Thursday, March 27th 2008

Bat monitoring is a go!
posted @ 10:19 pm in [ ]

I am indeed going to be a bat monitor for the City of Boulder. It involves hiking to a cave and checking out what the bats are up to. And yes, I am going to be a frog monitor as well! I can’t wait to get started. But I have to, because the trainings don’t start for a few months yet. I promise not to try to pet a bat. I make no such promises about the frogs.

Wednesday, March 26th 2008

Fabulous coffeeshop find!
posted @ 12:02 pm in [ ]

I was out running some errands this morning, and I stumbled upon the most wonderful little coffee joint. It’s between a Vitamin Cottage and a post office, and right around where I do a lot of my errands, so it’s nicely located, even if it’s sort of neatly tucked in where I didn’t see it for, probably, months. All my courses are online this quarter, so having a specific place to go to do that online teaching is especially appealing. I prefer to get out and about when I have a lot of replying to postings to do. If I just sit there in my nightgown at home (especially when it’s springtime in Colorado), I just feel like a slug. I think Novo Coffee is about to become my new office.

Thursday, March 20th 2008

Another irksome commercial
posted @ 11:49 am in [ ]

Recently, I’ve taken shots at pharmaceutical commercials, and now I’m calibrating my site on toilet paper. Yes, gentle reader, the current advertisement making me cuckooputs is a Cottonelle commercial. It features some fuzzy little anthropomorphized mammal — I think it’s a talking yellow lab puppy — pointing out how the world is a cruel place for tushes. Someone falls on theirs, someone else sits on an uncomfortable surface, and then — get this — another hapless butt gets a mild yet surprising burn from perching on the hood of a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia while the puppy proclaims, “Careful, it’s hot!”

Okay, I can get past the bossy adver-canid and the fact that I hate thick, fluffy toilet paper, but this is just dissing the intelligence of the American consumer — more than we deserve! I ask you, America, why would the hood of an air-cooled Volkswagen be hot? We all know that the engine is in the back. Is the trunk full of radioactive material? Did someone just come by with a blowtorch and heat up that insignia until it glowed in the hopes of branding the buttcheek of a perching passerby? Is the vehicle, in fact, a mobile barbecue pit? Crazymaking, I tell you!

Sunday, March 16th 2008

Palm Sunday musings
posted @ 4:52 pm in [ ]

At this holy time of year, I find it so meaningful to reflect upon… just how many flippin’ atheists I know! Wow, there are really a lot. A few of them are so vehement about it that it’s almost its own brand of zealotry. This time of year, with its supermarket checkstand Jesus-in-your-face accoutrements, almost makes them break out in hives. As a non-Christian, I do indeed feel heavily Jesused-upon right at the moment, but hey, Jesus was an all right cat. It’s not his fault that a lot of people have done stupid and horrible things in his name — it’s not like he’d appreciate that. Besides, some folks have done good things, too. Mother Theresa, Sister Dorothy, and countless others made meaningful contributions to humanity because they felt called to do God’s work. Let’s not throw that particular baby out with the yucky Promise Keepers bathwater, eh?

For those who feel particularly put upon, or are attending Christian religious services more or less against their will, I recommend translating religious rhetoric into something you find meaningful, or at least entertaining. When I attend church services, usually for an important family event, I like to picture a different deity for every time the priest says “God.” Zeus, Vishnu, Horus, Odin, Pan… Plenty of images to choose from, from all of human history. It really makes the sermons more entertaining.

Isn’t that disrespectful and blasphemous, and probably evil? I would argue it isn’t. There certainly seems to be something about the human mind that craves connection to something larger than its own consciousness. However that feeling of connectedness is interpreted and whatever symbols are assigned to it, it is a very common human experience. A lot of the ideas are the same between religions, and many of the symbols are even similar. In fact, that was the burning question that led me to my master’s degree: Were those striking similarities caused by there having been some sort of proto-religion, some sort of spiritual Sanskrit from which all religions spread like dandelion seeds? Or was it because we all have the same brain? Let me save you a few years and tens of thousands of dollars here: It’s because we all have the same brain.

So when you are sitting in a sacred space, whether it’s a church or a mosque or a stand of ancient trees, the most appropriate thing you can possibly do is to reflect on your connection to the numinous, however it is that you experience it. By considering the many deities who have been prominent in the history of humanity, it is that connection itself, along with humanity and its long-standing affinity for connectedness to the numinous that you honor. Nothing evil about that. Marduk bless you!

Friday, March 14th 2008

Megfest update
posted @ 5:50 pm in [ ]

Some of you have been asking how Megfest was. I must point out that it is still going on. Yea, for tomorrow is Movie Day. It’s going well, though. Cheap Fun Day, as predicted, was cheaper and funner than EVER! The digital photo scavenger hunt will likely have to become an institution. The items included things like, “a fractal that is not Meg’s tattoo,” “EVIL,” “argon in action,” “rodent,” and “splicknackledoo.” It was great fun!

I will say this: having Daylight Savings take a 1-hour bite out of your birthday, well, bites. In addition to the loss of a full hour, it puts everybody’s schedule off, so nobody winds up going anywhere or doing anything. Yecch! That had better never happen again or I’m bending the Earth’s axis to make it stop.

The only other downer to report is that the changing attendance of Cheap Fun Day is a stark reminder that many of my friends have moved away, gotten married, had babies or otherwise generally started behaving like grownups. Sigh. I’ll still take Cheap Fun Day over being a grownup — just call me Petra Pan.

Friday, March 7th 2008

Who’s afraid of Pete Seeger?
posted @ 12:14 am in [ ]

I came home from teaching tonight and Phillip was watching a PBS documentary about Pete Seeger. It contained some footage of people (maybe 40 years ago) calling him a communist and getting really bent out of shape. They seemed to be genuinely offended that he existed. Most of the overall footage, though, was of Pete playing a banjo and singing songs that did not appear to have particulary inflammatory political content, or in many cases, any discernable political content at all. Also, he was making most of those songs sing-alongs, and some of them were even kinda churchy-sounding. It looked like some good, clean, wholesome American fun you could take your grandma to.

So here’s my question: Can somebody fill me in on why Pete Seeger was considered by some to be the antichrist? Were the sing-alongs too populist? Was it because he performed at union halls? Was it just some wacky McCarthyist hysteria? Johnny Cash was defending Pete Seeger’s honor for some reason and making it clear that he was indeed a good American, but I can’t imagine how someone trying to be un-American would be able to touch a banjo without bursting into flames. Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 4th 2008

The opportunity of a lifetime
posted @ 1:05 am in [ ]

So last week when I was sitting in the groovy KGNU studio in Boulder (a change of scenery from the Denver studio where we usually are), waiting to be Dr. Meg, the co-host was going through the PSA box, looking for public service announcements to read over the air. She passed a card to me. On the card was perhaps the coolest volunteer opportunity EVER. I applied for it instantly, and I’m going to have a phone interview tomorrow to see if I can be… A bat monitor! Yes! I would get to learn more about bats, and go out at night into the wilds of Boulder to see what various bats are up to.

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about the prospect of being a volunteer chiroptologist. The bat, after all, is the totem animal of Team FTN, among many other significant (non-Bacardi-related) things in my life. The bat house at the National Zoo was my favorite exhibit, for example. The little vespertine critters would be flapping around in there and there’d be fruit hanging up, and they’d fly by it, leaving these little bat bites in various dangling melon pieces and stuff. Grapes were apparenty the big fave, because they were always just stems. I’d have a bat house if I lived in an area that supported mosquitos. Hell, I’d get a bat tattoo if I could figure out where to put it.

I couldn’t tell you quite why I’m so into bats. It’s probably that they’re beneficial (even if they have some PR problems), and fuzzy and cute, but also kinda weird. I look forward to the opportunity to meet some in person — and restrain myself from petting them, of course, in case they’re rabid or traveling vampires or anything.

I understand there are also openings for frog monitors.

Monday, March 3rd 2008

Megfest 2008 continues unabated!
posted @ 10:11 am in [ ]

Megfest has officially begun, as the presents and tidings are rolling in. The exact start date could conceivably be a week or two ago when businesses where I have preferred customer cards began sending me birthday coupons. I graciously spent one of them over the weekend.

The only complaint I have is that Daylight Savings is ripping off a whole freakin’ HOUR of my birthday! Can you believe it?! One of the only people in America who savors every damn hour of her birthday no matter how freakin’ old she gets, and that’s the day that gets ripped off?! Pardon me, but that just blows.

Beyond that: whoo-hoo!