Sunday, April 30, 2006

I started laughing and just couldn't stop

How to Tell When George W. Bush is Not Telling the Truth

1. The sign behind him says either "Mission Accomplished" or "Plan for Victory."
2. He's wearing a military uniform.
3. He's promising he'll catch Bin Laden.
4. He's listing his reasons for starting the war in Iraq.
5. He's claiming it's "wild speculation" to suggest he's planning to bomb Iran.
6. He's answering the questions of any real reporter.
7. He's using someone from Fox News as his Press Secretary.
8. He's explaining he's too busy during his entire 5 week vacation to visit a grieving mother
not a mile away.
9. He's proclaiming he is a uniter, not a divider.
10. He's asserting he is a conservative, let alone a compassionate one.
11. He's announcing his tax cuts are not just for the rich like himself and his campaign
contributors, but for everyone
12. He's saying a growing economy is a good time for a tax cut for the top 1%.
13. He's saying a stable economy is a good time for a tax cut for the top 1%.
14. He's saying a declining economy is a good time for a tax cut for the top 1%.
15. He's denouncing class warfare.
16. He's alleging his policies will creat a terrific surplus.
17. He's insisting the resulting deficit is good for us.
18. He's maintaining the Healthy Forest Initiative, the Clear Sky Initiative, the No Child Let
Behind Law, or the Bankruptcy Reform and Consumer Protection Act have anything to do with their titles.
19. He's mentioning the Energy Bill will reduce the price of gas or the dependence on oil and
coal companies.
20. He's telling Congress his appointees for heads of agencies are competent.
21. He's also telling Congress his appointees to the bench are unbiased and fair.
22. He's swearing he didn't really know his convicted best friends were crooked or that he
even really knew them all that well.
23. He's giving anyone the Medal of Freedom for doing a heck of a good job.
24. He's telling the press pool he wants to find out who leaked national security information by blowing the cover of a CIA operative.
25. He's prophesying he has read the bible and actually practices what it preaches.
26. He's suggesting God told him to go to war.
27. He's campaigning that his Administration will bring honesty into the White House.
28. He's giving the part in his swearing-in ceremony where he vows to uphold the
Constitution, the laws and treaties of the United States.

Come to think of it, it's anytime you can see his lips move of hear his voice.

Stolen from Entropy Piles, who stole it from Resistence is Possible

You say toe-mae-toe and I say toe-mah-toe

A friend that I haven't spoken to since I was about 15 emailed me a few weeks ago, and I was surprised to discover that she, strangely, now lives in Britain with her husband. (Sometimes it feels like a very small world.) Several emails were exchanged, and, of course, blog urls. As I read her blog, I began to realize just how much this country's taken over my brain.

My phrasing's totally changed, and when I visit Seattle people tell me I have a nice accent and ask where I'm from. Listening to Americans I don't know gives me a headache because their voices are just so naselly - but for some strange reason Americans on tv are okay. I say things like 'bollocks' on a semi-regular basis, but my boyfriend still looks panicked when I say 'wanker' in public because to me it will always be a funny word. I queue for the bus, take coaches to London, get irritated by the high level of council tax, look to the right first when crossing roads, and put petrol in my new (to me, anyway) 5-door Niss-an. I get takeaway from the Indian or the chippy, go down the pub, invite people round mine, and think that to be considered a period property a house has to have been built before 1850. I know that the only places that are open on Sunday afternoon in my town are the pubs, and don't expect to be able to go shopping because every where is closed. People occasionally ask me how things are done in the States, and sometimes....I can't remember anymore. I even spell things with u's, like colour.

It's kind of strange though, because I feel out of place. Any Brit immediately knows that I'm not British, although for some reason they're beginning to ask if I'm Dutch now instead of Canadian. Americans who don't know me think I'm from England, because it's never Britain over there. It's like I can't go to either place and immediately fit it. It's a very strange feeling sometimes.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Honk if you love Jesus

Finally, after much stupidity on the part of Royal Mail (oh, ye who never delivers anything on time, except when it isn't important and no one wants it), my provisional British license has arrived. As per usual for any government-related document, I look like a much disfigured version of myself - although nothing will top my second U.S license where the photo printed dripped developer fluid on my picture so it looked like half my face had melted. This means that I can now...get ready to take a driving test. Again.

How on earth am I expected to pass a strangely quirky British driving test after I've been driving for almost 9 years, and they don't expect you to do common sense things. Checking your blind spot, for instance. As we don't have roundabouts, or impossibly tiny country roads in the States, I can kind of understand why they want me to take the test again. But at the same time, I've had my license for 9 years this year, and for god's sake I'm comfortable in a car. I'm from the States, after all. We practically exist in them.

So, wish me luck. I'll need it when I try to back around a corner up a hill in a stick shift without using my mirrors.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

They will stab you...with forks

Thank you N, for another example of why the United States makes everybody laugh their asses off. I know that every country has it's really stupid laws (such as being able to be fined for leaving a door propped open with a fire extinguisher, for instance), but if people really have time to worry about a sudden rash of sword-related deaths, they've got too much time on their hands. There are much more important things to worry about, such as the fact that the children of all the people worrying about the sword-related deaths will probably die because their own fat will kill them. Or that an astroid will crash into the earth. You know. Whatever.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Spin my nipple nuts and send me to Alaska

No matter how green and treehugger-y I like to think I am, I am totally and completely addicted to technology. I thought mobiles were for business people and those with too much money before I moved over here; Now, I couldn't live without mine. It's my alarm clock, my telephone book, it even occasionally reminds me of people's birthdays. It's the same with computers - I really enjoy getting in to a new game and playing for hours with manic breaks to shove something that I'll probably end up burning in the oven. I rabidly check my email and my favorite blogs, and if I don't check my email at least once a day I haven't been at home except to sleep.

Recently, I've come across someone so anti-modern-technology that I have no idea how to react to them. They can barely manage to turn on their computer, much less check their email without help. And they don't have a mobile. And this drives me f*cking insane.

There is something that is very good about being able to call someone when they're supposed to be picking you up, and it's a Saturday, and you could get off of work an hour earlier. But instead, you end up sitting around alone at your desk because there's no way to get ahold of them. Or they have no idea what time that they're going to be able to meet you, and say things like "Well, I can probably get to the train station between 8 and 9, so if you could just wait there..." And when asked why they don't take the perfectly good phone that's gathering dust shoved in a corner with them, just for the day, they say "Well, I really don't want a phone."

It's not so much that I love making sure that I constantly have my phone with me, and that the ring volume is appropriate to the situation - it's that if I'm going to be late or early or somewhere else and I want someone to meet me, in this world you call them. On their mobile. I can see his point of view. Honestly. But when it comes to complicated arrangements where no one knows what time things are happenning or people are meeting or anything besides 'I will be HERE at THIS time', I think that we're lucky that we can call eachother and sort it out.

The conclusion to this rant? Get a f*cking phone.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

And they all drank lem-o-nade!

Right. Moving is done, and my thighs attest to how much better than going to the gym going up and down two different sets of stairs countless times is. We were still moving things at ten o'clock last night, and then I had to leave for work at seven this morning. Yucky yucky yucky.

But...the internet is hooked up, the bed is set up and it feels like home now because my books are on the shelf! I'm fully planning on sleeping as much as possible tomorrow, but first I think I'll go get pissed. On to the pub!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ten thousand boxes...or not

Moving day is fast creeping up on the boy and I. After work today, I staggered up the two flights of narrow stupid stairs to my flat and dumped my stuff where I usually do, and then realized that we have to move in two days and we have a total of two, that's right, TWO boxes packed. For a brief, breathless moment, panic set in. Then my procrastination drive sputtered to life, slightly rusty as it hasn't really been needed since I used it last spring to write my 10,000 word dissertation in 3 days (Take that ya bastards! And you gave me a B13 for it too! Ha!), and I managed to convince myself that I didn't really need to pack anything just then and it could wait until after dinner.

I don't think you ever really know just how much stuff you have until you have to carry it in heavy cardboard boxes down several flights of stairs as the tape on the bottom gives way. Where does all this stuff come from? Why do I have a bottle of Advil that expired in 2001? The world will never know.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Smooth, Dubya, smooth.

Mother. Fucker.

And this is who Americans want to have running the country.

People back home wonder why the rest of the world thinks we're a joke. Hmmm...I wonder why...

I would flee the country in disgust, but I already have.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tracy Chapman and High Fidelity

People always say that fiction in books mirrors reality. For most people though, these little blips of searing truth in literature are never found. The television is more interesting, or they have a new computer game, or they would rather whinge about how bored they are than read a book. I definitely read more than the average person these days, and even so there have only been two books that left me gasping.

The first was Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy. I had to read it for a Romantic Literature class when I was at Western. We'd had to read several books and stories that hadn't interested me at all, and the only reason that I kept going to the class was because I found the professor absolutely fascinating. Then we started Anna Karenina, and I was blown away. There was something about the character and the story that, while I don't remember exactly what it was, resonated so perfectly with where my life was at the time that I couldn't stop reading it. I think I probably re-read that book four or five times over the course of our discussion of it in class. I haven't touched it since, and I think that I'm afraid that the moment of truth that I found in it the first time will be gone.

The second book is High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby. It's basically a story about a guy (Rob) who lives in London and owns a somewhat-failing record store. His girlfriend leaves him, he goes on a bit of a personal quest, then figures everything out. This book is different than Anna Karenina, simply because I have the urge to buy it for people and force them to read it. It's a book that makes me want to exclaim "Exactly!" in crowded places, then start talking to total strangers about why it fits. The first time I read it, it was like the pieces clicked together and everything made sense. It's incredibly difficult to describe what about the book clicked, but all I can say is that it fit, exactly. I'm currently reading it again, and it's the same. I didn't forget how I felt the first time, and it hasn't changed at all.

By now I'm sure you're wondering how, if at all, this relates to Tracy Chapman. As well as reading a stupid amount, I also listen to music constantly. I very much wish that I could walk around in my own personal bubble of sound, and not have to be subjected to the normal everyday workings of the world. Music, more than books I think, can fit a certain situation or moment. With books you have to be open to the truth that they want to tell you; kind of be in the right place for it and, crucially, actually read them. Music, however, is pervasive in society today. Every where you go, some pop princess' voice is blaring out of the speakers. Most major events in people's lives have music that reminds them of what happened. Songs remind people of friends, past relationships, that road trip they took before uni.

And right now, At This Point in My Life by Tracy Chapman is the song. Right now, right now, I'm doing the best I can.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Trust the Toad!

I watched The Brothers Grimm a few days ago, and while it was a fairly mediocre film there was one absolutely fantastic line in it. Matt Damon's character is attempting to find his way out of the enchanted forest, and this had previously been accomplished by licking a toad and asking it which way you should go. After licking his toady friend, he tells his brother, played by Heath Ledger, that they must "Trust the toad!" This line made the entire film for me, and made me wish that I'd gone to see it at the cinema with twelve of my friends so that I could tell them all to trust the toad. Sometimes there are just moments of comedy genius out there, and they pop up in the most unexpected places.