Sunday, April 24, 2011

Reblogging: An Atheist on Easter

An Atheist on Easter

Today was Easter.  As mentioned before, I'm an atheist, so I always find religious holidays a little awkward to experience.  I read the piece noted above early in the morning, and posted a comment on the blog asking permission to post it here.  I didn't intend any sort of plagiarism; I just found the piece to be a well-worded expression of my (similar) thoughts on the subject.  Not only did the author not respond to my request, he didn't allow the comment to be posted.  A politely-worded "No" would have sufficed.

I've posted the link.  It's good stuff, and it bears reading if anyone wants a peek inside my head.

This morning the family went to church for Easter service.  After they returned, the lot of us went with some friends to Wakulla Springs State Park for one of my nephews' birthday party.  In a repeat of last year's trip to the beach, I did not swim, though I did wade in the spring for a bit, and collected tiny shells on the white sand shore.  There's a Mediterranean Revival-style lodge and museum adjacent to the water, and I got to look at the preserved remains of "Old Joe", an 11.2-foot alligator that lived in the area until it was shot in 1966.  Joe was said to be one hundred years old.  I've seen gators in zoos, but none were as large as this thing.  I sure wouldn't want to meet one that size out in the wild.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

More About the McDonalds Incident

Little by little, the story of the incident at a Baltimore-area McDonalds is creeping into the mainstream news outlets.  I spent about an hour last night digging through news sites before I found a blurb of an AP item, buried in the ABC site.

This morning, I found a story on Fox, but their story emphasized that the victim was "a man".  I checked back, and they've amended the story to say "transgendered", but read the comments.  The attitude of every commenter whose words I could stomach tells the tale.

Now there's speculation that the authorities may add hate-crime charges. I hope so, and I hope they prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

I'm hoping one of the friendlier news outlets pick this up, what with the viral spread of the video, but I don't know that I have the clout to forward something myself.

Something Light

This blog has been all doom and gloom of late.  I need to post something to improve the atmo.  "Change the scheme, alter the mood, electrify the boys and girls," to quote Michael Sheen's character Castor from Tron: Legacy.

I can't remember if I've ever talked about Cowboy Bebop here.  It's an anime series that first ran in 1998.  It's about a group of bounty hunters ("cowboys") in 2071, who travel the solar system in the spaceship Bebop.  It's equal parts drama and comedy, with bits of tragedy laid in here and there.  The animation is a hybrid of the traditional hand-drawn stuff with some CGI.  The visuals are incredible, but one of the aspects that hooked me was the music, mostly written by the very-talented Yoko Kanno.  All of the songs were performed by a sort of house band called The Seatbelts.  Most of the compositions are jazz, but the Seatbelts played rock and other styles with equal skill and artistry.  They recorded a great raft of material for the series' 26 episodes (Sessions) and one movie, but they only performed live a handful of times.  One of those performances was included on a limited edition DVD, Souvenir of Tokyo.  This is one of the lighter numbers.  It's called "Bad Dog, No Biscuits" and it originally appeared in Session Two, "Stray Dog Strut".

The kooky lady in the red coat is Ms. Kanno herself.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

From Bilerico Project: Transwoman Attacked at Baltimore McDonalds

Transgender Woman Severely Beaten at Baltimore McDonalds While Employees Watch

Jumping back onto topic for a moment, I'd like to direct everyone's attention to this news item.  You may have seen it already.  If not, please take a look.  The video is disturbing.  It was shot by a worker at the McDonalds.  Neither he nor any of his coworkers attempted to stop the fight.  Then he uploaded the video to WorldStarHipHop Video Tube, which appears to be an urban (read black) version of YouTube., in an effort to get his fifteen minutes.

The victim hasn't been identified, and there seems to be some debate amongst the rabble as to whether she's trans or not, but the perpetrators have been arrested.  They may be facing hate crime charges.  Every time I hear about legislators refusing to grant public accomodations protection to LGBT people, I think of incidents like these.  I wish stuff like this would stop happening.

Monday, April 18, 2011

And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder

I've mentioned my income tax refund a couple of times in recent posts.  It's ironic.  Last year I made the least amount of money that I have in ten years or more, yet my refund was going to be the largest I've seen in that same time.  I wasn't planning too many extravagances.  I was going to give some of it to my sister, to help with her bills.  I was going to buy a new camera, and maybe an MP3 player.  On the practical side of things, I was thinking about a haircut, and maybe a manicure.  The rest I was going to sock away, to support myself during my ongoing unemployment.

This afternoon I got a letter from the Treasury announcing that my entire refund has been "offset".  I have a student loan in default, and the Department of Education has laid claim to any "Federal payments" owed to me.  They have actually declared their intent to "intercept" any such payments.  Jeez, they make it sound like my tax refund is a bomber trying to lay waste to my lack of wealth.  That's actually not a bad simile.  It's such a shame I don't need their protection.  The letter says I can contest the claim, but I can imagine how that will go.  Now that Ed know where I live again, I can expect a letter any day now asking when I plan to pay off the rest.

This is what I get for making plans.

Note: A lot of my recent posts have had titles from different things.  I might have another "Write for you" contest if anyone can tell me where they all come from.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Under The Pink

In case anyone's been under a rock for the last week or so, the news has been full of pink lately.  A while back J. Crew posted this on their website.  Conservative voices in the media went batshit insane.  Jon Stewart christened it "Toemageddon", and his response was high-larious.

Over the weekend I read an article on Smithsonian, When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?.  It's most informative.  Be sure to check out the attached slideshow (it's listed as "More Photos").  I found it to be very eye-opening.

As for me, there's no pink in my immediate area.  If I get a tax refund, I'll see about remedying that.  I haven't had a pedicure since December, and maybe bright pink toes would cheer me up.  I could certainly use some of that.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Wrong Shoes

My epitaph will probably read:

"She was wearing the wrong shoes."

It's the story of my life.  Wore sneakers to soccer practice because I didn't know I was supposed to buy cleats.  I've worn spike heels to the mall because they matched my outfit.  I once had to pull a twelve-hour shift at a hotel in really girly-looking heels because my regular work shoes fell apart while I was getting dressed, and I didn't have any male shoes that could substitute.

There's a branch of the local public library about two miles from where I'm living.  It's a decent walk when the weather's nice.  I was going to go this morning, but I got busy puttering around the house, and by the afternoon, it had gotten too warm.  I wouldn't have pushed for it, but I ran out of anything to read, and I get antsy when I don't have a book near to hand.

After dinner, my sister and her husband announced they were going to WalMart, and I asked if they'd drop me off at the library on the way.  They did, and said I could text them when I was ready to go home.  It only occurred to me when they left that I was wearing flip-flops.  I'd meant to change before we took off, but it slipped my mind. 

I have owned sandals that are meant to be walked in.  These are not that kind.  They're Airwalk, a brand I bought at Payless.  They've got simple hard rubber soles (patterned like Converse sneakers) with denim-like cloth thongs.  I could have waited for them to finish at the store.  It might've meant sitting outside the library for twenty minutes after closing, but I felt like walking.  Curse my feelings. 

I was halfway home when I decided I'd had enough, so I sent a text asking if I should wait where I was or press on for home.  They advised me it would be another twenty minutes or so, so I kept on walking.  They caught up to me just as I turned onto our street.

I think I walked these poor shoes into their grave.  It's time to buy new shoes.  Maybe I'll get some after my tax refund comes.