Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nostalgia cereal: Count Chocula

There is a post over at the New Columbia Heights blog about Count Chocula.

It's a confusing post. The person writes, "I saw this yesterday at Target, pretty awesome. I guess it's for Halloween"

No. Count Chocula is available in normal stores all year round. There is no special reason Count Chocula is found there now. The other two are more rare, but Count Chocula is a classic and a staple. Is it an east coast thing, not to know about Count Chocula?

Books are expensive, especially when you're paying for them twice

Get Rich Slowly makes the point that if you're trying to save money, why buy books when you can get them from the library? True that. You're paying for the library with your taxes, so why pay more for books you can have for free?

1. I read books over and over and over again. I think I have read the first Harry Potter book over 30 times. When I was a kid, I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books over 50 times.
2. I totally work in a bookstore.

I do read books from the library. But now I do something that I didn't do seven or eight years ago; I've started checking out books that I've read before from the library, really enjoyed, rather than getting new books. It would be more convenient to just have the book within reach, rather than walk three blocks to get it, and have a time frame in which to read it.

Plus, our local library sucks. But I have not bought a new book since being in D.C., and did not bring any books with me.

In other news, I totally found two dollars in front of my apartment building. It'll go towards library late fines!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I am not unhappy with Gregory Maguire

Earlier this week, I wrote how unhappy I was with Megan McCafferty for writing sub-par books using the same characters from extremely awesome books.

After reading A Lion Among Men, the third book in the Wicked Cycle by Gregory Maguire, I can honestly say I am not unhappy. I still found the reading pleasurable, still felt that I was learning more; not just the hidden history of the character of the original Wizard of Oz, but now I am learning more about the hidden history of the characters in Wicked. And I am still interested, very interested.

I can't remember when I read Wicked for the first time. Probably five or six years ago. But I've read it at least ten times since then, Son of a Witch three times. The second focused on characters entirely seperate from The Wizard of Oz, but A Lion Among Men gives the backstory of the Cowardly Lion, partially given in Wicked but fleshed out here.

And I wasn't disappointed. I didn't feel cheated, the way I felt cheated when I read Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty. I enjoyed myself, I felt like I was given answers, and that's really all you can ask for in a third book in a series.

The myth of the Bradley Effect

Apparently the Bradley effect is just not a thing. Tom Bradley ran for California governor in 1982, was leading in the polls, and lost. The way people explained this away was that white people were too ashamed to admit they didn't vote for the black candidate.

A person close to the action says that with ten days to go, Bradley stopped campaigning because he was so ahead and sure he would win. The Republican candidate never stopped campaigning, plus Republicans really worked hard with people using absentee ballots, which don't get exit polls.

Thus, Bradley lost after all the absentee ballots were counted. It was not voodoo voter magic, but completely explainable.

Now we can stop freaking out, right?

Now we're all best friends!

This wasn't nearly as good as Letterman totally blasting him over and over again. At least he mentioned Gordon Libby on par with William Ayers.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ad on MSNBC about Sarah Palin

What guts this woman must have to say, okay, "I'm going to admit in an ad that I was raped and I aborted the baby, because I'm scared others might not have that choice." Something that should have been completely private came out because that right is threatened.

Apparently this ran on MSNBC after the debate. On the heels of women's health being highlighted by McCain negatively, I think it firmly establishes that the Republican ticket is not for women's rights.

Oh My God I was sooooo bored while this old guy was talking...

Previously, I posted how Sarah Palin was sooooooooo bored during budget meetings she just had to doodle. Evidence now shows that Obama was soooooo bored he had to pass childish notes.

Seriously though, that Biden guy likes to talk.

OMG Debates!

Not to harp on anything, but the last presidential debate was totally last night.

Some highlights:

I'm not sure what McCain was going for this wide-eyed look. Was he feigning confused, because he believes that Obama would tax small businesses? Or is he seriously shocked?

Notice how the squiggly line takes a nose dive when McCain starts talking. Yeah, I'm sure all those women whose health is threatened by pregnancy enjoy John McCain in this very moment.

And of course, the dramatic eye-roll.

It was pretty exciting stuff all around, and now all we have to fill our time is reading all the polls that insist that Obama won this debate. McCain can always be the king of eye rolls in our hearts, though.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I get a tax cut of almost $900 under Obama's plan!

Truth is, until you earn $100,000 as a single person, you are pretty much guaranteed a tax cut from Obama. And if you're making that much, maybe you should give back.

The calculator.

Under McCain, I don't even get a $20 tax cut.

Digital switch will be messy

"The transition will be messy," said Robert McDowell, member of the FCC.

Yeah, tell me about it. Everytime I try to watch the digital channel of Fox on my nice television, it is like watching a scratched DVD. The picture blurs. The audio is choppy.

This is what we'll be left with. For some reason, PBS digital comes through loud and clear. Like public officials are the people I want to see in High Definition.

Add to that the fact that people are confused as to whether or not they are covered under the switch. People don't know what to do to prepare. Nationally broadcasted television will no longer be available to them.

McCain-Palin bring Ayers out of the woodwork

It was bound to happen. I mean, if my name was tossed around in the media like his was, I'd certainly start talking.

The deal: he and his wife did some highly illegal things, but due to the fact the FBI used illegal measures to capture them meant a lot of the evidence was thrown out. What was he supposed to do, say, "I understand you were doing illegal things to capture me, I'm going into prison voluntarily!"

He and his wife put their life back together and assimilated into normal reforms. Deal with it. Life sucks, the criminals don't get punished and innocent buildings were bombed. They repented by trying to change the education system and siutation for families, respectively.

And apparently, he doesn't have much else to say in this article called, "What could I possibly add?"

Funny moment of the article is when a research assistent describes him as a "really nice guy."

An open letter to Megan McCafferty:

Dear Megan McCafferty,

I absolutely loved Sloppy Firsts. I read it over and over again, and then it was stolen by my sister who read it over and over again. It was part of the reason I started running at night.

When I read Second Helpings, I was supposed to be studying for my AP American History test. Not just any test, but the actual AP part -- I blamed your book for getting me a three on the test. We studied at Barnes and Noble, I saw it, and then I didn't study the rest of the night. Didn't sleep either. Too busy Reading Second Helpings.

But really, Charmed Thirds killed me. College was not written well. Perhaps because before, there was only a year or so documented at a time. Now, several years pass. It didn't seem well planned. I didn't really get to know any of the characters too well before they disappeared.

I read Fourth Helpings but can't seem to remember it.

And now, Jessica Darling comes back, even after I've read one of the books and can't remember it well enough to think about what happened.There's MORE? Jessica, who was so full of life, lost her brightness. Let her rest. She deserves it. Think up someone new. Perfect Fifths will disappoint me. I will read it, but i will not buy it. I'm sure other people will, and that's why there is still this market to sell it.

But take it from me: I am tired of this ghost of Jessica Darling. Put the poor girl to rest, give her a happy ending.

With Love,

A huge fan of the first two books

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My biggest media pet peeve

This has been my biggest media pet peeve of the year: the ongoing story Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The media latched onto the story when there was a "pregnancy pact," but never bothered to correct the perception that some of the 18 girls did not want to get pregnant, and it was just something the principal said. He could never prove it, and its generally been denounced. However, the denouement never got as much media play.

I still point to this as a perception that these girls wanted to get pregnant, therefore the school's conservative policy on birth control (much to the chagrin of some who work there) still can stand. These girls wanted to get pregnant, therefore condoms aren't much use to them! Even if I'm reading too much into it, that is how it has been taken by abstinence only outlets:

"Hello. We’re talking about girls who wanted to get pregnant. Is it so difficult to notice that girls who want to get pregnant are not victims of supposedly prudish culture that won’t teach children the truth about sex and give them condoms?"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Columbus Day blows

It feels like everyone else is at home lounging and I have worked all day. This makes me the Columbus Day Scrooge.

At least it hasn't been a slow news day and Google Reader has been pretty active.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I thought we were done with the Taco Bell dog

Number one for the second week in a row is Beverly Hills Chihuahua. It made $17.5 million dollars.

Who saw this movie? Who are you people, who decided, wow, talking lame dog! Ninety minutes! Awesome! This is going to be great! This movie is basically Born in East L.A. with a talking dog. Don't say it was a good film for children to see. You wouldn't let your children eat garbage, so why would you let them watch it?

Letterman and McCain make supernice

This video is from when John McCain decided to "suspend" his campaign by standing David Letterman up and seeing Katie Couric.

But now they've made nice. This is too bad, it was nice to know that people were hearing more jokes at John McCain's expense. But breaking up is hard to do.