Saturday, October 30, 2004

Slothy Parental Unit

Last night for dinner my parents made: -Alaskan King salmon fillets -Isreali cous cous with artichoke pesto -mini-baby Brussel sprouts with butter and balsamic vinegar -spaghetti squash It was the best meal I've had in months. The thing is, they cook like this every night. What they don't grow here (the Brussel sprouts were home-grown) they buy from the farmer's market or the local bakery or the local fish market which is perched on the waterfront, a five minute walk away from their house. Everything is organic and fresh. My mother is so European in some ways. She walks around town with her knit bag, buying a baguette here, some fresh mozzarella there, and picking up a pinot noir on the way home. My stepfather grows squash, lettuce, broccoli, cilantro, parsley, raspberries, tomatoes and pretty much anything else you can think of. He always has garden dirt under his fingernails. And when he's not doing that, he's playing the accordion. My parents are so cool. I don't know how many people can say that - I think it's pretty unusual. But they are the most sophisticated, yet unpretentious people I know. I want to be just like them when I grow up.

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Dude, uh?

If you are not from Boston, the title of this post will make no sense to you. Don't worry about it. The Sloth victory dance goes like this: legs slightly apart, stick your butt out, put your two fists together and move everything around in a big circle. Then sing this: "We won the World Series! We won the World Series! You di-in't win nothing! Nya nya nya boo boo!!" I expect to update several times today.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Reality Check

Ever wonder what an infestation of aphids looks like? Well, here ya go. I took this photo in Portland where, incidentally, I will be on photo safari this weekend. [This post has been edited for length and continuity. In case you were wondering where the whole middle section went.] Ethics, shmethics! I am stealing a page from Poppet's book because my moral standing is all flexible and gymnastic-like. So, if you have any photographic requests, provided they are reasonable (yes, I mean you, you know who you are), I will do my best to fulfill them over the weekend. Now, in case anyone in Slothville is feeling sorry for themselves today, I have just the thing to make you shut the hell up and be thankful for what you have (unless you're Jack who, in light of recent tragedy, has every right to plunk his ass down in Sad Town and stay there for a while). Here is a story about some people who have it waaaaaaaaaay worse than you do. I was watching PBS the other night and learned this depressing tidbit: So, you know how 100,000 black people have been killed in Sudan by government-backed Arab militia groups? You knew that, right? 1.4 million people have been driven from their homes and all of Darfur (which is about the size of France, by the way) is basically a carnage festival. Well, the U.S. has sent some humanitarian aid, mostly in the form of food for the people stuck in numerous refugee camps. In this case "food" means grain. Here's the thing about grain, ok? You have to cook it to eat it. There's no way around it - your body can't digest raw grain. So think about this here are all these women and children packed together in refugee camps and they're starving. They have this grain. They need to cook it. To cook it they need firewood. To get firewood they have to leave the camp. It starts out at the close periphery where they pick up small sticks to burn, but as time wears on they have to go farther and farther from camp to find wood and who do you think is waiting for them? Why the Arab militiamen, of course. They wait at the edges of the camp for people to come looking for firewood so that they can gang rape them. So what do the refugees do, then, to decide who will go? Draw straws? Take turns? They could go in a group but then they would all get raped because they're unarmed - they can't protect themselves. In order for the rest to eat, a few must make this sacrifice. Imagine this. In order to eat you must let yourself be raped. Imagine it. Think really hard and try to get your head around that. Now look around you. You have clothes on your back. You have food to eat. You are indoors and you are safe. You don't know this kind of atrocity. You have no idea. Be grateful. Be grateful.

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Monday, October 25, 2004

Nose-in-a-book Sloth

Hot peppers at the farmer's market. Midterm today. Paper due tomorrow. Back to blogging Wednesday. Until then, here is yet another Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush. DAY 142: Over 100 high-level officials appointed by the Bush administration now oversee industries they previously represented as lobbyists, lawyers, or company advocates. Many of those appointees have pushed for more favorable policies for their respective industries from within the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, and other agencies. Six have been the subject of ethics investigations or have resigned due to conflicts of interest. The Bush-appointed chief counsel for the FDA, Daniel E. Troy, is a former lobbyist for pharmaceutical firms. Last December, he met with several hundred pharmaceutical attorneys and offered them the government's help in dismissing lawsuits against their companies. By then, Troy had already officially intervened on behalf of Pfizer in several cases. A 2002 General Accounting Office study of the FDA's new system for notifying companies of rule violations, implemented by Troy, concluded that warning notices "have taken so long that misleading advertisements may have completed their broadcast life cycle before FDA issued the letters." In 2001, Ann-Marie Lynch, who had lobbied against price controls on prescription drugs on behalf of a trade group, was made the deputy assistant secretary in the office of policy within the Department of Health and Human Services; she has since discouraged the administration from adopting price caps. A report issued by Lynch helped persuade Congress to ban Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices. She has also blocked the release of about a dozen research reports that challenged the claims of drug companies. Charles Lambert, a former meat-industry lobbyist, became a deputy undersecretary in the United States Department of Agriculture in December 2002. As a USDA official, he has argued that mad cow disease is not a threat to the U.S. and that meat-labeling programs are unnecessary. Six months after he told Congress that the disease would not reach America, it was discovered in a cow brought here from Canada. More than a dozen other USDA officials also have connections to the meat industry. (!!!!!! What the fuck!! -Sloth) Jeffrey Holmstead worked as a lawyer at Latham & Watkins representing a chemical company and a trade group for utility companies until October 2001, when he was appointed to the EPA. The agency's proposed changes to air-pollution rules, released January 30, included at least a dozen paragraphs taken from a proposal submitted to the Bush administration by Latham & Watkins in 2003. Those rule changes will allow many plants to continue to avoid emissions reductions. In June 2001, Bush chose J. Steven Griles, an energy-industry lobbyist, to be the Interior Department's second-highest official. An investigation by the department's inspector general concluded that Griles's appointment had created an "ethical quagmire." A former Griles client has been awarded $2 million in no-bid contracts, and he has pressed the EPA to allow gas drilling by several companies he once represented. (Source Anne C. Mulkern, "When Advocates Become Regulators," Denver Post, May 23, 2004. See article at commondreams.org.)

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Friday, October 22, 2004

Slothful Sloth


Well, it's a crappy day today so I thought I would try to lighten it up with some humor about our crappy president. Went out for drinks with the Dastard last night and I'm a little sleepy this morning. Guess who we ran into? The wanker sous chef!! I pretended I didn't recognize him which was clearly disingenuous and it was all a bit distressing. The Daily Show was not that great last night. But I don't care. Ever since the Crossfire confrontation (linked here) my adoration of Jon Stewart has deepened into an abiding, forever kind of love. Also, he's hot. I don't feel like doing anything today! There is hardly anyone here and it's raining out and I just want to goof off. So I'll probably update again in a little bit. EDIT/UPDATE: I've taken TJ's Place off the sidebar. The blog is dead. I do feel partly responsible. It's true that his comments section has reappeared elsewhere, but the people that comment there are just......scary. Regarding links: I hate the retarded cliquey politics around links. So. Stupid. There are a lot of people I would like to link here, but the list is too long as it is. I don't want a mile-long list of links. At some point here or there I may remove a link that I have up and if that happens I will replace it with someone else. In this case, I have replaced Kevin with Nick.

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Sorry Papa Sloth - Nothing Personal


Uh huh.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Sickly Sloth

Uhhhh!!!! I just broke it off with Mike-Lite and now I feel nauseous. This is a big reason why I don't date much. I get completely over-sensitive about ending things and I kill myself and make myself sick over it. It was two and a half dates!! God, I'm pathetic. He probably doesn't even care and I'm all freaked out.

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El Dastardo Exposed


Well....I think the consensus was yes. So, since you all were sure (right? really sure?) that you wanted to see it, here is the Face of the Dastard. I don't know why I look so fat and square in this picture. Believe me, my body is not really shaped like that. I had so much fun with these two punks - especially the part where they both got naked and danced the Macarena. Oh, and the wild monkey sex. Can't publish those pictures, sorry! P.S. Don't be fooled by the Dastard's good looks. He's a total dork extraordinaire. P.P.S. You can click the picture to make it less fuzzy.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A Most Dastardly Dastard


The question is: if you could........are you sure? Are you really sure......that you would?

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A Dastardly Query...


I have a question for you, Slothvillians....

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Night Sweats

I had a really vivid dream last night that George W. Bush won the election. I was absolutely convinced it had actually happened. In the dream I decided to take Slothville off line and just kind of hibernate for a while. If he wins for real, I think that's what I'll have to do. Ed Koch was on the Daily Show last night and said that he can't think of a single domestic issue that he agrees with George W. on but he is endorsing him for president because he's "strong on terror" and that "is life and death." I wanted to throw the television out the window. DOMESTIC ISSUES ARE LIFE AND DEATH. PEOPLE LIVE AND DIE BY OUR POLICIES. To a kid in an unfunded school, the crappy education she is getting determines the trajectory of the rest of her life. To an elderly person who can't get a flu shot, one bout of illness can be deadly. To a pregnant teenager with abusive parents, having to get permission for an abortion can be catastrophic. Not everyone lives in New York City. Terror is not the only thing this election turns on. And even if it was, saying that George W. is strong on terror is a falsehood. He never got the guy who attacked us. He used the murder of 3000 people to further his own dishonest agenda. He is not strong on terror - he is strong on terrorizing his own populace by striking fear into our hearts and lies into our minds. He doesn't deserve one ounce of power over us and we shouldn't give it to him.

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Monday, October 18, 2004

Craptastic Cinema

My list of top five worst movies of all time is actually much longer than five, but I still call it the Top 5. It just is, you know? The criteria that a movie must meet in order to be accepted into this elite category is fairly simple: 1. It must be bad enough that you at least consider walking out or don't finish watching the dvd. 2. It must be a disappointment. In other words, you must have expected it to be good and it must have left you feeling crushed at how god-fucking-awful it was. Battlefield Earth doesn't make the Top 5 because we all knew it was going to suck. See how that works? Here are a few examples. Frailty - this movie looked good in previews. I'm serious! It did! I can't stand Bill Paxton - I can hardly even look at him - but I was willing to give him a chance for a movie that looked like a good creepy psychological thriller. That was a mistake. It is not creepy, it is not psychological, it is a piss-poor non-thriller. Why? Because Bill Paxton wrote, directed, and starred in it. Could he suck ANY worse? The plot was so full of holes that I mentally checked out within the first five minutes. The acting was terrible, the dialogue was retarded, the sets were hokey and I was all done. Bye-bye $9!! Sorry I couldn't find a better way to waste you. Matrix 2 - Ugh! I loved the first Matrix so much and I was so excited to see the sequel - I was a total nerd about it, all giddy and geeky and in need of a tranquilizer. I saw Matrix 2 with my boyfriend at the time and about fifteen minutes into it he turned to me and said, "This fucking sucks." It was true. So true. But I wasn't willing to concede. I was sure that if we just stuck it out for a little while we would be glad we did. .......Not so much. By the time I was reconciled to the fact that Keanu Reeves has brain damage and everyone else called in their ridiculous, melodramatic lines instead of bothering to at least try to act, and suggested that we leave, my boyfriend pointed out that we had already been sitting there for seventeen hours and there were only twenty minutes of the movie left. GodAMN that movie was crap! The only reason that Matrix 3 doesn't make the Top 5 list is that I didn't bother to see it. The Transporter - more like The Transpooper. I thought it was going to be good! I did! The cute guy from Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was in it! And he was all ass-kicky! I mean, come ON! Watching this pathetic "movie" was like dragging myself along a muddy lake bottom by my lips. It was suffocating and difficult and nauseating. I can't believe what a waste of time and money that was. Dialogue? What dialogue? Why does a plot need to make sense? We have enormous, pectorals, automatic weapons and an Asian slave-girl!! Fuck off!! Star Wars - the first one of the prequel. The second two don't make the Top 5 because, again, I didn't bother to see them. Jar Jar Binks? Jar Jar Fuckin' Binks?? Yeah, ok, this movie was a piece of poop floating in the community pool and that's all there is to it. There are more, but I'm bored now. One last thing: has anyone rented Supersize Me on dvd? If you do, make sure to go to the special features and watch "The Smoking Fry." You guys, the dude put a pile of McDonald's fries in a glass jar in his office and after TWO AND A HALF MONTHS, there was not even a tinge of mold on them. They were not even wilted. Not. Even. Wilted.

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Craptastic!!!

Grrrrrr!!!! I forgot my camera at home which means no Fleecey pictures until tomorrow. Sorry, folks. Suffice to say for now that we had fun and, at my nefarious encouragement, drank WAY too many mojitos. Also, the sous chef asked me out but I said no. He was cute but sort of a wanker. On a more positive note, I downloaded "18 and Life" by Skid Row onto my iPod the other day but hadn't listened to it yet. It came on while I was on the bus this morning and I started laughing so hard I think the guy next to me thought I was having a coughing fit. There is just something so hysterical about clandestine Skid Row enjoyment in a public place - I can't really explain it, but it started my day off well. I was up until 2 o'clock this morning watching an incredible PBS documentary on class structure in America and now I suffer - suffer!! - badly from lack of sleep. More later...

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Friday, October 15, 2004

Celebrity Gossip

1. I just read this really funny quote from the South Park guys, Matt Stone and Trey Parker: "I think just saying 'Vote or Die' is a serious danger to democracy," Stone told the magazine of P. Diddy's voter initiative, with Parker adding, in what is described as a "Cartman-esque voice," "Hey, 19-year-old who doesn't know anything -- you choose." Concluded Stone, "If you don't know what you're talking about, there's no shame in not voting. They say if you don't vote, you can't bitch. But you can bitch all you want. This is America." 2. Someone found my blog today by searching Google for Davy Rothbart. Woo hoo!!!!! 3. Did you know they're remaking Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - and Johnny Depp is in it???

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Slothy Updatillator

Can you see this? It's sort of washed out. The Dastard took this photo of me and limulus polyphemus. It's not air guitar, it's not pajamas, it's not Journey, but it will have to do for now until I get a bribe I can't refuse...

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Etiquette

I really must insist that everyone go read Jack's post today. It's about manners. It is both highly entertaining and uh.....informative. In honor of Jack who, even though he is in a tiny Republican minority in Slothville, continues to come here and always be polite and respectful......................I just gave $50 to the DNC. I'm sorry Jack - who would have thought that one of our three or four Republicans would guess the song???? My treat would have worked better if you were a little slower on your feet, old man. I was considering posting a picture of me playing air guitar to Journey in my pajamas but I just can't bring myself to do it.

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Too high to get over....

Too low to get under....you're stuck in the middle....and the pain is thunder.... If you can name the song you get a special Slothville treat! Sorry to cut off the comments from the last post. If you would like to continue discussing Bill O'Reilly's sexual harrassment lawsuit, feel free to do so here. Also, Vader wrote an interesting post about legalizing prostitution that you all should check out if you have the time. There will be updates throughout the day today.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Dress Up, Dress Down (Ewok Style)

There was a woman wearing so much perfume on the bus today that I had to breathe through my scarf. I wanted to mangle and maim her, stupid stinky bitch. Oh, good morning! Must ingest caffeine before lives are lost... Wednesday, September 29th: I was restless after everyone went to bed last night so I walked down to the beach and boogied to my iPod under the full moon. There's something about being on the beach in the dark, the moon on the water, grooving out to my tunes, that's so giddying and surreal. I mean, if someone saw me I would be horrified...but there's no one around to see, so who cares? After I boogied for awhile I took a long walk down the beach. About half a mile along I was lured into the dunes by a larger-than-life human silhouette. In the dunes I found a house - actually a series of cabins connected by boardwalks, sort of like the Ewok village. The human-shaped thing was on the roof and I couldn't make it out clearly in the darkness. Then I found a hammock swing and forgot all about it. Dozed off in the Ewok hammock swing for awhile and then moseyed back home again. Yesterday we all went to Scarborough Faire - a touristy little shopping mecca that thinks it's really quaint because all of the cute shops are connected by boardwalks, sort of like the Ewok village. Most of the places sell crappy knick knacks and crappy crafts and crappy "art." but it is sort of a fun place to meander around and bask in a (perhaps false) sense of superiority that comes from watching other people buy crap that even an Ewok wouldn't touch. Yes, no one should be without a ceramic tile that reads "Love makes the world go 'round" in jolly pastel or a dried-out starfish covered in glitter or a picture frame with cartoon cats and dogs on it or a huge framed photograph of a chestnut mare cantering down the beach or a $500 bracelet made by a hungry peasant in Bali for 10 cents. I mean, come on - we're Americans!! We all need useless shit to decorate our modular homes and hang from the rearview mirrors of our SUV's. Anyway, we agreed to meet back at the car in an hour and everyone wandered off in separate directions but about 45 minutes later we all ran into each other in the same store - the Nag's Head Shop. It was not, in fact, a head shop, although that potential was the entire reason I wandered in there in the first place. The Nag's Head shop sells hats, shoes, sunglasses and...coffee. I got a latte and then we all started trying on crazy-looking sunglasses and funny hats - specifically hats with fake hair attached to them. Barry, our resident baldy, looked especially fetching in the dirty-hippie-hair-hat, but he won't let me put his picture on the website so you'll just have to take my word for it. The only picture we got of me was this one with the black swan sunglasses but believe me when I say that the martini glass sunglasses were the best.

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Touchy Sloth

Beach flower and thistle. Tuesday, September 28th: It was supposed to thunderstorm today but it's sunny and warm instead. I'm sitting on the deck in my orange sundress while the wind whistles through the house, opening and shutting doors at random. Yesterday we went to the aquarium in Manteo. I enjoyed it very much. There were alligators and sea turtles and otters and jellyfish and, my personal favorite besides the otters, limulus polyphemus - the horseshoe crab. There was an unexpectedly entertaining "touching" exhibit (alright, pipe down, people!) with rays and skates and horseshoe crabs together in a shallow pool. The rays and skates would swim around and do their thing and the horseshoe crabs would scuttle along the bottom and do their thing and you could reach in and touch them as they were going by. Virtually unchanged for the last 450 million years, the horseshoe crab is an ain't-broke-don't-fix-it animal - sort of like an alligator but older. It is incredibly primitive and has no real mechanism for exploiting or even noticing an organism that isn't either trying to eat it or avoid being eaten by it, which is why it was seemingly oblivious to all of the people poking at the top of its hard shell. The skates and rays, on the other hand, behaved quite differently which was very surprising to me. They really seemed to desire some affection. I'm tempted to say that this was a convenient illusion because I highly doubt they have the neural pathways required to find pleasure in being "petted." But who knows, perhaps it's a behavior modification related to feeding or some other stimulus that I'm unaware of. At any rate, there is no denying that some of them made a beeline for the human hands waving under the water and that some of their behavior seemed downright playful - waggling one "wing" above the surface until someone "shook" it, for example. Or using someone's hand as a springboard for a little underwater somersault. It was such a sweet, odd experience and I stayed at that exhibit for a long time, sort of hypnotized by these funny, slimy, sandpapery capes flickering around the pool. After the aquarium we went to the Weeping Radish for a beer and my dad told me that grandma's house is already sold. For $2.5 million. At which point I got sort of quiet and sipped my beer while the rest of them talked. It's interesting information for me to try to process - that my dad, who has been po-ass-po for his entire adult life is now a millionaire. Or something close to it anyway. Frankly it just doesn't compute. I was tempted to ask if he felt differently about the death tax now that it applied to him, but I let it go. I think I'll just let it lie for now. Maybe it will sink in while I'm not paying attention. Later... Took a walk on the beach. The ocean is about six different shades of blue - it looks absolutely tropical. There was exactly one other person on the beach - a rotund, white-bearded man gentleman wearing a t-shirt that said "World's Greatest Grandpa." I walked up to him as he was casting a line and he yelled, "Are you in charge of crowd control around here??" "Yes," I said, "and I run a very tight ship. You're lucky I let you fish here." I asked him if he'd caught anything yet and he said no, but it was better than watching television. "Did you see the dead turtle?" he asked. I said that I had. "You know, they eat plastic bags 'cause they think they're jellyfish. Kills 'em," he told me. I couldn't believe it. I showed him a plastic bag that I had picked up only moments before with that very thought in mind and he had one in his pocket too. We talked about how impossible it is to not pick up trash on the beach. He solved the mystery of the pink spraypaint on the turtle too. He says it means that it's been marked for investigation and they're probably waiting for a marine biologist from the aquarium we were at yesterday to come pick it up for an autopsy. I'm thinking that guy might really be the world's greatest grandpa. Tomorrow: a picture of me in goofy sunglasses.

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Subserviant Chicken

You really have to click on this if you haven't seen it already. This doesn't seem very Burger-King-like to me, but perhaps they are entering a whole new era of surreal advertising. I shamelessly stole the link off of Pinzilla's site. It's creepy and entertaining. But mostly creepy. UPDATE: Jesus, it even does Kung Fu. UP-UPDATE: And ballet!!!

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Medium-sized Mini

Last night I watched Dirty Pretty Things on dvd. I recommend it for anyone who might be curious about the suffocating desperation of being an illegal immigrant. Oh, also, it's an excellent thriller. I'm serious, it's really good. And the Amelie woman is in it (Audrey Tautou). Everyone! Please watch the debate tonight! Even if you know how you are going to vote, it is important to stay involved and educate yourself and always form your own opinion before the media gets a chance to feed you the spin. From McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush DAY 133: President Bush and his appointees have repeatedly taken credit for programs that the administration has attempted to eliminate or sharply reduce. The administration has publicized the $11.6 million it has given states to fund the purchase of defibrillators; Bush had tried to cut that funding by 82 percent, to $2 million. Tommy Thompson, the secretary of health and human services, announced this year that the administration was giving out $11.7 million in grants to help 30 states provide care for the uninsured. He did not mention that Bush has annually proposed the cancellation of that program for the last three years. Thompson has also made announcements about grants to improve rural health care, part of a program that the White House wanted to cut by 72 percent in 2005, and about awards to universities to provide for the medical training of minority students, an effort that the administration wished to abolish entirely. In May, the Justice Department announced a new round of awards through the Community Oriented Policing Services program, which supports the hiring of police officers at the local level. Each year he has been in office, Bush has attempted to drastically reduce the program; in 2003, he proposed eliminating it altogether. For 2005, Bush proposed cutting the COPS budget by 87 percent, to $97 million. The cuts that have been successful have forced many departments to dismiss the officers the program allowed them to hire. COPS grants helped Minneapolis hire 81 officers by 1997; the city has dismissed 140 since then, including 38 in 2003, and crime rates have risen. New York City received grants for 4,700 new officers; the department has dropped 3,400 since 2000. (Sources: Robert Pear, "White House Trumpets Programs It Tried to Cut," New York Times, May 19, 2004. See article at: nytimes.com. Kevin Johnson, "Federal, Local Cuts Pull Cops Off Streets," USA Today, December 1, 2003. See article at: usatoday.com.)

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Sunday, October 10, 2004

Insomniac Sloth

Back to the Outer Banks... Monday, September 27th: Well it's five o'clock in the morning and I can't fucking sleep. I only even tried to go to bed a few hours ago. It's not like I'm not tired either. I guess I have insomnia. Hmph. Took almost a week to put a name tag on it. Last night we went to the Jolly Roger for dinner, which is this funny, extravagant, middle-America-type place with shiny Christmas ornaments hanging from every inch of the ceiling. They sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Isabel last year and had to do a lot of rebuilding but I'm happy to report that they're back in business and haven't lost the spirit of Christmas. All year. After dinner we all meandered into the karaoke bar that comprises the other half of the Jolly Roger for some redneck-watching and mullet-spotting. We discovered the place two years ago when, upon leaving the restaurant, we were lured like the sailors of Odysseus by the sound of haunting, beautiful music. Actually it was John Mellencamp sung off key and we were like, what the fuck is that? Upon investigation we found a whole nother room to the place which featured a stage and upon the stage a dude with a white polo shirt, acid-washed jeans, white high-tops and a mullet singing "Cherry Bomb" like his life depended on it. It was both stunning and thrilling. My grandmother was with us at the time and let's just say that the dual concepts of mullets and karaoke required extensive explanation. Trust me, if you were 85 years old and had no point of reference for that kind of cultural pathos, you'd be baffled too. So anyway, we were in the karaoke bar last night rocking' and boppin' to some dude singing "Paint it Black" by the Stones. He was actually pretty good. He had clearly been practicing. But he had perhaps practiced a bit too much, was perhaps a bit too red-hot, if you will, because toward the end of the song, the power in the restaurant went out. He was that good.We were plunged into literal and figurative darkness. It was a bleak moment, after about 10 minutes of general power-outage mayhem, when we realized that there would be no more redneck karaoke that night. We cursed our ill luck and made for the exit by way of the emergency lights. Later... This morning's sunrise was the best so far. This happens every time - I'm pissed that I can't sleep and then I catch the sunrise and I'm like, wow, that was cool. There were some interesting things on the beach this morning. A veritable blizzard of sand crabs none too happy about my intrusion and a glass jar with some critters stuck to it - what were those? The way they stuck out their feathery appendages made me think of barnacles but they didn't look like any barnacles I'd ever seen. I rolled the jar back into the surf because, yeah, it used to be a bit of pollution but now it's a critter abode. There is also a dead turtle on the beach. A big one. Someone spray painted it pink. I'm not even really sure what else to say about that except that I did wonder if there was a plastic bag in its stomach. Public Service Announcement: sea turtles eat jellyfish. Know what looks a lot like a jellyfish? A plastic bag. When a sea turtle accidentally eats on of these, it dies. It happens all the time, so if you see a plastic bag on the beach please pick it up and throw it away. Thanks!

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Studious Sloth

Well, I hope you are all enjoying your long weekend (except for you, E-Lo, sorry). I am at work viewing online video lectures for one of my classes. A second date with no-not-that-Michael-the-other-one has occurred (they're even the same age and both Jewish - it's downright eerie). There was more smooching. You know that I like to give all romantic endeavors nick names, just as I like to give all of you nick names, and the time has come to brainstorm one for this guy, although that in no way denotes any kind of permanence to the situation. I haven't made up my mind about him and may not for a while yet. I'll let you know what moniker I come up with. Suggestions are welcome. To all of you who have quit smoking either recently (Jack) or a while back (Jamie), I tip my hat to you. Well, I bob my head at you anyway. There has been no smoking since The Fateful Three that poisoned me on Thursday night. Blech!!

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Friday, October 08, 2004

Hack! Hack!!

I went on a sort-of date last night with someone named Michael. Oh, the irony. Anyway, there was a band and there was vodka and I ended up smoking three cigarettes. I AM NEVER SMOKING AGAIN. I feel like ASS. I'm at work in running pants and a fleece (which is also ironic since if I tried to run anywhere right now I'd probably fall over dead) because I couldn't deal with clothes today. I couldn't deal with showering either. I'm a fucking mess.

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Short Attention Span Sloth

Hello residents of Slothville! Today is Short Attention Span day a la Dan Tobin who, incidentally, is not Kevin as we discovered a while back to our chagrin. You know the rules. If you want to comment, do it quick, because the updates are comin' atcha fast and furious. To start off today, I present you with what is very possibly the closest thing I will ever have to a boyfriend.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Busy Brain Sloth

Onions at the farmer's market. I am interrupting the travel journal because I wanted to tell you all about something I learned in class the other day about the psychology of small groups. Irving Janis, in studying group thinking, determined that there is a typical suspension of critical thinking seen in highly cohesive groups, especially when they are under stress. The seven properties of this behavior are as follows: 1. Illusion of invulnerability. 2. Sense of moral superiority. 3. Suppression of doubt or disagreement. 4. Pressure for unanimity (punishable by scapegoating, etc.) 5. Rationalization of dissenting information. 6. Insulation from outside input. 7. The "risky shift." Under extreme stress the group may often make a wild, radical, stupid decision and consider any disagreement with that group decision not only incorrect, but immoral and a betrayal. Does this remind you of anyone????? Before you freak out, I am not Republican-bashing here. (And even if I was, let's all try to remember that this is Slothville, not Politicallycorrectville.) That is not the point I am trying to make. I think that this information is fascinating because I recognize the behavior in others and, I hate to admit it, in myself. I have a sense that we have all experienced some if not all of these properties in our own lives at some point. I have to admit, though that some of the numbered properties made me think of certain groups immediately - before my mind could even censor anything. #1 .......ok, well, this one really does remind me of the Bush Administration. #2, of course, makes me think immediately of the protesters in front of Planned Parenthood. #3 brings the Catholic Church to mind, but also the Patriot Act. #4 ....well, this is everywhere. PETA, the Klan, 8th grade, the university I work at, you name it. #5 .....Creationists. All the students at Bob Jones University. #6 immediately made me think of Mormons. They are discouraged from reading anything other than the Book of Mormon. All outside information is deemed dangerous and corruptive. If they go to college they usually go to Brigham-Young. #7 suggests a possibility of what the War in Iraq may have been. A stupid, wild, radical decision made under the extreme stress following 9/11. I'm not saying that's what it was, just throwing it out there as a possibility. Or maybe what I mean is that as a group, a cohesive, freaked out group, a lot of people supported that war and a lot of those people were, unfortunately, able to make it a reality. Not necessarily Bush and his peeps but perhaps all the people (including Kerry) who voted to give Bush the power to wage his war. Just a thought.

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Flirty Sloth (100th Post!)

Friday, September 24th EDIT: The Dastard has updated - I urge you all to read his new post. Thanks. Took a sedative last night so I could sleep past dawn. Waking up for the sunrise without effort is a novelty and everything but it really fucks up the rest of my day because I'm ready for a nap by 8:30 and then I'm down hard until noon. So. I took a pill that my doctor prescribed to me a while back for fictional flight anxiety, drank a couple glasses of wine and hit the sheets like a cartoon anvil around midnight. Aaaaand, instead of waking up chipper and sweet-faced for the sunrise, I woke up grouchy and groggy and ready to wreak very slow havoc on the world for the sunrise. No more sedatives for Sloth. Yesterday the weather channel warned us that Hurricane Jeanne may be coming to gobble us up which would really really really suck ass if it happened. Ok, ready for the most shallow, dimwitted thought process ever? This was honestly the first thing that went through my head when I heard we might get a hurricane: "Crap. If we get a hurricane next week I might lose my tan before I get home!" That's right, folks. It would seem that my tan is more important than peoples' homes, businesses and lives. Am I ashamed of myself? A little. Not enough, apparently, as I am still thinking about it like it would be a really big tragedy. Saturday, September 25th Good lord and butter, I can't believe it's already the weekend! On the other hand I can't believe that I can lounge on the beach/my ass for a whole nother week. Nine pelicans just flew over my head in a line. Was up for the sunrise again this morning. I don't mean to complain but I was up until 3 a.m. watching Terms of Endearment on the tube and assumed I would sleep in but WHAM!! At 6:50 I sat up in bed like a possessed doll, grabbed my camera and slogged onto the beach to take a picture. Yesterday we went to the Bodie Island lighthouse and I bought some very cool architectural drawings of it for $1.25 each. Then we stopped by Oregon Inlet to watch the boats come in from the Gulf Stream. Customers pay to be brought out there to fish for tuna and whatever else they run into. The custom is that when they come back they wet down the dock with a hose and toss the fish right onto it where everyone can get a good look. Then the customers, whether they be normal people or a bunch of drunken yahoos (seen here), pose for a picture with all their fish. Twenty pelicans just flew over my head in a line. While we were at Oregon Inlet I noticed a handsome man with a super nice camera taking pictures of everything just like me. We dodged around each other for a while getting close-ups and whatnot. Then what do you think happened? I looked up and he was taking a picture of me! So I brought my camera up and took a picture of him taking a picture of me. A few minutes later he approached me and we had this exchange: him: "Hey, I just took a picture of you." me: "I know, I took a picture of you taking a picture of me." him: "Yeah, I thought you might have." me: "..." him: "It was a great shot. There was a guy with a fish standing right next to you, looking at you, but you didn't notice him." And that's when Barry, who I love but who should work on his timing, walked up to me and said, "Time to go!" Gah!! .........oh well. I hope to someday look back on that moment and think, "Phew! That was close! If that had worked out I would never have been able to make Davy Rothbart fall in love with me!" What? Shut up. Tomorrow: karaoke and a public service announcement.

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Monday, October 04, 2004

Red Hot Ouchy Sloth

Wednesday, September 22nd: Well, predictably, I'm up at 6 a.m. I don't know why this happens on the Outer Banks and not elsewhere. Sometime around the middle of my vacation I always start waking up at ridiculous hours. I woke up around 4:30 this morning. The good news is that there's a hazy kind of mist hanging over the ocean so the sunrise could be really spectacular. I can't believe how bright the stars are here. It surprises me every time I notice it. There is a planet - I think it's Venus - up there just past the dunes, over the surf. It's fucking blinding. I wandered onto the beach a little while ago because I saw a light shining in the water and wondered what it was. After staring at it for a while I realized it's the reflection of that giant, sparkling planet, looking like you could just pluck it out of the sky with your fingertips. Here comes the sun... 6 p.m. Seems as though I'm not so good at putting sun block on my own back. Other than a few white clawprints across my shoulder blades, my back is a raging inferno. Excellent. I have done nothing all day but lay in the sun, listen to my iPod and dream about making Davy Rothbart fall in love with me. On that front, I could use an intervention. This is a cry for help. Thursday, 8:30 a.m.: Another day, another sunrise. Went down to the beach to get some pictures and found Barry fishing. Took some shots as proof that he can willingly get his butt out of bed before dawn. The most exciting part of the morning for me was finding a gorgeous sea cucumber pulsating silently in the sand. They can sometimes go a little nutty and lose their guts on you if you goose them too hard so I was very gentle when I picked the little dude up and put him back in the water. I mean, he'd be fine without his guts, he'd just grow some new ones, but it's messy and makes him more vulnerable to predators so I'm glad he held onto them. Really beautiful animal. Glistening white with grey speckles and very much alive. I couldn't believe the gulls hadn't found him yet. He didn't wash back in after I let the surf take him out of my paw so I'm hopeful that he was still vigorous enough to make it. Time for a nap! 4 p.m.: Seems as though my Alba Botanica spf 18 is no match for the blazing North Carolina sun. I look like a beet with legs. Exciting news! I found my first find!! Barry woke me up from a nap (risky) and asked me if I wanted to go to the used bookstore. I growled and went back to sleep. Fifteen seconds later I was bolting out of bed and into my shoes. I had read in the "Found" book that lots of finds are discovered in used book stores - how could I not go?? The title of the very first book I picked up was "Stealth." I though it sounded promising, and I was right! It's not a particularly macktastic (props to Pup) find, but it's my first and I feel like I have different eyes now after attending the Found event. The booty don't stop, my friends, and I won't stop looking for cool shit that is other peoples' trash. So anyway, it's just a folded up sticky note that says, "TI34 Sharp BL-520D." Cool, huh??? Well, maybe not to everyone but definitely to me.

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Almondy Sloth

Hi Everybody!! I'm back and rip roaring to take a nap! I hope you all had a lovely, relaxing two weeks and I also hope that you watched the 1st presidential debate. Yeah, baby!! This here is a picture of the sea oats on the dune between our deck and the beach. I was the color of a Brazil nut, but now I am sort of almondy. Ok, so does everyone remember how this works? Here is the travel journal from when I was away. You get pictures and a whole lot of randomness, but don't worry - I didn't write in my journal every day that I was gone so it shouldn't be too too painful. Also, the pics get better. And to clarify, I was vacationing with my uncle Barry, his friend Carol, my dad, Kris and his wife, Cindy. Monday, September 20th: The seas have been high for two days and the wind is blowing enough to shake the house. It's officially a Nor'easter - the progeny of Hurricane Ivan. We drove through Ivan on Saturday when we traveled down from Maryland. Some of the terribleness had been taken out of him and thus deflated he was simply Ivan the Annoying. On our way here we noticed a tree down here and there, but nothing like the war zone landscape after Isabel last year. Less carnage and destruction afforded me a view that I was too distracted to notice a year ago. The verdict is that America is sometimes very beautiful and sometimes very ugly. I saw a rusting metal sign for an abandoned strip mall gone to seed that simply said "PAROLE." A few towns away in Currituck we drove by a billboard advertising newly built condominiums. The complex of properties was called "River's Edge" and I was immediately flooded with images of Crispin Glover gesticulating madly over a naked corpse. But the Potomac River Bridge was gorgeous and frightening and the landscape along the way was lush with vines and a kind of vibrant green that you don't see in Boston. On Thursday night before I left I went to see Davy Rothbart at Brookline Booksmith. He's on tour with his brother Pete, promoting the "Found" book. Davy has furry shoulders and a wicked underbite but there is something deeply, unavoidably attractive about him that caused me to clam up and turn pomegranate red when I approached him to sign my book. I wanted to tell him that I had changed my flight so I could attend the reading but I couldn't make the words come out of my stupid mouth. Davy is one of those rare people who has a knack for embracing life in a way that is inspiring to other people because it's accessible. He doesn't do intimidating things like climb Mount Everest or paddle around the world in a kayak. He does things that anyone could do except they usually don't. He talks to strangers even when they're a little bit scary and it always turns out ok. He picks up scraps of paper blowing down the street and sometimes they turn out to be spectacular windows into other peoples' lives. He keeps his eyes open. He sees and listens and he embodies the quirkiness of the world in a way that I find myself envious of. It's that effortless, joyous kind of alpha male energy that makes me want to smooch him. But anyway. There were people there filming a documentary about Found Magazine so I might be on television all red and sweaty from laughing so hard. Pete's "The Booty Don't Stop" song had me cackling until I couldn't breathe and Davy's rendition of two girls writing back and forth to each other in class ("Brokedown bitch!!!") was a near-pants-peeing moment. I'm so glad that I went to the event - it was one of the most unique and amusing experiences I've ever had. So I'm sitting here in my p.j.'s while the house trembles on its stilts and the red "No Swimming" flag flaps furiously at the top of its pole. The ocean is a noisy brown monster pushing proteinaceous foam up onto the beach. I love the way the sea oats turn golden when the sun sets. I hope they survive the gale. Well, it's after noon. Time for breakfast. 7 p.m. Carol arrived from Annapolis a little while ago. I've finished the "Found" book. Twice. Moving on to Carl Sagan now. And tomorrow will read about Hinduism. The sky is a ridiculous color at the moment. Sort of a baby blanket, Hallmark card, corny, cutesy kind of pink and blue. Makes me think of babies and their sour milk smell. Barry made guacamole and told me it would taste better tomorrow after the flavors had fused. As I stuffed a mound of mushy avocado in my gob I explained that that would only be a theory as long as there were chips left. Seems as though I officially have a crush on Davy Rothbart as I have been thinking about his punk ass since Thursday. Oddly, my last unattainable crush was on another person affiliated with NPR. I've never seen Jason Beaubien's face but I fell in love with his voice when he worked for WBUR. Then he got married, had a baby and moved to Africa. Oh well. Now the television is on. They're watching "Friends" which means I may have to leave the room to preserve my sanity and/or pride. That's it for now - tune in tomorrow for another day at the beach. Ciao ciao!

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First of all...

It's fucking FREEZING here! What the FUCK??? Missed you peeps. New post in a wee bit.

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