and I thought Michelle Obama's greatest triumph was in being bold enough to offer definitions (in this case of what she meant by "values"), in an era when so many ideals have become no more than buzz-phrases, used more often than not in cynicism or sarcasm or just plain deception. And yeah, the kids are cute. Wouldn't it be terrific to see younger kids in the White House again? Tomorrow I catch up with the rest of the speeches - Biden, Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Bill Clinton, maybe Kerry - any other recommendations? Oh yeah, I'll have to seek out Barack Obama's speech tonight. No, I'm not watching it, I'm going to bed now. Your Silly Site for today comes in the form of three fun blog posts from the Indecision 2008 blog's Dennis DiClaudio about what happened when Jon Stewart invited political journalists to an informal breakfast at the Democratic National Convention. Here's part one, you can click through to the other two parts from there. Well worth a read; nicely done, Dennis!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

My latest ComicMix column is up. I quite like how this one came out, but so far it's only gotten one comment. Of course, that comment was from one of the names I dropped, so I was hoping he'd respond. Speaking of names, how about a Random Name Generator based on the 1990 census? Thanks to John August, a name in his own right, for passing that along.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

I know I've mentioned Current TV's Target: Women videos before, but I'm still finding Sarah Haskins & co. so delightful I thought I'd mention it again. Even Rob loved the one about chick flicks:

Wish they had an RSS feed. Hey, Target: Women people, email me again with your RSS feed! :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

A fairly quiet day, thank goodness, because I can't seem to shake off the sleepies. Trying to blog more (including, I hope, another blogaround soon), but it's just not my highest priority of late. Maybe I should just resort to the lazy bloggers post generator (via Gerard)...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Ah well, best laid plans. I knew I might have overreached myself when I'd planned to catch up on blog reading on a weekend when I hadn't yet finished the last Harry Potter book. Which I now have. Ah well, at least I can get the Silly Site done. How about a value-pack meat typeface (via Marissa at Slashfood)?
Belated Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

If you click on the above link for Kevin, you'll find it takes you to a new place. No, he's not returned to Calpundit, but that shows you how far back he and I go blog-friendship-wise. Pretty much to the start of FCB! More details to follow in my blogaround. Until then, here's Datsa looking laser-like again, in front of some flattened boxes ready to be recycled (the boxes, not the cat):

And here's Amy enjoying Robin's new studio chair:

Now if I can only figure out how to get Datsa to stop whining (I think he gets it from me), I can continue reading in prep for my blogaround...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Belated cat blogging on the way. Took my camera to the outing yesterday, didn't wind up taking any photos, camera still in bedroom, Elayne still sleepy... Ah, but everything looks better when it's in a kaleidoscope, don't you think? And now you can make your own online kaleidoscope picture! Via Meg at Cute Overload.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Fun work outing! I was particularly amused by a message I got on my cell phone voice mail from a recruiter; I positively beamed as I called her back and asked her to please remove my name from their database as I was gainfully employed with a company that, among other things, conducted terrific outings. :) Via email from Rich, here's Springfield Punx, wherein just about all the characters one can imagine are rendered Simpsons-style. Because somebody has to do it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Not that much time to do more than work, commute and sleep, I'm afraid. Have to be up at, as Robin says, "the crack of sparrow-fart" tomorrow to make it on time to the bus heading out to the first company fun-function I'm attending in my new job. Should be a fun day. I'm really, really tempted to take the laptop in the hopes that the park might have wifi, but instead I'm taking the seventh Harry Potter book, which is finally out in British children's paperback edition (the edition which I have for the rest of the set) and for which I've just been awaiting a really good road-trip excuse to start reading. Don't spoil it for me! :) As the Olympics are drawing to a close, let me slip in the Chinese Name Generator (via Generator Land) while it's still timely. Apparently mine is "Chang Nuo," which means graceful. Robin will be the first to protest that there must be some mistake.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Silly Sites o' the Day

My latest ComicMix column is up and, despite the fact that it's comics-related and a pretty hot topic in the comics blogosphere, it's gotten zero comments so far. Ah, the power of summer vacations! I've had a long, long day and I need some cuteness in my life. Thank goodness Divageek at Maru's place passes along both Cats for Obama and Yes We Can Has! Just what I needed...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Via Ann at Sivocracy, everything you ever wanted to know about foam fingers.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Right after the first presidential debate I can remember where religion was the central theme, rather than a private matter between a worshipper and his or her deity of choice, I thought it was a good time to pass along a game that PZ recommended called Christian Versus Atheist. Y'all don't mind if I sit this one out in the Jew corner, do you?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

JO -- Jew?

On this, the 44th birthday of one of my favorite British Jews, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps Daily Show correspondent John Oliver is Jewish as well. Take a look:


If true, this would make him at least the second most famous Jewish Brit I've heard of. Third, counting Budgie. Happy birthday, Lee!
Silly Site o' the Day

Having never even texted, I sure as hell don't do anything else with my cell phone. But if you're so inclined, Headzup wants to be your "daily catch & release comedy" site for your cell phone. Because goodness knows cell phones exist to make you laugh rather than for you to, you know, make phone calls on.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Silly Sites o' the Day

Apparently Blogger was playing silly buggers again, as I had cookie problems signing in. Apparently they've been updating their edit window; looks like we have font choices now. Since fonts tend to be browser-dependent anyway I'm probably not touching that feature, but it's nice to have in case I want to make portions of any post stand out or whatnot. Speaking of standing out, I have a few outstanding Firesign emails that I wanted to pass along. First of all, the Natural Surrealist Party (motto: "We're Not Just A Button John Lennon Wore") has officially endorsed Philbert the Cartoonist, aka Phil Fountain, as a write-in candidate for Redding City Council. Also, for the Ed Wood "fans" amongst you, feel free to click here and here for videos in which Phil Proctor somewhat inexplicably plays a role. Lastly, you may want to listen to Reduced Shakespeare Company podcast #88, all about Firesign and featuring Monsieur Procmer as well.
RIP Robbie Greenberger

It's not fair. No parent should lose a child. He was only 20. I haven't stopped weeping for a day and a half, and I didn't even know Robbie that well. Bob chronicles the final week, and if you're not crying by the end of it I have serious doubts about your capacity to feel. From Peter's blog: "In lieu of flowers contributions in Robbie’s memory may be made to The Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, 20 York Street, New Haven, CT 06511-3202. For information or to offer an online condolence please visit here."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

Amy's too scared to come out from under the bed during this thunderstorm (hoorah, again, for early Friday departure in the summer! and my gosh, it sounds like hail out there!), but here she is in more placid times:

Datsa, on the other hand, will be anywhere there's potential food, and was extremely attentive here because I was holding a cat treat:

Yes, I'm not above kitty bribery.
Silly Site o' the Day

Via Susie, it's the Society of HandHeld Hushing, or SHHH! I devoted a huge chunk of a recent ComicMix column to people having private cell phone conversations in public, and it's nice to get vindication that I'm not the only one driven crazy by this. I'm half-tempted to download the PDF of their giveaway cards, but you know, I did that sort of thing with subway solicitors back in the '80s, and it wound up being far more trouble than it was worth in a number of ways. Besides, I was guilty of this back in March, when I was answering job interview questions on a homeward-bound express bus and another passenger made me hang up. Didn't get the job, but I'm far better off with the one I have.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

My latest column went up on ComicMix yesterday, and I'm ahead of the game already by knowing what I'm probably going to write about for next week's column. I say "probably" because if stuff comes up, particularly in the comics world, that catches my particular notice, I want to be free to write about it (although, it being the dog days and all, I don't expect anything much to happen). Especially since I seem to be the only ComicMix columnist held to the "why don't you write about comics?" standard, kinda like Diablo Cody is the only EW columnist from whom readers seem to demand some sort of theme. Is it a female thing? Speaking of female things, have you seen the Women for John McCain parody site (via Ann at Feministing)? I'm sure there are many women for him, but I'm kinda glad I don't personally know any of them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Yeah, I know it's only viral marketing for what looks, by all accounts, to be a pretty mediocre movie, but I still think Free Jenna Now! is cute.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Blogaround

I'm not sure how much of the Olympics I'm going to sit through (although it'll probably be more than PSoTD), particularly if they keep emphasizing women's volleyball with those inappropriate uniform bottoms, but I have to say that the opening ceremonies were quite impressive and strikingly beautiful, to the point where they made me feel positively provincial. And really, if you think about it, harping on "harmony" in such a disharmonious time for the Chinese government is no different than repeating the mantra of "freedom" while the American government takes away more freedoms all the time. I know that our government's definition of "freedom" actually translates into "unfettered capitalism and the illusion of consumer choice" -- I wonder what "harmony" actually translates into for most of the billion-plus Chinese people? Ah well, lots to get to, I haven't done a blogaround since before Comic-Con:

• Lots of bloggers have of course been discussing the Edwards affair, Elizabeth's response and so forth. Although I think John's poor judgment is something to take into consideration when considering his ability to be an effective leader, and my heart positively breaks for Elizabeth, I'm afraid I can't quite get behind her plea 100%. When you choose to become a public figure, you also make other choices, such as the knowledge that you will have less personal privacy, and you adjust accordingly or reconsider a career in front of the cameras. I think we're going to start to see this discussed a lot more now that we're in such a Warholian age, where everyone who presents themselves for public scrutiny online has to acknowledge they're giving up a measure of autonomy and agency. (I'd been waiting for Melissa's reaction, and she finally weighs in here.)

• Speaking of political celebrities (and yes, as everyone else has pointed out, McCain's been one far longer than Obama), I think Adam Felber has the best take I've read so far on playing the race card. And goodness, Barry's willing to give McCain's campaign the benefit of the doubt as regards the dog whistles in that ad, but says it's besides the point anyway.

• I haven’t yet watched the episode of No Reservations where Tony Bourdain meets up with Ted Nugent, but I thought his post about separating politics from the point of his show, which is travel and discovery (particularly about food). I thought this particularly interesting in light of being warned away from the Nuge segments, although I must say I don't necessarily think Tony has that much of a problem with the Nuge considering one of his idols is the late crazy gun-toting bastard genius Hunter S. Thompson.

• My other favorite foodie about whom I sometimes have weird dreams, Alton Brown, gets a nice profile in Chemical & Engineering News (via Bruce Watson at Slashfood).

• When I'm not watching the Olympics or food shows, I'm catching Olbermann on DVR-delay (after his Hillary-bashing and considering I have zero interest in the political horse-race statistics over which he and his company of players often salivate, I don't often watch the show live) and, even though I can fast-forward through the ads, I was always uneasy with the little I saw of the T. Boone Pickens time-purchase. I knew he couldn't be all that altruistic with all his "I used to be a staunch Republican but now I want to save the world" stuff. Kevin Drum takes a closer look at the "Pickens plan" and concludes that this so-called savior is anything but altruistic, as most of us figured.

• Meg Frost goes cuter than usual with Cute Overload's illustrated Alice in Wonderland passage.

• One of the things that's bugged me about Obama's speech in Germany (remember that? it was ages ago, wasn't it?) was his constant conflating of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Just because they're both despicable groups doesn't mean they're synonymous. The former harbored the latter during the 9/11 attacks, but now most of the Al Qaeda creeps are thought to be holed up in Pakistan, our supposed ally whom we're so afraid to confront (due in no small part to their actual, rather than theoretical, nuclear weapons) that we don't say boo when the people there try to impeach their local dictator because we can't even accomplish that here. But I digress. At HuffPo, Mark Levine has a good primer about the differences between the two groups of Muslim extremists.

• Meanwhile, the other celebrity running for president is not the maverick the media claims him to be and, says Lance Mannion, never was because that word they use, he does not think it means what they think it means. Oh, and Billmon's back!, with a post about McCain that can't overstate the obvious enough.

• I always think it's exciting when efforts are made to preserve ancient texts (via Jessica at Bookslut). It'll be interesting to see how they translate the texts; guest poster Sam at Feministe has a couple good posts about thathere and here. This is the kind of stuff I've been trying to explain to people for years; you cannot take a document like the Bible literally because it's just been through so many translations and had omissions and additions and whatnot. It's not the product of one time or place or people or belief, it's cumulative and evolving. So it's ridiculous to treat it as, well, gospel. Also of note from Sam, one of those essays that make me say, somewhat sarcastically, there but for the grace of Hashem go I...

• Cool, Jessica's teaching a course at my old alma mater in one of my old majors. I would have seriously maimed to have taken this course back in the '70s.

• I'm probably the last blogger to publicly congratulate MadKane, although at least I've emailed her. I adore Mad, and there's nobody I know who's more deserving of this honor! Next time I see her I'm going to ask to touch The Newhart Letter.

• As previously mentioned, Comic-Con is long over by now, but I still wanted to acknowledge Rachel Edidin's open letter to the obnoxious hugger-guy, Bully's fabulous photos, Melissa Silverstein lamenting the position of women at the con without a single mention of Friends of Lulu which has been advocating for women in comics for over 15 years now, and Val's very nice plug of Robin's new project (among other news announced at SDCC).

• Speaking of plugs and comic book pros, I'm once again grateful to Marv Wolfman. *mwa*, Marv! And my favorite sparring partner Trina Robbins is back with another blog post!

• Courtney at Feministing doesn't get the whole teen idol phenomenon. Oh honey, I'm here for you any time you want an earful about my David Cassidy years; I used to study this mindset even when I was deep in it. And Echidne reports on a study claiming to have figured out this whole music thing biologically speaking. Funny, if music is akin to a mating call of sorts, how come so many people sing in showers where they can't be heard by potential mates? And it's only male warbling that counts? I know tons of successful female musicians wouldn't mind smacking this guy upside the head with their various axes and other instruments. Can we start with Annie Lennox and work from there? (Naturally, the idiot seeks to prove his point by noting how many more men than women make their living from music, which is kind of like saying American superhero comic art is a male-only mating thing because there aren't as many women doing it!) Oh, and happy Vinyl Record Day!

• Having seen Mamma Mia, Lis decides to review lots of current tropes about female characters, including Gail Simone's Women in Refrigerators bit and, of course, the Bechdel "Mo Movie Measure." Barry adds another one of which I'd previously been unaware, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl!

• Melissa and lots of others are talking about the fake lightening of BeyoncĂ© Knowles skin tone. I'd very much like to see Cheryl Lynn devote a blog to this sort of thing, it's disgustingly prevalent. But what does one expect if existing while black is still considered suspect?

• I was too late to watch any of the solar eclipse, or the Perseid showers, but hey, I'm not too late to catch a city of domed houses.

• Do not come between Ken Levine and his Free Cell game. Just don't.

• You know, it's not like the government doesn't do a lot of good things, like deal well with earthquakes. It's that there are too many damned obstructionists stopping it from doing more good, so they can turn to the American people and say "see, government doesn't do any good!"

• Then again, it should come as no surprise when some governments decide to punish the poor, again, even when it's in the name of so-called health.

• Lastly, my heart goes out to bullied girls everywhere, but I may still be too close to some memories to read what sounds like an excellent book.

And so, to bed! This should fill out my content section for a bit. :)
Silly Site o' the Day

Sometimes you just wanna spell (via Elise at After School Snack), y'know?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Ooh, pretty! Mandala of the Day via Hanan. Although it's really more of a Fractal of the Day, and you'll want to turn the sound down...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

You should know that the Olympics aren't the only games going on now -- check out the FringeNYC festival if you've got the time. Via the lovely Miranda. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the annual Del Close Marathon is going on in NYC this weekend as well (via Dustin at the Comedy Central blog).

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Via Budgie in email: "So you’re writing a script and want to know which '555' phone numbers have been used in what movies and TV shows. So you go here. Easy, isn't it?" 'S right! And they don't even have a 555 exchange in England! (Apparently they have different fake numbers for different geographic regions...)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Since I'm sitting here struggling to stay awake during the Parade of Atheletes during the Olympic opening ceremonies, I might as well push the McDonald's videogame (via Chazarmaveth) on you. It's all brought to you by mega-corporations anyway, innit?
Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

Both cats love the cushions on our new computer room chairs, but Datsa got one this time...

You can of course see Amy in the background. Here she is in close-up, on one of her favorite "plinths":

Always great to start the day with kitties! Well, except possibly for those 5 AM hairballs...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Yeah, it's not like I don't know about Funny Or Die, it's just that I never thought it needed all that much Silly Site-style publicity since everyone else appears to know about it as well...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

My latest ComicMix column is up. It's a meta-column about blogging, something I usually only do during weekdays if it's lunch hour, which it is now. Hey, what can I say, I blog where other (mostly =sigh= younger) people text and use their phones. Speaking of which, what's your perfect phone (via Gerard)? The site insists that mine is a Watch Phone, which may be right, when I was a kid I always wanted one of those Dick Tracy-esque two-way wrist radios...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Zoicks, starting to fall behind again in my blog reading. I always know when that's happening because I start to run low on Silly Sites. At this point I could use a Transfer of Luck (via Gerard) to keep me going...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

So tired, I feel like the walking dead. Maybe I should sign up for Zombie Harmony (via Hanan)...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

How meta is it to blog about doing a ComicMix column (essentially a glorified blog post) about not blogging, particularly on a day when I haven't blogged until now?

Superstickies via Gerard.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Silly Site o' the Day

Via Harold at Serious Eats, can you tell which is a discontinued B&J flavor and which is a band found on MySpace? We did pretty well, with 7 out of 10 correct.
Robin's Daily Outrage

"The New York Times doesn't usually give you this much entertainment on a Saturday morning," Robin says, as he leads me to this article about how it's probably not a good financial idea for consumers to ditch their SUVs in favor of smaller, more responsible vehicles for any number of spurious reasons none of which have anything to do with being conscientious citizens. By sheer coincidence, Automakers Race Time As Their Cash Runs Low, which means they might not be spending as much advertising money at the NY Times! Also, Whole Foods isn't that expensive, honest! It's all in your heads, consumers! Reality becomes perception! It's true, you whiny people, we're in a mental recession! Keep looking at this watch as we sway it back and forth! Pity my poor husband; after this venting, he doesn't even have the energy to get worked up over non-stories about Olympic hopefuls failing drug tests...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

My theory as to why Blogger was so speedy with recovering my blog (as well as, I'm sure, hundreds of others) from the false-positive is that they knew I had to post a photo of my kitty:

Or they could just be scared of Datsa and his laser eyes. (Yes, it's Fun with Photoshop time for Robin again, as he kicks the glowing-anyway eyes up a notch...)
Silly Site o' the Day

White Rabbits! Aaaaand we're back! Wow, that was fast considering we're talking Blogger time here. As you may know if you checked my sidebar or my LiveJournal today, last night I received a notice from Blogger that Pen-Elayne has been identified as a possible spam blog, and their overzealous bots automatically locked the blog until they could review it. Apparently their bots went a little skewed, and lots of other blogs were caught in this false-positive mess as well. I must say, going back to LiveJournal for the day was an interesting experience, the edit window's improved considerably these past couple of years even though I had to hand-code the links for some reason, as the pop-up edit window didn't embed them correctly. Anyway, now that things appear to be fixed I'm reposting this from LiveJournal: via Ed Levine at Serious Eats, it's the Wake 'n Bacon alarm clock! Yum!