Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Debate

Were the debates really that bad? We didn't watch them at work. After non-stop Pope coverage on CNN, we decided to skip anything important...and watched the Red Sox-Yankees game instead. (A-Rod still sucks, by the way.)

I read some of the live-blogs of the debate: Andrew Sullivan, the stuff over at Americablog by Jacki Schechner and Joe Sudbay, Marc Ambinder, and Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo.

Aside from being reactions from people I respect, it also gave me a little window in the subject matter.

And it appears I didn't miss anything. There are reality shows, produced to entertain people rather than to inform them, that deal with meatier topics. Flag pins and preachers? Sniper fire and cookies?

I suppose on the one hand, the candidates are so similar on policy issues (liberal Democrats, and proud of it) that the only thing left to distinguish them is style. That's why we got US Weekly instead of Time.

Whatever. I hate to say it, but I'd rather watch A-Rod...and I hate that guy.

I will say, however, that I'm glad the Republicans wrapped up their nomination process weeks ago. Imagine what silly topics we'd be talking about if they were still debating. Romney wouldn't want to talk about the polygamist sect down in Texas, but you know Rudy would be all over Jimmy Carter's ass for talking to Hamas. Since Huckabee was a crazy preacher, who knows how many times we'd be watching looped videos of him saying "Goddamn the gays, the abortionists, the ACLU and the Teamsters!"

Seriously, it could be worse. And I don't say that often.

A Waste of Good Suffering

I watched Terry Gilliam's Tideland the other day, and while I can't bless it with a recommendation, it did give me nightmares. It's not a scary movie, but it is unrelentingly dark and, I don't use this word lightly, horrific.

Somehow that translated into a nightmare in which Chelsea Clinton was being tortured on the set of Hellraiser, with all that wet darkness and chains with hooks. The dream was so terrible that it forced me awake and I couldn't go back to sleep. I'm not sure how Chelsea Clinton got in there, but the torture...that came from Tideland.

But if you feel like watching Gilliam's latest train wreck, I recommend watching Hellraiser again instead.
I love Pinhead's demonic voice, so poetic and so soul-stealingly evil.

Plus, come on, "The opened it...we came." A double entendre for a menage a trois? I think so...

Facts of History

Unlike his recent portrayal by David Morse in the HBO mini-series John Adams, George Washington did not have a prosthetic nose and cottonballs stuffed in his cheeks.
He also smoked a lot of dope.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ghetto Garden

It's only the middle of April, but that doesn't mean there's nothing going on in the Ghetto Garden. I've already turned the soil, added some amendment, and started thinking about what I'm going to put where. It's too early to plant anything, but in a few days, I'm going to transplant three tomato plants with the help of some "wall o'waters." I've never used them before, but supposedly they warm up the soil so you can plant tomatoes 6-8 weeks early.
We'll see how that goes.

If it's a failure, I have plenty of back-up.
There's at least a half dozen tomato varieties there, plus some flower seedlings (and that's just the top shelf). I do have a lot of reusable plastic pots for these young plants, but as you can see, I had to improvise with plastic cups (also reusable for this purpose) and peat pots.

The peat pot slips into the cup but not all the way, leaving a little pocket of space below. If you take a push pin and poke a few holes in that space, you allow for air flow and drainage, while also creating a little reservoir that will attract thirsty roots. Then when you're ready to transplant, you just slip the peat pot out of the cup and put it in the ground.

As you can see from the picture the seedlings like to grow towards the light, so I have to turn them every few days to keep them semi-straight. If I had a greenhouse, this wouldn't be a problem. And if I had a pony...

In the actual garden...

Some of my perennials are already coming back. I planted some Echinacea last year, and that's already leafing up (no blooms yet). And then there's the tulips.

I planted over a hundred tulip bulbs last fall, both amidst my tires and in the front yard, knowing that many of them, perhaps all of them, wouldn't survive the winter. That's not to say that winter is particularly dangerous for tulips; on the contrary, tulips need a deep freeze to bloom. But during the long winter months, there are a lot of hungry squirrels...and hungry squirrels love tulips.

And thankfully they missed some.

And here's a beautiful sight. Hmmm...purple.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Say It Ain't So Melo

I'm the last guy to get on Carmelo Anthony's case because I'm genuinely a fan. I like what he's done with the team and I have high hopes for the guy. But is he just another dumb pro athlete or is he an All-Star game-changer?

You got the "stop snitching" video, the Madison Square Garden sucker punch, the DUI...

I just don't know, Melo.

Commercial Love

The headline on this YouTube vid is "Worst Skittles Commercial Ever!" But I love it.

It takes a child's version of something that could be "awesome," everything you touch turning to Skittles, and exposes a downside. The cup-is-half-empty sentiment I identified with immediately, but I also love the actor's performance. "I met a man on the bus today. I shook his hand. He'll never see his family again."

Here's another commercial I love, starring the great Isiah Whitlock Jr. You might recognize him as Senator Clay Davis from The Wire or the jerky cop from Spike Lee's The 25th Hour and She Hate Me. The only thing that could have made this commercial better (and I bet there's an outtake somewhere) is if Whitlock said his famous line: "Shiiiiiiit." Instead, he just says, "Dad got hosed."

Just like this:

The Unity Ticket

It was a rumor in 04, but in 08 it could become a reality.

Only instead of Kerry-McCain, this year it's going to be McCain-Clinton. You know you want it, America...

A Press Release About the Weather

Today is the first day of 2008 that remained warm after the sun went down. Prior to today, no matter how warm it got, once the last sun rays dipped over the mountains the chill set in. Today, no chill, just the pleasant all-encompassing warmth of spring.

In my house, at a quarter to 11:00PM, the ambient temperature is a comfortable 78 degrees, a full three hours after nightfall and no help from the furnace.

I love it. I can't wait till May.

A Little Yin For Your Yang

And some brilliant musicalization from the one, the only:

Ben Harper

I hate to say I love you
Because it means that I
Will be with you forever
Or will sadly say goodbye.

And I love to say I hate you
Because it means that I
Will live my life happily without you
Or will sadly live a lie.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Facts of History

Much hay has been made over Peter the Great torturing his son.
But that little fucker deserved it.

Bitter, Angry, and Frustrated

Wow, you live your life for a few days, eschewing the petty ups and downs of a bitter campaign feud in favor of, you know, actual reality, and you come back to "bittergate." (Since I'm lazy, check Ambinder for the summary.)

Is this really going to be the nail in Obama's coffin? Really?

I have a hard time believing that this will force Obama supporters to re-examine their candidate. Personally, my support is as rock-solid as ever, and I find both the McCain and Clinton campaigns' charges of "elitism" to be laughable. Makes me think of that Tool song: Who are you to point your musta been out your mind? Son of an admiral, in the Senate for 30 years, on his latest (and most successful) campaign for President McCain calling someone else an elitist? And Hillary, former-first lady, made over a hundred million in 8 years, destined to be the first woman president Clinton doing the same?

Wouldn't it be funny if the "elite" candidates crowded out the self-made man by calling him the elitist? That would be fucking hilarious.

What's not funny is that the more I hear about "bittergate" the more bitter, the more angry, the more frustrated I get.

Agree or disagree, but at least make an effort to understand what he's saying, I want to scream. But taking quotes out of context, it appears, is more useful.

More useful, that is, if you want to score political points with the obtuse.

Updated: Apparently I'm not the only one with a WTF reaction to the weirdness of "Bittergate."
When I said the comments came from Barack Obama, and that many seriously believe that the quote could undermine Obama’s chances of becoming president, they looked at me as if I were from another planet.
Molehill politics indeed.