Thursday, April 30, 2009

new on the internet!

so, maybe i hate animals, but this onion story is pretty priceless either way...

i'm claiming 8 out of 10 on this impossible fonts quiz. want to throw down? [one of my coworkers responded, "well, i got 83% on the ben and jerry's flavor or pottery barn paint color quiz!" apparently there are a lot of awesome quizzes on this here site.]

and, timely - do i have swine flu? thanks, kris, for advocating for public health. [that site reminds me of things i did last night, which i also love - which in turn reminds me of sorry mom, i bang the worst dudes, which always makes me a little uncomfortable. but i'm slightly more comfortable now that i know it's not just, you know, one girl's reeeeally crappy love life.]

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

near-death experiences, the kindness of strangers.

guys. i fell down the stairs today. i fell DOWN THE STAIRS today. getting off the el, going down the scary metal stairs, surrounded by people, i tripped over my too-long pants and tumbled. in slow-motion in my head, but i still don't have a clear idea of what happened before i landed on my back and everyone was standing over me looking panicked. clues: i have a slightly skinned head, shoulder, and knee. AND my favorite work pants are ruined, which is really a shame. and i lost the battery cover to my phone. sigh.

um, it was really scary. i think in one of those instinctive, oh-my-God-i'm-falling, actual bodily danger kind of ways - enough so that after it was over, i called my mom and cried and cried. [her comments: "awwwwwwwwww honeyyyyy. that IS scary!" "you'll be sore tomorrow. go to bed early." "i guess you don't have osteoporosis!"]

everyone i've told asked if people helped me. of COURSE people helped me! i was blocking the stairs. but a very nice man helped me up, and his girlfriend and another girl found my phone and the battery, and they were all very concerned to find out if i was okay. i was like, "um, well [mentally taking stock of body parts] i feel okay - do i LOOK okay?" but i had to convince them that i was really all right, you know? and i really appreciated it. and i told my mom, and i'll tell you all, that it really made me think that if i had actually gotten hurt there would have been people to take care of me. also, nice job by my reflexes!

after taking stock of myself, a few hours later - i look okay, if you don't look to closely at my knee, shoulder, or forehead. hopefully i'll be all healed up before i have to wear that one tea-length green dress...

Monday, April 27, 2009

cheap eats!

i've been giving extra points [life points, not class points] to people who can use the economy in every conversation. i'm telling you, guys, it always applies. so yesterday, as we were shopping for a dinner friend date, kevin got mad points for, "i'm really glad we're staying in and cooking, in this economy." nice. later, when we picked out the chocolate lava cakes from the frozen section, i remarked that we were moving out of the money-saving kind of dinner. he goes, "oh, now we're trying to stimulate the economy." well-played.

articles like this one [not to mention my book club's reading of animal, vegetable, miracle] always make me want to cook lots of things at home - especially bagels! they're cheap! they taste really good! i could do this, right?! [this is the beginning of a dangerous line of thinking that involves, at the very least, setting off the fire alarm in my kitchen - which i narrowly avoided, in fact, this very morning.]

and, related in cheap and good eating, jezebel asks if women bear the burden of ethical eating. [a good salon article, actually, about eating ethically for cheap.] several commenters, and i, respond that women bear the burden of many eating decisions in many families. and, more notably for me, one commenter starts a string of amazing vegetable-related puns. nice!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

in which FRB reads articles about religion to see if she likes them.

yes, again, stressing myself out on purpose while practicing my rhetorical skills.

in the case of miss california, gay marriage, and "opposite marriage," a sojo piece about culture wars. good call on re-framing the issue - i mean, we're talking people, not issues. and maybe i'm swayed by a reasonable-sounding article that actually mentions the way culture wars hurt actual people. i'm always a little suspicious about "tolerance doesn't mean condoning" line, because i think it's not very nice, when you come down to it - but, again, this article is a relatively calm spot in a mean debate.

here's a kind of bizarre article about mel gibson [with his "ultra-othodox catholicism"] getting a divorce. here's my rundown.
- mel gibson is getting a divorce, and is crazy. he's been seen with one of several women named oksana. [apparently not oksana baiul, although THAT would be a twist.]
- mel gibson has religious views that are not those of the catholic church. and i appreciate the author's treatment of this. but. then don't call him orthodox. you're actually saying he's un-orthodox. and don't call people who don't like vatican II "traditional." [also, apparently he called JPII an ass. really? an ass? i mean, of all people.]
- now, about annulment. "Most Catholics find the procedure demeaning and hypocritical." grrrrr. really? or do you think it's demeaning and hypocritical? then, more about how people getting annulments feel. and how women feel.
- even mel gibson shouldn't have to get an annulment! so the catholic church should change its beliefs. [honestly, i didn't see this coming.]

grrrrrrrrr. this bothers me for two reasons. first, it doesn't acknowledge that sometimes people seek annulments because they really feel that their marriage "didn't take." and second, it doesn't acknowledge that some people actually choose to care or not care what what it means to have a sacramental marriage. i mean, it's more complicated than that, for sure, and a lot of people have been hurt in the name of church teaching, and we certainly shouldn't just blindly accept what "the church" says and move on. but i'm putting a lot of my life into convincing kids that, even if they disagree, they should look at why these teachings exist and try to see the good behind them.

this article would not receive a good grade in my class.

okay, three reasons it bothers me - i don't appreciate feeling lumped in with "most catholics" like this. i think that's what really makes me mad. you know? i just want to yell, "but I'M not like that! and i'm not really that crazy, either! i'm both catholic and relatively normal! honest."

[i misspelled catholic, and it reminded me of a one-liner my grandma made recently - "our cats were always everywhere. we even used to take them to church. we're cat-licks."]

- for anyone else whose mom has been bugging them to check their credit, i'm inclined to trust this site.
- has everyone been listening to foy vance? just making sure. he's rockin.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh, this is going to be TROUBLE.
Mobile blogging?!

new grey's!

found this in a gchat from 2007.

e: my love for sandra oh knows NO bounds.
e: she is breathtakingly perfect.
e: she can make me cry with, like, no facial expression whatsoever.
b: how does she DO that.
b: my hair is going to be like hers.
b: maybe i need a diffuser.

didn't ever get the diffuser. sigh.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

just as he said.

happy easter, alleluia alleluia. more later! but happy easter.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

in which one of FRB's favorite shows is threatened, and it makes her snarky.

dear nbc, if you take chris and mariska off SVU - i don't even KNOW.
Yet a source close to the matter said talks stalled when the duo -- who, like in their previous negotiations, are banding together -- attempted to go after back-end profits, a perk that's almost never granted in the L&O universe (although exceptions were made for Vincent D'Onofrio and Chris Noth).
how does that mean "hardly ever"? i mean, vincent makes the show. CI is totally different without his weird sideways lean and randomly punctuated speech. [i would make fun of him so bad, if we were friends.] and chris noth is a BIG star. [hehe.] and i defy you to got to itunes, download "doubt," and tell me the show would survive without either eliot or olivia.

also, from a commenter: "I'm angry at their lack of gratitude for what they have! Any one I know would love to earn 7 million a year." well. do you know any television actors? right. i feel like it's a different issue. as a teacher, i earn whatever. in a different position, i'd expect to earn something different. and if the network [are we really calling NBC "the peacock," btw? it sounds very gossip girl. "uh-oh, peacock. could this be the end of uncontrollable sexual tension on SVU?"] is making a ton of money off their performance, they can either make a ton of money, or the network can. that's how the economy works, right? we all make different amounts? because we're actually NOT communists?

[too conservative? i guess i'm just saying that pay disparity between people with different jobs is a bigger problem than these guys, and probably not solved by their lack of contract negotiations.]

what's with the snark lately, FRB? i don't know. i will let commenters use "i feel" statements, especially in this economy. sigh.

FRB is apparently emotionally attached to all this.

wait. this is mean, right? [a one-sided interview in zenit? whaaaaat? emphasis mine.]

Q: What are the reasons behind the fact that so many Catholics voted for Obama in the national elections?

Sullivan: Like any decision made privately by thousands of people, the answer is both complicated and unknowable.

Political life can be challenging for a Catholic; the truths we embrace do not align smoothly with either major political party. The patience to uncover and reflect on the philosophies and records of individual candidates is necessary to cast a Catholic vote.

That kind of in-depth inquiry is unfamiliar to modern American culture, in which everyone is entitled to her uninformed opinion. Catholics, of course, are not immune to that.

Just a casual look at the Catholics I know can tell us something about how the Catholic vote worked this year. Some believed, in good faith, and without much attention to facts, that the president would honor his promise to find moderate common ground and unity between the parties.

Others factored environmental policy, or health care policy, or economic policy most heavily in their decision-making calculus. Others, dissatisfied with the candidates, settled for various but important victories, like the prospect of ending torture, or the possibility of increased aid to the poor.

Others voted on emotional grounds -- they felt the "hope" that swept the nation. Others didn't have a decision-making calculus at all.

The famous Catholic vote did not appear as a bloc in the last election. Our voting was as divided as we are, and there were significant shifts toward Obama among the traditional conservative Catholic vote.

now, i agree that a catholic vote takes reflection. [voting for anyone takes some reflection, i hope. but i think her point is that catholic morality doesn't fit in one political party. lesson one in my class, by the way.] but i feel like she's saying, "catholic voters didn't vote the way i think they should because they didn't REFLECT like i did." but wait. if the catholic vote isn't straightforward, and requires reflection, maybe people could come up with different answers. if you're going to catchily call it "pro-life" instead of "anti-abortion" - well, maybe you'll find your platform is a little more broad. i wish she'd said more about the "without much attention to facts" part, and i also wish she'd base her interviews less on "a casual look at the Catholics I know." i mean, really.

but! i've recently been reflecting on how emotional this is all making me. i can't hear catholic news without either getting angry or feeling relieved. maybe you've noticed. i don't know if this speaks more to the state of the catholic church right now, or my state of mind.

related - david brooks, i think, is not actually writing about the end of philosophy [whatever, david brooks, call your colums whatever you want, see if i care] but about how "moral thinking is more like aesthetics" - to oversimplify, we make moral decisions more based on how we feel than how we think.

[semi-related - watch out! old news, apparently still relevant, about how abstinence-only education doesn't work, just like south africa's driving exam.]

and now, for something you know FRB will definitely like - joe's post on hope, the common good, and baseball.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

happy baseball season!!

and, to celebrate, this commentary from the always-hilar guest blogger bets.
Bronson Arroyo is a big question mark - he's pitching Thursday with a cortisone shot in his hand to help his carpal tunnel syndrome. (Note to Bronson: You are not a famous rock star. Stop pursuing your nonexistent music career, as it is causing all of us a great deal of stress. Sincerely, Cincinnati. P.S. We are also uncomfortable with your chosen hairstyle.)
and, furthermore.
I love how everyone is like "It's from playing the guitar!" and he's like "What! It is not!" And then he produces ZERO EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY and continues to play his guitar. Seriously, one article was like "There has been speculation that this was linked to his guitar playing, but Arroyo has stated that this is not the case."
oh, bronson. are you the new ken griffey? ARE YOU? hold on to your forks, is all i have to say.

but, seriously. you are a PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER. remember in high school, when our coaches used to tell us to be careful not to lift heavy things in case we got injured? and when i played the clarinet and there was a tiny, tiny indicator that i might someday have tendonitis and my teacher was like STOP EVERYTHING! i can only imagine that it's more serious in the pros [says FRB sarcastically]. i mean, carpal tunnel is serious, and you should stop brushing your teeth and cutting up your own food if it's going to help it get better. honestly, bronson.

my future?

thanks to the many people who sent me this story about a friendly and interesting cta driver. he's not the guy i heard the other night, but please note this.
He met his wife, Elaine, because she had the same reaction I had: She was a passenger on his train and she was curious about this guy who made the unusual announcements.
can i please, please be that girl who is the only one to notice the cool thing that someone does? i feel like this might be in my future. "hey, i love how you ________!" "really? no one's ever thought ________ was cool before..."

right?! [and one more that wouldn't fit.]