Friday, October 31, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ah, Wasilla!

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."

- Oscar Wilde

Friday, October 24, 2008

“ Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

-Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Be A Good Jedi

My old college bf discovered this fellow (and released early tracks by Eminem). Apparently he's making a bid for Prez. Here's his platform. Fairly amusing, really. Hope none of the names dropping clunked you the head.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bear Hug

I've brought you down this road before, with a slide show, but check out this video. Sweet as honey:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

“ Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much."

Oscar Wilde

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Life is a Cabaret

This is, in effect, the same reason some people don't give money to indigents, cause they'll just spend it on booze.

Am I supposed to be grateful that they decided to cancel their most recent sojourn to the spa-like conditions of the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay?  What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow/  
Out of this stony rubbish? Save the last decadence for me, AIG.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


A quick update:  The surgery went well, they removed some fibrous tissue and he had some bleeding, enough to make him cold coming out of anesthesia, but not enough to require transfusion.  Neuro Doc is optimistic and pleased, and I'll be hearing more tomorrow.  Hope the buddy is not too frightened.  Actually, he's probably too drugged for that, but you should see how he pants and shivers in the car these days, because he knows it's vet time.  I, in the meantime, am dying of consumption.  If anyone can send laudanum...

(Not really him, yet exactly how he looked at 4 months.  Btw, at 6 months, he was closing in on 90 lbs.  Monster.  I kid you not.)

A Little Heartbreak

Someone in the Philippines* found my blog today after Googling this:

what is the point of of loving someone when it will just end in death?

It gave my heart a little twisting ache for them, as I wondered what the story was driving their inquiry.

(*Btw, did you know that the name Philip means "horse-lover"? Phil(os)+Hippo, is how it breaks down. I love that.)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

See Duff Run

After three and a half long months of nursing my lame dog, and endless internal debate over what was best for him and for me, I have a diagnosis and a course of action.  I finally sucked it up and took him in for an MRI last week, which showed that his C5 disk is seriously compressed and bulging up into his spinal cord, suppressing neural communication. Not so much that he can't move his legs, but enough that he cannot make the move to stand.  Tomorrow at 8 a.m. he goes in for surgery to cut the offending tissue away enough that he will, in all likelihood, be able to walk again.  The neurologist is highly optimistic (a conservative 75% chance, she gave it), and when I asked about recovery time (she assures me he will need to be kept still for a time), she answered that it can vary a lot, but she's seen dogs in his situation get up the same day.  She also praised me, for she said it was clear I had taken amazing care of him over the summer.  This was a tremendous relief, because you can have no idea how I've worried that I wasn't doing right by him, keeping him alive in this state.  

She gently admonished me for taking him off the pain meds and steroids (main squeeze vet and I don't agree), but conceded that due to his good care, there was almost no fibrosis or scar tissue, or even much swelling in the area of the trauma, as one might have expected after three months of this. I'm sure that the acupuncture twice a week is largely responsible.  The colostrum has probably helped, too.  She previously had been concerned that we had waited so long, but the MRI showed that he was in great shape for surgery.  My vet subsequently informed me he's relieved we didn't send Duff right away, because he truly believes, given the really poor state Duff was in in June (I mean, the poor guy couldn't even use his bladder), that there is little chance he would have made it through the operation.  He says they almost surely would have put him down.

The cost is ridiculous, and would amply carve away a good chunk of debt for me, but I feel completely devoted to this sweet fellow, who has been the best companion I've ever had.  We take them in for our own selfish purposes, now don't we?  Is is not my responsibility, as well as my desire, to see him provided for as long as he can have a decent standard of life?  And, you know, I just love him.

So do me a favor, if you can spare the time, and wish him a little extra luck.  It will be good to see him charging up the hill once again.  ...And on that beat, he just sat up.  You should see how he acted when I asked him if he wanted to go for a walk last week.  Sounds cruel, I know, but I had to see where he was at.  He raised quite a ruckus, and bludgeoned the mattress with his great otter tail, he was so excited by the notion.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Now Starring as Dr. Doolittle

Samberg has Wahlberg down pat.  I laughed harder the second time.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Justice Is Served con Queso

Thank God they've preserved the rights of the taco truck, because Los Angeles without the Roach Coach is like New York without pizza by the slice. And all I can say to those whiny local restaurateurs is, if your food isn't good enough to outdo some super greasy carne asada tostada, you got no business staying in business.

Viva Zapata!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Liberal vs. Conservative & A Psychology of Heroism

Part 1 - Liberal vs Conservative

I can just hear the thundering protest now, and I confess that though I fall in the "liberal" category for the most part*, I felt myself strongly resisting the stereotypes set forth here. In any case, try and relax your knee-jerk reflex and take in the entire presentation, because this ends up being pretty compelling and supportive of both points of view. I'm not convinced you can bifurcate these positions so cleanly, though I concede that Prof. Haidt doesn't have a lot of time here for variations. Still, I can't say I really disagree, but I'd love to hear what you think.

And just so you don't think I'm picking on anyone in particular, which given Haidt's direction to cultivate moral humility, I should not...

Part 2 - A Psychology of Heroism

Here is Philip Zimbardo, Prof. Emeritus at Stanford, famous for the Stanford Prison experiment, on why people of any stripe do good and evil. I found myself questioning him on his participation in that study, which for me falls into the same tangled terrain of "evil." This matter is addressed and wow! what a lovely surprise ending. Be prepared, if you chose to watch, that there are upsetting photos from Abu Ghraib you might not want to see.

"Promote the heroic imagination in kids." Indeed.

(*more by his definition than the bogus dem-rep split.)