Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone,

Happy New Year!

May you celebrate the passing of this year tonight in joy and contentment. As you look back over the accomplishments of the last year, its pleasures and failures, be kind to yourself. You are loved, and life is a journey that wanders from path to path at its wildkin leisure. There's no such thing as irreparable.

For your New Year's resolutions, don't make yourself any promises you know will make you somebody you aren't.

What are mine?

-We are going back to vegetarianism, and (relatedly and consequentially) regaining some control over our diets, both in terms of cost and wholesomeness. We've been eating garbage and we know it.

-We are going to get back into the gym routine now that our schedule changes will accomodate it again. It was hard for us last semester, and that reinforced our natural reluctance to go out and sweat indoors.

-I am going to spend more time on hobbies that develop my talents and give me rest and pleasure: bird watching, painting, writing, fiddling with beads, sewing.

-I'm going to stop feeling guilty about my hobbies that are nothing more than social: playing video games and other games, kicking back with the family, watching TV with the hubby. I deserve some pure leisure.

-I'm going to keep showing the people I love that I love them. It's important.

-Later this year, I am going to stop just talking about it and actually attempt to learn a little perfumery. I will finally have to set up a little laboratory and acquire materials: so be it.

-We are going to strive for ever greater financial solvency. This resolution is obligatory for everyone, I know. I'm no exception.

On that last note... Have you seen this site? It's very inspiring and provides very do-able advice.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Drama on the vegan website

Something's happened to VegWeb. Something's happened that's horrid.
A site that was placid once, now is plumb torrid.
Drama has crested, and it's slow to settle,
and it tests my patience much more than my mettle.

Now we have moderators. We have to. The trolls
Have taken to lurking on threads and on polls
Snarling at people with views other than theirs
And if they sense censorship, they start throwing chairs.

One particular oaf just mouthed off something royal.
On a thread about Christmas he proved quite disloyal
To a friend he had consoled through trials and grief*
By calling her attention whore, liar, hypocrite, and time thief.

This was after she chid him for a blistering letter
In which he parodied people who celebrate, saying no better
Were they than hunters, conquistadors, racists, swine
Who create a wake of death. He whined,

"Hark, is that a post about Christmas? What do I hear?
Why aren't you posting about slaughtered reindeer?
For two whole minutes you would like to talk about a subject
Other than kennels and hunts and Michael Vick -- I object!

I think that the post you made's stupid and crappy
Because everyone knows we don't like to be happy.
Talk about suffering, corporate greed, not how everyone in your life bought you a Thneed!
Talk about agony, anorexia, sadness! Think of the animals! Christmas is madness!

Don't talk about food! Don't talk about presents!
Don't talk about parties! Sulk in solitude, peasants!
I shall brew a response so acid and hostile that everyone will flinch...
But wait! An apostle! Another forum troll rises to join with the Grinch!

This forum was once about tofu, cookies, and carrots,
But I heard about vivisection and just couldn't bear it!
I had to tell someone about my anger and hate
And I don't like non-vegans and I couldn't wait

To shoot down the thread that spake love and good cheer
And also ... well, I'd had a couple of beers.
Once upon a time, this community was generous and caring.
We took care of that! Now it's a place for sharing

Pouting and snarls and ill will and sharp disses.
Who cares about veganizing chocolate kisses?
So it's a recipe forum? So what? Who cares?
I bet you approve of extincting brown bears!

I'll cite chapter and verse of all your past posts
Showing how everyone should love ME the most!
Only a stalker could be more complete!
C'mon, don't forgive me! C'mon, let's compete!

Why do we need moderators? Down with censorship!
If you don't like what I write, then just don't read it!
You're not politically correct enough, since you're not vegan,
So go straight to hell, you d*****bag -- oh, I've not yet begun

To fight the mods filter blocking my words. I'm losing my marbles
Because you haz changed my penis to harbls!"
Then, the jerk shut his mouth -- or the mods shut it for him.
That was good. Clearly we had begun to bore him.

Can we talk about food now? Can we talk about cheer?
Can we talk without loathing and seething and fear?
Time will tell us the answer. Until then, we tremble
And observe the fallout, and think about lentils.

*(FYI, his friend wasn't me. I'm still offended on her behalf, but she's nicer than me and forgave him... even apologized for having taken him to task. Grr. You're a better soul than I am, Di.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Toward a sociology of thrill-seeking, drama queening, and horror-movie-liking

A couple days ago I directed you to this article about the "time slowing" sensation that we experience "in" (actually after) crises. Then I saw two horror movies about the end of the world, both of which were shockingly gutsy and fascinating in some respects and both of which featured chickenshit "God did it" endings. These things will intersect here in a minute.

Why do I love (many) horror movies? I am as non-violent and skeptical a person as you are likely to meet. Monsters don't exist for me, except the human kind that I would rather not dwell upon. I don't believe in post-apocalypse; we will either peter on until we peter out, or will do it up right and proper (about which I have my doubts). Survivalism is for ninnies (sorry, you survivalist ninnies whom I love, but this isn't your finest trait. You will never need it, like your appendix.) And I don't like to dwell upon the real, human kind of monster.

I wonder now if it isn't the richness with which my brain records stressful events and crises. If I'm scared in a mediocre movie, does my amygdala get involved and overwrite the experience with the neurological equivalent of "thick description" or "purple prose" with an extra "track" of memory? If so... neato.

I like extreme sports (more than a saftig... er, no, let's call a spade a spade and say "fat" thirtysomething couch potato like me would be expected to do). I like to be challenged. I like to be scared (at least in retrospect).

Is it because I like the richness of the memories I associate with this stuff?

Does this give us insight into why people who have been through traumatic emergencies often turn to religion and think they have heard or felt the voice of (a) God? Do they have uncommon clarity and direction in their memories that seems to spell out what they must do or what the defining moment of their existence is?

Is this why one's wife's sister or best friend so often seems smokin' hot in pop culture? The thrill of risk (I will almost certainly get caught cheating)? Is this why kink culture is delightful? Why young people strive to offend? Why people flame-bait, shoplift for thrills, skydive, run with the bulls?

A flight of fancy, but still... oooOOOOOoooooOOOOOOh!

(And now that I've typed that last exclamation, let me direct your attention to THE BEST CARTOON EVAR: Shin Chan (the FUNimation Entertainment translation rocks)!

One more about Thoughtviper: errata

Bill noticed me looking at him and reminded me that he does not talk goo goo talk to his cats. He talks to them like rational beings. Fair enough!

Please drop by more often, Bill. If I ever give you a smile, that's a down payment on being even for all the joy your blog gives me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Random stuff for you

First, Bill the Splut is cracking me up on Thoughtviper:

Accidental discovery: Seawater can burn, and is being investigated as a possible replacement for oil.

In completely unrelated news, the Bush administration today announced that Aquaman was behind 9/11, and that the Lost City of Atlantis has WMDs, which could strike America's shores at any time from their mobile Giant Seahorse launchers. Bush said, "We must act before the smoking speargun comes in the shape of a jellyfish cloud!" Several other peaceful democracies have joined him in the Coalition of the Willing, namely Latveria, Genosha, the Phantom Zone, and the underground empire of the Mole Man.

Next... well, I love the song "Calabria 2007" madly, and whilst looking for it for me online, Pat found the video for "Destination Calabria." While the video for "Calabria 2007" is feelthy, there's something madly wrong-hawt about all the band hotties in the other one. Anyway, enjoy the T & A, folks. Yowza.

And finally, because I'm tired and lazy right now... this is a cool article on what happens to your memory when you are frightened, and why time seems to (have) slow(ed) down to a crawl during traumatic events. Also duly pilfered from Thoughtviper.

Love you all! I am blazing around with my hair on fire (not literally, yet) during the holiday season. More writing soon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Gemuse-ick!

Good gracious.

You need sound to enjoy this.

I totally filched that from a VegWeb post. Another poster helpfully included this, which I think Brother Dave will enjoy, for no particular reason.