Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"Coexist" Bumpersticker

The intertubes are rather boring today, so I went looking for an essay to read, and I found one of Bill Whittle's old ones. I saw one of those Coexist bumper stickers about a month ago, and it pissed me off. Here is what Bill has to say:

You’ve probably seen this word spelled out with various religious symbols.

Who can argue with this? Not me, certainly.
What I CAN argue with is the idea that if only enough stupid, warlike Americans would just get on the Coexist train, then the world would be a happy and peaceful garden. Who else are the people with these bumper stickers preaching to, if not their ill-informed, knuckle-dragging neocon fellow commuters?
Unfortunately, here’s where reality inserts its ugly head. There is no more multi-cultural society on earth than the United States. The United States owns the patent on Coexisting religions and ethnicities. Drive half a mile though any major US urban area and you will see more ancient ethnic enemies living cheek by jowl in harmony than any other spot on the planet. Thursday morning water cooler conversations about Dancing with the Stars wallpaper over more ancient ethnic and religious murders than history has been able to record, and this despite Hollywood and the news media’s deepest efforts to remind you on a daily basis that the black or Hispanic or Asian or white friend in the next cube is secretly seething with racial hatred just beneath that placid veneer.
Americans are able to coexist because they have subjugated, if not abandoned, those ancient religious and ethnic hatreds to join a larger family, that larger family being America. And this is why, if you truly value the idea of coexistence, you should be dead set against multi-cultural grievance and identity politics, which do nothing but pit one ethnic group against the others and reinforce, rather than dilute, ancient resentments and grievances.
Now as it turns out, there is one member of the human family that seems to be having a little difficulty with the whole coexist thing. Muslims are at war with Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are fighting Animists in Africa, Hindus in Kashmir, Buddhists in Southeast Asia…they are blowing up nightclubs and schools and police stations and trains and buses and skyscrapers and are under daily orders to kill Jews on sight anywhere in the world.
I don’t mind preaching so much as preaching to the choir. When I see Coexist bumper stickers in Islamabad and Cairo and especially Riyadh to the degree I see them in Venice, California, I will be a happy man. They will make a very welcome sight covering over the Death to the Infidel! stickers that seem to be somewhat outselling Coexist messages in that part of the world. Until then I think we should coexist and carry a big stick.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
I'm not much of a Portrait Studio kind of gal. With the quality candid shot I am able to get, really, who needs 'em?

Deja Vu

This is kinda like what happened when I gave someone a mushroom log last year.

Except I don't remember there was the bit where they pretended to like it.

So, let's round it up. Favorite gift you received this year? Least favorite? Favorite gift you gave?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Oh, good Lord

Here are the lyrics to Akon's "Smack That", which is #8 on iTunes' top songs list:

> Shady
Up front
Slim Shady
I see the one
cuz she be that lady

I feel you creepin', I can see you from my shadow.
Wanna jump up in my Lamborghini Gallardo.
Maybe go to my place and just kick it, like Taebo.
And possibly bend you over.
Look back and watch me
smack that, all on the floor,
smack that, give me some more,
smack that, 'till you get sore
smack that, oooh.
smack that, all on the floor,
smack that, give me some more,
smack that, 'till you get sore,
smack that, oooh.

Up front style. Ready to attack now.
Pull in the parking lot slow with the lack down.
Convicts got the whole thing packed down.
Step in the club. The wardrobe intact now.
I feel it. Go on and crack now.
Ooh, I see it. Don't let back now.
Im'a call her. Then I put the mack down.
Money? No problem. Pocket full of that now.

I feel you creepin', I can see you from my shadow.
Wanna jump up in my Lamborghini Gallardo.
Maybe go to my place and just kick it, like Taebo.
And possibly bend you over.
Look back and watch me
smack that, all on the floor,
smack that, give me some more,
smack that, 'till you get sore
smack that, oooh.
smack that, all on the floor,
smack that, give me some more,
smack that, 'till you get sore,
smack that, oooh.

Ooh! Looks like another club banger.
They better hang on.
When I throw this thang on.
Get a little drink on. They goin' flip.
For this Akon shit. You can bank on it.
Pedicure, manicure, kitty cat claws.
The way she climbs up and down them poles.
Lookin' like one of them Pretty Cat Dolls.
Tryna hold my woody back through my drawers.
Steps off stage, didn't think I saw her.
Creeps up behind me and she's like, you're -
I'm like, yeah I know, let's cut to the chase.
No time to waste. Back to my place.
Plus from the club to the crib's like a mile away.
Or more like a palace, shall I say.
And plus I got a pal. Every gal is game.
In fact he's the one singing the song that's playing!

I feel you creepin', I can see you from my shadow.
Wanna jump up in my Lamborghini Gallardo.
Maybe go to my place and just kick it, like Taebo.
And possibly bend you over.
Look back and watch me
smack that, all on the floor,
smack that, give me some more,
smack that, 'till you get sore
smack that, oooh.
smack that, all on the floor,
smack that, give me some more,
smack that, 'till you get sore,
smack that, oooh

Eminem's rollin', D an' them rollin'.
Boo an' Oh Marvelous an' them rollin'.
Women just hoin'.
Big booty rollin'.
Soon I be all in them an' throwin D.
Hittin' no less than 3.
Block will style like wee, wee.
Girl, I can tell you want me, 'cause lately.

I feel you creepin', I can see you from my shadow.
Wanna jump up in my Lamborghini Gallardo.
Maybe go to my place and just kick it, like Taebo.
And possibly bend you over.
Look back and watch me
smack that, all on the floor,
smack that, give me some more,
smack that, 'till you get sore
smack that, oooh.
smack that, all on the floor,
smack that, give me some more,
smack that, 'till you get sore,
smack that, oooh.

This is from his album "Konvicted." Lovery.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A first?

But, I have to give this post at Scribal Terror the NSFW tag

Craptastic Display

I saw a truly craptastic display last night on my walk. While I would love to bring you images of the plastic nativity scene I was assaulted with last night, my husband says I'm a big mean meanie, and that I should leave the tastefully-challenged alone.

Now, really, I don't think this is a matter of my having some sort of Martha Steward Living holiday-decorating ideal. Truth be told, I can't stand the woman, and given the opportunity might tell her exactly where she could stick those home-made, hand-rolled, beeswax candles.

Craptastic, to me, refers to either pathetic displays (mine is dangerously close to fitting into this category), or ones that (however tasteful) signal someone has devoted way too much money and time to a holiday display: when not just every tree is decorated, but the roof-line, the garage, the cars, the backyard, and the concrete duck standing beside the front door. The category can be fun to look at, even beautiful, but (honestly) I have to wonder if whoever put the stuff up doesn't have a touch of OCD going.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Yesterday's story

Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
I thought about it, and decided yesterday's tree falling over story was not complete without a picture. Unfortunately, I didn't actually take a picture of the event. So, using my mad photoshopping skills, I've recreated the event for you here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My Tree Has Fallen

No link, my freakin tree has fallen over, and I can't get it back up.

I believe the failure lies in the stand.

Update: Tree is back up. For now.

"Bridging the Racial Divide"

Last night our local PBS station broadcast a locally produced, hour-long show entitled "Bridging the Racial Divide." The show featured local journalists, businessmen, activists, and at least one graduate student. The premise was to discuss issues of race, under the paradigm that Detroit is one of the most racially divided cities in the country. First, the group was divided racially, to have segregated "honest", blunt, discussions of race. Afterward, they analyzed the differences between the two conversations to, I guess, further the discussion.

Let me sum up for you how it mostly went. The topics were, "white privilege", Black rage, family values, and black political power in Detroit.

White group: We're white suburbanites who really have no clue, so we're gonna try not to say anything offensive.

Black group The white devils are to blame for everything, and EVERYTHING, absolutely EVERYTHING is about race

Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit.

But, the best moment, was when a guy (from the NAACP) said that the reason why some young black men don't show proper responsibility toward their children was because they couldn't find proper transportation to and from work. If you can figure out how this figures into marrying the mother of your child, let me know.

Monday, December 18, 2006

To Get You In the Holiday Mood

Maggie has found the most wonderful version of "O Holy Night" EVAR!

There were tears in my eyes as I listened. And, promise me you listen to it all the way through, because just when you think it cannot get any better, it does.

Dear Kwame, Detroit City Council, and other Concerned Parties,

I am officially done with Detroit. DONE. I've lived here almost all of my life. I was raised downtown in Lafayette Park. I walked to the old Hudson's to do my Christmas shopping (before that was torn down.) I skated on Belle Isle (before that became a gangster hangout and the skating hut was abandoned.) I waited with anticipated for you to change these things; you could have made a nominal charge for admittance to the Island to help cut down the cruising (and drinking and drugs.) But you refused. Now, families are afraid to go there. You could have done lots of things, but you didn't.

But, I soldiered on. I bought memberships to the cultural offerings about the city; the Zoo, and Greenfield Village. I bought a house, I met my neighbors. I tended my garden. I knew I could never send my children to the school (because, come on, how many of YOU send your children to the neighborhood schools? wink wink- I'm looking at you John Conyers and you Kwame.) I became a defender.

But you local "leaders" have so fucked things up, I have now completely lost hope that the city will ever recover, and I've decided that I'm completely DONE being a sacrificial lamb. Why good people would continue to live in this city that does absolutely NOTHING for them is a mystery to me now. Government policy is driven by pandering to the Unions (whose members don't even live in the city), and to the poor. Soon the city will be composed of nothing but the criminal element and those dependent on the Government.

Last month, my mother's house was broken into. And Saturday night, while my dad stopped over for a short visit, his car was stolen RIGHT out of my fraking driveway. My daughter cried in fear, accusing her father of lying when he said that we were safe in our home.

I am done. I am done of living near people who don't give a shit how their children turn out. My neighbors are not such people; they are pretty much mostly black middle-class "normal" people. Married. Jobs. Children. They tend to their yards. They have barbecues.

But, I'm not far (enough) from the hood. They find their way into my neighborhood. And I refuse to exist on the same plane as these people. My only purpose, in the city, is to pay taxes. My vote is irrelevant (racial politics is at a fever pitch in this city, where only a black person could EVER get elected. Black city council members, black police chiefs, black school administrators. If they can't find a black person in the city to fill a slot, they'll seek out of state, just as long as they are black, they are right for the job. Oh, correction- black and liberal, because those black conservatives are just uncle Tom's who are beholden to the white devil.

I am done. I'm going to start packing boxes after Christmas.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Because I'm a Giver

It distresses me to no end that some of my beloved readers are having problems with their Ipods. Or is the plural Ipie?

Anyway, from apple help:

iPod Issues?
These five steps (known as the five Rs) will conquer most iPod issues.

1. Reset your iPod.
2. Retry with a different USB port.
3. Restart your computer.
4. Reinstall iPod and iTunes software.
5. Restore your iPod.

If this doesn't help, I've found the apple discussion boards really helpful in the past, which can be found here.


I'm having three wisdom teeth pulled in a bit over an hour. I have no clue how I'll be feeling. Might be back, might not.

Uppdate: drugs good. yelling kids, not so much.

Maggie's Entry

Deserves to have it's own post.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
George is a contender.

Christmas on my IPod

Here's what I got:

River, Joni Mitchell
Baby, It's Cold Outside, Gabe Dixon
I'll Be Home for Christmas, Tift Merritt
The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole
A bunch of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra and more Nat
Entire Vince Guaraldi Christmas album
Assorted Trans-Siberian Orchestra (only acoustic tunes)
A couple of Mannheim Steamroller tunes
Phil Spector's "A Christmas Gift For You"
Harry Connick, Jr's "When My Heart finds Christmas"
The Chieftains "The Bells of Dublin"
"A Winter's Night", Assorted Artists

OH- and Pogues and Kirsty MacColl doing "Fairytale of New York", one of my favorites.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Iranian Truthseeker

I haven't really heard how that Holocaust conference concluded, and a quick search just now didn't come up with anything. I had read that the hoped-for conclusion by Amajinadadinka would be consensus that the whole thing was just an exaggerated lie to garner sympathy for the JOOOOOOS. It was only about 500,000 Jews that died, not 4 to 7 million.

And, Baker and friends want us to "engage" these people.

My Children Are Driving Me Crazy.

Should I ship them all off to public school?


Monday, December 11, 2006

And now for something completely different

Diana Damrau as Queen of the Night. Turn it up..The singing starts at about the two minute-mark. Really, you have to click this, it's amazing.

This was on HDNet over the weekend, and I've probably watched this part of the performance about 10 times already. The bad part is that I am now ruined; my copy of The Magic Flute on CD does not compare. Papageno is better in this other version too.


While at Target...

Living in Detroit, it's not the most unusual or unexpected thing to see a Moslem here and there. Head scarfs are rather common. I've seen Jilbab-clad women complete with head-scarfs at the beach (in 90 degree weather) watching their children and husband swim. But never had I seen a woman dressed with a niqab; the face veil that leaves just a slit for the eyes.
The woman I saw was with her husband and two children, walking through Target. Was it a coincidence that the woman walked behind her traditionally-styled bearded husband? The lady (although who can really be sure what was behind all that black fabric) tried to inspect a shirt for sale, and had to put her head close and turn her head this way and that to see it all. I imagine it's like trying to look out of a halloween mask.
Why do these people want to live here? I seriously want to know. I do question the motives of those who move here, yet are not in the smallest bit interested in assimilating. The Nigab is not just a piece of cloth. It represents, to me, the opposite of everything America stands for.

Another Worthy Entry from River Rat

Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
Definitely craptastic.

Sayeth RR on his latest submission:

Ladies and gentlemen I do believe we have a winner. I submit to you,  Our Lady Of the Plastic Christmas, and directly to the right ( due to the fact we had serious wind last night) The Inflatable Wal-Mart  Christmas Decoration Grotto. All the same dwelling. I count 13 inflatables down. Oh the humanity.

Tasteful or Craptastic?

Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
Not the greatest shot, but I took while picking up Thai food, and ethnic take-out waits for no woman so I didn't have a ton of time. What you really can't make out are the humourgous angels on the roof.

Maggie's entry

Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
Maggie would like you to focus your puzzlement on the two round orbs underneath the window.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What Media Bias? IV

You know, the media that doesn't headline every war dead, or suppress terrorist threats that exist in the US?

Call me crazy, but I could have sworn there was some super-huge story out of Chicago yesterday? I planned to read -up on it today, but I searched and searched my local paper and the only story I could find from Chicago was about four people being shot in an office building. Funny, I really thought I heard something (you know, on my right-wing wacko radio programs) about a Methodist youth planning some special fireworks for the Holiday shoppers around the 22nd at a mall.

I'm sure it was Fauxnews media distortion. Rovian plot. Nothing to see here folks. I am so relieved that there is no terrorist threat in this Country (I think that phrase has been trademarked to Michael Moore, I hope I don't owe him royalties.)

Now, I've got to go do some Christian do-good stuff, but I hope to have some pictures up later.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Our First Entry

Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
River Rat, at great personal risk should his wife discover he submitted this photo, starts off our Craptastic Contest!

Well done, RR, well done.

And should we never hear from you again, we will know why.

Craptastic Holiday Displays

I'm going to try to take a photo of the most over-the-top display near me. I welcome submissions in search of the most Craptastic Holiday Display. I think Craptastic can be interpreted in many ways; from pitiful (my display is in danger of falling under that category) to marvelous. I say the only exclusion is that it should NOT be tasteful.

Christmas Eating Tips

I've seen this one before, but it's a goodie:

* Holiday Eating Tips*

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

 2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy.

Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy . Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

 6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's.

You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

 8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

 9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

 10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

 Have a great holiday season!

My husband will like this one.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm Outraged

TWO Muslim students have been expelled from an Islamic school in Melbourne for urinating and spitting on a Bible and setting it on fire.

Expelled? EXPELLED? I say we issue a fatwa on this two little boys. Beheading. Stoning. Something like that should do the trick. After all, they INSULTED my holy book. Pretending to pee on the Koran resulted in angry demonstrations. Actually peeing on the bible should count for something, right?

I'm taking to the streets right now- I'm going to march through Dearborn demanding apologies from everyone there. Who's with me?

Ironic endnote to the story? The "excuse" given for these two prankster's desecration is that it was a response to the "humiliation" they felt after the criticism of their spiritual leader mufti Taj Din Al-Hilali. You know, the guy who likened rape victims to uncovered meat. That is ironic, right? Or am I pulling an Alanis Morrissette here? I say it actually IS ironic, because their leader was criticized for being backward, intolerant, and idiotic, and then they ACTED in exactly such a manner in their form of protest.

h/t: Michelle Malkin

Silly String for Iraq

Marines working in Iraq have shown Army combat engineers how it can be used to detect trip wires. Before searching buildings, for example, soldiers spray doorways from at least 10 ft. away with streams of foam–and see if they’re snagged by barely visible wires, which are often affixed to bombs. The Army acknowledges the off-label use.

How cool is that?

Oh Goodie

Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick to be chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Is she still driving around that expensive Cadillac (leased for the bargain-basement price of $9792.00 a year) at taxpayer's expense? Kilpatrick represents one of the poorest and smallest districts in the nation. She ran unopposed in November, and got 90% of the vote.

Not my vote, though.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Overheard at the Gym

I couldn't hear it all, but let me sum it up for you with the following keywords:

Bush. Stupid. Cheney, Oil. Halliburton. Friends. Payback. Offshore accounts. War. Gas prices.

I was awfully close to going off on the guy, but instead turned the iPod up, and double-timed on the stairmaster. Matter of fact, I considered asking him to loudly spout crap next to me again on Thursday.

I am a model of self-restraint.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Not Forty

I have one more year until I have to face that demon.

I have decided to skip skoul for the kids, and devote the day to arts and crafts

Update: First project almost done! We took old CDs, DVD, computer disks, sprayed them with glue and then decorated them with glitter. They are going to go on the tree outside for Christmas decorations. Quick poll:

Should I use a layer of some sort of sealant? The glue I used is supposedly waterproof, and if I can avoid another step that would be a good thing.

Next project: I have two Christmas decoration kits for the kids; little snowmen and trees. I even got a kit (of clothespin reindeer) for my Catechism class.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Interesting, and I'd like to believe it ...

But, then maybe it's the optimist in me.

The incredible alliance has now taken place; Bush’s dire vision of the Middle East is truer today than it was before the invasion of Iraq. However, a coalition between Iraq and Iran is not the cause for alarm it might once have been. It is unlikely that Iraq will be militarily and logistically prepared to pose a combined threat, with Iran, to Israel or western states at any point in the near future. In the meantime, Iran may very well have a stabilizing effect on post-Ba’ath Iraq; an ally with religious legitimacy could prove vital in resolving sectarian conflicts. Furthermore, Iran’s positive involvement (and more importantly, investment) in Iraq significantly diminishes the possibility that the two nations will slip back into conflict and reignite regional tension. And as long as the new Iraqi government works in cooperation with the US, Iran would be forced to tone down its anti-American rhetoric in order to create a sustainable alliance with its neighbor.

Best "O Holy Night"

Given that it isn't a "Holiday Season" but Christmas, I certainly enjoy me some of teh religious holiday musak. So, this leads me to raise the question of the best version of "O Holy Night." I'm rather partial to Ricky Lee Jones's version with The Cheiftains. Simple. Clean. Emotive. None of those annoying note tripping additions that you hear in the pop versions - I'm looking at you Christina Aguilera.

One that note, I would say that my issue with most Christmas music is that it is overproduced. I likes my Christmas arrangements simple; I prefer a singer supported by a violin and a piano, not the London Symphony. I can forgive the classics their full orchestral accompaniment. Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole get grandfathered-in. But if it's been made after 1975, I prefer the more understated music.

The exception, of course, is instrumental versions of songs.

Maggie is discussing Christmas music as well. Her choices are a tad more eclectic than mine.

Shame On You

Detroit's blood donation rate is 1.1%. That means, for those of us who went to public school, that only one out of ONE HUNDRED residents of Detroit donate blood.

What it [ed] also means, is that the community that lives in the city is at danger because type O is the most common blood type among it's residents (the 85% of the population that is black), in addition to being the type which is always in the shortest supply. Metro Detroit has a donation rate of 4%, dragged down from the national average of 5% by Detroit, most likely.

You know what? No amount of federal money, social programs, or racial preferences are going to change this. The brothers and sisters are just going to have to step up and open a vein.

It's free, it takes about an hour of your time, and is often offered at churches, hospitals, and businesses. There is no excuse for the pitiful levels of donation in Detroit. Shame.

Addendum: Detroit opened a blood donation center with the hope that easier access would increase donation levels. Well, it's open now only two days a week due to inactivity, and is in danger of closing.