If You Can't Say Something Nice...

If You Can't Say Something Nice...
Say Something Vague

Wednesday, March 31, 2004


I don't know that this is actually true, but I think it's pretty cool to be a leader who I admire (as a leader, so don't come after me for the adultery stuff; he was a good leader, which is the point of the quiz.)

What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com

|| Stephanie 1:17 PM

I'm Ready For My Close Up, Apparently

I took the What Classic Movie Are You? quiz from Lisa's site.

Imagine my surprise to discover that I am a crazy delusional washed up Hollywood film star.

What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com


|| Stephanie 1:08 PM

Liberal Talk Radio Hits The Air Waves

Woo-hoo! Air America is online. The Air America site is overloaded for streaming audio, but here is a list of alternate affiliate audio sites.

Check it out!!

|| Stephanie 10:14 AM

Tuesday, March 30, 2004


Wow, the Blogger help people are awesome! I sent an email yesterday letting them know that my archives have not worked for the better part of a year (and I was finally getting around to sending them a message...) and today they've already fixed it!

Apparently there was some problem with my template that was easily fixable, and I now have archives! You can go allllll the way back to March, 2003 and find out (or re-visit) the startling and compelling story of Tony the young, black Mafioso. And how a manger tried to 'recruit' me as a Latina model. Have fun, Amanda!

|| Stephanie 4:08 PM

Time Time Time, See What's Become Of Me

So this really funny thing happened at work yesterday, and I promised not to tell anybody about it to protect my co-worker from vicious ridicule. But I'm sure she doesn't know any of you, so I'm going to tell you.

My co-worker Christine called me yesterday to talk about some work stuff and then lamented that it was just the longest day ever. She works with East Coast people, so she generally starts work at about 5 a.m. PST (she works at home). It was now close to 4 p.m., I believe, so it makes sense that she was tired (can you say work-a-hol-ic?). Anyway, she went on to tell me how the time change had really screwed with her. I was puzzled. The time change?

Yes, she said, the time change. She had changed her clocks on Sunday night and she was still suffering. She told me that she had changed a few of the clocks in her apartment, and then logged onto the computer where it had *automatically* updated to the correct time. But the correct time on her computer didn't match the correct time on her clocks, so she figured she must have set her clocks 2 hours ahead instead of one. So she changed her clocks again.

While Christine was telling me all this I was trying really hard not to laugh because I was about 99.999% certain that the time change wasn't/isn't until next weekend. But I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, so I looked it up on line.

I was right.

Then I had to break the news to Christine that all day she'd been on the wrong time. Her day was so long because her clocks (except for the computer) were all wrong. She told me that explained why everyone was an hour late for her call-in phone conference at 6 a.m. yesterday. She got up at 3 a.m.!! I know I should feel bad for her, but all I could do was laugh and laugh. She made me swear not to tell anybody at work because she didn't want to be exposed as a daylight saving time-free zone.

FUN FACT: In 1919 Daylight Saving Time was repealed. You'd be amazed how many web sites are actually dedicate to DST. Some people have WAY too much time on their hands. (Heh.)

|| Stephanie 2:07 PM

Government Contradictions? Wackos in Congress?? Never!

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle on the Senate floor: "The White House and its supporters should not be using the power of government to try to conceal facts from the American people or to reshape history in an effort to portray themselves in the best light."

Daschle went on [my emphasis], "I'll support declassifying Mr. Clarke's testimony before the Joint Inquiry, but the Administration shouldn't be selective..."

Sadly, that will not be the case according to NBC News [my emphasis]: U.S. officials told NBC News that the full record of Clarke's testimony two years ago would not be declassified. They said that at the request of the White House, however, the CIA was going through the transcript to see what could be declassified, with an eye toward pointing out contradictions.

Nice. Way to misuse Executive Power branches. Clearly they have no agenda. And really, context isn't important anyway, right?


And something that should be of concern to ALL of us. Apparently Reverend Sun Myung Moon has declared himself the Messiah to Congressional leaders. A snippet of his statement (made at the Ambassadors for Peace awards ceremony, at which Moon gave the keynote address, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, given by the Interreligious and International Peace Council),

[Moon's followers and believers, including Hitler and Stalin] have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent. This resolution has been announced on every corner of the globe."

I will be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about The Moonies, or Moon in particular, but isn't it disturbing (to say the least) that someone like this is directly addressing our elected leaders?? Um...are they Moonies, too? And, more importantly, how does all this fit into the Bush administration's New World Order?

|| Stephanie 1:10 PM

Monday, March 29, 2004

The Logic Eludes Me

"Nothing would be better from my point of view than to be able to testify, but there is an important principle involved here it is a longstanding principle that sitting national security advisors do not testify before the Congress."

--Condoleeza Rice, on Sunday night's 60 Minutes interview with Ed Bradley.

"The White House has said that presidential staff advisers, such as Rice, cannot testify publicly before congressional bodies."

--According to the White House, 3/27/04

But, but, but...

But this is not a congressional forum. It is an independent commission, appointed by the president. The logic of her assertions eludes me.


Likewise, according to the Daily Kos, "First of all, this isn't even about testifying in front of congress. Second, to the extent that there is any long-standing principle, it's about being compelled to testify in front of congress by congress and its committees - not about being compelled to testify to an independent committee set up by an Act of Congress and signed into law by the preznit [sic]. Third, National Security Advisors have testified before congress. Fourth, and most importantly, we aren't talking about compelling you to testify at all."


Per Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist [my bold], "Regardless of Mr. Clarke's motive or what he says or implies in his new book, the fact remains that this terrible attack was not caused by the United States Government. No Administration was responsible for the attack...".

Um, then why are you guys trying to pin it on the Clinton administration??

Frist goes on, "Our nation did not invite the attack."

Er, I would beg to differ. This is the dark side of globalization. Our militant efforts to muscle our way into countries that are philosophically, ideologically, religiously and governmentally opposed to our own is precisely what brought on 9/11. I'm not excusing the hijackers or the terrorists, but they've been pretty clear on the WHY for 9/11.


Richard Perle in a CNN rebuttal (3/28) to Clarke's allegations, claimed that, "Clarke simply didn't grasp the nature of the war on terrorism."

Yikes! The chief Counter-Terrorism Czar did not grasp the nature of the war on terrorism?? That doesn't say much for an administration that chose to install the man in such an important position.

Nor does it mesh with the praise he was given in a written statement by GWB upon retirement last year. On yesterday's Meet The Press, Clarke said, "This is his writing, this is the president of the United States' writing. And when they are engaged in character assassination of me, let's just remember that, on January 31, 2003, 'Dear Dick, you will be missed. You served our nation with distinction and honor. You have left a positive mark on our government.'


And finally, in the YOU GO arena, Clarke very forcefully has called the Bush administration's bluff about declassifying his prior comments (this willy-nilly declassification of the protected documents and statements of someone who is damaging to you is a whole other discussion, btw).

RUSSERT: Is there any inconsistency between your sworn testimony before the September 11th Commission last week and two years ago before the congressional committee?

CLARKE: No, there isn't. And I would welcome it being declassified, but not just a little line here or there. Let's declassify all six hours of my testimony.

RUSSERT: You would request this morning that it all be declassified?

CLARKE: And I want more declassified. I want Dr. Rice's testimony before the 9/11 Commission declassified. And I want the thing that the 9/11 Commission talked about in its staff report this week declassified. Because there's been an issue about whether or not a strategy or a plan or something useful was given to Dr. Rice in early January. And she says it wasn't....

He goes on. My money's on Clarke.

|| Stephanie 11:15 AM

Friday, March 26, 2004

What A Pal!

Kudos to Jenny Smith for the awesome new blog look! Yea! What a great friend she is.


"I get by with a little help from my friends. " --John Lennon

|| Stephanie 5:05 PM

Thursday, March 25, 2004

So Many Post-worthy Topics, So Little Time

While my three...four? bosses figure out what the changes are to the messaging of the company, I find myself with a big void of free time on my hands. Ah, but it does not go to waste. Indeed not! Instead I fuel the fires of my liberal/progressive righteous indignation by reading all of my favorite political blogs: Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo, Atrios' Eschaton, Eric Alterman's Altercation on MSNBC, etc. Aren't you just thrilled, you lucky recipients, you!

(Incidentally, yesterday I discovered that Atrios -- that famous nom de plume -- is also trapped behind the Orange Curtain. We are not alone!)

For the sake of my apolitical or fed up friends, I will break my blog out into different categories, only one (the longest, duh) of which will be political. So you can choose what to read, and what not to read. Fair? I think so.



Amanda should really get one of those RSS site feed thingies (I think that's what it's called. I'm sure someone will tell me if I'm wrong) so that we know when/if she has a new post up. Then I won't waste that 30 seconds every day that I spend going to her site to find that she hasn't updated in nearly 2 months!



From the 'separated at birth' category, go here. Go to his posting for today (3/25). Heh.

From the 'be careful what sources you site because other people can read the bible too' category, go here.

From the 'HUH!?' category, go here. While I find it to be an odd blogspot, this does remind me of a dream I had recently that I forgot to post about (see below).



I had a dream that my sister (Heather) and I were on the run from horrible zombies (thank you Dawn of the Dead trailers). We ran into an abandoned school (?) with a few other people, and the zombies were just on the other side of the door, scraping and clawing to get in. We were terrified. It was only a matter of time. If the zombies touched you, you turned into one of them. We had already seen a bunch of people die and then turn into zombies.

(Now, this next part is going to turn the whole thing into a big ol' laughfest for you readers, but bear in mind that in my dream, this was way scary and I woke up crying, 'kay?)

In my dream, Heather got out a tin of Altoids (apparently, in addition to clean underpants, it is essential that you have curiously strong breath when you die). No sooner did I put it in my mouth than the zombies burst through the doors, turning everyone around us into zombies. But Heather and I remained mysteriously untouched! We ran and hid again. Somehow we made the connection that the Altoids had saved us from the zombies (they were cinnamon -- the Altoids, not the zombies). So we kept popping those puppies while we ran for our lives. The only problem was, we didn't start out with a full tin. Soon we were out of Altoids, and the zombies were closing in. We then discovered that Eclipse gum sort of worked on the zombies. They could touch us (gross!), but we wouldn't be killed or zombified. So we ran and ran, looking for a 7-11 or mini mart that would be stocked in Altoids, or at least Eclipse. Then I woke up. Totally freaked out. WEIRD!



Isn’t it ironic that the leading officials and former officials calling for changes in the Bush administration and exposing rampant lying are not their ideological opponents, but are instead high ranking civil servants with extensive track records of loyal service working for them? See Richard Clarke, Christie Todd Whitman, Paul O’Neill, Eric Shinseki, Richard Foster.

To put a finer point on it (more fine?), see Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo of 3/23, "It's amazing how many partisan Democrats and disgruntled former employees working under cover as career civil servants, spies and military officers have betrayed this president. It just seems to happen again and again and again. I mean, just think of the list: Rand Beers, well-known partisan Democrat and hack, Richard Clarke, self-promoter, disgruntled former employee, and "self-regarding buffoon", Karen Kwiatkowski, conspiracy theorist and all-around freak, Valerie Plame, hack and nepotist, Joe Wilson, partisan hack, self-promoter and shameless green tea lover. When will the abuse end?"

Josh Marshall also discusses Rice's refusal to testify before the 9-11 commission but her uncanny ability to denigrate critics and appear on every morning show in the U.S. -- even revealing information on Clarke that was meant to be classified 'in background', "If they wanted her to testify, she could testify. What they want is for her to be able to lacerate her critics, discuss whichever parts of her advice to the president would be helpful to her politically at the moment, and freely declassify documents which she or the White House believes will hurt her enemies. She's a veritable information geyser, a one-woman-FOIA. She just won't answer questions under oath.”

And finally, did you hear about this? So it's now okay for Bush to joke around about the war and his invisible WMDs? More disturbingly, from what I've seen so far, most of the main stream media outlets (see Fox News, CNNand The Miami Herald) have used the exact same text template to describe the event. Must have been distributed by the White House... Someone please ask the administration (or CNN, for that matter) how the families who have lost loved ones on 9-11 or in Iraq feel about his making this into a big joke!!!!!



For more on the media's complicity with the White House (and a good laugh) go here and click on 'A Jon Stewart Editorial' (top row).


Stephanie Out!

|| Stephanie 12:13 PM

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

CSPAN And Eggs

In case none of you have ever subjected yourselves to congressional or commission hearings on the hill, let me summarize for you: Deadly Dull.

I've been sort of half-listening for the better part of three hours to Richard Clarke's 'conversation' with the 9-11 commission (followed by Deputy Sec of State Richard Armitage). Bo-ring. The only good parts have been the not-too-subtle jabs about Condoleeza Rice's refusal to participate in the inquiry.

One of the panel members said that he found no conflicts between Clarke's book and his testimony (some of the extremely partisan members of the commission had intimated otherwise). He said that he would concede his Q&A time with Clarke to the next Republican commissioner in exchange for his time to interview Dr. Rice. A bunch of people sort of laughed, and then there was silence. Then the first commissioner went on and asked his questions. You sort of got the impression that he was getting the ol' stink eye from the conservative commissioner. Heh.

|| Stephanie 1:49 PM

Selective Situational Amnesia

It's interesting to note how many high ranking Bush administration officials 'can't recall' events that would be crucial in placing fault for the 9/11 attacks. GWB doesn't remember having a damning conversation with Richard Clarke in which he made it clear that counterterrorism experts should find a connection between 9/11 and Iraq. Condoleeza Rice cannot remember witnessing this conversation. How convenient.

Maybe Charlie Kaufman was onto something with the concepts behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Maybe key figures of the Bush administration have had ‘unpleasant’ memories erased from their memories. Say, anything relating to their culpability in a National Security Issue...

|| Stephanie 10:58 AM

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Let Me Get This Straight

To quote a reader from Eric Alterman's very good site Altercation on MSNBC.com:

"According to the Bush White House: Former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke is wrong, former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill is wrong, former top U.S. weapons inspector David Kay is wrong, Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring/Verification and Inspection Commission Dr. Hans Blix is wrong, the CIA is wrong, the FBI is wrong, the librul [sic] media is wrong, blogville is wrong, protesting a pre-emptive unprovoked war is wrong, hunting bin Laden 24/7 with everything our military forces have is wrong (unless it's an election year), John Kerry is wrong, John McCain was wrong down in S. Carolina, Howard Dean is wrong, Max Cleland is wrong, Valerie Plame is wrong, thinking we should all pay a little more income tax when our country is engaged in a war on terrorism is wrong, a solvent government is wrong, taking as much time as necessary to fairly recount votes in a close election is wrong, and for having relied upon any of the aforementioned individuals for advice relating to their field of expertise - the White House was wrong."

Ah, logic. Wherefore have you abandoned us?


I just finished a very scary article in April's Vanity Fair on the glitch-prone and hacker-vulnerable electronic voting systems. I briefly mentioned these before, but Bev Harris has done a tremendous amount of research into the topic and uncovered some frightening things. For instance, the Chariman & CEO of Diebold (the pre-eminent manufacturer of the machines), Walden O'Dell, is a big-time Bush supporter (to the tune of almost $1M dollars -- $100k personally, $600k through a fundraiser, and $200k in soft-money from Diebold); the company has hired several former white-collar criminals including a Jeffrey Dean as Sr. VP who served time on 23 felony counts of embezzlement for crimes involving 'a high degree of sophistication and planning in the use and alteration of records' into a computerized system; the machines are easily hackable; negative voting numbers can be entered into the machines (why?!); there is no paper trail for auditing purposes; and oh so many more. I checked on Vanity Fair's site and they don't have electronic access to the article, but I'm sure it can be found elsewhere. Bev Harris has also written a book that I'm really interested in looking into called Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century. In it she exposes a far greater scope of concern than that which the article can cover.


Let's hope Mike Whitney is wrong, although the dearth of public outrage so far is pretty disappointing.


Do you know what the progressive movement in America today is sorely lacking? A strong leadership. The civil rights movement had Martin Luther King, Jr. Migrant workers had Cesar Chavez. These were people who were not afraid to get up and speak their minds and call a spade a spade (or a liar a liar). We have pundits and we have quasi-celebrities like Michael Moore, but where are the dedicated leaders who are getting this stuff in the paper every day?? When it is becoming increasingly apparent (see quote above) that this administration has no compunction about lying -- in any capacity -- when it suits their ends, we should have coverage on the front page of every newspaper, every single day! There should be cries for impeachment (think Nixon) and independent investigations on a large, national level. So far the commissions for investigation of the administration's movements have been appointed by THEM -- go figure that they're repeatedly exonerated. And the media (a gross proportion of which is owned by Clear Channel, a staunchly conservative company) has been complicit in the whole thing. When your president lies to you, it should be news every day, not just on the first day it's brought to light before being relegated to the OpEd section.

Er, touched a nerve there. Before my blood pressure goes sky high, I'm going to change topics.


I found this for Amanda. If she doesn't check this site, forward it to her! And here's one for me. And this one is so compellingly repellent that I'm tempted to get it.


A final thought :"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let us not be silent!

|| Stephanie 2:24 PM

Monday, March 22, 2004

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired

[Jules Renard (1864 - 1910)]

The above quote is a good philosophy for me and The Boy, considering how our weekend went. Friday night we did indeed make it to see Eternal Sunshine, which I really, really liked. I thought it was very different, and interesting. It was funny and serious. It was thoughtful and silly. It's one of those rare movies that has really stuck with me because it made me think a little about the choices we make. Frankly, I can't say enough good. I'd be interested in hearing other peoples' thoughts, though. (Incidentally, Dawn of the Dead was #1 this weekend?! What a sick & twisted world we live in!)

Saturday was Amanda's fun and entertaining Wear It Again party where we ladies got to dig out our old bridesmaid dresses for one more showing and had tea at Huntington Gardens in San Marino. That was great. Kudos to Amanda for her cleverness! Probably not surprisingly for anyone who knows Jenny Smith, I would say two of my favorite moments were 1) when Jenny got out of her car and was wearing her lovely pale blue bridesmaid dress with hot pink Converse, and 2) when Jenny was asked if she was singing or performing later that day. Jenny and I discussed purposely misleading people, telling them that we were indeed performing at 4:00 at Huntington Circle. Be sure to tell your friends! Heh. Would have been even better if we'd actually done it.

For the most part we just got to enjoy the strange looks from people who were too timid or too polite to ask us why we were so dressed up for a Saturday traipsing through the flowerbeds and gardens, when we were clearly not part of the same wedding party (the dresses -- while predominantly in the blue spectrum -- were sufficiently different to make that point).

I ended up leaving at 4:30 with a nightmare headache, went home and decided to lay down for a brief nap, hoping that I would feel better afterward. I woke up at 9:30, headache still raging, and decided to go back to sleep. I was out for about 14 hours, all told.

After church yesterday we ran a bunch of errands, including getting me some new shoes -- for an astounding $2.99 at Kohl's, thank you very much. While I would like to claim that this is due to my bargain-hunting prowess, it was due in part to luck, and in part to clerical error. When I went to Kohl's on Friday I spent enough to earn three $10 gift rewards certificates, good for only one week. Since I knew the odds were not good that I would make it there again within the week, I figured I'd better buy shoes yesterday. I found some that, with my $30 off would only be $12.99 -- not bad for Skecher's. I also bought some socks, the guy rang me up and my total was less than $12. I thought maybe I had done the math wrong, but when we got out to the car, I saw that the guy had given me $40 off instead of $30 off. Maybe it was my charm, grace and beauty that provoked him to ring up an extra $10 savings. Or maybe he just wasn't very competent. Wanna guess which story I prefer? Regardless, I have some lovely new shoes and I wore them to work today. Oh the joy of working unsupervised much of the time. Since no one else seems to adhere to any dress policy, I don't see why I should have to. I'm wearing jeans today too. On a Monday! Look at me flaunting convention!

After expending sooo much energy shoe shopping, I needed a nap. We had made a pact to clean the house yesterday, but then we decided to nap for an hour. Four hours later, we hadn't accomplished much except racking up the ZZZZZs. Finally I cleaned the bedroom, and The Boy tackled the kitchen but that still leaves the rest of the apartment in sore need of a good Spring cleaning. [sigh] I guess this week will be filled with fun stuff like that in the evenings. Yippee.

|| Stephanie 11:51 AM

Friday, March 19, 2004

Groove Is In The Heart

I've decided that when I don't really have anything substantial to talk about that would lead to a natural title for my blogging, I will just insert non-sequiturs or song lyrics.

There are many, many political things that I would like to rant about, but I'm frankly really tired and battling my cynicism. If you read too many uber-revolutionary-liberal explanations for the state of the nation, you can really freak yourself out. Dude, seriously.

Contrary to what Kathryn seems to think, I am not really a conspiracy theorist. At least not in a big way. While I do think it's interesting to look at alternate explanations for current events -- mainly because the so-called liberal media almost never reports anything but what comes out of the White House -- I don't think I'm as prone to see everything as a hoax as some of these folks.

Anyway, some site today, I don't even remember which one, suggested that the Bush administration will launch an attack on the US in September or October that is designed to look like September 11th, Part II so that they can declare the elections on hold and suspend the Constitution. It's when reading stuff like that that I have to remind myself that we don't live in some Orwellian universe and these things probably won't happen. Then again...you never know.

At work they have determined that the company's key messaging will change, and thus everything that I write will need to incorporate the new messaging. But have they given me the new messaging? No. Is there an ETA for this information being passed on to me? No. But there is a scheduled sales training for which they need all of these documents prepared. In 3 weeks. Sigh. Work with me here, people!

I had tickets to see a taping of the Ellen Degeneres show yesterday, and I was very excited. I have been looking forward to this for two months! So I left work early, picked up Desiree in Duarte and met my mom and sister in Burbank at 4:30. We rushed over to NBC studios and got into line. A very, very long line. Where we waited and waited. It seemed like the line never moved, but it must have because eventually somebody came by and told us that they had filled up the studio. If we wanted to we could remain in line to be seated in 'The Experience', which is basically the overflow room where you can watch the show on big TV screens and you may get to meet Ellen. They said that they could take 200 people, so we continued to wait in line. For about another hour.

Eventually Desiree went and asked what was going on, and they said that they were full. So we decided to go get dinner and got out of line. No sooner did we start to walk back to the car then the entire line started filing up to Studio 11. I followed the crazy line man (he was oddly attached to the notion of a single-file line and a little militant about enforcing it) and asked him what was going on. He explained that since they were only 15 minutes from taping, they were filling in the VIP seats in the studio (people who hadn't shown) with people from The Experience, and then they would take some people from the line for The Experience. But really, truly, most of these people would just be standing under a canopy outside the studio. That didn't seem a really good reason to hang around, so we went to Acapulco for dinner. But we WILL see Ellen someday. We may just have to take the whole day off and stake out the studio.

Even though I felt really bad, sort of being the instigator of the whole thing, we had a lot of fun. Since we were in line for so long we got to be girly and gossipy (sometimes I forget how much fun my mom is because she's so caught up being mom to the little sisses). When we got to the restaurant, we just kept going. We were giggling and having a grand old time. It was a nice end to a long day.

I'm sort of in grumpy girl mode today. I'm ravenously hungry and irritable. I am annoyed that I'm here at work when there is nothing that I can work on, since they are not giving me the information that I need (so this is what it's like to be Jenny Smith...) But I really like my job, and the people that I work with, so I'm sort of doubly annoyed, if that makes any sense. I have already read all the blogs that I normally read, and I'm bored. Which explains the length of this pointless blog. Assuming you've made it this far. If you have, give yourself a hug for being such a good friend to me. If you haven't, I'll never know -- actually, neither will you -- so we'll call it a draw.

I'm so tired of my blog design, but I don't know how to change it without losing all my previous blogs and links and stuff. Maybe one of my kind, smart, computer-savvy friends who read this would like to help me out? Hint, hint. ;)

I'm going to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind tonight. It's the first movie in awhile that I'm really excited to see; in an age where everything in the theatre is a remake of something else, it looks refreshingly different. Anyway, I'm going to go to Kohl's now and buy a couple of pairs of pants. I'm not small enough to fit most of my clothes yet, but I've lost enough that the clothes I've been wearing look silly. I don't want to go overboard, but I could use a couple of things, and since there's nothing left for me to do here...I'm outta here.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

|| Stephanie 3:29 PM

Thursday, March 18, 2004

All's Well With The Boy

Yesterday I was off work to take The Boy to the hospital for his procedure. Again, to respect his privacy and dignity, I will give no details, I will just say that the things that they were concerned they might find, were not found. In fact, nothing bad at all was found. The Boy is healthy!

When we got to the doctor's office yesterday (his doctor's office is in the same hospital where The Boy works--LBMMC) they told us that he could be in there for upwards of 90 minutes. I was too nervous to work (I'd borrowed a laptop from work), so I just decided to knit for the duration, working on a really cool crimson scarf I'm making with ribbon yarn for my friend Desiree's birthday. Anyway, they let me go in with him while he was prepped, so I was there while a catheter was put into his arm for the IV, and I stayed with him talking to the nurses till the doctor got there (40 minutes late, naturally).

Imagine my surprise when 35 minutes later the nurse came to get me to see him in recovery. Things had gone remarkably well, and he was found to be health problem free. But he was still loopy on Demerol and Versed. He kept telling me that there were some points during the procedure at which he was yelling and screaming at the doctor. He also kept asking me the same questions over and over. "How long was I in there?" "Where have you been?" "When did they come and get you?" And about five minutes after I got there, "When did you get here?" The doctor came and talked to us (me, really) about treatment and when he should come in for a checkup, etc. He also responded to The Boy's assertions that he was screaming and yelling at the doctor, nurse and technician: "Well, you moaned a little..." The Boy kept asking all of these questions, and the doctor would look at me while he patiently answered the same questions over and over. Finally the doctor looked at me and said, "He won't remember this conversation later." So we left to get him some rest at home.

Unfortunately we were being held prisoner by the city of Anaheim, and could not go home for two hours. We only get one parking space for our building and we had to put The Boy's car in it because Wednesday from 12-4 is street sweeper day. So I carted The Boy around with me on a bunch of errands to kill time. Throughout the drive he kept asking me how long the procedure took, what he had to do to follow up, when did they come get me, etc. The doctor had also given him a photo from inside his body of the site of the procedure. He kept staring at the picture with disturbing fascination. (He also told one of the nurses that this photo would be our Christmas card this year.) Finally we went home and he decided to lay down for 'a minute'. 4 hours later he got up, totally dehydrated and hungry. Poor Boy!

After his little nap The Boy was suffused with energy and decided to play with Puff Kitty, whereupon he came out with the startling announcement that our cat is 'right pawed'. "See how he bats at his toys with his right paw? He's right pawed!" I answered that I think he (and pretty much all cats) are more likely ambi-pawed, but The Boy was having none of that. Nope, [Puffy] is right pawed. Who knew?

All I really know is that I'm so glad The Boy is 100% healthy. And it was really cool to be with him while he was dealing with all this drama. I'm so glad he asked me to be there; it was very meaningful to me.

|| Stephanie 1:08 PM

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Now That's Commitment

Bush to the Palestinian Prime Minister:

"God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you can help me, I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."

. . . Also, where do I sign up for the hotline to heaven?

|| Stephanie 1:57 PM

Monday, March 15, 2004

AARGH! It's Monday!!

I am just not ready for a Monday. I have too much to do at work! The good news is, they finally told me who my new boss is. And it's not any of the people that they hinted it might be. They've basically dismantled Marketing and put us in other departments, but technically we all still belong to Corporate Marketing. Go figure. I kind of have two bosses, although only one's official. The one who's not officially my boss will provide the overall Marketing message (why he's not my boss, I couldn't tell you). This guy is brand new, from the other company that my company acquired. Anyway, I know I shouldn't judge, but he smokes like a chimney and laughs like a serial killer. Seriously. His laugh makes my skin crawl. I'm glad he's in North Carolina and not in Costa Mesa! Otherwise he seems like a pretty nice guy...

Last night The Boy and I went to Huntington Beach and decided to walk to the pier. It was a looooong way to the pier. It was really more of The Boy's idea. Anyway, 4 miles roundtrip, and now boy do my legs hurt! Also, this morning I woke up and I look like I went to the Ringling Bros. School of Makeup Application. I have a nice roundish red spot on each cheek and it took me awhile to figure out that it's windchapping from the walk against the wind on the beach.

Other than that, it was a pretty quiet weekend. We drove up to my parents' house in Northridge on Saturday so that The Boy could babysit my little sisters and my mom, sister (Heather), grandfather and I could meet at my grandma's burial site at Forest Lawn to commemorate her birthday. We went out to a long lunch and had margaritas in her honor at Acapulco -- her favorite place to eat. Yesterday The Boy and I went to IHOP and then the beach. That's it. Big exciting weekend. :)

|| Stephanie 1:38 PM

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Telling It Like It Is

I don't know about you, but I find the 'uproar' around Kerry's comments a bit disingenuous.

"These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen. It's scary."

Frankly, I don't see what is so inflammatory about his comments. Particularly when the Bush attack machine has already begun with their mudslinging comments. I think 'liar' would be the more mild of their epithets. And demanding an apology to the American public? Oh, please. Are the American people really all that upset, or did a certain repressive dictator and his cronies get their feelings hurt?

I can't help but see the irony when Bush's re-election campaign is already in gear to discredit anything and everything that Kerry says, but as soon as there is the slightest hint that he is daring to comment back, for shame! I think Kerry was right on with his comments, and has nothing whatsoever to apologize for. The American people have been lied to and duped at every turn by this administration. The administration is so indebted to special interests that every action they take is in direct proportion to the amount of money that they've received in the Bush coffers. Corporate scandals? No-bid jobs to a select few contractors? The Iraq war debacle?? Seriously. Lies and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them. No freakin' joke.

To win this election, Kerry is going to have to be gutsy and straightforward. The neocons have run this country into the ground and benefitted the top echelons solely because nobody has had the courage to speak up. In the aftermath of 9-11, Bush was given carte blanche to do whatever he wanted to this country, and nobody currently in power has tried to stop this runaway terror machine (or is that terra machine?).

Kerry needs to be in our faces everyday. He needs to be pointing out the flip-flops, the bad decisions, the economy, the job market, the inconsistencies, the attacks on civil liberties. For Kerry, the next 8 months are all about staying at the forefront of our minds, getting the good sound bites, making us think. He cannot afford to take a break, to let the message be subverted, to let us forget. It is imperative that he consistently and realistically point out the dangerous and harmful intentions and actions of Bush's total war policy (all war, all the time -- gotta country? got oil? we're there!Heh.).

Something interesting pointed out by a reader on Buzzflash: "Where in the quote did Kerry mention the GOP or Republicans? Funny how the Republicans (and everyone else) assumed it was about them. Some shoes just fit too well to ignore." Heh.

The administration is exhibiting typical bully behavior, pick on the underdog (poor, marginalized, underprivileged, middle class) because they can't/won't fight back. But an opponent that will fight back is another story. The re-election team will really have their work cut out for them if Kerry continues to tell it like it is, no apologies.

|| Stephanie 2:38 PM

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A Sad State Of Affairs

I have noticed a disturbing trend when talking to people about relationships: everyone is telling me not to get married. For Valentine's Day, The Boy sent me flowers and took me away for the weekend. When this was noted by other women at work, they told me that it was clear that we are not married yet and that if I want to continue to get nice things from him, I should not marry The Boy.

Monday of this week I talked to one of the executives who may or may not be my supervisor (long story, but it's still not been made clear to me). I told him that The Boy had to go to the hospital next Wednesday for a procedure and I would like to take the day off to transport him around and be with him (for the sake of The Boy's modesty, I will not detail the procedure, but it's a fairly common one). I asked if I could use a laptop that day so that while he was in with the doctor for two hours I could get some work done, and I could do some at home that night to make up the lost time. K, my possible supervisor, said that clearly we were not married yet. He elaboraed that his wife would and has left him high and dry and the fact that I wanted to work at home and be available to chauffeur The Boy showed that we were not married yet. He said that if I wanted us to maintain this same level of concern for each other, we should never marry.

Then yesterday I was getting a pedicure and the woman asked me if I was married. When I told her 'not yet' she said good, and advised that I never get married (despite the fact that she was sporting a nice solitaire and wedding band). She explained that of the 9 employees who work at that salon, 5 of them are divorced. It was for this reason that I should never marry my boyfriend.

This has made me so sad. Not for me, but for these other people. They must really be unhappy with their spouses to spread this doomsday view of marriage. I really can't imagine a time when The Boy and I will not care about each other or want to take care of each other. That's why we know we want to spend our lives together! This actually prompted a discussion between The Boy and myself last night that was so comforting and reassuring. We affirmed our love for one another and the fact that we want to be together for these harder things, as well as the good ones. We have so much fun together, but we can also have serious discussions. We are honest. We share everything. When he asked if I could take the day off work to take him to the hospital and then pick him up, it was never a question of IF for me, but would it be a vacation day or could work lend me a laptop. And I know, without a doubt in my mind, that he would do the same for me.

Now, lest you criticize me for being unrealistic, I am sure that there will be times when we will irritate each other (heck, we've had a couple of those already--they're short-lived episodes, but they've happened). I know that there will be times when we will not be in the mood to take care of the other person, but we will still do it. When I'm sick, The Boy is a ministering angel. He makes me tea and strokes my hair and brings me medicine. And I've tried to do these things for him, as well (the ONE time he's been sick in almost two years).

When I told The Boy what some of these other people have said, he looked me right in the eye and firmly said, "But they didn't marry me." He went on to explain that he is a man who wants to please me and see me happy, and he doesn't think these other men must be that way with their wives. It was a really beautiful relationship moment to look at these big issues and know that for better or for worse, we're in this together; that we're both committed to the thing; that disagreements are just disagreements, but love is love and a whole lot bigger.

It made me wonder, did these other couples go into marriage feeling the same way we do, or did they go into it thinking, "Oh well, you can't have everything in one person"? Were they always cynical and jaded, or did experience do that to them? And is it ever too late to change those things?

|| Stephanie 12:55 PM

Monday, March 08, 2004

"When will George Bush realize that 9-11 was not about HIM!"

A question from a Buzzflash reader -- and a very good one at that.

|| Stephanie 4:08 PM

Thursday, March 04, 2004

What Kind Of God Do You Believe In?

Wow, Samples says it like I've never been able to. In this really well-written article, the author takes a look at the inconstencies of the Bush administration regarding their stated adherence to biblical law and their destructive actions. I can't say enough about it; read the article.

At the beginning of her treatise Samples states, "More and more innocents are being herded onto the world's killing fields by the deliberate actions of a Christian nation -- in the name of its Christian God." Ouch. She sites a number of references for some truly outlandish claims made by the 'religious right', from the belief of Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe that 9/11 occurred because America isn't sufficiently in awe of Israel and should stop intervening if Sharon wants to kill Palestinians, to the belief that pluralism is a bad thing (gee, after all, this country was only founded on it).

Look, my take on it is this: yes, the God of the Old Testament was a lot more vengeful (i.e.: 'an eye for an eye'), but the Gospels (and, indeed, the New Testament on the whole) paint an entirely different picture. In the NT, God is a God of love -- above all. Loving your neighbor, loving the sinner, forgiveness, tolerance. Whatever else the bible is, it is a contextual book, written by and for a specific people group who wanted to communicate certain messages about God. OT God is a warlord, a tribal leader, powerful and strong because that's what a patriarchical, tribal culture would best understand. But NT God (Jesus) is gentle and loving (drawing children and sinners to him). Jesus was willing to die to save all of humanity.

So how do our warmongering, diversity-hating, vengeful, power-hungry political leaders reconcile this? This is what I would like to know.

|| Stephanie 2:56 PM

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Unbridled love and affection. Not on my watch.

Following is a great quote from a satirical article in The New Yorker on the gay marriage debate, discussing the audacity of gay couples to want to be together: A nation of willful human hearts, each lurching this way and that and reaching out for whatever it spontaneously desires, trying desperately to find some comforting temporary shred of warmth in a mostly cold world, totally unconcerned about the external form in which that other, long-desired heart is embodied....That is not the kind of world in which I wish to live. Here's the whole article, if you're interested.

Similarly, on my second favorite weekend radio program Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me on NPR last Saturday, they discussed a couple in New York state that's been living in a domestic union for five years without ruining the marriages of anyone around them. The couple even adopted a baby who is thriving. The couple, who live at the Central Park Zoo, are a couple of penguins named Roy and Silo.

|| Stephanie 2:06 PM

Monday, March 01, 2004

Insert Interesting Title Here

I don't feel so good today. I woke up with a horrendous headache and my sinuses on my left-side of my head hurt. I'm also congested on the left side of my head. And my tummy hurts. Ick. I really didn't feel like coming to work today, but I figured that it would be a very bad idea to miss work on my first official day as an employee. Humph.

Saturday involved a lot of running around for this gal. I am quite the jet-sitter, as I travel back and forth: LA County, Orange County, LA County, Orange County.

Saturday morning I was up at 6:45--which is, frankly, obscene for a Saturday, if you ask me. I drove all the way to Monrovia to see my therapist. I left there and went to get blood drawn at Unilab in Arcadia since they close early on Saturdays. When I got to Unilab the lady at the check-in told me that they wouldn't look at paperwork or insurance cards until we were called. So I signed in, sat down and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, 45 minutes later, I was called. When she looked at my paperwork she said, "You've been fasting, right?" I said, no, that nobody in my doctor's office had told me I would need to be fasting for the test (routine blood work to check cholesterol and stuff). She then rather snootily informed me that they couldn't draw blood and do my test if I wasn't fasting. Then she had the nerve to say to me--uber bitchily (pardon my language, but she really irritated me with this one): "Well, if you'd shown me your paperwork earlier I could have told you this and you wouldn't have waited for nothing." I looked at her and reminded her, oh so very kindly, that she had refused to look at my paperwork when I came in. Grrrrrr. And now I STILL need to get my blood drawn.

Then on to Goldstein's for a yummy bagel, the bank to open my first ever savings account (yeah, I'm a real grown-up now) and then back to OC to the pharmacy to get drugs for the boy, who was down and out for almost all of last week with an awful cold/flu thing. I then ran home to drop off the Sudafed and head off to my knitting class in Anaheim where I found some awesome yarn to make something for my mom for mother's day. (Now she'll read this and wonder what, what, what but I'm not going to tell her...) Then I was off to meet Jenny for dinner in Burbank (back to LA...).

Jenny took me to Chipotle, which I've always wanted to try since I've read Kathryn's blog where she raves about it. In a word, YUM. Then we were off to Comedy Sportz with other GNPers. It was nice to see everyone. One moment that I thought was really funny was when I saw Lisa G and she launched herself at me in her excitement to see me. :) Being me, I don't respond as I should when first exposed to enthusiastic emotion and I just smiled. But if you read this, Lisa--it was great to see you too, and thanks for the warm welcome! After CSz I drove back again to OC and finally got to bed around 11:30 or so. Soooo tired!

To make up for my busy Saturday, yesterday I was a total sloth. After church I went to Sephora to pick up some stuff, and then The Boy decided to take me to lunch at The Yard House. Tasty! And they have an awesome--HUGE--bar. We'd never been there, but we saw that they'd opened one on Colorado right by our church and The Boy was finally feeling better.

After that it was home, to a nap, and then filling out thousands upon thousands of forms for all of my new insurance stuff for my new job while watching the Oscars. I know that a lot of people didn't like the Oscars, but I actually enjoyed the show--and I generally hate all awards shows. This is my one exception to the rule. Typically my stance is that there should be a cable channel for all awards shows and parades so the rest of us don't have to a) watch them or b) have our favorite shows pre-empted. And that's it, folks.

Bet you're glad I recapped all that for ya....

|| Stephanie 3:37 PM