Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Why does my head sweat when I eat spicey food? Mind you, I like it pretty hot...but why does it make my head sweat? Hmmm....

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Torture Inc., part two

There is an interesting little read from the BBC...lord knows you can't trust them...

It's an interview with a top aide to Colin Powell. He flat out accuses Cheney of breaking U.S. laws and stops inches short of accusing him of war crimes. Read it, or don''s a free country...for now...

Torture Inc.

So, this comment is from a State Department spokesman concerning the use of not so secret anymore torture centers the U.S. set up in Eastern Europe.

This is a struggle that all free countries, including the countries of Europe, share with us: How to deal with groups of people, individuals, that respect no law, that wear no uniform, that follow no regulations, and how do we as a country and how do we as countries that abide by the rule of law that follow -- that abide by our international obligations and abide by our constitutions? How do we deal with that?
It just makes me wonder how we're supposed to deal with it when it's the President of the United States signing off on torture... Is there a hell hot enough for such a person?

Once again, that was..."groups of people, individuals, that respect no law, that wear no uniform, that follow no regulations..." Sound like anyone familiar?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Current favorites spots you're reading this at...

I'm still amazed by the concept that I can write some inane thought here and, within seconds, some bored sole in Kuala Lampur can read it and think, 'Well, at least my life isn't that dull...' What a miraculous world we live in.

That current favorite spots that have appeared in my logs lately are:

  • Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan

  • Mauritus

  • Richmond, Tasmania

  • Delhi, India

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates

That's right, I'm international. International and proud. In the past I've had visits from Germany, France, England, Italy, and Brazil.

I should also give a nod to my friends up North who hail from such cool places as Moose Jaw, Whitehorse, and Ontario.

It really is an amazing world.

Je deteste...

I went out on Friday morning, rolling into the shopping melee that pretty much passes for a cultural event in America these days. This was not because I'm a masochist, or an Uber-shopper, but because I needed to try and find a computer part and I was going to my parent's in the afternoon. So, morning trip it was.

I didn't find the part, so I wandered over to Kohl's (a midwest store that used to be all about groceries, but is now all about clothes and other department store odd transformation if ever there was one...) to see if I could grap a new pair of Levis. I actually need the Levis, it wasn't entirely because I didn't want to do laundry.

I got into the store, put my head down and blasted over to the men's department. Grabbing the jeans, I turned and for the first time saw the utter ridiculosity (I was a sports writer...I'm allowed to make up words...) of the situation.

The line snaked to the back of the store. Fatties as far as the eye could see...clutching their doorbuster deals tight to their corpulent selves. Not an ounce of joy slipped from any of those porky lips. (At this point, I should tell you that I'm really not playing up the extra pounds for a laugh. The majority of the people in line - mainly surly looking women, I might add - were obese.)

The jeans were left somewhere between the men's department and the door. I fled...

I would further describe the horror, but this guy does a much better job of it. I refer you to him.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

0 for 3

I've gone 0-3 on my holiday plans...didn't do drinks with Gregg, Thanksgiving dinner was postponed a day, and last night it was snowing a bunch, so I didn't see Eileen. Go figure.

Despite that, it wasn't all bad. Still went out on Thanksgiving Eve. I suppose it could be called Tanksgiving, since that's what everyone was busy doing...getting tanked. Ran into some people I haven't seen in a while. Thanksgiving was postponed a day, so Thursday turned into a Shawn's gonna start learning to use Flash kind of day. My favorite pub open that night, so out I went and had a great time...again running into some friends. Friday, went to the folks house and did the dinner thing. Then it started snowing and it was getting late, so no drive through the backroads of Wisconsin to see my friend visiting her folks.

So, now it's Saturday...who knows what's gonna happen...I just know that I'm not going to try and plan ahead...not with my recent record...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving and Stuff(ing)

Hope everyone has a great holiday. I'm going to go out to buy expensive drinks for my friend Gregg tonight, see my folks and family tomorrow, and likely see my friend Eileen on Friday.

I leave you with my kind of your backs or he'll kick your ass.


If you came by earlier, your eyes are not betraying you...the gun toting turkey is indeed now moving. My day wouldn't be complete without some tinkering around.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Nice day, but...

The shadows are long and it's only 3:15. I'm not a big fan of this time of year. I like long days too much.

But, since it is Thanksgiving coming up, I should toss out a couple of thankful fors...

I'm glad I have pretty good friends and family. It's a nice thing to have people you care about and that care about you. I'm glad that I've got my health and I'm mostly in pretty okay shape. I'm thankful that there are still people who choose love over hate, even in trying times. And I'm thankful that the world is more good than bad.

Got anything to add?


Monday, November 21, 2005

Please don't be offended if I don't call...your number's in my fridge

It was one of those weekends...

Why they happen when I drag myself out to the pub looking like ass is beyond me, although it does fit into the philosophy of 'The Tao of Steve.' Anyway, it's all too sordid and risque to repeat here, so I'll just leave you with the knowledge that the title of this post really does say it all...

Sometimes single is a good way to be.

p.s. - For those of you who may know of my Moment of Godlike Clarity and the followup on New Year's Eve...consider this the next installment.

Friday, November 18, 2005

America's Sweetheart was Canadian...

This is a special nod to the North...apparently, there are some Canucks who wanted to see some Canadian representation in the smart and beautiful listings.

That said, today I bring you 'America's Sweetheart.'

Ummm...Shawn...didn't you just say you were taking us up North? Yeah, I did. That's why I have to tell you that America's Sweetheart was Canadian.

Gladys Marie Smith was not only adored by the masses, she was also a keen business woman. Born on April 9, 1893, in Toronto, Ontario, young Gladys was destined to prove that child actors don't all grow up to be Danny Bonaduce.

She started acting in a Toronto stock company and from there went on to some leading roles in New York. She began her film career in 'Her First Biscuits' in 1907. She was directed by D.W. Griffith (who went on to direct the seminal, 'Birth of a Nation'). By 1909, she had starred in 'Mrs. Jones Entertains,' under the name Dorothy Nicholson. She appeared in 51 films that year. She was working under Griffith at Biograph Company. In 1910, she appeared in 49 films. In 1911, she left Biograph and went to work with Carl Laemmle (the father of Universal Studios). She returned to Biograph after a year and went on to work with other companies, directors and producers, including the legendary Adolf Zukor.

Anyone who didn't see young Gladys' drive and ambition, must not have been looking. She clearly had plenty of both. If you count backward from 1919 to her birth in 1893, you'll come up with the age she was when she joined two of the biggest names in Hollywood and founded what would become one of the big studios. Who was this plucky 26 year old actress?

Gladys Marie Smith was better known to millions as Mary Pickford, or simply, America's Sweetheart. She was one of the biggest names in silent movies. Her place at the top of the Hollywood heap was challenged by only a few. Two of those fellow actors - Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks - became her partners in the founding of United Artists. Fairbanks was, later, her husband for 16 years.

Her silent movie work made her a star. She starred in many silents, including: 'The New York Hat,' 'Tess of Stormy Country,' Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,' 'Poor Little Rich Girl,' and 'Daddy Long Legs.'

By the year 1916. Pickford was making nearly $150,000 a year - the average family income was about $2,000 a year. She earned $2,000 a week and then received a $10,000 bonus at the completion of each film.

It was also, during this time that Pickford began working with a young female screenwriter, Frances Marion (*stay tuned for more on Frances Marion), who would become one of Pickford's closest friends and one of the most highly regarded writers in Hollywood history. This is just an example of Pickford's near obsession with surrounding herself with the best talent in the industry.

Her performance in the sound film, 'Coquette' cemented her position in the pantheon of Hollywood deities. She won an Academy Award for that performance - the first one given for an actress in a talkie. Pickford was one of 36 founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She and her husband, Fairbanks, were the first two stars to officially put their hand and footprints in the cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater in 1927.

In addition to founding United Artists and helping start the Academy, Pickford and Fairbanks built a lavish mansion, known as Pickfair, which became a center of the Hollywood social scene and the scene of many raucous parties.

Pickford retired from acting in 1934, after making 'Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove.' After divorcing Fairbanks, Pickford went on to marry Charles 'Buddy' Rogers ('Wings,' 'My Best Girl'). Although she is widely remembered for her sweet, and often Pollyanaish, portrayals of heroines, Mary Pickford was also the most powerful and influential woman in Hollywood history.

She received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1976. She died in Santa Monica on May 29, 1979. For more information about Pickford's life and charitable works, go to Mary

First off...

Thanks for all the nice comments. They all mean a lot.

For anyone worried that I'm planning on giving all my belongings away and joining up with the shaved-head Hari Krishnas...worry no more.

Mostly, I've just been trying to look at myself and figure out what it is I want. Sure, money is part of it...but a small part. Prestige is a small, tiny part of it. Basically, I have all the desires we all have, but it's just time to put them into line. Instead of pursuing them all, or none of them...I just want to figure out the important ones and not waste time chasing shiney objects.

The first step is, of course, figuring out what those priorities are. After that, the biggest step is leaving where I'm at...jumping back in the stream, as it were. Anyway, some will say to figure out the destination, jump in and start paddling - others will say, jump in and start paddling and then figure the destination. Both are valid...though, I think I'll be doing the jump in and figure it out later thing myself.

Anyway, thanks for taking time to read my confessions and for coming back to see what else is in store...just know that your presence makes the journey easier...cheers...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My parents expected a lot from me. Not in a harsh way, but in a way that was always hanging in the air. They sacrificed a lot to make my life better. And I let them down.I don't know exactly what they wanted for me, but I know it's not what I've accomplished so far.

I had a girlfriend in high school, Becky, and I know she thought I could achieve some great things. I let her down.

Later, I had a girlfriend, Coleen, who believed in me. She was ready to share her life with me. I let her down. She moved on and made a life for herself. I saw her a while back and I was embarrassed because I could feel her disappointment. It wasn't expressed, but it hung thick in the air. That still haunts me.

I went a long time, never getting close enough to let someone else down. I didn't really know that's what I was doing, but it was. For a long time I didn't let anyone close enough to be let down. Even when I lived with a woman for nearly three years, that wall was there. I lowered my expectations to create a safe little world for myself.

It was a long time before I met someone who challenged me. Someone who expected more of me than I did. I loved her more than words could express. I still do, and I think she knows it in her soul. In some strange way, I know she really doesn't want to hear from me until I've lived up to my potential. Rebecca, I know you're out there and I love you for believing in me. And, remarkably, I know you still believe in me.

I had a boss at the same time who expected more from me too.

Kevin and I worked together in his frame shop for five years. One day, he fired me. It wasn't because I wasn't doing the job, but rather because he knew I was hiding in that job. He told me to take some time off, collect unemployment and figure out what I needed to do. He gave me a gift of love, and eight years later, I still haven't repayed it.

One night, sitting outside the paper I worked at, my friend Josh told me I was wasting my time doing what I was doing. He probably doesn't even remember it, but he was right. It's been several years since then.

Tonight I was told to get the fuck out by my friend Gregg. I've never cried at a bar, but I did tonight. But he was right. This isn't my town. This isn't my life. I need to move on and stop hiding here. I started to promise to do something big, something great, and he stopped me.

'I don't care about that shit,' he said. 'Just stop. Just fucking stop. Stop fucking doing what you're doing and be something. It fucking breaks my heart that you're cleaning carpets, working for your brother. I belong here, I know my place here. You don't belong here. I should be living my life vicariously through you. Just stop. Don't let me down, just don't let me down.'

I don't know. He's right. All my friends throughout my life have been right. I need to think a bit. Maybe I'll be back tomorrow, or the next day, or never...but I want to share a small piece of friendship with you all before I take some time out.

Thank you all for just being yourselves. We all have a special spark in us and we should cherish it. No one is here for long, a few years, a few decades, whatever...when we go there will only be some memories, and then those will be gone too.

Have you done everything you could today? Probably not. Neither have I. What are we waiting for? Just do it. Hug your kid. Call your Mom. Call a friend. Mend a fence.

Embarrassed? Who gives a shit...just do it. Just do what something you know you want to do, but you're scared of.

Do it.

You'll probably look the fool, but who really cares? Just fucking do it...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Recent reading...

I like to read. It makes me feel good when I learn new things. I also have a bit of a fear of saying something wrong. Along with an pretty strong sense of curiousity, I also have a high degree of skepticism built into my system.

Reading fills some of my needs, so I guess I'll be reading for life - literally and figuratively.

I wish there was rhyme or reason to my reading habits, but there's not. Generally speaking, I find something that interests me and become nearly obsessed with it. Then, once I reach a certain level of knowledge on the subject, I usually lose interest and move on. Sometimes I return, but often I'm left with a sophomore level knowledge of many things.

Some of my latest reads have been:

Our Endangered Values - Jimmy Carter
SUSE Linux 9 Bible - Several authors
The Pleasure Of My Company - Steve Martin
Survivor - Chuck Palahniuk
Mind Of Clear Light (Advice on Living Well and Dying Conciously) - His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Anyway, I guess I don't understand people who don't want to know. They're out there and they are many...these people who would just rather not know. They don't want anything to pierce the bubble which they live in. To them, truth can be a dangerous thing and knowledge is to be feared. All I can say is that I don't get it.

Anyway, back to the book pile for me. I'm in the middle of a book called 'Over the Edge' by Greg Child. It's about the four American climbers that were kidnapped by rebel fighters in Kyrgystan in 2000.

What might have been...

The Packers picked up win number two last Sunday. They did it against one of the better teams in the league...and they did it with a fourth-string running back and a bunch of backups. Maybe that's the thing that sets a team apart. The desire to try and win even when there shouldn't be a chance of winning. Who says that sports has no lessons to teach?

Out here in Wisconsin, our new hero is Samkon Gado. I mean, this kid too awesome, or what? He was born in Nigeria, played football at a small college (Liberty) and was let go by the Chiefs, where he was on the practice squad. The Packers sign him for their practice squad in the middle of October and less than two weeks later he taking handoffs from Brett Favre in an NFL game. And the thing is, he's actually pretty good. Top it all off with the fact that he's polite and he seems like a nice guy...and you've got a player that Packers' fans are starting to love.

Anyway, even with an abyssmal record, the Packers have been in pretty much every game, which makes fans of the Pack wonder just what might have been if there weren't so many injuries...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Something old, something new...

The Zombieslayer sort of got this topic rolling and I couldn't just let the chance pass to hand out some praise for two exceptional Spanish women. First, Margarita Carmen Cansino - who you perhaps know as Rita Hayworth.

Although she was born in New York and raised in Southern California, Rita remained a Spanish girl throughout life. Her father was Spanish and the family had strong roots back in the old country.

Rita, the queen of the pinups, was not only a lovely face, she could also hoof it with the best of them. Ginger Rogers might have been the partner, but for several Hollywood stars, Rita Hayworth was the better dancer. That's not just some studio spin either. Her father was perhaps the best known Spanish dancer in early Hollywood. He not only appeared in many movies after closing out his wildly successful show in New York and moving to Hollywood, he also became a well regarded choreographer and dance teacher.

Young Rita was brought up to dance and spent hours in the studio. She was actually 'discovered' by a studio bigwig when he saw her dance in a show with her father.

She did some small parts, did some more parts and then finally hit it big. And hit it big she did. Mostly known for playing steamy sirens, Hayworth was longed after by many men of the time. During the war, she was the armed forces' most popular pinup girl and she returned the compliment by performing in shows, working in the USO canteen and entertaining soldiers. She was also active in fund raising.

Like many actors and actresses of the time, Hayworth had a rocky romantic life. She had a handful of marriages and divorces and was, sadly, never able to find that careful balance of successful career and quiet lifestyle that she sought.

Two of her more famous marriages included a marriage to Orsen Welles and a marriage to Prince Aly Khan. Yup, she was a real princess, much like a certain starlet named Grace Kelly.

In later life, Rita developed Alzheimer's disease and was unable to work in movies. Her daughter, Princess Yasmin Agha Khan cared for her during her final years. She left behind a string of excellent movies and thousands of adoring fans. Not such a terrible legacy really.


And just so you don't think I'm stuck in the past, I present Paz Vega. Vega is already well known in Spain and around the world, but is still a bit of a unknown here in the States.

You might remember her for her charming, yet solid performance in 'Spanglish.' Somehow, Vega manages to convey a range of emotion with very little spoken...or, at least, very little English spoken. Her portrayal of a single mom trying to do the best for her daughter is really very good.

If you want to see another side of this excellent - and beautiful - actress, you should rent 'Sex and Lucia' or Pedro Almodovar's 'Talk To Her.' Come to think of it, I haven't had the chance to watch 'Talk To Her' straight through, so that might be on the plate this weekend.

Here's the quick low down on lovely Paz Vega:

She was born Paz Campos Trigo on January 2, 1976, in Seville, the Spanish town famous for Carmen and singing barbers. The slender and athletic Paz first dreamed of being a sports star and later aspired to politics. But at age 15, all it took was a day at the theater to cement her ambitions; a performance of La Casa de Bernarda Alba set her sights on acting for good.

And, sadly for us guys, Paz Vega lives in Madrid with husband Orson Salazar. The streets run wet with my tears...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My tete a tete with the former Prez...

Because most people don't get much of a chance to spend time with a president - former or current - I'm going to try and give you little glimpse at my glamourous life. Secrecy and tact precludes me from telling all, but rest assured I will be revealing the best parts to you guys.

I arrived early, as is my wont when I'm scheduled to meet with former presidents. It's just nice to get a lay of the land, so to speak, since it's already a bit intimidating to meet with a past leader of the free world. When I got to Wal-Mart - yes, I too wondered at his choice of meeting places, but who am I to argue? - I noted there was quite a long line of people clutching books, apparently hoping to catch a glimpse and maybe try to get an autograph. I'm not so hardened that I didn't feel for these people and decided to show my solidarity with the regular folk by standing in line with them.

What a lucky thing for me. I was able to meet Tom, the gay doctor, and his lovely friend, Whatshername. She really was lovely, but she was rather unfortunate in having a forgetable name. Anyway, Gay Tom, Whatshername and I had a wonderful time chatting in line. Tom even bought us all some waters and offered us some spud wedges, which he declared were fabulous. That's just how we are in Wisconsin, what can I say?

Anyway, we were having so much fun in the party aisle with the mini Magic 8 Balls, Sponge Bob party favors and Barbie balloons that the time got away from us. It hardly seemed like a minute more than two hours of standing in one place. Well, knowing that presidents are usually sticklers for punctuality, I was fixing to say my goodbyes to my new friends when the line started moving.

'What the heck,' I figured. 'Might as well just spend some more time with these folks. The former president can wait.'

We moved forward at a pretty good clip. Down the party aisle, around the front, and up the center aisle. It was a long line and it stretched back and forth around ten aisles. I was sorely tempted along the way by many wondrous items like dog biscuits and toilet scrubbers, but I had important people to meet, so I left the goodies behind for another trip.

Gay Tom and Whatshername walked with me. I think they were hoping to ride my coattails in for a little face time with the Prez.

An eager. young intern type took my books for me...clearly she recognized me and was doing a bit of sucking up. She passed my books to another aide and told her they belonged to me. The aide nodded knowingly...

I don't want to talk out of shop or anything, but since you guys are my blog pals...I'm going to include a complete transcript of my private conversation with the former President of the United States:

Aide: These are his.
Former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter: (looks up) Oh thank you.
Me: Thank you sir.
Former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter: Oh, well, thank you for coming out.
Me: Thanks for being here sir. Thanks very much.

Pundits will be reading what they want into that exchange, but I'm not going to stoop down there in the gutter with them.

Gay Tom, Whatshername, and I walked out together. We were, understandably, giddy from the heady experience.

'Wow...this line is still really long,' I said to my new friends.

'Well, thank god we weren't way back here,' said Gay Tom. 'These people are going to be here forever! Forever!'

I think a Sponge Bob flew by my head...

Forget degrees of Kevin far from porn are you?

Has anyone else noticed that the web has gotten sort of squeaky clean lately? What happened to the days of porn just popping up (or is that out?) while surfing? Are those days gone forever?

As an experiment, I will go forth and Goggle seemingly innocent words and phrases in an attempt to accidentally find some porn sites. Good god, the sacrifices I make...if you don't see me for a while...

Anyway, converse amongst yourselves...any funny porn popping up stories to share?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Okay...that's weird...but, I'll go anyway

In a bit of blog irony (would that be blogrony?) or some such thing, my plans for a quiet Thursday night sucking back a drink or two have just changed. Now, I'm going to try and shake hands with a real man.

A couple of days ago, Zombieslayer did a post on 'The Man' and I commented that no one in Bush Co. was likely to be shopping at Wal-Mart any time soon.

No...I'm not going to tell you Turdblossom was shopping for skivies in aisle six today. This is much better than that. Jimmy Carter is going to be signing his new book at the local Wal-Mart superstore. It's true...Secret Service has been through the place for the last week.

Whacked out...indeed...but I'm going to be there.

For some weird reason, the Milwaukee area has been a magnet for politicos of all stripes the last few years. During the campaign Bush stopped here twice and his wife came out once. Kerry made his stops here too. But this is the first time that a real President has been in the area since I've been here.

What? Didn't I just say Bush was here twice?

Yes, I did...and I stand by my statement that this will be the first real President stopping here during my time here. Bush might be your president, but he's not mine. In fact, I've decided to dismiss him as a spoiled, rich, bastard who's not even worthy of my scorn. You can keep that 'man of faith' and any god he worships.

Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, is someone that I can respect.

I might not think of him as the best President of my lifetime, but I believe he did a respectable job when in office and a more than respectable job when out of it. He has always been candid about his faith and he backs it up with actions. That quietly commands respect, if you ask me.

So, while Junior stands in front of carefully-orchestrated, mocked-up scenes of rebuilding after disasters, Jimmy Carter has been busy actually pounding nails in houses for the poor. Junior talks about his faith with a bull horn, and Carter quietly earns the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

Anyway, you can call Carter a peanut farmer, say he's not a savvy politician, even say he seems a bit goofy...but in my book he'll always be a man for trying honestly. Bush...well, he'll never be a real man, no matter how many troops he commands or how loud he proclaims his hollow faith. A real man is honest and has character...and you can't buy those things.

So, I bought Jimmy Carter's new book.

I'll be standing there in line. And if I get to see the guy and have my book signed, I'll leave happy knowing that I've seen a real man...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

For your weekend pleasure...

Because there's no better time than the weekend to enjoy a little cigarette square dancing...

See, just another reason to love the Archive.There are some pretty cool things over there. Including old movies, concert recordings, cartoons, and lots more. Fun times and a great resource if you're into stuff like that.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Hedy and beautiful

"Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid." - Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Lamarr photo
I love Hollywood... but I really love old Hollywood. So, since Zombieslayer has the hot women of today covered, I'm going to look back at the hot women of yesterday.

First up - Hedy Lamarr. I never knew just how hot she was until I read a biography on her. After that...I was enamoured.

Hedy Lamarr - or rather, Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler - was born in Vienna, Austria in 1913. She did some German and Czech movies and gained worldwide buzz after doing a now-famous nude scene in a movie called 'Extase.' Hollywood came calling soon after.

She played sultry roles in Algiers(1938), Lady of the Tropics (1939), Boom Town (1940), Tortilla Flat (1942), White Cargo (1942), and many others. She was known as 'The Most Beautiful Woman In Films.'

All that makes her plenty hot in my book, but she was also very smart which makes her downright smokin'.

During the war, Lamarr met an avant-garde musician, George Antheil, at a party and they started talking. Legend has it that she was so interested in their conversation that she left her phone number written in lipstick on his windshield. Perhaps that's true - perhaps not.

What is true, is that the two did continue to talk and came up with a system for alternating a radio signal over a series of 88 frequencies in order to prevent it being jammed. Known as frequency hopping, it was intended to be used for torpedo guidance. Lamarr received a patent for it in 1942. The navy didn't use it in that application, however, it was later used in military communication applications and was first applied in action during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It is the basis for cel phone technology today and is known as spread spectrum technology.

Also, despite being born in Austria, Lamarr was a strong supporter of the Allied war efforts. She has the distinction of raising the most money at a single event to sell war bonds. She raised $7 million dollars.

Anyway, she was beautiful and smart...a deadly combination.

"Perhaps my problem in marriage--and it is the problem of many women--was to want both intimacy and independence. It is a difficult line to walk, yet both needs are important to a marriage." - Hedy Lamarr

Why do we love to hate beautiful women?

First off, an open-ended question - why do we both exalt beauty and despise it at the same time? This is something I've wondered for a long time, but was reminded of when recently reading a biography of Rita Hayworth which reminded me of Hedy Lamarr. It got me thinking about our cult of beauty and the dark flip side that goes with it.

Let me narrow it down a bit though, because I'm already having trouble with rambling here. Why doesn't our society allow women to be intelligent, accomplished and beautiful? Or rather, since there have certainly been many women who have been all three, why does our society discourage women from being all three at the same time?

I'm actually most interested in why it is that women are particularly bad about this. There's often talk about men having all the control and setting unrealistic expectations for women, wanting to keep them in the kitchen, and so on, but I believe that it's other women who most actively fetter ambitious women, particularly if they are attractive and intelligent as well as ambitious.

I used to work in an office where there was a girl who was very attractive. Okay, she was beautiful. There was no arguing it either; she was beautiful. She was also young, wore mini-skirts and happened to be very intelligent. The first two things were held against her and the last was seldom acknowledged. Even now, I suspect that two of my friends from that office will be reading this over the weekend and smirking a bit. They know who I'm talking about and will likely relate my line of questioning to the line of the afore mentioned mini-skirts.

Anyway, what always struck me was that the people who had the most derogatory comments were always women. You didn't have to listen hard to hear the unspoken, 'I can't wait until you get married and have kids, we'll see how perky you are then...' in every exchange.

I can't count how many times I heard how slutty those mini-skirts were. Of course, they weren't called slutty, they were called inappropriate. (Inappropriate for your fat ass, was my usual unspoken thought.) But never once did any of those women take the 19-year-old girl at her first 'grown up' job aside and tell her this directly. It was just easier to be snide in the break room I guess.

Oddly, the people who had no problem acknowledging that she could be smart and beautiful were the men who worked in the same department as her and another girl - who also happened to be smart and beautiful - who spent most of her time in the same office area.

The story isn't a sad one though. She figured that she was being mocked and the length of her skirts increased and eventually turned into slacks, she mostly just ignored the other women, did her work and finished the college education that she was paying for herself, and is now the controller of the U.S. office of a German solar energy company. She's 25 years old.

So, why is it that we continue to believe that a woman can't be beautiful, smart and completely competent all at the same time when, clearly, they can be?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Proud to be an American?

Does this make anyone proud to be an American? Maybe it does and I missed the memo about how to be a true patriot.

So, just who are the terrorists? We're fighting a 'war on terror' - but guess what, we're the ones resorting to terror.

And does it seem just a bit disingenuous that an administration that will reveal the identity of a CIA operative for political gain in one breath, will refuse to comment on whether or not they're operating secret interrogation facilities around the world because they don't want to jeapordize CIA operations?

Oh yeah...makes me proud. Think I'll go roast some babies or something.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More fun with logs...

Since I compulsively check my logs for fun...

Seeing some of the places people are from is a bit like seeing an exotic stamp on an envelope in your mailbox. For those of you who have forgotten, stamps were twee little stickers that we affixed to envelopes back when people used to mail things and get letters in the mail.

Some of the fun places I've had show up in my logs lately are:

  • Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

  • Old Wives, Saskatchewan

  • Westfield, New Zealand

  • Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

  • San Jose, Costa Rica

  • Pune, Maharasta, India

There are also the regulars who make my day complete. Joe from Columbus, Eileen from Cincinnati, Laura in Chicago...I just love to see Greendale, Detroit, Greenville, International Falls, New York, Sacramento, etc...all the places where my blog buddies reside. I'm always glad when people stop by and make the world a little less lonely.

And on an always festive note, here are some of my new favorite searches that got you here:
  • pictures of moldy fruit

  • green tea frap sucks

  • double suck

  • mall girls

  • thongtastic

  • why does the thong have a triangle

  • sawing a zip to a fabric

  • 80s mullet + photos

*If you're the mysterious person from Old Wives...leave a comment...the suspense is killing me!

**Any hot Russian girls...well, you know...