Friday, December 31, 2010

Everything Cat

Felis catus, caught here between light and shadow, posing in the fading sun of this last day of an arbitrary calendar year.

Momentarily content and mindlessly watchful, she is, gorgeously, everything cat.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rain On!

I got a *very* cool present this holiday season: an "unbreakable" umbrella.

For those of us with various weapons training, anything we happen to have in hand we think of as a weapon, at least under the right circumstances. Umbrellas -- kind of obvious that way. Except, of course, that most of them are kind flimsy. To quote one reviewer, "Whacking someone with a regular cheap umbrella will leave a welt and a very angry opponent, and the umbrella will be destroyed."

Not so this one. Heck, you can stand on it. In this video a fellow does just that before cutting in half a watermelon.

Because, you know, sometimes you don't have a knife handy. Ha ha.

No, seriously, this is tres cool. A quality umbrella -- that solid *thup* sound it makes when opening -- which, should you need to whack a watermelon (or punching bag) really hard can stand up to the task.

Lifetime warranty, of course.

My lifetime. Natch.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Christ Story

I need some help here with the Christ thing. Maybe one of you can explain to me how this works.

I have a casual understanding of the Christ story, an understanding that comes from talking to Christian friends and reading the bible, so there is a lot I don't get.

It being the season I've lately been listening to a lot of Christmas carols, and in the course of paying attention to the lyrics, I keep coming back to a few things that I don't quite understand.

The star thing. Did everyone really know this baby was the special lord guy when he was born? Or did the star-means-Christ-is-born knowledge arrive after the fact in a revisionist sort of way?  Because if everyone knew that Christ was this powerful guy in baby form then it would seem to me that not only his birth but his whole upbringing would have been fraught with all kinds of danger and close calls and we'd hear lots of stories about how he barely escaped death some ten or twenty times a day, and I don't hear about that.

Also, I seem to recall from some story somewhere that Jesus' parents had other children. If his parents knew he was this special from the start, wouldn't he know, too? Surely his siblings would have figured it out, too and wouldn't that have put some strain on the family dynamics? "Your brother's special, sweetie, and while we love you all, we love him -- differently. By the way, don't drink that water after he's handled it and for sure no eating those crackers he's touched."

Again, I'm sure there's plenty I don't understand.  Anyone want to help me make sense of this?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I became a Kate Bornstein fan this week.  I didn't mean to. I wasn't planning to. There was just this talk at Babeland, which if you live in Seattle and you're a babe you have to visit, so I was in the neighborhood...

She was fabulous, just fabulous.  In the ballgame of public speaking she hit it into the next ballpark. (Sorry.  Never was that good at sports metaphors.)

People laughed, cried, and wanted more.

Her basic message: life is worth living, and you can make it better, and here's how.  And one more thing to anyone who wants it: a get out of Hell free card. Just don't be mean.

Nicely done, Kate.

Want a taste?  Try this.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I'm still immature enough that when someone makes my point for me I jump up and down and say hey, cool, I was making that point years ago!

Decades, actually.  When I was a snotty young brat, I considered the common demographic question of "race" and thoughtfully and stubbornly started answering "mutt".

Because, like most people, I'm a bit of a mix. Besides what the parents say, there are always the Family Secrets. Statistically speaking, we are unlikely to be strictly the descendants of those who claim us.

Life just ain't as tidy as the forms would have us believe. And it mattered to me, way back when, despite the raised eyebrows, to make that point.  Mutt.

Turns out gender isn't always tidy, either. When I read this here discussion of the ambiguities of gender, which also mentions race, I got all happy and started jumping up and down. That's my point! Yeah!