Sunday, November 29, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:
"This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."
Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively "eliminates marriage in Texas," including common-law marriages.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The police chief also defended the officer's actions, but hey, we're used to that by now. I'd expect the local police to defend their officers if they zapped a toddler, frankly. "Brat was coming at me with his rattler, Chief."
However, the students in Zelda's class defended the police officer's actions assiduously, and why?
"These ten year olds today, they're out there getting pregnant! They've got it coming!"
What? You -- What?
"They're out of control! You have no idea!"
(Because Zelda, see, who has raised two kids and is helping to raise several grandkids, she has never met a 10 year old....)
I just got a paper from a local kid, we're on the problem/solution paper now, explaining to me how crime was higher than ever, and teen pregnancies were soaring, and violence in schools was out of control, and drug use was sky-rocketing, and I said, dude, where are you getting this information?
Well, it's common knowledge, he said, confused. Everybody knows it.
They all believe that about the world, which is why they're happy to have the police be jack-booted thugs, tasering grandmas and grammar-school kids, turning the US into Prison USA, dumping endless amount of tax dollars into the War on Drugs and the War on Terror and the War on Sex, and meanwhile not a fucking nickel into educating any of them so that they could do some fucking research and find out that teen pregnancy was actually dropping until Bush started funding Abstinence Only bullshit and have a look at who, if a ten year old is pregnant, just who it might be got her pregnant, because I really, really, really fucking well doubt that ten year old child is out seducing other ten year olds, jeezus crap on a bicycle.
Common knowledge. Ai.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
...about 49 million people, or 14.6 percent of U.S. households [...] a significant increase from 2007, when 11.1 percent of U.S. households suffered from what USDA classifies as "food insecurity" — not having enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. Researchers blamed the increase in hunger on a lack of money and other resources.
Monday, November 16, 2009
A few reviews I've seen have complained about the history infodumps scattered through the novel, but I can't agree. I suppose to those who have a perfect knowledge of Late Victorian/Edwardian history and culture, these may have seemed unnecessary and tedious; but how many readers have that knowledge? Knowing that culture is essential to understanding why these characters are doing what they're doing, and Byatt's renditions kept me (who knew quite a bit about the times and cultures) entertained.
As for the wide cast of characters, well, yes, we do have lots of characters. Dickensian is the operative word. It's a novel, not a tweet. That said, if the novel has a weak point, it's probably this one. I can see how she could have combined some of these characters, and cut others. Julian's role in the novel, for instance...?
But on the whole, this is a wonderful book, worth reading if only for the stories of Philip, our working class boy (who owes only a little to his literary ancestory Pip -- I like him so much better than the Pip in Great Expectations) who runs away from his impoverished life working at the pottery because he wants to make pots; Elsie, his sister; and Dorothy, who decides at 11 to be a doctor.
And then? At the End? WWI. AARGH!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
- It's hot here. Mid-November and we still have days reaching to the 70's. I do not like.
- Thanks to our techno-friendly campus, students can demand to be advised 24/7! I don't exactly know that I must comply, but I seem to be complying. Advised a kid at eleven-thirty last night. Yes. Saturday night. Am I a loser or what?
- I'm revising Martin's War, which is supposed to come out in December or January. Assiduously. This is, I'm hoping, the final revision. It's slow going.
- I've submitted two stories and a novel to three different journals, on various continents of the planet. Now I am waiting to be rejected. This is my least favorite part of being a writer.
- We got a stern email from the kid's teacher about how the kid did not do a presentation which was due this past Friday -- a book report, of all things. She had read the book, but it had to have props and a written component. She hadn't done that. So we're spending the weekend on remedial sturm und drang. (The kid hates homework.)
- Did I mention it was hot?