Uh, Mom, My Glasses Fell in the Toilet. . .

30 11 2009

Things that make you laugh but you keep it inside because you are a good person who wouldn’t laugh AT your children but only WITH them, later . . .

Touseled hair, sleepy face gingerly holding said glasses with tissue, offering them up with a (still-startlingly deep to his mother) baritone mumbling, “now what?”

Son, I guess you had to put your hand in to retrieve them? Well, yeah. Okay, no problem. But why is that hand now holding the glasses with tissue, if the hand went down in the same water and needs to be cleaned right along with the glasses?

More laughter — but only on the inside!

Favorite Daughter Talks Sex and Rejects “The Wilding of Sarah Palin” Premise

26 11 2009

Favorite Daughter wrote a long essay on this piece* (see below) late last night, unbeknownst to her mother until the holiday yeast rolls were in the oven and we were relaxing together just now, and she mentioned it in an offhand way.

She is almost 20 now, and we’re leaving for her boyfriend’s parents’ multi-family dinner in an hour. Anyway, don’t miss this if you want a brutally honest young woman’s progressive perspective in response to this article about sex, politics and the real-world effects of the Politics of Sex:

. . .[The “recovering liberal” author of the article] posits that democrats purposely keep women afraid of rape so that they’ll vote democrat, like a sick stick to the carrot of equal pay and abortion rights. She goes on to insinuate that democrats put out some sort of subliminal messages about conservative men all being rapists. She makes this allegation with no evidence whatsoever, and, if the average conservative sex scandal is any indication, my 14-year-old brother has a lot more to fear from Mark Foley, Larry Craig, and Ted Haggarty than I do.

She goes on to hint that she might have been raped (“probably at a peace rally,” Calvin groaned), and called the perpetrators “minority,” “thug,” “hoodlums,” blaming liberal social programs for the circumstances that led directly to her violation. If I may interrupt: I have a hunch that not stoning rape victims was once considered a “liberal social program.”

She goes on to accuse everyone at Berkley of being a “sleazebag,” (really, everyone) and that because liberals subscribe to the concept of moral relativism, they sanction the stoning of women in the Middle East. Where, the last time I checked, women were being preyed upon by religiously and politically conservative men.

Then it gets really good (or bad, I guess, would be a better Read the rest of this entry »

Is Cheerleading a Sport? Don’t Answer Too Quickly

25 11 2009

In keeping with the sports-is-to-politics foul play analogy of my last post: Is cheerleading a sport and why should it matter?

And can we adults think that through logically and meaningfully, answer with integrity and fairness to all students both boys and girls, cheerleaders and football players or not, instead of competing like warlords to score the most money never mind the human or social costs, as the insurance companies do? My state’s high school athletic association apparently can’t —

. . .Cheerleading, you see, is deeply embroiled in gender politics, and given the demographics of college attendance, cheerleading is surely going to remain a flashpoint.

It all traces back to Title IX, the 1972 law which mandates that, in sports, athletic representation on campus must mirror student enrollment. . .

. . . the Florida High School Athletic Association wanted to make substantial reductions in all sports except two: football and cheerleading. . . by claiming that football, like cheerleading, was a co-ed sport because, of the thousands of football players in the state, three were girls.

Not surprisingly, this bizarre logic didn’t fly. A federal lawsuit forced the association to accept a settlement to apply cuts equally across the board to all sports. Most cheerleaders, of course, are female.
. . .two-thirds of all catastrophic injuries to females in high school and college occur in cheerleading.

And so, if cheerleading can be accepted as a legitimate sport instead of just as an “activity,” then colleges can eliminate another, more traditional, more expensive women’s sport. In this way, male-dominated athletic departments can Read the rest of this entry »

Do Media Refs Do This Too? It Would Explain a Lot

24 11 2009

If “winning” and not good governance is all the most vicious partisans care about, their political game plan would look just like the Illini’s foul play and it would work out for them, especially on tv. A theory with excellent predictive value!

ESPN dot com
November 23, 2009
Associated Press

They don’t all need glasses. But if you always suspected basketball referees are biased — well, you’re right, according to a couple of professors who’ve studied the matter.

Refs favor the home team, the academics say. They’re big on “make-up” calls. They make more calls against teams in the lead, and the discrepancy grows if the game is on national TV.

The professors studied 365 college games during the 2004-05 season and found that refs had a terrific knack for keeping the foul count even, regardless of which team was more aggressive.

Exhibit A: Read the rest of this entry »

Young Son’s Shakespeare Set to Scotland’s Pipes

23 11 2009

As promised, a sampling of family photos from the first annual Fall Weavers Festival at historic Millstone Plantation here in Tallahassee FL.

You can see Young Son playing as Richard the Third in morning scenes staged under the Great Oak, then as great highland bagpiper with the Edinburgh-born McIlroys in the afternoon, as the sheep pasture shadows lengthen toward Lake McBride:

Fencing Poem Especially for COD and Son Breck

22 11 2009

We had a flood in the laundry room last weekend so it’s been a harrowing week of sorting, cleaning, tossing, throwing out wet carpet and ruined stuff, bringing in new equipment, checking to see if we need a new floor.

Anyway, today in my labors I got to a top shelf secreting some of my own old high school notebooks, where I came across a poem written in limerick form about my (then-new) sport.

I was maybe 17?
Thought Breck might enjoy laughing at the kid I was —

What Every Young Fencer Should Know

A fencer should always remember
To try not to pierce or dismember,
And if while on strip
Your opponent should trip, Read the rest of this entry »

The Liar, The Witch, and the KKK’s Wardrobe

20 11 2009

Sarah Palin’s presidential-ambition-blessing pastor was a real, literal witch-hunter and witch-persecutor.

No joke.

Now comes another no-joke witch story, one I saw earlier today in the Chronicle of Higher Education weekly round-up by Don Troop, under the irresistible and accurately newsworthy headline, “The Liar, the Witch and the KKK’s Ridiculous Wardrobe.” 😉

(Just ask if you want to know more about the Liar and the Wardrobe*.)

A woman who sued the University of Nebraska saying the school fired her after learning she is a witch has agreed to settle the case for $40,000.

The university made the offer “solely to compromise the claim … without admitting the validity of plaintiff’s contention or any allegations of wrongdoing by the defendants. . .”

Jane Doe said she took a job with the university in 2007 directing a youth program. But an associate dean terminated her, despite her satisfactory performance at work, after learning she was a witch and her religion was Read the rest of this entry »