Saturday, December 24

Merry Christmas and suggested reading

Oxeye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) Sunflower Family 1

Merry Christmas. Blue Gal is in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rain and clouds and weather so warm the daisies are in bloom.

Make sure you read GQ's interview with Jimmy Carter. He can't stay silent and neither can we.

Monday, December 19

There isn't enough insulin in the world...

blood sugar cover the don't sugarcoat its from this weekend. Man, are you guys ticked off. And right before Jesus' birthday, too.

Agitprop has the "Dear Leader Death Watch."

Bring it on asks a sweet question...

And One Good Move does not mince words, and shows Cafferty, who never has, as far as I know. (Screw you, Wolf Blitzer)

Jurassic gives our President a really special award.

Finally, Susie at Suburban Guerrilla lets us all know what time it is.

And if you forget what time it is, here is a reminder from Ironic Times: Set your clocks back to 1984.

Blue Gal will be travelling this week and blogging sporadically. I'll miss you. From my Christmas Letter:

One of the nicest blessings of this year is the friends I have made as a result [of blogging]. It turns out the blogosphere is not a vast impersonal blob; smart, funny, warmhearted people are writing wonderfully online.

Ending with a thought on that "War on Christmas": saying "happy holidays" is not anti-Christmas. Celebrating one big stressed-out greed festival without thinking about Jesus even a little bit, is. Merry Christmas. May yours be happy, calm, and bright.

And a Happy New Year. xoxoxo

Sunday, December 18

Button Button who's got her Button?

By request: I'm so flattered I can't think clearly. Oh, that, and I made 41 cupcakes for the middle child's class party.

And I don't think Blogger even allows bandwidth theft, anyhoo these link back to flickr currently.

blue gal header

blue gal header

Like I have time for this...

Men women love to love often turn into men who do things that piss us off. Douglas, I just became buddies with you today. It's way too early in our "relationship" for a meme. Sigh. (And grin.)

Seven Things To Do Before I Die:

1. Kids through college.
2. Walk around my clean house wondering how the kids (now 7, 3, and 1) grew up so fast.
3. A week at the Four Seasons, Boston
4. (tearing a page from Douglas) Win the lottery and send all of y'all up to Boston with me for a first class blogger party.
5. Actually exercise every once in a while. (see number 2 for my excuse)
6. Four words: Knitting. Cruise. Greece. Alone. (or with Akabini, Dena, and AL)
7. Scott Simon or Al Franken interview me about Blue Gal and I make them laugh.

Seven Things I Cannot Do:

1. Botox. Ever. I earned this face, get it?
2. Knit all the yarn in my stash.
3. Spend less time blogging (apparently).
4. Declutter my house (also apparently).
5. Respect George W. Bush or anyone with a W sticker. (again from Douglas)
6. Say "bless yer heart" as an insult. Southerners have a way with that.
7. Forget my friends, living or dead. I don't know what I do to deserve you. Yeah, even you, Douglas.

Seven Things That Attract Me To My Spouse (or Significant Other, Best Friend, etc.)

1. His intelligence.
2. He gets the job done. A wonderful writer.
3. Smart enough to listen to me.
4. Understands me most of the time.
5. Endures my moods. (but that is so mutual it's hard to credit him)
6. Is the jealous type, but tries to hide it. I like that.
7. Loves the kids as much as I do.

Seven Things I Say (or Write) Most Often:

1. Panties, panties, panties. (while blogging)
2. Do you have poop? Are you poopie?
3. Sleep. I'm going to sleep now.
4. No.
5. Yes, I did kiss you goodnight.
6. Sigh, I should be knitting (while blogging.)
7. You ARE poopie!

Seven Books (or Series) I love: (hopefully authors count)

1. Jane Austen
2. Elizabeth Berg before she was discovered by Oprah
3. Wiggles videos
4. Douglas Adams
5. Captain Underpants
6. Margaret Atwood. I won't commit suicide as long as she might write another book.
7. the original Poldark.

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again:

1. Pimpernel Smith, a wonderful Leslie Howard WWII propaganda yarn.
2. Truly, Madly, Deeply. (but it bumped Brief Encounter off the list)
3. Tammy and the Batchelor, 'cause it's a big dumb movie.
4. Sound of Music and Pillow Talk, again with the big dumb movies (tie).
5. Meet John Doe
6. The Apartment. The heroine is named Fran and it's wonderful.
7. The latest Pride and Prejudice. I really, really loved it.

Seven People I Want To Join In (Be Tagged)

Primarily because I'd love to know more about them. So I hope I'm not pissing them off:

1. AL, admit it, you'd be mad if I left you out. You tag Karen, okay?
2. Abby
3. Yoga (panties, panties, panties)
4. Hey Jenny Slater
5. Blogenfreude
6. Sp3yyclad
7. And he won't be able to answer seriously, but go ahead, Michael Gregory Steele. We'd love to hear all about it.

Saturday, December 17

And doesn't he just look better and better every day?

stolen from Hey Jenny Slater:

Bill Clinton -- in what he did as the chief executive of the country, if not necessarily as a human being -- was a pretty good president. Or, barring that, a total badass.

Bill Clinton: the man, the president,
the straight-up pimp (and I mean that in a good way).

Too bad Chairman of the DNC would be a step down.

Friday, December 16

Got yer ears on, Rummy?
Art day at Blue Gal.

she's smiling 'cause sp3ccylad's on her ipod

I hope to God one of Dubya's spies is reading this. Welcome fascist weblog trackers! Does the hot water yer in feel good to ya? Just wait 'til the afterlife, Jimbo!

Kay, now that that's outta the way, today is art and chaos day again at Blue Gal. Blue Gal sprung from the loins of artistes (sorry for the visual) so every once in a while we just need to look at some art. And art without a sense of humor, or as Momma says, at least "a giggle in the middle of a nightmare" (Blue Gal all over) is not art.

First up, Mark Mothersbaugh. Some readers may know him as the musical talent for Rugrats and the films of Wes Anderson. Others may remember him from Devo. I remember him when my dad was his printmaking professor at Kent State in the '70s and he was weird and talented and cute in that "intelligence is an aphrodisiac" kinda way but arty/funky. What is nice to hear is that he is keeping his pinky finger in the visual art world. Click the link and see a show if you are close by. And if you get to see Mark, tell him he owes my dad five bucks in 1972 dollars.

Second, those of you who are knitters of course know Franklin Habit, but if you don't you are missing a wildly talented guy who has been a real inspiration to me. He lives the life of an artist (in the coolest of cities, Chicago) and brings that artistry to knitting of all things and I hope to live like him someday, uh, except for the gay man part.

While yer at it, check out the Museum of Depressionist Art. Still life with prozac? Hey, the story of my frickin' life.

And if your taste in art tends toward the aural (couldn't resist) sp3ccylad's got two new songs up. But I'll be spending this weekend knitting to all 36 of 'em, old and new.

Have a great weekend, and remember, shopping is never an "event".

Thursday, December 15

OK, but he DID say this.

Yo, Kos-ters. Do ya believe the Washington Post? Huh? Do ya?

Yes, we'll be praising this over at I Love Tom Delay.

I still say impeach. Impeach.

Special offer to regular Blue Gal readers

I've had a really rough day. My printer does not want to print out my Christmas letter in any legible way. The official Christmas photo came back and it looks awful. So I'm attempting to make lemonade outta lemons here. In a way, this is wonderful, because it gives me a chance to send Christmas greetings to those whose snail mail I don't have and who matter so much to me. If you have this site bookmarked, you've read or commented, etc, you mean the world to me. Qwerty, Douglas, Alicia, Comrade, Gregoire, Yoga, Evil Twin, Dena, Akabini, I know I'm leaving people out. All of you have been the absolute best part of this year for me. Thank you.

Terrorism and response.


Yoga Korunta asked:

what do you think should be done to address the violence of radical Islam?

In my extremely humble opinion, the violence of radical Islam, or any terrorism, needs police action, not army action. And the sad part is, the experts in how to do that are the British, but Tony Blair decided to wipe W's butt rather than point out the possible alternatives to a "War on Terror."

I hate to sound like a wacko conspiracy theorist, but my take on why Iraq is that W had a grudge over Saddam wanting to kill his daddy, and allowed Cheney and the Saudis to convince him to go to war.

I also pause when I think of the arguments of Mister ACLU and the Agitator, who wouldn't give any "police" solution the time of day. But at least if we treated terrorism as a lawlessness issue, rather than a war issue, we could fight any threat to civil liberties from that basis, rather than this "enemy combatants have no rights" crap.

It does seem to me that framing the fight on terror as a "war" has benefitted the fascists. Period.

Dena (goddess and genius) recommends Karen Armstrong's The Battle For God as a good lesson in the dangers of fundamentalism of any stripe...perhaps it takes the wind outta the sails of anyone who sees this as a "holy" war, too.

A comment on Daily Kos

Concerning all the hullabaloo over Bush and the Constitutional Piece of Paper (my post from Dec. 13) I wanted to say a public thank you to the Daily Kos'ers who corrected me with tact, decency, and a nod to simply getting the truth out. No flames, and no insincere politeness-police mumbo jumbo. Blue Gal can handle rude more easily than politeness police.

I loved what Kate R. said at another blog: "My first thought was only a bunch o' liberals would even care about reliability. Don't see OReilly giving a damn about that kind of detail."

I sometimes fear our downfall is our love of truth. Then I think of Jesus and Pilate.

Yesterday, my admiration of Daily Kos and its community increased. Thanks again.

Wednesday, December 14

Don't Sugarcoat It Award for December 14

chug a lug that artificial pancake syrup, boys

Today's Don't Sugarcoat It Award goes to Aloysha McBain, for his lovely post, A Righteous Christian Gulag. 'Course, it coulda gone to his comment on yesterday's post, too. Anyhoo, it's good to have another sweet unsugared reader on board.

As regular Blue Gal readers know, the Don't Sugarcoat It Award is looking for raw emotion, not necessarily obscenity. But somehow the first four sentences of this post spoke straight to Blue Gal's heart:

Fuck you, George W. Bush. Fuck you, Dick Cheney. Fuck you, Donald Rumsfeld. And fuck you, Condi Rice.

Isn't that special? But the rest of the post is an elegant, truly elegant, indictment of those four regarding the whole secret prison scandal. Well-written, insightful, and lacking any syrup. Good job, auto-da-fe.

We are gonna talk about what to really do about terrorism tomorrow. Tune in then.

Tuesday, December 13

That's it. Stop the Presses. IMPEACH.

Posted this story to Daily Kos and immediately got 8 or 9 comments asking me to delete my post because CapitolBlue is not a reliable source, fwiw. Standing by my own comments, though.

I thought that impeachment was an extremist position, that it would do more harm to the country than good. I've changed my mind. Impeach. Impeach.

Here's why. If this story is true, we are in the hands of a dangerous, dangerous fascist.

Update and...correction?

ACLU lawyer says this quote is probably apocryphal. It's too much like Hitler's comment on the Versailles Treaty. Blue Gal's hoax-o-meter tipped into the red zone when she thought that, perhaps, the article linked above was unsigned? Lemme check. Nope, it's signed, and the author stands behind what he says, and takes a nice swipe at his detractors, here.

I think what Kathy says below is true. If he did say it, his supporters will just go into spin mode and say what he meant was that the Constitution can't get in the way of the security of all Americans. 'Course, we know what Ben Franklin had to say about that.

And if Bill Clinton had been suspected of saying such a thing, as an alleged comment, which I still think this is, folks, alleged, you can bet Rush Limbaugh would spend 90 minutes repeating the alleged quote and getting his ditto-heads all riled up, Sean Hannity would ask every guest on his show if they agreed with Clinton's alleged smear on the Constitution, Ann Coulter would swish her hair and get all mad about the threat our own President makes to America etc. etc.

What this administration is doing at Gitmo is as much a smear on the Constitution as anything he might have said. And I'm with Abby: I want him not to have said it. We are not going to lose this war on the lying sacks of Republicans, folks.

By the way, I got the original story from Alicia. Sorry I didn't hat tip earlier, girlfriend. xoxo

Showing our age...

[In spite of the caveats of Abby (goddess) over at Falafel Sex I'm cross posting this at Daily Kos. Comments here are more likely to be read by Blue Gal her own self. Thanks.]

Back to the fascinating subject of old farts, Comrade Kevin asks some interesting questions:

Does maturity mean that you [have to] find tactful ways to be an activist?

Do I worry unnecessarily that growing older means you don't want to fight anymore...or rather you know how to pick your battles?

See, I think of middle aged people as having lost their will to fight when they see injustice...but maybe it's that they manage to do so in less bullheaded, stubborn ways.

And I see young people as having lost their will to fight because they don't have to. Something about that military draft brought out the radical in lots of people who otherwise might have gone over to The Man. For us older lefties, some of us simply want to keep our jobs. Added responsibilities like children and mortgages make you less likely to want to do things like, oh, get arrested. But I think the question goes deeper than that, and we should address here some generational issues blah blah blah. Oh gawd do I sound like an old fart.

AL! Help me out!

Please, you fellow old farts, how do you keep your activism fresh? comments, please...

Monday, December 12

Jesus Saves!!! and earns over six percent.


By now most of you know that Focus on the Family pulled their money outta Wells Fargo Bank because Wells Fargo gives money to gay rights organizations. How FOTF decided to bank at an institution headquartered in San Francisco and not figgered this out in the first place is a little puzzling.

But what you may not know is that Jesus H. Christ his own self has come out against Reverend Dobson and company. Took him long enough, but hey, Blue Gal understands. That's my Jesus! So proud to be a Christian!

Now it's time for Wells Fargo (there must be little puddles of piddle all over the marketing department floor from pure glee) to step up to the plate with their new advertising campaign:

wells fargo new logo

Want to take a moment here to give points to our favorite ACLU lawyer, who told me this weekend that he has a "nice little position" in Wells Fargo Preferred. (Stock symbol: WPD)

"Can I blog about that?"

"Blogging is a waste of time. [pause] Why don't you blog that it pays over six percent? It pays over six percent. That's the PREFERRED, mind you. That's pretty good. HAR-umph." [back to the Sunday NYT business section].

Free stock tips from the other side of the king size. Just another Blue Gal service.

We also like Scott's idea for teaching evolution, history, etc. like evangelical preachers, to wit:

“Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, and it sparked a nationwide debate about evolution and man’s place in the world! Can I get an AMEN?!!”

It's gonna be an interesting week here at Blue Gal. Comrade and Yoga have come up with some interesting questions. What is it with aging activists? and What should we do, really, about radical Islam and terrorism? Aw, what about wacko Christians? We'll talk about them some more too, and giggle all the way to the cross. God is Love, people. Watch this space.

Saturday, December 10

RIP, Eugene McCarthy


I hope two good things come from his passing.

1. That there's some good media on the day when a politician showed moral courage against a war that was just plain wrong. (ahem)

2. That this will be an opportunity for us old fart lefty bloggers to come out of the woodwork and find each other. Thank you, Technorati.

[Watch this space. I'll do an edit soon to link to some old farts I find in the blogosphere. If you are a said old fart, which means you are at least old enough to remember Watergate Summer, if not earlier, please leave a comment. Thank you.]

Democracy Cell Project
has a nice remembrance.

Brilliant at Breakfast is worth a read, too, as is W. David Stephenson.

Oh. My. God.

Alicia is the photoshop goddess.

Friday, December 9

Now it's George Will's turn to eat his heart out.

He's a frickin' hottie. Stolen from

Blue Gal got let out this afternoon to go see Pride and Prejudice by herself. Good thing, too. Hubby's patience for that much chick flick would've faded in the first few minutes.

Blue Gal cried her eyes out the whole movie. And those of you who know Blue Gal personally know that's a good thing. Matthew MacFadyen's Darcy is just about the most tortured Heathcliff, er, I mean, Darcy, ever. And tortured men are almost as good as intellectual men, tortured intellectuals are of course the best (yeah, yeah, that includes YOU, Comrade.) except that they are impossible to live with, but I digress.

But my favorite scene didn't have Darcy in it at all. When Elizabeth goes into Dad's office to tell him she loves Darcy, Mr. Bennett (Donald Sutherland wonderful, wonderful, should be nominated) looks up at his daughter and realizes she has found true love, real love, this realization appears on his face and he weeps for her. It's not just fatherly love, it's humanity on display. It is so real. Shoulda brought a mop.

It's a luvley film. If you're a girl, or just think like one. The soundtrack is really nice too. If you "enter site" at the link above you'll get a listen.

Have a calm weekend without shopping. Even once. I mean it.

Thursday, December 8

I Heart George F. Will

George F. Will

Just when Blue Gal thought she was too busy to blog, George F. Will plonked down this lovely diatribe against television, Congress, wasteful spending by Republicans, and he did it with a smart sense of humor. Boys like that get their way with me, no matter what side of the political bed they sleep on.

Fellow bloggers, are you attempting to keep up with Condi? Leave the heavy lifting to Princess Sparkle Pony. She does an excellent job.

Wednesday, December 7

Blue Gal's Blogroll Rollup Rolie Polie Olie

The CIA suspects that bin Laden is located somewhere in this area

From one of Blue Gal's new faves, Fried Green al-Qaedas. The Cheney speech for DeLay (Dec 6) is priceless, kids.

Badtux thinks our President may actually be a space alien and the argument totally makes sense. Go figure.

Wonkette points out that Ted Kennedy loves us lefty bloggers so much he has his staff read them for him. Oh my darling Senator Ted, Blue Gal loves you back, you fossil you!

I voted for Fafblog for best comedy blog here, though it looks like Jesus' General is gonna walk away with it.

An' it's time to debut this little project. Alicia, are you ready for some action?

There's been some changes to Blue Gal's blogroll, too. I've kicked off anybody who already has 250 plus subscribers. If your browser is pointed here, then you already have Crooks and Liars, Wonkette, and Daily Kos bookmarked, and they don't neeeeed meeeee.

Tuesday, December 6

Opiates are the religion of the masses.


When I go on rare occasions to the pharmacy, I sometimes wish the privacy acts could be waived for a minute, so I could know just what is going on with the large size grocery bags of pharmaceuticals lining the floor behind the cash register, waiting for pick up by whom? Diabetics? Aids patients?

I suspect it is neither. Just a large set of very good customers for Pizer, Merck, and the rest of them.

Devout Muslims pray at least five times a day. Devout Americans apparently medicate at least that often. This is to keep living? So we can...find out who wins American Idol? Oh, and watch pharmaceutical commercials?

Our ability to keep people alive has far outweighed our ability as a society to pay for such, and we are not weighing quality of life or value of life issues carefully enough, in my opinion.

Consider this my living will. If I need more than, say, three pills a day to keep me going, forget it. No drastic surgeries, life support, kidney dialysis, etc. And if you ask me my name and I can't give it to you, let me go. Hell, I'm not sure I wanna go on living if I can't cast on twenty and make a stockinette swatch, get what I'm saying? Knitting is life, and the rest is just...well, not necessarily worth living.

Some people are so sick and so medicated that the only time they get out is to get groceries, which is convenient because they can pick up their drugs at the in-store pharmacy. The local Winn-Dixie supermarket (oh Qwerty and Jurassic that is the name of a local grocery store chain here, in Chapter 11 btw) would not be in business at all were it not for the pharmacy. The two streets that intersect at that Winn Dixie have a pharmacy on EACH of the four corners. Walgreens, cross the street, Rite Aid, cross the street, Winn-Dixie (with a pharmacy), cross the street, Publix (with a pharmacy). One article I found pointed out that WalMart alone employs over 6,500 pharmacists.

And then we have the whole thang about pharmacists who will not fill plan B birth control prescriptions or, the latest outrage, herpes medications, because it goes against their personal religious/moral intentions. One thing you can say in favor of Christian Scientists, folks, is they do not become pharmacists. They understand hypocrisy. Fundys who have a problem with anything the FDA says is legal should stay out of the business. Period.

There's some scary stuff going on out there, folks.

Edit: On further consideration, there isn't anything funny in this post, and that's not why you come to Blue Gal. So anyhoo, Poundy has a good idea: if your pharmacist won't let you have birth control, take your brats in there and...drop 'em off!!!

And here, courtesy of Chickenhead:


Monday, December 5

It isn't chaos, it's ART.


This could be a whole big long post on intelligent design, chaos, art, life, etc. Fill in the blanks your own self.

And I swore this would never become a knitting blog, because when Blue Gal wants to make a knitting blog she will go out and do it but don't count on it because she is already too busy.

But I do love this little sweater. I love the thought of rolling a die to see what to knit next. I love that it's for a toddler, but if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna cast it on for meself 'cause that's the way life is right now.

And don't get me started on fibonacci sequencing and cables, which was the other sweater I was gonna cast on before I saw this one. Mensa. I know. Leave it to one of the scientists at Cambridge (natch) who came up with random knitting to say this:

The idea of random knitting arose out of contact with polymer theoreticians and a desire to create an unusual two-dimensional representation of a random network. The prospect of a meeting on polymers stimulated the production of the pullover shown here.

Yeah, right. But the result looks like this. Whoa:


UPDATE: received this email 2/7/06:

I'm happy that you like my pattern, and that you put my picture on your
website. But the picture is my copyright, and first of all you need my
permission to use it, which I give you on condition that you acknowledge
copyright, and give a reference to my website here.


Mary Griffin

Posting that with gratitude.

'Course, Blue Gal came up with her own Mensa t-shirt idea:

new mensa shirt

But I digress. Today is a digressy day. Go digress and have a good one.

Friday, December 2

Have a holly potty Christmas...

"Elsewhere, major retailers cheered the early results of the holiday shopping season, announcing that sales of totally useless items surged fifty percent." - Andy Borowitz

There was some union guy on Marketplace Morning Report this morning, who pointed out that the number one New Year's Resolution last year was not losing weight, but getting out of debt. The poor disappearing middle class can't make ends meet...yet a great many of those in Birmingham could use the following advice:

Stop decorating your bathroom for Christmas.


Blue Gal just can't believe the market for Christmas themed toilet seat covers. This is such an easy target, but really, folks. Americans have too much money or too much credit or something when stores carry this stuff and put it on the shelves.

BTW that explains where Scott McClellan has been from Nov 9 to the 27th. Decorating the bathrooms. He considered it a seasonal promotion.

Alright, enough huffiness. Most of you probably read it anyway, but Fafblog for Wednesday is laugh out loud. To my dear readers, have a weekend as lovely as you.

Thursday, December 1

Abortion stops a voting brain.


We've simply got to come to grips with this abortion issue. It is making good people vote stupid. The vast majority of Americans find abortion distasteful, troubling, and tragic and yet they do not want to overturn Roe. Extremely vocal minorities on both sides of the issue want to polarize us and make it seem there is no room for compromise. Planned Parenthood (and unfortunately the Democratic Party) equate any chink in the Roe armor as a disaster. Then this 20 year old Alito memo was released yesterday which makes them seem to be right.

Southern voters simply will not elect someone who is virulently pro-choice. That's it. (I know, Qwerty, I know.) So they vote stupid so they can go to bed at night knowing they didn't kill any babies today, except maybe in Iraq but that doesn't count. It also doesn't count that if those babies get born and grow up, those same anti-abortionist types will cross the street to avoid that kind of person (black, poor, raised in an unloving home, etc.).

Blue Gal thinks the Supreme Court is mindful of all this and of the revolution that would occur if Roe was completely overturned. Nina Totenberg of NPR said during the Roberts hearings that the worst thing that could happen to the Republican Party, with the exception of a military draft, would be the overturning of Roe. Middle of the road Americans (yep those who spend more time with Desperate Housewives than thinking about Roe v. Wade) would have to think about what ifs and their thirteen year old daughters. Not a pretty picture.

We also need to bite the bullet on contraception, as C. Everett Koop has so wisely pointed out. They pass it out on elephants in some countries. It's perfectly okay to wear your visible underwear to the office, e.g.:

cami fashion

which I got off the JC PENNEY website, not exactly Victoria's Secret, but it's not okay to show this on television:


When is America going to grow up? Figleaf has some smart things to say on this issue. So does Sideshow, who also gets points for her bra of the week feature. Very panty-esque.