Skunkgal - Too Much Skunk In Your Junk

Archive for February, 2009

i flush with too much aggression

b/c my toilet is only half-functioning right now.

fix me

pretty sure our maintenance guy isn’t going to fix this any time soon, so it looks like dipping my hand into toilet water will be the name of the game until i can make it to the hardware store.

in the meantime, i’m trying to pee at work as much as possible.

express: thanks for feeding my vanity, again

i’m back!

mocha love

clinton, i know you’re reading this. we should meet one day and share high-brow journalistic observations about the absurdity of life. (“bobby jindal IS the indian kenneth the page!” as we swill oregon pinot noir and nibble on tapas.)

the myth: i hate animals

ok people, let’s get something straight: i do not hate animals.

in fact, i love animals: i love this giant rat, and this video could be the most incredible thing i’ve seen all year.

nature is amazing. it’s a snake giving birth to a hippo through its mouth. and don’t you imagine that snake seeing that carcass and thinking, “dude, i could totally eat that”? i do. animals are great.

cute cuddly pets, however, are not that great. this is where people get confused about my supposed hatred toward animals. “cute” animals get a disproportionate amount of love and adoration. i believe in attention redistribution and go out of my way to love reptiles and rodents and shun cats, dogs, and hampsters.

i am an animal socialist, and the oversentimental, antipragmatic response to furry pets makes me want to overreact and dislike them. perhaps that is hysterical and reactionary in and of itself, but, then again, i did just hate on girl scout cookies two posts ago. this should surprise no one.

what i learned today about coffee

if you put a piece of milk chocolate in your mouth and take a big swig of bad coffee, it almost tastes as if you’re drinking a gourmet mocha.

almost.

fat tuesday, and other things that are horrible for you

fat tuesday came and went, and i didn’t eat a paczki. tragic. i did, however, sneak some girl scout cookies from the library and ate a boatload of valentine’s day candy. heart-shaped jolly rancher lollipops thanks.

speaking of girl scout cookies, they’re in season right now, and i have to say that i’m pretty sure i have a rant in me about them, but i’m just not sure what it is. i think there are several factors, none of which alone really explains a general feeling of disdain for GS cookies.

1. i was a daisy and brownie in elementary school. i never made it to “girl scout” but i had to sell those cookies at some point. can’t believe i was in any girl scout-affiliated group? i was pretty bad at it. in fact, i was in the troop where a bunch of us accused one of the troop leaders of “doing coke” at camp. no matter that 3rd graders shouldn’t know what snorting coke looks like (it certainly does not look like a lady putting her contacts in. kids these days!) in any case, i guess we got in trouble. i don’t really remember since i try to repress all that.

2. they stopped selling those lemon creme sandwich cookies. i think they stopped selling them when i was middle school, but i’m still pissed about it. back in the day, they used to come in one box mixed w/ vanilla creme sandwich cookies, and i would suffer through the vanilla ones in order to maintain balance in the box. when they got rid of the lemon ones, i was basically devastated. the worst part is there is no copy cat. if samoas or thin mints went away, there are plenty of knockoffs at grocery stores. the lemon cookies don’t even have that.

last year, they brought them back in their own fancy box and called them “lemon chalet cremes.” they are now circular instead of rectangular, and i’m convinced you get less cookie than the box suggests. either way, i’m still bitter from the first time around. i don’t forgive or forget.

3. holy crap cookies are expensive. ok fine, it’s for girls to learn life skills and what not. how about this life skill: create a competitively priced product that doesn’t rely on sympathy for massive sales. and wtf, why is your mom/dad passing around a sheet in the office selling cookies for you? what kind of life lesson is that? i honestly refuse to buy from those sheets, but if i were to purchase cookies (lemon chalet cremes), i’d buy them from some girls who set up shop outside a store or on a corner. a+ for effort. i’ll buy 2 boxes if it’s cold outside.

4. for a while there, i boycotted the girl scouts b/c of the boy scouts’ antigay policies. then i did actual research, and found out the two groups aren’t really affiliated, and that the girl scouts don’t have a position on gay troop leaders. so now i can eat the cookies guilt-free. maybe not anger-free, but without shame.

i still think people get a little too excited about girl scout cookies when they’re being sold. they’re still too expensive and not that great. that being said, i’ll eat any cookie you put in front of me. and i’ll enjoy it. i’m so torn.

philippines = gender equality

apparently the philippines is one of the most gender equal countries in the world. the U.S. ranks 27th out of 140.

methodology:

This does not refer to the famous gender gap in earnings but to a study (pdf) which compares men’s and women’s economic, educational, political and health outcomes by building all that into an index. The index measures outcomes (for example, the labor force participation rates of women and men) and not inputs (for example, the presence or absence of paid parental leave). What is interesting about this particular index is that it doesn’t weigh the results by the economic development level of a country. Thus, a poor country can rank high on this index even if it doesn’t offer many opportunities for girls to get educated as long as the opportunities are the same for boys and girls.

top ten:
1. Norway
2. Finland
3. Sweden
4. Iceland
5. New Zealand
6. Philippines
7. Denmark
8. Ireland
9. Netherlands
10. Latvia

so this is sort of weird. what’s the philippines doing w/ all these advanced industrialized countries? (except latvia, which is falling apart, and i guess iceland, too.)

my theory, based on speculation: there aren’t overt social/cultural barriers to women getting an education or jobs, and the sentiment that “women should stay home and cook and take care of the children” isn’t that prevalent. they’ve also had two female presidents, which i think makes a huge difference.

for people with no access to education, there might actually be more opportunities for women in service industries (live-in cooks, housecleaners, and nannies). and if that’s completely not true (totally possible since i don’t believe in “math” or “statistics” or “facts”), then i posit that being dirt poor is pretty good inspiration to get every person, male or female, to work or out of the country to send home some cushy remittances.

and for your own edification, the bottom 10
1. Bahrain
2. Ethiopia
3. Turkey
4. Egypt
5. Morocco
6. Benin
7. Pakistan
8. Saudi Arabia
9. Chad
10. Yemen

mutant nerds and other signs from god

bought valentine’s day candy for 50% off. check out the one deformed nerd i found:

nerds attack

it wasn’t as delicious as they usually are, since the coating-to-tartness ratio was all out of wack.

meanwhile, the fortune cookie gods have a sense of humor:

irony

“let the world be filled with tranquility and good will.”

if you know anything about my mood and temperament the past week or so, you’d know right away that i’m being mocked by what was likely a german proverb translated into chinese and then into english. bah. leave me alone.

oscars: best short documentaries

unless something crazy happens during tonight’s telecast, i will not be writing about the oscars after this post. i don’t care who wins what. i don’t think it’s a particularly useful debate whether the dark knight is better than slumdog millionaire, and even if i wanted to argue about superficial nonsense like that, it doesn’t require me to watch a 3-hour pat on the back.

i am, however, grateful that the oscars exist. the event formally elevates into the public consciousness movies that may not otherwise have an audience. do i think the 5 nominated movies are the best 5 movies of the year? no, but all 5 are probably at least worth seeing, and if the academy convinces a couple people to watch milk instead of the mummy #3, then it has done all the world a favor.

following in that vein are the best short documentaries. the national archives here in DC have been screening (for free) all the documentaries this past week, and this afternoon, they showed the 4 documentary shorts that were nominated for oscars this year. i’m not sure how the rest of you can get your hands on these films, but they are definitely worth watching. and with runtimes around 30 minutes, they’re shorter than a tivo’d episode of american idol or some other shitty tv show.

general thoughts: 3 of these films made me cry cry cry. i cried more than an above average episode of friday night lights (i don’t think i’ve ever watched FNL w/ out crying …). india is also very trendy right now.

The Conscience of Nhem En
loosely about a guy (nhem en) who was a khmer rouge photographer at s-21, a high school-turned-prison, where 17,000 cambodians were killed. starting at age 16, he took the pictures of the prisoners before they were tortured and executed. weird to think someone simultaneously sympathetic and slimy. this might have been my favorite of the 4, probably b/c it was the most brutal and unrelenting.

Smile Pinki
doctors in india do hundreds of thousands of surgeries to fix children with cleft lip and palate. for free. pinki is one of the angel children they follow through the film. i’m sure the filmmakers were drooling all over themselves when they saw her. she is a gorgeous 5yo except for the fact that her lip is stuck to her nose and her teeth are all f’d up. when i think about it, it’s basically a glorified makeover show — dr. 90210, but with poor people who don’t speak english.

The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306
the story of MLK’s assassination, but from the POV of rev. samuel kyles (far left, i think). this film was incredibly manipulative, but in the best way possible. they show a clip of MLK’s last speech, the mountaintop speech:

We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

cue me wiping away tears and thinking, “the promised land? sweet jesus, the promised land is here!”

this movie might have sucked if obama didn’t win the election.

The Final Inch
volunteers work day and night to get people in india to take the polio vaccine. there are some similar themes in smile pinki, but the final inch is no where near as well executed. plus, this film was incredibly condescending: “ugh, indian people are stupid to not trust our vaccines.” i paraphrase, but that’s basically the message i got. i hope this doesn’t win, and i’m pretty sure it won’t.

in conclusion, i’m sure no one will get to see these documentaries, rendering these mini-reviews irrelevant. but you should. if you could. b/c i said so.