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(no subject) [Nov. 11th, 2006|10:21 pm]
Potted Plant
I'm getting old.

Sign #48 that I am getting old is a commercial I saw for Krystal. This commercial showed about 5 college aged guys in a stationwagon/SUV. They get 12-packs of Krystal burgers from the drive-thru, and engage in a contest to see how many of them can eat 12 Krystal burgers in 3 minutes. I find the commercial utterly repulsive in its display of gluttonous binge-eating.

Clearly this commercial is aimed at people who are a bit younger than me. I've never even eaten a Krystal burger, as there was no Krystal in places where I lived until I moved to Tuscaloosa. What I don't know is this: was there ever a time when this commercial would have appealed to me? I find it commercial not only ineffective, but it actually makes me associate Krystal with unappetizing practices.

I also wonder the same thing about all those Hardee's commercials that clearly play to young, frat-boyish pseudomasculinity.
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(no subject) [Nov. 7th, 2006|09:54 pm]
Potted Plant
Well, the most important news of the night:

We have outlasted Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. We got married the same weekend as they did, and now they're getting divorced. We're still going strong. Go us!
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(no subject) [Sep. 25th, 2006|08:42 am]
Potted Plant
I got that job I was talking about. It's a temporary, part-time job, but it gets me out of the house and gets us making a little more money. It also lets me freshen my resume a bit. I'm damn glad to have it. I report to work this afternoon.

I watched The Pixies on Austin City Limits this weekend. My first thought is, "Holy crap Kim Deal still looks damn good." Joey Santiago went bald. Frank Black went fat AND bald. David Lovering has aged gracefully, and looks just about the same as he did when he was in his mid-20s. But Kim Deal looks GREAT, even with black hair instead of red.

They sounded pretty darn good too. They played an hour set of mostly songs off of Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, which was a wise choice. At the end, they did a brief interview segment, where the band was noncommital on whether they were together permanently and/or would be putting out any new material. I'm of two minds on this topic. On the one hand, it would be pretty neat to get new Pixies material. On the other, you would have to ask yourself if it would really be a good idea to add to the Pixies catalog at this point. It would be kind of like getting new Simon & Garfunkle material. They put out five albums when they were together, and broke up still pretty much unknown in their own country. Since then, their stature has grown considerably to the point that they're mentioned in the same breath as the Rolling Stones for their influence on the rock world. Do they really have anything to add to their legacy? If they added anything, would it be viewed in the same way those 1990s Rolling Stones albums are viewed? Would it just be cashing in?

If it's just cashing in, I can't blame them. I doubt The Pixies made any of them rich. Considering what they did for rock music, they probably deserve to cash in a bit.
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Ten Albums that Affected Me [Sep. 20th, 2006|07:47 am]
Potted Plant
stepbaker came by this weekend to watch wretched football. Of course, any time we get together, much discussion of music will ensue. This weekend was no different. He was inspired, in fact, to post a list of albums that really affected him, and I think I'll follow suit. These are not the greatest ten albums of all time, but they are ten that are important TO ME. In no particular order:

I keep on ramblin'Collapse )

OK, so that was actually 11 albums. Twelve if you count "Sweet Oblivion" and "Whiskey for the Holy Ghost" as two, which I suppose you should. Sue me.
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(no subject) [Sep. 13th, 2006|11:52 am]
Potted Plant
I'm scared of many things. I'm scared I'll be a bad father. I'm scared of my continued unemployment and what that means for our finances. I'm scared of roaches. But one thing I am definitely NOT scared of is terrorism. I'm just not scared of it.

And that's not all. I'm proud of the fact that I'm not scared of terrorism. I positively revel in it. I don't think anyone should fear terrorism. If you fear terrorisms, then the terrorists have succeeded in their goal of creating terror. It says right on their nametag: "Hello, my name is Terrorist. My job is to cause fear." If you don't think that's worthwhile employment, then don't be scared of him.

Al Qaeda does not have teh power to destroy us. Al Qaeda has given us their best shot. They hijacked four airplanes in a clever and stunning attempt to cause as much destruction as they possibly could, and it mostly worked. They exploited some holes in our airport security (namely the security hole that said if someone wants to take the plane, we should give it to them). Guess what? We're still standing. We took their best shot, and we're still here. The city hardest hit has buried their dead and moved on with their lives. The security hole that allowed it to happen has been closed. USA 1 Al Qaeda 0.

Ever since then the attempts by Al Qaeda and its followers have been lame at best. Jose Padilla was arrested for plotting to build a "dirty" bomb he had no idea how to build. Some people in Buffalo were planning to take down the Brooklyn Bridge with blow torches. The Shoe Bomber did little more than burn his foot. Some guy wanted to knock down the Sears Tower with his kung fu grip. A Canadian plot was infiltrated in its infancy, and all the supplies they got were bought from law enforcement attempting to gather its evidence. The "liquid bombers" were infiltrated by three law enforcement agencies, and were only allowed to get as far as they got because law enforcement wanted to ensnare as many people as possible in their trap.

This is it folks. This is the best they have. Every one of these plots was easily foiled by law enforcement and none of them could conceivably have caused the destruction that was caused by the September 11, 2001 attacks. I'm not saying we'll never get hit again. I think it's entirely possible, even likely, that we will be hit again. However, we have learned (or should have learned) that these people are no threat to our civilization. They can kill some people. They can cause a lot of grief. They can even temporarily disrupt our economy.

They are, however, no threat to our civilization and our way of life, whatsoever. Their best shot at us killed fewer Americans than died in dozens of individual Civil War battles. About 3000 Americans died in the September 11 attacks. By contrast, over 700,000 British and over 1 million French died in World War I, and their civilization continued. They won that war. Al Qaeda is no threat to us.

However, there is one entity out there with the power to radically alter our way of life, and to change our civilization for the worse. I'm talking about us. WE can destroy our civilization by abandoning our ideals, such as our love of freedom, and by allowing ourselves to live in irrational fear of a people with little power to actually harm us. We can destroy our civilization by living in fear of people who wish us to fear them, even though they aren't particularly scary. This is what we do when we suspend basic rights that have existed in our country and in predecessor governments for hundreds of years in the name of protecting us from people who are not a serious threat to us. This is what we do when we have silly color-coded "terror alert" levels that never go below "Elevated". This is what we do when we make people throw away their bottled water before they get on a plane. We are slowly eroding what Al Qaeda has tried and failed to destroy.

The contrast with prior generations is easily illustrated. The Japanese destroyed almost our entire Pacific fleet, yet Franklin Roosevelt told us we had nothing to fear but fear itself. We buckled down and got to the business of rebuilding the fleet to take it after our attackers. The Germans bombed London on a daily basis, and Churchill told his countrymen to endure the attacks in preparations for better days when the British would be able to fight back. The Londoners did not panic. They did not buckle. We lose 3000 people and we are told to be afraid, that a bottle of baby oil is a threat to us, and that we are fighting a war for our civilization.

Don't be afraid. Don't do the terrorists job for them.
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"You don't really love that guy you make it with, do you?" [Sep. 8th, 2006|03:19 pm]
Potted Plant
I made a new mixed CD recently.

"Straight to Hell" - Drivin' & Cryin
"The Killing Moon" - Echo & The Bunnymen
"Superman" - R.E.M.
"Happy When it Rains" - The Jesus & Mary Chain
"Dreams" - The Cranberries
"Yellow" - Coldplay
"The Unwelcome Guest" - Billy Bragg & Wilco
"Either Way" - Guster
"Someone's Daughter" - Beth Orton
"Here Comes the Fat Controller" - Catherine Wheel
"Last Stop: This Town" - eels
"Smile" - Weezer
"Dr. Bernice" - Cracker
"Always on My Mind" - Willie Nelson

I like the mix and the transitions. It goes from a sort of rockabilly, into '80s pop, then '90s pop, then to some slower ballads, then to rocking a bit, and finally to rockabilly/country. It works dammit. There's a broad range of styles, but without a lot of radical changes between individual songs.
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(no subject) [Sep. 8th, 2006|02:22 pm]
Potted Plant
The Rabbit Blog has always been one of my favorite websites to read. I lost touch with it for a while, but went back to it recently, only to discover that the beloved Rabbit is about 7 months pregnant. How exciting? Anyway, Rabbit Blog is a board mainly talking about her life and dispensing relationship advice to her loyal readers. Her latest one is such good advice that I want to just quote it verbatin here:

Dear Rabbit,

I turn to you having read some of your blog, in the hope you can throw some light on the difficult situation I find myself in. So here goes....

Last year I left the father of my child because it was a tumultuous and gritty relationship and I tried to make it work for 4 years and it simply didn't. In stepped my best male friend of 6 years, who picked me up, dusted me off, gave me back my self-esteem and also taught me how to have orgasms (I am 32 so this was quite an achievement finally!). I spent the first 6 months of this new relationship getting over my ex, or rather the guilt associated with my daughter not seeing her father every day. 4 months in to this 6 month grieving process, my boyfriend proposed. Several eyebrows were raised by various friends and family, but we got on with it, having an engagement party and then a wedding. We were married within a year of first getting together.

The marriage happened 8 weeks ago. 6 weeks into the marriage, we had yet another argument (we have always had these and it makes for a rather tedious relationship) at a party and my husband stormed off home. Meanwhile, a tall, dark and handsome guy - and friend's ex husband - offered to walk me home. I have always had a bit of a thing for him and half way home I got the urge to tell him so. I never made it home, instead going to his. It was all very innocent and we just kissed and it was lovely.

A week later I had told my husband and he subsequently packed his bags and moved out. Meanwhile, I have been getting closer to the guy who walked me home and we share a lot of things in common, including sense of humour, hobbies etc. However, my husband really wants our marriage to work and has suggested counseling.

I know what I SHOULD do - I should get back with my husband because he is a good guy, reliable, safe, stable and good for my daughter's stability (although she is only 2 and a half so maybe she could adapt again?!). The other guy is probably unreliable, unpredictable... but has a very calming influence on me which my husband could never have because he is too highly strung.

I have been ostracized by my family but have the support of wonderful friends thankfully.

I have told both men I need time and I do not want any contact for a few days which they are both respecting. I am now trying to figure out what to do. They are both great men for different reasons. The other guy has two kids and an ex wife which could make things complicated, but no matter what I say about him to put me off, it doesn't put me off. I feel like I owe it to my husband to try again after such a short time, but feel it might not work and if this has happened so soon in to our marriage, it's not a good sign. Being with the other guy would mean taking a big risk that might affect a number of aspects of my life. And yet I know we could have a harmonious and happy relationship and he has promised to make me the happiest woman in the world.

What should I do??? Why isn't it clearer? Do you have any advice at all?



Dear Confused,

First of all, I’d like to encourage you to doubt your impulses, your best instincts, your urges, your fleeting notions, even your beliefs. Then look around at the friends you have left, including the new guy. Anyone who’s been standing by your side, backing up your plays at this point? Be suspicious of them.

And then there’s your family, and your estranged husband. And oh yeah, your daughter. Oh, and the friend who was married to your new guy for all those years. All of these people who love you, who’ve been around for years and years, who you’ve trusted, leaned on, etc. Take a second, set aside your impulses and notions, all the things they don’t understand because they’re not you, and give them some credit. Give them credit just for being there, and for having the courage to tell you when they think you’re screwing up.

As valiant as you may feel for telling your husband and the new guy you need a few days to think things over, the truth is that people need longer than that. When you have a kid with someone and you’re with them for several years, you need more than four months to make your next big decision. When you’ve been married for two months, you need to take a little more time before you act on an urge with your friend’s ex-husband.

Look, when you went from describing your new relationship with your husband as promising to calling it tedious? I got confused and thought you must be talking about your kid’s father.

You’re making bad decisions right now, because you want easy answers and a quick escape. You wanted that with your new husband, and now you want it with your friend’s ex. You need to slow down and take a breath and start seriously questioning every single thought that floats through your head, particularly the ones that involve some shiny, perfect future with someone who hasn’t been around long enough to let you down yet.

Everything that you state as fact, in your letter? Put those into the “Unknown” column. For instance, you do not know that you could have a harmonious and happy relationship with the new guy - what basis do you have for believing that? Any proof you might have, I can debunk it merely by observing that he’s promising to make you the happiest woman in the world two months in your marriage to someone else. The new guy is deluded, and he’s as anxious to believe in a fantasy as you are. What do you know about living with someone with two kids, plus your kid, plus an ex-wife who was once your friend and now likely (and justifiably) hates your guts? You’re two months into a new marriage, and you want to throw it away, screw your husband, screw your friend, tell your family to fuck off, and drag your confused toddler along with you, into a house with two kids and a guy who’s willing to promise to make you happy forever before he even sees how you act when you’re in a crappy mood?

I know things seem extremely unclear, but unless you find your own clarity on this, slowly, and take into account your husband’s feelings, your friend’s feelings, your family’s feelings and your kid’s feelings, you’re going to regret it, big time. If you weren’t married, if your new guy weren’t your friend’s ex, if you didn’t have a kid, then you could be a little reckless. But think of all the people you’re asking to back your very bad bet, based on some empty promise. That’s not just risky, it’s self-destructive.

Demonstrate to yourself that you matter more than the latest guy who claims he can rescue you. Telling people who disagree with your choices to fuck off isn’t the way you define your independence. You get to feel independent and free when you’re sure about your decisions, when you don’t feel confused. You need to clear your head and take care of your daughter and feel good about yourself. Maybe your marriage was a mistake, but you made that commitment and the least you can do is go to counseling and discuss it. Sounds like you really need to be in therapy regardless, and listen, if your therapist tells you everything you’re saying right now makes sense? Get another therapist. Because right now, you’re damn near crazy.

I’m sorry to be so harsh, because I know you’re in a tough spot, but you need to know that anyone who’s angry with your choices at this point has a right to be. You’re running around like a lunatic, trying to find something that will make you happy without forcing you to take a close look at yourself and your behavior. Anyone who promises that doesn’t love you or is too dumb or short-sighted to get it. You need to figure out what you want for yourself and your daughter in the absence of anyone else, and until you have some plan for making it on your own, creating a stable situation for you and your daughter, until you feel confident in your ability to take care of yourself and your kid on your own, you won’t make a good decision about anyone else.

If you want to crawl out of this with some self-respect and the sense that you might still be a good mom to your daughter, tell the new guy you made a mistake, apologize to your husband, apologize to your family, apologize to your friend, and tell them all you’re going to take a long, hard look at yourself for the next six months and figure out a new path. You need to live alone, if you can afford it, and handle everything on your own, without leaning on anyone. You should still go to counseling with your husband, and see if that relationship is worth working on. But forget the new guy, factor him out, because if he were worth anything he wouldn’t be sleeping with a friend of his ex-wife’s who just got married a few months ago, not only because it’s fucked up, but because you’re a very bad choice for him, too.

And when you apologize, state your intention to get your head on straight, make it clear you’re not going to be with anyone for at least six months? The people who applaud that are your real friends, and the people who don’t support it are the people who want you in some half-baked, dependent, half-confused state, who want to play hero or want to save you or want someone desperate in their midst. They care about their own egos more than you, and they certainly don’t care about your daughter’s welfare.

Do you care about your daughter’s welfare at all, or do you want her to adjust to every whim you might have over the years? Look for a therapist, or if you can’t afford that, look in the paper under “Love Addiction” and find a group for women who can’t resist the latest guy. Listen to some stories from women who find a new guy every year or so while their kids struggle to adjust. It’s a serious problem, just as serious as alcoholism or drug addiction, and you’re wandering down that path because you don’t want to look at yourself or work on the commitments you’ve already made - to your family, your husband, and your kid. You want an escape, like every addict, and you want it now.

Like I said, you need to set aside what you want, what you have the urge to do, what you think you believe, and clear your head. Start trying to imagine the person you want to become -- not some shiny imaginary future, in which a man saves you from yourself, but a future in which you’re the hero. Think about your family and friends feeling proud of you, and you feeling proud of yourself. That probably seems impossible at the moment, but you can get there. It’s just not going to be easy.

But if you do what’s easy right now? Your life will be much, much harder in the long run. You’re at an important crossroads, and right now, you have to take the hard road.

Good luck.

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(no subject) [Sep. 5th, 2006|12:41 pm]
Potted Plant
Everyone knows about MTV's "The Real World", right? It's a show about 6 losers who go live in a house in a party town, where they will drink to excess and have sex with each other while they wait for their chance to get on the Real World/Road Rules Challenges. Well, I have an idea for tweaking the formula. Instead of 6 losers picked to go live in a house, have six losers go live a house with this guy:

I would watch that shit religiously. This idea is free MTV. You don't have to pay me or even credit me. I just want to watch it.
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(no subject) [Sep. 4th, 2006|03:26 pm]
Potted Plant
I feel like it is time for me to update, but I don't have much to say. Football season has started, and that's exciting. We got ESPN GamePlan for my anniversary because I am VERY hard to shop for. I really enjoyed it this saturday when I was able to watch whatever game was going on that happened to still be close, and even got to see my beloved LSU Tigers play a lot of freshmen and walk-ons in beating ULL. Football season is great.

My parents went to the game in Baton Rouge, which is good news because it means my dad was feeling up to going and sitting in the sun and walking around a lot. He must be fairly well recovered from his surgery.

Next week is a non-conference game against Arizona, who did not look good against BYU.
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(no subject) [Aug. 24th, 2006|11:12 am]
Potted Plant
Incidentally, I finally used the new cast iron dutch oven, and cooked a pot roast. It was the first time I'd ever cooked a pot roast on my own, and the first time ever using that pot. It cooked up perfect, but I underseasoned it and it came out kind of bland. Oh well.

Tomorrow, I'll make the potato soup.
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