Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A silver medallist in a women's race took a "gender test" and failed.

She's not a man and she's never had a sex change. She has "abnormal chromosomes." Abnormal enough for her to be stripped of her medal.

So, what? She took too much man-ness across the finish line? That's considered an unfair advantage? In the future, will sex be determined by footrace?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Released February 8, 2005:

. . . and released December 5, 2006:

My prediction for next year:

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Senator Tim Johnson's recent medical troubles have forced a lot of people to look at the fragility of the new Democratic majority in the Senate. It's got me to thinking . . . there are a lot of senators. Do you suppose a right wing nut, similar to the one who mailed white powder to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Jon Stewart recently, might decide assassination of a senator might not be so hard to pull off?

Good morning.

So I've got myself a headache. The past couple days, my aunt and I have been tending to Victoria the cat. The experience has taught me that I can never be in any medical profession.

Victoria's got a tube in her neck right now, whereby my aunt and I put food, medicine and water into the kitty. Doctors still don't have any idea why she won't eat. She just seems to not want to. Whenever I put food in front of her, she looks at me like I've made some juvenile joke she's in no mood for.

And I just don't seem to have a head for keeping track of the various medicines and when they need to be administered and how. It's a struggle--I constantly have to re-read the instructions, and frequently have to start over, cutting the pill, crushing it, warming the water, putting the pill powder and water together and into the syringe, and go.

At least she's started passing waste again. Well, it didn't seem like such a good thing when I opened the door to her room yesterday and discovered the diarrhoea-scape. After much scrubbing, I managed very little cleaning. Then my aunt came home and took a crack at it and somehow got that white carpet spotless again. But oh, the time consumed. I went to Tim's last night to numb my brain with Oblivion a bit, but that was the first day in about a week I hadn't worked on the "Moving Nameless" fanfic, which is now at twelve pages. So I think I'm mainly doing well. Except for the fact that I still have most of my Christmas shopping to do . . .

Thursday, December 14, 2006

In 1986, Bob Briggs was director at the Cetacean Institute in Sausalito when Doctor Gillian Taylor, the institute's assistant director, disappeared.

These days, Bob manages a Denny's in Bakersfield. He and I recently sat down over All-American Slams and coffee to discuss Dr. Taylor.

How long did you know Gillian Taylor?

A long time. She and I went to school together. We got our degrees in cetacean biology the same year. We were close, we studied together several times. She was sort of my, you know.


(laughs) I guess you could call it that.

What do you remember about Dr. Taylor's behaviour, shortly before she disappeared?

Well, she'd been acting pretty emotional and, you know, out there for a while. It was like she was going through early menopause or something. She would yell at me and then be really quiet for a long time. Is menopause the right word?

Er, 1986 was also the year the Cetacean Institute released George and Gracie, the only humpback whales ever held in captivity.

Yeah. Yeah, well, we'd been taking a lot of heat from the fishing authorities and a few liberal groups for holding the two whales.

Yes, my notes say there was a lot of concern regarding the tank. At only 15 thousand cubic metres, there wasn't even enough room for the whales to turn around.

Oh, that wasn't really the problem. The problem was money. We couldn't afford all the shrimp we had to dump in there to keep them alive. Gillian had a . . . Well, she was really emotional about seeing the whales go. She loved those whales--she'd stand over the tank and talk to them sometimes. I think she really thought they loved her. I should've seen the red flags, in retrospect.

You think her disappearance was directly related to her feelings for the whales?

Well, I don't know, but it would be a real big coincidence if it wasn't, right? I tried to soften the blow when--when we knew we were going to have to release them. I said to her one day, it's not like they're people. It's never been proven they're that smart.

How did she react?

She flipped out. Told me she didn't--how did she put it?--how much she cared for someone--it wasn't based on her estimate of their intelligence. It was sort of embarrassing. It was like she really thought those whales were her kids, or--or something.

You're referring to her status as a registered sex offender. Those kids she'd allegedly molested a few years earlier.

Uh, maybe, I mean, I don't know. The judge had been pretty easy on her, I guess because she was a woman, but I figure, she was a little fragile. I think not being around kids she transferred her--her obsession to the whales. It's weird because she was very religious.

So she didn't want to be parted from the whales? Even if it meant keeping them in those conditions?

We took good care of those whales, okay? I don't want anymore--I don't want to hear anymore about that. But, yeah, she--she was really paranoid near the end. She seemed to think whalers were going to immediately find them out there. Of course, maybe they did--we lost track of the whales pretty quick, even though we'd tagged them.

When was the last time you saw Dr. Taylor?

Just after George and Gracie had been removed. We'd kept secret from her the real removal time, so she was really surprised when she showed up for work to find them gone.

Why did you keep her in the dark?

She'd been so, like I said, hysterical lately, we didn't want to deal with her. And I figured if she had to watch them go, I'd have to watch her bawling . . . Boy, was she pissed. She slapped me. Called me a son of a bitch, last time I saw her. You know, I was her boyfriend for eleven years and we never even got to second base? I tell ya--well, I guess she's gone now, so. That's that.

Er, yes. Well, thank you for talking to me to-day. I'll let you get back to work.

It was nice talking to you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Here's my ranking of the 2006 movies I've seen (though imdb lists some of these as 2005--even V for Vendetta which came out in May 2006). Looks like it was a year of mostly bloody, unhappy drama and broad satire;

1. Tideland
2. The Proposition
3. The Departed
4. The Prestige
5. Marie Antoinette
6. Casino Royale
7. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
8. Clerks 2
9. Art School Confidential
10. An Inconvenient Truth
11. The Illusionist
12. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
13. Hard Candy
14. Little Miss Sunshine
15. V for Vendetta
16. Superman Returns
17. Friends with Money

Two movies didn't make the list because I didn't like them enough;

The Devil Wears Prada

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Even if size doesn't matter, this is still pretty unfortunate for Indian men, I must say. Indian men are going to be taking so much shit now.

I was fantasizing to-day about interviewing Diddy and asking him, "Is it all right if I call you 'Penis'?" When he said no, I was going to go on, "Okay. So who's diddling your diddy these days? Your uncle?" Every question would in some way make reference to the fact that his new name sounds like a word a paedophile would use to refer to a little boy's penis.

Just thought I'd share. Victoria the cat's home and still not eating, but at least she used the litter box. The doctors say she was eating the kitten food they gave her, so my aunt's going to buy some of that. Victoria does seem happier, though. She purrs when I pet her.

Now I've got eight and a half pages done on the fanfic thing. I still haven't thought of a title. The two main contenders right now are Moving Innocent and The Two Loves of a Nameless Lady. Part of me wants to go with The Two Loves of What's-Her-Name. I want something intriguing without sounding stuffy and self-important. I'll keep thinking.

I still need to do Christmas shopping. Yes, I declared war on Christmas. But I see no reason not to abuse the native customs of my conquered island.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Let's see . . . There's been some cat drama around here lately. Victoria the cat's been in the hospital for a few days since we noticed she'd stopped eating and using the litter box, and was throwing up what little we could get her to swallow. The doctors still aren't precisely sure what's wrong with her. They thought it might be a fatal virus causing a liver problem, but now they seem to think it's a liver problem caused by stress and change of diet--my aunt had changed the cats' food three times in the past couple months in the hopes of getting them to lose weight. And stress may indeed have been a factor, since Victoria seemed to get bad after I'd taken her in to get her claws capped and she'd had a nasty encounter with a candle when I brought her home. She'd seemed very affectionate when I brought her out of her carrier, but unfortunately she decided to rub her face on the leg of a wobbly three-legged table on which my grandmother had decided to put two skinny, wobbly candles, one of which immediately fell and struck Victoria between the shoulders like an arrow.

Yes, the cats here have capped claws. It's better than declawing, but it does kind of bug me that my grandmother's so Republican about her furniture as to put the couch's welfare over the cats'. Taking Victoria in, I reflected on how Republican mentality helps make the world a shitty place in even little ways. Yeah, I'm a partisan motherfucker. So much for my presidential run.

Here're Keith Olbermann and Sam Seder discussing the Wondrous Lesbian Cheney and Her Babe of Hypocrisy. Every time I wonder if Stephen Colbert is a straw man, all I need to do is remind myself of the elephant horse jockey. Or the vicar in a tutu, if I want to reference Morrissey.

For some more food for thought, here're several people patiently explaining to Deepak Chopra that it's not absurd for a brain to want a banana. Sometimes I think religious people just need more hobbies. It's disappointing--I'd pegged Chopra as being more benign than that.

Well, I think I'll go work on that "Moving Nameless" fanfic while listening to Olbermann. Progress has been a little slow--I've only gotten seven pages done. But then, part of me thinks this is a transitory period that needs to be slow and contemplative. Never underestimate the usefulness of daydreaming, I always say . . .

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Decemberists counterattack Stephen Colbert! Green screens everywhere are burning!

I'm not a Nelly Furtado fan, but this was pretty damned funny, inasmuch as it pretty much confirms that many of our modern vocal talents aren't especially, well . . . talented.

Friday, December 01, 2006

That wacky Orson Scott Card is at it again. I've never read Ender's Game, but it baffles me this guy ever wrote anything that some people I respect consider to be intelligent.

I finally got a chance to see Final Fantasy XII yesterday--Tim bought the game and I watched him play for a couple hours. It seems pretty good. A lot of the gameplay has gone very MMORPG, Tim tells me--something it inherited from FF XI. I haven't played any MMORPGs, so I can't say if I think it's a good thing. I do rather like that there are apparently no random encounters now.

I was struck by a few similarities to Final Fantasy IX, like the emotion symbols above people's heads to indicate types of available interaction. And the villain is reminiscent of Kuja--though he's not as sexually ambiguous, he's certainly as vain. In fact, is name is Vayne.

I find it a little amusing that the protagonist's name is Vaan, so it seems to be a matter of Vaan v. Vayne. "V, V, V,", "Evey, Evey, Evey." Okay.

I was disappointed to see that Nobuo Uematsu isn't in charge of the music, though two of his themes appear at the beginning. Including, I was very cheered to note, the theme to Final Fantasy, which traditionally appears in the end credits of every game, but was conspicuously missing from Final Fantasy X. I guess they put it at the beginning of the new one to make up for it.

Well, that's that. So who's ready for Final Fantasy XIII?