Monthly Archives: December 2014

Weekend Update

I didn’t post as often as usual during November because of NaNoWriMo, and then I was immediately struggling with this year’s Ghost Story (since I read an original Christmas Ghost Story every year at our annual Holiday Party), so I haven’t been posting much other than Friday Links since October. And I’m not going to change that much with this post, which is going to be a few more links related to stories I’ve linked to in recent Friday links.

I’ve posted before about the Salvation Army’s claims that they aren’t a homophobic organization. Well: Here’s The Internal Document The Salvation Army Doesn’t Want You To See.

Technically, this ought to have been among Friday’s links, since the final episode of the Colbert Report was Thursday night, but I didn’t watch the episode until Friday, and I don’t know if the video of the finale was available until Friday afternoon, anyway: See Stephen Colbert’s Epic, Star-Studded Farewell Sing-Along.

Several of us who have been watching the Supreme Court’s response to the marriage equality cases wondered what would happen if a case in a Circuit covered by either Justice Thomas or Scalia came up. Contrary to tradition, the last several times that the full court has refused to grant a stay on a ruling against a same-sex marriage ban, the order has mentioned that Scalia and Thomas wanted to grant the stay. So, when a case came directly to one of them, we didn’t know if that Justice would grant a stay, or if they would refer the request to the full court. Friday afternoon we found out: SUPREME COURT DENIES STAY REQUEST IN FLORIDA GAY MARRIAGE CASE, MARRIAGE EQUALITY SET TO BEGIN JANUARY 5.

People are losing interest in donating to anti-gay causes: Bigotry doesn’t pay: North Carolina anti-gay group $15,000 in debt.

I linked earlier to stories about the Michigan House passing a “License to Discriminate” bill, and many feared the Republican-controlled Senate and Republican Governor would move the law forward. But: Michigan Legislature Ends Year Without the Senate Passing the Right to Discriminate Bill.

The “19 and Counting” family, have lended their show, their fame, their money, and their voices to various rallies and events for the repeal of a gay-rights law, have been claiming to be the victims of discrimination simply because gay people and friends and family of gay people object to their political activities that actually harm gay people. One family member went on an anti-gay radio show and: Audio: Josh Duggar defends anti-gay discrimination, invalidates own point.

Friday Links (All I Want for Christmas edition)!

Santa explains how to explain gay people to kids.
Why are flying reindeer less confusing than people who belief differently than you?
It’s Friday! The third Friday in December. The third! I’m hosting a big party tomorrow and don’t have all the shopping or baking done, yet! I’m doooooooooomed!

Anyway, here is a collection of news and other things that I ran across over the course of the week which struck me as worthy of being shared:

Christian right’s vile PR sham: Why their bizarre films are backfiring on them. Delving into why the fear and false persecution narrative underlying fundamentalism prevents them from knowing how to tell an interesting story.

HILARIOUS: Model from ‘ex-gay’ twins billboard is ‘out, proud gay man,’ not a twin.

Let’s Say Goodbye To ‘White Collar’ With The Best Shirtless Matt Bomer Moments, In GIFs!

Do Pacific Northwesterners Have An Accent?

Gay W. Virginia high school soccer player comes out by dancing with homecoming king.

“Rape Exceptionalism” and Protecting Law Students from “Triggers”. And this is a problem because… victims of sexual assault actually need lawyers, prosecutors, and judges who are familiar with the relevant law.

“The Messier 67 Mystery” –Is Our Solar System an Orphan from a Distant Star Cluster?

New Family Tree Illuminates ‘Big Bang’ in Bird Evolution After Dinosaur Extinction.

Genes that leap from one species to another are more common than we thought. Does this shake up the tree of life?

Stephen Colbert Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert.

Top 10 Things to Love About Letterman’s Top Ten Lists.

The cute rolling ball droid in the new Star Wars is a real robot not CGI.

News Corpse eBook ‘Fox Nation vs. Reality’ Reviewed By Wonkette.

Seattle’s unbelievable transportation megaproject fustercluck.


Eartha Kitt – Nothin’ for Christmas:

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Every year since 1986, David Letterman has invited Darlene Love to perform on the last show of the year before Christmas. Every year, she sings “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” her Phil Spector-produced 1963 Christmas classic. Every year, Paul Shaffer and a sprawling cast of musicians backs her up. Next May, Letterman will retire from late-night TV, which means that when Love appears on Friday’s show to sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” it’ll be the last time singing it on Letterman’s show.

Here is a super-cut Best of Darlene Love Singing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on David Letterman:

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The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight):

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Billy Idol – Jingle Bell Rock:

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Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You:

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Wham! – Last Christmas:

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Robbie Williams – So This Is Christmas:

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Andy Williams – The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (From The Andy Williams Show):

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The Muppets ** It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year ** Xmas@Rockefeller Center:

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The Muppets sing Jingle Bell Rock from “Muppet Family Christmas”:

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The Muppets: Ringing of the Bells:

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Doctor Who in Dominoes:

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All I Want For Christmas Is You – Christmas Charity Single – Oxford A capella group Out of the Blue:

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Petty theft

I was taking some trash out while getting ready for work, and noticed that one of the solar lights was knocked over and somewhat dis-assembled in one flower bed. Then I noticed one of the heavy duty extension cords was laying among the parts of the solar light, unplugged. For a second I was trying to figure out how someone would have run through that section of the yard. It’s not at a space where one would cross trying to take a shortcut. The concrete steps and steel rail are in the way for any sort of path that includes it.

Then I finally realized that one of the outdoor light sets was gone. Specifically the four lights that look like giant old-fashioned outdoor bulbs. Each was on a stake so they stand up, a red, green, yellow, and blue light. I had them spread across the front edge of the flower bed, completing the line from the snowman to the porch.

If you yanked up the four lights, making sure to get the easily-detached stakes off the bottom of each, pulling the plug out would have pulled up the extension power strip, and the second extension cord that led up to the icicle lights along the eave. And I assume that the process of disconnecting cables knocked over the solar light.

It’s irritating. Petty theft always is. It’s not that the lights were that expensive. I found myself being more irritated at having to get the extension cords back in place than at the loss. At least at the moment. I know when I come home from work and I can see the “gap” in my yard display because those lights aren’t there, I’ll get annoyed again. And even if I go buy something to replace it, at least some of the times that I look at the new display I’ll have a tinge of irritation as I recall the theft.

I remember a similar incident years ago. Ray was still alive, and he found these very silly garden pinwheels that had little cartoon tiger faces, and the blades that spun in the wind were tiger striped. The flowers weren’t very high, and he had decided we needed something in that bed to give it color. Not to mention that he really liked tigers. The pinwheels lasted a couple of days. I was at work, Ray said he was on his way out for an errand and he paused to spin one of the pinwheels by hand before getting into the car. He came back an hour or so later, and they were all gone.

He was very upset.

I wanted to go buy new ones, but he figured whoever stole them must be someone who walked by the place on a regular basis and just decided they wanted them. His reasoning was if we put more out right away, they’d just get stolen again. I don’t think the expense was what upset him so much, because my recollection was they they were very cheap. But there was definitely a feeling of violation. Probably worse precisely because they were cartoon tigers, and they brought out his inner child.

Whenever I find things like the purple and green metal pinwheel I bought last summer, or the solar lights, or the Christmas lights—I always have a twinge of emotion related to those tiger pinwheels. Angst or anxiety both feel a little too strong to describe the feeling. It’s just a hint of a fret about how I might feel if whatever it is gets stolen.

Sometimes I decide that I don’t want to risk it. If the object is expensive enough that I’ll be angry about the price, for instance. Or if it’s something that evokes a strong emotional response as soon as I see it.

But there’s always a little bit of defiance, too. I don’t want to let an a—hole dictate my actions. If I stop putting decorations out because this one jerk stole four cheap light-up decorations, if I let the actions of the occasional prick change me, then that’s another little surrender to the forces of darkness. I refuse to respond to petty theft by becoming a paranoid git saying “bah humbug” to the world.

Because it is petty. And being the sort of prick who steals novelty lights (or pinwheels) out of someone’s front yard is its own punishment, in the long run. The sort of person who stoops to that sort of theft tends to stomp all over the feelings of other people in their lives, too, which is a sure way to breed contempt.

So, the rest of the lights will stay up, and I very well may put out more, if I find something appropriate. Because the proper response to any assertion of the powers of darkness is always to light at least one small candle.

Friday Links (rest ye merry edition)!

It’s Friday! Already the second Friday in December. Only a few more to go and then there will be no more. Before we reach that point, Christmas day will be upon us, and I feel so unprepared!

Anyway, here is a collection of news and other things that I ran across over the course of the week which struck me as worthy of being shared:

Joyce Brabner’s ‘Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, And Dealers Plotted Against The Plague’: Book Review.

Let’s Stop Making Jokes About Furries While Discussing That Recent Terrorist Attack on Furries.

“I won’t be a weapon anymore,” says former symbol of ex-gay movement.

Why Evangelical Christians Oppose Obamacare and Civil Rights.

The dangerous myth at the heart of conservative ideology.

FBI Understates Hate-Motivated Attacks on Transgender People.

Marriage equality in N.C. grows LGBT wedding professionals’ businesses.

Michigan House Passes Bill Allowing EMTs To Refuse Gay People.

2 Futures Can Explain Time’s Mysterious Past.

Gigantic Cambrian Shrimplike Creature Unearthed in Greenland.

Begun The Christmas Tree War Has. Fight over artificial vs cut live trees has been raging for over 100 years.

Obama’s Approval Rating Is in the Tank Because Americans Are Being Lied To.

Shonda Rhimes Delivered The Most Inspiring, Badass Speech. “How many women had to hit that glass before the first crack appeared?”


Anti-gay N.C. church members indicted on felony kidnapping, assault of gay man.

Bobby Jindal’s Prayer Rally Materials Blame Gays & Legal Abortion For Hurricane Katrina.

Good riddance, Darrell Issa: A wasteful blowhard’s humiliating history.

After half a century of waiting – this gay couple were finally allowed to tie the knot.

Pastor Donnie Romero Says Gays Are ‘All Pedophiles’ Who Should Be ‘Put To Death’ (VIDEO).

Family Research Council Will Fix Constitutional Flaw That Allows Trans Americans Too Much Freedom.

I’m Still Bitter, Bill.

Becoming Willing to Tell Our (Tragically) Unflattering but Still (Super) Effective Stories of Trans Allyship.

Neil Gaiman recites Jabberwocky:

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Carol of the Bells (for 12 cellos) – ThePianoGuys:

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The Couch Gag Before Christmas | THE SIMPSONS | ANIMATION on FOX:

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President Obama Hijacks The Colbert Report ‘I, Stephen Colbert, Have Never Cared for Our President’ – President Obama literally takes over Stephen’s job for a segment, and it’s awesome:

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Mad Max: Fury Road – Official Theatrical Teaser Trailer [HD]:

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Iron Sky The Coming Race Official Teaser Trailer 1 (2016) – Fantasy Movie HD:

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[Official Video] Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry Be Happy – Pentatonix (ft Tori Kelly):

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Annie Lennox – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen:

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Musical packrat?

I have a large music collection (11,800+ songs, 83 gigabytes), but not the biggest in the world. I have at least one friend who, despite still having many hundreds of CDs he hasn’t imported into his digital collection, makes my digital music library look small.

No, what usually freaks people out is the size of my Christmas music collection: 9.8 gigabytes, or 1980 songs. That’s enough music that, if I just tried to listen to it all non-stop, it would take more than 4½ days.

I know that’s a lot.

Continue reading Musical packrat?

Decking those halls!

This taoist and his pagan husband blatantly display a mix of pagan and folk symbols during the sacred Christmas season.
This taoist and his pagan husband blatantly display a mix of pagan and folk symbols during the sacred Christmas season.
Once again, though the goal was to start decorating Thanksgiving weekend, the tree is only just now being set up. I did get a string of lights in the living room window, and one string of multi-colored icicle lights above the door, and a set of these big plastic lights across the front of one flower bed last weekend. So we’ve had some outdoor Christmas lights up all week.

Now that the gout is finally under control, we had a much more productive weekend. We got a good start on the Christmas shopping and finished a bunch of other errands on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we spent a few hours prepping the house so there was room for the tree before unpacking enough of the basement storage to start.

Continue reading Decking those halls!

Weekend update and roundup

Copyright NBCThe Wonkette, which a snarky fun place to catch up on the news, has a recurring feature call the Derp Roundup where they cover several strange or stupid news items that were two small or unimportant to merit a full post of their own, but still too WTF-worthy to completely ignore.

Which isn’t what this post is.

Well, it’s partly what this post is, but oh, it’s so complicated! Continue reading Weekend update and roundup

Friday Links (rum-pum-pum-pum)!
Thinking about the Christmases past.
It’s Friday! It’s December. As the year draws to an end we enter Advent Season as everything leads up to the big day we’ve all been waiting for: when we sacrifice the Holly King so the Sun Child may be born and bring us the Festivus Pole!

(In case you don’t know: I’m a taoist who loves Christmas music, decorating trees, and making everything bright and sparkly; my husband is a pagan who puts up with my yuletide mania and helps amp up the silly on my decorating themes.)

Anyway, here is a collection of news and other things that I ran across over the course of the week which struck me as worthy of being shared:

Is This The Best Trans Character In The History Of Video Games?.

What If We’re Wrong About Depression?.

Why It’s Impossible to Indict a Cop.

The Pain of the Watermelon Joke. Thanks to @geojlc for the link!

Race ya: White people, we have to do better.

In Mississippi Marriage Ruling, Judge Gives History Lesson on Anti-Gay Discrimination. It really is a must-read.

How to Make Your Last Name Plural This Christmas Season.

Teacher Schools Class On Privilege…With A Recycling Bin And Some Paper.

And someone decided that wasn’t a comprehensive lesson: How to really understand white privilege.

No longer true that divorce rate is rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce–hasn’t been for two decades.

VISIBLE GIRLS: LONDON’S LOST FEMALE SUBCULTURES. In the early 1980s, photographer Anita Corbin documented the “informal uniforms” of young women’s subcultures across London.

‘In 1995 we announced the arrival of Elizabeth. He informs us we were mistaken. Oops!’: Parents’ heartwarming birth notice to acknowledge their daughter becoming a transgender son called Kai.

Speaking of stories that restore a bit of my faith in humanity: Andre Johnson Bought A Buttload Of Toys For Kids Again.

Turkeygate: In Defense of Sasha and Malia.

Stephen Colbert’s Defense Of The New Lightsaber Is Awesomely Nerdy. Thanks to @tdjohnsn for the link!

Arizona pastor predicts ‘AIDS-free Christmas’ if all gays are killed, as God commands. “Predicts” isn’t the right word. He advocates for killing us.

My Great-Great-Aunt Discovered Francium. And It Killed Her.

The typography (and iconography) of Ridley Scott’s Alien. This is awesome!

Cartoon by Steve Stack puts #BlackLivesMatter into clear perspective.

THE GLOWING MALE PHYSIQUES OF DUTCH ARTIST MAURICE HEERDINK. Click through all the pages, the art is worth it.

Has Comet Sliding Spring changed Mars’ atmosphere forever? ‘Meteoric smoke’ from flyby may have altered Martian chemistry.

Eric Radford: Olympic figure skater, medal-winning family man. And gay.

One last gasp: Eric Garner and the failure of racial justice.

Electric Eels Can Remotely Control Their Prey’s Muscles.

Where Are The “Comeback” Columns About Obama? They Were A D.C. Media Staple For Bush.

I wrote about: NaNoWriMo achievement unlocked again!.

And Drop-kick me, Odin, through the goal posts of life*. Catching up on my goals, with a tiny digression about a cheesy country song.

Plus my thoughts On apologizing.

Bing Crosby & David Bowie – The Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth:

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American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered | Bowie and Bing | PBS – the story of how Bowie saying he hated the song, led to the creation of a new Christmas classic:

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Star Wars Prank (Rémi Gaillard):

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Kate Pierson – “Mister Sister” (Official Music Video):

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[Official Video] Little Drummer Boy – Pentatonix:

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Queen + Adam Lambert – Somebody To Love (Live on X-Factor 2014):

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Carol of the Bells – David Hicken:

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