Not a pleasant topic for a Saturday, and I apologize, but this article about Oklahoma's plans to appeal a judge's decision to strike down a law requiring that women get ultrasounds before they can have an abortion really upsets me. Buried a few paragraphs down is this:
In early stages of pregnancy, when the fetus is tiny, the law would have required the ultrasound to be done vaginally to get a clear image, providers said. No exceptions were made for rape and incest victims.
Now, let me explain what doing an ultrasound "vaginally" means to those of you who don't know -- it means that they have to take what is essentially a large dildo and shove it up inside you and root around to try to get a picture. Essentially, Oklahoma is trying to uphold a law requiring the forced penetration of women, including rape and incest victims, against their wishes.
The woman would be allowed to "avert her eyes," the law said.
Oh, well that makes it all better. The woman would be able to look away from the screen while her doctor is performing his government-mandated forced penetration of the rape victim. How humane. That won't make this traumatic at all.
Equal rights! I suppose the only reason there isn't one in SF is that it's already legal here.
What on earth is the point of the typeover mode in word processing programs, except to send me into a tizzy when I realize my precious words are disappearing underneath the new ones I type? I've probably accidentally turned it on three times a year, since forever, and never once intentionally.
At least I finally remember how to turn it off. It used to make me panic because the keyboard became like this hot stove that I feared touching, lest each keystroke
kill a kitten eat my document. Now I just go vent to my captive audience - hello captive audience - and then go back to working on my syllabi.
In hindsight it's obvious: The cookie pictured on the box was never enlarged "to show texture". All these years I have been spoon-feeding myself breakfast cereal—and lies. And wondering all the while how texture-fetishists came to dominate processed-food graphic design. I am bouleversed. How deep and untroubled run my reserves of credulity?
This story is a bit curious:
Zaid was ticketed in April in a Bethesda speed enforcement zone after he flashed his lights to thank a driver for warning him of the police officers stationed ahead.
While I'm squarely on the side of not ticketing motorists for communicating (after all, a flash of lights can mean any number of things), everyone knows you don't flash your lights back to the speedtrap warning, you dolt! You might be seen by the fuzz!
In any event, I'm glad to see they dropped the ticket after he raised a fuss. But it's clear that the police are missing the broader opportunity here. How do speeding drivers react to being flashed a warning from oncoming traffic? They slow down. And what is the point of speed enforcement? Among other things, to get speeding drivers to slow down.
I predict that some budget-conscious police force somewhere will, in lieu of actual speedtraps, begin sending out unmarked cars (driven by someone paid significantly less than a cop) to flash false warnings with a goal of slowing down speeders. And no, don't be ridiculous. Of course these false-warning vehicles won't be driven by hobos. Hobos specialize in trains.
John Barth, Karl Barth, Donald Barthelme, and Roland Barthes walked into a saloon.
Whilst driving up and down the five freeway recently, I learned of two remarkable technologies friendly corporations have developed to help parents keep track of wayward teenagers.
Chase, the bank, will email you about unusual or noteworthy purchases made using cards linked to your account—even if the cards themselves are your child's! This would allow worried fathers to keep updated about whether or not their daughters are shopping at stores with such silly names as Teen Hottie.
American Telephone and Telegraph, the telephone and telegraph company, will provision you with applications for their phones which allow one phone (yours, let's say) to display the GPS-determined location of a different phone (your wayward teen's, for instance). This would allow worried mothers to keep up to date about whether or not their sons are … well, nothing specific was mentioned, but use your imaginations, people.
Oddly, in the advertisements, only the son, in the latter case, evinced any unhappiness with the prospect of being so closely monitored by his opposite-sexed progenitor. The daughter in the former spot was completely unfazed* when her notional opposite-sexed progenitor called her up to grill her about an apparently quite recently completed transaction, answering quite promptly and assuring her father not to worry, as she had already returned the item in question (she says it's because she saw other people wearing the same thing and concluded that the wave had crested, but I think it's really because she realized that for $20 its workmanship was probably quite inferior). Perhaps we can attribute this to the fact that in her case the household surveillance regime was already established, while in the son's case it had not yet been instituted but was, rather, still on the horizon.
*A word The Economist spells "unphased".
So Bob Dylan got stopped the other day by cops and they didn't know who he is, which is cute, but the getting stopped for no good reason is not cute. But according to this he wandered into some people's yard, in which case it doesn't seem too bad to ask him a few questions.
But that's not why I brought you guys here tonight, folks. I heard the Bob Dylan bit originally on the radio a few days ago, and the DJ then told the following story about Willie Nelson: Apparently Willie Nelson likes to go jogging when he's out on tour. And sometimes he gets lost and doesn't know where the hotel or the bus is. And on those occasions, he likes to go knock on someone's door and when they answer, he says, "I'm Willie Nelson. Do you know where I am?"
Isn't that cute?
Speaking of jogging, I recently replaced my running shoes. It seems like five years ago all the running shoes were super springy. Like it was the thing for the different brands to one-up each other in how much they'd put little bouncy castles on your feet. I'm a big fan of the super springy sole. But it has gone the way of Crystal Pepsi, it seems, because now the running shoes are all reasonably cushioned, but there's no wheeee factor anymore. Anyone else notice this?
I assert that a good working vacuum cleaner is a great use of your money. Before we were using some crappy old piece of suckage that I bought from a classmate for $20. We had a Roomba as well. We used to claim that we used the vacuum cleaner for deep cleaning and the Roomba for touch ups, but let's be honest: the carpet just got progressively rattier. But with our new Bagless Capture from Eureka, we've got buckets of cat hair, all neatly deposited in the trash can. And the light glints just so from our big smiles.
OK. This time I resolve to go slowly. This time I resolve to take up too much space. The anticipation thing is the only problem. At last, I suppose, that there is nothing for it except practice and more practice. All theremin anticoagulamabobs. This seemed to mean that I am (was?) generous. I must have grown stingy in the meanwhile. I think, actually, that this method could be quite effective. It remains to be seen if it is, in practice, faster.
As you've likely read in a million breathless blog posts, Mad Men season three starts tonight. I watched season one as it originally aired and caught season two on DVD and think it's a well made show but I'm fairly indifferent about the season starting tonight. Once a TV show crosses a line and turns into a "thing" (meaning appointment television endlessly dissected at parties and in print), my enjoyment of it tends to diminish. I find this the case far more with event TV than with similarly hyped movies or books.
I'm not sure what it is that I find so grating -- whether it's the duration of the hype given the length of a series or the fact that I don't find TV to be naturally communal in the same way as film. Or maybe it's that once a TV show turns into a "thing", it starts to feel more like homework than something I'm enjoying for its own sake. Or, perhaps, it's the sense that I can't evaluate a show that is a "thing" independently on its own merits anymore as it unfolds. I much prefer sharing TV shows with people the same way I do books or movies -- discussing them after an entire season has ended so I'm not biased along the way.
I finally got to see the new Star Trek movie on the plane, and now I have a crush on Zachary Quinto. It seems like everyone else does too, but I find that strange for some reason. Not that I don't think my tastes are liable to be widely shared, but he in particular seems like someone that I would think was hot that everyone else thought looked kind of odd. I mean, his nose is wonky. I've been down with a fever again and so it also seemed like a good time to watch Heroes, which I never had before. It's...OK so far, but Quinto hasn't shown up to kill everybody yet, so it'll probably improve. I told my husband to get me season one of Heroes which he had at work, warning him that it was only because I was in love with Zachary Quinto. "He's just a man," he said. "You'll see. He can do chilly and cerebral. But he's just a man." Mmm, chilly and cerebral.