Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Apostolic Formations, Bea Arthur Tribute, Political Diatribe, & Everything Past Due

As I'm tired of posting lead images of tired D.C. stuff taken with my crummy cellphone camera ...

... here is an image of a section of the Australian coastline called the Twelve Apostles taken by my friend Joe on his recent three week mixed business / pleasure trip to Australia with his wife. He went to two science conferences in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively. I think these were taken in late August (2009) during stormy Southern Hemisphere late winter weather.

The Twelve Apostles are limestone rock stack formations (not specifically a dozen in all, and some of collapsed over the years) that jut out of the surf along the steep cliffs that run along this portion of the southern edge of Australia in the state of Victoria along Great Ocean Road in Port Campbell National Park about 190km southwest of Melbourne.

Pictured here is nearby Loch Ard Gorge taken by Joe on the same stormy day.

This is along the Great Australian Bight stretching southward toward the circumpolar Southern Ocean so filled with storm after storm that lends itself to the eponymous Roaring 40s, the Furious 50s, and the Screaming or Shrieking 60s latitude belts surrounding the frozen, ice - entombed, isolated continent of Antarctica.


Yes, I'm a bit envious of that trip. I have trouble getting out of my apt. and the District of Columbia, never mind the other side of the planet.

OK, on to the rest of the entry ...

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I was going to write a political themed entry, but all the fire is drained out of me as I am exhausted and trying to relax in my wee apt, writing this blog entry by lamp light, and watching, like, thousands of reruns of The Golden Girls variously on Hallmark Channel and WeTV.

The latter has a Golden Girls extravaganza on Monday nights, although it interrupted it for an hour to show an episode of Ghost Whisperer, which I've sort of gotten into. I get all emotional on the episodes. I guess I'm emotionally female.

Speaking of The Golden Girls and the late Bea Arthur, there was a tribute held to her at the Majestic Theatre in New York City yesterday and many of her old friends and fellow actors ... not to mention young gay guys, since the event was open to the public with limited seating ... were there, including Rue McClanahan, but not Betty White (the other surviving Golden Girl since Estelle Getty died).

Clearly, the stories are true and she and Betty White did not really get along.

This is a picture of Bea Arthur from probably when she was about 21, so it was taken around 1943.

Her two adopted sons (the only children she ever had) were also there.

The Village Voice blog write up about it is pretty funny and a bit racy. There is a reference to Betty White. Here is an excerpt from it I like:

"Guests, family and friends mostly shared stories about working with Bea, having lunch with Bea, being told what to do by Bea, being f-bombed by Bea, and getting sauced with Bea. In the grand scheme of things, what else is there to do in life, really?... "

There is also an Associated Press story about it here. Producer Norman Lear is quoted as saying, "No one seems less gone to me or more alive to me than Bea."

Here is a picture of Bea Arthur from probably the early 1990s with one of her dogs and wearing a PETA shirt. She was a fervent animal rights activist.

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**Caution: Political diatribe ahead**

This was written earlier today.


Because it needs to be said ...

The following is another Matt Taibbi piece from last April. It was reposted in Glenn Greenwald's Sept. 14, 2009 column linked is here and Taibbi's column is linked here. I've inserted some extra paragraph breaks in the Taibbi column:

"This new Holy Trinity of right-wing basket cases has been pushing all sorts of crazy hallucinations of late, from Bachmann warning that the Americorps program would eventually be turned into a regime of forced re-education for American youth, to Beck's meanderings about Obama creating FEMA-run concentration camps to warehouse conservative dissidents, to Norris and Beck stirring up talk of secessionist movements. And a lot of people are having fun with this, because, well, it's funny. It's like a Farrelly Brothers version of right-wing political agitation. But it's also kind of sad.

After all, the reason the winger crowd can't find a way to be coherently angry right now is because this country has no healthy avenues for genuine populist outrage. It never has. The setup always goes the other way: when the excesses of business interests and their political proteges in Washington leave the regular guy broke and screwed, the response is always for the lower and middle classes to split down the middle and find reasons to get pissed off not at their greedy bosses but at each other.

That’s why even people like Beck’s audience, who I’d wager are mostly lower-income people, can’t imagine themselves protesting against the Wall Street barons who in actuality are the ones who fucked them over...

Beck has an audience that's been trained that the rich are not appropriate targets for anger, unless of course they’re Hollywood liberals, or George Soros, or in some other way linked to some acceptable class of villain, to liberals, immigrants, atheists, etc. — Ted Turner, say, married to Jane Fonda.

But actual rich people can’t ever be the target. It's a classic peasant mentality: going into fits of groveling and bowing whenever the master's carriage rides by, then fuming against the Turks in Crimea or the Jews in the Pale or whoever after spending fifteen hard hours in the fields.

You know you're a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit. Whatever the master does, you're on board. When you get frisky, he sticks a big cross in the middle of your village, and you spend the rest of your life praying to it with big googly eyes. Or he puts out newspapers full of innuendo about this or that faraway group and you immediately salute and rush off to join the hate squad. A good peasant is loyal, simpleminded, and full of misdirected anger.

And that's what we've got now, a lot of misdirected anger searching around for a non-target to mis-punish … can't be mad at AIG, can't be mad at Citi or Goldman Sachs. The real villains have to be the anti-AIG protesters! After all, those people earned those bonuses! If ever there was a textbook case of peasant thinking, it's struggling middle-class Americans burned up in defense of taxpayer-funded bonuses to millionaires. It’s really weird stuff. And bound to get weirder, I imagine, as this crisis gets worse and more complicated."

OK, that ends the Taibbi column and this political portion of the entry ...

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Except for this ...It is adapted from an image I got off Bartcop ...

Ha ha
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Oh, and here is Bill Maher's closing segment from his Real Time show last Friday, Sept. 11, 2009. The best part begins around 2:47.


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So I finished the two big assignments I needed to do for my contracting job and it looks like the office manager -- whom I'm taking to lunch tomorrow in Bethesda -- is really expediting my payment before her week long vacation.

Yes, yours truly, in the closet late Saturday (or early Sunday) at a friend's house.

This money ($600) should get me into early to mid October, and with the remaining money I have, plus $120 my mom is sending me (!), I should have enough to pay my cellphone, internet, and cable bills for Sept. and October. Recall I do a lot of work at home and internet is very important. And the TV is therapeutic, mostly sitcom reruns and the two RCN jazz channels (on channels 887 and 888 in my system).

As for October rent, at this rate, I'm not going to be able to pay it until around the 20th of October although I already indicated to the property manager I'd be that late.

As for what happens in November and beyond, I have no idea. I'm prepared for lawsuits from creditors. My student loans are also past due ($665.60 due immediately, rising to $691.70 if not paid by Oct. 10), but I don't really give a damn about them, specifically, the $33,981.04 (and rising) I owe Citibank. As for the $105,000 I owe in a consolidated Dept. of Education Direct Loan, well, I haven't had to deal with that yet.

Sigh.

My biggest worry is if my checking account and/or contracting job income are seized but that should still be at least two months or more off.

The monkey with a cellphone and, I think, a shotgun in one of the screens of Underwater Mess, one of my new favorite games that I play incessantly with Gary and Chris T. at Buffalo Billiards.

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I can't file a chapter 7 bankruptcy until Aug. 1, 2010 (needing to wait 8 years since my last filing), although I really need to do a chapter 13 in order to bring my student loans into it, but I cannot do that because I am not earning enough monthly to do it.

Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., looking toward the Taft Memorial Bridge, 3:29AM, Sept. 13, 2009

I have applied for, like, 15 jobs with a major contractor (I ought to just say the company name but I'll keep a bit of hope alive), but their all e-mail / electronic application process is useless horseshit designed to ensure failure.

It's ridiculous someone with 3 masters degrees is so chronically unable to find any work. I've actually taken the advice of my friend Kevin and begun leaving two of those masters degrees off.

The other would be part-time job with another firm also seems to have crapped out. Finally, as for that stupid tutoring at UMCP, it really is a farce, but clearing $240 or so a month on it is better than nothing. It's just a hassle going there as I have to always Metro everywhere around the Washington, D.C, area.

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Speaking of Washington, D.C. ...

... here is a YouTube screen shot from the series "Life After People," episode "The Capital Threat" showing the National Mall at least 600 years after the disappearance of humans. I think it may look like this anyway circa June AD 2609 what with global warming and the fact that D.C. will probably be abandoned by that time anyway as the late capital of the collapsed First American Empire.

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That's all for now. I really need to come up with some new pictures. I'll end with one more YouTube screen shot from that same Life After People episode.

This is supposed to be the Washington Monument and the National Mall area 1,000 years after people, as sea level rise as completely flooded this part of D.C. Again, I think this will happen even with humans still around.

The program made a fuss about how the words "Laus Deo" ("Praise be to God") are inscribed on the east side of the aluminum capstone atop the Washington Monument and how in such a future, it might be the last remaining human creation remaining. I personally think the National Cathedral would last a lot longer than the National Monument itself.

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That's all for now. I plan to write more around Friday.

--Regulus

9 comments:

krzysztof said...

Those images from Life after people give me the creeps. It is a great documentary though. I rented it some time ago and we watched it with my Dilshan. I would like to see it again actually.

On a lighter note, GP, David and I were just e-discussing their upcoming visit. David asked how much time off GP could take. And we laughed and we laughed and we laughed:-)

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

:)

gp is the chuck norris of time off - while on vacation he does spend his time off, he accumulates it!

the topic of life after people - as disturbing as it may be - is very fascinating indeed!

krzysztof said...

chuck norris of time off

ha ha ha ha:-)!!!:-)

Regulus said...

Thank you for the comments, gentlemen. I was thinking, gee, no body likes my blog what with ZERO comments and all.

The equation used to determine GP's accumulation of paid time off is rather complex and under wraps, but I saw it once, and it actually involves the square root of negative one -- imaginary numbers -- which means it has the curious effect of increasing MORE rapidly when he's actually taking claimed time off.

Gary S Partyka said...

Do I need to open an industrial strength Chester can of WHOOP ASS here??

The function which best approximates my paid annual leave can be seen here:

http://letsplaymath.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/function-machine.png

Don't MAKE me have to come over there

Gary S Partyka said...

Oh, and SAIC, please disregard the last comment....just testing.

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

gp! i didn't know you blogged!

saic'd better pay you for that!

btw, after leaving that wonderful outfit i realize now - it is actually not bad.

especially comparing to my current employer... :)

btw, we are looking for java developers - tell your friends!

DJG said...

Listening to Bill Maher I had my chops all set for a political rant, but after reading the jovial banter in the comments, my mood has softened.

It was just typical stuff from me -- the democrats aren't pussies, they're sellouts... yadda yadda yadda

Regulus said...

Hi Z.J.

I see you just updated your blog after quite a hiatus.

I have basically come around to your way of seeing things, but the problem for me is that the GOP has basically lost its collective mind and become a sort of quasi-cult, completely incapable of assessing facts, much less governing. As a result, where does that leave us??