Sunday, February 03, 2008

My past week. So far.

So, no Project Runway this past week so I thought I would write a little rambling post on various subjects to keep my typing fingers from atrophying. I will be covering the past week. Or a little more than the past week. Think of it as a "baker's week."

We started this past week by going to Robert Burns night last weekend at our local Scottish pub. Robert Burns is the most famous Scottish poet (or something like that). He wrote an ode to haggis and apparently he also wrote Ald Lang Syne. We are invited every year by our friend Aimee of Aimee in Chaos, who loves everything Scottish. Many of our friends at the pub also seem to consider Robert Burns night to be International Talk Like A Scottish Pirate Day. But who can blame them; the regular International Talk Like A Pirate Day only comes once a year and that just isn't enough talking like a pirate for many people.

Anyway, the night was a blast! A great band (VERY LOUD), Scottish dancing, obviously bagpipes, a lot of drinking, and did I mention that it was very loud? They also parade around the haggis. I've smelled haggis before but this year I decided I was finally going to taste it, just to say I had. And let me tell you, as bad as haggis smells, nothing can prepare you for how astonishingly terrible it tastes. No amount of scotch can wash that taste out of your mouth. I was still tasting it the next day. Wow, that was something else!

Last weekend we also watched the Film Actors Guild (or FAG) awards. It's not a great awards show but, with the dearth of them this season, we're grateful for whatever we can get. So we tuned in to watch actors accept their Faggies. OK, so the statuettes are actually called the Saggies but is that really any better? I'm always happy when Tina Fey wins anything and it was pretty amusing when Mickey Rooney, there to present, apparently got confused and thought he was accepting a lifetime achievement award. But, all in all, not terribly exciting.

I watched the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park with, unfortunately, Billie Piper. Other Eric is a big fan of Billie Piper. Yeah, like that's a big surprise. I was able to tolerate her in Doctor Who but even Eric thought she was miscast in this. Oh, I was also able to tolerate her in that Victorian mystery she was in (I forget the name of it) and apparently we will get the next one in that series soon.

I wasn't that into Lost last year (though it was better than the previous season) but for some reason I was really excited about the season premier. It could be that the writers' strike is making all new episodes of anything seem more special. But what was up with telling us we were getting a two-hour premier and then just giving us an hour preceded by an hour clip show? And, hello, we had just watched a pop-up clip show the previous night with the last season's finale! Anyway, the show was OK.

I FINALLY got my voter information in the mail! We have something called "motor voter" (or something like that) here in California, which means you can choose to have your voter registration updated when you change your car registration. But I did that back in October or November and I hadn't gotten any voter information by early January. The previous owner of our house, who died here several years ago, was getting all her voter guides and special messages from the Republican Party:

Tom McClintock: "Dear fellow Republican . . ."

Fuck you.

Tom McClintock: "Please let me finish. It is very important that you vote yes on the Indian Gaming initiatives. The campaign against the initiatives is funded by the most radical labor union in the country."

Oh, my goodness; that's shocking. Exactly how radical is this labor union?

Tom McClintock: "They advocate a living wage and access to health insurance."

My god; next they'll want bathroom breaks. OK, so that mailing didn't affect my vote but this has been one issue I have really struggled with. For those of you not in California, four tribes made deals with our state legislature to expand their casinos. Here are some of the issues:

In general, I support the sovereignty of tribal lands so I voted for the casinos the first time. Well, that's really my only argument in favor of these measures.

On the other hand, these measures are really a business deal between the tribes and the state so I think it's appropriate to judge them on their own merits. And I don't like the fact the the expansions are exempt from many environmental regulations and that tribal councils have been kicking out tribal members so that the remaining members can keep more money.

I'm really torn over this. Does sovereignty trump the fact that it's a bad deal that could be promoting human-rights violations?

The other measure I'm torn over is the one about term limits. It's a pretty crappy measure that supposedly shortens the length of time a politician can serve in Sacramento (twelve years in one office instead of 14 split between the state assembly and state senate). The problem is that many current legislators will be grandfathered in so that they can actually stay a lot longer than the original limits. I don't like the subterfuge but the main issue for me is that I'm not really a big fan of term limits in the first place (except for president). I hate that politicians have to spend their entire time in office campaigning for their next job instead of doing any real work.

Oh, so back to my registration: I was worried that my registration didn't get updated with my new address so I downloaded a form and mailed it in to try again and still I didn't get anything. I thought I was going to end up going to both my new and old polling places to see where I was registered. But then last week I finally got my sample ballot so I'm off to vote on super-duper Tuesday!

Update: Even though I got my sample ballot for my new address, I still had to vote using a provisional ballot. Man, that's disappointing. I'm pretty sure those provisional ballots just end up in the trash.

On Saturday we received a Christmas miracle when my mother's Tivo lineup finally came through! I got my mom a Tivo for Christmas so she can watch the Closer when she comes back from choir rehearsal (yes, seriously) but her retirement community creates their own channel lineup and it took six weeks for Tivo to create a new lineup for her. I'm very happy they finally did it but I was getting so annoyed; I spent hours on the phone with Tivo every damn weekend since Christmas and they just kept telling me "give it five days." It was really unacceptable customer service. Here's an example of one of the conversations:

Tivo Guy: "I can't give you any information. I know this is really frustrating."

Well, I'm glad you can feel my pain but that doesn't help me at all.

We also got to babysit our friend's son, Julian, this weekend. He's two and a half and he is so cute! We were worried he would be confused by us at first but he seems to have caught on just fine to having an uncle Eric and an uncle Eric. Julian is used to seeing both his uncle Erics together so the other day when Eric went over to their house, Julian came to the door, looked around, and asked, "where's the other one?"

So that's my week. Today we are continuing our longstanding totally gay annual tradition of watching the Superbowl on fast forward and only watching the commercials. This tradition is almost two years in the running! You can read Other Eric's take on the commercials over on his blog.

Remember to vote Tuesday if you are in a state that has a primary! Oh, what the hell; go ahead and vote even if you are NOT in state with a primary!

Ryan Seacrest: "You can vote as many times as you like using your Cingular Wireless phone up until midnight!"

Shut up, Ryan.


Anonymous said...

Hi Eric! I voted in our little ol' VFW hall. Punch-cards, thank goodness. More coffee earlier than I'm used to, so.... ramblin'...

My simple motto: Obama! (Oh, why the hell not?) But, of course I'll vote for Hillary (she's ok) if she's our candidate (she wouldn't dare pick Lieberman for running mate, would she?) in November.

Indian casinos: Yeah, the FOURTEEN-members band of Something or Other Indians plans to build in 29 Palms (backed by Casinos-R-Us or something). Not far from Park visitor center and the Oasis and 29 Palms Inn. We shall see.

Fortunately, we live in The Peoples Republic of Joshua Tree.

Names: I've got nickname based on my last name. When I first met husband's 4 year old niece she was very confused because there's an elderly relative with the same name. Elizabeth asked: Does that mean the other Tilli will die?

Isn't it fun to be an uncle!

PR: What's up with their bizarre schedule? I suppose all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I accidentally posted that thing!