posted by Bethany Jean Clement on October 29 at 1:08 PM
...I should get a flu shot. She works in public health, so she oughta know. However—and I don't usually go in for theories of conspiracy—a very small part of me thinks flu shots are a government plot to inject the citizenry with nano tracking devices or microbes that beam thoughts into your head or, you know, syphilis. Also there are all those people who say they never get them and the one time they did, they got a terrible flu anyway. Also Lindy West says she's definitely not. What to do?
An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair.
The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman's Club, police Lt. Lawrence Vallierpratte said.
As the boy fired the Uzi, "the front end of the weapon went up with the backfire and he ended up receiving a round in his head," police Lt. Hipolito Nunez said. The boy died at a hospital.
The boy's father and older brother were also there at the time, a gun club member and school official said. Francis Mitchell, a longtime member and trustee of the club, said he was told the boy's father was supporting his son from behind when the shooting happened. ...
The event ran in conjunction with C.O.P Firearms and Training. "It's all legal & fun — No permits or licenses required!!!!" reads the ad, posted on the club's Web site.
Words utterly fail. How is it possibly legal to hand your eight-year-old kid an Uzi?
While I agree with Dave that "fancy rat" seems about as abstract as a "fancy goldfish"--seriously, can any live animal that retails for less than a cheese steak be fancy?--some rats are pretty darn cute.
However, I agree about ferrets. They feel like rope and smell like piss logs.
Ratapalooza is a fancy rat show and educational fair sponsored by RatsPacNW, a Northwest fancy rat club that encompasses Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. RatsPacNW seeks to promote rats as pets, through rat shows and educational events like this one. This show will be open to the general public, for rat lovers and curious novices alike. This is our seventh year for the expo and the popularity of fancy rats as pets just keeps growing. Every year is the Year of the Rat!
This year’s program of events includes the always popular pet show, a rat fashion show and costume contest, sing-along rataoke, a rat race, Mousterpiece Puppet Theatre, a pea-eating contest, children’s crafts, and educational presentations on rat care and health, showing and breeding fancy rats, history of the fancy and rats in popular culture and literature. For those wishing to adopt a new family member, breeders will have kittens and adult rats available for sale, and several local rescue organizations will also be on hand with rats who need a second chance at a happy home.
Admission is only $5 for adults, $3 for children and babes in arms are admitted for free. Visit the Ratapalooza website to find out more information on this unique event.
There's so much here to object to—rat fashion, the welcoming of babes in arms, the whole notion of ratdoption—but mostly I can't get over the use of the adjective "fancy." The closest parallel I can thing of for "fancy rat" is "upscale wart," but even that isn't quite right.
The whole thing reminds of this classic blast of sanity regarding ferrets from Rudy Giuliani...
If you happen to like both Halloween and reading, The University Bookstore is having a Literary Halloween party, inviting folks to come dressed as their favorite authors or literary figures. Here's what I'll be wearing:
Early models lacked a true glove box to save on costs, but the glove box was added in 1973.... Some of the exterior paint options had unusual names, such as Anti-Establish Mint, Hulla Blue, Original Cinnamon, Freudian Gilt, Thanks Vermillion, [...] Dresden Blue, Raven Black, Wimbledon White, and Candyapple Red.
If you happened to be an inmate of the Oregon State Insane Asylum between 1883 and 1970s and nobody wanted your body, you were cremated and sealed inside a copper canister.
You sat on a shelf in your canister, numbered somewhere between 01 and 5118. Over time, your ashes reacted chemically with your canister, as the canister reacted chemically with the air. You were inside, trying to get out.
Then, in 2005, a photographer named David Maisel found you, took your portrait, and just published it in a book called Library of Dust.
I mean the literal one, in which a falling tree branch took down a power line on 22nd between Marion and Union, knocking out power for a big chunk of southeast Capitol Hill/northwest Central District from roughly 9 pm Saturday till 3 am Sunday.
As the Central District News reports, Seattle City Light described the outage as stretching from Pine St to Main St (north-south) and from 24th Ave to 12th Ave (east-west).
My household was in the dark thick of it, and we enjoyed a lovely evening of candles and previously downloaded This American Life podcasts played through a battery-powered MP3 speaker system.
posted by David Schmader on October 10 at 10:04 AM
ABC News reports on the 15-year-old girl facing kiddie-porn charges after allegedly sending nude photos of herself to classmates:
A 15-year-old Ohio girl faces felony charges and may have to register as a sex offender for allegedly taking nude photos of herself and sending them to her high school classmates. The girl, whose name has not been released, was arrested last week and charged in juvenile court with possessing criminal tools and the illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, said Licking County, Ohio, prosecutor Ken Oswalt.
If convicted, the girl could face a sentence of anywhere from probation to several years in a juvenile detention center. A judge also has the discretion to make the girl register as a sex offender under Ohio law. Oswalt said other teens who received the photographs, which are considered child pornography under state law, may also be charged.
Today brings the latest installment, featuring Jake's heroically wonderful father being interviewed for a Salt Lake City news broadcast. See the video here.
In case you hadn't heard, the Mormon Church is a leading supporter of Proposition 8, which would revoke same-sex marriage rights in California, and Jake's dad's very public support of us could set him on the road to excommunication. He knows this, and I imagine he's getting to the point where it would be an honor to be booted from an allegedly family-is-everything church for being too good of a father to his children. Stay tuned, and donate to the "No on Prop 8" campaign here.
posted by Christopher Frizzelle on October 7 at 12:40 PM
Today is Dan Savage's birthday. It's also Annie Wagner's birthday. It's also Sherman Alexie's birthday. What happens in the first week of January that inspired their parents to get it on? Post-New Year's celebrating? Dead-of-winter keeping warm? National Pharmacist Day?
(Other birthdays today: Desmond Tutu, John Mellencamp, Vladimir Putin, Yo-Yo Ma, Thom Yorke.)
Last Friday was one of the best days of my life. My second son, Jake, was married, and I was there. Five of my six children are now married. Each wedding day has been wonderful for me—one in the Salt Lake Temple in 1993, one in the Bountiful Temple in 2001, one in the First Presbyterian Church in 2006, and another in the Salt Lake Temple in 2007. But Jake's wedding last week, at an Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills, stands out. For a long time, I wasn't sure Jake would ever marry. You see, Jake is gay, and though he and Dave have been together for seven years, here in the land of the free, gay people have only recently been afforded the right to formalize their love and commitment in marriage.
On Friday night, Jake said, "I didn't think I'd ever be happy, and now I am." Can a father ask for more? Maybe so, but not this week.
posted by Christopher Frizzelle on October 4 at 1:29 AM
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - O.J. Simpson, the former football star who was famously cleared of double murder in the sensational 1990s "Trial of the Century," was found guilty on all charges in his Las Vegas kidnapping and robbery case on Friday.
An old, old joke from A Treasury of Southern Folklore: Stories, Ballads, Traditions, and Folkways of the People of the South, by folklorist B. A. Botkin:
A Northerner and a Southerner were discussing matters political in the smoking compartment of a Pullman, when the Northern asked:
""Why is it that you men of the South are practically all Democrats? In the North we divide; there you will find Republicans, Democrats, Progressives, Independents, and so forth, while you of the South stick together in the Democratic party. Why is this? Why, for instance, are you a Democrat?
"Well," drawled the Southerner, "my father was a Democrat, my grandfather was a Democrat, and my great-grandfather was a Democrat, so, of course, I'm a Democrat."
"Ah," said the Northerner, "suppose your father had been a horse-thief and your grandfather had been a horse-thief, and your great-grandfather had been a horse-thief, what would you have been then?"
"Oh, I guess in that case I'd have been a Republican," was the reply of the Southerner.
House Peters Jr., the original Mr. Clean in Proctor & Gamble’s television commercials for the household cleaner, died of pneumonia Wednesday at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital in Los Angeles.
The 92-year-old actor played many supporting roles throughout his career, but became best-known in the 50’s and 60’s for his role as the hoop earring wearing, muscular bald man known as “Mr. Clean,” who took a tough stance on dirt and grime.
Last weekend in South Dakota, I participated in a pheasant hunt called the Joe Foss Invitational. The Outdoor Channel filmed the event and plans to air the show in February. Pray that the Lord will be glorified!
Please pray for me as I will be preaching to pastors and their wives over the next couple of days in Helena, Montana. Pray that I will be an encouragement to them to continue to stand for righteousness.
"I looked away, because I didn't want to have to agree with something racist out of politeness."
posted by Lindy West on September 25 at 4:20 PM
The newly-returned-from-London Hari Kondabolu recently introduced me to weird, sad, politically astute British comic Stewart Lee, and I am rapidly falling in comedy love.
If you have some time, watch these two clips, in which Lee gently and elegantly dismantles a subject very near and dear to my heart: Stupid fucks (and people's grandmas) who bitch and moan about political correctness. It involves the following: "They're saying I can't have an electric fire in the bath anymore, Stew, in case queers see it!"
If you really have a lot of time (and a Region 2 DVD player), I heartily recommend watching the whole thing.
I haven't seen this slogged but I was curious about your thoughts into the investigation into the conductor's conduct before the commuter train collision in Los Angeles. He was gay and going through a difficult time in his life, including surviving the suicide of his HIV+ partner. Now it looks like he was text messaging teenagers at the time of the crash.
How do you think the gay/pederasty angle will be played in the media?
I guess this question came to me because I'm gay (or maybe because the emailer thinks I'm a pederast) but I'd like to answer as someone who's at this very moment riding a train that's speeding along tracks somewhere between Longview and Portland.
My feeling is that anyone responsible for other people's lives—like the person driving the L.A. train, like the person driving this train I'm on right now—has a duty to set his or her sad, sad troubles (and his or her sketchy, sketchy text messages) aside while doing things like, oh, say, driving a train at very high speeds. You don't get a pass on this kind of stuff just because you're gay and having a rough time, and if you fail to do this you shouldn't get extra blame in the media just because you're gay and having a rough time.
Just drive the trains right, people. Please. That includes you, person at the helm of this here Amtrak.
posted by Charles Mudede on September 19 at 9:19 AM
Miss Knox, 21, or Foxy Knoxy, as she styled herself on her website, is known to sing in jail to pass the time.
During breaks in a pre-trial hearing, she sang hits by the band Feist, the Sun newspaper claimed.
A source at the court in Perugia, where Miss Kercher was found murdered, told the Sun: "During the hearing she never said a word.
"But outside when there were breaks for water and coffee she was smiling and singing. She was also huffing and puffing a lot - I think it was because it was a long day. It was a song by Feist and she said she sings to relax and deal with her stress.
I'm having tea and blogging from Makeda Coffee on 78th in Greenwood. It's a nice place. The staff is cheerful. The scone on the plate next to my laptop is delicious. But being, you know, me and shit, I have some complaints. The mugs here are black, which ought to be against the law. Because you can't see how dark your tea is, which makes it harder to determine how strong it is, which is why black ceramic mugs are completely retarded. And there's a dog in here—non-pit, so not too big a deal. But what's really getting on my nerves is Rufus Wainwright's "Want One," which they're playing on the phonograph or sound system or iSpeakers or whatever.
I actually love the album, and listen to it regularly—but only when I fly. I'm a nervous flyer and "Want One" calms me down. I've haven't actually listened to "Want One" on the ground in five years. I now associate the album so closely with flying that... it's having the opposite effect on me as I sit here in this cafe. It's actually making me nervous, making me feel like I'm on an airplane right now, and not in a coffee shop in Greenwood.
posted by Megan Seling on September 16 at 11:30 AM
I have something very important to tell you. But before I go on, promise me that you'll save me a spot. Okay? You promise? Okay.
Salon of Shame is tonight, at their newish location Theater Off Jackson, which means it's not far from the delicious Vegetarian Bistro (which, a commenter claims, is closed on Tuesdays... sigh... so you'll have to go somewhere else). It's $8. The show starts at 7:30 8 pm, but doors (and the ticket booth) open at 6:30 pm. You will want to be there early because it always, always, always sells out.
One of these days I'll get up enough courage to read some of my own 8th grade poetry, but for now I'm completely content sitting in the audience, mocking the adolescent pain of others. I can't wait.
He talked about how difficult it was to be a novelist in a world seething with advertisements and entertainment and knee-jerk knowingness and facile irony. He wrote about the maddening impossibility of scrutinizing yourself without also scrutinizing yourself scrutinizing yourself and so on, ad infinitum, a vertiginous spiral of narcissism--because not even the most merciless self-examination can ignore the probability that you are simultaneously congratulating yourself for your soul-searching, that you are posing. He tried so hard to be sincere and to attend to the world around him because he was excruciatingly aware of how often we are merely "sincere" and "attentive" and all too willing to leave it at that. He spoke of the discipline and of the abrading, daily labor such efforts require because the one imperative that runs throughout all of his work is the intimate connection between humility and wisdom.
Like a lot of us at The Stranger, I found out in the aged grandeur of the Moore's lobby, at the Genius Awards party on Saturday night, when someone handed me an iPhone with a news story on it. It seemed impossible that the pixels on the screen were actually shaped into these letters, spelling out this news. David Foster Wallace? Hanged? Wife found him? Wha--? There were things to celebrate on Saturday, but gravity had just shifted, the lights had just flickered, and it was with a lot of stomach sadness that we went on celebrating.
Here is Laura Miller talking about stomach sadness with DFW in 1996, right after Infinite Jest was published. (The whole interview is fascinating--click on the link at the bottom of that first page to keep going.) And here is DFW's most recent--generous, intrepid, unlikely--short story for The New Yorker. (Representative sentence: "The appointment was for afternoon, but when the doorbell had rung so early and his mother’d called to him up the stairs, he had known, and a terrible kind of blankness had commenced falling through him.")
Last night, at the Ahmanson Theatre in LA, we saw the first ever public performance of 9 to 5: The Musical. There'd been anxious chatter about the show after previous previews were canned at the last minute. But the show was a feel-good scream-a-thon: fabulous Allison Janney, fabulous sets flying about, and fabulous songs from Dolly Parton. The only hitch proved to be a huge bonus: at one point the hyperkinetic set jammed and they had to stop the show, lower the curtain, and start banging away.
"Uh-oh!" shouted a familiar voice from the audience. Dolly Parton was right there, and she jumped up and entertained everyone for a good 20 minutes, tossing off a quick performance of "I Will Always Love You." "OK, so I don't sound as good as Whitney, but I make more money off that song than she does," she quipped.
The rest of the show went off without a hitch and a standing ovation deservedly followed. Don't worry if you can't get tickets to the fab musical – you can always come see the art show in her honor opening this Friday at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery.
Goddamn I love her. Speaking of goddamn love: My fella Jake and I will be seeing Dolly Parton's 9 to 5: The Musical on September 27 in LA—the day after we get married. (Here's a story I wrote about it for this year's Queer Issue. To those who've already read it, I'm happy to report that Jake's dad will be coming to LA to conduct the ceremony, which makes me so happy I can hardly stand it.)
Dear God: Please let something go wrong at the show so Dolly can appear. Also, please defeat Proposition 8. Amen.