Thursday, November 30, 2006

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Friday, November 24, 2006


'Truthiness' and 'Wikiality' named Top Television Buzzwords of 2006 Followed by 'Katrina’, ‘Katie,' and ‘Dr. McDreamy’

The Annual Survey by the Global Language Monitor

Released in Conjunction With the Prime Time Emmy Awards

San Diego, Calif. August 27, 2006. ‘Truthiness' from the multi-Emmy nominated 'Colbert Report' was named the Top TeleWORD of the year in The Global Language Monitor's (HTTP:// annual survey of words from television that profoundly influenced the English Language. In an unprecedented move, 'Wikiality,' also from the Colbert Report was named No. 2. Closely following were ‘Katrina’ referring to the on-going stories about the hurricane's devestating destruction, ‘Katie' in regard to Katie Couric's move into the top seat at CBS News, and 'Dr. McDreamy' from the break-out drama, 'Grey's Anatomy'.

Rounding out the Top Ten were ‘Bush's War,' heard often on the News, 'Man of the Hours,' citing '24's' Keifer Sutherland, 'Tourette's,' from 'I have Tourette's but Tourette's doesn't have me,' 'Dysfunctional' from 'The Office,' and 'Falling Starr,' referring to the 'View's' embattled Starr Jones.

This year's Bonus Phrase is 'You're going to Hollywood!' from Simon Cowell's wunderkind 'American Idol'.

"Television, once again, has helped to define our culture and its impact upon spoken English is profound,“ said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor. "Some of these buzzwords will quickly pass, while others will be embedded in the language for years to come." "Though 'truthiness' in some form has existed in the language for centuries, it could not have been revived in more relevant times than the early 21st century; while 'wikiality' can be observed even today, where Pluto has been voted out of the Solar System by a convention of Astronomers," Payack concluded.

The San Diego-based media metrics and analysis company, The Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.

The Top TeleWORDS are released in conjunction with the 58th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, to be broadcast from Los Angeles on Sunday, August 28th, at 8:00 pm Eastern on the NBC Television Network.

The Top TeleWORDS for the 2005 - 2006 Television season with commentary, follow:

1. Truthiness -- (Colbert Report) Truth unemcumbered by the facts.

2. Wikiality -- (Colbert Report) Reality as determined by majority vote. See Pluto, the former planet. First time ever with two words from the same show.

3. Katrina -- (The News) First hit of the 2005-'06 season; unfortunately a direct hit on New Orleans.

4. Katie -- (CBS Evening News) Did we ever refer to Walter Crondkite as Wally or Dan Rather as Dannie? Will Katie help us redefine the term, gravitas?

5. Dr. McDreamy -- (Grey's Anatomy) Patrick Dempsey follows in a long line of television 'dream-boat' physicians dating back to 'Dr. Kildare'.

6. Bush's War -- (Heard often on the News) Echoing the label bestowed upon Mr. Lincoln (Mr. Lincoln's War) two centuries past. After his assassination and the end of what we now know as the Civil War, Lincoln rose steadily in stature.

7. Man of the hours -- (24) Keifer Sutherland finally gets the nod.

8. Tourette's -- (I have Tourette's but Tourette's doesn't have me) Replaces Tony Sholub's OCD as the lesser known disease going mainstream this season.

9. Dysfunctional -- (The Office) The office as family, dysfunctional family that is.

10. Falling Starr -- (The View) Starr Jones that is, in her battle with BaBa Walters.

Bonus Phrase: 'You're going to Hollywood!' -- (American Idol) Simon Cowell's wunderkind might actually win an Emmy this time around.

Last year: 'Refugee' from the on-going coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina topped 'Desperation' from Desperate Housewives and 'Camp Cupcake' from the on-going Martha Stewart follies.

The previous year "You're Fired!" edged "Mess O' Potamia" followed by "Girlie Men," "God," and "Wardrobe Malfunction".

The 25 Funniest Analogies

Here. Found via Presurfer.

The 25 Funniest Analogies (Collected by High School English Teachers)
I have to share these “funniest analogies” with you. They came in an e-mail from my sister. She got them from a cousin, who got them from a friend, who got them from… so they are circulating around. My apologies if you have already seen them.

The e-mail says they are taken from actual high school essays and collected by English teachers across the country for their own amusement. Some of these kids may have bright futures as humor writers. What do you think?

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a ThighMaster.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fast Food Nation

Through a connection with an animal rights activist, I was able to attend a free showing of the new movie, "Fast Food Nation" last Thursday. First off, I want to say that the book is fascinating. I learned so much from reading it. I did my stint of working for the fast food industry before I got a job as a sports writer at my local newspaper. So I appreciate the thorough investigation of the industry presented in the book.

But the movie ... um, well. I don't know. Between growing up on a farm and working to defend the rights of workers at Iowa Pork and Hormel, I'm fairly familiar with the realities of slaughtering animals for food.

The movie, however, seems to assume that the viewer is completely unaware that their food comes from actual animals and that these animals need to be killed in order to become food. We are supposed to be appalled by the sight of skinless disembodied cow heads.

I suppose the there are people who really don't get it. But what about all those people who understand completely and say, "yeah, so what's your point?"

This movie assumes people are stupid. And maybe they are, but I think we can do better than that. Because the fast food industry does suck. But it's not because animals die for our food. It's because they do so much more to fuck us up in the pursuit of the all-mighty profit.

In explaining that, this movie failed.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Have some "pop"

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Some holdiay antiwar event flyers from the past:

Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Movie at Mayday Books

First draft of a new flyer.

Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Friday, November 03, 2006

Things I've Done

Seen at Kate's.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope

26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse

34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer

40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends.
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales

45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing.
49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving.
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken.
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class

71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party

75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch

78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date

89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking

103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication

106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane

109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth

112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school

131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Book review

I stopped by one of my favorite independent bookstores, Once Upon A Crime, and checked out the book they are reading for the monthly discussion at the store. This time it is Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman. I read it once quickly and I'm reading it a second time to clear up some of the confusion from the first reading.

The main story revolves around two adolescent girls who are sentenced to prison for the murder of a baby. The girls had discovered the baby in its carriage in front of a house that appeared to be deserted. They took the baby and after a few days one or both of the girls murdered the baby. The book begins as both girls are released from prison after seven years. No one other than the girls, seems to know or understand what really happened to the baby and this mystery and fear affects the actions of several of the main characters. And then another baby disappears. It is time to clear up all the mysteries.

Lippman fills the book with a bunch of female characters and that becomes unweidly at times. Each of these women is flawed, some irrevocably, and yet not one of them acts with evil intent. Class and race are prominent throughout the book.

Although the plot kept me interested, I've got to say that almost no one in this book held my interest for long. Lippman made the decision of granting each of her characters some serious flaws. In the end, it was hard to care for any of them.