Friday, August 31, 2012

Kitsch as defined by Milan Kundera

kitsch: the translation of the stupidity of received ideas into the language of beauty and feeling [that] moves us to tears of compassion for ourselves, for the banality of what we think and feel.
-- Milan Kundera

 I feel appropriately chastised now.

Obama's Vision of America: Lions lie down with lambs and kangaroos play tag with lemurs

I'm pretty sure this is a political ad, but I kept waiting for President Obama to say "I approve this message" or Romney to bulldoze the animal park. I need to watch it a few more times, I think.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Charts That Scare Me : Florida Voter Registration 2004-2012

Did you all see this last night? Can anyone explain this without referring to alien abduction of Democrats?

San Francisco needs mobile parklets


"I speak for the tree trolleys!" -- Lorax X.

Imagine it, SF: mobile parklets with trees! And wifi!! If it also baked artisanal macarons and had wine on tap, I'd move in.

So, read the article at the link and start building.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mars' Blue Hawaii Sunset

All I would need here is a mai tai, some island tunes, and one of those heated space suits so I don't freeze or asphyxiate. Just like Hawaii.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Riding an elevator--with a child

toddx: (feeling the need to engage the mother who is trying to keep her monster from pressing all the elevator buttons) How old is...he? Two?

Mother: No, he's 15 months.

toddx: So young!
(steps off elevator)

toddx: (internal monologue) Don't talk to those people again until they start measuring age in years like normal people. And, next time, wait for the Adults Only elevator. Where's my cocktail? (grumble) Kids! (grumble)



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thoughts on a gay son's letter to his father

This story is old news in internet terms, but I still wanted to share it. I see people I know on Facebook making similar choices to LIKE the people who hate me or make supportive statements on their behalf. So, I'm addressing this to you and people like you. I would ask you to think about these political positions and help me understand the result you hope to get.

Is it my silence? My anger? My imprisonment or death? You see, I have to take your positions and extrapolate out to the most extreme possibilities because you are aligning yourself with extremists. Their methods are subtle, their packaging slick, but their goals are clear: they want to eradicate my rights, my ability to petition for those rights, and (in the extreme cases) they even want to eradicate my very existence.

This is unacceptable to me.

My friend Shawn runs a bookstore, raises several foster children, and finds time to cultivate a loving relationship. I don't know how he does it. But why would you deny his efforts? Why would you want to make things harder for him? Just because he is gay? He's a hero to these kids. He's a martyr to the community--as is anyone striving to keep books available to the world. And he's a role model for anyone who aims to balance family, work, and a remarkable sense of humor about it all.

What, I ask, has he done to you?

Your right to free speech is, for me, an absolute right. Say and write whatever you want. But, this great democracy of ours is a forum--of ideas and speech that clash, contradict, and collaborate. When you write or speak your mind, I will ask you to contemplate your speech, consider its meaning, evaluate my speech, and, if I've been persuasive, reconsider your ideas in light of mine (and I'll do the same). Perhaps, in this context, you might even change your mind. Who knows? I may even change one or two of my positions. Crazier things have happened.

I'm not being Pollyanna about this. Information affects us. Relationships change us. I don't think it's too much to ask that you think about the actions you take and the votes you will cast that will have a disproportionately harmful impact on me--and people like me and people quite different from me and people you will never meet.

Because, you see, I won't change my mind about this. The anti-gay sentiment among conservatives is just wrong. I cannot support any politician or political party that seeks to diminish rights, remove rights, scapegoat a minority, or villainize a people in order to score political points or further a negative or anti-democratic agenda. Politics should not lessen us but should enable us to be greater together than we can be separately.

I hope you can join me.

Monday, August 13, 2012

David Rakoff's Last Dance

Watch this then go listen to more of his stuff on This American Life.

Diacetyl: Not your grandma's butter -- Butter flavoring may trigger Alzheimer's disease


Here's something to put in the "We're Doomed" file. I'm not a fan of popcorn, but this paragraph concerns me:

Diacetyl, already linked to lung damage in people who work in microwave popcorn factories, is also used to produce the distinctive buttery flavor and aroma of margarines, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods, and even some chardonnays.

Um, Chardonnays? CHARDONNAYS?!! They're messing with the wine! Ok, who am I kidding? I rarely drink Chards and I surely don't drink ones with fake butter flavoring. But, for those of you buying your cheap wine at Wal-Mart, take note: that Two Buck Chuck is killing you.

Seriously, stop eating chemicals if you can, drink Pinot Noir, and unplug your microwave oven. Just sit back and sip while the world melts. And don't worry about being depressed by all this. Chances are something else will give you Alzheimer's, so you will have forgotten about all this by then.


Bathroom Essentials: Sour Drops Liquid and Temporary Tattoos

Taken at Napa Premium Outlets

Santa Cruz has a blow hole. Who knew?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Favorite comment about Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate

"Ryan is often referred to as some sort of intellectual light of the party. But remember it is the party of Bachmann, Palin, and Louis Gohmert. A standard head of cabbage looks smart in that company."

Posted by: melvin | Aug 11, 2012 2:20:50 PM

Read more:

Posted via email from toddx's posterous

Thursday, August 9, 2012

All truths wait in all things


I definitely need this illustration by ObviousState of this Walt Whitman quotation. Check out the whole set on Etsy. I'm off to find some wall space. . .

Posted via email from toddx's posterous

Tweet of the day via @unwoman

RT @unwoman: What's worse: the "misconception" that people choose to be gay, or the idea that somehow that wouldn't be a perfectly fine choice?

Posted via email from toddx's posterous

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Workplace Dangers

I have the enviable responsibility of working with people who, among many other things, make cookbooks. Surrounded by foodies (fooders? foodsters? am I getting the terminology right?), I often get emails that say, "Check out the cake and champagne in the kitchen!" or "I'm trying a new recipe for cookies. Stop by my desk!" or "Hey fatty, stop hogging all the Brie!" You know, normal work emails.

The photo above shows the desserts that were available on one day, on one floor, within 50 feet of my office. And I'm sure I missed something. Oh, yeah, the treadmill. That's what I missed. #winning

Pictured above: Snickerdoodles, chocolate cake, and peanut butter cookies

Not pictured: my Lipitor prescription

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Myth of America's Christian Foundations


I'm sorry to break it to you, but the Founding Fathers did not think this would or should be a Christian nation. Isn't history fun?

Posted via email from toddx's posterous

UPDATE: It's been brought to my attention that some quotes are taken out of context. Reading the context, I can see the point, but I also see that the so-called religious foundations of America are a much grayer area than contemporary evangelicals would like to admit.

The Internet: Every single minute

This is exhausting. But I still hope you're reading ALL my tweets. #bonsmots