November 16, 2007

The Weeklies #11

The Weekly Worst Moment. I mentioned the screaming, right? There's been lots of that. Collectively, those really account for pretty much the worst moments of the week.

The Weekly Best Moment. My wife's birthday, Mia playing with all the decorations I'd hurriedly hung at 5:30 on Wednesday morning before jetting off to work, singing happy birthday, and all the positive reinforcement and kind words from you yesterday. All-in-all, despite the screaming, not a bad week, guys. And then, last night, Mia slept. No screaming, no tantrums...just sleep.

The Weekly Reads. Upon the advice of every critic out there, I picked up a copy of Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects. The verdict? Flynn's first novel - she's a TV critic over at Entertainment Weekly - is astonishingly captivating. I think Sharp Objects is misclassified as a thriller. You'll be best served to think of it as a horror novel. Not in the traditional sense - there are no zombies, no demon children, no haunted houses. The horror is of the more plausible variety, the kind in which bad things happen and the demons being wrestled with come from within. Sharp Objects is a fantastic first offering. I can only hope Flynn delivers many more.

The Weekly Music. One of my all-time favorite songs is Pearl Jam's Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town. When I saw a cover version of it online - despite the fact that I had no idea who the artist was - I downloaded it. Totally worth it. Charlotte Martin - the artist in question - has a voice similar to Tori Amos. The cover is sparsely arranged, just Martin's exquisite voice over solo piano. Liking this (I got chills, actually), I explored the rest of Martin's material available online. The similarities between Charlotte and Tori persisted yet I found Martin's music much more compelling and complex. While her songwriting is as eccentric, there's something less forced about the songs and, quite frankly, Martin has a better voice.

The Weekly Schadenfreude. O.J. is being forced to stand trial for his "sting operation". Barry Bonds has been formally indicted for perjury. Lance Armstrong hooked up with one of those Full House twins. Not a good week for your professional athletes. Unless you like barely legal emaciated child stars and don't mind winding up with Bob Saget for a father-in-law.

The Weekly Political Observation. I was driving home from work on Wednesday evening and two bumper stickers caught my eye. The first endorsed someone from president I'd never heard of. The second said, simply, "Celebrate Assimilation". I was curious and, figuring that one complimented the other (they did), I looked up the candidate, Tom Tancredo. This, my friends, is a scary dude. He spews extreme conservatism that, while not inherently evil at face value, provides the backdrop for social and racial exclusivity. In his world, immigration is wrong, English is the only language that should be spoken and abortion should be outlawed not just because it is wrong but it prevents us (Americans) from growing in numbers sufficient to stave off the influence of the hordes encroaching on our borders. Instead of embracing our unique heritages, cultures and languages, Tancredo asks us all to assimilate. I've never before found a better argument for educating yourself about the candidates.

The Weekly Question. You've been asked by Superman, Batman, The Boy Wonder and The Wonder Twins to join the Justice League. The only condition? You have to choose your own superhero persona. So what superhero do you choose to be and what are your powers?

Posted by Chris at November 16, 2007 7:28 AM

holy smokes FIRST!
I would have to be some sort of Sun type superhero: A) Redhead B)born in the summer C) LEO

Hmmmmmmm--- my power would be........... the ability to create warmth for those who need it most (like me in my freaking swiss cheese house)

What about you Chris? You didn't tell the world who you would be...

Posted by: Stephanie at November 16, 2007 8:01 AM

I think I'll just call myself FartMama! You know, it's just something women aren't supposed to be able to go around doing...and right now, I could use that fart power to rid myself of all the bad guys...just let a big one rip and whoofffff...they're gone! haha I like it...just call me FartMama!!!

Posted by: Tera at November 16, 2007 8:11 AM

Dude, NoVA has some crazy people running for office. I thought the conservatism would get worse down here. But believe it or not, it's wayyyyyy better. Even though I'm the only Dem in my circle of friends, they love hearing my point of view (seriously, last night, at a girls night out, they all asked me what I thought about gay marriage, and they ACTUALLY listened to what I had to say). It's a much needed change from the militant conservatism I found with some folks up there.

Anyways... the Lance Armstrong thing is just gee-rosss... eeyuck.

Posted by: Corinne at November 16, 2007 8:27 AM

I'd simply be someone who was capable of understanding (peering into your thoughts)the reasons behind the way people think what they do. This might save time when dealing with passive-aggressive/deceptive/inarticulate people. Then maybe I wouldn't have to spend two hours on the phone arguing with my last night.

Posted by: wordgirl at November 16, 2007 8:35 AM

I would Stop Tantrums Woman!! ;) For all the parents of the world with a toddler - I would swoop in to stop the tantrums before they became so epic that parents want to jump from the second story window!

Posted by: Christina at November 16, 2007 9:00 AM

I'm already a superhero at work. My secret identity? Erratum Girl. Saving the world (and helpless authors, little old ladies and cats stuck in trees) from the horrors of the Mistake In A Published Document or Map. Springing into action, with a swirl of my cape (and an aside here, the advent of cellphones has really cut down on the number of phone booths to change in), I Right Wrongs, I Correct Mistakes, I Craft Prose That Rescues Authors from Embarassment, I Amend Files and Post Revisions. Exciting, ain't it?

But if I could have other superpowers (besides my Anal-Retentive X-Ray Editing Vision) I would like the power to speak and understand every language ever written or spoken.

Posted by: alison at November 16, 2007 9:12 AM

Know what's even scarier about Tancredo? He represents the very county I live in... [shudder]

Posted by: Liz at November 16, 2007 9:43 AM

I'm worried about the fact that Ron Paul is seeming to get all of the younger generations votes... He's planning on getting rid of all of the alphabet soup places in DC and the surrounding areas... which means no job for me anymore. =(

I would be The Uber Secha! I'd have the ability to see what people are thinking, and be able to focus on just one person or one thought, even if I don't know them and they're a half a world away. That way you can have warning of any inpending thoughts of attack or something like that. yeah

Posted by: Secha at November 16, 2007 9:47 AM

I'm not sure what my name would be, but I would want to be able to freeze, rewind and fast-forward time. That way, in my everyday persona, I could fast-forward to 5:00 on Fridays. I need that right about now.

Posted by: Leah at November 16, 2007 9:48 AM

I still can't get over how dirty Bob Sagats standup routine is. I mean I would never expect it coming from him....

Posted by: Darren at November 16, 2007 9:57 AM

Good old Tom - another armchair patriot!! At least he's not running for Congress again (or so I heard).

"In 1970 after Tancredo's student deferments ran out, he appealed his 1-A draft status, which would have put him at the top of the list for draft eligibility during the Vietnam War."

He sat it out.

Have a great weekend.

Posted by: ann adams at November 16, 2007 10:12 AM

I would be super animal girl! I would be able to turn into any animal but have the animal's strengths ten fold. Need some dirt? I would turn into an earthworm and churn out some dirt. Need something high up on a shelf, I would be come a giraffe and get it down for you.

Posted by: Arwen at November 16, 2007 10:46 AM

Oh, Chris... I love ya buddy, but I'm just too tired to think.

You've had a busy week! (me too)

Posted by: sue at November 16, 2007 11:50 AM

Speaking of thrillers, have you read/heard of Heartsick by Chelsea Cain? I thought it was one of the best thrillers I've read this year.

Just don't go to her web site and watch the "trailers" -- they're horribly cheesy.

Posted by: Jaime at November 16, 2007 12:05 PM

Also, speaking of superheros, I have a better question. This was the subject of what is perhaps the greatest debate ever on a message board I've posted on for 9 years:

Invisiboy or Flyboy? Would you rather be invisible or be able to fly? And who can beat who?

Posted by: jaime at November 16, 2007 12:10 PM

My superhero persona would be Zarda Queen of Jupiter with the superpower of using sarcasm to shame stupid boys trying to get my name in their clumsy, hitting-on techniques.

Or perhaps you were looking for something more removed from reality? =]

Posted by: rai at November 16, 2007 12:19 PM

I've always wanted mind reading/mind control abilities (I could control all the other superheroes! Mhuahahah!) but I'd also want the ability to turn them off or voluntarily forget any terrible, distressing things that I'd "overheard." Or, I'd like to be like Peter Petrelli and absorb the abilities of others. That could be pretty cool. (And I wouldn't have to kill them like Sylar. Boo Sylar.)

Posted by: Heather at November 16, 2007 12:22 PM

I can't concentrate on superhero-ness, I'm too disturbed about the Olsen twin thing. Lance Armstrong?? At least Sean Avery is close-ish in age to the one he's dating...

Posted by: Judy at November 16, 2007 12:32 PM

The Canadian Ninja.

My superpower would be in the overwhelming irony of my name. Also, that I'm neither Canadian, nor a ninja. But I would carry throwing stars shaped like a maple leaf.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at November 16, 2007 1:46 PM

Not going to lie, I always liked Super Villains better. :)

Posted by: Cassandra at November 16, 2007 2:58 PM

Two things: 1) I also want to be able to find lost things. Think about that for a minute. The possibilites are endless. 2) Fly. I just want to fly. Really badly.

Whatever my costume, it'd be black.

Posted by: Brad at November 16, 2007 3:12 PM

Tom Tancredo doesn't frighten me; nut jobs are everywhere. People who vote for Tom Tancredo, on the other hand, scare the living shit out of me.

Posted by: lumpyheadsmom at November 16, 2007 3:50 PM

Assimilate? What are we? The Borg?! Yikes...

Posted by: GreenCanary at November 16, 2007 4:28 PM

Wait... Did I read that right?

You decorated at 5:30 in the morning?


Whatever makes you that productive in the morning, I want THAT to be my super power.

Posted by: Tink at November 16, 2007 4:49 PM

if batman talked to me, i don't know if i'd ever be able to speak again.

yeah, i'd be that overwhelmed by the majesty of the bat.

Posted by: meg at November 16, 2007 5:59 PM

I'd have to go with Opinionated Republican Advice Offerer.

Glad Mia slept last night. You'd think they'd make Lunesta for kids!

Posted by: coolchick at November 16, 2007 6:39 PM

My secret power would be the power to beat writers block. I can't think of a good name.


Posted by: Jenny at November 16, 2007 7:19 PM

I haven't thought of a spiffy name just yet, but I'd probably man everyone's TiVos for them while they are out fighting crime. I'm pretty good at that.

Posted by: angela at November 16, 2007 9:47 PM

Charlotte Martin's version of "Wild Horses" actually brings me to tears. And I love "Everytime it Rains" too.

Posted by: She Likes Purple at November 16, 2007 11:53 PM

I heart Charlotte Martin. Especially Wild Horses.

Posted by: Amy at November 17, 2007 11:52 AM

I hail from Colorado, home sweet home to Mr. Tancredo. He'll never win, because he'll never win in his home state. We are afraid of him. He is, IS, the devil.

My superhero persona would definitely depend on the accompanying costume. If I could wear knee high Doc boots, I'd be almost anything. It's all in the details.

Posted by: Mr Lady at November 17, 2007 12:24 PM

I just saw a TV ad for Tancredo for the first time last night! Holy shit--the guy's psycho!

Posted by: Sphincter at November 17, 2007 10:30 PM

Being from Colorado I've had to endure having Tom Tancredo be part of parcel of the law makng round these parts. Yikes and double yikes.

Superheroine Name: The Sleepless Marvel. She can defeat uber conservative political enemies, cook, clean, feed and care for the children and the husband, walk the dog, read and blog daily all while looking fabulous in small purple and green strapless smaller than a bathing suit apparatus with a sparkly silver utility belt, fabulous matching of the belt handbag and over the knee high heeled black boots.

Posted by: Amy at November 19, 2007 12:10 AM