I haven’t seen the movie Seven Pounds and I have no desire to, but I’ve found some of the reviews hilarious and entertaining.

Manages the not inconsiderable feat of being both painfully predictable and preposterous to the point of being demented.

Husband and I also read a bunch of spoilers for the movie because they were much more entertaining sounding than the movie itself, and probably have more artistic flair. Remember – I don’t have any idea if this is in any way true, but just in case I’m going to tuck the spoilers away as a matter of form.
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It’s like the newspaper just goes crazy, leaps out of your hands, and elopes with the sugar bowl. Well, first it prints itself out from the Interwebs, then it leaps into your hands, then it leaps back out, then it elopes with the sugarbowl. Or something like that. Whatever. My point is, the news has either been been extra-insane lately or my tolerance for weird is way, way down.

How about: “A family did not realize they had an unexpected Christmas guest until a man who had been in their attic for days emerged wearing their clothes, police said.”

(note to self-find out what’s banging around up in the attic this evening)

Or “G.O.P. Receives Obama Parody to Mixed Reviews”

To the issues that divide the Republican Party, there comes one more. Some Republicans find humor in the song “Barack the Magic Negro.” Some most definitely do not.

The debate was joined last week after a candidate for party chairman from Tennessee, Chip Saltsman, distributed the parody, which was broadcast on the Rush Limbaugh radio show last year and questions President-elect Barack Obama’s racial authenticity.

That story makes me doubly crazy because it causes me to nod in agreement to a statement made by Newt Gingrich:

“This is so inappropriate that it should disqualify any Republican National Committee candidate who would use it,” Newt Gingrich, a Republican former House speaker, said in an e-mail message. Referring to Mr. Obama, Mr. Gingrich said, “There are no grounds for demeaning him or for using racist descriptions.”

And then there’s the Fight Club-esque story about Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Craig Alan Bittner letting untrained, non-medical personnel perform surgeries, in addition to using liposuctioned fat to make bio-diesel to power his SUV.

Even the Christmas decorations have gone awry this year. Your neighbor’s claimed that your tacky yard display was going to be the death of them might not be off the mark. That snowglobe could turn into a death ray! Okay, maybe not a death ray, but it could start a fire: “Some 7,000 jumbo-sized snow globes were recalled by Hallmark Cards Inc. because the holiday decorations can act as a magnifying glass when exposed to sunlight and ignite nearby combustible materials, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Tuesday.”

I know there were a few other stories I was going to link to, but I’ve already forgotten what they are. My brain is on vacation. Husband is also on vacation, for several weeks, in fact. He’s getting irritable because I’m blogging when I’m supposed to be deciding what movie we’re going to snuggle up on the couch and watch.

Nothing really gets the blood pumping like hate, does it? Makes you feel all warm and cozy. Righteous indigination, a sense of belonging. What could be better? I had a long manifesto on hate, a tangent from yesterday’s mention of the alleged War on Christmas, but I’ve junked it in favor of a link to an interesting read on Alternet today, A Whiter Shade of Christmas:

The holiday song “White Christmas” is a favorite among the white supremacist set, for obvious reasons. May your days be merry and bright / And may all your Christmases be white. Put into the context of white nationalism, the tune becomes a jolly anthem for white pride and privilege. And don’t think that racist activists can’t be jolly or share a little holiday cheer.

In fact, there is an international organization of white supremacist women who devote their energies to holiday activities such as sending Christmas cards to their incarcerated “brothers,” and raising money for needy Aryans. This year Women for Aryan Unity (WAU) is holding its 15th annual Yulefund, which has purportedly raised $2,000 over the last three years to buy gifts for children of incarcerated white supremacists. Women for Aryan Unity also publishes a cookbook, sends welcome packages to new mothers, and runs an Aryan Clothing Drive.

[read the rest of the article]

In her conclusion, the author makes the following suggestions:

In the meantime, you can dedicate your holiday activities to tolerance by giving a year-end gift to one of the many anti-hate organizations and donating to a clothes drive that helps people of all colors. And, for God’s sake, please don’t sing “White Christmas.”

I do hope that her request that one not sing “White Christmas” is some sort of failed sarcasm, because if it’s not it takes her into that silliness zone so cozily occupied by our favorite sitcom host, Bill O’Reilly.

Half-awake, surfing, sucking down coffee. Same boring blahblahblah everywhere. Rightwingers spewing hate, Leftwingers spewing self-loathing, all of them boring me senseless with mundane recountings of holiday gatherings.

Then, the clouds part and Xeni once again saves the (my) day, with this charming post:

What’s headless, limbless, vaguely turkey-shaped, has two breasts, three speeds, one vagina, and runs on a pair of double A batteries? The worst fucking laudanum-induced nightmare EVER, or the Concubine Masturbator sex gadget.

Well after that description, the link to the Concubine Masturbator becomes a must-click, doesn’t it?

A few people misunderstood and thought my dog had died, rather than my dad. And in retrospect, the unintentional weirdness of being asked, “are you going to get another one right away” upon returning from my father’s funeral is rather amusing. How do you do that? Why would you want to do that? Now that the shock has worn off it’s really rather amusing.

We missed National Red Squirrel Awareness Week (Sept. 14-22) in the UK, but that’s OK because our own National Squirrel Awareness Week is just around the corner (October 7-13). I have no idea how you celebrate such a thing, but there you have it.

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled and otherwise innocuous wildlife post to bring you a significant amount of whining.

The other day, KD noted that the best way to judge a Monday was by how many times you had to turn around and go home before you got to work. I’m wondering if there’s another measure, how many times you should have turned around and gone home (and stayed there), but didn’t.

You know those days when it takes forever to get dressed? The mornings where you end up wearing the exact outfit you started out wearing, but in the interim there are about 7 wardrobe changes? Yes, this is the first sign that this is going to be one of those days when one should probably just say “fuck it” and go back to bed.

Yes, it’s been one of those days. And it’s not even 10:00 yet.

Before I left this morning I removed the trash from my car. I can’t stand trash in my car. I should have just put the trash on the floor in the back for later disposal, but it seemed so much tidier to just go ahead and put the little bag in the trashcan. It also seemed more efficient to walk directly to the trashcan – down, rather than around, the steep hill leading to the backyard.

Thanks to the drought, the hill doesn’t have much grass. Thanks to all the rain we got last week, the hill is muddy.

Halfway down I realized the hill was muddy and slippery, so I stopped. This was a mistake.

“I could call into the house for help.”
“With what? Cellphone’s in the car.”
“I could yell for help.”
“Who’s going to hear you?”
“Yeah. And what am I going to say? I’m afraid to take 3 steps forward or back to get off this little hill in my own yard.”

At this point it dawned on me that I was standing there clutching a small trash bag, paralyzed with fear, and talking out loud to myself.

“Go back inside and go back to bed.” That’s what I should have been saying to myself.

Thing is, I wasn’t worried about falling and getting hurt. I was worried about getting dirty and having to go back in and change clothes. These were the clothes I clearly needed to wear today. I spent a long time establishing that, no other clothes are suitable today.

Wear these clothes or go back to bed. It’s just that kind of day.

This is a concept Husband fails to grasp, the mysterious phenonmenon by which one knows which of a number of nearly indistinguishable black skirts is The One Appropriate Skirt. The Chosen One. And yet still has to try on all the others one after another as if something has changed since the last time you wore them.

Poor guy. Until I clean up the wardrobe crisis wreckage he has to step over the massive piles of garments deemed unsuitable that populate the house now like middens at an archaeological site. If the mound builders had worked in textiles, the Ohio River Valley would look like my bedroom right now.

Somehow I got back to the car and headed out to work.

This might be a good time to mention that my tags are expired. They aren’t really expired, but they look expired because they lack the proper stickers. I renewed them online at the last possible minute (ok, the truth is I renewed online the day after they expired) so I have the receipt but no stickers yet. I went to the DMV on Monday. It’s usually a highly efficient place (that’s not a joke, it is), but on this particular Monday the gates of hell had opened up. After the traditional taking of the wrong exit leading to a joyride through the Pentagon parking lot, I gave up and went to work. But back to this morning…

About a mile from home a funeral procession pulled out from the Catholic Church and into traffic right behind me. A sizeable funeral procession. Of police cruisers. With their lights on. I pulled into the righthand lane but traffic wasn’t being stopped and they didn’t pass me. After about a mile of this, they turned. It was a long mile. Strangely, this isn’t the first (nor, I suspect, the last) time this has happened to me. What can I say, I lead a charmed life.

It’s good I decided to be a grown-up and go on to work. I couldn’t have gotten pulled over in Arlington if I hadn’t continued on my merry way, now could I?

My plates came up in the computer as renewed, I had the receipt to prove I’d paid, and I was sent on my way.

I then did the only sensible thing. I went home and went back to bed.

No, I didn’t. I continued on to work.

When I got to the office I spilled coffee on my skirt. I rarely spill anything on my clothes. I really should taken this as a sign to go home and go back to bed. I didn’t though. I’m determined to stay on this collision course with disaster.

There’s a lot more nonsense to add to this pointless little ramble, but I can’t include any details so just trust me when I say that this week is a disaster.

I think it’s time for Dr. Noodles and I to put on Gang of Four and dance around the office for a while.

updated, 4 pm:
It’s interesting how many of my students are telling me that they’re in lockdown here or there or everywhere and can’t come to class. It’s a valid excuse, as many people are indeed in lockdowns all over the area and they aren’t supposed to leave campus. But that doesn’t mean they can’t leave their dormrooms. It’s tempting to mention at some point that I can see their IP addesses when they email me from their dorms and tell me they don’t think they can get back to campus. These kids today, they lack creativity sometimes. They disappoint me. If you’re going to tell me a story, make it big and dramatic. Or maybe just tell the truth. I’m a big fan of the truth.

They may be getting the “Go home, go back to bed” signal that I’ve been receiving all day… So just say so and be done with it.