Sunday, October 29, 2006

Community, Part II

So Ashe quit, Joe quit, Reese quit. Jerk is still at it-- say that five times fast, and everyone around you will think you're a complete pervert-- others have either dissapeared or haven't updated in a month or more.

Myself, I can be accounted for thusly: Seasonal Gig, Part III. Algebra this time. I will be brain dead for another week.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Chuck Schumer Is An Asshole

For the record, let me make the following statement clear: Rep. Charles Schumer, D-NY, can get bent over double. I mean to say: fucked. Hard.

The FAA bans flights along the East River following the wreck of Cory Lidle's plane, in order to study flight conditions and decide if the corridor is, in fact, safe to fly, or should be avoided as a flight hazard. Which is, I think, a good decision. Helicopters are still allowed, with a flight ceiling of 1,100 feet. Just the small, fixed-wing planes that were using the corridor as a turn-out in their take-off patterns would be affected. And what does Chuck the Fuck have to say about it?

"A smart terrorist could load up a small, little plane with biological, chemical or even nuclear material and fly up the Hudson or East rivers, no questions asked."


In a time that should be reserved for those who knew and loved the young men who died in this horrific crash, when we should be counting the blessings that spared other possible victims on the ground (not to mention in the condo building), Schumer decides to turn this minor regulatory action into political capital.


He says this should be "a wake-up call to the FAA to re-examine flight patterns, which, amazingly enough, they haven't done since 9/11."

SOMEBODY didn't read the report of the 9/11 commission.

Fuck the fucking fucker.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


First a caution and warning: some rough content approacheth.

I steal. Everyone knows it. I lift anything from any blog I see, simply based on whether I like it. So it came as a bit of a suprise to my own self when I was reticent to lift this from Reese the Law Girl's site. (Just yesterday, I been doing some catching up.) And I wasn't quite sure why I was reticent. Part of it might have been the race thing-- hey, I'm white. What biz I got broadcasting a NWA track? Maybe it was the Muppets thing-- I mean, it was cute enough, but, really, is this appropriate? Doesn't this blunt the meaning of the track a bit? (Yeah, I think too much. Haven't you been paying attention?) Or it could have been the F-word issue. (Probably not.)

In the end I lifted it because I realized what was really bugging me is that they didn't finish the track, which is a pretty silly reason to object, but here's the thing: "Fuck Tha Police" has long been one of my favorite rap songs.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't like rap as a rule. I find most of it to be stupid and self-aggrandizing, and as a "cultural" movement, it does more to solidify and cement the sterotypes and biases that are at the root of racism than it ever has to right any wrongs. Worse yet, it works both ways. And it makes some young guys wear some STOOOOPID lookin' clothes. And no, I don't mean "stoopid" in a good way. (Although I have found myself occasionally getting jealous because, as a bald white man, I will NEVER look cool in black pajama pants and a white athletic tee.)

Still. "Fuck Tha Police" has long been my VERY favorite rap track.

Why? Partly because it really does what rap always claimed to do, which is hold a magnifying glass up to some of the rotten conditions this society places on black people, especially black men. At the time, the police, especially the LAPD, really did have that reputation for (and practiced) racially segregated harrassment. And for all the propaganda about how professional and noble cops are, I doubt there's anyone out there who's had any dealings with cops who can say they have NEVER felt harassed. (And that's if you're white.) The imagery and language start getting a bit more extreme than I think is appropriate towards the end, but then, the Rodney King riots weren't that much further down the road. Things were, in reality, approximately that bad.

It's also because of an incident from my abortive stint in grad school. First semester, second year. I had two sections of freshman comp of my very own, and a mentor who had given me permission to go off book and teach them however I saw fit. So at one point, I asked the kids (college aged students, but I always refered to them as My Kids) to bring in something they thought qualified as literature. (They were supposed to be prepared to argue as to how what they brought in fit some perameters, but most of them forgot about that part.) One young lady brought in a rap number called "Paranoid."

So I gave it a spin. It was all about pimping in the hood and selling drugs and popping caps and being scared about getting shot by the enemy or the cops (oddly, very little about the latter), and at one point the narrator bemoans his possible death, on the grounds that one of his ho's had given birth, and "If I die, my little boy will be a bastid . . ."

After the track ended, discussion ensued. The girl who brought it in, who was not just white but mountain white, could only shrug and say "I like it." I had my objections, but most of them were just my suspicion that the narrator/sonmgwriter was just a fucking liar. And a couple of things just didn't . . . OK Call me a stickler, but the guy's living or dying wouldn't change the fact that his kid was already a bastard. And the kids conceded that this was a salient point. Class ends, bell rings, and as always a few of them stuck behind to continue the discussion as I collected my things to head back to the grad office. Just as I was saying "I mean, if you want a RAP song that's RELEVANT, try 'Fuck Tha Police . . .'"

When my mentor passed by outside the door.

I froze for a milisecond, wondering had he heard? Was he shocked? Was I in for a disciplinary action? When he took two steps back, stuck his head in the door, and said "Yeah, that's a good one!"

True story.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


So this weekend we decided to tear a hole in our deck.

It's a little more complicated than that.

A few years ago, we noticed that a spot in the siding had started to rot out where the decking met it, and we hired a contractor to come make a repair. He came, did the estimate, described the work, and we agreed on it. When the guy eventually came to do the work, he dropped two of his workmen here and went off to do something else. The two guys he left fiddled around at the task for about two hours before the guy showed back up, and clearly he was not completely happy with the way the work had been going. He said some things, got some things from his truck, and the three of them fiddled around with it for the better part of another hour. When eventually they finished, it didn't look quite like I had expected, but it did look like it would keep the water out, and what was done was done, so I paid the guy and he took his guys and they split. I knew we would eventually have to re-visit the thing.

That moment came a couple of weeks ago. Rachelle happened to notice that the flashing job the guy had done-- and that's all it really was, a glorified flashing job-- had started coming loose. It turns out that the guy had fastened the bottom piece of flashing to the remains of one of the pieces of siding, replacing no wood, and the siding had simply continued to rot. So, we gathered tools and materials and set out to try repairing the repair ourselves. We got so far as demoing the end of the deck to the point where we could determine the extent of the repair before concluding that we were in over our heads.

So we hired a contractor. Rachelle called and set up an appointment, and this morning the guy came and assessed the job. It's going to cost us $4600, but the job will be done right this time. Oh, and the carpenter who will be doing the repair will be out to visit the site before the repair gets underway, both the verify the amount of work and assess the necessary materials. They will be replacing some of the wood in the substructure of the house. Which is why we came down to contracting the work out. In the words of our one time neighbor in texas, Floyd, the reason you hire the contractor is so if the repair fails you have someone to sue.