sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

March 31, 2005

party politics
posted by soe 9:09 pm

Two well-written opinion pieces from former senators about the directions their respective parties should take in the future:

A Party Inverted

In the Name of Politics

(The NYT requires registration.)

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dear tourists
posted by soe 11:14 am

Dear Tourists,

Thank you for coming to Washington, D.C. We have a great many monuments, galleries, museums, governmental buildings, restaurants, and parks we hope you will visit during your stay.

For our part, we will brush off our cobwebs and try to put on a good face while you’re here. We will ask you if you need directions and eat at odd hours in order to stay out of your way as you make reservations.

But, please, please, PLEASE do us one favor: When riding the Metro escalators, please stand on the right and walk on the left. It’s the same concept as driving on the highway, except in this case, you’re the little old lady who can’t see over the steering wheel puttering along in the left lane 10 miles an hour under the speed limit.

We are home to the longest escalators in the Western Hemisphere (Wheaton’s at 230 feet), and the natives get grumpy when we can’t get past you, causing us to miss our trains.

Thank you for your consideration,

A D.C. resident

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March 30, 2005

mairzy doats
posted by soe 4:41 pm

Grammar usage problems: In the book I’m editing, I had originally okayed, “In this way [protozoa] are more like animals or people than bacteria.” My proofreader rejected it and suggested either “…[protozoa] are more like animals or people than bacteria are” OR “…[protozoa] are more like animals or people than they are like bacteria.”

Researching protozoa on the internet just made my head hurt. (Why do they think science is hard to understand? Jeez…)

So I rephrased the simile thus: “Rice is more like oats than pasta is like oats” vs “Rice is more like oats than rice is like pasta.”

Ultimately, I believe the latter choice is correct because we care more about the difference between rice and pasta (protozoa and bacteria) than we do about oats (animals or people).

It may have cleared up the grammar question, but now all I can think about is the old children’s song “Mairzy Doats,” which led me to discover this unbelievable piece of musical trivia. Who would have thought it could be an intercontinental hit? I suspect it’s because the soldiers couldn’t get it out of their heads…

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civil unions bill moves to floor
posted by soe 12:17 pm

The Civil Unions bill (SB963) has passed the Connecticut General Assembly’s Finance Committee by a vote of 31-11 (and 8 abstentions).

The bill will now move to the Senate floor (and then, presumably, to the House) for a vote. This is fantastic news, particularly if Connecticut legislators manage to ward off “Defense of Marriage Amendments” opponents will inevitably try to add.

So, if you live in Connecticut, please CALL your legislators and ask them to approve the bill without any DOMAs. If you are unsure of who represents you locally, you can follow this link, fill in your zip code, and click on the “State” link in the top right-hand corner.

If you live outside Connecticut, please use this link to email the members of the state legislature and tell them how much you admire state legislators for taking on the issue and why you feel it’s important Connecticut pass the bill intact.

Either way, just make sure you highlight that Connecticut is leading the way on this issue and that it is far better to have legislators proactively deal with the issue than to have it come down as an edict from the state judicial system.

If you need more facts or statistics, please see my post from March 21.

Remember, an in-person visit or a phone call is better than a postcard or a letter, which is better than a personalized email, which is better than a form letter or email. But even a form email is far better than nothing. So make sure you follow through and tell others to do the same.

You have a voice. Make sure it’s heard!

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March 29, 2005

bug threat
posted by soe 12:29 pm

My best friend once had me in a fit of hysterical laughter as she went on a late-night search for something with which to kill a centipede she’d discovered in her bedroom.

Apparently, she had more cause for concern than I realized, as this AFP wire story suggests.

Ultimately, after she cut it in half with scissors, she discovered it was already dead. But now, frankly, I’m glad she took the precaution.

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March 28, 2005

upcoming excitement
posted by soe 5:24 pm

This week holds the excitement of a date night for watching the extended version of The Return of the Kingfinally!; tickets to the first major league baseball game at RFK in more than 30 years (against my beloved Mets) — even if it is just a spring training scrimmage; the cherry blossoms’ arrival on the Tidal Basin; and the annual kite festival on the Mall.

Hopefully it will also hold the first bike ride of the season, but that remains to be seen.

Currently reading: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon (a gift from Sam a few years back), and A Life on the Road, by Charles Kuralt (pilfered from Dad’s collection).

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