Fearless 2011

December 31, 2011

And… here we are! 2011 has run its course. Let’s review!

January: Unapologetically Fierce

-Nothing like a 7-year-old’s birthday party at a sports bar!
-Missed New Year’s Eve skiing but I’ll get up there some evening.
-Liberty’s restaurant says anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
-Uh oh! Big snowfall at afternoon rush hour on untreated roads!
-Three hours to go ten miles.
-Come on, car! Don’t get stuck. Doing great…
-Okay, now it’s stuck… just outside my house. Okay, COULD be a lot worse!
-Dinner invite! How nice!

February: A Reclaimed Minuet

-Superbowl Sunday! To Brookside. To climbing gym. To get fried chicken. To bake cookies. And, well, watch the game!
-Hey, lots of free sheet music for classical music online. Public domain!
-Uh oh! Lots of changes and of course fighting over NYRA’s website redesign.
-Yay! #16tovote on the 16th is a year old!
-Helping out in NYRA office on weirdly warm day. And burrito with Dave from weird burrito truck guy.
-WES Auction! I won a big urn!
Continue reading “Fearless 2011”

Temptations for Ageism

December 30, 2011

Now for a growed-up, snack-packy edition of…


Jell-O. And they’re little Temptations pudding advertising. See, the idea is that it’s not like their other desserts (somehow). I mean, it probably still contains the exact same ingredients. But somehow this one isn’t for kids. They’re not only saying so. They’re forbidding kids from getting free samples of it through fancy machines!

The current offer is for Temptations by Jell-O, the brand’s first product designed specifically for adults. The machine is equipped with technology to determine the age of the person requesting a sample. If the machine senses a child, a panel lights up with the words, “Sorry, kid. You’re too young to experience indulgence like this. Please step away so the adults can get their free treat.”

You’re too young to experience indulgence like this? Even if I weren’t outraged on youth rights grounds, I’d want to smack the person who came up with this. Are they actually implying eating this particular pudding constitutes sex?

We’ve been discussing this a bit on the NYRA board e-mail list, and Eric Goldstein suggested the restriction could be for liability purposes. And he’s probably right. Except if that were all it is, you’d think they could at least try to be respectful about it. Having a machine say the equivalent of “ha ha, you can’t have this!” pretty much shows there’s more to it than that.
Continue reading “Temptations for Ageism”


December 28, 2011

You know when a year has the same calendar as another year?

I was born on a Friday, so whenever my birthday lands on a Friday, that year’s calendar matches up (or mostly matches up if a leap year) to the 1983 calendar.

Hey! My birthday was a Friday this year! So 2011 and 1983 match up!

This year also has the same calendar as 2005.

So, today, December 28, 2011, is a Wednesday, just like December 28, 2005 was.

I feel like that date rings a bell…

I feel like the days leading up, once Christmas was out of the way anyway, I was putting something together and fixing it up.

And on this day, six years ago, it went live…

Of course! You’re looking at it! 😀



December 27, 2011

Does this offend you?

How about this?

The whole site is in Verdana, but maybe I’ll switch the whole thing to this.

Or I’ll switch the whole thing to this.

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

Which one shall I pick?

Contrary to popular and inexplicable opinion…

Neither one is really all that bad!

This has its uses.

As does this.

Yet there are some who recoil at the mere sight of this!

They recoil at this, too!

What is wrong with these people?

Maybe they should get a life.

If they are so offended…

Down to their very souls…


Getting Kids Reading

December 26, 2011

Now for a juvenile, literary edition of…


People who are all like “we’ve got to get kids reading!”

There’s been ads for James Patterson books on TV, and some recent ones start off with “James Patterson gets kids reading!” Because he’s apparently written young adult lit now, so it shows a pre-teen reading from a book about middle school.

Because if there’s anyone who truly knows what middle school is like, it’s authors in their sixties!

But, what, they couldn’t just advertise the book? They have to include some crap about “getting kids reading”?

That takes away the “here’s something you’ll enjoy” factor and turns it into yet another “getting kids to do things adults want them to be doing”. Okay, the implication seems to be “it gets them reading BECAUSE it’s enjoyable”, but it still makes it being enjoyable to the young reader secondary to satisfying some cliched expectation. Because, after all, the world cares nothing for kids’ personal desires and cares entirely for what adults desire for them.

Also, maybe someone should tell these adults that when kids are reading, they’re generally -gasp!- inside and sitting! Oh noes, they’re getting fat! So send them outside to get exercise. Then bitch that they aren’t reading enough.

Feliz Natal

December 25, 2011

My world is changing. I’m rearranging. Does that mean Christmas changes, too?
– “Where Are You, Christmas?”

The days leading up have kind of sucked. Christmas is about joy and hope. I see much ahead that is uncertain.

Today and yesterday have been okay. Even through it all…

Still with watching the Christmas Eve Christmas specials…

Baked cookies! Mmmm!

The Redskins lost… -_-

Wrapped presents.

Why did I buy my stupid family so much shit?

Mmmm, cookies.

Wrap more presents.

Mmmm, cookies.

You know what? I can finish this later.

Off to see stupid family.

They weren’t sure whether to get a platter of mezze or a big platter of sushi or a big ass bowl of shrimp. So they got all of it!


Brother wants me to watch YouTube videos. Mom wants me to watch British sitcoms.


Reading “Visit from St. Nicholas” to brother before he goes to bed.

Trying to leave but Mom keeps asking pointless questions.

Yay, got to church sort of on time!

Running down aisle while they’re singing “Angels We Have Heard on High”.

Breathlessly singing “Gloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooria, in excelsis deeeeeeeo!”

Wearing Santa hat all through service. LOL U MAD?

Time for the peace. Wearing Santa hat. “Merry Christmas! Peace be with you!”

Here it is… the highlight of my Christmas time… and perhaps of my year…

Raising my lit candle, singing Silent Night!

Back home… to it being 1am and all my neighbors’ outside lights still on and shining, long after they’ve normally turned them off.

Last wrapping, more staring off into the divine night… and off to bed…

But so many questions remain. So many things are uncertain. What will things look like this time next year? How will such changes change Christmas itself for me? And the biggest question of all, what can I do about it? If anything?

Do I just wait and see? Am I sitting on the answer and just don’t notice it yet? Do I know what the answer is but have chosen not to do it?

Am I even asking any of the right questions?

But, at Christmas Eve night, trying to go to sleep, what can be done now?

Now? For now, yes, maybe just wait and see…

And in the morning, the bright sun shining… at last Christmas Day!

Let there be peace, love, joy, hope, and giving!

I got a Slinky! 😀


December 23, 2011

I hereby decree…

It’s pointless to point out hypocrisy.

Sad but true. A hypocrite will never see himself as hypocritical.

Point it out and what happens?

“That’s totally different!”

It’s a common climactic plot point in sitcoms when someone points out where someone is being hypocritical to get the response of “oh you’re right!” and he changes his ways or something. Yeah, like most other things that happen on TV, that’s bullshit. Never happens.

The people who whined that anyone ever said an unkind word about George W Bush will say the nastiest things about Barack Obama (and vice versa).

Those who fear and fight government monitoring will use even more intrusive monitoring methods on their children.

Someone who tells all his friends something he heard or believes about someone else will complain when that someone else tells all her friends something she heard or believes about him.

From an objective standpoint, seems hypocritical. Oh, but they have their reasons! Bush/Obama deserves to be called Hitler because of XYZ! Children aren’t people! My gossip is totally different from hers somehow!

Just keep telling yourself that.

Twin Fail

December 22, 2011

There are two things I want to see movies and TV shows stop doing when they have twin characters.

For one, stop showing a twin brother and sister as “identical”. Identical twins are also identical sexes because of that whole identical DNA thing. They’ll look sort of alike anyway just from being siblings, but they are still fraternal twins as they came from separate eggs and sperm. But you get brother-sister twins being shown looking exactly the same except maybe one hair or facial feature so that you know the sister is female. Or Phil and Lil from Rugrats looking completely identical, and occasionally being mixed up, except for Lil wearing a dress, though that still is basically the same outfit Phil wears. Seriously, writers, stop that shit!

And this isn’t the sort of thing only biology majors or whatever know. It’s almost common knowledge.

Then comes the other annoyance. You get shows or movies that are about conjoined twins… who aren’t identical. Conjoined twins are always identical. They didn’t just get hooked together at some point. They, like all identical twins, were initially one fertilized egg that then split into two identical ones. But for conjoined twins, didn’t finish splitting, so they’re stuck together. And still identical. I mean, I’d give Oblongs leeway since on that show the family is basically all mutants anyway, but you get other shows and movies showing conjoined twins with entirely different features and trying to pretend this is how they normally are. Again, writers, stop that shit!

It takes like no time to look this shit up. You’ll save so many brain cells!

Solstice of Lights

December 21, 2011

Ah, winter has begun! And I think something else has, too.

Winter Solstice: Here I am! Alright, Northern Hemisphere, time for another winter!

Chanukah: Shalom!

Winter Solstice: Oh, hey, Chanukah! How’s it going?

Chanukah: It’s my first day!

Winter Solstice: Hey, seems we’re the same day this year!

Chanukah: Oy vey! Don’t let Christmas know that. I’ll never hear the end of it.

Christmas: Hear the end of what?

Chanukah: Ah, you again.

Christmas: Oh, wow! You start on the Winter Solstice this year? That’s awesome!

Chanukah: Actually, I started last night at sundown if we’re to be more specific.

Christmas: Close enough. This means that this year, just like me and my traditions, you too are a Winter Solstice celebration.

Chanukah: Oy. Here we go again. I have nothing to do with the solstice. The dates are a coincidence. I’m about a temple rededication after one of very very very many times the Jews were attacked.

Christmas: Hey, you know what would make an awesome menorah decoration?

Chanukah: Menorahs don’t need decoration.

Christmas: A holly sprig! Right at the base of it.

Chanukah: Why?

Winter Solstice: Holly is evergreen and symbolizes everlasting life. For you, it could mean the resilience of the Jews all through history maybe.

Chanukah: But that’s a Celtic thing, that Christians later also made about Jesus because they’re so insecure they have to make everything about Jesus. I don’t need that. Our own traditions and symbols are plenty interesting on their own.

Winter Solstice: Maybe instead of candle oil you guys should try my Yule log. That lasts weeks!

Christmas: How about a Star of David atop the tree?

Chanukah: Fuck this shit, I’m going to make some latkes.

Christmas: Don’t forget to leave some out for Santa!


The Cratchits

December 20, 2011

So I’m watching “A Christmas Carol” (1984 version with George C Scott) on AMC since it’s on pretty constantly and why not.

Christmas Present takes Scrooge to the Cratchits’ house where Scrooge is informed that sweet lad Tiny Tim is going to die from some unnamed illness that can apparently be cured in 1845 England with enough money at least but money the Cratchits of course don’t have. Then they have their meal and Mrs. Cratchit brings out the dessert, this round chocolate cake thing.

She sets it down nervously in front of her husband, and he takes several severe looks at her while scooping some onto a fork, then he takes a bite, and now is smiling and says “another triumph, my dear!” Followed by invisible-to-them Scrooge saying “what a relief for Mrs. Cratchit!”

Is it just my imagination, or does all that imply that if she screwed up the cake, he’d have slapped her?

I mean, okay, okay, maybe it was just playing around, that she was being a perfectionist and he was quietly teasing her about it.

But then later, during the Christmas Future sequence, after Tiny Tim is six feet under, Mrs. Cratchit is sewing and remarks the color thread she’s using hurts her eyes, then after a minute she says it’s better now. Then she remarks to her remaining children she doesn’t want their father to see her with red eyes when he gets home. Because, as a wife, she’s supposed to completely put away her own feelings or emotions and stick to serving her husband’s every whim. Selfish woman! How dare she be sad that… her son died!

Though that’s not the most disturbing part of the movie. Christmas Present does open his robe at one point to reveal two shriveled waist-high children standing there for some reason… :scared: