Archive for May, 2006

I have a question

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

It strikes me that a pretty high percentage of single female television characters over the age of 30 suddenly feel an urgent need to have a child, and start having fertility treatments and various other medical procedures that I don’t feel like delineating at this time. It happened to Scully, leading to a long, dismal series of subplots; and now it seems to be happening to Cuddy on House.
Now I have to ask, does this happen a lot in real life? Because if not, I say enough already. Actually I say enough already anyway. This does not make for good television (or good movies, as Hugh Laurie at least should have known already anyway.)

the singularity has happened in my living room

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

I’ve just determined that the two comments I tried to post on my own blog today were not rejected due to length, as I had originally thought. The error message I got for both read “Comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: para” I got that once before and figured it must be due to the comment length since I’m used to computers giving me gibberish when they think something is wrong but they aren’t sure what.
But this time I should have taken it at its word. I guess. My two comments were rejected because they contained the letters “para”: in the word “paragraph” in the 1st comment & in the word “separate” in the second. While experimenting I tried submitting a comment with just the word “para” & it was rejected; I deliberately misspelled “separate” in my second comment & it worked.
Do I want to know what this is all about?
The more I learn about computers, the less I know about them. Technical computer people seriously could set up a new religion with themselves as the priesthood, because computers are the quintessence of the ineffable to the rest of us.


Thursday, May 11th, 2006

Tried to post this in the comments below, but it was too long 🙂


hermeneutic of suspicion

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

I’ve wanted to use this title for a blog post for quite some time, and it might be wasted here since this is hardly a complete thought nor even a very original one. It comes from my wondering why liberals and conservatives rarely, if ever, seem to listen to each other–even to deny or discredit what the other side is saying. They make statements without ever rebutting the statements of the other side; in good old policy debate terms, there’s no clash. It’s all constructive and no rebuttal.
Why is this? The following is my take on the leading rhetorical tactics taken by liberals and conservatives (which, following my little conceit, I call “hermeneutics”); followed by reasons why I think political rhetoric is generally as low in quality as it is high in quantity.


happy old year!

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

It’s high time I wrote a blog post. Here one is.
When I was 30, I stopped making New Year’s resolutions. I figured by that age, the main outlines of my personality were pretty much set, and the window of opportunity for making any major changes had closed. However, recently I decided to take this concept one step farther; hence, the “Old Year’s Resolutions.”
New Year’s resolutions are basically about doing something new. They might be about stopping doing something, like quitting smoking, but they are basically positive in nature. The Old Year’s resolution, on the other hand, are about paring away unnecessary things, streamlining and simplifying your life. They’re about stopping doing something that you’ve been doing (or trying to do) for ages and just isn’t working for you.
The Old Year’s Resolution is the perfect counterpart to the New Year’s resolution. If, for example, in January you resolved to work out at the gym five times a week, and in May you find you have only been to the gym twice in the past four months, then you make an Old Year’s Resolution to quit. Quit the gym. It’s just not working for you.
How, you might ask, is the Old Year’s Resolution of any benefit? Surely clinging to the gym resolution would be of more benefit than just giving up–surely its mere presence in your mind makes it microscopically more likely that you will one day begin going to the gym regularly?
I disagree. As long as the gym resolution is on the books, so to speak, you will do one of two things: (1) go to the gym or (2) sit around feeling guilty about not going to the gym while downing Doritos and Keebler Fudge Striped Cookies like they’re going out of style (okay, that last part is just me).
By May, Option 2 has won out over Option 1. So be it. Don’t sit around signing over percentages of your paycheck directly to the Frito-Lay corporation while hoping that that old resolution will, against all odds, someday kick in–or waiting for next January.
Just ditch the resolution. It’s not working. Then do something else–anything else–as long as you’re not making a resolution to do it. Maybe today you can walk to the mailbox. Tomorrow, dance around like a maniac to some 80s music. Next day, homestead the couch all day while watching your Season 1 Lost DVDs. (No, that last part was me again). One of those things just might kick in and work, but they’ll never have a chance to with New Year’s Resolutions standing in your way.
As I mentioned, I made no New Year’s Resolutions this year, and yet for some weird reason and with no precedent whatsoever, I suddenly got addicted to working out at our apt. complex’s fitness center 4-6 times a week. I’ve done this for about 3 months, longer than any deliberate exercise program I’ve ever attempted. I’ve just been on hiatus for 2 weeks due to the worst cold in the history of viruses (virii?), but am looking forward to getting back to it.
So, what is my Old Year’s Resolution this year? I’ve resolved to stop trying to be better than I am. I realized that a lot of the stress and angst in my life is due to my continual attempts to try to be a better person than I actually am, or trying to be better at something than I am, or feeling guilty for having failed at doing something as a result of my trying to be better than I am. After 32.5 years of this, I suddenly realized that all this does is make me feel miserable and guilty and doesn’t lead to any actual improvement in myself.
What’s going to replace my attempts to be better? Well, I don’t know exactly–that’s the nature of the Old Year’s Resolution. In practical terms, I’ll hazard a guess that it means when I screw something up my response will be a shrug and an “oh well,” instead of berating myself for the screwup. In theological terms, I hope it will lead to my trusting that while I will never be good enough to meet my own exacting standards, I can trust that God is good enough to take up the slack.
Will my Old Year’s Resolution work as intended? Or will it merely relase my inner slacker/hedonist to destroy everything I’ve worked for over the years (as I stop and look around me, “everything I’ve worked for” appears to be a can full of pens that don’t write, some crockery that needs to taken to the kitchen, a Peter Fish I once liberated from church (no money in it), and a Meijer plastic bag full of assorted…papers of some sort that I probably should file. I don’t feel that I should get too stressed about the potential downfall of that particular empire).