Tuesday, January 30, 2007

She Seems to Know What She's Talkin' 'Bout


"It is personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement." Thus saith newly elected U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., on the "gay and lesbian lifestyle."

She must be flying this flag on her car antenna.
FEMA Calls Rebuilding Complete As New Orleans Restored To Former Squalor

The Onion

FEMA Calls Rebuilding Complete As New Orleans Restored To Former Squalor

NEW ORLEANS, LA—"Our job here is done," said FEMA Undersecretary R. David Paulison, cutting the ribbon on a newly restored pile of garbage.

What the Heck?!

As an amateur bodybuilder, I do make use of certain supplements (creatine, glutamine, protein shakes & bars), so I occasionally get emails hyping products. Check this one out that arrived in my Inbox this morning.
I don't think I have much use for a semen volumizer. But if you know someone who does, drop me an email and I'll forward you the information.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Barbaro, Great Hero

I'm not crazy about the Bryan Adams background music, but there are some great photos of Barbaro.

Rest in Peace, Barbaro


I can't believe I'd just mentioned the other day how Edgar Prado's clear thinking when he pulled Barbaro up in the Preakness probably saved the horse's life. Now I have to modify that to "prolonged the horse's life." Barbaro, 2006 Kentucky Derby winner and a great racehorse, was euthanized this morning.

Before today, there were times I was sure he'd be put down, so it's remarkable--and testimony to his stubborn strength--that Barbaro made it for 8 whole months after his injury. A broken cannon bone, broken sesamoid bone, broken long pastern bone, dislocated fetlock joint, and a shattered pastern bone: even with all the screws they put in him, we all knew he'd never race again. But I admit I was hoping he'd mend enough that one day he might be able to cover mares and there'd be lots of little baby Barbaros running around.

But complications (laminitis, an abscess) simply got the better of the big guy.

Chelle and I were in Yosemite National Park the weekend of the Preakness, and we'd hiked up to the top of Vernal Fall along the Mist Trail and then came back down via the John Muir Trail, keeping a close eye on my watch. We had to be in Curry Village by 3:00 in time for the Preakness. (Her money was on Brother Derek; mine was on Sweetnorthern Saint.) We wound up sitting next to a guy who'd put $200 on Barbaro. So when he broke out of the gate early, I turned to him and said, "Wow, your horse wants to run!" He beamed. Barbaro was dutifully loaded back in the gate. When the race started, the beam on that man's face quickly paled and a collective moan of distress travelled across the room. I felt ... sick. Just sick, watching Barbaro's hoof dangling like that, and watching Edgar Prado choking back tears.

Now he's gone.

But what is that saying? Whenever a door slams shut, God opens a window somewhere. Barbaro's mother is pregnant right now with a full brother to Barbaro, and the foal is due in early spring. And Gretchen Jackson, one of Barbaro's owners, pointed out that "at least he's finally out of that stall now." And she imagined that Barbaro is galloping in heaven, chasing Secretariat.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Lighten Up, Beeyotch!

I remember back when I was in college, my friend Amy and I were kidding around one day. She said something snarky, so I whacked her on the arm and called her a bitch. She stopped laughing and got very quiet. Finally she said, “You can call me a lot of names. But one thing I get angry about is being called a bitch. I’m not a bitch.”

Of course I apologized, and the episode was over. And I understood where she was coming from. I’d taken the same feminist lit., women in religion, and Jungian thought courses as she. We included the same female faculty members among our mentors. “Androgyny” was the Big Word on Campus. I understood that, for example in business, an assertive male who spoke his mind and didn’t tolerate nonsense and who pushed his own agenda was admired, whereas a woman exhibiting the same characteristics would be labeled a bitch.

Bitch = uppity, shrill, pushy, domineering woman.

It’s a word intended to critique, to insult and disempower, to humiliate a woman so she cowers back to her “place.”

That was 1984.

This is 2007 (oh stop it with the mental calculations already. I’m 44.) The word "bitch" is shape-shifting, morphing into something else. Don’t believe me? What about Bitch, the feminist magazine out of Berkeley? Look to the right at my list of links to various blogs. What about BitchPHD?

This issue comes up because the other day I called Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi bitches, thereby making the hackles rise on the neck of the friend I’d said it to. “I don’t like it,” she said, “When women of power are called bitches.” I found myself in the position of having to explain myself (and I invite a healthy discussion here—just click on “comments” below to put in your two cents).

Words are only constructs, right? We are the ones who imbue them with meaning. So if “bitch” has been used historically against women as a weapon, a way to insult us into compliance, a way to discredit women who are strong, unshakeable, articulate, ambitious, opinionated, powerful … why allow the word that kind of power? These are in reality good, often necessary traits, so see “bitch” not an as insult, but rather take it as a compliment. In doing that, we rob the word of its ability to cut us off at the knees.

The easiest analogy I can make is to what’s happened to the word “queer.” It used to be a horrible slur flung at gay people (“gay”: yet another word that’s morphed) to insult their “abnormality,” their “inverted nature.” But the word’s been co-opted, and now you’ll hear even academics referring to such things as queer theory. “Queer” now seems to be a catch-all term that means the person identifying as such has an appreciation for any sexual or gender difference; thus not just gay people are queer nowadays, but so are bisexuals, the transgendered, even straight folks who have a more expansive sensibility might identify as queer.

Not everyone is happy with the path the word has taken. Some gay people look askance at anyone identifying as queer and opine that some heterosexual people are just trying to be cool while co-opting gay culture. They’ll say a genuine gay person will identify as simply that: lesbian or gay. So who’s being inclusive and who’s being disenfranchised now? Seriously, the accusations are enough to make your head spin. To a great extent I think the conflict is generational—to many of us, queer is still a slur that’s felt keenly to be hurtful, just as “dyke” used to be and “faggot” still is. Others perceive “queer” as a code word for “bisexual,” and there remains much bitterness over their perceived attempt to receive sexual benefit while maintaining heterosexual privilege. Likewise the battle over the inclusion of transgendered persons as queer: is a male-to-female transwoman, for instance, who remains attracted to women, truly a lesbian when she’s genetically a male? Younger people appear to have an easier time shrugging and saying, “You are what you think you are, regardless of what society says.”

“Bitch” is no less convoluted a word. The same friend who got up in arms about my calling Clinton and Pelosi bitches has told me, on a separate occasion, that there is no way she’d ever ride in the Gay Pride Parade on the back of someone’s bike as their “bitch.” (Me, I was like, “Oooh, a motorcycle! Fun! I’ll ride on the back!”) It also seems as if context and tone should be taken into consideration. Sometimes my buddies affectionately call each other “biatch” or “beeyotch,” and it’s clearly not meant as an insult. And then some of these women who don’t like the word “bitch” will turn around and say they admire powerful women because “they’ve got balls.” Ack. I know what they mean when they say that, but I do have to bite my tongue and not point out that this very definition is sexist—powerful women are powerful when they’re, um, about as much like a man as they could possibly be?

Perhaps the day will arrive when we admire a powerful man as a man “who’s got ovaries.” Perhaps the day will come when we can compliment a powerful man for being a bitch. Perhaps one day we’ll all identify as queer, every one of us. In the meantime, perhaps we must bend a little, and be flexible as willow branches, just as our language bends, flexes, and evolves, and bear in mind that most words in English have multiple meanings.

Lava Man: Time for Redemption


Oh boy! Today's the Sunshine Millions, in which California breds take on Florida breds. Lava Man got bumped at the start and had a bad trip in the Breeder's Cup Classic, so today is his chance to redeem himself in the Sunshine Millions Turf. (It's the 5th race on today's card at Santa Anita. By the way, my significant other says to point out the irony in Gray Goose sponsoring the Sunshine Millions Juvenile.) The race is on NBC starting at 1pm Pacific. Oh--and way to go, Serena Williams! There's much to be said, apparently, for a Power Booty.

Alberto Gonzales: No Constitutional Right of Habeas Corpus

Wow. And I think I learned in 6th grade about the Constitution guaranteeing Habeas Corpus

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bush: Give War a Chance


President George W. Bush delivers his State of the Union address last night. Okay, not really. If it were true, Nancy Pelosi would be behind him, spitting.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Serena Williams: Baby Got Back

A tip o' the pen to one of my dearest friends, who today sent me a text message that said, "Oink."

She then directed me to ESPN, where Serena Williams, in a green tennis suit/skirt thingy, was bashing tennis balls and basically beatin' the puddin' out of Shahar Peer (who was dressed in an orange tennis suit/skirt thingy, prompting me to text back to inquire if they were the Sherbet Girlz).

But I digress. Alas, it's true. Serena Williams has gotten, um ... shall we say a little out of shape? Her arms still look awesome, but she could stand (like most of the rest of us) to lose a little Christmas Season pudge. Peter Bodo, who writes for Tennis.com, put it this way:

MELBOURNE, Australia -- The biggest story thus far at the Australian Open has been Serena Williams and, yes, I do know that you could take that any number of ways. There's no doubt that the WTA's diva supreme is overweight, and in a way that makes it impossible to imagine that she has done anything that even remotely resembles routine fitness training and self-policing when it comes to her diet. At the same time, when you can bring game of the kind Serena's trotted out under the hard Melbourne sun, you can suck down a bag of Doritos, top it off with a couple of Ho Ho's and who's going to get all mouthy about it?

See for yourself:



Of course, all things being equal, the TRUE YET FOILED WINNER of the Australian Open, Amelie Mauresmo, could probably stand to help herself to some of Serena's Ho-Ho's. Je suis désolée, mon amour.

'Tis Awards Season

Golden Globes, the Oscars, the Grammys ... but the BEST awards are the Eclipse Awards, given out last night at the Beverly Hills Wilshire. Horse of the Year, not surprisingly, went to Invasor, who beat Bernardini in the Breeders Cup Classic. I was surprised that Russell Baze didn't get jockey of the year since he recently passed Laffit Pincay's record as the most winningest jockey, but Edgar Prado got it (though Garrett Gomez probably deserved it!) Then again, Barbaro probably wouldn't be alive at all if it hadn't been for Prado's quick thinking in pulling the horse up during the Preakness. Other winners ... Ouija Board, Dreaming of Anna, Thor's Echo, and Street Sense (maybe this guy will finally break the Breeder's Cup curse, in which the winner of the juvenile never wins the Kentucky Derby the following year).

But all the buzz this morning was about the Oscar nominations (gee, and Dubya gives his "State of the Union" address tonight. Give him a quarter, I guess, and he can call someone who cares?) Anyway. I watched nomination highlights on the "Today Show" this morning while training on the elliptical, and I don't reckon there were many surprises, other than Dreamgirls not being nominated for Best Picture. No doubt Forest Whitaker will win Best Actor, Helen Mirren will win Best Actress, Scorcese will finally win Director for the Departed, An Inconvenient Truth should win Best Documentary (should, should, didn't say will), and that's the end of my opinions on the matter. I did chuckle at all the nominations Little Miss Sunshine got. That's a fun film if you haven't seen it.

Will Melissa Etheridge win the Oscar for Best Original Song ("I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth)? No! That will go to one of the Dreamgirls songs. Sorry to all my Melissa pals out there ... oh, no, they're piling the kindling underneath me now ... my hands are bound ... the flames are licking at my feet ... help ...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Saints Got Spanked

My Saints got spanked. There is nothing more to say. (Other than to whine about the bad, newly sodded field and the sleet and ... )

But what a nail biter the Pats--Colts game was! That was probably the "real" Super Bowl.

Go Colts!

They should KILL da Bearzz!

(Then again, at the rate I'm going, if you're placing a bet, um, maybe you should bet the goshdarn Bearzz). :(

Horses


As all of my family and friends know, I love horses. As a child, I wanted a palomino but since I lived in the city (on the wrong side of the tracks as well, ahem), that was out of the question. But I read all the books like Black Beauty; Man O'War; Misty of Chincoteague; Stormy, Misty's Foal; The Black Stallion; and the list goes on. I also drew horses. I never did learn to ride, and then I grew up and the idea of ever having a horse was a dream that dissolved. The closest I get to horses nowadays is the occasional visit to the racetrack, where I love hearing the thundering hooves as these athletes--and they are athletes--flash by the finish line, and I love the creak and smell of leather and the heady scent of these powerful animals in the paddock.

And I have taken up drawing again. I made a few sketches in December, but for Christmas my partner's mom and dad gave me an awesome pencil set with these amazing woodless graphite pencils that I have already drawn down to nubs. Here's a little foal I drew.

Snow in Spokane


Okay, here is the promised photo. This one is from my balcony. If you peer between the trees, just beyond the fence is the driving range at Indian Canyon. Um, yeah, nobody's whacking any balls out there lately.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Snow!

Well, dayam! There were already a couple inches on the ground, but when I woke up this morning, there were another 3-4 inches, and it was still coming down furiously. Has tapered off now--just a few stray flurries--but it looks like a Christmas card out there. As soon as Chelle shows me how to hook up her Nikon to the computer and download pictures, I'll be able to start posting illustrations. Hint, hint.

Had coffee, got on the elliptical and boogied for 50 minutes. Hey, I can't train outside, and I gotta get ready for the Bloomsday Run on May 6.

So now I get to twiddle my thumbs and wait to see what happens next. Hmm, maybe I'll turn on TVG and go to Brisbet and place a bet on Aqueduct.

Friday, January 19, 2007

US Figure Skating Championships


Look out, Spokane! The hordes will descend this weekend for the State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships. I think something like 118,000 people had purchased tickets at last count. It will be crazy finding parking downtown. I might have to stay home.

Or not. It could also be fun playing "hit the tourist with the car."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

2007 Super Bowl

So ... who are you rooting for?

Me: NFC Champs: Saints (please! anybody but da Bearz)
AFC Champs: Colts (Peyton Manning, giddyup and don't choke)

Super Bowl: Saints vs. Colts, Saints win by a smidgen (because N'Awlins deserves it)

Bill Stupid Butthead O'Reilly

Most of the time Fox's Bill O'Reilly amuses me because he's such an obvious blowhard. I mean, how can anyone take seriously a man who croons over the phone to a desired sweetheart that he wants to scrub her with a falafel? (Oops, turns out he meant loofah.) Not to mention that his ethics are in question since the object of his affection wasn't interested in him or in his repeated overtures, and, if memory serves, she was also a co-worker. Wasn't there a harassment suit that was settled out of court? Anyway ...

But the big doofus has stepped over the line once again by attacking Shawn Hornbeck, the young man who was kidnapped in Missouri by the Pizzeria Pervert, Michael Devlin. O'Reilly questions why Shawn (who was eleven years old when he was kidnapped) didn't try to escape when he had ample opportunity to, and O'Reilly suggests he didn't because Shawn liked the excitement, thought it was fun being with his kidnapper, he didn't have to go to school, and yadda blah, yadda blah. (See the appalling video at Crooks and Liars.)

To Greta Van Susteren's credit (she was on O'Reilly's show), she kept reminding O'Reilly that Elizabeth Smart did the same thing when she was kidnapped--i.e, she could've escaped on several occasions, but that they're scared; they're KIDS. It's easy for them to be manipulated by adults. O'Reilly pooh-poohed this and said it didn't apply to Hornbeck, who is clearly neurotic: just look at his piercings.

Aside from being offensive for a whole handful of reasons, what makes this worse is that, by claiming the victim liked his treatment, O'Reilly is, in a way, defending Devlin's actions (i.e., where's the harm if the kid liked it?!) Pedophiles should really cluster around O'Reilly and cheer him on for this one. Because isn't that what they believe? Their victims want to be sexually assaulted and "loved" by them. (Pardon me while I back away from the keyboard and shudder.)

Never mind, too, that new information is coming out that Devlin may be responsible for the disappearance of at least one other child and also for the kidnapping of Ben Ownby, who was no doubt fortunate Devlin had ahold of him for only four days. I don't even want to think about what was likely in store for little Ben. We call people like Michael Devlin child predators for a reason. Make a note of it, Bill Stupid Butthead O'Reilly.

American Idol, Seattle Auditions

Well, peachy keen! There are, apparently, two local singers who made the cut in Seattle--they're from Post Falls, Idaho. (For those who don't know, Spokane is about 20-30 mins away from Idaho, depending on how much snow is on Interstate 90 and how crazy a driver you are.)

We'll have to see how the locals fare in Hollywood.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tigger Feeds Lion

 
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American Idol

I watched the first season of American Idol, and I actually like Kelly Clarkson's last CD. But I wouldn't say I'm a fan by any means. I suppose if I bumped into them on the street, I'd recognize Ruben Studdard and Fantasia and Taylor Hicks (or is it Taylor Dayne? No, wait, wrong decade.) Oh, and, um, Carrie . . . Underwear? That can't be right. Anyway. I did watch the season premiere last night, mainly because I wanted to see if Paula Abdul would be sober. I think she was, but maybe Randy "Dawg" had taken some of Simon Cowell's meanie pills.

I have to confess, I burst out laughing quite a lot while watching horrid people sing off-key or juggle or twitch and then get pissed off when the judges didn't like them. I mean, really, what planet are these people living on? They actually think they're talented. Talk about a serious disconnect between self-perception and reality. Trista, who sang that "If I Were the King of the Forest" song from the Wizard of Oz, actually made me pee in my panties. Dude. How annoying it is to go to the bathroom and find a little spot down there.

But once the show was over, I found I had a bad taste in my mouth. A part of me feels empathy for these people, who are being made great fools of in front of all of America, Canada, and wherever else the show airs. Why is this entertaining to us? I know, I know, it's the "it's funny because secretly I'm relieved it's not me!" agenda behind some humor. But if we're aware of our tendency to do that, why do we persist? So I kinda felt like I'd retched on my own shoe, having let the crappier part of my human nature be appealed to.

But still, it's soooooo funny!

Anyway.

The other thing was, this was the first time I'd watched American Idol in Spokane, and local Fox News came on right after the show, and darned if American Idol wasn't the lead story. The lead story. And the newscasters kept coming back to it throughout the entire half hour. "Six people injured in bad crash in Spokane Valley . . . but first, another look at some of the bad auditions on American Idol!" Huh?! Why on earth is this news?

Then again, I suppose I'd rather watch innocuous local news (Broodmare Gives Birth To Two-Headed Foal) than the stuff I was treated to daily in California: gang wars, rapes, drug busts, murders, protests gotten out of hand, dirty cops, and then more gang wars, rapes, drug busts, murders, and 5 minutes of sports & weather.

Welcome!

Hello, darlin's, and welcome to my blog. I'm the Hapless Tigger, dubbed thus because somehow I manage to be both unlucky and happy-go-lucky all at the same time. Makes for a rather schizo world view. You can expect from me a daily dose of frivolity and bouncy, trouncy, fun-fun-fun-fun-fun! commentary on the world according to me, not that I have narcissistic personality disorder. And, yes, you should care. After all, I'm doing my best, trying to survive my first winter in Spokane, where I am definitely teasin' my fritters. What else can a gal do, trapped indoors shivering as I am?