Friday, December 30, 2005

Fla. Boy Who Went to Iraq on His Way Home

I relate to this kid because he is brave to a fault, yet highly resourceful to pull his little trip to Baghdad off.

I mean, how the heck do you get to Baghdad these days? You can't just book a flight+hotel on Expedia, can you?

Now I must finish getting ready for my trip. This is the last of me until 2006. Holla.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

See You Next Year

My review of Memoirs of a Geisha, which I liked very much ("love" is such a strong word) is forthcoming, but in the meantime Kevondrala suggested a parody be created entitled Memoirs of Keisha, that would of course star the Thompson Triplets (Blurty, Breezy, and Queef) as the geishas-in-training, Mama P Watson as the wicked house mother, and 2000 lb. thearical powerhouse Honolulu Jenkins as the established, mean-as-snakes rival geisha to the up and coming girls. Insted of being set in 1940's urban Japan, it would be set in a 2005 flop house in Long Island City. And instead of geishas they would be outright Queens Plaza hookers. IMDB entry coming soon.

Today I look like a homeless person, and that is an insult to the homeless. Personal hygeine and "business casual" be damned. There has to be a flaming pit of despair before the Phoenix can rise from the ashes.

There is a lot going on in the news regarding Iraq, the Supreme Court and Orwellian attempts to safeguard our country, but I can't blog about that because I just don't have it in me here at the end of 2005. But I'm thinking about these things and despearately hoping that my friends here in the city take heed of the dangers of the anonymous online (and offline for that matter) hookup of which we gays are so fond.

I am fit to be tied here in the cube, as once I'm out of here I have to pick up a mysterious package from the post office and then pack for my trip tomorrow back to the Motherland, this time to that Queen City of Cities, Charloot, NC. The New Year's festivities are no doubt going to be debaucherous and filled with scandal before I turn over my new leaf in 2006. (As the Pet Shop Boys once sang, "turned over a new leaf, then tore right through it.") Suffice it to say if I see my friend Jack on the plane, I won't say, "Hi Jack!" for fear of air marshalls gunning me down on site.

Speaking of the Pet Shop Boys, I have been advocating for this for about 15 years and am having multiple orgasms over it as I type.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year, and remembers in 2006 that The Butch Stroll is neither here nor there, The Butch Stroll is in your heart. Peace to the mid-east mother fuckers! See you in 2K6.

Is there any way to buy a domain name

without your damn tea being spilled all over WHOIS?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My Lovely Lady Lumps

I can't decide if this is funny or deeply, deeply disturbing. I'm leaning towards the latter. [via Snow]

Monday, December 26, 2005

Home Sweet Home

Meow Kitty is sitting in the kitchen, barking like a dog.

She does that sometimes.

Butch Stroll With The Family

My little two year old cousin, after realizing that the attention had turned to the food and away from him, started acting up. So his dad grabbed him up on his lap and tried to interest him in mac-and-cheese and green beans. He was having none of it.

Me (to little cousin's mother): Doesn't Santa Claus come tonight?
Little Cousin's Mother: Yep, he's supposed to I reckon.
Little Cousin's Dad: But Santa only comes for good boys.
Little Cousin: I POOTED!

My grandmother-on-my-dads-side has, for a few years now, been spending Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family at my aunt's house. But as my uncle died earlier this year, this Christmas Eve we had the festivities at my cousin's new house, which is HUGE, and makes me wrongly feel like I need to start catching up with her. Anyway, Grandma did not attend because she was all stressed out about her Love Feast happening later that night at church. But on Christmas day, as is the tradition, my dad's side of the family had the feast at their house, and my mom's side aunt-whos-husband-recently-died joined us. We're all in the kitchen...

Mom's Side Aunt: Well, I'm going to head out, and get out of the way of ya'll's Christmas.
Dad's Side Aunt: You're not in the way, you're family!
Me: I like when the J's and the B's mingle together.
Grandma: WELL MAYBE IF YOU'D GET MARRIED THERE'D BE OCCASION FOR MORE OF THAT.
My Mom: AND MAYBE IF YOU HAD SOME LITTLE B'S, THERE'D BE OCCASION FOR MORE OF THAT.
Mom's Side Aunt: IT'S YOU BOYS THAT HAVE TO CARRY ON THE "B" NAME.
Me: [leaves room]

Later, my mom's side returned to our house for coffee and dessert, as there was soo much left over. We're all standing over the cakes and pies. For the second time since I got home, somebody mentions looking for me on Good Morning America (or whichever one it is with the people standing outside with signs so their families at home can see them).

My aunt: I look for you every morning on the Good Morning America.
Me: Well, usually not out there, you know, cause I'm, you know, at work in an entirely different part of town.
My brother: I wonder what Al Roker would do if I just ran up there and mooned America?
My uncle [seriously considering how this could play out]: Well it's a wonder that doesn't happen a lot more than it does.

When I got back to New York, I came in to the house, I saw that the boyfriend of my roommate who is also my roommate, had left the kitchen--which was pristine when we left--in totally disarray and that he had fed the cat directly from the can rather than scooping it into the bowl. You don't feed the cat from the can, she'll cut her tounge! For some reason I feel like Hedwig when I say this: "You don't put a bra in a dryer! IT WARPS!"

Hope everyone had a Happy Holidaze! I had a surprisingly good time with my family, and after all is said and done, I am lucky to have the whole lot of them.

Friday, December 23, 2005

P.S.

One more thing. ;)

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Christmas has snuck up on me again this year, but I have most of my shopping done, though I am against the consumerism associated with the season but feel compelled to participate lest I be deemed a Horrible Person by my family and others. I'm flying home to the Motherland tomorrow where I will be until my return on Monday. So I won't be blogging, but that doesn't mean I don't care about you. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah, a Festive Kwanzaa--whatever it is you celebrate, Internet. And if you celebrate nothing at all, then have a nice day.

In an attempt at stirring a blatant counter attack on the War on Christmas (which we all know is real and meant to keep us from seeing the Lord God in a Manger while we shop for the best deals in Wal-Mart), I leave you with this:


God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

"Fear not then," said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Thursday, December 22, 2005

TRANSIT STRIKE DAY THREE: BACK TO WORK SO SOON?

At this point, why not just take Christmas off? Roger Touissaint, by the way, has looked increasingly scared on the news, and who can blame him. Maybe now he won't have to go to jail, and I wonder how much of these new negotiations have to do with that fear of the executive board of the TWU?

Personally, I would have tried with reptiles.

Oh, like you never thought of creating a super race of monkey people.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Transit Strike Day Two

On day two of the transit strike, I think things went much smoother. I was at work with my carpool not only on time but way early. We left at 3:00 and it was more traffic than yesterday when we left at 2:30, but it wasn't that bad. I think most people are just trying to get through and be as cooperative as possible in order to send a big FUCK YOU to the Transit Worker's Union. Sympathy has faded.

A judge has threatened TWU president Roger Toussaint and other TWU executives with jail time. Bloomberg said he would be against this, making them "martyrs", and prefers to keep raising the fines.

I hear that downtown is pandemonium, so I feel lucky that I work uptown where getting to work from Queens is relatively easy if you have a ride. Also, my carpool was baffled by my knowledge of a secret route that comes from years of investigating shady places.

At 3:00 A.M. my roommate is going to walk to Penn Station, which is a looong ass walk, in order to get to his train on time for his journey to the Motherland. Meanwhile, I hope I don't have trouble getting to the airport on Friday for my own trip to the Motherland.
My former haunt, blurty.com got some publicity! Unfortunately, it's a little bit horrible.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

TRANST STRIKE DAY 1: DON'T THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?

This morning I was informed of the transit strike, not by the television, internet, or radio, but by a lowly text message. I accepted it and made my way to my bus stop, which is now my carpool stop.

There were lots of people offering riders trips across the Triboro bridge, as a gesture of good will and cooperation. The Triboro bridge does not have a passenger requirement like the bridges below 96th Street -- to get across, a driver must have three passengers on those.

The traffic across the Triboro was backed up horribly. It took about 2 hours to get to work which should be a 45 minute trip on the bus even with all the stops. I can only imagine how the bridges downtown looked.

I said, "What would we do if we ever had to evacuate New York?"

My co-worker said deadpan and resigned to the fact, "We'd be unable to do it. We'd die."

At the end of the day, I don't hate the transit workers. I understand that they are trying to get a good deal (not only for themselves, but for workers in the future) and that if they just take any ole deal, it will roll down to other professions who will get shittier and shittier deals. Furthermore, from what I understand the MTA had a $1 Billion dollar surplas, which they spent up real quick just the other day which totally looks like a spiteful little kid eating up his whole birthday cake so that when the other kids show up they can't have any. They also flaunt this "discounted holiday fares" in their faces. They can find a way to blow a billion dollars, raise fares, then offer half price fares, but they can't give the workers a raise? Further, blue-collar work is constantly disvalued and insulted in this country. If I hear one more "our man on the street" type say that, for example, "driving a bus is frickin easy, man" I'm going to lose it. For one thing, TWU employees work with the public--the crazy ass, over-the-top New York Public--on a scale unlike any other, except maybe police. Their jobs are dangerous and difficult, and as their strike demonstrates, absolutely essential to a relatively comfortable life in New York City.

BUT, I don't think the TWU executives are entirely not crooked either. This whole mess is a matter of two big organizations trying to flex their muscles and prove they've got the biggest dick. Bloomberg can't go back on saying he'll never give in to their extortion, and he can't have Roger Touissant, the TWU president out there taking pot shots at him making Bloomie look like a pussy if he gives in at all. Touissant himself can't look like a pushover to the TWU members who are going to re-elect him--or not--real soon. So in an effort to sword fight with their cocks, Bloomberg (who I have always liked), the MTA, and the TWU executives are screwing the transit workers and the public at large.


Some quotes, from NY1:



"The MTA's not giving us a fair share so I hope the public understands that this is what we got to do,” said one transit worker.

"We are united in this transit struggle. Roger Toussaint has our full support," added another.

"First of all we want to apologize to the general public,” added a third. “I mean this is something I hope the public understands what we're going through. We don't want to be out here. We are freezing, we know we're not going to get any money, but the fact of the matter is the future of our union is at stake here."

Meanwhile, workers walking off the job at the 14th Street and Eighth Avenue station in Chelsea told NY1 they didn't want to go on strike, but one worker said "sometimes you need to take a step backward to see where you're going."

"It wasn’t really a surprise. Wwe felt like we need to go on strike,” said another worker. “The T[ransit] A[uthority] has been abusing us for quite some years now."

"Nobody wants to be on strike,” added another. “We're going to have family members affected by the strike. Nobody wants to see the strike."

"They showed us this billion dollars that they had and it's like going to the candy store and saying, 'Oh, here's a bunch of candy here, but you can't have any.' That's a slap in the face," said yet another striking worker.

"The way it's going we got to stay here ‘til we're 70 before we can retire with our pension," added another.

"I gotta stand with my members and stand strong," said yet another TWU member. "And hopefully this day will be resolved – soon."


The Transport Worker's Union, I think, is going to end up suffering more for this than if they'd just taken that last deal, which was pretty good. As the mayor pointed out, and I paraphrase, these people who make $50,000 to $60,000 per year are preventing people who make $20,000 to $30,000 from making a living. People will remember this for a long time and give a lot of dirty looks to say the least. But when the Union Bosses say strike, they kind of have to strike. And if there are any of them who would say, "a strike is illegal, I can't afford the fines associated, and I choose not to", the social repurcussions of doing that would be worse than just striking.

True, true.




For all the potential dislocation, the mood was in some ways strikingly normal for New Yorkers, at least, who have seen it all. Everyone had something to say and most had strong opinions.


THE TWU STRIKES BACK

Remember how when you were a little kid and the power would go out in a snowstorm and everyone would be all worried, but to you...it was kind of fun?

That is secretly how I feel about the transit strike.

My heart was kind of full and warm at all the people offering rides this morning--across the Triboro bridge, mind you, which does not have a four-passenger requirement.

I rode with co-workers who live close to my hood. I sense a lot of mixed feelings about the strike--many people are pissed, but they're not sure who to be pissed at. The TWU? The MTA? The Mayor? Pataki and his crazy ass? Who do we blame?

At any rate, New Yorkers really come together in a crisis--it is true. Even if we generally hate each other any time.

And to the seeming-rap-impressario in the passenger's side of the over-the-top obnoxious SUV continuously asking me if I need a ride downtown: I had already arrived to my destination, just heading into McDonald's for a McGriddle, but I love you for it nonetheless, baby.

Later, my thoughts on the strike and how it has come to pass. Stand by.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Funniest Thing Ever

The Chronic-les of Narnia rap from SNL.

WHO Quits Smoking

Daily, when I return from sneaking a cigarette downstairs, I worry about reaking. I immediatley wash my hands and spray a spritz of Axe in the air of my cubicle. I know my boss hates smoking. I can't blame her--though I smoke, I wish I didn't, continuously plan to quit, and understand the disgust and avoidance of non-smokers. It *is* a nasty habit, and the single worst thing that one can actively do to his or her health. It is a difficult addiction to shake, however..

"The World Health Organization (WHO), the health branch of the United Nations, has announced that it will no longer hire smokers."

The article claims that


With the hanging of the "No Smokers Need Apply" sign on its door, WHO has joined a long line of bigots who would not hire people of color, members of religious minorities, or disabled or gay people because of who they are or what they lawfully do.


Um, it's not the same thing in my honest opinion.

Also from the article:


Under WHO's policy, if Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Adolf Hitler applied for a job, only Hitler, the sole nonsmoker in the group (and someone who would not allow anyone to smoke near him), would be eligible for consideration.


This is a fallacy of reasoning, a blatant one at that. There are plenty of dictators who have smoked, and plenty of wonderful leaders who have not. It's irrelevant that WHO's policy would keep it from hiring Einstein and allow it to hire Hitler.

While I think this is a wrong-headed idea, and that it should be no employer's business what its employees do in their free time, I understand the point they are trying to make. It would be kind of hypocritical for a high level executive to be sucking down a stogie while advising the public on their health.

And speaking of FDR, perhaps Betty Butterfield says it best: "There's nothing wrong with people smoking cigarettes; Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the damn war smoking cigarettes!"

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Magical Adventures of the Christ Child in Egypt and Beyond

Anne Rice's latest novel, Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt draws from her research into the apocrypha, particularly the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which, from what I understand, was written down after years of oral tradition between 80 AD and the 6th Century. She also draws from the New Testament, and the things we know about Jesus's upbringing--born in Bethlehem (to much applause), moved to Egypt to escape Herod's slaughter of any child under two years old, and then moved with his family through Israel in a time of great uprising and revolution among Jews uncertain about the men who would call themselves King thereof. I've always had an interest in the Bible and the apocrypha, and I trust Ms. Rice's take on these things to be accurate. As she points out in her Author's Note, one thing she is known for--that she has worked very hard to achieve--is a complete attention to the details of the historical eras about which she is writing. She does not fail Jesus, as he is a very Jewish Jesus and the ancient world settings in which the novel places him come to life as much as her takes on the Old World of her novels from Cry to Heaven to The Vampire Chronicles.

Anne Rice is of course famous for her vampires and witches--perhaps the first author to create vampires with whom readers identify and root for. Her wicked supernatural creatures were, to me, always compelling in their searches for the meaning of life and undeath. So, as other reviewers have said, it is fitting that she take on the story of the most widely acknowledged and adored supernatural entity of all, Jesus Christ himself.

The novel centers around Jesus's attempt to figure out who he is. As others in his communities figure out, Jesus is Magic in the sense of Sarah Silverman's joke from her (hyper-offensive but funny as hell) movie >Jesus Is Magic. In one of the first jokes of that movie, Sarah shares how she, a Jew, and her boyfriend, a Catholic, intend to explain the religious differences to their future child: "Mommy is one of God's chosen people, and Daddy believes that Jesus is magic."

In Ms. Rice's novel, Jesus is both "magic" and one of God's chosen people. Of course he is -- his is the begotten Son of God. Along the way, Jesus surprises even himself with his ability to turn clay birds into real ones, to kill a bully with a thought and to raise him from the dead before everyone's eyes. He tries to keep himself from these kinds of miracles, but asks of God ("if it is your will") to cure an old man's blindness in the temple--which God does. Oh, and he also makes it snow one time. Through all of this he is portrayed as a good kid, who does kid things, and who just wants to be the best little Jew he can be.

His earthly father, who he calls Joseph, discourages Jesus from asking questions about his birth and purpose, as Joseph feels that God will reveal these incomprehensible things to Jesus when he sees fit. His uncle Cleopas (one of the novel's most loveable characters) continuously drops hints until Joseph shuts him up. Finally Jesus's brother James confesses to Jesus that he has hated him because of what he has brought upon the family (and likely a little jealousy as well. James may make good marks in school, but Jesus is the Son of God and there's really no topping that). Then James swears that he will never hate Jesus again, and reveals to him what took place in Bethlehem.

"You're too young to understand," Cleopas tells Jesus, to which Jesus later replies, "You're right, I'm too young to understand." "You don't fool me," Cleopas jokes, being one of those people who believed Mary's tale and knows that Jesus will go on to great things to say the least.

Like I said about Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, I think this book has come under a lot of unfair criticism for its creators beliefs (which I myslef can criticize given that I'm particularly good at Philosophy of Religion, a philosophical emphasis that is not widely studied these days and that has lost the interest of many philosophers) rather than the actual content. I still contend that whether or not you believe in God or are a Christian, the Bible is an important part of our culture, and an important book to know about as a work of literature because of its influence the world over. (That's not to say that, say, Jewish texts, the Koran, the Bagavad Gita, etc, are not.) So even though Mel and Ms. Rice are hardcore Catholics telling a very, very Catholic version of Jesus's stories, non-Catholics and non-Christians can take something away from their creations about the ancient, perhaps archetypal stories of the life and death of Jesus Christ. I recommend Christ the Lord as an interesting novel with compelling characters to say the least.

Friday, December 16, 2005

But Heaven doesn't want me and Hell's afraid I'll take over...

Heaven
You come from Heaven. You're the purest of pure, a
saint. You're probably an angel sent directly
from Heaven.


Where Did Your Soul Originate?
brought to you by Quizilla

(via Anne Arkham)

A nice post from a random on a Yahoo message board

that addresses the gory Santa display outside a Brooklyn home that has made the news:

Re: Mean Spirited...


Santa at one time was real in his country. The fable is continued through out the world because the magic of it all is innocence, an innocence that lives only in children. We as parents continue the traditions as our parents and grandparents did. Santa was around long before toys and retailers exploited it. I can recall as a little girl one Christmas that was a traditional farm Christmas that my father had as a child. Instead of candy of toys our stockings were filled with nuts and oranges with one or two peppermint sticks. It was that Christmas that I was taught the meaning of Christmas and the need to give and not expect to be given too. Since I have spent years working to share Christmas through out the year. Giving to those needier than I am. I struggle pay day to pay day, some months I can't pay my bills, but no matter what there is always someone worse off than me. Extra food, clothing, or toys that don't get played with. I make sure they go where they will be appreciated. Christmas needs to be recognized as something that lasts not as one day a year.I am not religous but I am spiritual and I have been touched by Christ and his work. I don't preach it but I do teach it to my child. She's only five and hasn't figured it out all the way, but she knows that she needs to give to others and be thankful for what she gets. I would be devastated if someone made her fear Santa. I would be angry.


I of course posted the link to my own mean spirited post. :|

Lest you forget that I'm a VERY IMPORTANT PERSON

Yesterday at our department's fabulous Christmas Party (where authentic soul food was served) my boss (formerly the Big Boss, now my new boss) gave everyone one of those super-soft polyester foam pillows for Christmas.

Then she gave me a card with $100 in it.

Then today she gave me half her sandwich and a bag of potato chips.

So I guess you could say I'm "all that and a bag of chips".

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Maybe It's Part of Being SUPERMAN?

As I am only interested in serious journalism, allow me to summarise some of the New York Post's highlights today.

Apparantly, the producers of Superman Returns are concerned that Superman (Brandon Routh) has too big a dick for the red and blue tights, and they are going to digitally shrink it. Why would they do that? I think that Superman, as an icon of masculinity and superhuman strength, should have an enormous penis. And when Lois Lane is falling from the tops of builings, Superman could fly by and she could just grab hold of his piece.

Everything is bigger in Texas: Barneys is opening back up in Dallas, Texas, after it's failed attempt in the nineties. Texans want BRIGHT COLORS and LARGE SIZES. Barneys, being very "New York", focused on black and size 0.

And finally, for once I agree with Andrea Peyser, who says the anger of New Yorkers regarding the looming transit strike is focused on the MTA and not the workers. The MTA needs to be audited. They have a billion dollar surplas (that no one has heard about lately) yet they can't give the transit workers a raise worth giving? Meanwhile, they're cutting fares in half for the holidays? I have to say, though, that a strike won't hurt the MTA -- they already have the money from Metrocards and gobs of cash -- it will only hurt bus and train riders. Hopefully they'll resolve this before I have to walk my ass across the Triborough bridge to get to work. I may lose my cooks if this lady I work with asks me one more time what she's supposed to do if there's a strike. I don't know, what am I supposed to do? Why are you even asking me? I'll tell you what you'll do, you'll put your damn sneakers on, tie your scarf tight, and get to steppin!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Killing the Christmas Spirit for One Child at a Time



I support this wholeheartedly, even though there is a letter writing campaign by small children.

The NY Post, in typical NY Post fashion is outraged by the gory Santa display and quote about six hundred children who are terrified and disgusted by it. So of course, because it is such an outrage, they devote the entire front page to it to insure that everyone in New York City will see it.

***

Santa, by the way, is a fictional character about which many people the world over lie to their children. I know that it is all in the "spirit of fun", it is a tradition, it's something for the kids. But whatever you call it it is still a lie to tell your children for years that Santa Claus comes down the chimney with gifts on Christmas EVe.

One valuable lesson is to be learned from Santa, though. That lesson is, kids, that you can believe in something with all your heart for all your life and it might not be or ever have been true! That, and even your parents will lie to you (for their own amusement no less!). Merry Christmas indeed!

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Interactive Church Experience

My friend, let's call her "Tee", is a young mother with two beautiful children. Her son is a little spit fire, and cute enough to get away with a whole lot. (He is a mini-version of the rapper T.I.--looks just like him.) He's about six years old. Let's call him "Shawn".

Tee works hard to send her kids to private school. "Private school" in New York City often means "Catholic School". We work at The World Church of Assimilation, but Tee is Baptist. She goes to a large church in Brooklyn with a black congregation. I report from experience that black churches live up to the perception--they are foot stomping, hollering, yell-back-at-the-preacher events. Something to behold, it is enjoyable, but totally out of most white people's frame of reference...a little startling to experience.

Shawn has grown up in that church, spending most Sundays of his entire life in the pews. Of course all the ladies love him there, and dote over him. Being in churh all those Sundays, he has of course noticed that his mother and grandmother, and other people in the congregations holler back at the preacher with "I know that's right!" or "Tell it!" Such things.

Well, in Catholic School, "chapel" is a daily occurrence. Poor Shawn has been getting into trouble lately for "talking back to the priest" during chapel time. He'll shoot his index finger into the sky and proclaim, "YES!" or "Praise God!" He must be so confused about school church and church-church. I find this insanely funny on thousands of levels.


Next time: The valuable lessons of the Santa Claus reveal.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

...Gave Good Face...


Face:Off, For:Real
Originally uploaded by T.Almeida.
The woman who had the first ever face transplant at the hands of French surgeons says she has no regrets and that when she looked in the mirror for the first time, she was "sure it was me".

It seems like a success, but, as we are reminded in this interview with Dr. Eugene Alford from Baylor College of Medicine, the doctor is the same doctor who did the first hand transplant, and that hand later had to be amputated. Imagine the major downer it would be to have to have your face removed after the intense upper of having a new one after a dog mauled you.

Further, Dr. Alford points out the lack of research surrounding the procedure. What's funny to me is he also points out that there was no "ethics review with this patient or the surgery" which is comical because, what's the implication? That the woman wasn't told that it's a no-no to go out and play practical jokes on people with her identity now that she has a new face? I am moving to the forefront of the debat here by declaring, and this is the final word on the subject, if the procedure is not medically problematic then it is no more ethically problematic than a kidney transplant. So there!

In other news: The Bioethics.net reports the ABC News story that the woman has now sold the movie rights to her story. Jonathon Moreno, bioethicist at the University of Virginia, is quoted:


"Physicians are supposed to protect their patients who must be emotionally vulnerable in this situation," said Moreno, a professor of biomedical ethics at the University of Virginia. "Her psychological counseling should have included assessing the implications of this offer."


Rosamond Rhodes, bioethicist from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, justifies the woman's decision as a matter of monetary need:


"Even if her medical expenses are fully covered by the French national health system, it is hard to see how she would have had an income since she was mauled, how she can work during her recovery or how she will find employment in the future," Rhodes said.


Ok, sure she's "emotionally vulnerable", but what are these "implications"? Why should she not sell her story if somebody's buying? Even if she were independently wealthy, why is it at all problematic that someone says, "We want to make your story into a movie," and she says, "Ok, write me a check"?

The real controversy of face transplantation, like all "living donor" transplantation, is the Terri-Schiavo-like nature of the donor. I was not overly troubled by Terri Schiavo's story, or stories like it, but I was a little bit. From a mother's perspective (and I'm not a mother of course) I can see how there could be a glimmer of hope that the ghost is still in the machine, with Terri's eyes moving back and forth and her "laughing" and moaning. This story argues similarly that "Brain Death" is not really death at all. But, of course it is, right?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

America's Next Top Model

Nik was my girl from day one. She was robbed.

P.S., does anyone want to sign me up for the next cycle of America's Next Top Model? I mean, my face isn't really all that--I will require daily botox shots and pounds upon pounds of makeup--but I will stomp a runway for you, Tyra. I will smile a little bit brighter, kick a little bit higher, and jack my wig a little further than all the other girls. ANTP is not ready for The Butch Stroll! Those bitches can steal my wig glue and put water in my makeup, but I will still make them all cry and take the tiara!

Sith Drag

P.S. If I win, I will never, ever, do a fashion show for Wal Mart.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

I spent three hours in a waiting room today, after which I saw a doctor for two minutes who simply agreed with my self-diagnosis and wrote me the prescriptions I thought she would. I'm telling you, there's something to be said for these telephone doctors that have the American Medical Association all up in arms.

Not much to blog about lately besides the usual world going to hell in a handbasket. Well, there is the new drink yourself thin diet plan. The key on that one is moderation, but perhaps drinking till you yack would be more effective, and quicker.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Note to Self: Movies I Want To See While They're Still In Theaters

Jesus Is Magic
Walk The Line
Aeon Flux
The Chronicles of Narnia
Rent


Any takers?

I am still effing sick. My head feels like it could explode from the sinus pressure. Going to my university today to cup the Bursar's office and figure out what to do about not finishing thesis on time.

All I have eaten in the past week is chicken soup and cold medicine.

My mind is never clear.

I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown between work, school, Christmas, and just about everything else.

And filed under Too Much Information, I can't remember the last time I took a shit. Lovely.