Saturday, April 05, 2008

Octopus Love

Not that much different than human love:
Octopuses, notoriously shy, have previously resisted attempts to document their amorous behaviour — observations in captivity led researchers to conclude that they were un-romantic loners. Work by marine biologists at the University of California, however, has overturned those assumptions, uncovering a range of mating behaviour that includes flirtation, strangulation and obsessive stalking, as well as the occasional instance of cross-dressing. For females, the researchers discovered, the process is an uncomplicated affair.

...For males, mating is a more fraught activity, and the biologists have uncovered three strategies for defeating the competition — which, particularly for the larger females, could be intense.

The stronger males, which they called guarders, stayed close to their partner, often within a metre, and followed it while they foraged. Any interlopers were dealt with harshly — in some cases using strangulation. The researchers speculated that rival males removed competitors’ sperm from the females.

A second group took a more itinerant approach — travelling along the sea bed and wooing females when they found them. Like the guarders, they used striped body patterns to display their manliness.

The most surprising of all were the weakest males, which the researchers called sneakers. Fearing the lash of their competitors’ tentacles, they disguise themselves as females, changing the patterns on their body and swimming in a more feminine manner, to sneak up on their quarry unsuspected.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A New Tattoo

Friend Byron was showing me pictures of the new tattoo on his leg.

I never dreamed that anyone would feel so strongly about Foghorn Leghorn that they'd make a permanent image of him on their body....

Randi Rhodes calls Ferraro and Clinton- Whores

Hooray for Randi Rhodes! She tells it like it is!

20 years from now, this video will be classic, and her critics will fork over good money to get a copy, with Randi's own voiceover critique. She's the Richard Pryor of politics!

Man Behind The Image

Interesting profile of the Navajo CALTRANS graphic artist:
"Here it is," says John Hood, riffling through a portfolio. The drawing he pulls out was done as a prototype; it is crude and a bit frayed. But its characters, captured in silhouette, are instantly recognizable.

There is a father, leading the way with a clear sense of urgency, bent at the waist. A mother, running behind him, despite the prim dress that hugs her knees. A little girl, holding her mother's hand, unable to keep pace, her feet barely touching the ground, her pigtails -- everyone knows the pigtails -- flowing behind.

In 1990, the image would be projected onto black vinyl, traced with a knife blade, glued onto yellow signs, topped with one word -- CAUTION -- and placed on the shoulders of freeways, mostly along Interstate 5 north of the Mexican border.

The sign served as a warning that drivers could encounter people racing across the interstate -- most of them trying to get from Mexico into the United States. It would become one of the most iconic and enduring images associated with the nation's war over illegal immigration. And it would leave John Hood, now 59 years old and preparing to retire, conflicted and ambivalent about his strange legacy.

"What does it mean," he asked the other day, after sifting through his work, "to live a meaningful life?"

Hood was always an artist, always an observer.

A Navajo, he grew up on a reservation in a corner of New Mexico where people lived 7,000 feet above sea level, amid junipers and cedars, mountain lions and coyotes. His parents were illiterate; his home had no electricity or running water, and he slept on a pile of sheepskins.

"My childhood," he said with a smile, "was fulfilled in every dimension."

...The signs, which went up in 1990, have been stolen, vandalized and -- increasingly obsolete as immigration routes have shifted to Arizona and Texas -- taken down. There are just a handful left today; few people attempt to cross I-5.

But the image has never been more prevalent -- or relevant.

It has been seized upon by people on all sides of the immigration debate. Anti-immigration groups offer T-shirts that depict the same family -- being chased by a man with a gun. On Olvera Street in Los Angeles, the image is used as a symbol of immigrant pride.

Then there are those who have adopted the image simply because of its notoriety, including shops that offer T-shirts showing the same family carrying surfboards. In a signature installment of his TV show "Mind of Mencia," comic Carlos Mencia -- whose family immigrated to East L.A. from Honduras when he was an infant -- filmed a segment based on the sign. "Maybe," Mencia says at one point in the segment, "it's telling them: 'Run across the freeway. Just do it really fast.' "

A photograph of the sign is hanging at the National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

"In museums, we are constantly looking for objects that transcend their own history," said Peter Liebhold, chairman of the museum's Division of Work and Industry. "This is, without a doubt, an icon of the current immigration debate. It's taken on meaning that was never intended."
Here is an openly-racist video game that takes inspiration from the image, showing the vitriolic nature of the immigration "debate."
Playing With Fire

Interesting gossip on the Bear Stearns fiasco. Apparently management didn't see it coming, and were playing just a little too close to the flame.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Arkansas' Marriage Crisis Is Over

Beginning to worry there:
Lawmakers didn't realize until after the end of last year's regular session that a law they approved, intended to establish 18 as the minimum age for marriage, instead removed the minimum age to marry entirely. An extraneous "not" in the bill allowed anyone who was not pregnant to marry at any age with permission.

The bill read: "In order for a person who is younger than eighteen (18) years of age and who is not pregnant to obtain a marriage license, the person must provide the county clerk with evidence of parental consent to the marriage."

...Legislators, however, had the chance for a do-over this week when [Gov. Mike] Beebe convened a special session to consider a hike in the state's severance tax on natural gas. They repealed the botched law, and reinstated 17 as the minimum age to marry for boys and 16 for girls.

Rep. Will Bond, the sponsor of the botched 2007 law and its correction, apologized for the error and asked his colleagues to "throw me a rope and bail me out here."

"I always thought if you put your name on a bill, you should be ready to take the blame if you're willing to accept the credit," Bond said Wednesday.

Ken Ishii vs FLR - SPACE INVADERS 2003

Joe Klein Coming Around

For years, Joe Klein exemplified everything that was wrong with the mainstream media. Slowly, but surely, he's coming around. Must be all that Bush hype gone sour. As Matthew Yglesias notes:
Things like Joe Klein's treasonous call for fewer Kagans and more knowledge is the sort of irresponsible hysteria we've come to expect from the anti-American Left. As everyone knows, the main problem in Iraq (aside from MSM efforts to only report bad news in the hopes of encouraging attacks on our troops) has been in insufficient number of Kagans. If we could replace the entire military presence in Iraq with an Army of Kagans in a 20 Kagans for every 1,000 Iraqis ratio, then our problems would rapidly be solved.

We need, in short, more Kagans, not fewer. And as much ignorance as possible which, of course, additional Kagans could also supply.
Call Of The Grease

Irresistible, when Diesel prices are high:
MORGAN HILL (CBS 5) ― It's a crime that has some in Morgan Hill doing double takes. A man from Illinois was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing inedible cooking grease from a Burger King restaurant.

Police say a manager caught 49-year-old David Richardson pumping grease from outside storage bins into his tanker truck without permission from the fast food chain.

"It does sound a little bit funny," said Commander David Swing of the Morgan Hill Police. "It's not something you come across on a regular basis."

Authorities believe the motive may be financial. Fuel costs are rising, along with the popularity of truck drivers converting used cooking grease into biofuels.
Thieves Can't Bear Assymetry

When Joe the Plumber and I slid Sparky's couch down the front steps last Saturday, and broke the right planter in the process, the left planter was still intact. The lopsided look the remaining planter produced seemed to give my dilapidated villa an "edgy" look.

This morning, when I went to retrieve the morning paper, the remaining planter was gone....
You Can Tell I'm A 1974 High School Grad....

...'cause I get this..... (Left: Image entitled "But Why???" from sponge monkey at B3ta.)

About two years ago, I was watching some disco nostalgia show on PBS, which was fun, except for all the lame, old, fat people that kept showing up on the dance floor. Suddenly, I realized they were all my age. Such a shame....

Like Natalie Bassingthwaighte sings:
Drive fast, don't crash
Make your money, make it last
Hang tight, kick back
Prepare yourself for the attack
Buy low, sell high
Take your pills, tell your lies
Fake your tan, wear a tie
Go to the gym you'll never die.
Late-Night Fischerspooner


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hillary! Stop the attacks! Love, Obama Girl

Kylie Dazzles!

Didn't see the show, but I'm sure it was great!

Bev's Review Of "Laughter On The 23rd Floor" Is Out!

Left: Who says comedy isn't painful? Max (Kevin Caravalho) gets a stranglehold on Ira (Jeff Labowitch) while the other writers - from left, Val (Paul Fearn), Kenny (Brennen Cull) and Lucas (Joshua Smith) - dither about what to do next, in the DMTC production of Neil Simon's 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor.' (Greg Rihl/Enterprise photo)

Lots of 'Laughter' on this stage

By Bev Sykes Enterprise drama critic April 01, 2008 15:05

It remains a sad fact that during the years I've reviewed shows for The Enterprise, I've seen that a mediocre musical consistently will draw a bigger audience than a first-rate play. I often leave a half-full theater thinking it's a shame that people in this area don't come out for straight plays any more.

And how sad it is that they don't even realize what they're missing.

A case in point is the Davis Musical Theatre Company's production of one of Neil Simon's funnier plays, 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor.'

'Laughter' is Simon's homage to the time he spent working on 'Your Show of Shows,' the old Sid Caesar weekly series, during the waning days of the golden era of television variety shows ... and in the middle of the McCarthy era, when networks were afraid of topical humor and insisted on dumbing-down shows to be more 'family friendly.'

The writing staff included many current and future comedy greats: Caesar himself, of course, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and Larry Gelbart, among others. (Reiner created his own homage to this period, in the form of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show.')

DMTC director Michael McElroy has hit a triple - not quite a home run, but close - with his first helming effort: The result is a fast-paced, funny, well-acted production that features a top-notch cast.

Joshua Smith stars as Lucas, the Simon surrogate, who is both the narrator - introducing each writer in turn, as he or she enters the room - and an active participant in the action. Smith's Lucas is a fresh-faced, wide-eyed, innocent-looking young man: somewhat in awe of the company in which he finds himself, on this high-powered writing team.

Sadly, Smith's lines aren't always distinct enough, so that we miss pieces of dialogue or narration here and there, but overall he turns in a believable performance.

The group is writing for 'The Max Prince Show,' and Kevin Caravalho turns in an inspired, frenetic performance as Max, a comic genius whose insecurities cause him to throw up before each show. He also pops pills and drinks too much. He rants and raves, throws the telephone, and punches holes in the wall ... but he's also intensely loyal to his writing staff, and is in constant battle with the network to keep the show on the air.

Paul Fearn - playing the head writer, Val, a Russian-Jewish immigrant who is taking elocution lessons so that he can pronounce curse words properly - also lights up the stage when he makes his entrance. Fearn's performance is electric, and Val's exit line, at the end of the show, is one of my favorites.

Jeff Labowitch plays the hypochondriac, Ira (based on Woody Allen), who arrives late each day and seems to suffer from the malady du jour - everything from a heart attack to a brain tumor - and dreams of having a virus named after him.

Darryl Strohl is a womanizer who revels in his flashy apparel. It's hard to know which is the more notable: his all-white suit or his red plaid pants (kudos to costume designer Jean Henderson).

Lauren Miller is the writing team's lone woman, who has been around so long that she really is 'one of the guys.' (Think back to Rose Marie in 'The Dick Van Dyke Show.')

Kenny (Brennen Cull) is the peacemaker, the group's solid rock, constantly trying to talk sense into the other writers. By Act 2, when it becomes obvious that the show is on its way out, Kenny poignantly remarks, 'Maybe we'll never have this much fun again in our entire lives.'

Kenny probably was right, but Simon made sure the fun didn't die entirely, when he resurrected it for 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor.'

And the Davis Musical Theatre Company has done well by the script. Forget musicals for once, and revel in the humor of a bygone day ... and remember (or learn) what TV was like when Sid Caesar and his writing team ruled the airwaves.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Fourteenth Anniversary With Sparky The Dog

Left: Sparky and his master enjoy the ocean breezes at Carmel, CA, Memorial Day weekend, 1994.

In February, 1994, I left Sacramento for New Mexico, in order to attend my Uncle Ramon's funeral. That weekend, the gate to the back yard on 40th Street was left open and Stella the Dog, the smartest dog I ever had, vanished for all time. Katherine Arthur and I were heartsick. We hoped Stella found a good home, wherever she went.

So, we started looking for an opportunity to find a new dog. We started cruising the animal shelters, where some wonderful dogs are to be found.

On April 2, 1994, we were cruising the County of Sacramento's animal shelter, on Bradshaw, when I thought I found the perfect dog in one of the outer cages. Small, short-haired, white, friendly - what more could one ask?

I went to locate Katherine in the central building, and discovered she had her own ideas. There, smack in the middle of cluster of three African-American teenaged girls, was a small, long-haired jet-black Pomeranian. The dog had a pampered, tame look, and was very handsome. Katherine wanted that dog bad! I thought that since the girls seemed to have placed a claim on the dog already, perhaps we should drop the black dog, and check out the wonderful white dog outside, but Katherine would have none of that kind of defeatist thinking.

Turned out the girls had just one small problem: before they could adopt the dog, they had to get permission from their parents first. The girls reluctantly left, and Katherine swooped in....

And thus began the saga of Sparky the Dog....

Left and below: First known pictures of Sparky - May, 1994.

Bloodshed Up At The Evil Place

"You never take me dancing. Sometimes I think you don't want to be seen with me," E. said.

Wow! Five years of careful avoidance and she's just beginning to notice. "OK," I said, "instead of dancing, why don't we go up to the Evil Place?"

So, Monday night found me playing blackjack at Thunder Valley Casino as E. hit the slots. The first table was good for awhile, but a beautiful woman sat next to me and placed a dent in the fabric of space-time. Before I knew it, I was losing again.

The second table (double-deck) was better. A Vietnamese man flirted with the Vietnamese-American dealer, and asked: "Do you like pho?" The sheer randomness of the question - do you like pho (noodles)? - startled the dealer and made her giggle. Soon, the dealer was on a losing streak, everyone else started winning, and the entire table relaxed in a convivial mood. I related how I'd seen a restaurant in Seattle called "What The Pho" and everyone thought that was funny.

A 22-year-old ARC college student told how he had made a living for four months playing blackjack in the San Diego area casinos before plunging so badly he had to call mom and dad for rescue. Making a living that way always seemed like it might be fun (if dangerously unreliable). People told tales of losing streaks (one player spoke of losing $19,000.00 in one night), and I learned that since I was the last person at the table to arrive at the casino (8:30 p.m.) I was also the only one who was actually ahead at that moment.

I told of losing $3,300.00 once at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas. When I came out of the casino, bleary-eyed, I saw a billboard advertising breast implants for $4,000.00, and I thought "Damn! I could have had breast implants instead!" Everyone laughed, but the college student was skeptical: $4,000 sounded too cheap for breast implants. This was only five years ago, but medical costs are escalating fast, so that's part of it, I suppose. Maybe it was a ridiculous price even then. Something to get customers in the door....

Suddenly blood appeared on the cards. The new cards were so sharp, edge-on, that when the dealer dealt the cards, like paper ninja stars, one of the players actually got cut. Play halted for twenty minutes as they hunted for a band-aid, and replaced the playing cards.

An hour later, the dealer herself got cut. Once again, play halted for twenty minutes as they hunted for a band-aid, and replaced the playing cards.

It was a winning night, and I was greedy. Nevertheless, I kept running into a glass ceiling and couldn't progress too far.

Win: $722.50, minus $70.00 E. stake = $652.50 minus $100 pity money to E. = $552.20.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Imbeciles And Cell Phones

Joe The Plumber was very proud of his new cell phone: "This is the third cell phone I've had this month - the other two I threw against the wall in frustration with stupid customers." He took a picture of me, made it his wallpaper, and off we went to empty a portion of E.'s storage locker in Citrus Heights, using his pickup truck.

At E.'s storage locker, a book fell out of a box, entitled: "Know Your Own IQ". E. gave an embarrassed smile and said "I was a 75: r-r-r-r-e-e-e-e-tarded!" "Moron, idiot," I suggested. "Imbecile - no, wait, imbecile is a 25," she replied. We both agreed these self-test books are silly.

Despite E.'s grave distaste for Joe The Plumber, she gave him a nice set of fireplace pokers.

Then off to dump the stuff into the basement! We made two trips.

Joe thought we should make a third trip, and I agreed, but E. was fading. So, we decided to take Sparky's couch and throw it into the dump. The couch was unspeakably filthy, and since we were springing more furniture out of the storage locker, it seemed easier to just throw the thing away. Sparky's couch also featured a hide-a-bed, and it was very heavy. Joe said: "Let me take charge!" So, he tried to skid the couch down the steep front steps, but the couch caught on a step as it slid, veered sharply to the right, collided with a planter, threw it over and demolished it.

After putting the couch in the pickup truck, we went to the gas station to fill up. Joe detached his cell phone from his belt and left it on the cab of his truck, something he did as a precaution, because he once heard something about cell phones igniting fumes from the gas pumps, or some such silliness. We drove off to the dump.

At the Sacramento North Area Recovery Station (NARS) refuse transfer facility on Roseville Road, we dumped the couch under a big shed as various loaders rumbled around smashing garbage and pigeons circled overhead.

Suddenly, Joe realized his cell phone was gone. "Damn, I left it on the gas pump!" he said. We raced back to gas station on the Capitol City Freeway, tailgating, cutting people off, and otherwise weaving obnoxiously as Joe fretted about the cell phone. It occurred to me that if the cell phone was on the cab top, it might have tumbled backwards into the couch and we might have left it at the dump with the couch, but it was too late to check.

At the gas station, no one had seen anything. The cell phone was gone. We drove aimlessly for awhile, then Joe said: "Let's go eat! There is this teriyaki place on 21st where everyone knows me!"

Instead of coming through the front door, we went though the back door, the approach Joe was more familiar with (he had done some plumbing work there before). We strode through the kitchen as the cooks looked with dull surprise at our unexpected entry. We sat near several young women. The loose hip-hugging jeans on one woman exposed a generous Plumber's Butt: Joe The Plumber, of course, spotted the problem right away.

After teriyaki, Joe decided to get another cell phone. "They know me real well over at MetroPCS!" So, off we went. At the cell phone store, Joe got a replacement phone. The staff didn't seem to know him apart from the regular parade of imbeciles that came in daily.

Looking at the telephone selection, I was tempted. After years of furious resistance, I decided that I, too, finally needed a cell phone of my own. So, I made a purchase.....


On Sunday evening, I went into work. I received an E-Mail message that someone was trying to contact me regarding a cell phone they had discovered at 17th & Q Streets. "17th & Q!" I thought. "We never went through that intersection!" Nevertheless I quickly arranged to meet the fellow.....

Sure enough, it was Joe's lost cell phone! The fellow recognized me from the wallpaper. "I'm telling you straight up," he said. "Three years ago, I would have tried to sell the cell phone for money. These days, I'm trying to live my life in a different way." I thanked him profusely for his honesty.

So, what to do with the extra cell phone? MetroPCS doesn't take them back, and since I had lent the money to Joe for the purchase, in a technical sense, I was the orphan phone's owner. I offered it to E., since she had wanted a new cell phone with a camera, but she is the sort who looks gift horses in the mouth: "Someone woke me from my sleep telling me to change my voicemail password, and so I changed my voicemail password, and now I can't get access to it, and now MetroPCS is telling me they never call people telling them to change their password, and so I don't know who is telling me what to do." "But do you want a new cell phone?" I asked. She replied: "From Joe? NEVER!"

So, it now looks like Joe will get a spare cell phone, so the next time a stupid customer pushes him over the destructive edge, he will already have a phone-in-waiting.
Life In Dilbert Land

The Bush Administration tackles the financial crisis:
The administration, then, has learned nothing from the current crisis. Yet it needs, as a political matter, to pretend to be doing something.

So the Treasury has, with great fanfare, announced — you know what’s coming — its support for a rearrangement of the boxes on the org chart. OCC, OTS, and CFTC are out; PFRA and CBRA are in. Whatever.

Will rearranging these boxes make any difference? I’ve been disappointed to see some news outlets report as fact the administration’s cover story — the claim that lack of coordination among regulatory agencies was an important factor in our current problems.

The truth is that that’s not at all what happened. The various regulators actually did quite well at acting in a coordinated fashion. Unfortunately, they coordinated in the wrong direction.

For example, there was a 2003 photo-op in which officials from multiple agencies used pruning shears and chainsaws to chop up stacks of banking regulations. The occasion symbolized the shared determination of Bush appointees to suspend adult supervision just as the financial industry was starting to run wild.

Oh, and the Bush administration actively blocked state governments when they tried to protect families against predatory lending.

...If we don’t reform the system this time, the next crisis could well be even bigger. And I, for one, really don’t want to live through a replay of the 1930s.
She's A Diamond

(Suggestion from J.M.):
But on the other hand, she's all they have
She's a diamond in their dull gray lives
And that's the hardest kind of stone
It usually survives
And when you think about it, can you recall
The last time they loved anyone at all?

She's not a bauble you can brush aside
She's been out doing what we just talked about, example
Gave us back our businesses, got the English out
And when you think about it, well why not do
One or two of the things we promised to?

But on the other hand, she's slowing down
She's lost a little of that magic drive
But I would not advise those critics present to derive
Any satisfaction from her fading star
She's the one who's kept us where we are
Surprise! Surprise!

John McCain doesn't "get" Iraq:
MERIDIAN, Miss. – As he launched a tour here designed to highlight his family’s long tradition of military service, Senator John McCain said Monday that he was surprised by the latest turn of events in America’s current war in Iraq.

Mr. McCain said he had not expected Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to try to oust Shiite militias from Basra without consulting the Americans, and that he was troubled by some of the demands that were made by the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr as part of his offer of a ceasefire after the militias held off the American-supported assault.
Overheard Cell Phone Conversation

"Honey, it IS all about me! I have to go to work this evening. That's just the way it is!"
Cult Figures It Out

Take heed - April 15th is right around the corner:
A RUSSIAN doomsday cult sheltering in a bunker say credit cards and food packaging bar codes are satanic.

About 30 followers, including four children, from across Russia and neighbouring Belarus met last October and barricaded themselves into a hillside to escape an apocalypse their preacher says is looming in either April or May.

"They have burned their passports and say that all plastic (credit) cards and strip codes on food packaging are the work of Satan," Alexander Yelatontsev, an official from Russia's Penza Oblast region, who has been the chief point of contact for the cult since the siege began, said.

"For us right now, what's most important is the children."
"Laughter On The 23rd Floor"

Left: Max Prince (Kevin Caravalho)

This is an excellent production of Neil Simon's homage to Sid Caesar's 1950's variety television program, "Your Show Of Shows". "Laughter On The 23rd Floor" features excellent acting by some of the strongest players currently-active in Sacramento area musical theater (but, for once, in a 'straight' play). The experience is made all-the-more vivid by the kinds of eccentric personalities that make show business so trying, and so exciting.

Kevin Caravalho leads the eccentric parade with his fiery portrayal of show star Max Prince. Kevin dominates by sheer force of personality.

Left: Jason "Clocky" McDowell, Brennen Cull, Jeff Labowitch, and Kevin Caravalho

I haven't seen Jeff Labowitch perform before, but what a find! He is inspired as the chronically-late hypochondriac Ira. His character is a polar opposite of Caravalho's Max Prince, and provides much of the show's fuel.

Left: Darryl Strohl and Kevin Caravalho

Darryl "up to his ass in berets" Strohl plays a flamboyant man-about-town: kind of an overgrown child. His devil-may-care attitude lubricates the rough edges of the comedy.

Left: Joshua Smith, Paul Fearn, Jeff Labowitch, Lauren Miller, Darryl Strohl, and Jason "Clocky" McDowell

Paul Fearn plays the head writer, Val, a Russian-Jewish immigrant naturally obsessed with Stalin in the USSR. Paul's delivery is priceless, and enriches the show at every turn.

Left: Jason "Clocky" McDowell, Brennen Cull, and Kris Farhood

Kris Farhood plays the secretary Helen, who nutures an ambition to be a comic writer. Unfortunately, comedy is hard to acquire in adulthood, and Helen's lack of comedic genius is painfully evident in this crowd. In some ways, Helen's role is the hardest in the show - she has to be funny by striving to be funny, yet failing. Her hypernormality marks her as the real eccentric. Kris' best acting role yet!

Left: Kevin Caravalho and Joshua Smith

Josh Smith's earnest Lucas, the youngest writer on the staff, and the chronicler, was warm and winning.

Left: Joshua Smith, Darryl Strohl, Paul Fearn, and Brennan Cull

The other players, Jason "Clocky" McDowell (the ambitious one), Brennen Cull (Kenny, the sensible one), and Lauren Miller (the one with a conscience), each strong actors in their own right, play supporting roles in this show. Together, they hold the team together, and keep it from shaking the universe apart.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Scrub Jay In Distress

Sunday afternoon at DMTC, I took some garbage bags to the dumpster. As I returned, in the distance, over in the trees next to DISC (Davis Indoor Sports Complex), I could hear a Western Scrub Jay calling repeatedly in distress. What was up? Was there a cat over there?

As I approached, some kind of big bird, maybe a red-tailed hawk, flew away from the trees. Damn bird was probably harrassing the Scrub Jay! I warn you now, damn bird, that Davis is a Western -Scrub-Jay-friendly place!
Anti-Emo Riots

Puzzling troubles in Mexico:
A series of attacks on dyed-hair, eye-makeup-wearing emo kids began in early March when several hundred people went on an emo-beating rampage in Querétaro, a town of 1.5 million about 160 miles north of Mexico City.

The next week, shaggy-haired emo teenagers were harassed again by punks and rockabillys in the capital, prompting police protection and a segment on the TV news. Most recently, a Mexican newspaper reported that metal heads and gangsters have warned Tijuana's emo kids to stay away from the town's fair next month.

...Music-based subcultures have permeated Mexico's major cities for decades, fueled by constant migration from rural cities. But only in the past year have emos begun to make their presence felt in the streets. In response, many of the established so-called tribus urbanas like punks and metalheads are responding with violence. The emo-punk battles are reminiscent of earlier subculture fights among various factions, like the Hell's Angels fighting hippies at the Altamont Music Festival or the Mods taking on the Rockers.

...First, by some accounts, the emo subculture is identified with homosexuality in Mexico. As Mexico City youth worker Victor Mendoza told "At the core of this is the homophobic issue. The other arguments are just window dressing for that."

Gustavo Arellano, the author of Ask a Mexican and an editor at OC Weekly, said that the sexual ambiguities cultivated by emo fashion helped set the group up for targeting by more macho groups.

"What do you do when you are confronted with a question mark about sexuality in Mexico?" Arellano said. "You beat it up."