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March 27, 2005

A pregnant pause

Sorry for last week's enigmatic complaints about my "medical condition." The work trouble and dental issues are pretty straightforward, but I may as well confess the medical condition: I'm pregnant.

We've been hoping for this for quite a while, so it's great news for us. Unfortunately, my body isn't taking the news quite as well. I've been so exhausted for the last few weeks that I can barely keep up with really essential tasks like paying bills. Every tiny quotidian task I accomplish requires sheer force of will just to overcome the  sleepiness, bone-weariness, and intermittent queasiness that swamp me all day. It's a miracle that I can even get to work; it takes about three times the effort now to accomplish half the work, and I'm hiding the saltines I've been nibbling on because I'm afraid my more savvy coworkers will correctly deduce that nibbling on saltines all day = morning sickness.

I haven't told anyone at work; in fact, I haven't told anyone except EtherHub, my dentist, and you guys. I'm past 35, which makes this a "high-risk" pregnancy, and I'm afraid I'll miscarry. Last week my OB/GYN told me my progesterone was lower than it should be, and that's not a great sign. So I'm postponing the announcement until I start to show unequivocally and I can't hide it any more.

I debated whether I should even mention the situation on my blog. At first, I thought I wouldn't; I did say I wanted to keep my personal life mostly out of EtherHouse. But I felt whatever readers remain should know the reason for my silence.

With any luck, this pernicious, malevolent tiredness should pass towards the end of the first trimester or sooner. Till then, I hope you'll understand if I'm uncharacteristically silent sometimes. Greedy Gus (my nickname for the li'l bugger) apparently needs virtually all my energy at the moment, the ungrateful little parasite.

Posted by EtherPundit at 09:53 PM | Comments (7)   Category: Personal stories

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Der emess shtarbt nit ober er lebt vi an oreman.

The truth doesn't die but it lives like a poor man.


Posted by EtherPundit at 09:52 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

March 20, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

I apologize to all left reading this suddenly-desolate blog, and all left waiting for an email response from me. In addition to my suddenly topsy-turvy, disorienting professional life, I've developed a medical condition that has left me temporarily (I hope) debilitated with exhaustion. And then there's the emergency dental work.

But enough about me. I hope to stop apologizing, and start posting, very soon.

Meantime, it is Sunday. And Sunday means Yiddish proverbs. So here's this week's:

Az men ken nit iberhar'n dos shlechteh, ken men dos guteh nit derleben.

If you can't endure the bad, you won't live to witness the good.


Posted by EtherPundit at 10:45 PM | Comments (4)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

March 13, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Unexpected and chaotic events in my personal and professional life are making it impossible for me to blog much at the moment. And I know I owe a few people e-mail responses too. I have something really fun planned for the near future for this blog; if I could just get a few free moments to work on it! Ah, well, hopefully everything will work itself out for the best, and with any luck I should be able to get a few entries in sometime next week.

Anyway, this week's proverb seems particularly apropos for my life at the moment.

Di gantseh velt iz ful mit shaidim; treib zai chotsh fun zich arois.

The whole world is full of demons; you just exorcise them out of yourself.


Posted by EtherPundit at 11:29 AM | Comments (2)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

March 11, 2005

Riddle of the EtherSphinx

What's thrilling to a child,
Useful to a teenager,
Romantic to a young lover, and
Tiresome to an adult?

(Answer below)

Snow, dammit! Enough already.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:02 AM | Comments (2)   Category: Brooklyn & NYC

March 10, 2005

Oh, Danny Boy, the blogs, the blogs are calling....

To show the proof, the proof that you have lied.
The trust is gone, your ratings have been falling.
'Tis you, 'tis you must go, and FOX must bide.

Missing Dan already? Thought not. Still, check out these two collections of Dan's Greatest Naked-Liberal-Bias Hits!*

Remember this one? I do, because I saw it live.

“Nineteen days after the presidential election, Florida’s Republican Secretary of State is about to announce the winner — as she sees it and she decrees it — of the state’s potentially decisive 25 electoral votes. Katherine Harris will officially certify the state’s election returns....The believed certification — as the Republican Secretary of State sees it — is coming just hours after a court ordered deadline.... The certification — as the Florida Secretary of State sees it and decrees it — is being signed.”
- During CBS News live coverage, November 26, 2000

And I watched this gem, too.

“Good evening. Texas Governor George Bush tonight will assume the mantle and the honor of President-elect. This comes 24 hours after a sharply split and, some say, politically and ideologically motivated U.S. Supreme Court ended Vice President Gore’s contest of the Florida election and, in effect, handed the presidency to Bush.”
- Beginning the December 13, 2000, CBS Evening News

Assume the "mantle" and the honor... oh, man, I'm telling you, that takes me back... *snif* ...that's just classic Rather...

{warbling} Mem'ries... light the cor-ners of my mind...

Oh, Dan, we hardly knew ye!


* The bias is naked, not Dan. Come on, I wouldn't do that to my readers.

Posted by EtherPundit at 09:21 AM | Comments (4)   Category: Current Affairs , Media , Television

March 09, 2005

His prices are INNN-SAAAAAAAANE!

If you grew up anywhere near New York and you have any memory of the 70s and early 80s, the title of this post surely lit some long-disused neurons.

Crazy Eddie was a legendary audio/video/electronics retailer famous for his "INN-SAAAAAANE!" TV and radio commericals, always done on the cheap and featuring the same manic spokesman. Recently I was reading one of my regular Internet bulletin boards, the New York Radio Message Board, when I happened on this fascinating thread where an insider discusses the rise and precipitous, felonious fall of "Crazy" Eddie Antal and his brain-searing commercials.

I highly recommend the NY Radio Message Board, by the way, for anyone with an interest in New York radio. It's mostly populated by pros, and it's chock full of inside dope about the business, art, technicalities, ratings and regulatory issues of radio programming. Air America is frequently discussed. (Success or failure? Basically, liberals say it's raking in the dough, conservatives say it's on fiscal life support. Liberals say its ratings are strong, conservatives say they're in the dumper. Much Talmudic dissection of dayparts and demographics is involved).

One of the interesting topics discussed a while back was: Since there are really no broad-based "Top 40" stations playing a wide variety of music any more, and there is no real "top 40" that everyone knows and shares, will there be any "oldies" stations in the future? Since everyone's listening to a different kind of music, how can there be? And, I would argue: Since radio has made itself irrelevant with a combination of cookie-cutter non-local programming, canned playlists dictated by conglomerates, and intolerable commercial loads, where will its future loyal listeners come from, the ones who stick around long enough for their favorite songs to become oldies?

The site, incidentally, began as a tribute to Musicradio77 WABC, which needs no introduction for those who remember it, and for which any introduction would be insufficient for those who never heard it. There are enough airchecks (recordings of shows) on the site to send anyone who remembers AM pop radio into a nostalgic reverie.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:20 AM | Comments (3)   Category: Brooklyn & NYC , Media

March 08, 2005

As I predicted: Hannity/Colmes slash. Avert your eyes, children!

Well, I saw it coming. Cable talking-head slashfic — wrote about it here. Hannity/Colmes slashfic, predicted here.

Now Jeff at Protein Wisdom is doing an Alan Colmes fantasy series that's veered into the very disturbing. The comments show that the sick bastard has struck some kind of nerve.

Look, people, I'd set up the Cable Talking-Head Slashfic/Fanfic site myself, except I know my anonymity would be blown once the writs start to fly.

Come to think of it, though... I remember reading that slash involving fictional characters is of dubious legality because the rights to the characters are owned by someone. But what if the "characters" are public figures? They're not protected, are they?



* "Heh" is a trademark of the Instapundit International Sinister Rightwing Consortium.


Update: And I'd forgotten about the other Protein Wisdom post where Jeff says he wouldn't mind seeing someone give O'Reilly a good spanking. Hey, I warned you to avert your eyes!

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:47 AM | Comments (1)   Category: Media , Sex , Television

Prove gravity exists, make a quick $100,000!

A generous fellow is offering $100,000 "to the first person to deliver a full mathematical, engineering proof of how the impact and/or fires caused any of the WTC buildings to collapse the way the government claims!" These claims are to be reviewed by a team headed by Jeff King, "engineer and doctor educated at MIT."

The site isn't all that clearly written, to be honest, so if you're looking to collect, you may need to spend a while figuring out exactly what kind of proof is required. One of the proofs sought is an explanation of the source of the "energy needed to crush concrete into fine powder [and the] force needed to sheer bolts and rivets." I've never heard of sheer bolts and rivets; I suppose those are what holds together Wonder Woman's invisible jet. Wait — you don't suppose he means "shear," do you? An MIT-educated engineer wouldn't make a piker mistake like that.

An MIT-educated engineer would probably be aware that extremely heavy objects falling from a great height have a tendency to sustain severe damage. It's esoteric, true, but an MIT-educated engineer would have heard of this obscure phenomenon, known to physicists as "the force of gravity". Apparently he feels that this "gravity" thing wouldn't have caused the buildings to destroy themselves with their own weight as they fell. He's the MIT-educated engineer, so he would know.

On the other hand, perhaps he's actually asking for "mathematical, engineering proof" that gravity exists. How do we know that the phenomenon of objects falling to earth with a force commensurate with their weight isn't just the Vengeful Sky God pushing down, or the Greedy Earth God pulling everything towards himself? Prove it! There's a hundred grand in it for you if you can. (I ask only for a modest 5% referral fee.)

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:23 AM | Comments (7)   Category: Moonbats

March 06, 2005

Caption this, baby. You know you want to.

Instapundit, in the post I just cited here, writes the following about this photo:

Capt.Bei10403062029.Mideast Lebanon Syria Bei104

[AP caption:] "Syrian workers hold pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad as one cuts himself with a knife during a pro-Syrian demonstration in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, March 6, 2005. Man cuts himself to show his support and commitment to his president."

[LATER: I didn't notice this the first time, but is it me or does the guy in the middle give the impression that he'd rather be hanging out with the hot chicks? He's my brother, he's into knives and Assad, Mom said to keep an eye on him, what can you do? So, you free Saturday night?]

That's a good caption. Many other good ones spring to mind:

"What do you mean my Ass-ad 4-Ever tattoo looks 'gay'? I'm'a cut you!"

"Give us all your money, infidel! Can you not see that our Judas Priest cover band has so far only been able to afford one Rob Halford wristband?"

"According to DSM-IV, self-injury is a cry for help! Do you hear, little Satan? A cry for help!"

Got any good ones? Put 'em in the comments.

Update: My Pet Jawa's got a contest going on a similar photo.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:22 PM | Comments (9)   Category: Current Affairs , Games , Mockery

Instapundit: Now DENIES being InstaPropagandist! Update!

Apparently lots of people have been noticing Insty's suspicious selection of only hot babes to represent the demonstrators in Lebanon. I just blogged on it yesterday, myself.

Insty denies that he's going out of his way to select hotties, and cites evidence that the "Beautiful Pro-Democracy Demonstrators" theme is spreading. Who the hell are these photographers, and where have they been for the last three years? Oh, well — they're here now, and it's never too late to make positive developments look good, instead of focusing on angry faces, tearful babies, and smoking ruins, as they've been doing for as long as I can remember.

To atone for his chick-centric posts, Insty throws the gals a bone at last. Hell-ooo, handsome! Have I told you how much I hate Basho whatzisface? That Syria guy? Yeah, he's awful. Hate 'im! Listen, after the demo, let's go to your place and discuss further uprisings...


Posted by EtherPundit at 10:24 PM | Comments (2)   Category: Current Affairs , Media , Website Reviews

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

I like this one because, let's face it, it's a good description of most bloggers, yours truly included. Plus it contains the invaluable word "maivin," also spelled "maven," which I use practically every day.

Zingen ken ich nit, ober a maivin bin ich.

I can't sing, but I'm an expert on it.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:57 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

How to carry a man-purse without looking gay.

Spoons reports on a trend retailers are trying to push: The Man-Purse. He cites a Chicago Tribune article that includes this quote:

"It's not like you're carrying a teacup poodle," says "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" fashion guru Carson Kressley. "Get over it."

I trust my dude-gendered readers are savvy enough not to take advice on how not to look gay from Queer Eye's Carson.

So step aside, Queer Eye dudes. Make way for:

Breeder Eye for the Hopelessly Hetero Guy.

Breeder-Girl EtherPundit here, HH Guys. The first thing you need to know is that inability to understand or care about what you wear comes with the Y chromosome. Most gay men can't muster any interest either. (Shhh! Let's keep their little secret!)

As you know, all fashion trends are designed to make you feel foolish if you don't buy into them, and make you look like a pathetic, insecure poseur if you do buy into them. So you're safe continuing to ignore all articles about what other guys are allegedly wearing.

"But Breeder-Girl," you say, "I read that article about the purse, the man-purse, and even though it looks, well, y'know, gay — not that there's anything wrong with that — it seems so handy! I'm confused! I wish I could carry a purse and not look gay!"

Well, there IS a way to pull it off. First, ignore the man-purse, boy-satchel, dude-sack peddlers. And definitely ignore Carson Kressley.

Next, get a woman's purse. The more feminine, the better. Clutch it in your big burly hands. Look awkward. Hey presto! you're there.

Because, for some reason, nothing in the world makes a man look more manly than uncomfortably holding his woman's dainty purse. Even if there's no female within a 10-mile radius, I guarantee that any straight man who sees you will assume you've been separated from your woman and stuck with custody of her bag.

And no one will ever know that you're carrying a man-purse.

Update: Right Wing News is on the case — er, purse — too.

Posted by EtherPundit at 02:20 PM | Comments (10)   Category: Media , Personal stories

Moore grist for the mill: Plump Pundit a Portly Pariah!

McQ of Q and O seems to be having a good time with a recent SF Examiner article by Kathleen Antrim on the decline of Michael Moore's star among the Hollywood left. (McQ titles his post "Moore in eclipse on the Left Coast." He needs to proofread more carefully; clearly he meant to write "Moore CAUSES eclipse on the Left Coast." *rim shot*)

Proof that Moore's in the waning phase: The article starts with fat jokes. Why, the nerve, to criticize a major artist just because he happens to be endowed with abundant avoirdupois!

First, Michael Moore threw his creative weight and his celluloid into defeating President Bush's re-election.

It continues with delicious, hateful gossip from Moore's ex-manager:

[Moore's former manager Douglas] Urbanski feels no compunction in talking about the only client he ever fired. In fact, he fired Moore with a 10-page letter.

"A more dishonest and demented person I have never met," Urbanski wrote me in an e-mail, "and I have known a few! And he is more money obsessed than any I have known, and that's saying a lot."

Urbanski believes that Moore hates America, hates capitalism and hates any normal concept of freedom and democracy.

My goodness! Where on earth does he get that idea?

Many blame him for provoking conservative voters and contributing to John Kerry's defeat in the presidential election. He's become the No. 1 favorite target of leftists.

"In certain [Hollywood] circles he is a shutout," Urbanski said.

I've had mixed reactions to Moore's fall from grace, which I had noticed even before Nov. 3.

My first reaction was:
Thank God, they're finally realizing this guy is nothing but a one-note fake-populist polemecist, pitching his tired schtick only to the faithful (and Osama Bin Laden).

My second reaction was:
Oh, no. They're realizing that their ham-fisted demonizing isn't working at the polls. What if their politics stay the same, but their tactics become more subtle? What if the Nancy Pelosi/Ted Kennedy/Barbara Boxer wing takes over and somehow learns how to hide their message well enough to win elections? God help us all!

My third reaction was:
Hey, they haven't stopped their ham-fisted demonizing at all! They're just doing their usual thing — putting all the blame for their defeat on the shoulders of one person, who will be marked as a pariah. As long as they're focusing on Moore as the problem, they won't change their philosophies or tactics or attitudes. They'll find another champion, another non-beautiful outsider, someone else they can cheer and then exile when the next election doesn't go their way. Just keep focusing on the messengers, Hollywood. Never examine your message. That's it. Keep making EtherPundit a very happy girl.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:57 AM | Comments (2)   Category: Michael Moore

Instapundit: InstaPropagandist!

Asymmetrical Information posts on a phenomenon I've been noticing lately: If you're reading Instapundit, you'd think that every protestor in Lebanon is a drop-dead gorgeous female. To wit:

beautiful women,

gorgeous chicks,

stunning babes, and

a real hottie.

Insty is not dumb. Insty knows what he's doing. Sex is the best propaganda. The subliminal suggestion is: Girls say YES to boys who say NO (to Syria). Look at these women! Governments have been overthrown for less. (And you just know a revolutionary girl would be feral in the sack.)

Way to make antitotalitarianism cool, Glenn! Way to make those A.N.S.W.E.R. guys look around at the chicks at their protests and wonder whether they've chosen the wrong side...

Update: LogicalMeme is on the hottie beat too.

Update: Insty denies being a gynocentric propagandist! Post here!

Posted by EtherPundit at 01:08 AM | Comments (2)   Category: Current Affairs , Sex

March 05, 2005

You know you've made it as a blogger when...

.... people rip off your name.

EtherHOUSE, EtherPUNDIT — accept no substitutes!

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:21 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Personal stories , Website Reviews

Harper Valley Elternbeirat (Also, dies ist Peyton Place in klein!)

19% of you will think this is the funniest thing you've seen all month. You will be looking for cognates like "Witwe" and "Tochter," and trying desperately to sing along in your heads.

24% of you will understand the humor, but not actually find it funny.

57% of you won't get it at all, some because you don't know what it refers to. More's the pity. Sample some MP3 verses, and backstory, here.

I don't speak German, but I'm in that first 19%.


Harper Valley Elternbeirat
Jeannie C. Riley

(Words and music by Tom T. Hall)
(Übersetzung © Volker Pöhls)

Ich möchte Euch allen eine Geschichte erzählen über eine Witwe aus dem Harper-Tal.
Sie hatte eine Tochter im Teenager-Alter, die zur Harper Valley Junior Highschool ging.
Also, ihre Tochter kam eines Nachmittags nach Hause und fing gar nicht erst an zu spielen.
Sie sagte, "Mammi, ich hab hier einen Brief vom Harper Valley Elterbeirat."

In dem Brief stand: "Frau Johnson, sie tragen viel zu kurze Röcke.
Wir haben hier einen Bericht, dass Sie trinken und mit Männern rumlaufen und verrückt spielen.
Und wir glauben, sie sollten ihre kleine Tochter nicht so aufziehen."
Es war vom Sekretär des Harper Valley Elternbeirats unterschrieben.

Also, zufällig sollte der Elternbeirat an dem Abend tagen.
Sie waren überrascht, als Frau Johnson in ihrem Minirock den Raum betrat.
Und als sie zur Tafel ging, ich erinnere mich noch genau an ihre Worte,
sagte sie: "Ich möchte ein paar Worte an die Elternbeirats-Versammlung richten.

Also, da sitzt Bobby Taylor, der hat sich sieben Mal mit mir getroffen.
Frau Taylor scheint ne ganze Menge Eis zu verbrauchen, wenn er weg ist.
Und Herr Baker, können Sie uns sagen, warum Ihre Sekretärin diese Stadt verlassen mußte?
Und sollte man Witwe Jones nicht mal sagen, dass sie ihre Vorhänge ganz runterlassen sollte?

Äh, Herr Harper konnte nicht herkommen, weil er mal wieder zu lange in Kellys Bar gewesen ist.
Und wenn Sie Shirley Thompsons Atem riechen, dann werden sie merken, dass sie sich einen kleinen Schluck Gin genehmigt hat.
Und dann haben Sie die Nerven, mir zu sagen, dass sie glauben, ich wäre als Mutter nicht geeignet.
Also, dies ist Peyton Place in klein und Sie sind alle Harper Valley Heuchler.

Nein, ich würde Euch nicht auf den Arm nehmen, weil es wirklich genau so passiert ist.
An dem Tag, als Mama es dem Harper Valley Elternbeirat mal richtig gegeben hat.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:09 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Language

March 04, 2005

Mister, you're a better man than I

On Wednesday night, I was having dinner with the EtherHub at one of our usual haunts, the Westway Diner. There's a precinct very nearby, and it's not unusual to see groups of cops eating there. This particular evening, a group of 6 or 7 NYPD Emergency Services guys came in while we were eating and sat at a large table. We were sitting near the register, and as we were getting ready to leave a while later, I noticed a guy in a black leather trenchcoat walk up to pay his check. He said, quietly, "And those cops over there — their meal's on me." The guy at the register looked confused. After a bit of discussion, the cops' waiter whipped out a calculator and added up the bill, and it was duly handed to the register guy to process. The trenchcoated man was clearly trying to remain anonymous, but one of the staff went over to the cops and spilled the beans. The cops were clearly shocked; when their benefactor was pointed out to them, it was clear none of them recognized him. Nevertheless, one by one, the cops climbed out of the booth and walked over to thank the trenchcoated man.

"Hey, man, you didn't have to do that!" one of the cops said gratefully. "Aw, shut up," the trenchcoated man said affectionately, shaking the cop's hand.

Trenchcoat Dude, EtherHub and I left the diner at the same time. I gave Trenchcoat a thumbs-up and a smile. He smiled back shyly and said, "Thanks."

I don't know what Trenchcoat's backstory is, or what inspired him. All I know is: What a mensch.

And they say the big city is heartless.

Posted by EtherPundit at 07:26 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Brooklyn & NYC , Personal stories

March 02, 2005

Another Rathergate mystery solved! All hail the Queen!

You may recall that, during Rathergate, Dan Rather acquired the evocative nickname "Queen of the Space Unicorns."

At last, he has acknowledged his position as a crowned head of Fantasyland. In an upcoming New Yorker interview, Dan finally confesses his love for his storied kingdom.

In the end, he adds, "I believe in the dream, the magical mystical kingdom of CBS News. It may exist only in our minds, but that makes it no less real."

Just so, your Royal Highness! Just because Killian's magical mystical memos, "Lucy Ramirez," and the AWOL scandal also existed only in the minds of CBS employees doesn't make them any less real, either! I'm tired of these naysayers claiming to be upholding the distinction between "objective truth" and "fevered hallucination."

Your Highness, I implore you to issue a decree banning the insidious emotion of skepticism. For only with their logical minds stilled can your subjects at last learn to cavort merrily through the poppy-strewn Fields of Credulity, heedless of the burdens placed on them by so-called "reality." Free us from the oppression of thought, O Queen! Help us to frolic forever in the magical mystical Kingdom of CBS News!

Update: As you might expect, there's more at Rathergate.com.

Posted by EtherPundit at 06:48 AM | Comments (5)   Category: Media , Mockery , Television