mazzie: (Default)
2009-04-30 11:27 am

H5N1 flu in DC

According to DCist it's a World Bank employee who traveled to Mexico.

Don't worry, though:

mazzie: (Default)
2009-04-25 05:48 pm

pay attention

there's an LJ hack going around. apparently, people are gaining access to and deleting LJs by taking expired hotmail accounts that have access to LJ accounts. remember when hotmail was the rage? I had one I'd totally forgotten about from like 1996. anyway, you should check here and make sure you don't have any old hotmail accounts associated with your LJ. My friend, [livejournal.com profile] springheel_jack, explains it much better here.
mazzie: (Default)
2009-04-22 11:02 am

We are better than this: Part II

Now that my initial visceral reaction has receded a bit, I want to revisit Miss California with something more substantive than a crass invitation.

Again, when asked about gay marriage, this was her response:

“I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.

“No offense to anyone out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be between a man and a woman.”

I object to this on three fronts: form, substance, and context.

As for form, and as others have pointed out, she contradicts herself. She says she thinks it's great Americans can choose, but in her country she thinks she believes it should be between a man and a woman. It seems like she may have switched midstream what she was going to say, but there's no telling. To be fair, and as was also pointed out, it's got to be tough being asked a question under bright lights, on national TV, no less, knowing the answer may well influence the outcome of the pageant. And it did seem a bit out of the blue; I am not a connoisseur of Miss USA or similar pageants, but I always got the impression that the questions are usually a little less edgy. I recognize that while winning Miss USA is not important to me, nor does it register on my radar of the top million things I would aspire to do before I die, it is clearly very important to the contestants. However, she has since said that not only was she ready for the question, she is proud of how she answered it.

On to substance. It is unclear to me from her answer what she means by "country," "land," or "Americans." Only small minority of people in the United States are free to marry whomever they choose. Perhaps by "America," she meant Vermont, and by "land" she meant Massachusetts. But when she mentions her "country," she may well be speaking of the state she's representing, which passed the now-infamous Proposition 8 in November. Of course she is entitled to an opinion and she was, indeed, asked for it. She is welcome never to marry a woman. She is welcome to boycott weddings of friends, family, and loved ones because they are contrary to her values. She is not welcome, however, to impose her beliefs on me or my family. Not even when she, as she later told Matt Lauer, is speaking for God. I'm going to spare you all a rant here about religious moral authority, even though it's been stomping around the back of my brain for months.

Finally, context. And I am going to restrain myself from going all Andrea Dworkin here, but beauty pageants uphold an unrealistic standard for women and girls. They set unreasonable and unrealistic expectations for men. They set forth the offensive notion that beauty is tall, skinny, and has long hair, long nails, and perfect teeth. I am sick to death of beating my whole imperfect self against this standard every day. And we celebrate it, put it on TV for judges and the world, and call them Miss USA or Miss America. You may be surprised to learn this because you've never seen me wearing an American flag lapel pin, but I love my country. And I loathe that we value women based on how they look in a bathing suit or a ball gown. These values do real harm.

I'm done.

I'm screening comments.
mazzie: (Default)
2009-04-21 01:35 pm

We are better than this

“I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.

“No offense to anyone out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be between a man and a woman.”

-Miss California, Carrie Prejean

Go fuck yourself.

No offense.
mazzie: (Default)
2009-04-19 12:36 pm

A sock! A what? A sock!

A couple weeks ago, I got a knitting email that offered free sock patterns. I am a sucker for sock patterns, and fell in love with one instantly; Caspian Sea Socks:


So I printed the pattern and went to my local yarn store, Stitch DC, where the owner, Marie, helped me find the right weight yarn and suggested color combination (as neither the yarn nor the colors in the right weight from the pattern were in the store, but improvisation is one of the many joys of knitting). Her sister, Nora, took the many skeins I picked out and very kindly and patiently spun them into wonderful little balls:


It was tough to start, and even though I am a fairly experienced knitter, I was intimidated by the pattern, the new techniques, and all the sticks:


After two or three evenings hunched over the pattern and speaking the colors out loud to myself ("light dark dark dark light light"), I had a toe! The top of the foot:


and the sole:


After that, I was a bit more comfortable, but I still had to pay close attention to the pattern because, as you can see above, the top and the bottom are almost completely different patterns. But I got the whole foot done:


The calf actually starts at the horizontal gray and blue line. On the opposite side was a green line that was just a place holder. Once I completed the foot and leg as a tube, I went back and removed the placeholder and put the now "live" stitches on needles for the heel:


I'd never done this before and put it off for a few days. Once I took out the placeholder and put the stitches on the needles, I glanced at the heel instructions and went to bed, deciding to leave it for a couple of days.

Last night, I finished the heel. And it looks pretty darn cool:


and so does the sole:


Now I just have to block it ... and make another one. For the second one I was thinking of either reversing the colors or using the same palette but changing the placement of colors altogether, like making the foot gold and green and making the leg blue and gray. I'm about to start the second one, so I should probably decide.

The Flickr set is here if you want to see bigger pictures.
mazzie: (Default)
2009-04-07 03:14 pm

Cause And Effect

the best often die by their own hand
just to get away,
and those left behind
can never quite understand
why anybody
would ever want to
get away
from
them

Charles Bukowski
mazzie: (I'm crushing your town)
2009-03-31 12:27 pm

Crazy Bus Driver ... with a View!

The bus driver this morning took an unexpected turn. When people jumped up to make sure they were on the right bus, the driver calmly told them it was a new route. I've since called the local transit authority and been told that if it is a new route (and there are several) they don't know about it.

Helpful.

Anyway, I was 20 minutes late for work (the bus was late in addition to, or maybe because of, the driver's penchant for improvisation), but it was a delightfully sunny morning, and I got a nice view:





Apologies to people who follow me on twitter, to whom this is likely old news.
mazzie: (Default)
2009-03-27 01:16 pm

the end of an era?

I know there was a scare some months ago about livejournal ZOMG SHUTTING DOWN. But it seems like, especially since then, it seems to be sort of collapsing in on itself - at least among my friends. It seems like the rise in popularity of tiwtter and facebook is ushering livejournal to an obscure place, rarely visited.

with the glaring exception of furries and slash, of course. and that ... well, that can stay here.
mazzie: (Default)
2009-03-24 10:30 pm

three strings

on the trace of three strings
karma, dedications, promises undone
and lying
broken
ugly
with no hope
mazzie: (Default)
2009-03-20 01:28 pm

Spring and All Its Flowers - Hafiz

Spring and all its flowers
now joyously break their vow of silence.
It is time for celebration, not for lying low;
You too - weed out those roots of sadness from your heart.

The Sabaa wind arrives;
and in deep resonance, the flower
passionately rips open its garments,
thrusting itself from itself.

The Way of Truth, learn from the clarity of water,
Learn freedom from the spreading grass.

Pay close attention to the artistry of the Sabaa wind,
that wafts in pollen from afar,
And ripples the beautiful tresses
of the fields of hyacinth flowers.

From the privacy of the harem, the virgin bud slips out,
revealing herself under the morning star,
branding your heart and your faith
with beauty.

And frenzied bulbul flies madly out of the House of Sadness
to unite with the flowers;
its love-crazed cry like a thousand-trumpet blast.

Hafiz says, and the experienced old ones concur:

All you really need
is to tell those Stories
of the Fair Ones and the Goblet of Wine.
mazzie: (Default)
2009-03-05 01:46 pm

Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?

I went to the Station Grill at Union Station here in Washington for a company lunch. I ordered NY strip, with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

The vegetables were good!

The mashed potatoes, touted on the menu as fresh, were definitely instant, and tasted so bad I am actually a little worried about my health. There was an overpowering taste that was so off at first that I thought I had gotten steak sauce on them. On second taste, the flavor was kind of chemical.

I expressed my concern to the manager, letting him know they were absolutely inedible. He took my plate.

Moments later, our waiter brought me this:


I also have a note from my mom saying I can have free drinks!!11

Shoulda had the grilled cheese.
mazzie: (Default)
2009-03-01 02:22 am

that ain't right

I've been watching the West Wing a lot lately, and I have a question.

What the hell did they do to Janeane Garofalo's eyebrows?!:



I find myself looking at every woman's eyebrows on tv now, and I am deciding that none of them are real.

What?!