Wednesday, August 31, 2005

They Just 'Chose' To Stay

thanks to RobertInWisconsin for collecting these excerpts from various newspapers.

The 'Choice' To Stay

from the washington post:

Many of the residents left in New Orleans are poor, and while some people have criticized them for failing to heed mandatory evacuation orders, many residents say they were simply unable to get out for financial or medical reasons.

"People are saying that those stuck in New Orleans now are those that wanted to stay, but that's not true," said Danelle Fleming, a New Orleans-based social worker. "They wanted to leave, but they couldn't."

She said that the city's Greyhound station was closing Saturday afternoon -- even as people without cars were trying to leave.

After being rescued from her roof, Moses said she was among those unable to evacuate before the hurricane. "My mother-in-law went out of town, but I didn't have any money, so I couldn't," she said.

the other thing that stuck me today are all the stories about the grim conditions in hospitals in new orleans. why were critcally ill people left in hospitals where it was virtually certain that they'd lose electricity and running water for days after the storm?

It's Bad. So Very Very Bad.

today, i finally realized that new orleans is gone. i'm not sure how many other americans understand this yet.

a major american city was just obliterated. the death toll will easily outstrip 911.

it came up on google

what an unfortunate band name

the real reason pigs is טרפה / حرام

becoz if you eat them, then the forests get all upfucked.

if you wanna read the article in the original at the scotsman, getcher login here. otherwise, enjoy the heavily-enhanced version i have created for our readers, complete with hyperlinks explaining what animals (some of these are tricky: north americans use the same words for completely unrelated animals! so don't take it for granted) and places they are talking about.

Wild boar the Ground Force Team to Revive Forest

Wild boar have returned to an area where their ancestors once foraged to help efforts to restore the ancient Caledonian pine forest.

A project has started in Glen Affric in which wild boar are now living and breeding within two large enclosures in the forest. It is hoped that the "original ground disturbance force" will eat invasive bracken and help increase the number of tree seedlings to regenerate the forests.

The project is unique in using wild boar to manage a native pine wood and the eight sows, one boar, called Boris, and 40 young will soon be rewarded for their efforts by moving from a test plot of just over an acre to a larger home of about 10 acres.

Munching on the exposed tubers, the animals eat young bracken shoots as they emerge in spring. It is hoped that the patches of well turned soil left behind will provide a fertile seed bed for the regeneration of native species such as pine, rowan and birch, and the project will monitor seedling establishment over the next two to three years.

Glen Affric, 35 miles from Inverness, covers 36,000 acres and contains one of the largest ancient Caledonian pinewoods in Scotland. Over £1 million has been spent to achieve National Nature Reserve status and it is a haven for wildlife such as golden eagles and osprey, and attracts some 70,000 visitors a year.

The boar are farm reared by Liz Balharry, a freelance ecologist, and Ray Grant, and the project is supported by a range of bodies including the Forestry Commission, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the European LEADER+ programme, the Forestry Research programme and the Macaulay Institute which will monitor the animals' progress. Ms Balharry said:

Boar are compulsive rooters, they root all the time whether they are looking for food or not. And they not only root up the bracken but they eat it as well, both the fresh stalks and the more mature stuff.

With the wetter climate, bracken is increasing in cover in Scotland and there are bits of pine woodland which are being overtaken by bracken and it stops it regenerating under that kind of shade.

The boar come in and gradually reduce the amount of bracken there. It's an ideal situation as they are happy and they are helping the woodland. It's a long-term project and we will monitor how they do over three years.

The beauty of wild boar is that they work away at small patches and get rid of the bracken and let the heather and grasses come back. You could go in with machinery and cut it back, but that is not really what you want on a nature reserve.

Unlike many British species that have become extinct, wild boar existed in Britain long after the Roman occupation.

At the time of the Norman Conquest, severe laws were passed against anyone who killed them, except in legitimate chase, and the animal continued to be hunted up until the 16th century.

They became extinct in Britain in 1683, partially as a result of hunting and partly by absorption into domestic herds.

Their name is a misnomer for the modern breed which are raised in captivity in a growing number of farms in Scotland, including in the Highlands. The animals are close relatives of the boars highly prized in southern Europe for their ability to root up truffles.

Four years ago the Forestry Commission brought in wild boar to a woodland near Fochabers in Moray to help a regeneration project. They were also used to rid woodland areas in Moray of rhododendrons.

Ms Balharry said the farm reared animals are relatively tame and are safe in the company of humans, including children.

They are still classed as dangerous wild animals but it is a grey area now as it's no longer exotic to farm them, so they are more like livestock. The down side is that, because, they are classed as dangerous wild animals, the fencing is very expensive. But I think I can put a case when we are finished here that stock fencing is quite adequate for these boar.
John Ireland, a forester with the Forestry Commission, said other projects are using cattle as part of woodland regeneration schemes.
It's rediscovering ancient techniques that have not been used for some time to see if they can work in the modern world. The way forestry and farming are going there is definite opportunities for them to work together. Nearly 1500 hectares of non-native trees have been removed to allow native species to flourish in Glen Affric.
Once covering thousands of square miles of Scotland, the native Caledonian pinewoods are found at 84 sites in the north and west of Scotland, covering around 70 square miles.

Menagerie of Countryside Comeback Contenders

Other animals, some extinct in Scotland, could make a return to the countryside.

Some experts have suggested bringing back wolves, wiped out in the 17th century, as a tourist attraction and to help control the deer population.

Paul Lister, owner of the Alladale estate in Sutherland and Easter Ross, has plans to create a fenced wilderness home for the European grey wolf, brown bear, wild boar, European bison and lynx.

Plans to bring back the European beaver to Scotland have been discussed for more than eight years, but a final decision has yet to be taken by the Scottish Executive. It is felt beavers would create more habitat diversity around rivers and lochs and help water purification.

Freshwater pearl mussels, which are being reintroduced in the Cairngorms, are seen as helpful to the eco-system.

However, introducing alien species can have an adverse effects. Grey squirrels have killed young trees and put pressure on red squirrels. Mink and hedgehogs, introduced to the Western Isles, devastated bird colonies and are now being wiped out.

yes, it's the whole article. because it's behind a lockbox and will be deleted, and someday i'll want to read the whole thing and it'll be gone. so there.

plus i added pics and links. and i'll add more, too.

what you can do

officials in southern louisiana have appealed to any private citizens with a boat to aid in rescue efforts. a bystander said that people with boats have been driving south to aid efforts.

but those of us north of the mason-dixon line and/or those without boats, pay a little visit to the red cross site and donate your lunch/latte money at least, mmmkay? (the site is very slow, which means people are giving money, which is good news). or call 1-800-HELP-NOW.

if my broke ass can give, your broke and not so broke asses can too. i'm not gonna force you, but it's the nice thing to do. make your kindergarten teacher proud.

[note: use the automated phone system if you decide to donate. the website is jammed. if you choose to call, use option "4" rather than "1" - "4" is the hurricane fund. they don't mention it initially.]

just because i'm a sick person

speaking of not adequately preparing for the worst, think new york city (or new england) is immune?

had katrina hit new york city, manhattan would have been submerged. fire island would probably be moved... literally. (fact: cherry grove is named for cherry trees that used to cover that area of fire island, not um, the amount of females that frequent the hamlet. in 1938, a category 3 hurricane hit long island and uprooted all the cherry trees in cherry grove - as well as leveling all of the houses. that same hurricane also created a new river in long island. and submerged providence, rhode island.) and that's just the least of the damage.

the 1938 hurricane was moving north at 70mph, which means that the winds on the eastern part of the storm were reaching 180mph (as opposed to just 110mph). that part of the storm hit central and eastern long island. what does that mean? yeah. your hamptons mansions would all be reduced to rubble with the 180mph winds. bye.

more from the new york times. wall street would be one of the first places to go. (oh and when they say "storm surge," they're not including the 20 foot waves that would be on top of the surge).

a big one is predicted to hit the northeast in the next decade due to the hurricane cycle.

of course, when it happens, we won't be adequately prepared. and anyone who thinks we should be prepared would be considered paranoid and psycho. so be it. like i said, you can't fight human nature. we hairless apes can be quite stubborn.

(and in the pacific, two typhoons are headed for taiwan. that's reason #12365 why china should leave taiwan alone: taiwan absorbs the first hit of typhoons before they hit china - and china doesn't have to pay for the damage. fact: "taiwan may be the place on earth most vulnerable to natural hazards, with 73 percent of its land and population exposed to three or more hazards." taiwan hasn't imploded yet, so i suppose some folks on this continent should take some engineering lessons from 'em.)

livin' on the cheap

buying groceries in new york to save money is pretty useless. if you're strapped for cash, it makes sense to go to gray's papaya or chinatown and get dinner for $5 rather than spending between $10 to $15 to cook dinner for yourself.

but the prices in new jersey! $0.79 for a dozen eggs. $2.50 a pound for ground pork. $0.25 for lemons. $0.80 for lemongrass. $1.19 for any ground spice you want.

oh, and of course, approximately $8.00 for a six pack of premium beer (as opposed to $12.00 in new york).

now i can spend money on things like potato ricers -- to make homemade gnocchi (i'm going to try a sweet potato and whole wheat flour one this weekend) -- and applesauce! i am a sick puppy.

Take A Good Long Look

in case you've been living under a rock for the last three days, you should take some time out of your day today and take a long look at footage of New Orleans. if you have some time, go to your local library and browse some newspapers from the last three days. i want all of you who cling to your childish delusions about our strong, effective, fast-acting leadership to contemplate the following facts while you drink your morning coffee, muttering about stupid idiots who 'chose' to stay behind and face the tragedy of katrina.

did you see an organized effort to evacuate new orleans? i didn't. i saw people being left to their own devices. if they had money, transportation, and a place to wait out the storm, they left. if they were poor and without transportation, they stayed in their homes to die or they crammed into the superdome. in other words, in the face of impending disaster, you are on your own.

can you please explain to me why you continue to believe that the 'authorities' will take care of you in the event of a large scale terrorist attack? however little warning there was, there was some warning of the disaster, and the 'authorities' failed to live up to their responsibilities. in my role as king, the very least i'd have done is force people driving out of the city to take people without transportation as passengers. the 'authorities' couldn't even bothered to do that much to help the powerless leave the city.

pure insanity

everyone remaining in new orleans must leave.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


is there anything creepier than the idea of michael jackson moving to dubai?

n.b. it's easy to get the underage boys there.

now, this guy knows what's important...

The Meltdown is Nigh

pop pop poppity pop.

Monday, August 29, 2005

the weather channel is hysterical

the background music to the coverage of hurricane katrina is a swirling string section maelstrom with an ominous horn section swelling behind it. think an alfred hitchcock soundtrack overlaid with beethoven's symphony no. 9.

oh, the drama.

the "hurricane hunters" are all standing in the middle of the street in 100mph winds grinning insanely as if from a crack high, jubilantly reporting on any damage caused by the storm.

"part of the superdome just blew off!" [shit eating grin]

"a levee just breached, and water is pouring into new orleans!" [giggle]

"highway 90 is completely submerged under the swirling sea!" [dazzling smile]

"tornado warning!" [shiny happy people holding hands!]

"it's all going downhill in a hurry!" [whoo! let's do the macarena!]

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA SHIIIIIIIITTT!" [boogadaboogadaboogada! cha cha cha!]

oh, it's too much. i'm sitting in my living room in new jersey eating dunkin' donuts watching the men and women in blue raincoats dance around and revel in the destruction. it appears that they are visibly disappointed that the eye of the storm isn't hitting new orleans directly.

speaking of new orleans... a conversation i had earlier this morning:

me: "what kind of idiots would build an entire city on the coast below sea level?"
girlfriend: [without skipping a beat] "the french."


Sunday, August 28, 2005

cell phone justice!

man gets on subway, sees woman, whips out his wee wee and proceeds to masturbate. woman pulls out her 1.3 megapixel camera phone, snaps a picture of the perv, and posts pictures of him on her flickr account, which ended up all over the internet - and then on the cover of the new york daily news.

women and girls riding public transit: get yourself a camera phone and put these icky men behind bars -- at the very least their mugs will be splashed all over the news.

this sure beats my subway camera phone photo from yesterday: a woman on the subway reading a book called "how to marry your baby daddy." i kid you not.


it's fucking 0420h. why the fuck am i awake? it's like i haven't the slightest desire to sleep - i can't even tell it's not before midnight, there's something wrong with my internal clock.

damnit. i have things to do in the morn-

oh, wait. i'm a lazy bitch. i forgot. nevermind.

although i wonder idly what i will eat for breakfast. since there is nothing in the house. perhaps rotini with a nice garlic sauce.

if you haven't heard them, you need to get your hands on some music by les cowboys fringants (roughly, "the frisky/naughty cowboys"). they are this po-pomo hick-ass laurentian-acadian band from, of course, canadia. their french is just... amazing. it's so unbelievably hick-ass, you can't help but sing along.

i particularly recommend their po-pomo video for "ti-cul" ("little ass"), which you can watch here. it's awesome in its deliberately tawdriness.

and as i told a friend today, it's worth watching for the facial hair alone.

fuckit, i'm gonna lie down on my bed and pretend i'm asleep. maybe i'll fall for it and actually go to sleep?



i finally checked the mail and i received my last amazon order: cherry grove, fire island: sixty years in america's first gay and lesbian town.


anyway, to elaborate on the last point. soon after my family moved to one of those square states west of the missouri river, i discovered that my dad had been pursued by a prominent university in los angeles to teach. at the time, i couldn't understand why he chose to go to the other, less "fabulous" location.

he replied, "because i can live like a king in a big house in a quiet place, and no one will bother me. i can go fishing and tend a garden and plant trees in my back yard, and i don't have to wake up to smog."

dad, i finally get it.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

late night ramblings

first, another GRRR at the roberts nonsense

John and Jane Q. Moderate must be scratching their heads, wondering why "the gays" are against a judge who [my emphasis] volunteered his efforts on behalf of their cause...
enough of this crap. he was an attorney in a law firm good enough to get cases on "the bleeding edge." and that's that. you don't turn down a case destined to make history. his firm could have easily been hired to be a consultant on "the other side," because the firm he was working at is one of those at the tippity top, okay? "volunteer" my ass. this case was not taken by the kindness of the firm's collective heart - it was taken to build the reputation of the firm (i.e. it takes pro bono cases and that it can craft excellent legal arguments for any client). the man's a terrific lawyer, but a terrific lawyer does not always make a great judge. i don't know if he is a good judge, so i'm not going to comment on that. my lexisnexis account expired. so frankly, i don't have an opinion on roberts, except that the current "debate" is pretty stupid.

and now for something completely different...

i need a car. i just took another three hour trip on public transit, which was excruciatingly boisterous. i just came back from a pool party somewhere in westchester county - hosted at the home of a classmate whose father is a prominent producer. wow, those houses are fabulous. no, scratch that. the houses could have been plucked from any nice neighborhood in suburbia, but the amount of land... wow. the property was as big as or slightly bigger than twice the land area of union square in manhattan. i can only hope to own one of these placid estates one day. it would be like buying my own private little island where i can escape the uncivilized chaos of "civilization."

there you have it - the reason why i want to be rich. to buy my own privacy and peace of mind, because people are nuts.

so much for being an extrovert. :P

Word Envy: The Brooding Persian Satellite Series

The Americans

From the very beginning, the pitch has been:
there is no room in this war for oscillations.
No room for nuances. Things are black and white.
You are either with us or against us.

They in 'them' pose such serious existential threat
that the we in "us" have got to fight a very dirty,
bloody slug match to the finish.
No doubts, no questions, no hesitations, no pauses allowed.

So in order to channel this primitive impulse,
you've got to have a sense for who they are
that propose to lead this dirty fighting
and what they aim to accomplish.

Especially since you find the other side rather creepy
and have had your own mini bouts— ineffective mostly.
But, it has now simply become a question of joining forces.
Hence the question of trust!

What is the vision of those who propose to lead you
and promise to support you? What is their real beef?
What is this fight about for them?
What might they mean by victory?

But here is where things start to get messy.

So it has been the claim of their more outspoken ideologues:
"We" are hated for who we are and not what we do.
But this war has come about not because of who "we" are,
but what "we've" failed to do.

A failure to project invincibility led us to this mess.
They can still hate us as intensely as they have always,
and yet, we'll be safe to lead our merry lives
for as long as we have those terrible, fiery iron fists.

We don't have to alter anything.
We'll just send our boys and girls to flatten them.
End of the problem! And just to be on the safe side,
no pictures of those who've paid dearly for our calculations.

Herein we have the first doubts about trust:

The "enemy" however ill defined,
has never been as formidable as they've made it sound,
or they couldn't have thought them so easily controllable.
That's why they can counsel us to forget the "Arab streets."

Those streets are filled with" impotent" men,
and stink of hot air which can ultimately be quite easily managed.
After all, they have lost every major war they fought in,
and been brow beaten to submission by some very low octane rulers.

That's why we've been getting those constant comparisons.
"This hasn't been all that bad now really, has it?"
That is the constant chime.
It's a war but not really a war.

Just look at those casualties in percentiles --
negligible for what we've been doing.
As an afterthought, we have had one incidental feature
to the invincibility thesis: The Democracy creation project.

Even when it means, or perhaps because it actually means,
wars or bombing entire countries into smithereens.
As the argument goes, expansionism and ferocity
has always been in our nature:

We have a mission.
We are idealists.
We fight for the underdog.

A classic case of an ill defined project, if I ever saw one.
They want to be the scariest chelovak in town
while also pretending to look out for the weak.
Here is where things become even more confused and confusing.

It isn't as if these good folk who propose these policies
have been out of power for any considerable length of time.
Some of the meanest, most ferocious thugs and petty tyrants
in the region have been their best friends,
their paid agents or still to this day their closest chums.

You don't have to agree with any of their arguments
to see what conundrum they're faced with--
If you try to be everything to everyone,
you actually end up being nothing to no one.

Again, at issue is that quaint matter of trust.

If your aim is to be the biggest, meanest thug in town,
then the type of folk who would naturally be attracted
to those qualities are going to have second thoughts
about working with you, having seen you in action.

Look where some of their old buddies have ended up:

Dead, hiding or in prison. One of the most prominent,
one of their best friends of recent past,
who maimed, raped, butchered and gassed,
is sitting in a cell waiting to die.

Their other buddies must be feeling pretty insecure by now.
But that's the nature of politics for you,
and the inevitable future of all thugs no matter how big.
Alliances of convenience come and go.

But they are not content simply annoying the other thugs.

These very same people who have had awfully close encounters
with the ruffians we talked about, with pictures to show for it,
get terribly nasty and impugn your motives with anti-Americanism,
or treason, after your slightest reference to their history.

You can't make the memory of those encounters disappear.
You can't wish history away: Every time I see a close relative,
I am reminded again of who helped poison gas him.
It's basically the same story practically all over.

Even assuming that history started in 1979,
Mr. Boot and Co. should re-do their math
before sounding too self-righteous or indignant.
They always lecture, and yet refuse to own their deeds.

They have never been wrong.
They have never done wrong.
Doesn't help their credibility in the slightest
when they refuse to level.

From here on, it gets even messier!
They say, go on, my fight is now also your fight.
Join it. We know you have been disenfranchised,
and it's time for you to step in and take charge of your lives.

But their message of hate, venom and bloodlust is too loud.
Their publications are filled with them.
That's because, it is not even clear to them, anymore,
who they aspire to be, or even who they actually are.

Some of the ideologues and their fellow travelers say repeatedly:
"Look, we have those nukes. We have used them in the past twice,
and if the need arise, we're prepared to do it again."
Thugs aren't likable--even the biggest ones.

The prospect of a grotesque death has always been looming overhead:
By hanging, stoning, hacking, gassing, swords, bullets, bombs
or a terribly nasty chronic illness wreaking havoc.
Now just one more thing to worry about!

But you're half hoping that you're elsewhere
when the angel comes for you, or, at least, busy having fun
with a rather brilliant, old-fashioned, cantankerous Spartan
of a dominatrix to notice the painful end.

So life goes on as it has always.
Besides, being a thug is ultimately about control, isn't it?
Especially since this thug persona has to do
with the need to protect a life style.

A life style that even the most outspoken promoters
of sacrifice for others appear awfully inflexible about.
As delicious as it might be for the more psychopathic fellows
in those think tanks, extermination is not an option.

Perhaps twenty, thirty years down the road if this keeps up.
But not just yet! Remember, this is not the last century either.
Any delusion of life as usual, with endless shopping and meandering,
would come to an abrupt end after even limited nuclear strikes.

A premature end to those aspirations of claiming entire millennia.

One becomes not only terribly incredulous, but also hypersensitive.
Who are they and what do they really want?
What qualities matter to them most? What are their principles?
Are there any? One is now after tangible, easy to understand signs.

Remember, we are not supposed to do nuances.
The ideologues and their sycophants claim that you can't be trusted.
Your religion makes you pretend all is well when things are not.
Then they praise the British profusely for their "stiff upper lips."

They pretend they are the most principled fighters
of those nasty "isms" -- Anti-Semitism, racism and such.
Yet, their routine pitches and talking points reflect
the crudest historical building blocks of these ancient vulgarities.

They claim they are really concerned about the suffering.
Yet, they give us Abu Ghraib and those Club Gitmo shirts.
They want to see even more humiliation and flattened cities.
One, two, many Fallujahs is their war cry.

They expect you to start civil war,
and murder and mayhem in your neighborhood.

When a grieving mother lands in their own backyard,
they lose their temper at having lost their peace,
and one shoots a rifle and vandalizes setups
intended to commemorate the memory of the fallen.

The likes of Horowitz yell inanities on TV.
Drudge does what drudge does best,
and all other sort of people join in,
to do some nasty smears.

All the signs, even the "simpler" ones,
now give one a nasty feeling at the gut level.
How are you to trust their promise of a benign hegemony
when they can't even offer succor to a grieving mother?

So no matter how you cut it, the visceral doubts continue to grow:
There is no trust.

That primitive instinct doesn't want to be channeled their way,
even when you want it to.
Especially since you continue to have your own mini-bouts
with those creepy Islamist folk, and can use a bit of help and guidance.

What are they really after?
Who are they, really?
What's their vision?
Who do they want to be?

The biggest thug or a liberator?
Partner or a boss?
Savior or a cold blooded killer?
Bright eyed and principled or cunning and cynical?
Caring or callous?
Champion of the underdog or a mean bully?

Even if they are not explicitly clear about who they aspire to be,
signs point to the suspicion that we are dealing
with callous, mean bullies who expect steep sacrifices from everyone,
but want to be accountable to no one.

They go on to take credit for every good,
and yet are unwilling to even acknowledge the consequences
of their calculations gone badly, or those nasty policies of the past.
Self serving, obnoxious, mean-spirited bullies always go down.

It is just a matter of time, a question of how many of us
they manage to finally take down with them.
Meanwhile, the mini-battles will have to go on
until we get more trustworthy leaders with a clearer vision.

-- brooding persian aka H.
August 19, 2005

Friday, August 26, 2005

Word Envy: The Brooding Persian Satellite Series

one of the chief pleasures of reading brooding persian is that his posts are poetry shamelessly, brazenly masquerading as prose. but, my friends, they cannot pass. the rhythm always gives them away. this evening, i read aloud the following excerpt to emily0 (lightly edited to better fit poetic form) and said, "brooding persian is not a writer, he's a poet." and she replied, "of course. he's persian."

This Is A Time

The age of heroism is long past and should best be forgotten.

This is a different era we live in,
and a fundamentally disenchanting one.
It is not as if history ever ended.
It is merely that "grandeur of spirit" has finally vanished.

This is a time for sneak attacks,
and for striking the vulnerable and unsuspecting --
for molesting the defenseless,
and incinerating women and children from afar.

This is a time when jailers torment their hungry, thirsty wards
with the aroma of barbecue or the offerings of excrement and urine.
A time for hoods, claustrophobia and lynching,
the era of petty tyrants and their petty spirited foes.

This is a time for spins, meanness and smears.
I am no longer certain there ever was a time when Titans clashed.
We have now the confrontations of the entitled and self-absorbed,
with their murderous jingoism and onanistic tribalism.

Unless there is a sustained outpouring of decency,
which I am thinking highly unlikely in the foreseeable future,
we'll be made into Tutsis and Hutus -- most of us.
It is a grave mistake to delude ourselves by assuming our superiority.

-- brooding persian aka H.
August 21, 2005

my semite fetish

praise be to the brooding persian. he found the finest pics of persian jews from long ago. many seem like מזרחים (mizrå7im "easterners"), but others could be ספרדים (tsfårdim "iberians"). it's hard to tell.

in any case, it rawks. i gotta get me that book, esther's children (edited by houman sarshar).


False history gets made all day, any day,
the truth of the new is never on the news
-adrienne rich
il faut se souvenir des leçons de l'internationale. musique ici (page en anglais; vérsions multilingues; je préfère la version d'utah philips & ani diFranco); paroles ici.

Les rois nous saoulaient de fumées;
Paix entre nous, guerre aux tyrans!
Appliquons la grève aux armées
crosse en l'air, et rompons les rangs!
S'ils s'obstinent, ces cannibales
à faire de nous des héros
ils sauront bientôt que nos balles
sont pour nos propres généraux.
The kings deceive us with their fumes;
Peace among ourselves, war to the tyrants!
Let us encourage strikes in the armies
to wave their guns and disband their ranks!
If they insist, those cannibals,
to make heroes of us,
they will soon know our bullets
are for our own generals.

m. bush est mort; vive m. bush!

the VMAs!

the video music awards is this sunday, and the host of the evening is "diddy" (formerly known as "p. diddy" and "puff daddy").



are you trying to put us all to sleep?!

the man has about as much onstage charisma as a wet noodle. yes, he is a brilliant businessman, but when it comes to his performances, his involvement is relegated to cycling between the following three phrases in a monotone: "yeah," "uh-huh," and "this is the remix."

oh how i wish i had a tivo.

it's very simple: get off your butt and WALK! (and don't eat crap)

i watched "super size me" yesterday, or rather, i watched it and fell asleep towards the end. here's the deal: a rail thin man who used to only munch on his wife's (girlfriend's?) vegan meals gorged himself on mcdonald's for a month. he also forced himself to take taxis rather than walk. he didn't eat a normal amount of this unhealthy food either: he regularly ate the super size (i.e. the "normal people can't finish it" portions) - three times a day - and this stuffing of face amounted to over 5,000 calories a day. basically, he lived an extremely unhealthy lifestyle for a month, and he got a little portly and, at the end of it all, felt pretty grody.

and this film shocked WHOM exactly?

even a pre-schooler knows that if you eat too much you get fat. if any of you would like to dispute this, please take yourselves back to preschool and remember the taunts aimed at the fat kid - "fatty! stuff your face! porky! pig out! ha ha!" or any permutation thereof.

anyway, right before i fell asleep, my girlfriend and i noted that the mcnuggets looked rather tasty and that mcdonald's fries were definitely a cut above burger king's. :D

however, i usually avoid fast food, because unless you eat it immediately, it tends to smell like oil and sewage. the smell after a greyhound stops at a roy rogers, and the entire caravan brings back greasy meals on board is simply revolting. not only that, the smell clings to your clothes with more tenacity than the smells of a korean restaurant. plus, i'd rather cook a homemade meal. and frankly, even the "healthy choice" tv dinners taste better than a filet-o-fish.

but i do love bojangle's and popeyes. just don't bring it into an automobile. i like me some fried chicken! (hold the kfc - that stuff is just gross)

anyway, i digress. i thought the premise of "super size me" wasn't very clever, nor was the execution.

i have some documentary ideas that are on par with "super size me."

1) "frogger: the reality series" - a man walks back and forth crowded highways in an attempt to prove that automobile makers make cars that are too big and that drivers drive too fast. throughout the film, he suffers broken limbs, ribs, and eventually ends up in a coma from various injuries.

2) "seven year itch" - a man pours five times the amount of detergent into every load of laundry and puts the machine on "quick" cycle. he blames the resulting rash on the additives in laundry detergent.

3) "dude, where's my teeth?" - a man eats nothing but hershey's bars, m&m's, and skittles for six months, and he doesn't brush his teeth. when he ends up with severe tooth decay, candy makers are portrayed as scary. the m&m candy figurines occasionally dance in and out bearing fangs and wearing devil's horns.

perhaps something more effective would be to eat mcdonald's once or twice a week for a year, keeping to normal portions. just like a normal person. if mr. vegan man starts getting visibly more unhealthy, then there might be something to the documentary. however, as it is, the film is nothing but a publicity stunt with a stunt so extreme that the outcome is incredibly predictable. and the explanatory inserts like the melodramatic cartoons of elderly chickens getting gored and processed are too ridiculous to be taken seriously.

to sum up this film in six words: upton sinclair the filmmaker is not.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

wedding crasher

things i only wish i could have made up: sacha baron cohen (a.k.a. ali g) dressed as borat, disembarks from a turtle and rugby tackles pamela anderson at her pet chihuahua and her pet retriever's wedding ceremony.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Why I've Stopped Writing About Politics

kevin drum wrote a decent post arguing that bush doesn't take the war in iraq seriously. our old friend joe schmoe chimed in with one of his typically myopic, incoherent comments. i know. i know.

i. should. not. feed. trolls.

i just can't help it. if you saw a whale in a barrel, wouldn't you shoot it and put it out of its misery? lightly edited for spelling and grammar (both my comments and joe's):

[...] This is why people don't trust the Dems on national security. Seriously. You actually don't think that the President takes Iraq "seriously?" My God, man, people are dying over there! Of course he takes it seriously!
this is not an argument. the fact that the war in iraq should be taken seriously because people are dying over there does not prove that bush actually takes it seriously. i'm sure bush takes it seriously in sense that he knows it will ultimately make or break him. the iraq debacle overshadows everything else in his administration.
And the other aspect of your remark is even more damning. "Why should he expect the rest of us to take [Iraq] seriously?"
President Bush should not have to persuade you to take national security seriously. It is your duty as an American and does not depend on what a particular president does or does not do.
clever, joe. ignore everything else in kevin's post, but lecture endlessly about a tiny little bit of snark at the end. how lawyerly of you to conveniently take it literally so that you can fill up all that space talking about it. it gives the appearance of a response to kevin's post, when in fact, you are ignoring the vast majority of it.
it's also rather telling that you edit the quoted portion of kevin's post and rewrite his statement before proceeding to argue with that statement. the substitution of 'national security' for the war in iraq is likewise noted.
yes, the war and bush's handling of it has profound consequences for 'national security'. our military is spread thin, and people are declining their opportunity to serve in droves. i do believe that those whom you call 'you libs' have been harping on this for months.
Honestly, you libs sound like ]petulant teenagers. "Why should I take Iraq seriously?"
stop wagging your finger like a prissy schoolmarm. it's unbecoming. i do believe that kevin made that statement, not 'you libs'. so, basically, if you can ascribe your own fantasized idea of a 'liberal' attitude to one liberal then it is one that most or all liberals have?
You should take it seriously because American soldiers are there. You should assume that Bush is taking it seriously for the same reason.
we're not talking about bush and his handling of the war in iraq anymore? now it's all about 'you' and 'you should'. why did you even bother to write this comment? are you actually taking as your starting assumption that kevin does not take the war in iraq seriously? then, could you please explain why he has written hundreds of posts about it over the last three years?
are you addressing a general 'you' as in the other people who comment here? or does 'you' mean liberals as a faceless mass of people to whom you can ascribe 'liberal' attitudes, opinions, and beliefs that make it easier for you to cope with your own attitudes, opinions, and beliefs?
Everyone here is a responsible adult.
so, you weren't talking to the other people who comment here when you said, "You libs sound like petulant teenagers."
If the White House is pursuing a particular strategy, they have agonized over it and believe that it is the best course of action. They don't just make decisions at random. You may not agree with those decisions but I assure you that there are reasons for each one of them.
so, you've personally spoken to the major players in the white house, including george bush himself?
How can I take the ideas of a petulant teenager on national defense seriously?
and now, the petulant teenagers have become a petulant teenager. who is the petulant teenager, joe? kevin? liberals? the people who comment here?
From a political POV, I was worried that support for the war was slipping until the libs finally went too far with the Cindy Sheehan thing.
how did 'the libs' go too far with cindy sheehan? and why, after babbling on about petulant teenagers and how unthinkable it is for anyone to even suggest that bush doesn't take war in iraq seriously, are you admitting that you yourself do not actually take it seriously? if you are concerned about the political fallout, and if that is what has you worried, then you most certainly do not take the war in iraq seriously.
You antiwar libs finally got smart. After three years of "Bush lied! No blood for oil! Chickenhawk! Abu Ghraib!" etc., etc. you finally hit upon a them -- fallen American soldiers and grieving moms -- that appeals to ALL Americans, not just the left.
of course! because all liberals everywhere are politically motivated by a team sport mentality regarding the war in iraq. every bad thing that happens, every soldier that gets gets killed, every innocent iraqi civilian that gets killed by american gunfire is a point for their team, a score against your team. naturally, antiwar liberals just completely forgot about abu ghraib and totally abandoned their anti-torture activism as soon as cindy sheehan came along. every liberal in america is now shamelessly exploiting her as a political strategy to score against your team.
I knew that your motivations hadn't change, but you finally packaged your idea in a way that appeals to mainstream Americans. Michael Moore was sent to the back of the room, and a grief-stricken mom was put on the podium in his place.
so basically, here we are: you don't take the war in iraq seriously because you only care about its political consequences for your team. then you ascribe exactly this same attitude to 'liberals' and attack it mercilessly as that of a petulant teenager. suddenly, your own politically motivated interest in the iraq war is 'proof' that anti-war activists are, just like you, politically motivated for mere politics' sake.
can i ask again -- who are you addressing with 'you'?
But then you blew it. You went too far with this. And here's the thing -- this was your best argument. You'll never find a more appealing strategy. But it wasn't enough. And you squandered it.
how did anti-war liberals go too far with cindy sheehan? so basically, we're not talking about how bush squandered his opportunities in the handling of the war in iraq anymore. now the discussion is all about how anti-war liberals squandered their opportunity with cindy sheehan.
We will stay the course in Iraq. We won't pull out until we win.
who is 'we'?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

george bush is a dickhead

that's right, folks.

so i manage to get my medication from the doctor to the pharmacy - no small feat, mind you - and i go to pick it up.

and they charge me $40. which i don't have. i have $20, and it's not even mine. it's borrowed.

because medicare doesn't cover prescriptions. doesn't matter that i'm disabled; no, no. doesn't matter that i can't work because i'm sick and i need these drugs to remain healthy; no, no.

so i get home to review what medicare actually covers, and voilà!


not only that, but the medicare homepage is a shill/redirect to the GOP's official website, in what must be one of the most egregious misuses of government/party separation i've yet encountered in this filthy, rotten, corrupt engine of buggery we call "the united states of america". yes, the GOP's got a veiny, plague-infested, purulent, steaming cock, and it is sodomising the american people with it. without a condom.

the cost of my groceries has increased to, oh, say 150% of what it was 12 months ago. i can't get any fucking healthcare with my fucking healthcare card.

and the GOP's poisonous, grey-green jism is being unloaded in my, and your, ass.

it's like this time my mom and i were driving down a steep hill in the snow and we started to slide. we were spinning: we did two 360s. i was in the middle of that slide, and all i could think was, oh shit, we are just fucked left ways of sunday, aren't we?

so i say now to the GOP's cocaine-snorting, fake-hoi polloi yalie, drunkard monkey mascot: fuck you, george bush, fuck the horse you rode in on, fuck the asshole who put its saddle on and FUCK the little girl that fed it apples.

and fuck all of us for going along with this trainwreck and not doing everything in our human power to stop it.

oh, and if you voted for bushaney, don't let me know. i'll fucking beat you to death with a tire-iron, more'n'likely. what the fuck, i'm prolly going to jail or iraq anyway because i'm poor - what do i have to lose?


i never knew that making homemade sausage patties would be very different from store-bought, but this is truly scrumptious...

emily2's spicy spiced sausage patties

1 lb ground pork (lean is not necessary)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh sage leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked or ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (i like it on the hotter end)

do not leave any ingredient out or substitute.

mix it all together with your hands. make 8-10 patties. fry 'em up until they're brown. oh so good.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Fire Island: A Coda

the charm of fire island is the quiet. it's possible to hear the water trickling in a neighbor's fountain, accompanied by a chorus of crickets and frogs. i have neighbors in cambridge who have a very nice fountain, but i can't hear it until i'm standing next to their fence.

the roar of traffic overwhelms every delicate thing. one of the more attractive features of the little dump that em0 and i call home is that it does not directly face any street. it's tucked away behind other buildings, so we don't suffer the barrage of noise that rattles the houses facing a street like western avenue.

i've been trying to gin up the enthusiasm to write a long post about fire island, but my creative energies are low these days. mostly, i'm sweating out the three week wait until my first real paycheck. i was thumbing through my copy of The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, and naturally, i had to stop at the yeats section. and there it was, the perfect tribute to cherry grove -- except that yeats wrote it about the lake isle of innisfree.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by william Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

i was going to post pictures, but

i ate the subject.

here is the recipe instead.

molasses pancakes (when you run out of sugar - and it turns out better)

1 cup unbleached white flour
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp molasses
2 tsp baking powder

mix it all together and then cook 'em up. incredibly good.

yeah i ate all of them. i feel rather bloated, but satisfied.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

gee's bend

this link comes to me from my mom ("umm as-sifr"). ye gods.

anyway, umm as-sifr, she went to see a traveling show about these amazing quilts. she's a quilter, she made the quilts that lay on my bed as a child and even now. i'm even thinking of learning some mad skillz from her myself because i need a replacement, the old baby is wearing out.

anyway, there were slave plantations on a remote-ass island in the alabamy river. in 1850, the original owner, hen gee, sold his plantations to new management, his kinsman hen pettway. then, of course, the war of northern aggression kicked the south's ass but subsequent leadership was too stupid and reactionary to ensure this victory remained solid, so the plantations kept on chugging and life just got worse. the freed slaves took the surnames gee and pettway and worked the plantations, only now they weren't property and therefore no longer a concern for damages.

let's fast-forward. life on gee's bend, as the island was thence known, went on. it was so isolated that until only very recently the only way to get on or off it was by pole-boat. the inhabitants made quilts for themselves, but were isolated from "the modern quilts" - the national cultural and artistic movements within the quilting world from about 1850 on.

but the quilters didn't just make boring quilts - no, they invented their own artistic traditions. and man, can those women quilt. the patterns and designs they and their ancestors devised are magnificent; even more so because they are hand-sewn from bits of extra cloth and worn-out clothing and bulk courderoy and the like.

the 50 or so women of gee's bend have formed the gee's bend quilters' collective, from which quilts can be purchased and to which the proceeds of the museum tours will go.

i highly recommend you explore the website quilters of gee's bend for yourself. it is a remarkable artistic tradition, even more so for its independence from "mainstream" quilters and quilting. they are magnificent works of art.

thanks, umm as-sifr.(hi, mom!)

Fire Island In Photos -- Part Four

of course, i saved the best for last. emily2 was most correct when she described cherry grove as a boardwalk village of eclectic houses. eccentricity saturates the air there. one can find ample entertainment just walking around and admiring the unique, quirky decorative styles of sexagenarian queers, as emily2 puts it. there's a quality of otherworldliness on the island, partly reinforced by the near total absence of cars and other accompanying features of 'civilization.' for me personally, the first few hours on fire island involve a steady sloughing off of the expectations of sameness, conformity, and homogeneity.

Wrong Address
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Peering Through A Fence
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Italian Landlady Decor
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Italian Landlady Decor
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Italian Landlady's Flowers
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Decapitated Dollhead Garden
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Serious Bad Voodoo
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

The Beach
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Friday, August 19, 2005

Fire Island In Photos -- Part Three

emily2 esq., my esteemed co-blogger, is most accurate in her ode to cherry grove. one does not go to cherry grove to find a pumping party scene. downtown cherry grove consists of a cluster of buildings around the pier. the night scene offers two options for clubbing and drinking. but, for those who are curious, i present the downtown cherry grove series.

Coming Up On Downtown Cherry Grove
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Sundown By The Pier
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

The Burger Queen
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

The Burger Queen, Again
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Facing Top Of The Bay, Outside The Burger Queen
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Coming Up On Grove Market
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Grove Market
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Outside The Ice Palace
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

back to civilization

and i've discovered i hate "civilization."

because civilization is so uncivilized.

first, the vitriol, before i end this post with a lovely ode to cherry grove.

you may want to skip this paragraph. to the ghetto girls on the new jersey transit who were snorting and rolling your eyes at me as i passed by visibly struggling with my mountain of luggage, shove your lee press on nails up your ass. and to the starched white shirt businessmen types with your tiny little briefcases who stood there also rolling your eyes, if you don't want to hear the clanging of luggage, fucking get out of the way or help. if all 102 pounds of me can carry all that shit from long island to new jersey, your snooty little pansy asses can lift a finger to help traffic along the aisles. it is clear that the fire island queens (who are all in shape, more fun, and a hundred times more polite - unless provoked of course) can kick your little pasty straight booties from here to fargo.

and that is why i hate "civilization." uncivilized bastards!

the people at cherry grove, fire island are so very helpful and nice. our landlord, an old italian lesbian prone to fits of singing at the moon while drinking her homemade wine (emily1, she has promised to send me her recipe) and her lovely artist wife, kept offering us fresh towels, grilled vegetables, wine, and even berries picked from the tree in the front lawn. they were used to renting to older, more affluent people who wanted an escape from the city, so when we little twenty somethings trotted into her humble abode, she was very pleased that we were not a rowdy bunch. she hinted that she had suffered through "screaming kids" in the past. her property is a large beachfront house many blocks from the center of town. we had two porches, a kitchen, and a private walk to the beach.

the reason why i go to cherry grove is to escape real life -- cars, rude people, work, school, responsiblity, noise, pollution, and any other annoyance of modern life. the only time any of these scourges invade the tranquility of the island is saturday night, when the kiddies take the ferry over for a few hours and then return to long island / manhattan. however, if you stay in your beachhouse, you will never suspect that the town exists at all. my girlfriend was looking for a club scene (my thinking is that if you want to find a "club scene" go into manhattan - not a boardwalk village of eclectic houses owned by sextegenarian queers - what was she thinking?), and she failed to find it. however, i found my much-needed vacation.

emily1 and i cooked paella from scratch; the next day our friends grilled tandoori-style chicken on the grill; the following day we made an indian-style spinach and brown rice dish; and then my friend jodi and i cooked a pink vodka sauce using only fresh ingredients. it was very nice. deer ate spinach out of my hand. i made the mistake of eating skittles on the beach, because a curious little doe came up to me and chomped a few out of my hand before wandering off. i thought it was a dog at first. it was only three feet tall.

the waves were very intense over the weekend, but by midweek, the waves were calm enough for me to go backstroking in the ocean. the whole atmosphere was very calming.

i am so very annoyed that i am back. well, at least i live on a slightly tree-lined block in a large apartment and not in a shoebox in that concrete-and-trash jungle where i used to live. i think that i'd go ballistic from the extreme change of scenery.

now off to a nice large empty bed for a nap.

just because i'm tweaking
doesn't mean it isn't hysterical

this is a cat.

eating a vienna sausage.

i would like to share that i have now urinated on myself from laughing too hard.


i am eating what must be the finest sammich anyone has ever made: a grilled cheese made with münster, garlic lover's hommos & plentiful goops of mayonnaise, nicely burnt to a crisp on one side due to my inattention.

it almost makes up for my horrendously stubbed right middle toes - and people, i use my toes. like, to pick things up off the floor. and to hold onto metal chair legs at the foot of my bed when i sleep. (honest.) so this is a suckilicious situation.

also, in case you haven't yet noticed, i may be a little manic today.


ACCVBITVS & other lINgikr`i

for the pleasure of maudite entendante and raine, who will publish a piece about a fun word, accubitus, which means "to share a bed without humpery", in issue three of QVENCH zine. (go away, we haven't even finished it. we've only got like 1/5 of the pages we need and everyone is away being tortured by their natal families except for me, so their pages will come via post and or in the beginning of the next month when they get back. so go read issues one and two closely, okay? there's a lot there. subtle, and such. and we spent an awful amount of energy putting them online in superhirez scans anyway.)

first, the actual word and its closest relatives:
  • accubitalia, accubitaliae N F [XXXFS]: a covering spread over dining table couches
  • accubitatio, accubitationis N F [DXXFS]: reclining (at meals), lying (at table)
  • accubitio, accubitionis N F [XXXEO]: reclining (at meals), lying (at table); couch (L+S)
  • accubitorius, accubitoria, accubitorium ADJ [DXXFS]: pertaining to reclining (at table)
  • accubitum, accubiti N N [DXXFS]: couch for large number of guests to recline at meals (triclinium/3 seats)
  • accubitus, accubitus N M [XXXEO]: reclining (at meals), lying (at table); couch/seat; place for a couch (L+S)
  • accubo ADV [XXXFO]: in a prone/recumbent position
this may explain its origin as meaning "without carnal contact": originally, it meant to share a "roman chair" at a banquet, which frequently ended with the whole room sleeping "accubitus" (in their couch-chairs), and hence each couple was not normally to be found in flagrante delicto.

although the greeks had a bad history for orgies with their couch-friend, who was always another male since women could not be around nonfamilial men, and the etruscans had a similar penchant but with women or men, having no fear of their women being around "alien" men.

etruscan tombs usually show the enclosed and loving couple accubitus, sometimes in flagrante delicto. (i was in firenze, sue me for going all etruscan-psychotic.)

compare to the forms in com-:

  • concubatio, concubationis N F [DXXFS]: lying/reclining upon
  • concubeo, concubere, concubui, concubitus V DAT [EXXDW]: lie with (sexual and not); have sexual intercourse with;
  • concubina, concubinae N F [XXXCO]: concubine; kept mistress, one living in concubinage; (milder than paelex L+S)
  • concubinalis, concubinalis, concubinale ADJ [DXXFS]: lascivious, lewd, wanton; voluptuous
  • concubinarius, concubinaria, concubinarium ADJ [EXXFE]: of/related to concubines
  • concubinarius, concubinarii N M [EXXFE]: keeper of concubines
  • concubinatus, concubinatus N M [XXXDO]: concubinage; cohabiting when not married; illicit intercourse;
  • concubinus, concubini N M [XXXCO]: catamite; male paramour; kept man, one who lives in concubinage
  • concubitalis, concubitalis, concubitale ADJ [XXXFO]: relating to sexual intercourse
  • concubitio, concubitionis N F [XXXFO]: sexual intercourse, coitus
  • concubitor, concubitoris N M [XXXFO]: fellow sleeper; sleeping partner; bed fellow/mate; cohabitor; concubine
  • concubitus, concubitus N M [XXXCO]: lying together (sleeping/dining/sex); sexual intercourse, coitus; sexual act
  • concubium, concubii N N [XXXCO]: early night/first sleep/bedtime; sexual intercourse
  • concubius, concubia, concubium ADJ [XXXCO]: of lying in sleep [nox ~ => the early night/first sleep/bedtime]
  • concubo, concubare, concubavi, concubatus V DAT [XXXFO]: lie with (sexual and not); have sexual intercourse with
yeah. slightly different meaning when you change the prefix from "à" to "avec" (or, as we métissantes says, avIk).

oh, and here's the root(s):

  • cubans, (gen.), cubantis ADJ [XXXDO]: lying, resting on the ground; low lying; sagging, sloping, liable to subside
  • cubatio, cubationis N F [XXXFO]: action of lying down
  • cubator, cubatoris N M [DXXFS]: one who lies down
  • cubi ADV [XXXEO]: at any place; on any occasion; [w/ne necubi => lest at any place/occasion]
  • cubicularis, cubicularis, cubiculare ADJ [XXXDO]: of a bedroom, pertaining to a bedroom
  • cubicularius, cubiculari(i) N M [XXXDO]: valet-de-chambre, bed-chamber servant; chamberlain, head of chamber servants
  • cubicularius, cubicularia, cubicularium ADJ [XXXES]: of a bedroom, pertaining to a bedroom
  • cubiculata, cubiculatae N F [XWXFO]: ship equipped with sleeping apartments/staterooms
  • cubiculatus, cubiculata, cubiculatum ADJ [XWXFS]: equipped with sleeping apartments/staterooms (ship)
  • cubiculum, cubiculi N N [XXXBO]: bedroom; sleeping chamber/apartment/suite (as scene of marital/other sex)
  • cubiculum, cubiculi N N [XXXBO]: bed (any sort); any room; Emperor's box; inner shrine of temple; tomb/sepulcher
  • cubile, cubilis N N [XXXBO]: bed, couch, seat; marriage bed; lair, den, nest, pen, hive of bees; base, bed
  • cubital, cubitalis N N [XXXFO]: elbow cushion; cushion for leaning on (L+S)
  • cubitio, cubitionis N F [DXXFS]: reclining/lying down
  • cubitissim ADV [BXXFS]: lying down?
  • cubito, cubitare, cubitavi, cubitatus V INTRANS [XXXCO]: recline, lie down, take rest, sleep; lie down often; lie/sleep (sexual)
  • cubitor, cubitoris N M [XXXFO]: one who lies down; (on the job); (of an ox refusing to work)
  • cubitorius, cubitoria, cubitorium ADJ [XXXFO]: suitable for reclining in at dinner; of a reclining posture (L+S)
  • cubitum, cubiti N N [XXXBO]: elbow; forearm; ulna; cubit (length - 17.4 inches); elbow bend/pipe
  • cubitura, cubiturae N F [XXXFO]: state/action of reclining/lying down/taking rest; bed, couch
  • cubitus, cubitus N M [XXXCO]: state/action of reclining/lying down/taking rest; bed, couch


mimes & the south

Girl #1: Holy shit! It's a mime.
Girl #2: Shit. He ain't a mime. He's just gay.

--Union Square

too priceless not to repeat. and for em one's benefit:
Woman #1: Wow, are those peaches?
Woman #2: Yeah, peaches.
Woman #1: Wow, I thought they only grew in poor countries.

--Community garden, 9th & C

yeah. like when they say "ben & jerry's fresh georgia peach ice cream", it's actually short for "ben & jerry's fresh former soviet socialist republic of sak'art'velo peach ice cream".

which reminds me. can we buy an old-fashioned ice-cream maker? the kind with a crank? and make some real fruit ice cream to store for the hideous days of november and christmas and the like? pleeeease?

the screaming little children remix
of "hollaback girl"


there are these kids what lives next door. little sprats, wha'. like, i dunno. still in the "tasty baby" stage. i can't tell from their ages. but they shriek in shrill howls, right?

and right now, they are psychotic chorines repeating the important parts (mostly) of the refrain from hollaback girl.

no, i am not kidding. i wish i could record this shit. they are spot-on when they yowl,

this shit is bananas
sweet six-titted mother of the tcho-tcho, i may have just succumbed to the notion that the world is coming to an end.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fire Island In Photos -- Part Two

fire island has its share of wildlife. the deer are so numerous and unafraid of people that it is necessary to have garbage cans sunk into the boardwalk with lids that lock into place. otherwise, the deer knock them over and paw through the trash. it is also necessary to shut the gate to one's deck because the deer are fond of eating potted plants and flowers.

Fire Island: A Boardwalk Community
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Deer Pawing Through Unsecured Garbage
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Hungry Deer
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Deer Nibbling Leaves
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Italian Landlady Decor
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Echoes of the Walkmart DVD Player Stampede

more evidence against the theory of evolution came to light today.

Fire Island In Photos -- Part One

the thing about digital cameras is that you end up taking WAAAAYYY more photos than ever before. then you have to touch them up so they look pretty, and that takes forever. that's what i've been doing since i returned on sunday. i apologize for being a bad blogger and not blogging enough. but, the wait was worth it. i got some fine shots. since i was the fifth wheel among two couples, i shall start with the back porch edition, which includes the lesbians making out.

Back Porch
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Front Porch
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Lesbians Making Out
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

More Lesbians Making Out
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Yet More Lesbians Making Out
Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY
August 13, 2005

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

VIRGINS, Part the First:
the Virgjineshtë & the Tobelija

[cross-posted from QUENCHZINE]

so. i've been wrestling myself into circles trying to find a handhold on the seemingly un-pinnable conglomeration of subjects i've been wanting to post about.

i decided to start at the beginning, and the beginning i chose - this being a circular collection of issues, remember - is about the sworn virgins.

you are now wondering what the fuck ms zilch is talking about, right? i mean, what the fuck is a "sworn virgin"? a nun? oh no, my darling quench readers. not nearly.

let us now segue to the balkans. culturally, the balkans is a patchwork of seemingly disparate groups. the clan-based, isolationist, highly sex-divided, highlander culture of what was once the roman empire's wildest province is divided linguistically (albanian, croatian, bosnian-serbian-montenegrin; rroma, greek and rumanian minorities) and religiously (roman catholic, russian orthodox and muslim; also the now-extinct bosnian church).

however, in truth, there is a shared common social culture among albanians and the slavs of the croat, bosnian, serbian, montenegrin and potentially other forms; all of these speak languages related to more familiar languages like english and french (though albanian is probably most closely related to greek and armenian with a significant overlay of ancient latin borrowings and more recent slav ones). beyond common social culture, the ottoman empire held sway over this region for quite a while, and found it a great source for its ruling class, which was composed of children taken from their homes at an early age and raised in groups.

here's the thing: ancient clan law presumes no state. using albanian traditions, for example, the generally accepted social norms are derived from the canon of lek dukagjini, which is in modern terms a brutally barbaric system that prefers death as a punishment for even seemingly small offenses and expects blood-debt. that is, if a member of clan a dies because of clan b, clan a is entitled to murder a random member of clan b in return. let me emphasise that the actual murderer being caught and killed would just be a coincidental; any member of clan b is an acceptable victim.

this code, which is often just called "the Kanun" for short, is lex talionis at its best. while communist leadership kept an iron fist on the country to stop the kanun law from continuing, the fall of communism meant a near-instant return to its standards.

so - what the hell is a "sworn virgin"? well, to be fair the kanun, not everyone is subject to blood-debt. the underage and women, for example, are not permissible targets. they are untouchable. the reason for this, of course, is that only full, adult males are actually people under the law. as is so tiresomely common in eurasia's traditional cultures, women are property.

which brings us to the situation of the virgjineshtë "sworn virgin" - the picture at left of a slav tobelija (their term for it) was published in 1907 by a doctor e schultz in Die Woche – Moderne Illustrierte Zeitschrift, 40. you see, when clans were feuding - and when were they not? never. - adult males were subject to punitive death. that means that a clan under blood debt (as adjudged, mind you, by the other clan) had to secure its adult males else they be murdered. beyond blood-debt, open warfare was also endemic, lack of healthcare was appalling, and the various levies by the ottomans further sapped the families of potential adult males. the result of this situation was that families could be sharply short-handed of adult males to fulfil their social and work roles - a family whose men were all dead had no patriarch as required by the kanun and had no men to do the men's work and defend the homestead from dacoits.

"sworn virgins" were a solution to this problem, one so ancient that the 12th century duke lek dukagjini just took them for granted as part of the natural order of things. either in childhood or later in life, a biological woman had the right (one of her few rights, incidentally) to declare herself publicly a virgjineshtë. henceforth, the vow-taker would take on the rights and responsibilities of a male - except that they did not marry women or engage in sexual contact, nor were they subject to blood debt. they could not be murdered in vengeance, and hence were an excellent solution for a tapped-out clan.

motivations and reasons aren't something i care to speculate about. i dunno how many girl-children were tomboys who donned trousers and started smoking and shooting and running around barefoot because that was their nature and how many were forced into that role. i don't know how many people were gender dysphoric and chose a life of celibacy as a man over a life as someone's woman after they entered puberty. i don't know these things; few tobelija or virgjineshtë have been interviewed about this issue. partially this is because they are a dying breed; partially this is because men don't talk about their emotions; partially, this is because they may not have the words and tools to talk about what they feel or might not want to talk to an outsider about their most sensitive of issues.

the point of this discourse is not just to show that there are transpeople in premodern europe, or a third sex. rather, it is to highlight the role women played in eurasia in general: as property. women are a bottle of wine whose cork must not be popped; this ensures their vintage is untainted - that their wombs aren't carrying another man's baby. sworn virgins could have their freedom once they declared themselves asexual - but they were killed, often by their own kin, if they transgressed these rules. i thought that perhaps i could start talking about the idea of the virgin if i teased out some of these ideas with the strange but also strangely familiar idea of the woman-as-man. we'll see. for now, i'm going to pause in my diatribe, which i hope to continue soon in part the second.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

we don't love you anymore

we don't love you anymore, and that's why we don't write.

not really. actually, everyone is at fucking fire island except for my sorry ass. and i don't care, because i hate to travel to places like that.

also, i randomly wish to observe that i miss the أَذَان (ađān) (call of the مؤذن muwwađin "muezzin"). this is random, especially since they can come quite early in the morning. i also randomly miss the songs from shabbat services from when i worked at hillel. on fridays, i find myself humming them as sundown approaches even though it's been a loooong time since i was in a hillel - say, eight years.

i've been sucked into the zine project called quench. issue two should be out soon.

so i'm not at fucking fire island like ems 1-2, nor am i gallivanting round hawai'i like that goddamn henry; but i am happy. girls make me happy, and there are now many of them in my life.

but i'm still a firebrand. i'm still angry about a lot of things, and i'll be sure to spill my venom on this website soon enough.

and share great links as well.

i'm just re-upping right now: recharge, recover - and reread transmetropolitan. spider jerusalem is my hero, and so is warren ellis.

i'm cleaning the firing chamber of my attack womb. look out.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

quench zine


quench zine

issue 1: not bad for jew hair is available now!

quench 1: nb4jh is officially scanned, uploaded and online. it is best viewed in a browser like firefox (internets explore-ass is insufficiently 1337 to handle our hottness). from our website, you can click on thumbnails for a full-sized view of the pages twice - big and bigger.

if you want your very own paper copy of the zine, email us at

now, spread the word! leave us feedback! tell your friends, lovers, professors, health care professionals, etc about quench!

a word about the idiocy of various special interest groups

now the conservatives are howling about roberts. why? because he did some work for playboy and the plaintiffs in romer v. evans.

here's a clue, people. when you work for a hot shot law firm like hogan, you get assigned high profile cases -- cases that might end up reaching the supreme court, and those cases that reach the supreme court are inherently controversial as they contain unsettled questions of law. as a lawyer, your job is to be an advocate for your client. it is your duty to make the best case possible for your client. not to do so would violate the code of professional responsibility. OKAY?! the fact that he shaped many of the legal arguments that eventually helped win romer v. evans AND that he also served as counsel for the elder bush as well as reagan only tells me one thing: he's a good lawyer. he's a good... no, a GREAT advocate for whoever requests his services.

hopefully, the senate (comprised almost entirely of lawyers and therefore understand what lawyers do) will ignore all of this irrelevant brouhaha about his former clients and look at his court opinions instead.

[note: i've never read any of his opinions, so i'm neither endorsing him nor dissin' him. as if i have a say in this anyway. however, my point is... stay with the relevant stuff, mmm'kay? lawyers are like ronin. you're an advocate for pay. the best lawyers can argue any side they're stuck with. the judge's job is to parse the crap the lawyers come up with and interpret the law.]

coming around here often

this amusing tidbit was randomly stumbled on by my roomie.

Yesterday was the last day of summer as far as my kids are concerned. Today they start school. So, to close out the summer I took them for a swim at our local YMCA. I don't swim. I read. So I'm sitting there reading and I look up and my kids are playing a game of water tag with another kid I don't know. No problem, he seems like a nice boy and he looks to be about the same age as my son.

Things go fine until time to go. That's when my daughter says something to this kid that made my head spin with horrible images of future 'hope nots'.

She said, and I quote, "So...You come here often?"

Wiggs me out just typing it here! But to her credit, she pronounced it right.

thanks, darling.

New Job For Emily1!

after two and a half years, the company where i have been working as a contractor decided to hire me. i tremble before the task of functioning as an adult with adult goals. i'm happy. i'm a nervous wreck. i'm ecstatic. i'm afraid. up until now, the job hasn't been a priority. as an official full-time employee, i have to make a much bigger commitment to this company. salaries aren't high, and they are stingy with vacation. even so, i'm earning more now than i ever have, and i'm getting the best health insurance i've had since i was laid off from my last job in january 2003. that, and ta da dum -- a dollar for dollar matching contribution to the 401K plan up to eight percent of my salary.

i still feel like screaming. my stress level just went through the roof. there's no negotiating room on the vacation policy. i get one day of vacation for the next six months. frankly, i don't understand why so many americans persist in repeating the mantra, "Murka number WUN!!!!" i've been working for six years now, and i'm getting five fewer days of vacation than i got at my first professional job. that sucks.

alright, enough grousing on the negatives. yay me! i will actually be in a position to buy my own home within five years. the company is also going to pay for me to finish my computer science degree. next up: dental cleaning and new glasses. yeehaw!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

networking 101 and the perils of suburban shopping

in a stroke of brilliance, i handed my landlord a stack of resumes. he knows all the important people in town. plus, he has an incentive to get me a job, because i'm, you know, paying rent. (yes, he knows i can afford rent for the rest of the lease period; however, if i get a job in town, i'll probably renew the lease.)

job hunting is frightening. mainly because i hardly know any classmates with a job.

however, the most frightening thing i've experienced thus far is going to wal-mart. no, not for any political reasons. i have become indifferent to the existence of wal-marts per se. i simply cannot, for the life of me, navigate the aisles without getting lost. shopping with another person involves the "stay put, i'll find you" game over and over again. one minute you're in the food section, then you're in the furniture section. then you're in some section you didn't even know existed. it's like you're in a little metropolis of products, and YOU CAN'T GET OUT! then the lights will shut off at closing time, but you'll be flailing around a darkened maze because you couldn't find the exits. you will be stuck in the rat cage of sam walton. for! an! eternity!

ikea is the same way. and it's even scarier. the store is built, so YOU CAN'T FIND THE EXIT without going through every single room. no joke! if there ever were a fire at ikea, everyone would die! the cheap wood products wouldn't help either. bonfire in elizabeth, new jersey! with swedish meatballs for 99 cents!

and this is why i prefer to shop online.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

213 things skippy is no longer allowed to do while in the US army

oh sweet jesus, i'm crying. i can barely see. because i'm laughing so fucking hard.

oh yaLLah, read the 213 things skippy is no longer allowed to to while in the US army.

Explanations of these events:
  1. I did myself, and either got in trouble or commended. (I had a Major shake my hand for the piss bottle thing, for instance.) [n.b. 154: Shouldn't treat piss-bottles with extra-strength icy hot.]
  2. I witnessed another soldier do it. (Like the Sergeant we had, that basically went insane, and crucified some dead mice.)
  3. Was spontaneously informed I was not allowed to do. (Like start a porn studio.)
  4. Was the result of a clarification of the above. (“What about especially patriotic porn?”)
  5. I was just minding my own business, when something happened. (“Schwarz...what is that?” said the Sgt, as he pointed to the back of my car. "Um... a rubber sheep... I can explain why that's there....")

To explain how I've stayed out of jail/alive/not beaten up too badly..... I'm funny, so they let me live.

jesus, she must be lucky.

i didn't check if skippy was a girl or not, but she seems to be one based on the majority of items in this list, eg. the piss bottle incident, the stripping rules, the dancing in the turret, the drag queen in formation.

just go read it yourself. i nearly died reading lines like:

145. I should not drink three quarts of blue food coloring before a urine test.

146. Nor should I drink three quarts of red food coloring, and scream during the same.

this soldier has too much time on her hands. someone give her a toothbrush and point her at the bathroom.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I Promise to Post About Trolls!

aside from good memories, i brought a bad cold back from california.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

gwen zepeda makes my day better

gwen zepeda of gwen's petty, judgmental, evil thoughts was particularly amusing today. she decided to post a rant about random things she always wanted to say but never managed to make into a sufficiently lengthy post. point two is... well, let's just say i've been there for this conversation about a bjillion times, including with some queers, if they're not extremely experienced in girl-on-girl love. this is the conversation that inevitably erupts.

Most men know women's bodies better than women do, and men like women more than women like women. (Or maybe it's just the Latino and Asian men who surround me?) Every time I'm in a mixed group and a piece of media featuring a naked woman appears, I can count on two things. One, the men in the group will be glad to see the naked woman. Two, at least one of the women in the group will criticize the naked woman's body for something absolutely ridiculous.


A group of people is sitting around watching TV, and the remote is flipped to the Pron Network Amateur Hour, and there's a woman on the screen with, say, bumpy/large/pink areolas and inner vulval lips that extend past her outer ones, or any other variation on female sex organs.

Brandon: Leave it on that channel.

Brenda: Ew. Why? That girl is gross. What's WRONG with her nipples? My nipples don't look like that!

Dylan: They look all right to me.

Kelly: Whatever. Look at her CUNT. Oh, my god. Who has a cunt like that? That's disgusting. Who would want to have sex with her?

David: I would.

Donna: Seriously, you guys. I have never seen a woman with abnormal nipples like that.

Steve: You should watch more porn. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

Brenda: Gross.

And don't even get me started on the way women smell, and how they hate it, and how so many men are obsessed with it, because that's just too much for me to talk about on the Internet, where so many people have such delicate constitutions...

and don't get me going on trying to watch porn with gay men. man, i thought straight women were body nazis, but gay men don't even understand the basic notion that women are supposed to have, say, breasts and an ass.

gay man: "OMG she's got a HUGE ass!"

me: "no, she's female. women have asses. gay men have rock-hard places where their legs meet their backs."

被爆者 (hibakusha)

oh shit.

i fucking hate hiroshima day.

when the bomb hit, 80.000 civilians died instantly and another 60.000 died lingering, horrible deaths.

i had a professor at harvard who was a buddhist priest. on the last day of our class, he explained that he had been on a troop-carrier train, having been drafted out of graduate studies in a last-ditch attempt by the japanese government to shore up their forces. he said they were ordered to pull down their window shades for a leg of the journey, but being intelligent and curious young men, they waited until the officers left their car and peeked.

what he saw was hiroshima after the bomb. the train ran for what seemed liked forever, and there was nothing living. nothing.

this, he said, openly weeping, was why he became a priest.

personal story: i was in nagasaki city, and we went to this park. my host family said they wanted to take a picture of me - a fairly common occurrence. so my host-father was like, "left more. wait, go back a little more. a little more. almost. now take one more step back."

i took one more step back, and tripped over something.

it was a plaque. it said something to the effect of, "on this spot on 9 august 1945, an atomic bomb exploded over the city of nagasaki."

i was standing where the bomb had hit, killing about 100.000 people.

later that day, we went to the associated museum, against the advice of my host family.

i understood their desire to avoid the museum very quickly. let's just say that i don't think i ate anything for about three days.

people wonder why i get so angry about war. go on, stand on the very spot where a single bomb caused the deaths of 100.000 people and tell me you won't change your mind. no matter it "saved lives" or whatever reason you give. as you walk through the city, you can see where human beings were instantly carbonised and their shadows burnt onto the walls of their homes for all eternity: women hanging the wash, erased from the earth except for where their bodies' shadows kept the walls from being bleached. i can't get it out of my head. i can't stop seeing it - or the dead POWs also killed in the strike, the piles of bodies, the photos of the so-called 'walking dead', who already had died and just didn't know it yet, kept struggling to walk and live for weeks or months as their bodies dissolved around them in a radioactive puddle.

fucking hiroshima day. fucking hiroshima. fucking war.

Friday, August 05, 2005

early morning ramblings

tony blair announces he is going to send EXTREME!-ists packing. perhaps he should re-establish penal colonies in australia, which is technically still associated with great britain. hey, did you know that queen elizabeth part deux is still queen of canada and australia? and jamaica? she is referred to "HM the Queen," apparently. her full title is "Her Majesty the Queen," but i think the british wanted to shorten it, kind of like how puff daddy tweaked his name to "p. diddy." in jamaica, i suppose it translates to "Hey Mon, the Queen."

hey, check this out! didn't your mothers teach you two not to point! it's rude!

and now an update from... little orange basketballs! har har!

speaking of penal colonies, i'd like to send all the people who send me "Hell@!!! ur cute ad mE aS frenD!!!" messages on friendster to one in an inhospitable arctic climate.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


j r blackwell posted a new story on 365tomorrows, an online zine that publishes a new original short fiction piece every day. her story, "pride", is most excellent.

Carol wiped her sweaty hands on her square skirt, a piece of clothing that looked like it was pulled from her grandmother’s closet. "Sure, yeah, you’re curing the worlds illnesses for the money." Carol put her wide hand on Jude’s shoulder. He smiled flatly and pulled away. Carol grinned back at him, freckles stretching on her cheeks. "On top of all this professional stuff, you conduct those martial arts and survival skills workshops on weekends."
you can find it here. a good short piece is like a tiny dart of anti-death; this one is certainly one of those.