Thursday, May 31, 2007

Road Rage

An inordinate number of drivers I've run across recently have their heads up their asses:

Stop signs ARE NOT suggestions.

Emergency vehicles blaring sirens or flashing lights mean you pull to the side of the road, out of their way, IMMEDIATELY. That's why they're called emergency vehicles and why they get to blare sirens and flash lights.

Yellow DOES NOT MEAN speed up.

Don't enter an intersection UNLESS YOU CAN GET THROUGH IT before the traffic light changes. I won't "t-bone" you if you do, but I wish someone would.

Your rear view mirror is not meant for FIXING YOUR MAKE-UP.

Your rear view mirror is not meant for watching your face while you SHAVE YOUR FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW.

Your windows are transparent. I can see you PICKING YOUR NOSE AND EATING IT, at the stop light. Knock it off. It makes me retch.

If you have to unfold the map you're using, PULL THE FUCK OVER ONTO THE SHOULDER.

If you don't have a left turn arrow, DON'T TURN LEFT IN FRONT OF ONCOMING TRAFFIC.

And for the love of G-d, STOP FLICKING YOUR LIGHTED CIGARETTES out the window. Mostly you're just an asshat litterer. But, once in a while, at highway speeds, you're courting a genuine disaster.

(This last one is the one that prompted this post. A lighted cigarette bounced off my driver's side window on the highway, this morning. Had my window been open, yikes!)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thanks for your patience


  • the lingering effects of a cold,

  • the press of a nine-year-old's various engagements in the month of May (violin recital, violin jury appearance, choir concert, little league practice and games, seeing the Spiderman movie, shuttling to and fro to religious school on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, the opening of our neighborhood swimming pool this weekend), plus

  • the press of synagogue business (appearances on the bimah to make announcements and confer Bar/Bat Mitzvah certificates, attendance at a weekday evening Confirmation Service on Shavuot),

have all conspired to make me pretty scarce lately.

Not to mention a shitload of work during work hours.

Pesky bosses.

I'm hoping June is more conducive to frequent posting and commenting.

And to forstall the inevitable, Ted pics will be forthcoming soon.

Reminder: 11:00 am - 11:45, Saturday, June 9th and Sunday, June 10th, I'm singing and playing guitar on the children's stage at Celebrate Fairfax! If you're a D.C. metro area reader, please consider joining me. Monkeyboy and I will do a couple of duets.


This has to be one of the best singles ads ever printed. It is reported to have been listed in the Atlanta Journal.

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Call [redacted] and ask for Daisy, I'll be waiting....

Over 15,000 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society.

N.B.: Snopes says this is probably apocryphal. The Atlanta Humane Society disavows it. I think it's hilarious anyway.

Thanks to Michel for forwarding it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Movies Re-enacted by Bunnies

In honor of Star Wars Appreciation Week, one of Tara's holidays, Baby Bull has posted a link to a hilarious retelling of Star Wars Episode IV, as synopsized in 30 seconds --- by animated bunnies.
I explored the site a little after watching the animation Baby Bull linked to.

It's great.

Here, you can find similar synoposes of:

The Big Chill
It's a Wonderful Life
Night of the Living Dead
Reservoir Dogs (in both bleeped and unbleeped versions)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
and many more.

Check 'em out for a giggle.

A Very Addicting Little Game

And it's got soothing mellow music.

Monkeyboy found this.

Now, we're both hooked.

If anyone gets through level 12, we'd love to hear about it. We will be very impressed.

Click here for Boomshine, a great time waster.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Quid Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

If your Latin is a little rusty, that's "Who will watch the watchers?"

More on hycoprisy, courtesy of WaPo.

Friday, May 18, 2007

8 Things You Don't Know About Me

Babybull, of Live Life Love Life (Part Two), tagged me with this meme.

1. Just today, I added a new sentence to my Blogger profile.

2. I came in third on Jeopardy! in December 1996.

3. If I knew the translation of Boca Raton, I would have come in second.

4. I took a year off after my undergraduate degree to decide between law school and rabbinical school.

5. I ran for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in my D.C. neighborhood in 1993, championing a church whose breakfast program for the homeless was threatened by NIMBY neighbors.

I assumed that there was a silent majority who thought churches were supposed to feed hungry people.

They turned out to be a silent minority.

6. I always hit 16 against the dealer's 7 through Ace. (I always stand on 16 against the dealer's 2 through 6.)

7. I refuse to call National Airport by its new name.

8. Although I've lived inside the beltway for 27 years now, I've never taken the tour of the FBI Building and I never will until they take J. Edgar Hoover's name off of it. The bastard.

I'm not gonna put anyone on the spot. If you want to do this, consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ethical Will

The fourth grade at our shul has been working on Ethical Wills. The idea of an Ethical Will is that, when one shuffles off this mortal coil, one should be leaving behind more than just stuff.

You should leave your progeny some sense of what you think is important and what you hope for them.

Monkeyboy's religious school teacher, Dr. W., already got one glowing review here. This is another. RFB and I are blessed that she and his spectacular Hebrew teacher, Mrs. T., have had him under their wings this year.

The final homework assignment had me listing some things for him and then him listing things for his someday-children.

It's sorta like a cross-generational meme:

My Answers:

Three Things I Believe:
It's better to be nice than to be mean.
You've got to work to repair the world.
A sense of humor makes life better.

Three Things I've Done
Performed at the Kennedy Center.
Been arrested protesting at an embassy.
Worked six years as a Legal Aid lawyer.

Three Things I've Learned
Mom's usually right.
Making friends is very important.
Telling the truth rarely makes things worse.

What My Dream Is For You
Happy Life.
Fulfilling relationships.
Varied experiences.

After reading mine, here's what Monkeyboy wrote:

Three Things I Believe
Make the best of your life.
Don't argue to much.
Humor's beter than nothing.

Three Things I've Done
Performed in front of thousands.
Eaten lots of chocolate.

Three Things I've Learned
You can be right and wrong.
Be a good friend.
You can have very bad days even if you do nothing bad.

What My Dream Is For You
Be a nice neibor.
Eat lots of chocolate.
Good life.

What great teachers.

What a great kid.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Or is it hycoprisy?

Folks in DC will tell you, this got really bad for a while. Then, after 9/11, it got a little better.

But it's getting worse each year again.

(I found this via Wonkette.)

A.K.A. Circumhorizon Arc

Here's the science behind a Fire Rainbow. And another gorgeous picture, taken in Canada, in 2003.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fire Rainbow

I just got this from my friend Michel:





To which I add:


Privacy in the 21st Century

This is terribly humorous.

And humorously terrible.

I hope we're not as close to this as I fear we may be.

Click Here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Thanks a lot, Moonbeam :)


Who is this man?

Just Stop a Minute and think

You know youve seen him before

A) German Ambassador to the United States?

B) Former rock and roll star?

C) Spokane, Washington serial killer?

D) Announced Presidential candidate in 08?

E) CEO of Haliburton? The answer is:

We ARE getting old!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ted is a Movie Star

Video by Monkeyboy.
Photos by RFB and Monkeyboy.

[Director's note, as dictated to his dad: Hello, this is me, MIDC, I hope you enjoyed the photos and the movie.]

Why Bother?

In response to this post, about the early 2008 presidential "debates," an astute friend said:

"I have a hard time watching debates. It all seems like so much lip service marketing."

I started responding in the comments section to that post and realized I had today's post:

No need to watch the debates now. Only the geekiest of politics wonks are paying close attention 18 months before the damn election.

We sell candidates the way we sell soap and cereal in America these days.

That makes it hard, and tedious, to follow.

But you gotta find some way to follow the broad outlines of the debate, at least at some level.

I put up the links to the specific candidate's web sites for a reason in my "Debates" post. I chose one wing-nut Repub, one beguiling but certifiably loony Dem, and four mainstream candidates, 2 from each party.

Then I added my favorite. Because it's my blog.

Check out the web sites.

Don't bother to read all the text, just take note of what topics they seem to be most concerned about.

If anyone actually is talking about something you're interested in, that tells ya something.

(If not, that tells ya something, too.)

Voter participation is at an all-time low, and it's precisely because the current system turns off a large segment of the population.

If we let it stay that way, we get the government we deserve.

Gandhi was right: "We must become the change we want to see."

Or, as the late, great Charles Schultz once had Lucy announce, in a voter registration guide cartoon, "If You Don't Vote, Don't Grouse."

Many thanks to Churlita for inspiring this post.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Touristy-Type Tips

If you're coming to D.C., do not miss this statue of Albert Einstein. It's my favorite one in town. In a city of formal statuary, it's the most informal of monuments, and wholly true to the spirit of the man it's dedicated to.

The statue is in the garden of the National Academy of Sciences. The picture above does not do it justice.

After you've visited the Lincoln Memorial and the Viet Nam Veteran's Memorial, it's directly across Constitution Avenue, but if you aren't looking for it, you probably wouldn't see it.

He looks so grandfatherly that you almost always find a kid (or adult) sitting in his lap, once you get there.

When you visit in person, he's sitting amidst all sorts of greenery. The platform his statue is on is full of various sized metal studs. Their positions on the platform represent the stars in the sky on the date the statue was dedicated.

Rumpled sweater, sandals, a sketchpad with E=MC(squared) (sorry, I don't know how to do superscripts in in HTML), everything about this statue is right.

It's was done by the sculptor Robert Berks, the same artist who executed the bust of JFK at the Kennedy Center.

Speaking of which, don't miss the Kennedy Center either. To really appreciate it fully, you should see a show in one of the building's six public performance spaces. Even if it's just one of the free concerts given on the Center's Millennium stage at 6:00 p.m. each evening, it helps make the place a real living memorial to President Kennedy, and not just a huge marble building that looks like a Kleenex box or a tiered wedding cake. (No, Edward Durrell Stone IS NOT one of my favorite architects.)

Unlike the Einstein statue, tho, it's not near much of anything else, so you have to plan to include it in your visit. It's worth it.

It IS across the street from the Watergate, but the Watergate is just a complex of office buildings, condos, a hotel and a bit of retail shopping, so it's kind of anti-climactic for anyone expecting to see something associated with the Nixon-era scandal that bears its name.

I've been here since I came for college in 1980, so I've got a lot of experience showing folks around my adopted hometown.

If you're coming to town, just ask; I'm full of touristy-type tips. (Go ahead, try saying touristy-type tips three times fast.)

Peace out.


Didja watch the Republican "debate"?

I've watched 2 of these now, one with a similarly large field of Democrats.

There's a basic flaw in the format they're using --- in favor of the more famous.

If Dennis Kucinich or Tom Tancredo says something that resembles a good idea (or even provides an indication of sanity), only the wonkiest of politics-watchers will be sure which particular middle-aged white guy he is. And remember to associate that idea with that candidate.

If you're Guiliani or Clinton or Obama or McCain, you don't have this problem.

We've had the technology to solve this one since the invention of ... oh ... calligraphy.

They oughtta put names on the podiums (podia?).

And as long as I'm puttin' up links, I might as well provide one for the guy I think is the best in the field. RICHARDSON IN '08.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Abridged Classics

Here's a game we used to play on long car rides. Come up with the name of a book after the fiends at Reader's Digest have had a chance to downsize it.


The Two Musketeers

Tale of a City

The Snack Counter at the End of the Neighborhood

The Wind of a Skirmish

A Few Things You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*
*But Haven't Gotten Around to Asking, Yet.

My Body, My Self

Have at it, friends.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What a Beautiful Essay

Big thanks to EK for linking to this essay today.

And to its author, for posting it.