“He felt goose pimples clacking all over him as he gazed down despondently at the grim secret Snowden had spilled all over the messy floor. It was easy to read the message in his entrails. Man was matter, that was Snowden’s secret. Drop him out a window and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him and he’ll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden’s secret. Ripeness was all.”
-which explains my sadness today, and every time people do bad things to one another.
Ok, a few notes from the computer front.
First, I revived my girlfriend’s old netbook. I had planned on installing, and in fact did install, Windows 8. What a fucking mistake that was! It turns out, Microsoft is uninterested in supporting netbooks at all with their operating systems, and therefore were unconcerned that most of the Metro gadgetry didn’t work on the standard netbook screen resolution. Luckily, I was able to install Windows 7 after the fact with no problems, and the netbook is now doing great.
Second, I slowly started to get annoyed with Unity on my laptop, on which was installed Ubuntu 12.10. I tried some work-arounds regarding the Amazon search feature within the Unity bar, but then Ubuntu started giving me errors quite regularly. Besides all this, the laptop hails from 2006, and I wasn’t really getting much benefit from having a feature-laden operating system installed. So I decided to swap out Ubuntu for Lubuntu, which includes fewer default programs and uses the LXDE desktop.
I must say that I consider Lubuntu a great product, and in fact I’m considering using it in all locations instead of Ubuntu. I’ve still got access to the same repository, and I never found I was using most of the default programs, anyways. It’s not a huge deal to just install what I need when I need it. The eye-candy factor isn’t really there, but it doesn’t bother me on my laptop – and would it even bother me on my desktop? Now I’m not so sure…
…Well, I could always add yet another partition to play around in…
I’m not naturally a huge fan of cartoons, although there are a few I’ve enjoyed. But I never watched Saturday morning cartoons as a kid, and never read any American comic books (I did read Tin-Tin and Asterix, as well as the strips in the paper).
I’m telling you this so that you know I’m serious when I say that Gravity Falls is a great show. I don’t care that it’s ostensibly a kid’s show, or that it’s on Disney – the plots are engaging and it’s shockingly able to tug at my heartstrings.
I only started watching because 2 members of the Grandma’s Virginity Podcast did guest voices on the show, but now that I’ve seen a few episodes, I’ll have to watch them all. I also really dig the voice acting of Kristen Schaal as the second lead character.
… is that they’re not RoboCop.
I think most people want a sense of order, but we don’t want to depend on someone as unpredictable as a real person. The idea of a robotic police officer, who always acts just, without bias and without accidentally harming innocents, is intoxicating. But we can’t build a robocop, and even if we could, it’d probably be subverted by its human insides.
Anyways, I guess what my point is, probably cops shouldn’t run around shooting every pickup truck they can fucking find because there’s a remote probability a murderer is in it. Shit, if that’s the police force we have, why don’t we just spin a roulette wheel to see who gets shot, and where? You might think after being thoroughly embarrassed in the 90′s because of widespread misconduct and corruption, the LAPD would clean up its act, but apparently not.
I can’t fucking wait for robocops.
Since everybody needs to give their opinion on the Justice Department’s white paper regarding drone strikes on American citizens, I thought I would too. Spoiler alert: I’m against drone strikes because I’m also against murdering people, in a general sense.
Anyways, I don’t think I could have done as good of a takedown as the wonderful writers over at Popehat, so instead I’ll just direct you to this link where you can read their terse, dark-comedy commentary. My own opinions mirror theirs.
Look, I’m fine with the fact that some people just aren’t cat people. I am a cat person. Do I live with a cat? No, I live with a dog. And I love my dog very much, as well as her displaced brother. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a cat person.
I’m not sure if I ever will keep a cat, because it’s difficult to keep both a cat and a dog while keeping the dog happy, and I can’t imagine living without a dog any more. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a cat person.
Part of the reason I love my dog so much is her unabashed carnivorism, especially compared to some of her contemporaries whose genes have been warped to the point they probably couldn’t catch a single other animal – I’m not even sure some dog breeds (pugs?) are even aware that they’re supposed to have a hunting instinct; that they’re still almost entirely wolf. And this love for my dog explains why I’m a cat person.
Most cats look almost the same. There are a few distinct breeds but the majority of them still retain their original instincts and abilities. A big part of this is the fact that few people breeds their cats purposefully; rather, their indoor/outdoor cat interbreeds with a nearby feral cat colony in a way that continually replenishes households with little mutt kittens. In this way, their original nature remains.
But then people conduct absurd studies demonizing my beloved cats for the very reason I love them! Oh, they kill billions of creatures each year in the U.S.? Yeah, I know, exactly, they’re fucking bad-ass. They don’t just look like miniature lions, they fucking are. They are responsible for the extinction of 33 species? First of all, cats, slow your roll, this ain’t a contest and if it was humans could win. Second of all, that’s a respectable number for 15-pound felines.
(Also, seriously people, please don’t declaw your cats. Also, if you want them to lead long, healthy lives, they should probably live indoors only. Even if you don’t live close to a road, there’s always hawks and coyotes waiting to eat cats. Make sure you weigh those factors when deciding to let them roam – I’m not completely against it, but it’s usually most appropriate for farms where they’ll just shuttle themselves between the barn and the house.)
Look I don’t want to sound like Jay Leno so I’ll try to not do this too often. But holy shit, “Norway goat cheese fire closes tunnel????” I guess my main question is if cheese can burn so well, why doesn’t this happen more often?
Second is the Irish, who’ve decided older folks should be allowed to drive drunk, so as to not ruin their social lives. I guess the alternative of not drinking, staying overnight, or taking other transportation never occurred to the senile shut-ins, which says enough about their ability to drive even while sober. In fairness, the relaxed BAC standard would only be lifted to the United States and UK’s BAC limit, so it’d be hypocritical to call the Irish drunks because of this law change.
In other news, I’m googling furiously to find healthy, relatively inexpensive snacks to take to work. I can’t seem to make it using only lunchtime, but I can’t just eat nuts all day because I get sick of them too quickly. I tried pumpkin seeds but that went from delectable to dull pretty quickly. Hummus and Naan is delicious but buying it pre-made is too expensive, and I’ve not yet been successful in making hummus of my own that I enjoy eating. I mean c’mon what’s a guy gotta do around here to get some appropriate snacks, ya know? Sheesh.
Among the things I like to hate on, anything popular is guaranteed to near the top of the list. Anything which tricks people is also quite hate-able. This combination meant that for years, I simply couldn’t stand self-help books.
First of all, self-help books are clearly ineffective, or else more people would read them. I know you’re thinking, “but they do read them – they’re so popular – isn’t that why you hate them?” How astute of you to notice. But the problem is that they’re popular for a short time, and then everyone stops reading them. Why? Because they didn’t solve their problems, so they fall for the next self-help fad. Gross. Be better, people.
But then I was browsing a few hours ago and found this news story. A Scottish research group found that guided self-help treats depression better than the traditional therapies tried in the UK, which could lead to huge savings in their National Health Service! Of course this bugged me, since I can’t very well hate on something that’s been proven scientifically to be effective. It looked like my days of making fun of people in the airport reading their shitty airport books were over.
But lo! I tried to find the article again for this very post, meaning to accept my fate, and in the process came across a previous BBC article, shown here. In this study, Canadian researchers found that self-help (or at least, repeating mantras) make people with low self esteem feel worse about themselves. So unless there’s some strange effect the Atlantic Ocean is having on self-help programs, no one knows what the hell is going on.
Looks like I’m free to keep making fun of people reading their airport books until further notice. So don’t ask me if I’ve read any Eckhart Tolle, I’ll just look down at you from the highest of horses.
Thanks to the illustrious Mr. Money Mustache (who I admire despite his spelling of the word “moustache”) , I’ll now be authoring posts as “Tom” instead of “Admin.”
However, in the unlikely event I become some sort of Christ-like, messianic figure later in life, I will clarify that I wrote all the previous posts as well. I don’t want them to get buried like the lost gospels of Mary or whatever.
Dear E. Jean: I love my man, but after all my hints and suggestions as to what kind of engagement ring I want, he went off and got one that’s pretty—but not what I want to see on my hand for a lifetime. I want to change it. Is that acceptable? —Right Man, Wrong Ring
Don’t wear the engagement ring after the wedding – plenty of people do that. Alternatively, don’t accept the proposal. Finally, realize that you’re stressing about the details of a ceremony that’s a vestige from the time when women were considered property, and by doing so you’re tacitly approving that worldview.
Dear E. Jean: Can a Democrat and a Republican fall in love? Three weeks ago, I met a sweet, funny, good-looking, financially solvent grown-up. Until last night, we’ve been able to laugh off the fact that we perch on extreme opposite ends of the political spectrum.
We were cooking together and having a great time when he put on Fox News. A debate quickly ensued (our own), and things got heated. I ended up feeling attacked and overwhelmed. Then, out of sheer frustration, I burst into tears. He immediately felt bad and tried to comfort me. We were able to smile at it, but things just don’t feel right to me now. We haven’t slept together yet, so this is not a done deal. Can it ever work between a bleeding-heart woman and a right-wing man?—Overwhelmed and at a Loss
Dumb question, because 1. one of your requirements was financially solvent (holy shit, set the bar lower please) and 2. he watches shitty TV news when he’s cooking. Try to hold out for someone who watches no news at all, and ideally doesn’t even follow news online – you’ll never have to worry about politics again!
Dear E. Jean: I’m in my last year at Harvard, surrounded by oodles of good-looking guys, but I find my datebook empty. I know what you must be thinking: I’m some homely creature who hasn’t a clue how to pick within her league. I can assure you that I’m a considerably attractive woman who has been fawned over many times.
When flirting, I adhere to those rules—you know, the ones that instruct you to smile, maintain eye contact, and be your fabulous, witty self! It seems to me, however, that these “rules” just aren’t cutting it. I’ll have developed a great rapport with a guy, but all that smiling proves to be a waste of effort when he fails to ask for my number. What on earth am I doing wrong? —Dateless and Confused
How the hell should I know? Try touching his arm, maybe? Would that work? I mean, I can’t think of any other recourse you might have, other than fucking asking out the people you are interested in dating! Of course, if you don’t want to do that, you can continue to exist while internalizing the patriarchy, it’s up to you.