Tag: Open Thread

The Stars Hollow Gazette

In Stars Hollow it’s finally Fall and there are wet leaves on the streets which reminds me of my dog Dally the Dalmatian.

Dalmatians are prone to kidney problems and Dally peed everywhere including my leg at obedience class, had to run home and change my pants.

Part of the training was to walk him, so I did.  It was dark and wet and I’m not sure what Dally saw when he took off because I was totally taken by surprise.

He weighed about half me, but my feet were on wet leaves so part way across the street was kind of like water skiing (and you thought Ralph was a bad Uncle).

The leaves burned out and I was dragged for a while before I could get the leash off.  I suppose you could call it payback.

Well it ruined my good knee and I had to crawl back to my house and bang on the door and scream until someone rescued me, but it evened out in the end.  I’m still here.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

One of the things I got out of Swim Team was a job.  I was a professional Life Guard and Water Safety Instructor for about 7 or 8 years.

Never had to rescue anybody though I had a supervisor who thought I was waiting too long to save the dog paddling girl who only had a T-Shirt for a bathing suit.  And she was being Black in a pretty white pool.  Not my regular boss the dope smoking Christian so I let it slide but I was pretty pissed off.  She was right by the side and not 10 feet from me, no danger at all.

I picked up a kid out of the gutter at the same pool who I was sure had broken his leg.  Nope.  Bounced right up and giggled.

Good work if you can get it- 2 to 9 and about 50% breaks, harder in the winter when you had to work 12 hour days and teach.  Your job basically is to be an asshole and stop people from having too much fun.  No running, no dunking, no splashing.  It’s Adult Swim because I say so you snotty brat.

I’ve guarded some pretty squirrley places too, above a dam in river water, a pool you had to vacuum every morning because the sport was to heave your beer bottles over the fence and smash them right on the lip of the pool so the shards fell in the water.  Good times.

After all I learned to play very good Pitch.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I like to read a lot, it’s one of my chief pleasures.

I was enforced in my addiction early in life living a mere block away from the local library.  Well equipped in Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, and other classics I soon outgrew the basement kids section and got my ticket to the tall shelves.  As soon as I got to Junior High I started ditching study hall to be a volunteer librarian.

I have a huge collection myself, most of it in boxes.  Dime a cover library sales of my very same childhood classics, I can show you the sign out cards.  Paperbacks when they didn’t cost $10.

Among the authors I like that don’t get talked about much are Dorothy Sayers and Rex Stout the Emily and Richard of Lord Peter Death (and that’s Death as in dead not Deeth you wienie) Bredon Wimsey and Nero Wolfe as recorded by Archie Goodwin.  Peter and Archie have Harriet and Lily, Nero has history.

If you haven’t read Flashman by George MacDonald Fraiser you don’t understand me at all, big C.S. Forester fan too.  I’ve had a Maria in my life.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 US boosts oversight for Iraq contractors
By MATTHEW LEE and ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press Writers
14 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday ordered new measures to improve government oversight of private guards who protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq, including tighter rules of engagement and a board to investigate any future killings.

The steps, recommended by an independent review panel she created after last month’s deadly Baghdad shooting involving Blackwater USA, would also require contractors to undergo training intended to make them more sensitive to Iraqi culture and language.

The changes to rules of engagement would bring the State Department closer to military rules.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I’ve played in several bands, in fact I’m a member of one today, though I’m not very active.

When I started out in 6th grade I played trumpet.  I had a choice of trumpet (Richard), flute (Emily), piano (Emily), or Guitar (Richard).  Too many keys, too many keys, too many strings and what the hell is a chord anyway?

Trumpets have only three keys so you can guess what someone as shallow and one dimensional as I picked.

Frankly I wasn’t good enough to cut it.  The other gal in class with me (just the 2 of us) went on to become a solo with The Connecticut Hurricanes which was at the time a very happening professional marching band.  My current band is professional too but you take out your pay in beer at the end of the parade.

Anyway it was clear by the time I was 13 years old that I was hopeless as a trumpet player, third seat third as they put it in Junior Band not Concert and my Band Director (one of the greatest leaders it’s ever been my honor to work under and I’ve had a few) suggested I borrow a Baritone Horn from the school.  AND because I am incapable of reading Bass Clef I could use the Tenor Sax music!

Since I was now instantly the second best player my attitude improved a lot.  Also he was very tough.  One period every day for group rehearsal, three nights a week after school,  Three sectionals a week (so you could thoroughly embarrass yourself in front of the same guys you’d been playing with all week who already knew that this was the part where you kind of hummed along so you didn’t fuck it up).

He was tough, and we played tough music and dominated our crosstown rivals and mostly everyone in the State.  Made us some trips too.  When you graduated you went on to High School Marching Band and by comparison it was a cakewalk.  Two short seasons, springtime all parades not drills, and we never had to play that good, just make our marks and play fast, loud, or both fast AND loud.

But that’s not what I’m here to share with you tonight.  I’m here tonight to tell you the difference between a Baritone Horn and a Euphonium.  Like a Trumpet a Baritone Horn has a tubular bore and a Euphonium has a conical one like a Cornet.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Three to Five is a stump speech you’re expected to give out at a public meeting.

You’re supposed to pump up enthusiasm for your current portfolio (whatever that is), lay out your agenda for the future, and recognize your performers.

All in three to five minutes because people want to get to the buffet and mingle and there are 10 other speakers.  Tight time budget.

I had a reputation as a time waster, but I really didn’t because I HAD an agenda.

Recognize your performers!  Surprise, surprise, surprise this also pumps up enthusiasm.  Two birds, one stone!

Blitz agenda-

I have promised myself that every single elected official who posts on dKos shall have to confront these three issues-

  • The Occupation of Iraq
  • The Erosion of Our Constitutional Liberties
  • Executive Submission to Congressional Subpoenas

All very simple.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

One of the things my club does, and has for the last 40 badump years, is run an Arts and Crafts Show on the Stars Hollow Green.

Taylor Doose hates it because we tear up the turf more than all the Weddings and Concerts and Easter Egg Hunts and Festivals he runs; but you know, that’s just the way it is in Stars Hollow, do something long enough and you have squatters rights and old Taylor can just piss up a rope.

It was a bad year.  We had less than 8 members to cover the whole event and it is our major fundraiser.

At the end of the day we were all pretty beat.  I won’t pretend I worked any harder than anyone else.  I still smoked and I must say I enjoyed it, sitting on the bench.  Still, it was just getting darker and colder and I was just getting stiffer so I mildly suggested-

“Seems to me we ought to get started cleaning up.”

Yes.  Well, it got exactly the kind of response I expected.

It occurred to me some stronger measures might be required, so I bestirred myself, picked up a garbage bag and said-

“Ok, I’m starting at that end”, and I pointed to the shorter and less garbagy part of the green since if you lead you get to do stuff like that, “and we need a team to start over there”, and here I pointed toward the horrendous pigsty, “and we’ll meet in the middle.  Let’s do it!”

And I did an unconvincing little jump and stalked off.

Oddly enough a half hour later the job was done.  The last Crafter on the Green closing up was a person who did tumbled rocks like Emily’s Mom.  Before she finished packing up her van she stopped me and said- “I saw what you did.” and gave me a piece of polished quartz of the type that normally went for a buck, so no big deal.

After all stones don’t bring you luck you make your own.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I advise everyone I know to buy a tuxedo.  Don’t rent.

For one thing they’re exceptionally cheap, cheaper than real clothes.  Mine cost me $150 at a Men’s Warehouse Store and came with a pair of pants and alterations.  They rent it for $75 a day.  A good jacket costs the same but without the pants and even though I don’t buy into your 20th Century notions of modesty I am particular about how I appear in public.

Call it vanity.

They’re remarkably durable.  After I discovered that people picking you up and tossing you in the hotel swimming pool means you’re a cool kid, I’ve had mine doused twice.  Costs the same $20 to clean as if I dropped my elbow in the salad dressing (that only happened once).  There is a reason they call it a Dinner Jacket, it’s a full body bib.

And for some reason people associate this penguin jacket with so many things.  I use mine like a costume at Halloween.  One year in fact I was at a party in Greenwich, The Fourth Annual Masquerade Ball.  I remember it for a couple of reasons but one is I have the Commemorative Champagne Sports Squeeze Bottle on my mantle.

My costume was my tux and a few copies of lorem ipsum printed in teeny tiny print like a contract, in red.  At the appropriate moment I’d whip it out and say- “No, I came here tonight especially to talk to you.”

Then I’d take a Montblanc (another $20 prop, you have to be stupid to pay more than that for a pen) I’d loaded with red ink and slide it across the bar.

For some reason that creeped people out.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Iraq drawdown to begin in volatile area
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
45 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Commanders in Iraq have decided to begin the drawdown of U.S. forces in volatile Diyala province, marking a turning point in the U.S. military mission, The Associated Press has learned.

Instead of replacing the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, which is returning to its home base at Fort Hood, Texas, in December, soldiers from another brigade in Salahuddin province next door will expand into Diyala, thereby broadening its area of responsibility, several officials said Tuesday.

In this way, the number of Army ground combat brigades in Iraq will fall from 20 to 19. This reflects President Bush’s bid to begin reducing the American military force and shifting its role away from fighting the insurgency toward more support functions like training and advising Iraqi security forces.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

People accuse me of being ridged minded and arrogant.

So what?

If I appear Manichean, too quick to divide things into black and white, I could plead my character but I won’t stoop that low.  Painful experience has taught me I’m smarter than most.

It’s really embarrassing at parties to have the Briggs-Myers INTP turn up and have the banker ask you- “So how does it feel to live in a world full of idiots?”

I dunno, how does it feel for you?

In my personal experience everyone is the producer, director, and star of their own private movie.

Of course you act like a diva, or you should.

This life is your red carpet.  Joan wants to talk to you.

Hope you have a designer dress on and some borrowed jewelry because this is your fifteen minutes of fame.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I hated water skiing with Uncle Ralph.  He was Aunt Alida’s second husband and they lived in a ranch house perched on the edge of a quarry lake.

What’s a quarry lake?  Basically a pit filled with water.  The house was kind of a normal house on top of a steep driveway as you got near the edge of the crater.  The downstairs was a game room with a Pool Table and a genuine One Armed Bandit that paid out real money and was totally illegal as Uncle Ralph would proudly boast.

And a rack of water skis and pile of life vests and a changing room and laundry so you could wash your bathing suit before you got home.

When you stepped on the patio what immediately attracted your attention were the pike and walleye heads nailed to the trees while you clunked down the steep terraces toward the dock.

It was a funny kind of lake.  Three feet deep for about thirty feet out.  Then a watery plunge.  The dock was set up so you could step off the side and play around or dive straight into hell.

As a two ski skier I was sneered at as worthless and weak- real men (and women) slalom.  Uncle Ralph delighted in throwing me at rocks and docks and generally jerking me around.  He was a mean boat driver, I’m not kidding.  Last time my dad skied he skied with Ralph and dad could slalom and went down hard.

Still, it had its good points.  After you had suffered enough you could climb up and play pool with cousins you didn’t know and can’t remember; and later, when Uncle Ralph had driven everyone into a cliff, he’d give you a cup of quarters and let you play slots ’til you lost them all.  Then it would be about dinner time.

If you brought your own money you could play nickle, dime, quarter with Uncle Ralph and all the other older relatives on the big felt pool table.  It was an odd night I didn’t walk away $4 or $5 dollars richer, but they were my relatives and I didn’t see them that often and I am a very good poker player.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I don’t really like swimming very much though I’ve done a lot of it.  I find it difficult to enjoy myself in the water because there’s always this sense that I should be doing something.

When I was in Swim Team we’d do 3 to 5 miles a day and it is the most boring, grinding, isolated kind of exercise you can imagine.  No view except the feet of the person in front of you.  Nothing to hear except an occasional whistle when you breathe.  Endless circles of aching effort regulated by 15 or 30 second breaks before it is time to push off again.  I’d sing symphonies in my head (I was into long haired music- Mozart, Bach, and Brahms) to alleviate the endless counting.  Stroke, stroke, stoke, stroke, stroke, stoke… 25.  Stroke, stroke, stoke, stroke, stroke, stoke… 50.

Everything about me stank of chlorine all the time.  My hair turned green.  I’d tell you my fingers and toes turned permanently pruney but that’s not quite true, they usually recover after a couple of hours.

Monday through Friday 6 to 8 and if you were on the elite squad there were the mandatory practices from 6 to 7 in the morning.  In the winter your hair would freeze and in the summer?

Ah… nothing like an outdoor pool in the early morning after it’s had all night to cool off.

I’ve had my head burnt to near Emergency Room levels when someone flushed the toilet while I was in the shower (actually I should probably have gone, it was that bad).  I’ve swum in pools so green you couldn’t see the bottom and had to feel for the wall (no flip turns, Team safety orders).

You get to a point where you can tell by feel fast water where you’ll get good times and personal bests from slow water.  But it’s slow for everybody as coach would say.

Anyway, now that I’m no longer a professional Life Guard and have to do my 400 yards every day, I rarely swim except to get somewhere and it should be somewhere fun.  A rock you can jump off.  A boat you can sail.  I will take a dip to cool off, but I hardly call it swimming, in and out.  I watch kids play in pools and I think- how are they having fun?

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