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Other Ways of Marking Time

Posted by Ogged
on 05.06.05

Heard at the get-together here tonight: "We got married at the same hotel as your cousin. Thirty-five years ago. I could have killed her, and I'd be out by now."

> Sorry I'm not commenting, but I have to sneak onto my mom's computer quick-like just to post. She knows I have a blog, but doesn't know the address. I notice in her history of Google searches "[ogged's real name's] website." Nice try, mom.

(Because someone will ask: I don't use her browser. I log in to my pc at work and post from there.)


 

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Other Modes of Human Interaction

Posted by Ogged
on 05.06.05

1. Did I just hear the shifty-eyed Jewish guy with a hairpiece say "Then I'll be in bidness, girlfriend," to the African-American bank teller? Yes, yes I did. She didn't seem to mind.

2. Being in town for a cousin's wedding reminds me of going over to a relative's house when I was in Iran a few years ago. She is true old country. She spent her youth on horseback, living in tents in the mountains, and identifies with a tribe rather than a family. She offered an opinion: a man should marry a woman who is either beautiful or...a relative. Make a note, gentleman.


 

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In The Flesh

Posted by Ogged
on 05.05.05

I'm off to Chicago for the weekend. Likely not online until late Monday or Tuesday. If I'm not tied up with family, I might even see the W-lfs-n/Weiner/Kotsko contingent at the Sunday concert. And this time, I'll totally dish afterward.


 

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Insane Shane McKane

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.05.05

Apostropher points me to this. Please inspect it now. Add to your pleasure with this surprisingly listenable track.


 

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Yawn

Posted by Ogged
on 05.04.05

Cintra Wilson returns to form, and nails something that's been bothering me.

Hollywood stud-boys are generally too boring (Brad Pitt), too weak (Ashton Kutcher), too all-things-to-all-people (Will Smith), too adolescent (George Clooney), too humorless (Russell Crowe), too delicate (Jude Law) or too stupid (Kevin Costner). They've done too many test audiences with weepy, overweight girls from the Midwest or something, and now most leading men are too accessible and nice -- threatening, broody, strange, potent, complicated masculine energies are almost entirely missing from the screen. Intense, intelligent leading men are apparently too challenging for American audiences, who want their male stars likable and familiar, and are apparently put off by internal conflict or complexity. Thinking women are stuck with intractably grumpy, macho hicks; gleeful, overgrown teen clods; smug pretty boys; and wispy, cologned metrosexuals to project their fantasies onto. Unless they want to go foreign.

Of course, I couldn't say anything until a woman said something or it'd be jealousy, etc. But she's right; it's hard to believe any of these guys are objects of desire. Wilson moons over Grégoire Colin, whom I've never heard of, but seems a reasonable mooning choice, based on her gushing, anyway. Maybe I should just leave this one for the ladies. Aren't American male leads at the moment all just lacking in the ways Wilson describes?


 

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More Basketball Commentary

Posted by Ogged
on 05.04.05

"Galliant" is not a word.


 

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In Our Considered Opinion

Posted by Ogged
on 05.04.05

Hilarious.

Correct link (PDF) to the opinion.


 

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Until now, he had nothing to say

Posted by Unf
on 05.04.05

This story is pretty amazing.


 

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Why I Am Not A Christian

Posted by Ogged
on 05.04.05

Some relatives on one side of the family look downright Chinese, so I bet I've got enough Mongol in me to adopt this.

When anyone begged from [the Mongols], they replied, "Go, with God's curse, for if he loved you as he loves me, he would have provided for you."

 

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Not Indiscriminate, Inclusive!

Posted by Ogged
on 05.04.05

Colin Farrell is perhaps our most skeezy celebrity (is "skeezy" the closest thing to a male equivalent of "slutty"?) but, for reasons I don't completely understand, this latest story makes me think better of him.

But Dame Eileen Atkins says Colin Farrell - some 42 years her junior - spent more than two hours trying to seduce her.

...

Asked about her sex life on the ITV chat show Loose Women, she said: 'I was doing a movie and three weeks before my 70th birthday, a simply stunningly gorgeous big film star aged 28 years old, came into my hotel room for sex without strings.

See? He's not so much a player as completely out of control. What I can't decide is whether his method is ultra-skeezy or actually kind of sensitive and honest.

Dame Eileen added: 'It cheered me up fantastically. I said No in the end because he said, "The reason you won't do it is because your body isn't as good as it was when you were young isn't it? That's why you're saying No. I don't care about that. I don't care". 'But I'm too proud of how I looked when I was younger. My body is still the same weight, but it's all distributed in a different way!'

 

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The good old days

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.04.05

I miss being able to walk into the men's room, do a double take, and say, "well, I guess we found the weapons of mass destruction!"

Ok, I could do it, but it wouldn't be funny.

OK, it wasn't funny at the time, either, but it amused me.


 

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Ted Barlow gets it done

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.04.05

On the off chance you're wondering if the WMD argument really was the principal justification for the Iraq war, or if the war was (partly?) about democracy all along, this post seems pretty convincing.

UPDATE: just to be clear, I agree with baa in comments that the absence of WMD does not by itself show the WMD argument to be spurious. I do, however, think that the WMD considerations-- however these considerations were understood by the administration-- were the primary public justification for the war. It seems to me that anyone saying that democratization was a serious (public?) motivation before the war is being, at best, naive. (The rhetoric of democracy appears, yes, but the demand was, as Ted points out, to disarm, and I agree that this is significant in revealing the real justification.)


 

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Is that how you spell Zoe?

Posted by Unf
on 05.03.05

Via the lesbian Elvis, this comment on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Basically, Zooey Deschanel's Trillian is pretty." I think this is meant to be some kind of criticism.

Lindsey seems to have issues with the movie re its fidelity to the book. Having read only the first few pages of the book (after which I lost interest), I can't sympathize. I thought the movie was pretty good.

And boy howdy is Zooey Deschanel pretty. Were I forced to choose between her and Sarah Vowell, I don't know what I would do.

Update: tpyeos fixed.


 

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Tell Mickey We Love Him!

Posted by Ogged
on 05.03.05

Hey, it's Brad DeLong writing for Slate! Is this considered slumming for Brad? Glad more people get to read him anyway.


 

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A Small Experiment In Shared Spaces

Posted by Ogged
on 05.03.05

I hereby authorize any commenter to ban any other commenter.

Well: This seems to have run its course. I'm not sure what we've learned, other than that W-lfs-n will immediately abuse any authority given him.


 

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L. Ignores Me

Posted by Ogged
on 05.03.05

Our friend L., whom we tried to advise, has decided to attend Tulane. All the best!


 

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Knowledge

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.03.05

Does anyone know of an argument for the claim that knowing-how is somehow reducible to knowing-that? I think I've heard this claim somewhere, but I can't remember the details.


 

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Kicking Small Animals Helps Too

Posted by Ogged
on 05.03.05

Sherry does a very good job of bringing out the details of what seems obvious. Check out her series of How To Be Happy posts. There's Get Enough Sleep, and Train For Something. You can ignore the one about having a dog. And this advice, had I received it and taken it to heart about fifteen years ago, would have made a world of difference.

Don't keep all your options open. That's no way to live. Choose something, commit to it, and don't fuss about what you're giving up.

Amen.


 

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A Tough Job

Posted by Ogged
on 05.03.05

It's World Press Freedom Day. What Rox says.


 

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In The Haus

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.05

Not that I can afford to buy anything around here bigger than a slice of pizza, but the home-buying seed has been planted in my brain. I know a couple of the co-bloggers bought places last year, and surely others have done it recently. Can y'all point me to good sources of information, or just share some hard-won insight into the process? Assume that I'm a complete neophyte. It would be my first house (or condo), and I've been in my job for almost six years (I'm given to understand that this is relevant).


 

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Business Sense

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.05

How many times were the Rockets robbed in the last few minutes? I counted at least three. Refs sucks. The NBA should go call-your-own. Full audio on pay-per-view would be a cash cow. Awesome.

Finally! Doug Collins started to say "get a quick blow," meaning, "quick rest" but caught himself and said "quick recovery" instead. I've been amazed by the persistence in basketball commentery of "blow" for "rest."


 

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Ditty Ditty Bop

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.05

If I just heard about it, the cool kids have known for years, but the Ditty Bops' Ooh La La is seriously catchy.


 

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Cleansing

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.05

Kriston's comment puts me in mind of a question: What's the worst thing you've ever done? You know, your real moral transgressions. I can think of two things. (I don't know what to make of the fact that they're both from when I was less than ten years old. And my friends will probably have no trouble remembering more recent wrongs that my memory has suppressed.) I don't think I've admitted either to anyone, and they still make me cringe and hate myself.

1. In a fight with a good friend who was African-American, I called him "blackie."

2. I put glue on a caterpillar to see what would happen (it died a very disturbing death).


 

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The Power of Prayer

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.05

This one is worth reading in its entirety.

Mr. Delgado, who eventually got conscientious objector status and was honorably discharged last January, recalled a disturbance that occurred while he was working in the Abu Ghraib motor pool. Detainees who had been demonstrating over a variety of grievances began throwing rocks at the guards. As the disturbance grew, the Army authorized lethal force. Four detainees were shot to death.
Mr. Delgado confronted a sergeant who, he said, had fired on the detainees. "I asked him," said Mr. Delgado, "if he was proud that he had shot unarmed men behind barbed wire for throwing stones. He didn't get mad at all. He was, like, 'Well, I saw them bloody my buddy's nose, so I knelt down. I said a prayer. I stood up, and I shot them down.' "

 

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FYI

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.05

Matt Yglesias is blogging guest-blogging for Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo this week.


 

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Gas station anecdote

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.02.05

Just before I graduated from college, I filled up next to a woman who was smoking as she worked the pump.

"Excuse me, but I don't think it's a good idea to be smoking right here."
"I don't need some college boy telling me how to pump my gas."

That's the only time in my life I've ever been called that.


 

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I'm so sorry

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.02.05

Sometimes, when gas stations are empty enough to have unused pumps, I'll run in for a drink or to use the bathroom while my car sits at the pump I just used. Does this make me a bad person? Discuss.


 

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By Any Means Necessary

Posted by Ogged
on 05.01.05

I've got a little bit of the Psycho Killer thing going on: I hate people when they're not polite. But, just as tolerance of intolerance will be the death of the West, I've come to see that politeness in the face of rudeness only abets the rude. These deep thoughts are occasioned by the barbarians at the gas station.

When did it become acceptable to park at the pump while you go shop at the quik-mart? I couldn't understand why there were long lines to get gas until I realized that about a third of the cars at the pumps weren't pumping gas, they had just been left there after filling up while their owners went to pee or shop. I stood for a good five minutes behind one car while the owner lounged at the passenger-side door. I realized, once I understood this new norm, that he was waiting for someone. I'm not generally a confrontational guy; I figure that the best social rule is to make things easy on other people. But I would have hated myself if I hadn't said anything. So finally I said, "Sir, are you waiting to pump gas?" "No, I'm done...I don't know where my wife is." "Would it be possible to move you car?" Then his wife arrived, so I didn't have to get violent.

The failure of this approach is obvious: people don't take hints. "Are you waiting to pump gas?" really means, "Hey, moron, I'm straining my last bit of patience and creativity to give you a face-saving way to act civilized." To me, this seems obvious; to bozo-waiting-for-his-wife, it probably just sounded like a slightly stupid question.

So it's time for me to start using my Middle-Eastern heritage and people's prejudice for believing that I might lose my cool at any moment to bring some motherfucking manners back into this society. I know it's May, but I'm making a New Year's Resolution: no more hints for the rude; from now on, it's Mr. Confrontational.


 

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Impressions

Posted by Ogged
on 05.01.05

So, L.A. I've been a bunch of times, as Ex basically grew up there. I have a pretty limited view of the place, as I've rarely ventured outside tony Santa Monica. The Santa Monica Whole Foods encapsulates the feel of the place: going there is like being transported into a television show. You don't think about how odd it is that just about everyone on TV is beautiful until you go to the Santa Monica Whole Foods where everyone is, yes, beautiful. It's not a natural state of affairs, and you can see that it warps people's minds. It's great when 6'2" chiseled cheek bones is wearing a skin-tight t-shirt, or when gorgeous blonde woman with the rock hard abs on display pushes her cart by you in the aisle, but everybody dresses and acts as if they're beautiful. What makes the place kind of gross and depressing is all the old, droopy people who are so very desperately aspiring and failing to achieve the ideal of youthful beauty.

What makes me love L.A., though, are the times I have gotten out of Santa Monica. In all the crazy sprawl of the place, there's a sense of an inexhaustible supply of hidden goodies. The Museum of Jurassic Technology is basically in a house on some random thoroughfare. Given the enormity enormousness (who knew?) of the area, and its rapid changes, there will always be places that you hanve't discovered. I love that feeling.


 

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Trip Wrap-Up

Posted by Ogged
on 05.01.05

Dinner Saturday at the Sawtelle Kitchen, which is a funky Japanese comfort food kind of place. They have Japanese, Italian, and...other kinds of dishes. I loved it, but that might have been a coincidence: as the ex said, "we learned that if you put miso on something, ogged will eat it." This is true, and this is Sawtelle Kitchen's guiding culinary insight. Salad, with miso dressing; "sauteed green beans" actually steamed green beans in miso broth; curry chicken with rice...tastes like miso! Ex found it tolerable.

Then, because I believe in my fellow bloggers, we went to see Look At Me. Damn, that's a bad movie. I mean, it's a well-made film with a keen eye for seeing, and a sure hand for showing, the ways in which ulterior motives, insecurities, and unhealed wounds shape the ways we interact with each other, but you know what? I don't need to pay $10 to spend two hours with unlikable people.

Finally, breakfast at Casa Del Mar, which raises just one interesting question: is it more of a crime to charge $40 for a merely competent breakfast for two, or to pay $40? Sure, it's on the beach, and the view is lovely, but oy vey. (Actually, one thing about the experience is interesting: if you get a McMuffin and walk down to the beach (and that's the breakfast I'd recommend), you have one experience of the place, but when the beach is framed by a couple of dozen ten-foot tall windows and you sit with the linen tablecloths and silver place settings, suddenly the beach has been appropriated by the restaurant as part of its decor. Still ain't worth $40.)


 

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