someone complained I write too much about politics and not enough about comics, and then paypaled me a few bucks

OK, fine. How long before discerning nerds begin protesting against the Marvel Civil War in front of their local comics shops? Clearly, The People were lied to by the PTB into reading a book we had no business reading -- and what's more, a temporary surge of 22K more readers [for, say, variant covers plagiarizing the Abu Ghraib photos -- like Ms. Marvel humiliating a naked Daredevil whom she has on a dog leash, or an image of Speedball with a black hood over his head and electrodes attached to his fingertips and nutsack] will not be enough to turn the War's fortunes around!

Didn't Marvel say that the war would be over by now, and that advertising revenue from the issues be enough to pay for the variant covers? Now, they imply that they can't just cut & run, cancel the stupid series and leave the crossover issues of the regular titles to fend for themselves. They claim to do so would dishonor the sacrifices the other freelancers have made over these last few years, trying to make their version of Iron Man or whoever match the assholic version appearing in the CW series. Please, we must end this stupid war before it spills over into rest of the region, making comics shops even more unpleasant to decent people than they already are. The slumming c-list Hollywood hacks who write dark-fic fan scripts for Marvel to publish are almost as obnoxious as neoconservatives, although I guess Marvel's terrible ideas are responsible for just Black Goliath's death so far. Anyway, I've been against this stupid war from the very first time it was suggested, but no one heeded my warnings. Ooooooh, lookit me, I'm Cassandra and you're a dumbass with too much money to piss away on shitty supercomics! Neener neener neener, wiener!

Um, this is unfortunately timing, but: my Paypal tip jar is at the bottom of my sidebar these days. Wink.

The 947th step on the last road home.

liveblogging the Democrat response

(22:15:36) gooseberrysprig: yay, Jim Webb!
(22:16:07) gooseberrysprig: so far, he's 1000% better than the robot they had last year
(22:16:14) gooseberrysprig: pow! New Orleans
(22:17:28) gooseberrysprig: eek, he's verring into John Edwards rhetoric
(22:17:41) gooseberrysprig: two-Americas stuff
(22:18:23) gooseberrysprig: the middle-class is losing its place at the table
(22:19:10) gooseberrysprig: good Andrew Jackson quote, about measuring the health of the nation at its base, not it's apex
(22:20:07) gooseberrysprig: um, he's showing a fmaily photo
(22:21:29) gooseberrysprig: he's actually pretty good
(22:23:24) gooseberrysprig: nothing we haven't heard before, but he's putting it together well
(22:24:52) gooseberrysprig: two-fisted!

liveblogging the State of the Union

(21:00:42) gooseberrysprig: wooo! STOFU!!!!
(21:03:06) gooseberrysprig: 4 Supremes!
(21:03:26) gooseberrysprig: I wonder who the missing man is tonight, in case the house is bombed
(21:04:18) gooseberrysprig: considering how bad things are for his cabinet, you'd think they wouldn't spend so much time shaking hands
(21:05:40) gooseberrysprig: if I was Bush -- well, I would have killed myself already -- but if I was Bush right now, I would just fucking tear-ass down the aisle like the Ultimate Warrior used run into the ring
(21:07:12) gooseberrysprig: I haven't seen the Sec. of Education -- is she going to be the one in charge if a dirty bomb goes off in the room?
(21:08:32) gooseberrysprig: Condi looks like my high-school journalism teacher with a bad sunburn. CONDI!
(21:09:25) gooseberrysprig: what's with all the rolling overhead camera pans? I'm already getting nauseous, and Bush hasn't even opened his mouth yet
(21:09:41) gooseberrysprig: woooo! Booooooooooosh!!!
(21:09:54) gooseberrysprig: he looks like he's been crying
(21:12:10) gooseberrysprig: Pelosi's as tall if not taller than Cheney
(21:13:20) gooseberrysprig: did Bush really ask Pelosi to get them to stop applauding?
(21:13:54) gooseberrysprig: woohoo Madam Speaker!
(21:14:55) gooseberrysprig: this is shameless -- now he's giving props to her dad
(21:15:12) gooseberrysprig: and Johnson and Norwood, who are still out sick
(21:15:46) gooseberrysprig: it's like a standup comic, doing his best to keep the audience warm by asking them to give it up for the previous act
(21:16:55) gooseberrysprig: is Pelosi intentionally blinking and half-rolling her eyes?
(21:18:05) gooseberrysprig: first lie, I'm sure -- we're in our 41st uninterrupted month of job growth
(21:18:57) gooseberrysprig: oh, *now* we must balance the federal budget -- and we can do so without raising taxes
(21:19:37) gooseberrysprig: oh, and he's going to eliminate the federal deficit within five years
(21:20:14) gooseberrysprig: oh, those naughty earmarks, slipped into bills when even CSPAN's not watching
(21:20:53) gooseberrysprig: yes, the earmarks should be exposed to the light of day and not acknowledged as law -- same for signing statements
(21:21:18) gooseberrysprig: hoo boy, any time Bush mentions Social security, my nuts go cold
(21:22:09) gooseberrysprig: I like that he's subtly shitting on the Repub congress by repeatedly touching on variants of "this also something we have failed to do ..."
(21:23:09) gooseberrysprig: oop, I saw Sec. Spellings -- who's missing?
(21:23:23) gooseberrysprig: to run the gov't if the terrists strike?
(21:23:56) gooseberrysprig: first standing O -- for healthcare, and Lieberman nor Cheney look happy about it
(21:24:10) gooseberrysprig: it looks like Dick's taking a nap
(21:24:41) gooseberrysprig: hmm, a tax deduction for health insurance
(21:25:20) gooseberrysprig: if they can swing that, I'm down for it
(21:25:46) gooseberrysprig: the Dems don't like that!
(21:26:58) gooseberrysprig: yikes, OK -- the moment he said Health Savings Accounts, I understood exactly what he's not saying.
(21:27:29) gooseberrysprig: the Repubs stood for fighting "frivolous" healthcare lawsuits
(21:27:55) gooseberrysprig: immigration
(21:28:43) gooseberrysprig: temp-worker program and lots more border patrol -- so a little nothing for no one
(21:29:32) gooseberrysprig: OK, I like the idea that the employers will have no excuses for hiring an illegal worker -- better to screw them than some poor schmuck
(21:30:06) gooseberrysprig: standing O #3 for passing comprehensive immigration reform into law
(21:30:16) gooseberrysprig: yay, oil!
(21:30:47) gooseberrysprig: Dick looks like the skunk he ate isn't agreeing with him
(21:32:13) gooseberrysprig: the Senator from Kansas looked as thrilled by the ethanol reference as he probably looked when the dude from Cheap Trick said the name of his town at their concert in 1981
(21:32:44) gooseberrysprig: another standing O for fuel economy
(21:33:59) gooseberrysprig: I'd really like to believe he really means it when he talks about these wonderful progressive ideas and reforms for fuel economy, but then he gets down to what he's really saying -- more drilling in the reserves
(21:34:20) gooseberrysprig: what's this about the federal courts?
(21:35:42) gooseberrysprig: oh yes, how terrible that these hacks aren't getting a zippy up/down vote -- why sometimes Congress even wastes time looking into the nominee's past!
(21:35:55) gooseberrysprig: standing O for taking the fight to the enemy! Yeha!!!!!
(21:36:40) gooseberrysprig: the days of comfort ... and easy communication are over??? Isn't that what Osama has now anyway?
(21:37:21) gooseberrysprig: I assume this list of anti-terror "wins" are bullshit too -- still merits a standing O
(21:38:44) gooseberrysprig: uh, I think Bush might be projecting here about the terrists
(21:39:23) gooseberrysprig: quote about Osama being ready to die to destroy us, blah -- yes, but Osama is still alive, now isn't he?
(21:40:59) gooseberrysprig: big standing O for protecting the american people~! even by using the law and diplomacy, which I didn't know we had started using
(21:41:55) gooseberrysprig: "free people are not drawn to violent ideologies"? Explain sadr's huge chunk of the iraqi parliament, then
(21:43:18) gooseberrysprig: having the most democratic constitution in the arab world is like being the best hung boy in the 4th grade
(21:44:48) gooseberrysprig: jesus h christ, this is the same speech he's given about Iraq for years -- you'd think it would be smoother for the triteness
(21:45:16) gooseberrysprig: oh, he'd like to turn the events toward victory in Iraq, and gets a standing O for it
(21:46:30) gooseberrysprig: thank god he didn't get an ovation for mentioning the 20K+ he's sending/keeping in Iraq
(21:47:32) gooseberrysprig: "we didn't drive al qaeda out of Afghanistan for them to set up in Iraq" -- right they just went back to afghantistan
(21:48:27) gooseberrysprig: so completely full of shit
(21:49:25) gooseberrysprig: I can't even bring myself to type such BS out -- all about how he reviewed all the options with his generals [the ones he didn't get rid of] and the escalation is the best choice
(21:50:11) gooseberrysprig: standing O for the shameless, non-sequitur 9/11 reference and calling for Americans to be protected
(21:50:59) gooseberrysprig: "we went into this largely united, and you did not vote for failure" and some truly shameless support-the-troops crap
(21:51:40) gooseberrysprig: both branches? Is he snubbing the legislative or judicial branches?
(21:52:20) gooseberrysprig: a 92K increase in the size of the military?
(21:52:37) gooseberrysprig: a volunteer civilian reserve corp?
(21:53:32) gooseberrysprig: wooo, standing O for Iran not getting Nukes!
(21:53:58) gooseberrysprig: is that the first Israel ref?
(21:54:36) gooseberrysprig: so, they are doing multi-lateral pressure on N. Korea?
(21:55:03) gooseberrysprig: standing O for Darfur. very nice. meaningless, because they still won't do anything, but nice
(21:55:31) gooseberrysprig: woo, standing O for fighting AIDS in Africa
(21:56:27) gooseberrysprig: these fucking people will stand for anything -- $1+ billion over 5 years to fight malaria gets a standing O?
(21:57:00) gooseberrysprig: has he really been talking for 55 minutes?
(21:57:25) gooseberrysprig: all right, we've reached the trophy-attendee stories!
(21:57:51) gooseberrysprig: Nancy's still blinking -- is it Morse code?
(21:58:22) gooseberrysprig: give it up for the basketball player who's giving back to his home country!
(21:59:29) gooseberrysprig: wooo, give it up for the lady who helped DisneyCorp make a few more million a year! and hooked up with John Walsh to keep the chillun safe!
(22:00:06) gooseberrysprig: during this applause break, can I just say againthat the Adam Walsh bill would not have saved Adam? thanks
(22:00:47) gooseberrysprig: um, this guy saved a guy who fell on the subway tracks and he gets a seat in the gallery?
(22:01:02) gooseberrysprig: oh, he's a black man. [wink]
(22:01:23) gooseberrysprig: I was wondering when they were going to roll out an Iraq vet
(22:01:46) gooseberrysprig: I have a bad feeling this poor guy will not be standing up for his cheers
(22:02:26) gooseberrysprig: oh, I'll be damned -- he appears to have all his parts. I guess having a visibly injured vet would be a down
(22:02:27) gooseberrysprig: er
(22:03:12) gooseberrysprig: and now, I get to stand. this wasn't nearly has juicily stupid as last year's, but the stretch to present hezbolah as dangerous as al qaeada was particularly lame

The 945th step on the last road home.

taking care of a new-year's resolution

One of my resolutions this year was to break one of my earlier ones. I figured, why not break my vow to never ever ever post YouTube videos here? Here are a half-dozen of my recent favorites; classical guitarists in performance.

Andres Segovia plays Mozart -- it even looks beautiful:

Li Jie plays Paganini -- it's mind-boggling how much skill and control this work requires yet Lie plays it effortlessly, and in that much red satin, no less:

I've often raved about Kazuhito Yamashita, especially his arrangement of Modest Petrovich Musorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" for solo guitar. Here is a Canadian performance of that work. The man is so badass and brilliant, we should all forgive the Spock haircut. Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

and the finale:

You think this is rocking, you should see him perform Stravinsky's Firebird Suite live. People in the front rows often get hit with fragments of the maestro's fingernails.

link park January 2007

Crummy Church Signs
A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods
Norm Saunders Art Archive
Twenty Four
Cool Kooky Hip And Groovy
Cake And Polka
A visit to the House On The Rock
Ernie (Not Bert)
Time Has Told Me
Our Lady of Perpetual Obsolescence Vinyl Rescue Mission and Orphanage
Bob Foster photographs Portland
Guitar Dater for Epiphones
Tarrega's "Lagrima" and other classical guitar works
Oafe toy reviews
Xfile Upload
Send Space
NES Metal Gear codes and map
Sunshine Felicia Day
Palm Trade-In Program
Three Berry Sauce

The 942nd step on the last road home.

The 938th step on the last road home.

Rice Pudding, you will be the death of me yet

I detoxed from sugar, caffeine and their crack-dealing cousin high fructose corn syrup two months ago today. The strange thing is that, once the withdrawal headaches finally subsided, I had absolutely no desire for the kind of sugar-jolty crap I used to be ravenous for; I'm more than a little revolted by many of those food-like things. Life and food are much better when you avoid any white-white ingredients and premade dishes.

One thing I still jones for without nausea or shame is rice pudding. Real rice pudding, not that prefab shit. Rice to Riches just has to be the most wonderful place in the world. I love their names for their specialty flavors: my favorites are "THE EDGE OF RUM RAISIN," "SECRET LIFE OF PUMPKIN," "HONEY GRAHAM FOR MR. SMITH," "PERFECTLY LEGAL PECAN PIE" and "HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE BEAR HUG." I've been tempted to place a delivery order from them many many many many many times over the last few weeks. I will not be broken! [But if someone bought me a Sumo of any of the above, well, there's nothing I could do about that.] Anyway, this is why New York City rules; there's no niche business that can't thrive there. A cafe that does nothing but rice pudding, with '60s future-retro decor? In your face, San Francisco!

The 934th step on the last road home.

I'm not cooking lunch

But could Wendys food be any more revolting? I stopped eating there almost a year ago for ethical reasons, but the food I got for the family today was truly nauseating. It didn't help that the zitty teenager in the rusted-out budget muscle car [who was glued to my bumper for the mile between the local high school and the interstate Stop & Puke] works there -- If one of their disgruntled employees did something gross to your meal, how could you tell? Blegh.