Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I can still remember the exact moment I fell in love with John Updike. It was 10th Grade English class. The story was A&P. It took place in the '50s, in New England, in a grocery store! How could I relate?
By the fourth sentence I was hooked. The first three sentences were great, but that fourth.....
I didn't know you could say such things! I felt wicked, and wrong, and giggly. We were reading a story in school...that talked about girls' butts. Heaven.
I went on to devour Updike. The Rabbit series, of course. A Month of Sundays was always a favorite, and for some reason--though it was hardly his best reviewed--I always had a special place in my heart for Roger's Version.
I didn't find out he died until last night. I was a little sad. And outraged that more hasn't been said. You could make an argument that Updike is one of the 5 greatest American authors. Shouldn't he get a State Funeral?
If you're going to read one of his books, I hope I don't have to tell you to start with Rabbit, Run. If that doesn't grab you, the man isn't for you, and I don't know what to tell you.
But if you're going to start with a short story, I still recommend A&P. I just didn't know a short-story could do those things.
1932 - 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
It's called Night, by Roman Velichko
I also ran into P.D. White, who had some great paintings I was not able to use, but totally wanted you to see.
As many of you know, the last two years I have joined some friends to watch all Five Best Picture Nominees in one day. It's on February 21, the day before the Oscars. (The picture is last year's pass.)
Here is the link to the AMC Showcase page
It's $30 for an all-day pass, which includes some special souvenirs, and free drinks (and I think popcorn) all day long.
Koz is really hoping we do it this year (after he punked out like LaDanian Tomlinson in a playoff game last year), and I want to as well. Even though it's a pretty good deal, money is always an issue, but the bigger concern for me is health; can I physically get up there and back?
Anyway, assuming this old body can pull through, we're putting out a call to any Monkeys in the Atlanta area. You can't imagine how much fun it is to do this. We get lots of snacks, and argue with everyone around us during the breaks. Yes, by the end you're a bit of a zombie, but it's a good zombie-feeling.
So, like I said, we'd love for all of you to go. Email me (Hyperion) if you're interested, and we'll hook it up!
1. Christianity Today has their list of the 10 Most Uplifting Films of 2008. Did FIREPROOF make the list? Yes. What else made it? I think you will be surprised, if not downright shocked. I know I was.
2. This story is for anyone who has ever lost a pet, or has a pet they care about. My favorite Sports writer, Bill Simmons, on the passing of his dog. The writing is flat-out excellent (I expect it to win something at the end of the year), and I recommend it to all, but be warned: it will get little dusty when you're reading.
3. From out "Only in Canda" file, an 11-month old boy calls the cops on his dad, who happens to be a marijuana grower. See, up in Canada, they respect the law so much they got their toddlers dropping dimes.
Those are your links for the day. Use them well!
Reader Nezemnaya sent me this song, and I have been listening to it non-stop the last two days. The first time, maybe even twice, I didn't like it. Then it was no big deal. Now, I CAN'T STOP LISTENING TO IT!
I tend to do this with music, so at this point, I'm not even sure if it's good. And don't ask me to begin to tell you what she's singing about. All I know is that according to her Wikipedia Page, Birgit Õigemeel was the first winner of Estonian Idol. (Apparently they have them all over the world now.)
I need someone else to tell me if this is any good.
Friday, January 23, 2009
22 year old girl sells her Virginity to pay for college.
The Article has the tally at 3.7 million dollars. This makes me think that I should do the same thing. I bet I could get at least $20, right?
You never want to judge a case until you know all the facts but........
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A 13-year-old Arizona girl who was strip-searched by school officials looking for ibuprofen pain reliever will have her case heard at the Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether school officials were right to strip-search a student over ibuprofen.
The justices accepted the case Friday for review. They will decide whether a campus setting gives school administrators greater discretion to control students suspected of illegal activity than police are allowed in cases involving adults in public spaces.
Arguments are expected to be heard in April.
At issue is whether school administrators are constitutionally barred from conducting searches of students investigated for possessing or dealing drugs that are banned on campus.
A federal appeals court found the search "traumatizing" and illegal.
Some parents say older children deserve the same constitutional rights as adults, but educators counter that a school setting always has been treated differently by the courts. They say a ruling against them could jeopardize campus safety.
The case involves Savana Redding, who in 2003 was an eighth-grade honor student at Safford Middle School, about 127 miles from Tucson, Arizona. Earlier that day the vice principal had discovered prescription-strength ibuprofen pills in the possession of one of Redding's classmates. That student, facing punishment, accused Redding of providing her with the 400-milligram pills.
The school has a zero-tolerance policy for all prescription and over-the-counter medication, including the ibuprofen, without prior written permission.
Redding was pulled from class by a male vice principal, Kerry Wilson, escorted to an office and confronted with the evidence. She denied the accusations.
A search of Redding's backpack found nothing. Then, although she had never had prior disciplinary problems, a strip-search was conducted with the help of a school nurse and Wilson's assistant, both females. According to court records, she was ordered to strip to her underwear and her bra was pulled out. Again, no drugs were found.
In an affidavit, Redding said, "The strip-search was the most humiliating experience I have ever had. I held my head down so that they could not see that I was about to cry."
With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, Redding and her family sued, and a federal appeals court in San Francisco, California, ruled against the school.
The court wrote: "Common sense informs us that directing a 13-year-old girl to remove her clothes, partially revealing her breasts and pelvic area, for allegedly possessing ibuprofen ... was excessively intrusive."
The court said the school went too far in its effort to create a drug- and crime-free classroom. "The overzealousness of school administrators in efforts to protect students has the tragic impact of traumatizing those they claim to serve. And all this to find prescription-strength ibuprofen."
In its appeal to the high court, the school district said requiring a legal standard of "probable cause" to conduct student searches would cast a "roadblock to the kind of swift and effective response that is too often needed to protect the very safety of students, particularly from the threats posed by drugs and weapons."The high court has had a mixed record over the years on students' rights. The court could now be asked to clarify the extent of student rights involving searches, and the discretion of officials over those for whom they have responsibility.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Couple Gets Married at Taco Bell
NORMAL, Ill. (AP) —
Employees decorated the restaurant with streamers and balloons. The bride wore a $15 hot-pink dress, and the entire wedding cost about $200.Caragh Brooks, 21, of Australia, met Paul Brooks, 30, on a dating Web site. [For more, see "I Now Pronounce You Gordita and Chalupa"]
Australia Offers Tropical Dream Job
BRISBANE, Australia (UPI) -- Australian officials are seeking applicants to fill a "dream job" that includes swimming, sailing and living rent-free in a villa with a pool.
Anthony Hayes, chief executive of Tourism Queensland, said the agency is searching for someone willing to spend six months on the tropical Hamilton Island while blogging and posting pictures and videos to draw tourists to the area......[For more, see "Beach Blogger Bonanza"]
Graham Parker of Portchester, England, said he first bought his Rubik's Cube in 1983 and has since spent more than 27,400 hours struggling with the colored cube puzzle....[For more see "Why Being Colorblind is such a Challenge"]
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
So until then, I give you my top 4 fashion picks for this years Golden Globe Awards .
Monday, January 12, 2009
Our Christmas tree came down Saturday, the earliest Calendar date I can ever remember.
Since we all grow up with our own experience, we tend to think it's normal. However, I doubt most people routinely have their tree up until the Super Bowl. So I ask you:
What day in December (or November?!?) do you usually put up your tree, and by what day do you take it down?
What about when you were a kid?
Friday, January 09, 2009
by Rob Kyff
The old year has passed, so now's just the time
To lambaste its buzzwords and do so in rhyme.
With "downturns" and "crashes," please call the cops!
And don't even mention those defaulted "swaps."
"Wall Street" trashed "Main Street," we're sorry to say,
But "bail outs" and "rescues" claimed, "Help's on the way!"
The "drumbeat" of bad news was loud and so steady,
And projects to help us were deemed "shovel ready."
When anchors told experts to just "walk us through it,"
They all said, "my sense is," which had no grit to it.
They backtracked and wavered with "having said that,"
Till viewers had no idea where they were at.
The sports guys on cable were never in doubt,
When showing us highlights, they said, "Check this out!"
And weather folk felt they'd just never make sense
Without all their talking of snow-sleet "events."
When these fell together, they knew they'd transfix
By hyping the dangers of cold "wintry mix."
Describing the nighttime, just one term seemed right;
Without any question, 'twas "the overnight."
They talked of "YOUR forecast" for "YOUR Saturday,"
Please pray to YOUR God, make this go away!
When newspaper readers wrote letters to papers,
They started their missives with two standard capers.
While "I read with interest" seemed mild enough,
"Let me get this straight" just sounded too gruff.
Yes, Deep Throat passed on, but Watergate's slime
Still lingered when people said, "that point in time."
"Efforting," "footprint" -- Have you had enough?
These phrases, we pleaded, "throw under the bus!"
Seeking "engagement," we rallied "the base";
"Way forward," "proactive" all over the place.
We "blogged," and we "twittered" on gadgets of gab
And sometimes we traded a feisty "fist jab."
Obama, he started each sentence with "Look . . ."
While Palin's "you betcha" swam like a chinook.
This mommy of hockey put "lipstick on pigs,"
And Fey nailed her hairdo, with no need for wigs.
We heard about "change," and then met a comer:
An unabashed "maverick" named ol' "Joe the Plumber."
Obama said, "fired up, ready to go,"
With "Yes, we can!" "Yes, we did!" he stole the show.
The buzzwords of last year deserve no ovation,
From twenty-oh-eight, we demand a "staycation."
Rob Kyff, a teacher and writer in West Hartford, Conn., invites your language sightings. Send your reports of misuse and abuse, as well as examples of good writing, via e-mail to Wordguy@aol.com or by regular mail to Rob Kyff, Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Rob Kyff and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
"That's my son!" Ginger Barnett of Anaheim, Calif., squealed Saturday night when she saw 33-year-old Carl waving hello from the screen inside Ben Bridge Jewelers in the Brea Mall.
Next to the computer screen was a Rolex watch with a card that read, "Happy 50th Birthday Mom," The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported.
Brown said he enlisted family and friends to set up the live Web cam and accompany his mother to the mall and past the store, where she had often admired the jewelry and watches.
"I can't stop shaking," Barnett said. "I had no idea."
Brown, a U.S. Army veteran who works under contract training Marine troops in Iraq, said the longer he is away from home, the more he values it.
"One thing will never change and that is, where Mom is, home is," Brown said.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Okay, so Tracy's not so hot on Apple. But surely she'll change her mind once she sees the new Apple Wheel!
Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard
Anyway, Skittles popped up a few months ago, leaving provocative comments all over Monkey Barn. She also started sending in things from time to time, which, to be honest, was more than most of the Barn was doing. Eventually I wrote and told her, "Why don't you just come aboard?"
She did and she's here.
I don't know Skittles personally, but according to her she's a former runway model/mercenary/Panda Interpreter. (And God knows what else.) She has worked for the United Nations, the Brazil National Basketball team, and ran a My Little Pony LARP for prisoners at Gitmo.
Ladies and gentlemen: Skittles.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Thursday, January 01, 2009
This is NOT a pushover test. There are 20 questions. Average score is 12. It will help if you are over 60! This one will be difficult for the younger set. Have fun, but no peeking!
1. What builds strong bodies 12 ways?
A. Flintstones vitamins
B. The Buttmaster
D. Wonder Bread
E. Orange Juice
F. Milk G. Cod Liver Oil
2. Before he was Muhammed Ali, he was...
A. Sugar Ray Robinson
B. Roy Orbison
C. Gene Autry
D. Rudolph Valentino
F. Mickey Mantle
G. Cassius Clay
3. Pogo, the comic strip character said, 'We have met the enemy and...
A. It's you
B. He is us
C. It's the Grinch
D. He wasn't home
E. He's really me an
F. We quit
G. He surrendered
4. Good night David.
A. Good nigh Chet
B. Sleep well
C. Good night Irene
D. Good night Gracie
E. See you later alligator
F. Until tomorrow
G. Good night Steve
5. You'll wonder where the yellow went...
A. When you use Tide
B. When you lose your crayons
C. When you clean your tub
D. If you paint the room blue
E. If you buy a soft water tank
F. When you use Lady Clairol
G. When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent
6. Before he was the Skipper's Little Buddy, Bob Denver was Dobie's friend...
A. Stuart Whitman
B. Randolph Scott
C. Steve Reeves
D. Maynard G. Krebbs
E. Corky B. Dork
F. Dave the Whale
G. Zippy Zoo
7. Liar, liar...
A. You're a liar
B. Your nose is growing
C. Pants on fire
D. Join the choir
E. Jump up higher
F. On the wire
G. I'm telling Mom
8. Meanwhile, back in Metropolis, Superman fights a never ending battle for
truth, justice and...
B. Lois Lane
C. TV ratings
D. World peace
E. Red tights
F. The American way
G. News headlines
9. Hey kids! What time is it?
A. It's time for Yogi Bear
B. It's time to do your homework
C. It's Howdy Doody Time
D. It's Time for Romper Room
E. It's bedtime
F. The Mighty Mouse Hour
G. Scoopy Doo Time
10. Lions and tigers and bears..
B. Oh no
C. Gee whiz
D. I'm scared
E. Oh my
F. Help! Help!
G. Let's run
11. Bob Dylan advised us never to trust anyone...
A. Over 40
B. Wearing a uniform
C. Carrying a briefcase
D. Over 30
E. You don't know
F. Who says, 'Trust me'
G. Who eats tofu
12. NFL quarterback who appeared in a television commercial wearing women's
A. Troy Aikman
B. Kenny Stabler
C. Joe Namath
D. Roger Stauback
E. Joe Montana
F. Steve Young
G. John Elway
A. Smear it on
B. You'll smell great
C. Tame that cowlick
D. Grease ball heaven
E. It's a dream
F. We're your team
G. A little dab'll do ya
14. I found my thrill... .
A. In Blueberry muffins
B. With my man, Bill
C. Down at the mill
D. Over the windowsill
E. With thyme and dill
F. T oo late to enjoy
G. On Blueberry Hill
15. Before Robin Williams, Peter Pan was played by...
A. Clark Gable
B. Mary Martin
C. Doris Day
D. Errol Flynn
E. Sally Fields
F. Jim Carey
G. Jay Leno
16. Name the Beatles...
A. John, Steve, George, Ringo
B. John, Paul, George, Roscoe
C. John, Paul, Stacey, Ringo
D. Jay, Paul, George, Ringo
E. Lewis, Peter, George, Ringo
F. Jason, Betty, Skipper, Hazel
G. John, Paul, George, Ringo
17. I wonder, wonder, who..
A. Who ate the le ftovers?
B. Who did the laundry?
C. Was it you?
D. Who wrote the book of love?
E. Who I am?
F. Passed the test?
G. Knocked on the door?
18. I'm strong to the finish...
A. Cause I eats my broccoli
B. Cause I eats me spinach
C. Cause I lift weights 0A
D. Cause I'm the hero
E. And don't you forget it
F. Cause Olive Oyl loves me
G. To outlast Bruto
19. When it's least expected, you're elected, you're the star today...
A. Smile, you're on Candid Camera
B. Smile, you're on Star Search
C. Smile, you won the lottery
D. Smile, we're watching you
E. Smile, the world sees you
F. Smile, you're a hit
G. Smile, you're on TV
20. What do M & M's do?
A. Make your tummy happy
B. Melt in your mouth, not in your pocket
C. Make you fat
D. Melt your heart
E. Make you popular
F. Melt in your mouth, not in your hand
G. Come in colors
Anwers in comments