December 31, 2010

WTF 2010

Filed under: Christmas Time!, NYRA Happenings, Personal — Katrina @ 10:32 pm

And here we are. New Year’s Eve 2010, looking ahead to the still uncertain 2011. Though more on 2011 a year from now once it has actually occurred. Right now, let’s have a look back at 2010. It’s a year that from the get-go seemed rather, well, odd. Now through it, well, it was odd, certainly annoying much of the time, and certainly without a lot of the awesome encounters previous years had. Though with two heart-breaking losses. In any case, now for the recap!

January: Check Engine

-I think I’ll make guacamole
-Wow, this guacamole is fucking gross. Ack! Is this earwax?!
-Oh, I got the wrong kind of avocados. Okay.
-Hey, think I’ll check out that “Purity Myth” book… good shit.
-I need to get NYRA’s blog restarted.
-Ugh, NYRA online community is pissing me off, seriously.
-I’ll try this guacamole again, with the right avocados this time…
-Yummy!
-WTF?! Why is my check engine light on?
-Oh, I left the gas cap loose. Lulz
-I think I’ve got an idea for a hashtag Twitter campaign for NYRA.
-Still awkward and uncomfortable, Alex? Well, fuck you too then!
(more…)

December 30, 2010

Extreme Temps, Extremist Bullcrap

Filed under: Assorted Politics, Christmas Time!, Shut the Hell Up! — Katrina @ 9:22 pm

Now for an environmental, temperate edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

You know what I’m really getting fucking sick of? Or, at least, that I’m choosing to mention at the moment? Every time the temperature dips a little higher or a little lower than is normal for a given season, you get wingnut assholes deciding this is some definite information about global warming.

You see it from both sides…

“OMG, it’s a 70 degree day in January! Global warming has killed winter!”

“OMG, it’s a 50 degree day in July! Global warming doesn’t exist!”

Uh, hi, I’d like to introduce you both to the Hasty Generalization logical fallacy.

I mean, it’s of course not about expressing any actual scientific knowledge, as those with actual scientific knowledge on this get drowned in partisan propaganda, and many scientific studies even then get performed often by or at least funded by those who want a particular result. No, the entire point is to be a pompous ass to the other side, all like “see? I was right about global warming and you were wrong!” Who cares if the “info” you’re basing this on is even remotely sound when it can be made to fit your gloating needs at a given moment, right?

So, really, STFU both of you. If you think one unseasonably warm or cool day or week or even season totally validates your insistance that global warming is a real threat or just something Al Gore made up, then you don’t have any damn clue what you’re talking about on this issue.

And, just saying… regardless of the truth of global warming… it’s hardly the only reason to be worrying about air pollution.

December 29, 2010

Interference

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Foodz, In the News, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 3:18 pm

Oh, my good God…

Mother Sues McDonald’s for ‘Interfering’ With Kids

Happy Meals just got a little more expensive for McDonald’s: the fast food chain has been sued by California mother Monet Parham for using toys to make her two young daughters want nutritionally unsound Happy Meals…

Parham, mother of a six-year-old and two-year-old, said in a CSPI press release that: “I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat… what kids see as a fun toy, I now realize is a sophisticated, high-tech marketing scheme that’s destined to put McDonald’s between me and my daughters… I want McDonald’s to stop interfering with my family.”

Owwwww! My head hurts! Soooo much concentrated stupid!

*clutches head*

*takes ibuprofen*

Sigh. Okay, feel a little better now.
(more…)

December 28, 2010

My Five-Year-Old

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Inside the Fortress — Katrina @ 4:27 pm

Five years old today!

Yup, I have a five-year-old. Sometimes cranky. Sometimes ranty. Sometimes sweet. Sometimes thoughtful. Sometimes bored. Sometimes sad. Sometimes joyous. Sometimes excited.

Always colorful. Always awesome. Always full of whatever info or influence I happen to provide. Poor thing! Hehe.

Maybe I don’t give as much attention as I once did, but always there when needed, still there all these years. On to the sixth.

HAPPY 5TH ANNIVERSARY, EIGHT MINE FORTRESS!!!!

December 27, 2010

What I Won’t Miss

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Musical Musing — Katrina @ 6:48 pm

So last night at midnight, 97.1 finished up their six weeks of Christmas songs and switched back to their regular crap. Bleh.

It’s always a little sad. The festive songs get put away until next November and they’re back to the normal work-safe light rock and pop stuff. No more Sleigh Ride. No more Silver Bells. No more Winter Wonderland. No more Frosty the Snowman. Sigh.

But of course, there are the ones I will not miss. Namely, ones I’ve ranted about before. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (especially that obnoxious Perry Como version!). And others.

And… The Christmas Shoes.

Yeah, you know the one I mean. About the guy in line to buy presents who’s in a Charlie-Brown-ish “what’s the point?” mindset, and a boy in front of him is trying to buy shoes for his dying mother.
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December 26, 2010

The Choice Is Clear

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Estrogen, Shut the Hell Up! — Katrina @ 6:00 am

Now for a gestational, abortive edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

Let’s say you hear a news story, something like this: A man beats his pregnant girlfriend to death because she did not want to have an abortion. Or the perpetrator may not be a boyfriend but a husband or one of her parents or whoever. May not have beaten her to death but raped her or injured her severely in some other way.

And who should shut the hell up? These fucking idiot prolifers who point to this horrible shit and say “see! see! pro-choice people commit violence, too!” Often times the headlines of these articles will identify the assailant as pro-choice or pro-abortion (which a lot of idiots think is just another word for pro-choice, which is bullshit, but more on that in a sec).

*facepalm*
(more…)

December 25, 2010

Frohe Weihnachten!

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Personal, The Occasional Godliness — Katrina @ 11:09 pm

“Just look at us now, part of it all. In spite of it all, we’re still around! So wake up the kids, put on some tea, let’s light up the tree. It’s Christmas Day!” -Neil Diamond, You Make It Feel Like Christmas

Here we are again. It is Christmas Day! Through another year since the last one, we have lasted. Yay!

As usual, yesterday was another run of Christmas Eve, the longest day of the year. The Christmas Eve runaround leading up to the relative lull that is Christmas Day. Started with waking up, running to work to change a temperature chart, back home, wrapping presents, watching specials, listening to Christmas music, etc. All the way until around 7pm when once again my family went to my mom’s Greek friend’s Christmas Eve party. Ate lots of delicious food as usual, then I went to the 11pm Christmas Eve service at church like always. Wearing my Santa hat.

And listened to the sermon, which was about It’s a Wonderful Life, which the priest admitted to only recently watching all the way through the first time (iknorite?!) even though the church had been doing some activity before then supposedly about the movie. So, in other words, the priest admitted to professing to know about something that he in fact knew little about. Bizarre! :cute:

Well, part of surviving a church service when one has ideologically pulled away from Christianity like I have is to look at the whole thing as just some story everyone there is making a celebration of. Pretend nobody actually takes this seriously but that this is all just for fun. Hey, for most of the people there, that may actually be the case!

Once more, after communion, we all held candles, turned out the lights, and sang Silent Night. With joy.

And once more, upon the choir walking back down the aisle, we all sang Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Which I felt tempted to finish with a loud cheerful “Hell yeah!” But I resisted. Sorry. :P

Then I talked to the priest, who’s known me for a while. I told him my realization about O Come All Ye Faithful.

Then I thanked him for not being Fred Phelps, and he took that as a compliment. :lol:

Went home and prepared last few gifts.

And the NYRA website, which had been down for several horrible days, had at last come back. Just in time for Christmas! Christmas miracle.

Then went upstairs to my living room, on which I had put my colored lights. I gazed out at the divine night sky, watching for Santa…

And off in the distance, under a tower with one of them blinking red lights…

I saw a star.

I think. A star there in the night sky on Christmas Eve…

Or, no, it was actually the big electric star that on a tower that some nearby company puts up every year.

Hmmm… what a time to first notice I’m able to see it from my house! :)

So I unplug the lights for the night and go to bed.

And in the morning…

It’s snowing.

Ever so lightly. No real accumulation. I wondered just what does and doesn’t qualify as a White Christmas. Do Christmas morning flurries count? Does it count if it’s leftover snow from several days ago? Does it count if it doesn’t snow until later in the day?

In any case, I drove to my family’s house with the tiny Christmas snowflakes whirling around me, and arrived at the house to my very excited little brother, who got a fancy new train set, and is right now running that train round and round and round and round…

And has been using the new saucer sled he got from Santa as a flying saucer full of aliens attacking the train!

And we had our feast, our feast of roast beast.

What does Christmas have in common with the United States?

They’re both crazy mixtures of stuff from a crapload of different cultures… yet white Christian conservatives seem to think they belong only to them.

And the Dallas Cowboys lost. Sweet.

Christmas.

Yeah.

December 24, 2010

Keep Ringing

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Musical Musing — Katrina @ 4:53 pm

City sidewalks
Busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And in every street corner you hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling
Hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas Day!

Strings of street lights
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green
And the shoppers rush home with their treasures
Hear the snow crunch
See the kids bunch
This is Santa’s big scene!
And above all this bustle you hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling
Hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas Day!

Soon it will be Christmas Day!

December 23, 2010

Fifty Percent Capacity

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Shut the Hell Up! — Katrina @ 9:57 pm

Now for a half-gone, half-replenished edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

No, you can NOT tell whether someone is an optimist or a pessimist or anything like that merely because of whether they say “half full” or “half empty”. I know, I know, you want to look all smart and insightful, to make whomever you’re saying this to start to see you as wise or some shit. I don’t know.

In any case, cut the crap. It means nothing. You sound stupid saying it. It’s mind-numblingly cliché.

December 22, 2010

Leaky Nose Is Leaky

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Random Crap — Katrina @ 7:52 pm

So I just came down with a cold. Lovely. I also need to finish Christmas shopping for my dumb family.

After getting off early from work today, also the last work day before Christmas (yay!), I went to a few stores to look for potential gifts. First Barnes and Noble, then some Middle Eastern food store, then Best Buy, then Kohl’s. And in each one… my nose was soooo drippy! Gross!

I mean, WTF? It felt like I couldn’t even go out in public without either having crap spewing out of my nose or a tissue stuffed into my nostrils. Neither would leave me fit for being where people are!

Instead, I made several trips to the bathroom to get paper towels to wipe my nose with. Bathrooms were too gross for me to use the toilet paper for that. And I didn’t bring enough tissues with me. Though an entire box probably would not have been enough. There I was, trying to look at DVDs and digital cameras, near other people trying to do the same, and I’m the creepy chick who keeps having to wipe her very drippy nose.

And with those hands I’m using to wipe my very drippy nose with a very snot-saturated tissue, I’m pawing through stuff to see what would be nice to give as gifts to my dumb family. Seriously, this drippy nose was making things difficult! Drippy nose is forcing me into hiding lest I become a pariah, a pariah due to being the creepy chick with a cold who can’t stop the runny!

Then comes the other disturbing thing about this. Here I am stuck touching merchandise with hands I’d been using to wipe an overused tissue across my nostrils, trying in vain to stem the flow of watery mucus. And handwashing or rubbing Purell over and over isn’t all that feasible. So my cold germs are getting on this stuff I’m not buying. Feel so guilty. And then I realize, if I’m doing it… how many other people already did?

Damn you, germs!

December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Random Crap, WTF Did I Just Write? — Katrina @ 12:54 pm

Uh oh! Seems once again two December observances are chatting! Let’s listen in…

Winter Solstice: Here I am! Time for the sun to stop at the Tropic of Capricorn and start heading back the other way again!

Christmas: Marvelous! And that means I’m only four days away! Time for wreaths and holly and celebration!

Winter Solstice: Uh, yeah, about that, isn’t that all actually mine?

Christmas: We can share, can’t we?

Winter Solstice: Well, of course. You and I are more or less the same celebration anyway.
(more…)

December 20, 2010

Stork Sex

Filed under: Christmas Time!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:06 am

I admit it. I find myself actually offended at the portrayal of storks being where babies come from. Or any portrayal other than sex and pregnancy.

Thankfully, I was never taught that stork bullshit. Would be a little hard since my sister was born when I was almost four, and I remember Mom being pregnant with her. Of course, it was many years after that before I knew anything about sex being what causes pregnancy. And even though that was more a matter of never being all that curious about it rather than the info being actively kept from me, it still annoys me that I was almost ELEVEN before I knew anything about that pregnancy-causing act.
(more…)

December 19, 2010

Fandom Is Not Blind

Filed under: Assorted Politics, Christmas Time!, Think About It! — Katrina @ 11:50 pm

At least not when it has any degree of intelligence.

For example, every time Obama does something most of his supporters don’t like (which is all the time, but more on that in a sec), you get the conservatives and libertarians acting all like “see, see, and you all thought he was so great!” Or, a few years ago, liberals showing the conservatives the atrocities of the Iraq War and other shit George W. Bush did, saying they cannot possibly support him now.

Yeah, it doesn’t quite work that way. Being a fan, whether of a politician, a musician, sports team, or whatever else, does NOT mean blind agreement with each and every single thing they do, say, or believe. It does not mean finding out they said or did something you strongly disagree with means disavowing any and all support (though it might, depending on severity).

Yes, Obama has done things I do not agree with. And I knew this when I voted for him, when I was glad he won, when I watched his inauguration hopefully. Despite the campaigns making him seem like a second Jesus, nobody (well, again, who has any degree of intelligence [in b4 "LOL that rules out all his supporters!"]) actually thought this about him. He’s still a damn politician, and therefore still going to break promises. Anyone who actually expects to only vote for a politician who is line with their own views and values 200% will then never vote for anyone and is an idiot.
(more…)

December 18, 2010

The Failingest Day of Their Lives 2

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Estrogen, What the hell? — Katrina @ 5:26 pm

Three years ago today, I ranted and raved on how stupid weddings are. Or at least how stupid they usually are, depending on the people involved. Yet as time went by, I realized I certainly omitted some important things from there. Not intentionally. Just didn’t think of them when I first wrote it.

For one, look at what the bride and groom wear. Groom wears a tux, something guys wear at their own weddings as well as weddings of others and a number of other black tie occasions. The bride? She wears a special white dress that is worn at absolutely no other time ever. In that weird sense, it’s like the wedding is its own special day for her while for the guy it’s just another formal affair like any other.

And that wedding dress is supposed to be pure white. Why? White dress means virgin bride. The bride wears white, signifying her all so important virginity, while the groom’s tux bears no sign of his virginal status at all. Because, in bizarre wedding world, who gives a shit whether a guy is a virgin? But if that bride is worth her salt, she damn well better be!
(more…)

December 17, 2010

Stuff the Cards – The Anthology

Filed under: Check It Out, Christmas Time!, Musical Musing, NYRA Happenings — Katrina @ 11:26 pm

For the fifth year now, it’s been the same thing. NYRA Holiday Cards! On Wednesday, I completed this year’s sending, starting December 7 and ending December 15, a whopping 570 cards! And, what is mind-blowingly astounding, there weren’t really any problems. Every damn year, usually there’s some annoying setback that pisses me the hell off and results in my fellow board members getting yelled at (well, via e-mail, hehe). Whether they can’t get shit together on who should receiving cards or certainly executive directors screw with the list or whatever else, there’s usually something. This year, holy crap! It was smooth!

Well, almost. There was one teeny tiny thing, back in October when I was first doing the design. I was all set with a lovely design, a green background with some holly on either side of the annual meeting picture! Beautiful. Was ready to show it to the board and await praise. Except… I couldn’t help the feeling it looked too “Christmas only”. What with the red and green, despite not saying Christmas anywhere on it, and being free of Jesus or angels or Santa. So when we met up in the NYRA office around that time, I showed it to Alex, and he thought the card was awesome. I mentioned my concern, though, and he agreed. But, well, Alex and I are lifelong Christians, so we’d be biased, as I said to him. So then Hal showed up at the office, and I asked him, as someone who is Jewish, what he thought of the card. Yeah, he got one look at it and said “no fucking way!” LOL! Alright, can’t use the awesome holly design, so back to the drawing board. My own dumbass fault, really. I’m supposed to be more mindful of it, I guess. It’s alright. I had other choices. My second choice, though, had ornaments on it, and I figured if holly was a no-no, ornaments probably were, too. So I went with my third choice, a blue one with little snowflakes on either side of the bottom of the picture. Averted! And the card is still awesome. :D

So anyway, since 2007, on the forums, I’ve been posting my own little musical reflection of that holiday card run. Stuff the Cards! Rather unimaginatively on my part, to the tune of Deck the Halls. And here is each one!
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December 16, 2010

#16tovote on the 16th – Myths and Facts

Starting this past February, I’ve been running a little Twitter campaign called #16tovote on the 16th, where we tweet about lowering the voting age throughout the 16th of the month. Today is the eleventh run of the event, which has grown a little since it began, though its success varies month to month, hardly a linear progression.

Anyway, the idea is that there are a lot of tweets on this specific day in support of lowering the voting age, and all tweets must use the hashtag #16tovote. This way, I can watch the search results for the hashtag to see who and what has contributed to the event. Fairly simple. Yet even so, I often find myself having to clarify the same things constantly, to bust some myths that don’t want to be busted. Such as…

Myth: The #16tovote hashtag is for use only on the 16th.

Fact: The #16tovote hashtag is for use whenever, for any tweet about lowering the voting age. The event #16tovote on the 16th of course is special in that it specifically uses the hashtag because of the emphasis on voting age tweeting. Sort of how even though Thanksgiving is about eating turkey, we still eat turkey throughout the rest of the year.
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December 15, 2010

Carol Commentary

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Inside the Fortress, NYRA Happenings — Katrina @ 7:55 pm

Five years ago today, I wrote a NYRA Tale called A NYRA Christmas Carol. Funny thing about this, and any of the NYRA Tales, is that it serves as a mild commentary on whatever’s happening in the NYRA community at the time of writing. Christmas time approached in 2005, the year that was the forums’ heyday, and since NYRA Tales were all the rage back then anyway (though I’m so self-absorbed I’ve so far only reposted my own on here), so I felt it appropriate to cram yet another parody of the Charles Dickens classic into existence, featuring our own NYRA members. And since everyone was mad at me back then for being the tyrannical moderator I am, I went ahead and cast myself as Scrooge, despite the fact that I’m easily the most Christmas-loving NYRAnian!

It was Christmas Eve, and well-known mean moderator Katrina wandered through the snow-covered streets to the familiar building. Outside the door hung a sign: Moncure and Miller.

“Ah, Kathleen Miller,” she sighed. “Gone seven weeks today.” She knocked the snow off the sign and entered the building.

I made Kathleen my “Marley” seeing as she wanted tighter control over the forums than even I did. About a month before this was first posted, she finally said “screw it” and left the forums pretty much, not quite seven weeks though.
(more…)

December 14, 2010

Just Add Alcohol

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Foodz, Think About It!, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 7:50 pm

You know what’s annoying about the drinking age? Aside from the fact that it exists? It’s like a go-to excuse for all sorts of other ageism against young people.

There are many hotels out there that will not let you check in if you are under 21. Hell, Holiday Inn Express’s website will even tell you point blank on their hotels’ pages the minimum check-in age. What’s often the little excuse for having this ridiculous rule? “Oh, we don’t want there to be underage drinking parties!”

Well, the logic there crumbles easily. Most parties with alcohol have at least a few people 21 or older around, mostly since they’re the ones who supply the alcohol to begin with. And if they have the 21+ people for that, chances are those people would be the ones checking in. As long as you allow anyone under 21 to stay at your hotel at all, even families, you run the risk of having underage drinking on your premises. Please. These rules don’t attack underage drinking. They attack youth independence.
(more…)

December 13, 2010

Giant Inflatable Santa

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Random Crap — Katrina @ 7:49 pm

I was at Home Depot a couple weeks ago to pick up some Christmas lights, which are now hanging on my living room window for the neighbors to admire. Yay! While there, I looked through all the other decorations, mostly stuff entirely too big and fancy to put in front of my house, whose front yard is like 90% driveway, 5% porch and walkway, and 5% tree and bushes. Ah, townhouses.

Most of the decorations at the store were rather sensible. Just some lights. Prelit trees. Snow globes. Obnoxious singing stuffed animals.

Then you get the huge lawn ornaments and whatnot. Huge inflatable snow globe for the front yard, six feet in diameter. Maybe some illuminated reindeer. Giant snowman. And, of course, as said right in the title of this thing, giant inflatable Santa, bigger than any of that other stuff.

PROTIP: If you find you have purchased the giant inflatable Santa, and you have placed it somewhere on your premises, you are officially overdoing it.

;-)

December 12, 2010

Sparkle Sparkle

Filed under: Christmas Time!, Decrees!, What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:36 pm

I hereby decree…

Leave Twilight alone!

Jesus Christ, am I sick of everywhere I look, mostly online but also some offline, there’s the exact same stale attacks on the popular Stephenie Meyer book series “Twilight”. I used to read most of the Cheezburger sites on a daily basis, but stopped because it seemed like every damn thing on any of the sites was something whose entire humor seemed to be that it was mocking Twilight or Justin Bieber. Honestly, it’s fine once in a while, but all the damn time? There’s other shit in the world, you know!

It’s the same shit, too.

“Oh noes, Edward Cullen is a sparkling vampire? That’s an insult to real vampires! I’m offended!”

“Oh noes, why is Bella so attracted to Edward when he’s totally stalking her? That’s not a healthy relationship!”

“Haha, for Bella it’s a choice between a dead guy who’s 100 years older than her or a werewolf.”

“Oh, God, it’s sooo poorly written!”

I actually did read Twilight recently. It didn’t exactly blow me away, nor really keep me hooked, but I didn’t find it anywhere near deserving of the venom it gets all the time. True, I haven’t read the other three books yet, so we’ll see how I feel then.
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