...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

August 31, 2005

Faith In The Face Of Tragedy And Job

Disclaimer: This is a post i don't expect everyone to agree with.

Perhaps due to the ongoing disaster in the Gulf states, and some personal tragedies that have hit an alarming number of my blog friends recently, i've been seeing an unusual number of posts that deal with faith and tragedy.

It's the age old question. Why do bad things happen to good people? What does a person of faith do when tragedy strikes? How does one deal? What happens to a person's faith in an all-powerful and all-loving God when that God takes a loved one for no apparent reason?

One book of the Bible supposedly deals with this very question. It's the book of Job. Perhaps i'm not alone when i say that Job never really made me feel better for reading it. It's a strange book, and it's not a comfort at all, really. i read Job all the way through a few years ago. Let's just say i needed to read it at the time and leave it at that.

Basically, the gist of the story is this, as i recall. Job is a good and righteous man who's been blessed with a nice family and lots of money. One day, God makes a bet with the devil about whether or not Job will reject God if He lets the devil completely fuck with Job's life. So the devil kills all of Job's family, takes all his stuff, and gives Job boils on his skin.

Job gets pissed, but doesn't blame God at first. The devil continues to fuck him up, so Job asks a friend to talk to God for him. That ends up nowhere, and Job finally gets on the line with the Big Guy himself. Now God is pissed, and He says to Job (i'm paraphrasing) "Dude, why don't you create the entire universe in six days. Then you can come back here and pop off to me. Until then, shut your pie hole. I do what I want and you don't get to know the reason."

Now there are plenty of other parts in the Bible where one can go for real comfort in times of despair, but Job is not one of them. God doesn't come off looking very nice in Job, but that's not the point of the story. It's kind of the tough talk part of the Old Testament. We may not like the message, but we need to hear it at least once.

God's smackdown to Job, is one of the most awe inspiring and majestic passages of the Bible. It is hard reading when you're in trouble, though. You never thought God could be this sarcastic either:

From out of a storm,
the LORD said to Job:
Why do you talk so much
when you know so little?
Now get ready to face me!
Can you answer
the questions I ask?
How did I lay the foundation
for the earth?
Were you there?
Doubtless you know who decided
its length and width.
What supports the foundation?
Who placed the cornerstone,
while morning stars sang,
and angels rejoiced?
God goes on like this at some length. As they say, it ain't bragging if it's true.
Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?

Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?

Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.

What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?

Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!

Yah, so God is the Big Boss and we're just piss-ants. But He loves us anyway. Whether we know it, like it, believe it or want it, He still loves us because He created us.

My favorite holy day of obligation in the Catholic Church is the Feast of Christ the King. It's the last Holy Day of the liturgical year, and i think it's placed there for emphasis. It's a reminder to me that God is ruler over all. The universe is not a democracy, it is a monarchy and we are subjects of the King, not his equals.

Therefore i think it would be the height of arrogance for me to presume to know the mind of God. That's the lesson of the tower of Babel, and of the Book of Job. WTF, we humans can't even understand how light can act like both a particle and a wave. We don't know why neurons communicate across synapses. And every day, giant squid and great whales a hundred feet long fight death battles at the bottom of the sea that no man has ever witnessed. So for me to decide whether God is acting justly or unjustly, based on my own infinitely narrow vantage point on the universe, well it's the height of arrogance as i said.

i could choose to be pissed off at my own powerlessness, or i could find freedom in it. i never understand why so many people waste so much energy trying to reason God into or out of existence. Or trying to reason the nature of God. My knowledge that God exists was never based on reason. That knowledge is itself a gift from God and it remains in me as a result of my faith, not reason.

So i go on believing whether or not God's plan appears fair to me. i don't get to know the plan. Is that a cop-out? i don't think so. i think it's the essence of faith. If my faith were dependent on things like reason or observation or argument, it would be a very weak faith indeed. Yes, even my own mind, smart as i am, was created by Him.

Who endowed the heart with wisdom
or gave understanding to the mind?
There are no easy answers. When i see tragedies like what's going on in the Southeast right now, it saddens me and i want to ask why, God, why. But i also know that i can never really answer that question. He may choose to reveal the answer to me in His time. But then again He may not, and how can i ever know. Bad things might happen to good people for no fucking reason simply because i'm not supposed to be in the loop. i tend to mistrust people when they presume to know God's plan, even if what they're saying comes from a compassionate heart.

So what does that mean? What about God's love that we hear so much about. Where does that fit into a universe that may or may not be cruel in a completely arbitrary way. Job asked:

from my deep despair,
I complain to you, my God.
Don't just condemn me!
Point out my sin.
Why do you take such delight
in destroying those you created
and in smiling on sinners?
Do you look at things
the way we humans do?
Is your life as short as ours?
Is that why you are so quick
to find fault with me?
You know I am innocent,
but who can defend me
against you?
It's not that i'm some kind of Deist who believes that God acts arbitrarily. i believe He has a plan, i just don't believe i can know it. Similarly, i have experienced miracles in my own life and i know from whom they came. God has taken very good care of me, and i don't know why.

It's the knowledge of my own inferior wisdom that has enabled me to never have a crisis of faith, even in times of despair. My spiritual weakness is one of devoutness, not doubt. i have crises of apathy, not belief. i'm going through one now, as a matter of fact. But God's love for this world is obvious to me every time i hear the Gospel. And that's what overcomes the pain i see at times too often to ignore.

Posted by annika at 07:39 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

Searching for a poem about New Orleans this week was easy.

Charles Bukowski:

Young In New Orleans

starving there, sitting around the bars,
and at night walking the streets for
the moonlight always seemed fake
to me, maybe it was,
and in the French Quarter I watched
the horses and buggies going by,
everybody sitting high in the open
carriages, the black driver, and in
back the man and the woman,
usually young and always white.
and I was always white.
and hardly charmed by the
New Orleans was a place to
I could piss away my life,
except for the rats.
the rats in my dark small room
very much resented sharing it
with me.
they were large and fearless
and stared at me with eyes
that spoke
an unblinking

women were beyond me.
they saw something
there was one waitress
a little older than
I, she rather smiled,
lingered when she
brought my

that was plenty for
me, that was

there was something about
that city, though
it didn't let me feel guilty
that I had no feeling for the
things so many others
it let me alone.

sitting up in my bed
the lights out,
hearing the outside
lifting my cheap
bottle of wine,
letting the warmth of
the grape
as I heard the rats
moving about the
I preferred them

being lost,
being crazy maybe
is not so bad
if you can be
that way

New Orleans gave me
nobody ever called
my name.

no telephone,
no car,
no job,

me and the
and my youth,
one time,
that time
I knew
even through the
it was a
of something not to
but only

Posted by annika at 06:57 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 30, 2005

NPR Opinion Piece

i just read one of the dumbest things i've read in a while. "Lack Of Mandate On Iraq Haunts Bush," by Ron Elving, NPR's "supervising senior Washington editor." Knowledge of history or political science seems not to be a pre-requisite for his job. On the contrary, the ability to produce a slanted argument from out one's butthole looks like an asset.

While the premise―Bush's lack of a mandate on the Iraq War―is reasonable enough, the op-ed piece went downhill soon after the byline. Elving's theory, no doubt taught to impressionable young minds when he was a professor at Georgetown's Graduate Public Policy Institute, is that "the scope of [a president's] plans must be matched by the breadth of [his] support.

Elving calls this the Rule of Proportionate Mandate. i cannot find any mention of such a rule in my own library, but never mind. It seems reasonable when applied to republics such as ours. That is, as long as one ignores the historical exceptions to the so-called rule. The plans of Lincoln, FDR, Truman and even Churchill are the most obvious examples.

But this quote here is a real doozie:

Before invading Iraq, the administration of President Bush needed the broad backing of three constituencies: the Iraqi people, the international community and the American public. In each case, the administration heard just enough of what it wanted to hear to conclude it had sufficient support. In each case, it was wrong. [emphasis added]
i love Elving's new take on Kerry's "Global Test" doctrine. Did you catch it? Not only should America have the support of certain foreign powers before acting in its self-interest, but America should also have the support of its enemies before going to war!

Wow. This guy was teaching graduate students? In D.C. no less. That's scary.

Elving goes on to re-state the tired old canard that the "Coalition of the Willing" was really a disguise for unilateral action. Never mind the much debated question of whether the over 48 countries who initially signed on to help us were "window dressing" or not. Since when has the commander-in-chief been prohibited from exercising the war powers unilaterally? There is no such requirement in Constitutional law or history. Let's be clear. A president has never been required to seek "the broad backing of the international community." That's complete hogwash. i'll agree that international support is nice to have, but true leadership does not find it necessary before acting.

Then Elving says that support for the war has never been an overwhelming majority such "as in the case of Pearl Harbor or the invasion of Afghanistan." Again, hogwash. In January 2004, for example, 65% of Americans polled by the Pew Research Center thought that the war in Iraq was the "right decision," versus only 30% who thought it was the "wrong decision." Note that support for the war continued to lead by 20 points or more even when Bush's approval rating dipped below his disapproval rating a few months later, according to Pew.

Elving might rightly point out that previous support for the war has eroded today,* but for him to say that it never existed is a lie, and he should know better.

[cross-posted at A Western Heart]

* In my opinion, this is thanks to a combination of consistent media negativity and consistently inept public relations at the White House.

Posted by annika at 11:32 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Cotillion For This Week

The wonderful American Princess took it upon herself to do the whole Cotillion Ball this week. Having done one fourth of the hosting myself, i have to tip my hat to her, it is quite a task, and she did a great job. Go take a look at the best work from the members of the Cotillion here. And if i may highlight one selection, please don't miss Beth's retelling of her visit to Camp Reality in Crawford, Texas.

Posted by annika at 08:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Coverage Question

What is happening in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast is awful. i had no idea this storm's aftermath would be so severe. And it looks like only the beginning.

i watched Fox News this morning and Shepard Smith was saying that his crew was planning to leave. He thought that by staying, they would be taking resources away from the victims. i think that's a mistake.

This is one case where the media can do more good by covering the story as much as possible. Yah, i never thought i'd say that either. This disaster looks worse than anything i've ever imagined. It needs to be reported, so people can help with donations or in any way they can.

My suggestion to the media would be to spend money. Make the crews self sufficient and join in the relief effort. Fuck the rule against becoming part of the story, they never follow that rule anyway. They should bring bottled water. They should also continue to keep emergency workers informed about what they see or people who need rescuing.

Update: Journalist and Louisiana expat Ken Wheaton has much more.

Posted by annika at 07:04 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 29, 2005

Gun Nut Progress Report

As a brand new gun nut, i thought it might be interesting to give you regular updates on how things are going.

progress report

i've now shot a total of 150 rounds through a pistol. The Sig Sauer P226 is still the gun to beat, in my estimation. But i recently tried two other guns, which i'll critique for you from my novice's viewpoint.

TacProIItarget.jpgThe first was a Kimber Tactical Pro II in .45 ACP caliber. i did not like this gun. First of all, it dang near took my arm off. Big bang, big kick. That's to be expected from the larger cartridge, i imagine. But i know the Kimber's sights were off, too. Look at the photo of my target. You'll see that nothing hit to the left of center out of 50 rounds at ranges from 7 yards to 25 yards. i think that's unusual. It also shot low and i had to compensate by aiming above the bullseye, which was annoying. i normally line up the sights just below the bullseye.

Also, the Kimber's grip was too short and didn't feel right. The gun was double action only and had a grip safety and a thumb safety. i liked the idea of two safeties, but i'd rather have a single action option because i tend to squeeze the trigger very slowly and watching the hammer go back was distracting to me. i want to try another .45 just to give them a fair shake, but i wouldn't buy a Kimber. They retail for over a thousand and i expected better for that kind of price.

Most recently, i tried the Browning BDM 9mm. Now, after researching this post, i learned that the BDM can be switched from "double action" to "double action only" by use of a little slotted swich on the side. i noticed the switch at the range, but since nobody told me what it was for, i didn't mess with it.

The Browning was nice, despite some problems. i found it to be accurate at all the distances i tried. It fit my hand comfortably and the trigger was easy to squeeze. It's a good looking gun and it was well behaved when it didn't jam, which was too often for my liking. The range dude said it probably needed cleaning. Also, the slide sometimes failed to lock open after the last round was fired. i expected a little more from the famous Browning name, but it was a fun gun to shoot. i still prefer the Sig Sauer's big bright sights. The Browning's sights had smaller dots and one of them had been rubbed off on my rental gun.

Next week i think i'll branch out and try a revolver.

P.S. Last night, i had a dream that i met Kim du Toit. What's happening to me?!

Posted by annika at 10:51 PM | Comments (29) | TrackBack

Something Wrong With Comments?

Some of you have emailed me with rejected comments. i don't know why they're being rejected, but it's not my doing and i have no control over the filter. It may have something to do with the recent mu.nu server problem and hopefully it will only be temporary. Feel free to email me with your compliments or vitriol, in the meantime.

Posted by annika at 10:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Katrina Help, My Charity Choice

i'm donating to Catholic Charities.

While local agencies along the Gulf Coast anticipate that they will be provide some type of emergency assistance in their communities, Catholic Charities' niche in disaster relief is to provide long-term recovery work. In fact, Catholic Charities agencies in Florida are still providing services to help people recover from last year's devastating hurricanes.

Based on past disasters, possible long-term services that Catholic Charities may provide include temporary and permanent housing, direct assistance beyond food and water to get people back into their homes, job placement counseling, and medical and prescription drug assistance.

i trust Catholic Charities more than the Red Cross or United Way, whom i believe skim off the top worse than a mob run casino.

Posted by annika at 07:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Finally, The Jeopardy Winner

i'm sorry for the delay. With the hurricane and all, i was unable to post before today.

Okay, so i'm in California. i knew that. Well the real reason is that i was in moving and had no electricity. i thought i'd be able to post via my telephone but then its battery went dead. So i was completely blog incommunicado for four days.

But i hope you'll find the long awaited Final Jeopardy round as exciting as i did. The category was "The Blogosphere," and the clue was

annika has almost all of his TV appearances on DVD, yet this blogger is not on her blogroll. Go figure.
As in the TV show, we start with the player who has the lowest amount of cash. Kyle said "I got nuthin," by which i assume he means he wagered nothing too. So Kyle stays at $200.

Next is Ken, who said: "I bet my whole wad on Wil Wheaton." i'm sorry Ken, the judges cannot accept that answer. You lose your whole wad, $200.

Jasen and Skippy didn't play FJ, so i'm keeping their money.

Next is D-Rod, who responded: "Who is Victor David Hanson?" Nope. D-Rod wagered $399, so he now has $1.

Charlie had $400, but didn't submit a response, so i keep his money.

Phil had $500, and his response was "Who is Frank Sinatra?" Last i checked, Frank Sinatra was dead. Although his music lives on, i don't think Sinatra's music has a blog. Phil wagered "$0.00," so he's left with $500 and the lead.

Next is Shelly, who responded

Damn, I hate this game. I am compulsive by nature, and I have made this an addiction. I'm glad it is over an I can get back to my mundane life.

OK, at first, I thought it was gonna be Hugh Hewitt for sure, but I checked and he IS on your blogroll, so that fizzled out.

Then I said (to myself) 'Myself, who has been on TV enough to have Annie have taped him, and yet not so much that her house would be running over with discs, etc.?'.

Myself replied 'The only person I can come up with is a guy who's show was canceled for some inexplicable reason (well, he seems less offensive on the radio, I guess) from Northern California named Michael Savage.'

So, trusting Myself, and having no other thoughts . . . Who is Michael Savage?
Uhh, no.

Let's see what Shelly wagered. His entire $1000. Sorry Shelly, you're down to zero.

Next is Victor, who guessed "Who is Will Wheaton?" Ding. You are correct, Victor. Spelling does not count in Final Jeopardy. Victor bet all $1100, so he now has the lead with $2200.

Dave J was next with $1400, but this was his response:

Since I'm completely stumped, I'm not betting anything: I can't even think up a good guess, though I'm sure I'll be kicking myself about how obvious it was after this is over.

And now you've motivated me to try out again, and pester the hell out of the real show to call me back this time.

Dave's $1400 won't be enough to take over the lead from Victor. But good luck on the real Jeopardy, Dave.

Casca started out with the second highest point total, at $1700. Ever confident, Casca responded with "Who is Hugh Hewitt?" aaaaaaa! Like Shelly said, Hugh Hewitt is indeed on my blogroll. Casca bet the whole thing, so he is now down to zero.

Finally, it's all up to Trevor, who starts out Final Jeopardy with the most points, $1900. His response was "Who is Wil Wheaton?" Nice job Trevor.

Now let's find out if Trevor wagered enough to beat Victor.

Here is Trevor's wager:

Wager: $1501
which gives him $3401 and the title of annika's Jeopardy Champion! Congratulations Trevor!

(i can hear Victor saying "rats" right now.)

Thanks for playing everybody. We will now return to our regularly scheduled blog.

Posted by annika at 06:42 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005

Mu.nu Back Up

Many thanks to Beth, Michelle and Basil for allowing the free trackbacks and links while Mu.nu was down.

Since the blog was unavailable for most of Tuesday, i will extend the Final Jeopardy deadline until 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, Thursday night. Or until all players have submitted their responses. Right now, we're still waiting for Charlie, Skippy and Jasen.

For future reference, my old Blogspot blog will be my backup blog. You can find it at http://annikagyrl.blogspot.com/ or just google "blogspot annika."

Posted by annika at 01:19 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

Notice To Jeopardy Players

Don't forget to email your Final Jeopardy responses by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, Thursday night.

Posted by annika at 11:59 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

She Don't Speak For Us Caravan

For those in Southern California interested in lending support, the Crawford Texas Caravan in support of our troops is heading your way.

On Tuesday at 3:05pm, we will be arriving in Burbank at KFI studio, 3400 W. Olive Avenue to appear on the John and Ken Show.

On Wednesday at 8:00am, we will be arriving in San Diego at KOGO studio, 9660 Granite Ridge Drive, San Diego to appear live on the Roger Hedgecock Show. Roger will be broadcasting from the parking lot so our supporters can join him during the broadcast.

PLEASE - if you are anywhere near where our caravan will be, we NEED you to make plans to meet us at the caravan stops... and if possible join the caravan for part of the way.

More info and updates can be found here.

Posted by annika at 08:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cotillion Ball

This Week's Cotillion Ball is hosted by the following ladies: Cassandra, who asks "what is it about boots?;" The American Princess, a hot chick with some hot cars; Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho, who spotlights America's fighting women, and the lovely Fausta, of Bad Hair Blog, who never has a bad hair day, blogwise. As always, i encourage you to read these best posts of the last week from the top women bloggers around.

Posted by annika at 07:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2005

California Handgun Safety Certificate

i took the California Handgun Safety Certificate written test last weekend and passed with flying colors. That means that the State of California has deemed me worthy to purchase a handgun within the next five years if i so choose.

The test is so easy even one of Victor's rats could pass it (assuming that Victor has taught them how to read, as i'm sure he has). But the State of California still got 25 bucks out of me for the privilege of taking the test.

Publicola fisked the test's review booklet and showed how, despite the simplicity of the questions, even an expert can have trouble. This sample question seems to have tripped him up:

Hmmm. They have a self test.

'Safety Rule Number Two is keep
the gun pointed:

A. To the north.
B. In the safest possible direction.
C. Up.
D. Down.'

Well being a Southerner I gotta go with A. . . . we never really trusted those damn yankees . . .

Very funny.

Publicola was also nice enough to answer two questions i posed to him:

if Cali does not have the worst gun laws in the country, who does? and on a related note . . . Are there any decently industrialized nations that recognize the rights of gun owners similar to or better than the US?
You can read his answers here.

Posted by annika at 10:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Incredibly Stupid Statement Making The Rounds

The next time i hear someone say that Iraqi women were better off when Saddam was in power, i'm going to scream. Why are so many people saying that? Do they all get the same stupidity newsletter?

Listen up. When the son of a country's leader goes around town picking out women, who are then abducted, raped, and their husbands killed, that is not a situation that any sane person should characterize as "better off."

Posted by annika at 10:22 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Reflections On A '95 St. Supery Cab

i'm no wine expert, but i'll give it a try. i emailed Pursuit, who is the unofficial sommelier of annika's journal, and asked him if it was time to drink that $12 bottle of '95 St. Supery Cabernet i'd been holding onto. He responded thusly:

I'd suggest that you drink it pretty soon.

I hope you've kept it on its side

i had.
and in a reasonably cool place.
No place is cooler than wherever i am.
While some reds can be great beyond ten years, my guess is the St Supery is probably in its sweet spot now.
So i tried it with beef this weekend and, while it's not Silver Oak, it was good.

(If you're ever in Napa, i recommend the St. Supery winery tour. Very informative.)

As for the '95, i liked it. Almost rust in color, plum and berry predominates, and there was no trace of tannin. A hint of oak [i have no idea what i'm talking about, btw] and big but not overly complex. All in all, a good $12 investment.

Tasted good tooo.

Update: Although i have no idea what a tannin is, this pro seemed to agree with me that the '95 didn't have any.

Posted by annika at 07:09 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Final Jeopardy With annika

The category is "The Blogosphere."


The players are:

Trevor $1900
Casca $1700
Dave J $1400
Victor $1100
Shelly $1000
Phil $500
Charlie $400
D-Rod $400
Skippy $400
Jasen $300
Ken $200
Kyle $200

The time limit is until 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, Tuesday night. Rules are here. Don't forget your wager and to phrase the response correctly. No need to buzz in. Click here to send me your response. Good luck!


[Final Jeopardy music starts now.]

Posted by annika at 06:46 AM | TrackBack

August 21, 2005

See, i'm Not The Only Girl Sinatra Fan

So is Robyn, of North American Patriot. Here's a great tribute.

Posted by annika at 07:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

Boomer Deathwatch

i discovered an interesting niche blog this morning, Boomer Deathwatch. It's about that old Gen X - Boomer antipathy. i consider myself a Gen Xer, so i can relate to a lot of it. Here's an excerpt from the top post:

In the meantime, I worked minimum wage jobs and buffed up my political and social paranoia, built out of bits and pieces of leftover 60s radical rhetoric. Reagan was evil; Thatcher was a witch; the CIA pulled the strings; the Joint Chiefs of Staff and their counterparts at the Kremlin were glaring at each other over some future battlefield, wracked with nervous ticks and drenched with booze-soaked flopsweat, and one day they'd go too far and blow us all to kingdom come. There was no good or evil, or it was all evil, or we all had the potential for good. I don't know, it changed all the time, depending on what I was reading.

Then the 80s boom ended and the Wall fell and I finally got tired of being afraid and confused. More to the point, I got tired of letting fear and ignorance dictate how I saw the world, so I started reading books, some of which I didn't agree with at first. I stopped reading music magazines and started reading about economics, if only to find out just why all of the magazines I'd worked for as a freelance writer and photographer came and went in such regular cycles.

I was 'empowering myself'. Sure. Basically I was trying to peek my head up over the surging boomer crest ahead of me before the building echo wave behind me swept me down again. There had to be more to be seen or heard than the surging spectacle of sex, drugs and rock and roll that had been the backdrop for my whole life. If it looked like I'd never afford a house or a family, at least I wanted to know why I didn't die in a nuclear holocaust, or live in the Orwellian 'security state' of total surveillance and mind control that so many of my peers seemed to think was inevitable - indeed, already here, if you listened to many of them.

i was born later than the authors of this blog, so i don't have the same reference point they do on Carter, Punk, Disco, etc. (i read Douglas Coupland one night, yawned and promptly dismissed it.) But i get the whole "Boomers ruined it for us" meme.

i remember when Time ran that cover story about Gen X back in the eighties and it wasn't too flattering. And this whole shit storm erupted about whether Gen Xers were slackers, and why the Boomers were so bitter about the next generation.

Then the conflict seemed to die down, sometime in the late nineties perhaps. Boomers started to realize with their mortality staring them in the face, that their entire life could not be the big self-indulgent youth movement they thought it would be. And that Gen-Xers weren't all lazy cynics, and they didn't necessarily want or need to follow in the Boomers' footsteps either.

By the way, i recently saw The Big Chill for the first time on DVD. i'd heard so much about that movie that i figured i was missing out for having never seen it. i was wrong. i didn't miss a darn thing.

Posted by annika at 08:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 19, 2005

Good For Him

Way to go, Bob.

Posted by annika at 10:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Rules For Final Jeopardy

It's now time for Final Jeopardy. Thanks to everyone who participated in this game, or just kept checking back over the last couple weeks. What started out as a joke, has become an excellent way for me to inflate my Sitemeter stats without a whole lot of effort or original content on my part. What blogger could ask for more?


Final Jeopardy will be open to anyone who has money in the game.

That would be:

Trevor $1900
Casca $1700
Dave J $1400
Victor $1100
Shelly $1000
Phil $500
Charlie $400
D-Rod $400
Skippy $400
Jasen $300
Ken $200
Kyle $200

Comments will be closed, and responses must be e-mailed to me with your wager. The correct response must have a wager, and be phrased in the form of a question.

There will also be a time limit, which will be long enough hopefully for everyone to see the clue. Since i know Casca and Victor are away, it wouldn't be fair to post it this weekend. So i will post it Monday morning and give everybody until Tuesday night to respond.

The Final Jeopardy category will be "The Blogosphere."

Posted by annika at 07:36 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

Jeopardy With annika, Round 30

The category is "Fash-ism," for $400. It's a Daily Double!

Trevor is in the lead with $1900, Casca has $1700, Victor has $1100, Shelly has $1000, Phil has $500, Charlie, Dave J, D-Rod and Skippy have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each.

Let's go over the Daily Double rules one more time.

The rules for Daily Double are almost the same as on tv, with an important exception. In my game everybody gets to play the Daily Double.

Every response must have a wager in it. The lowest you can wager is $50 and the highest you can wager is either $500 or however much money you have earned already, whichever is higher. Or you can wager any amount in between.

One caveat. Since Dave J picked the Daily Double, his response gets priority. So if you guess before him you run the risk of tipping him off to the correct response. If Dave J either guesses wrong or does not respond by the expiration of the time limit (10:00 p.m. Pacific time on Friday) the rest of the responses will count in order of their posting.



Posted by annika at 10:00 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

Jeopardy With annika, The Penultimate Round

The category is "Places That Suck," for $400.

Trevor is in the lead with $1900, Casca has $1700, Victor has $1100, Shelly has $1000, Phil has $500, Charlie, D-Rod and Skippy have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. There is one Daily Double left.


Posted by annika at 08:10 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

August 17, 2005

Celebrating My Alliance-Versary

Two years ago last Monday, i joined the Alliance of Free Blogs by posting a rousing call to arms which i'm reprinting below. Just cuz i like it.

To set the stage for those of you who don't remember the Great Blog War, it was Frank J of IMAO who whipped up a tongue-in-cheek battle* between him and Glenn Reynolds over something. i don't remember exactly what. But Frank came up with the idea for the Alliance and Susie and Harvey took it from there. After much hemming and hawing, i joined up in the following spectacularly pompous way.

Iacta Alea Est!

i don't like war. i hate war. Wars in general are bad for children and flowers and other living things. Therefore it is with great sorrow and great hand wringing and with pensive biting of lower lip that i must make the following announcement.

But before i do, let me just tell you that my friend Betty and i decided on an apartment and we signed a lease today! So i'll be moving into a place on the west side next month. It seems like a nice neighborhood and we got a pretty 2+2 with a balcony and lots of closet space.

But back to the grave decision, which has been made.

Like i said, i hate war. War is hell. All peace loving creatures hate war. My dog hates war. But i love dogs. Especially puppies. Which is one reason why i have made the following decision.

i ruminated long over this decision because, as i said, war is a bad thing. It's messy. One can get hurt if one gets involved in a war. And why get involved in one if one doesn't want to be one of the casualties?

But sometimes, one must stand up for principles and ideals, which transcend pure self interest or personal comfort.

i believe in certain undying principles of life. Undying principles that govern our universe. Certain principles that live on and should always live on. And God willing, these principles will live on. The principles of which i speak are those which all men and women of honor and righteousness believe and which, down throughout history, great nations have fought to uphold and have forgotten at their own peril.

i believe in principles such as this: that grammatical rules are not rules, but only guidelines. For instance, in the preceding paragraph, i twice failed to place a comma directly after the word "which." Does that make me a bad person? No, i think it does not.

i believe in other principles and ideals too. None jump out at me right now, but believe me, i do. i consider myself a person who lives by the principle of being principled. But those other principles really don't have anything to do with my big decision. Neither does the principle i just enumerated, for that matter.

Which brings me to the decision i have just decided on. Which is that, despite my aforementioned loathing for war, i have decided to move from a state of neutrality to a state of other-than-neutrality with respect to the darkening storm clouds of war and conflict that have recently been gathering over the horizon of this great blogosphere of ours.

As a humble footsoldier in this new war, i know not where Our Leader will send me. But i am willing to serve. After reading Our Great Leader's Call To Arms, i am ready -- more than ready -- to serve and to do what is necessary in order to secure for ourselves, and for our posteriors, those things that should be our birthright, whatever those things may be. And i am sure -- more than sure -- that Our Leader will tell us all about those things that we are fighting for in greater detail as this war commences.

Make no mistake. We are dauntless! Dauntless i say! We shall not be daunted. Nor shall we be vanquished. In fact, we are un-daunted and it is we who shall be doing the vanquishing, if any. And in time we shall win this conflict. The Enemy shall be daunted. He is the one who will be daunted and vanquished, or whatever. That i know.

For it is our cause, and our mission, and our victory that will drive us onward! Onward and upward onto ultimate glory and victory. A just and righteous victory, etc. etc. And to this sacred goal i pledge my honor, my wealth and my precious blog in so far as is necessary to acheive our most certain goal, as it may be demanded and directed or determined by Our Leader, within reason of course.

So, there you have it. i, annika, who value my independence and neutrality so highly. i who, like i said up there, hate war with an unmitigated passion (except for that little bit of time in grad school when i took those military history courses), have declared a side in this great upcoming and destructive conflict. No one can remain neutral for long. You are either with us or against us. i urge everyone reading this to join in this transcendent, noble cause.

And so it begins. i hereby cross the Rubicon by editing my blogroll!

Iacta alea est!


* i just re-read a few of the comments to Frank J's initial blog war post. It's funny, Blackfive saying he joined because he only got 111 readers per day. Wow. Those were the old days, though it doesn't seem that long ago.

Posted by annika at 08:10 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

Funny story about the Ballad Of Davy Crockett. For the longest time i thought the line in the first stanza went: "Killed in a bar when he was only three." Never mind the question of why a three year old got into a bar fight, i couldn't figure out how Davy Crocket got to be so famous when he died at such a young age.

Anyways, the ballad being a traditional form of poetry, i bring you the politically incorrect, not to mention historically incorrect, but always fun Ballad Of Davy Crockett by Tom Blackburn.

The Ballad Of Davy Crockett

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
greenest state in the land of the free
raised in the woods so's he knew ev'ry tree
kilt him a b'ar when he was only three
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!

In eighteen thirteen the Creeks uprose
addin' redskin arrows to the country's woes
Now, Injun fightin' is somethin' he knows,
so he shoulders his rifle an' off he goes
Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who don't know fear!

Off through the woods he's a marchin' along
makin' up yarns an' a singin' a song
itchin' fer fightin' an' rightin' a wrong
he's ringy as a b'ar an' twict as strong
Davy, Davy Crockett, the buckskin buccaneer!

Andy Jackson is our gen'ral's name
his reg'lar soldiers we'll put to shame
Them redskin varmints us Volunteers'll tame
'cause we got the guns with the sure-fire aim
Davy, Davy Crockett, the champion of us all!~

Headed back to war from the ol' home place
but Red Stick was leadin' a merry chase
fightin' an' burnin' at a devil's pace
south to the swamps on the Florida Trace
Davy, Davy Crockett, trackin' the redskins down!

Fought single-handed through the Injun War
till the Creeks was whipped an' peace was in store
An' while he was handlin' this risky chore
made hisself a legend for evermore
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!

He give his word an' he give his hand
that his Injun friends could keep their land
An' the rest of his life he took the stand
that justice was due every redskin band
Davy, Davy Crockett, holdin' his promise dear!

Home fer the winter with his family
happy as squirrels in the ol' gum tree
bein' the father he wanted to be
close to his boys as the pod an' the pea
Davy, Davy Crockett, holdin' his young'uns dear!

But the ice went out an' the warm winds came
an' the meltin' snow showed tracks of game
An' the flowers of Spring filled the woods with flame
an' all of a sudden life got too tame
Davy, Davy Crockett, headin' on West again!

Off through the woods we're ridin' along
makin' up yarns an' singin' a song
He's ringy as a b'ar an' twict as strong
an' knows he's right 'cause he ain' often wrong
Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who don't know fear!

Lookin' fer a place where the air smells clean
where the trees is tall an' the grass is green
where the fish is fat in an untouched stream
an' the teemin' woods is a hunter's dream
Davy, Davy Crockett, lookin' fer Paradise!

Now he's lost his love an' his grief was gall
in his heart he wanted to leave it all
an' lose himself in the forests tall
but he answered instead his country's call
Davy, Davy Crockett, beginnin' his campaign!

Needin' his help they didn't vote blind
They put in Davy 'cause he was their kind
sent up to Nashville the best they could find
a fightin' spirit an' a thinkin' mind
Davy, Davy Crockett, choice of the whole frontier!

The votes were counted an' he won hands down
so they sent him off to Washin'ton town
with his best dress suit still his buckskins brown
a livin' legend of growin' renown
Davy, Davy Crockett, the Canebrake Congressman!

He went off to Congress an' served a spell
fixin' up the Govern'ments an' laws as well
took over Washin'ton so we heered tell
an' patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell
Davy, Davy Crockett, seein' his duty clear!

Him an' his jokes travelled all through the land
an' his speeches made him friends to beat the band
His politickin' was their favorite brand
an' everyone wanted to shake his hand
Davy, Davy Crockett, helpin' his legend grow!

He knew when he spoke he sounded the knell
of his hopes for White House an' fame as well
But he spoke out strong so hist'ry books tell
an' patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell
Davy, Davy Crockett, seein' his duty clear!

When he come home his politickin' done
the western march had just begun
So he packed his gear an' his trusty gun
an' lit out grinnin' to follow the sun
Davy, Davy Crockett, leadin' the pioneer!

He heard of Houston an' Austin so
to the Texas plains he jest had to go
Where freedom was fightin' another foe
an' they needed him at the Alamo
Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who don't know fear!

His land is biggest an' his land is best
from grassy plains to the mountain crest
He's ahead of us all meetin' the test
followin' his legend into the West
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!

Posted by annika at 07:25 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

August 16, 2005

Jeopardy With annika, Round 28

The category is "Profanity," for $300.

Trevor is in the lead with $1900, Casca has $1700, Victor has $1100, Shelly has $700, Phil has $500, Charlie, D-Rod and Skippy have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. There is one Daily Double left.


Posted by annika at 09:32 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Cotillion Ball

This week's Cotillion Ball is a lot of fun. RightGirl celebrates Elvis Presley, A Mom And Her Blog stirs up a hurricane, Mary Katharine Ham, who's been all over the place lately, presents some Hollywood leading ladies, and Not A Desperate Housewife shares some beauty tips, not that she needs any herself.

And finally, don't forget to check out the Bonfire Of The Vanities. i'm in it this "weak."

Posted by annika at 09:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 15, 2005

Blind Date

You ever go on a blind date? i did this weekend, in a way. You know how you're nervous but you try not to let it show, cuz you wanna look cool, you know people are watching you. Then you meet and he's kinda dangerous and scary, but sexy too. And you stay back for a bit while he talks to some others, but then you get your chance for some one-on-one time and it starts going good. Surprisingly good. Then you finally get your chance to hold him, and it's all fireworks and loud noises and yes, Yes, Yes! and so freakin fun you can't believe it. And you can tell by the sparks flying that he's into it too. Even though you were nervous and he looked so powerful at first, he treats you surprisingly gently and does exactly what you want him to. But then it's all over so soon. Way too soon. So you go back to acting cool while you say goodbye, but inside your heart's beating fast, and you can't seem to hide that big smile, and you can't wait to see him again. And you plan something for next weekend and you can't stop thinking about him and trying to remember what it was like holding him?

Well, last weekend was like that for me. He's Swiss, but he was born in Germany. His name is Sig, and by now you probably know i'm not talking about a guy. But we will be seeing each other again, you can count on that. And i'll let you know how it goes. i may even start seeing some of his friends, too.

Posted by annika at 08:48 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Jeopardy With annie, round 27

The category is "Places That Suck," for $300. It's a video clue.

Casca is in the lead with $1700, Trevor has $1600, Victor has $1100, Shelly has $700, Phil has $500, Charlie, D-Rod and Skippy have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. There is one Daily Double left.


Posted by annika at 08:21 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

August 13, 2005

First Timer

Guess who shot a pistol for the very first time today?


Those are my first twenty rounds. Not bad eh? i can't believe how much fun that was.

Posted by annika at 09:50 PM | Comments (25) | TrackBack

Jeopardy With annika, Round 26

The category is "Profanity," for $400.

Casca is in the lead with $1700, Trevor has $1600, Victor has $1100, Shelly has $700, Phil has $500, Skippy and D-Rod have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. There is one Daily Double left.


Posted by annika at 09:51 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 12, 2005

Jazz CD Recommendation

annika's musical revue

i don't know if any of you take my advice on music, but here's one anyway. Dizzy Gillespie's 1959 recording, Have Trumpet, Will Excite.

i love Dizzy. i'm going to name my son after him. "Not "Dizzy," but "John Birks." How does "John Birks Rodriguez" sound?

The personnel on this record are not well known to me, but they sound great together. i'm especially impressed by the piano player Junior Mance. Check out the first tune for some great piano work.

The second tune, "My Man," is fun with its long moody intro, which leads to a bouncy piece that references two other unlikely classics "O Solo Mio" and "Moten Swing." Dizzy's great sense of humor is on display in this one.

"Moonglow" is a standard, and here it features a long swinging flute solo by Les Spann. On "St. Louis Blues," Spann switches to jazz guitar for another uptempo solo.

"Woody 'n' You" is a Gillespie written tune that always swings no matter who does it, even more so when the author is blowing. High note fans, like myself, should be happy with the man's solo.

"Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams" is another standard, with Dizzy blowing a muted trumpet up and down the scales. It's also the longest song at 7:13.

The next song is "There Is No Greater Love." The title sounds like something Coltrane might have written during his religious years, so i checked the liner notes. But no, it was written by Isham Jones, an old bandleader from the 20's and 30's, who should win the award for "white musician with the most black sounding name." Dizzy's version is a romantic tempo song that's probably the best thing on this CD.

The rest of the CD is three more alternate takes of "No Greater Love" and two alternate takes of "I Found A Million Dollar Baby In A Five And Ten Cent Store." i don't know why Verve does this. It's not like you're getting more music, since the alternate takes don't sound any different to my ear.

But if you're into jazz at all, take my advice, this is a pretty decent CD.

Posted by annika at 05:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 11, 2005


i won't tippy-toe around the subject of Mrs. Sheehan. She disgusts me. i think she's wrong to do what she's doing and i think she should stop. i don't think she deserves the respect that everybody in the media, including supposed right-wing attack dogs like Bill O'Reilly, Hannity and others. The people she's allied herself with are dishonest and anti-American.

Mrs. Sheehan should stop what she's doing because she is going to get more soldiers and marines killed. She is asking the President to surrender. Let's call it what it is. She is asking for the surrender of the United States. She's asking us to declare defeat. And that is not going to happen. Not with this president. Given that we are not going to surrender, her continued protest will result in more deaths.

Thanks to the breathless coverage her anti-war allies in the media have given Mrs. Sheehan, the enemy is getting the impression that they can win if they can only kill more U.S. troops in the sneaky, cowardly way they've been using. People like Sheehan and her fawning fans hate this country, and they would love to see another Vietnam style defeat because they think America deserves defeat. i think that's evil.

If Sheehan really wants the troops to come home, she should be doing everything she can to break the will of the enemy, so our men and women can do their jobs and get out of there as soon as possible. Instead she's fueling the enemy's impression that they are breaking our will. And if her actions lengthen this "occupation" (as she so tellingly calls it) one day longer than necessary, any extra blood spilled is on her hands.

So i'm not going to tip-toe around the subject of Mrs. Sheehan just because of her son's sacrifice in a noble cause that i believe will keep me safe. No, Mrs. Sheehan is deluded and as long as she's helping the enemy, whether intentionally or not, to her i say Fuck You.

Sheehan wants to know what the "noble cause" is that her son died for. i wonder where the American spirit went, which was articulated so well by Robert Kennedy when he said: "Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?"

The noble cause is a free, democratic and prosperous Iraq. That's the thing that never was, and we should all be asking "why not?" If only Sheehan and her fans could put aside their Bush hatred, their shame at being American, and ask themselves: if we could only be successful in Iraq, wouldn't that be a good thing? And if the answer is yes, shouldn't we all do whatever it takes to achieve that goal?

How could anyone say that surrendering to the terrorists would be better than standing up to them? The thing is, while most Americans are growing tired of this war, we do not want to surrender. That's a question the polls are not asking. "Do you want to surrender to the terrorists?" If the polls were phrased that way, you'd see a much different picture than the anti-war crowd wants you to believe.

i just don't get these people who have so little faith in the power of Americans to achieve what they set out to do. We can be successful in Iraq. i have no doubt of it. If they think the goal of a free and democratic country in the heart of the middle east would be a bad thing, that's different. But who could say such a thing? And if they were to admit that success in Iraq would be a good thing, then get on board and help make it happen.

[cross-posted at A Western Heart]

Required reading: You simply must read Varifrank's essay on Sheehan. To excerpt it would not do it justice, so please read the whole thing. It's a fine piece of writing.

Posted by annika at 06:57 PM | Comments (60) | TrackBack

What To Do About Iran

Doug Tennapel has it right.

America has too many Democrats and Anti-Israel Presbyterians to help Israel, so they will be forced to do what the UN and Europe can't do...they will take out Iran's nuclear facilities with a pre-emptive attack. The Muslim street will erupt, which will suit the hated Iran leadership just fine, changing their status from hated regime to just martyr overnight.

Israel is surrounded by radical Muslims where part of their religion is to force Zionist monkeys and Christian pigs into submission. When these religions get nuclear bombs Israel will be history. Is Israel safer now that they are withdrawing from occupied territory? Hell no. Because this was never about Israeli occupation...it's about an Islamic desire for genocide.

i only think that we should have the guts to send a few F-117s over there and do it ourselves. Israel may be target number one, but we are target number two on the Iranians' list. We could eliminate their nuclear plant tommorow if we wanted to. Of course we won't. Thick-skinned as Bush has been up to this point, he knows the world will call him a monster even as he gives the order that might save millions of lives. i don't think he will do it, nor do i see any other solution to the Iranian problem. Do you?

Posted by annika at 03:00 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

August 10, 2005

Jeopardy With annika, Round 25

The category is "People annika Would Like To Meet," for $500.

Trevor is in the lead with $1600, Casca has $1200, Victor has $1100, Shelly has $700, Phil has $500, Skippy and D-Rod have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. There is one Daily Double left.


Posted by annika at 08:00 PM | Comments (29) | TrackBack

News Priorities

Iran is run by lying, murderous, lunatics, and they're going to get the bomb.

But i'm glad the media is focused on what's important. Namely the Hyatte capture and the Natalie Holloway investigation.

There's no need for me to reiterate what a job Greta Van Susternerneren is doing on the Holloway story night after night after night.

And thank God Rita Cosby is on the scene of the Hyatte capture press conference to ask the crucial question: "Was he in shackles?"

Do i even need to acknowledge the dogged reporting of Aaron Brown, who will stop at nothing to find out when, when, when did the police get the tip that the Hyattes were holed up in that motel?

And no, Aaron won't be satisfied with an estimate, he wants the exact time and it doesn't matter how many ways he has to phrase the same question in order to elicit that critical information.

That's Emmy winning stuff there.

And that's information that really impacts my life.

Posted by annika at 07:47 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Nonsensical Connection


i don't know what it means, but i'm sure it's significant in some strange metaphysical way.

Posted by annika at 07:23 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day: Norris

i've long been a fan of Kathleen Norris, and her spiritual essay books The Cloister Walk and Amazing Grace, A Vocabulary Of Faith. Also, one of my prized bookmarks is a laminated prayer to St. Jude in the traditional form. Here is a poem by Ms. Norris along the same theme.

Prayer to St. Jude

O, great Saint Jude
Whose traitor-sounding name
By man's perceptions crude
Confused is with the obloquy and blame
Of him who to our gain and his disaster
Betrayed so kind a Master;
We, seeing more clear, concede thee what was thine;
The glory of a place beside that board
Whereon, awaiting their predestined hour
Of bowing to all-Good, all-Love, all-Power,
Lay bread and wine
Before that Host adored
Through whom our hope and our salvation came;
Thy kinsman, and our Lord.

O, thou, the sad day done,
Taking the homeward road
To thine obscure abode
In the long shadows of the setting sun,
To meet the frightened crowd
Sobbing aloud,
With thine Aunt Mary silent in their midst,
Leaning upon
The faithful arm of John;
Saint Jude, who didst
Join them in unbelief
And utter agony of grief,
And in a voice of pain and terror cried:
"Saw'st thou--and thou--
Saws't thou indeed my Cousin crucified?"
O, by the memory of that hour of birth
Wherein Heaven's door opened to us of earth,
Befriend--befriend us now!

Posted by annika at 07:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cotillion Ball

The Cotillion dance is being hosted this week by Baldilocks, Darleen's Place, Maxed Out Mama and Small Dead Animals. Always great stuff!

Posted by annika at 07:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 09, 2005

Quick And Dirty Tom Yam Gong

Fans of Thai cuisine know what i'm talking about. If you get the urge for some spicy Thai shrimp soup, but don't want to leave the house, here's what you do. And it only costs pennies.

You need the following items:

Top Ramen Picante Shrimp flavor
can 'o' shrimp
1 teaspoon fresh milled black pepper
half a can of generic brand veg-all
half a can 'o' mushrooms
Soy Vay Island Teriyaki sauce, maybe 3 tablespoons or more
dash of chilli powder, Durkee seasoning or Mrs. Dash
lime juice if you got it, but who has lime juice?

Alright, don't be tellin' me this is not real Tom Yam Gong. i know that. The real shit has lemon grass and big shrimp and those really really hot peppers and is served over a little flame to keep it simmering. i love it when it's so hot it makes you cough. My recipe is fake Tom Yam Gong with noodles, but it can hold you over when you're real poor or real lazy.

Don't skimp on the Ramen flavor, that's essential. It must be Nissin's Picante Shrimp. Also, i wouldn't substitute any other brand of Teriyaki sauce, but that's me. i love Soy Vay's stuff and use it all the time in lots of recipes.

i favor Durkee seasoning and Mrs. Dash instead of Lawry's or other season salts because there's less sodium. Mrs. Dash is especially good on any Asian style soup, i think.

So anyways, the construction of this quick and dirty recipe is simple. Boil 2 cups water, add the noodles, and cook uncovered for three minutes. When that's done, turn off the heat and add everything else. Let it sit covered for a few minutes to heat everything through. Or, you can simmer a little bit longer, but that tends to overcook the noodles.

Enjoy with a beer.

Posted by annika at 07:44 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 08, 2005

Compliance Update

For safety reasons i have regularly monitored the actuation readings of this blog on a semi-periodic basis. Up until now, i have done this without telling anyone, because i didn't want to alarm you.


Now, with the new federal regulations set to kick in at the beginning of next year, i've decided to make the semi-periodic actuation readings public. i feel it's always better for my visitors to know, rather than to not know. And i am proud to say that this is the first blog in the history of the blogosphere to comply in advance with the upcoming, more stringent federal guidelines as enumerated at Title 51, vol. 3, ch. XVIII, parts 751 to 782, subparts S through T, inclusive.

i hope that by providing this information to you, i have put at least some of your minds at ease. Feel free to contact me with any concerns you might have, but at this time i'd like to remind everyone that to date there has been no credible study linking blog actuation levels to any serious health risk. However, i'm sure you will agree that it never hurts to be safe and informed. That's part of my commitment to you, dear visitor, to keep you safe and/or informed.

Carry on.

Posted by annika at 11:24 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

August 07, 2005

Jeopardy With annika, Round 24

The category is "Fuckin' Lawyers," for $400. It's a video clue.

Trevor is in the lead with $1600, Casca has $1200, Victor has $1100, Phil has $500, Skippy and D-Rod have $400 each, Jasen and Shelly have $300 each, Ken and Kyle have $200 each.

And Shelly has found the first Daily Double!

The rules for Daily Double are almost the same as on tv, with an important exception. In my game everybody gets to play the Daily Double.

Every response must have a wager in it. The lowest you can wager is $50 and the highest you can wager is either $500 or however much money you have earned already, whichever is higher. Or you can wager any amount in between.

One caveat. Since Shelly picked the Daily Double, his response gets priority. So if you guess before him you run the risk of tipping him off to the correct response. At the expiration of the time limit (10:00 p.m. Pacific time on Monday) the rest of the responses will count in order of their posting.

Since i'm running out of ideas for "Fuckin' Lawyers," this time the clue will be in reverse. i'll tell you who's fucking him, you tell me the name of the lawyer.


Posted by annika at 09:29 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

August 06, 2005

Child Abuse In Santa Cruz

Radical Redneck alerted me to this story about child abuse going on in Santa Cruz.

While most summer camps get kids out of the house and give parents a break, a group called Art in Action is nurturing the next Michael Moore . . .

Art in Action’s 'art and empowerment' camp is being held at the Quaker Center nestled in the redwoods of Ben Lomond. Campers at the 10-day retreat attend workshops on cultural activism, nonviolent action and alternative media.

'The reality is that the media is not actually showing what’s really going on in Iraq,' said Jouse Bustos, 19, of central Los Angeles. 'By doing this mural, I’m showing what’s going on.'

And Jouse knows what the media doesn't because . . . how? i'd wager the punk hasn't actually been to Iraq, nor have any of his retarded professors. So, guess what. Unless he's getting his information from out his ass, he's probably getting from the media.
Bustos is one of 25 young people attending the camp. For 10 days, they learn to say 'no' to military recruiting, racism and war, and 'yes' to eco-justice, community and love.
Nice. If these people had their way, i don't suppose they'd go crying to be protected by that same military when their bus gets bombed. No, they'd never do that.
Campers spend their time making banners, writing poetry and choreographing dances that represent a vision of 'positive alternatives to the madness of war and oppression.'
i got a positive alternative to war and oppression too. How about a democratic Middle East? How about us killing the terrorists so they stop blowing people up?
'Art is the best way to communicate social messages,' said camp founder Alli Chalabi-Starr, who grew up in Santa Cruz but now lives in San Francisco.
Art is the best way to communicate social messages, huh? i bet if i went to that camp and i made some art that communicated my own social message, i'd be "peacefully" thrown out of there on my ass.

Here's an example of the type of social message that's acceptable at this camp:

Some [campers] glue together pieces of newspaper that will become the giant puppet unveiled Thursday night — the divided face of a Muslim woman and woman of color from the United States.

Stamped across the face will be an American flag, said camp co-founder Maryam Roberts of San Francisco.

The face 'represents silence forced upon both women by their governments,' Roberts said. 'There is a feeling of silence.'

Oh gawd, spare me that "chill wind" argument again. You're at a fucking protest camp. If the government wanted to censor you, you'd be sitting in jail next to Tim Robbins and Michael Moore, holding their Oscars.

Instead, people like this thrive in the United States, where their message is heard loud and clear wherever they want to spew it forth, from the office of the California Attorney General to the streets of Manhattan. That's not censorship.

On the other hand, i just made a piece of protest art myself. It's a work intended to shake up the establishment and challenge the oppressive orthodoxy of California's ruling elites. i'll sell it to you cheap for $750, which also happens to be the per person cost of that stupid protest camp. It's suitable for framing and i'm calling it "Piss Boxer."

i wonder how many art galleries i can find anywhere who would be willing to exhibit it?

Posted by annika at 11:25 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 05, 2005

i'd Say That's About Right

I am 27% Hippie.
Wanna Be Hippie!
I need to step away from the tie-dye. I smell too good to be a hippie and my dad is probably a cop. Being a hippie is not a fashion craze, man. It was a way of life, in the 60’s, man.
Take the
Hippie Test
@ FualiDotCom

Via Overlords.

Posted by annika at 08:02 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Dukes Of Hazzard Review

i didn't want to add to any of the Dukes Of Hazzard hype that's been going on, but i have to link to the San Francisco Chronicle's review. It may be the funniest review ever, certainly the most scathing movie review i've ever seen.

There are routine movies and others that blaze a trail. There are routine bad movies and others so horrendous that they redefine bad, that make us look up synonyms for agonizing and abysmal and then gnash our teeth because the language has not kept pace with the decline of film. There are even movies that are so blazingly rotten that they can redefine past experiences and make us look back on recent weak efforts like 'Stealth' or 'Fantastic Four' and think, 'Ooh, that was fascinating.'

'The Dukes of Hazzard' is hardly some routine bad movie. Rather, it's one of the elite, right up there with 'I Am Curious ... Yellow' (1967) and Bo Derek's 'Ghosts Can't Do It' (1990), in stiff competition for the lamest thing ever put on celluloid. Of course, that makes it, by default, the worst film so far of the 21st century, but to say that does little to acknowledge the ambition behind this project. Make no mistake, director Jay Chandrasekhar was swinging for the fences with this one. He was shooting for the millennium.

The movie establishes, with startling economy, that it's about two imbeciles. In a sleepy rural county, a red car comes blazing down a country road, careening and swerving, while the two morons in the front seats yell 'Woo-ooo!' and 'Yee-haaa!' These are Bo (Seann William Scott) and Luke Duke (Johnny Knoxville), the loudest, laughingest, hell-raisingest pair of single- celled organisms ever to get a Georgia driver's license.

lol. It gets better.

Posted by annika at 08:23 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Jeopardy On Another Channel

i have been remiss in not alerting you to Scorebard's Jeopardy game with a baseball/poetry theme over at Humbug Journal. The game is ongoing right now, and while Scorebard was inspired by the game here, his clues are much harder. i haven't gotten one yet.

Posted by annika at 08:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jeopardy With annika, Round 22

The category is "Fuckin' Lawyers," for $500. As before, i give you the name of the lawyer, you tell me who was fucking 'em.

Casca is in the lead with $1200, Victor and Trevor have $1100 each, Phil has $500, Skippy and D-Rod have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. Incredibly, the two Daily Doubles still haven't been found.


Posted by annika at 07:07 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

August 04, 2005

Jeopardy With annika, Round 21

The category is "Fuckin' Lawyers," for $300. As before, i give you the name of the lawyer, you tell me who was fucking 'em.

Victor and Trevor are tied for the lead with $1100 each, Casca has $900, Phil has $500, Skippy and D-Rod have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. Amazingly, the two Daily Doubles still haven't been found.


Posted by annika at 06:05 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


With the New York Times now "investigating" Judge Roberts' adoption records for the two Latin American children he and his wife adopted, how long do you think it will take for the Times to announce that they have found "irregularities."

My headline prediction: "Childrens Rights Groups Urge Probe Into Special Treatment On Roberts Adoptions."

Everything is proceeding according to the plan i warned you about: Dems hold up the nomination with delaying tactics while the media digs for dirt.

Posted by annika at 02:05 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Cornet Chop Suey

Today is Louis Armstrong's birthday.


Don't forget to listen to a Louis Armstrong song today.

Posted by annika at 08:12 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 03, 2005

Jeopardy With annie, Round 20

The category is "Fuckin' Lawyers," for $200. As before, i give you the name of the lawyer, you tell me who was fucking 'em.

Victor is in the lead with $1100, Casca and Trevor have $900 each, Phil has $500, Skippy and D-Rod have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. Amazingly, the two Daily Doubles still haven't been found.

Trevor has shown after just two rounds that this is still anyone's game. So join in if you haven't yet.


Posted by annika at 05:47 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Jeopardy With Annie, Round 19

The category is "People annika Would Like To Meet," for $400. Victor is in the lead with $1100, Casca has $900, Phil and Trevor have $500 each, Skippy and D-Rod have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. Neither of the two Daily Doubles has been found yet.


Posted by annika at 07:47 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day: Hardy

An August night and bugs. Sounds like Sacramento to me.

An August Midnight


A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor:
On this scene enter — winged, horned, and spined —
A longlegs, a moth, and a dumbledore;
While 'mid my page there idly stands
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands . . .


Thus meet we five, in this still place,
At this point of time, at this point in space.
- My guests besmear my new-penned line,
Or bang at the lamp and fall supine.
"God's humblest, they!" I muse. Yet why?
They know Earth-secrets that know not I.

By Thomas Hardy.

Posted by annika at 12:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005

American Beauty vs. The Ice Storm


American Beauty and The Ice Storm are essentially the same movie. Through the magic of the Netflix queue, i saw them both on subsequent nights.

Both are about dysfunctional families, mid-life crisis, sexual restlessness, infidelity, teen experimentation, and the secret underbelly of suburban life.

The difference is that one sucked and one was a pretty decent movie. Unfortunately, the Academy bestowed its Best Picture award on the one that sucked. Shows you that the Academy Awards are a joke.

A big reason for the difference was that one movie was about its subject matter, while the other was a thinly veiled political statement in which the subject matter was only a setup for the filmmaker's liberal punch-line.

Ang Lee treated his characters with gentle compassion. The other director had a huge chip on his shoulder against every character except one. American Beauty was the product of a bitter, angry, small mind. If you want my advice, pass it up and rent The Ice Storm.

Update: Perhaps i should be more specific about my objections, since it never occurred to me that anyone would disagree with my opinions on any subject [insert winking smilie here], especially someone whose opinions i respect as much as Professor Schwyzer.

It seems to me that the central villain of American Beauty is the one dimensional homophobe character, and i was a little taken aback by the over-the-top stereotype, which the writer employed to get his point across. The character of Colonel Frank Fitts, United States Marine Corps seems intended as an insult directed solely at conservatives. Here's a caricature with a crew-cut, who speaks with a southern accent, is obviously a Republican, a retired marine, an abusive husband, probably a batterer who beats up his drug dealer son and requires a monthly piss test from him. He's also a closet Nazi. But the big punch-line i alluded to — the "Crying Game moment" if you will — is when the villain, in a fit of emotion, kisses the Kevin Spacey character. The filmmaker's message to the audience is clear: all conservatives are homophobes and all homophobes are repressed homosexuals.

While i admit that some homophobes probably are repressed homosexuals (J. Edgar Hoover, and at least one of Matthew Shepard's killers for example), i have a hard time with a movie whose intent is so obviously to smear the military and conservatives the way American Beauty did. i'm very sensitive to political statements which are designed to insult not persuade, and which are disguised as art. Some have called me too sensitive, but it's no secret that liberal Hollywood filmmakers are often motivated by their hatred of Republicans. Witness this quote from an interview with Jay Chandrasekhar, who directed this year's remake movie, The Dukes of Hazzard:

You know, I’m a very liberal-minded person and I like to tweak Republicans whenever possible.
Great. Just great. Love that honesty. When Hollywood realizes that it's continually pissing off one half of it's potential audience for no good reason, that's the day they'll stop whining about declining box office receipts.

Posted by annika at 10:37 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Jeopardy With annika, Round 18

The category is "Places That Suck," for $500. Victor is in the lead with $1100, Casca has $900, Phil has $500, Skippy and D-Rod have $400 each, Jasen has $300, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. Neither of the two Daily Doubles has been found yet.


Posted by annika at 07:16 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

Cotillion Ball

This is my 1000th post as a Munuvian. Let's celebrate!

Don't forget to check out the Cotillion Ball, hosted this week by Sissy Willis, Portia Rediscovered, Ilyka Damen and KelliPundit.

Posted by annika at 08:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hans Island Fight

i think you all know who's side i'm taking in this controversy.

Posted by annika at 12:49 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Live Blogging Al Gore's Appearance On Leno

Waiting for Gore. Leno's doing the "dumb ads" thingie. Not too good tonight.

Leno is marking time until retirement. He's just not into his job anymore and it shows.

Here comes Al, dressed like Belzer. All in black. And that same Paul Simon song as his intro theme. The singer, not the late senator.

Gawd i hate that man's voice. He's fat too.

Oh hell, look at those boots. Patent leather cowboy boots. What a fucking fashion disaster.

He's still bitter too. "You win some, you lose some, and then there's that third category." Yuk yuk, same old sense of humor, Al. Nonexistent.

Trying to kiss up to Leno by saying how great Johnny was might not be such a good idea. Should have done your homework, Al.


Leno: "That famous misquote. . . You never said you invented the internet." Heh.

Another lame recount joke by Al.

Now he's plugging Current, his new cable channel. So far his appearance has been as boring as this post.

So his channel will have a show where you can find out the top subjects being searched on the internet. Wow, how original. Yahoo's been doing that for like five years now.

Al's wedding ring needs to be re-sized. He's got the sausage fingers.

Note to guys: short sleeves with a black blazer and gold buttons look cheesy.

Film clip from something on Current: parachutists jumping off a cliff. Okay, hasn't National Geographic Explorer been doing that shit for years too?

Two segments and he's out. Becuz he's a busy guy. What a snoozefest.

Man that dude's got a big ass.

Posted by annika at 12:17 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 01, 2005

Jeopardy With annie, Round 17

The category is "People annika Would Like To Meet," for $200. Victor is in the lead with $1100, Casca has $900, Phil has $500, Skippy has $400, Jasen has $300, D-Rod, Ken and Kyle have $200 each. Neither of the two Daily Doubles has been found yet.

It's a video clue.


Posted by annika at 08:03 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Least Favorite People On The Right

Right Wing News had a poll of conservative bloggers to select the "Least Favorite People On The Right." the results were:

18) Tom Tancredo (4)
18) Ralph Reed (4)
18) Newt Gingrich (4)
18) Lincoln Chafee (4)
18) James Dobson (4)
18) George Pataki (4)
18) Arnold Schwarzenegger (4)
14) Tom DeLay (5)
14) Rush Limbaugh (5)
14) George Voinovich (5)
14) Chuck Hagel (5)
13) Andrew Sullivan (6)
11) Tucker Carlson (7)
11) Bob Novak (7)
9) Sean Hannity (8)
9) Rick Santorum (8)
8) Arlen Specter (10)
7) Jerry Falwell (15.5)
6) Bill O'Reilly (16)
5) Michael Savage (17)
4) Pat Robertson (19.5)
3) Ann Coulter (20)
2) John McCain (21)
1) Pat Buchanan (28)
i voted for Pat, and i'm glad to see he's number one. That guy is so anti-semitic, i can't believe they ever allow him on tv. Savage is an annoying freak. When he rants, he makes Buchanan seem reasonable. But while Savage is still a bigot, at least on the subject of Israel we see eye-to-eye.

i don't understand why so many people voted for McCain, Specter, Hagel, Voinovich, Chafee and Andy Sullivan. i thought the question was to vote for your least favorite person on the right. i didn't vote for them because it never crossed my mind that they were conservatives. McCain has his moments, but the rest of those people are to the left of Hillary Clinton. The new Hillary, that is.

My submissions were these guys:

The aforementioned Michael Savage and Pat Buchanan.

Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson who've done more to empower the ACLU than anyone in America. i added Dr. Dobson, who is the new Jerry Fallwell. He bugs the crap out of me. i heard him talk about the fillibuster controversy, and he really shouldn't ever talk politics. His grasp of constitutional history is at about eight grade level. i was like, "thanks for the effort doc, but we'll take it from here."

Rick Santorum. Bigot. Stuck his foot in his mouth too many times, and he'll continue to do so. If he get's nominated, say hello to America's first woman president.

Tucker Carlson, milquetoast. He's mis-labeled as a conservative, but he's an empty shell; the Alan Colmes of the right. Like Pat Buchanan he's a media darling because he's anti-war. Otherwise, nobody'd ever let him near a tv studio because he's un-watchable. Un-watchable.

Bob Novak, never liked him. Yah, i know he's a legend, but his best days ended before i was born. And i'm saying this totally exclusive of the whole Plamegate involvement thing. He pretty much mails it in nowadays. Much like i do on this here blog.

My last choice was kind of mean, but what the hell: Paul Harvey. He's like that old crotchety grampa that you love to death, but somebody should really take the keys away; you know what i mean? Don't get me wrong, i'm glad Paul Harvey's out there because a lot of people get their politics solely from his little blurbs. But i started changing the channel when i hear him on the radio. Too many times i got pissed at myself for wasting three minutes of my precious radio listening time with that bs.

And now you know the rest of the story.

Good day.

Posted by annika at 07:37 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack