Zhaba Zhournal
Friday, January 30, 2004 
Update alert 
If you're one of the two or possibly three people who actually checks this out on a regular basis, I've attempted to rectify my recent dearth of posting, and make my archive pages look less pathetic, by doing a bunch of backdated posts from January 5th to 25th, including notes on the Golden Globes, election-extrapolating political pundits, the State of the Union address, the mass-media mass-hysteria over Jenjamin (aren't you sick of "Bennifer" as, not only a couple, but a word?), an enormous amount of sports coverage in the form of a post each about figure skating and Pete Rose (when you live in Philadelphia, you take the sports hero...um, legend...um, scandal-ridden yet once-talented embarrassment you can), and the past two Friday Fives. So scroll down the page, and check out the archives, for a retroactive dose of Zhaba Zhournalism.

[ at 9:38 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Imponderables, linguistic edition 
Why is the word "anapest" a dactyl?

Shouldn't a "starlet" be a baby starling?

Wouldn't you think that "baseline" should rhyme with "Vaseline"?

[ at 9:10 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Friday Five 
You have just won one million dollars:

1. Who do you call first?

J., if I'm not already with him; probably my parents, otherwise. And perhaps my boss...although I wouldn't quit till the first payment was in the bank, thankyouverymuch.

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?

A huge, expensive, politically-incorrect full-length fox-fur coat. PETA can go jump in a lake. (If there was any parking on my street, maybe a red Porsche instead, but there isn't. I'd hold off on the Porsche till I moved into a place with off-street parking. Even a house with a garage; I've heard tell of such places.)

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?

Pay off all the mortgages on all my family's houses; anything my parents still owe on their house or their beach house, my brother's rowhouse, and the house I live in with J., which is technically in my mom's name.

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?

Hm. Yeah, I guess it would look good if I did. Probably a chunk of change to PBS to keep "Reading Rainbow" on the air forever. (It almost went under last year, I recall, but there was enough grass-roots momentum to get it funded again.)

5. Do you invest any? If so, how?

Do I look like I know anything about investing? I actually have some IRAs, and some other stock-like things, but I have no idea what they're actually called or what they're worth or how to get at them. (Numbers, including money-related numbers, mean almost nothing to me, in the same way that Japanese calligraphy means almost nothing to trained apes.) I just open envelopes a few times a year and say "Huh, I lost money." Perhaps I'd just throw several thousand dollars at the family broker and say "Do something with this." Or, to clarify, "Do something legal with this."

[ at 8:49 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Thursday, January 29, 2004 
Retroactive acronym department 
KFC just ran an ad with the full-screen text image
Nice try, guys. I guess it beats claiming you're part of a healthy diet, though.

[ at 10:06 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Wednesday, January 28, 2004 
Talking to the TV 
During a Today Show story about fertility treatments (is that what they call them instead of "infertility treatments" now?):
Katie Couric: James and Amy had been trying for years to get pregnant...

Me: James, in particular, had been having trouble.

[ at 1:11 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

All the news that we feel like telling you 
There has, as you may have heard, been bad weather here in the northeastern U.S. Those of us in the northeastern U.S. have certainly been hearing about it, much more than we actually need to.

Today, J. woke me up at 7:30 and told me the Today Show, which usually starts at 7, had been preempted till 8 by a "Special Edition" (i.e., a snow edition) of the local news, which he reported thus:
J.: "Hey, it snowed! Hey, it's snowing! Hey, there's snow!" And all they've said about the New Hampshire primaries is "Kerry won, Dean came in second, and then there were some other guys. We're not going to tell you about them. Fuck you. Hey, it snowed!"

Me (picking up the thread): "What, you care about that shit? We'll tell you what to think!"
And, for heaven's sake, it snowed all of two inches. The schools weren't even closed. Two inches of snow, in January, in Philadelphia, is not special-edition-worthy news.

(Here's a screenshot of the local station's Web page, in all its snow-oriented glory. I saved the image with the logical name "snowscreen.jpg," and didn't realize till afterwards that it's appropriate in more than one way...)

[ at 10:30 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Tuesday, January 27, 2004 
Headline of the day (yesterday) 
(I wrote this yesterday, but our Internet connection went down and I couldn't post it.)

Reuters headline: Democrats Hunt Undecideds in New Hampshire.

Does anyone else picture them in blaze-orange vests with rifles over their shoulders, stalking their prey through the frozen woods? (Like this guy, whose image I swiped from the Cabela's hunting catalogue. I didn't link directly to it because on their site it was conjoined with a picture of a guy with a dead deer on his back, which some people would probably find unpleasant.)

[ at 9:49 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Sunday, January 25, 2004 
Notes on the Golden Globes 
Sofia Coppola, in her Golden Globe screenplay acceptance speech: "I'll thank everyone later because I have to get off the stage." Spoken like a true Hollywood daughter...

(J.'s advice, told to the TV during almost every awards ceremony when some starlet is going on and on and on about her win and the audience is applauding increasingly less-enthusiastically and the orchestra's trying to decide if her rank on the Hollywood totem pole allows them to start the music: "Thank your parents, get off the stage.")

Somewhat later:

Wow, the Golden Globes ended spang on time. The 11 o'clock news started, by the lower-right-corner clock, at 11:00. I think this is unprecedented in the history of televised awards shows.

[ at 11:40 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Talking to the TV, special political edition 
TV commentators, as the New Hampshire primaries approach:

One of them's talking about how polls and pundits and previous performance don't predict victory in N.H.*; me: "Yeah, those wacky voters keep having ideas of their own."

On how "the nation's African-Americans have not rallied behind a single candidate"; me: "Yeah, what with them not being the same person, and all."

*Sorry about all the alliteration in that sentence; I purposely didn't use "primary" again to keep it under control.

[ at 8:33 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Yes, that's me.

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