30 May 2010

Death Fight 5000: Gog versus Magog!

by Cecily
So, it seems pretty clear that we're in the End Times and the apocalypse is impending and the Constitution Gods are about to come back and rule over the ruins of the memorials and whatnot. Evidence:

  1. The oceans are turning into some non-water substance.

  2. Facebook finally turned into the Mark of the Beast. Everyone knows your birthday and your favorite sitcom and how many friends you have, now. Just like the bible said.

  3. There are frogs shutting down highways in Greece.

In an effort to keep the populace soothed and nonrioting, the New World Order has put together a crack team of genius PR dudes to spin the story. At least part of the story- no one seems to care very much about the RAINING FROGS IN GREECE.

Meanwhile, back in Constitution City, the weather continues charming and the pool across the street is open. So that's where I'll be until Ghost Abe Lincoln shows up to collect the faithful. See you on the other side of the rainbow!

27 May 2010

The real pool opens on Saturday

by Cecily

This is a better solution for the under-4-feet-tall crowd than for the rest of us. Or maybe I just need some bigger buckets.

03 May 2010

Negative energy

by Cecily
Alyssa and I started going to Spa World last winter. Warning! The website I just linked to, there, is extremely irritating! It has music and popups and many moving flashing things. It is not a website for the faint of heart, nor the prone to migraines/seizures.

It is, however, a website full of incredible and fantastic prose and information. And the real-life entity to which the website belongs is also chock full of fantastic and incredible, which is why we keep going back even though it is located very far away (30 minutes by car!) in a State.

Spa World is basically a hybrid between a Korean bathhouse and an episode of Star Trek. You go in and trade your shoes for a little orange outfit, and then head to the baths. The baths include

1) BASHER WALL: adding 3D to typical pool, it provides the place to relax within the pool, and inside of water curtain has different atmosphere

which is okay, but I don't really care about different atmospheres or 3D. I like

2) DREAM BATH: bath that analyzed the lying position, it massages the tension in muscle by using high pressured water stream from JET nozzle on sole, calf, femoral region, waist, shoulder. (5 minute at a time)

the very best, along with the steam sauna.

After a few hours of that, it's time to dry off and put on your orange outfit and head for the Poultice Rooms and the food. The restaurant serves gigantic portions of delicious Korean food, and the juice bar serves tea, terrible fruit-free all-synthetic smoothies, and ice cream sandwiches that are shaped like fish.

The Poultice Rooms and the food area are arranged around a large general area, which is full of mats and plastic pillows and people in shorts outfits stretching and sleeping and chatting and reading and typing. It is also full of large television monitors which are showing various news and sporting events. There is free wi-fi and a number of big leather chairs. This is the part that is like Star Trek. Everyone is wearing identical clothing, sprawled out on mats on the floor, and using technology. That's what Star Trek is like, right?

Anyway, the Poultice Rooms are big fancy saunas that emit things to heal you. For example,

When using oak wood charcoal poultice room, one feels better, refreshed, and quickly recovers from poor health. One view of sickness and malaise is a lack of electrons in the body. When the body is warmed via heated charcoal, it emits infrared rays and warms the body for a long time, which improves blood circulation and relaxes muscles fatigue. [my emphasis]

This is absolutely my favorite view of sickness and malaise. A lack of electrons! Do you see what this means? It means that all of my sicknesses and malaises are caused by having too much positive energy in my body. I need more NEGATIVE energy, and then I will be cured!

So: anyone who would like to join me on the back steps for bourbon and complaining, please inform. It's good for me, it's good for you, everybody wins.

02 May 2010


by Special Guest!
Guest post by my mama. Featuring: police handlers, Attractive Sheep, Hello Kitty, primal screams. This is the final Mom Email from China; my mother & stepfather will be back in the Wild West sometime next week, where antics and adventures of a different sort are sure to ensue.

Shenyang is a small city that you never heard of- about the size of Los Angeles- about sixty miles north of North Korea. We spent the weekend there for Jim’s last police training, and except for the cigarette smoke, it was fun. There is a smaller version of the Forbidden City that is in more pristine shape, and a good museum. The police are always very considerate hosts, and I was “handled” by a young policewoman named Miss Ho who toured me around to see things and shop.

I asked to go to look at some handmade folk art or some crafts, and she said, “I know just what you want!” Then she took me to a mall where you could pay to paint a plaster copy of Disney characters or Attractive Sheep, the big cartoon character in China. Oh well, anyway, it’s a nice city.

Each night there was a banquet, as always, and one night they took us to a North Korean restaurant- the food was good, with dancing girls to entertain. The Boss Dancing Girl came into the room and said grudgingly, (in Chinese) “Well most Americans are really bad people, especially the soldiers, but you guys seem to be okay.” After the dances, they served a dish of cold noodles, and some stewed dog. Jim ate this but I could not. Also I felt guilty that we had all the food for the whole PRK on our table.

Our hotel was a beautiful old one on a main square with a famous statue of Mao. We were on the third floor facing him, right at his eye level, and it looked like he was waving hello as he peeked into our room. Lots of people were gathered in this square all the time, doing tai chi, or dancing or roller-skating. Some people had the semi-interesting Chinese habit of standing outside at dawn and doing a primal scream. Since Shenyang is about halfway to Vladivistok, it is about 600 miles east of Beijing in the single time zone of China, that means dawn is somewhere around 4 a.m. right now, and I was bored of the screaming after the first day.

At the end of the training the police gave Jim a complimentary police badge. It is brass and weighs two pounds; it’s at least eight inches across. They put it into a Hello Kitty! bag to present it to him.

After the training we went to the end of the Great Wall where it goes into the ocean, and to the first fort, all of which has been restored a lot, but it is still very pretty and interesting. Then we took a train to the resort where all the leaders of China like to go for vacations, called Bei Da He- on the ocean. Our friend Kaho brought spirit lanterns, little hot air Chinese lanterns that we set off on the beach after dark, and watched them fly up over the water.

We stayed at a hotel that is owned by the Department of Building Oversight. It was actually called a “sanatarium”, not a hotel, and it was staffed by a group of bewildered, fluttery girls who never seemed to know quite what to do about anything. We were the only people in it, possibly because none of the plumbing worked. It seemed as if this was run-of- the- mill - Leslie went down to tell them that her floor was flooded, and the girls came and looked at it and then went away.This is the best way to do oversight. She had to go back twice and complain before they switched her room, but the same thing happened in everyone’s room- water just poured out all over the floor during each use of the faucets. But the beach was lovely, and the air was fresh, so it all seemed good. We got back last night, and are in Beijing for the last week before the movers come.

01 May 2010

Also, governments need to stop calling people "hooligans". It just makes them sound silly.

by Cecily
This NYT article is a brief, dispiriting, but unsurprising look at Rwanda. In excellent journalistic style, the NYT makes sure to examine all the pluses and minuses of having a police state. Is Rwanda a police state? Yes, it is. Now, granted, there's no free press. But the streets are so clean!

"[S]omething of a central African utopia", though, seems like a bit of a stretch. I've certainly never met anyone who thought of Rwanda as any kind of utopia. Actually, many people I've met seem to assume that there is still an active genocidal war going on there, and that they just haven't heard about it recently because the media got bored. Which is also fairly dispiriting, on several levels.