Monday, July 30, 2007

Moderate Puzzle

While browsing idly through links at I saw the headline that Israel's making the unprecedented step of backing U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Which I ordinarily wouldn’t care enough to post about, but this quote from Israel’s prime minister caught my eye:

"We understand the need of the United States to support the Arab moderate states and there is a need for a united front between the U.S. and us regarding Iran."

What? A united front between Israel and the US is vital regarding Iran: yeah, plausible, whatever. But when the hell did Saudi Arabia become a “moderate” state?

Another Theological Posting

Jim Downey over at Unscrewing the Inscrutable appears amused by a little squib he found in the Hartford Advocate; it's one of those non-bylined filler pieces that appear in the front pages of the print edition, before the big articles and features. Guess which staff writer was responsible for this blasphemy?

Get Off Your Lazy Omnipotent Ass And Help Us
Alabama Governor declares a pray-for-rain week for his state.

The drought parching the Southeast has been particularly devastating for Alabama, whose primary industry is agriculture. So Governor Bob Riley has adopted a take-charge, proactive solution to the problem, and issued a proclamation declaring June 30 through July 7 as "Days of Prayer for Rain" week in the state. "I encourage all Alabamians to pray individually and within their houses of worship for sufficient rain," said the press release given by the governor's office.

So how did it work? The good news: last week scattered showers dropped nearly a half-inch of rain on some parts of the state. The bad news: it'll take at least 14 inches to get water levels back to normal. Theological speculation as to why the prayer week failed: Riley asked all Alabamians to pray. That means Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and probably a few Pastafarians too. So you know at least one person in the state prayed to a false and non-existent God, thus annoying he real one enough to negate any brownie points the statewide prayer vigil might otherwise have racked up.

I'm of the impression that Downey views this as some sort of joke, but I think it holds actual theological water (albeit not the kind that can help Alabama).

Monday, July 16, 2007

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Jennifer (the woman who hates you).

So last night I was up late trying to finish an uninspiring story, and plodded through until it was about 95 percent done. Then I knew I wouldn’t be able to write anything more that night, so I e-mailed the documents to myself at work and set my alarm clock that I could go in a little early, finish the piece and still have time to do all the other Monday things so the paper can go to print next day.

Now here’s a rundown of my glorious Monday morning.

Pain-in-the-ass one: worse-than-usual traffic, so that I leave earlier than is customary but arrive later.

PITA two: at work, spill entire cup of sugary, milky coffee.

PITA three: directly into open purse.

PITA four: leaving the newsroom toward the bathroom, I exit at exactly the right time for my boss (whom I suspect, but cannot prove, already thinks I’m odd), walking down the hall, to see me hold purse in front of me with an apparent left-armed fascist salute, while frowning, muttering curses under breath and stomping into bathroom.

PITA five: fifteen damned minutes, is how long it took to go through my purse, toss what was ruined, and wash what was salvageable.

Mitigating factor one: the discovery that one reason my purse was so damned heavy was no doubt the eleven dollars’ worth of loose change at the bottom of it.

MF two: I had more than enough desk space to spread out paper towels on which my recently laundered money could dry.

MF three: also at my desk I just happened to have an empty black shoulder bag, because four weeks ago the copy editor (who quit to move to California) brought over a bunch of stuff she wanted to unload and I snagged the purse but kept forgetting to bring it home.

PITA six: after finally decaffeinating my old purse's contents and getting a fresh cup of coffee, it was time for me to put my completed story into the system so I could focus on the one I still needed to finish. But every time I tried to do this the system froze and crashed, thus turning a two-minute task into a half-hour ordeal.

Conclusion: if God wants me to stop being an atheist and resume worshiping him as I did in childhood, he needs to quit being such an asshole.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Writer’s Block Sucks The Red Sulfurous Hairy Balls Of Satan

Holy bejeebus, I’m the most neglectful and irresponsible blogger anywhere. Here’s my non-excuse: I’ve had a near-fatal case of writer’s block, and what ability I could scrounge up all had to go toward my job.

Speaking of hairy balls, I did manage to produce a halfway-decent piece about “manscaping,” the growing (oops) trend of people pouring wax on their private parts so they can rip the hair off. I didn’t have much to say about the practice itself, so I amused myself (and hopefully my readers) by inventing euphemisms for it, including paring the pubic patch, pruning the curly branches, keeping the labial lawns mowed, transforming one’s shrubbery into topiaries, lumberjacking in the pelvic forest and downsizing the subwaist workforce.

Oh, and there’s this bit about the history of depilatory procedures. And Seneca the Younger.

I have no life, but at least I have a knack for metaphor.

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