July 22, 2004

Crappy Mood

Wow - I have had this crappy mood descend over me in the past few days. I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. As noted before on this weblog, watching the news too much can be a horrible drag. Some of it is that, I’m certain. In any case, I thought I’d post a few links to odd stories, and blather a bit. Kind of a “take back my mood.” Video games didn’t work, so I’m trying this.

So excuse the rambling nature of this post while I get a few things off my chest. Not things that have been bugging me, particularly, even. Just things.

Take this story about Britney Spears, for example.

As I told Ryan yesterday, any time spent thinking about, talking about or reading about Britney Spears is wasted time you’ll never get back. However, when I installed an AOL:IM client yesterday, it installed a news crawl, and trhe first thing I was faced with was the story that Britney’s new fiancé is going to be a dad. Again. Not with Britney. As Ryan said, Britney is trying to show that gays should have the right to marry, because hetero folk can mock the institution as effectively as anyone.

By the way, that’s Brit’s beau’s vacuous, confused countenance on this post. Looking at the pic, I feel sorry for the guy. On second thought, no I don’t. I’m just glad I’m not him.

Moving right along, here’s a story about the first pub in Dublin to defy the smoking ban and get fined. I have conflicting feelings. Not about Dublin, but we now have a smoking ban in MA. And now I’m more inclined to go out (though I haven’t had much time to lately).

Last week, when we went to Newport Creamery in Barrington, RI, Maggie if the restaurant was nonsmoking and the waiter replied “of course.” It was music to my ears. I don’t know if there is yet conclusive proof that second hand smoke is damaging to health. But I do know it’s annoying, noxious, and many people are allergic and have reactions to it.

Years ago, I would have been dancing in the streets about a smoking ban (friends will attest). But I’m more of a libertarian now and I don’t like the government banning… well, almost anything. Yes, publicans and restaurateurs always had the ability before to ban smoking within their establishments. But there was a high dose of fear that their business would plummet if a particular town went nonsmoking, or if they alone went nonsmoking. Few arguments were made that a smoke-filled restaurant was a good thing, only that they were afraid to lose business.

In light of that, perhaps the statewide ban gives them some cover. The predictions about losing business were never borne out in nearby towns that banned smoking.

While I stopped actively supporting a ban a while back, inside I am secretly happy that I can walk into a bar and leave smelling like spilled beer instead of tobacco.

In New York, they don’t like it when you keep a tiger in your apartment. Ok. Noted.

Ok, here’s this story from Germany.

Germans are Europe’s worst binge drinkers with almost one in five believing “the point of drinking is to get drunk,” according to a survey Wednesday.

“Although the Germans may not go drinking as often as the British, when they do drink, many want to get drunk,” said Mintel senior consumer analyst Michelle Strutton.

Alright now. What do the other 4 people do? Drink to get sober? I wonder how well that works for them. Lest you conclude I am an intractable drunkard, my rules about drinking are simple. Most of the time, I don’t drink. Occasionally, I drink because it enhances food (wine does this). I drink things like scotch, cider, beer and gin and tonic because I like them. And, I have had a couple of drinks knowing that I’d get tipsy along the way.

If that makes me a German… well, so be it. But shame on the Irish for letting the Germans one-up them like that. I mean, really.

OK, I have to cut this ramble short. But I want to leave you with a story that may inspire, or it may not. Either way, I just liked the uplifting headline:

Mystery Hero Dog Captures Toronto’s Imagination

Anyone remember Happy Scrappy - The Hero Pup? (warning: adult language)

Posted by James at July 22, 2004 10:28 AM
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Posted by: James at July 22, 2004 10:29 AM

Ok, the Britney story is just bad. And she sees herself with 4 or 5? Honey, the world doesn't need that many extra people.

And I'm actively happy that I can walk into a restaurant or cafe and not leave smelling like an ashtray. Perhaps it's the stident ex-smoker in me that makes me revel in this ruling.

I empathize with your crappy mood. I'm actually taking tomorrow off, not to go to the beach or enjoy a good book under a shady tree, but to STUDY FOR A MIDTERM. I'm not in a crappy mood, I'm in a _crabby_ mood.

Posted by: Patti M. at July 22, 2004 11:11 AM

Dogs rule.

Interesting that so many Germans think that drinking is for getting drunk. Wouldn't that make more sense if their beer sucked?

Britney being "news": perfect example of how popular news outlets do not have a strictly liberal or conservative bias; the pro-Bush spin and lurid (inappropriate for young Christian eyes) headlines suggest a corporate bias. They want you to have the opinions they tell you to have, but if that doesn't work, they'd prefer you didn't have opinions about anything important at all.

Smoking ban: The only reseveration I have against smoking bans relates not to smokers, but to corporate polluters.

Within an enclosed space, smokers are the worst polluters. I shouldn't have to stay home to breathe clean air, and a person with asthma is far more restricted than I am. But it's too ironic that these minor personal polluters are so restricted when corporate pollution goes wherever the wind takes it, contributes to global warming, etc.

Anti-smoking laws have fueled a huge industry of products and services to help people quit smoking. Tougher (much tougher) anti-pollution laws could do the same for alternative power sources. We won't know for a while yet, since the Bush energy plan only perpetuates our dependency on oil.

Hmm. I didn't mean for this to become a rant. I'm just saying that non-smokers, smokers, and coal/oil-burning power plants all share the same airspace and there's nowhere to hide when the icecaps dribble a little of their cold water into the ocean. The distribution of responsibility should be a little more realistic, reflecting whose contributions will do the most damage.

Posted by: Julie at July 22, 2004 12:27 PM

Rant away. I love the company.

Posted by: James at July 22, 2004 12:42 PM

i've wanted to bat Britney about the head and shoulders for a while, starting with the time she cancelled her concert at the last minute (hour or two before start) and broke my niece's heart.

but this? with the boyfriend and the kids? i just want to grab her by the shoulders and say 'do you have any idea that you are about to become a parent? you marry him, you're a stepmom. get over this 'i might want to meet them someday because kids are so cute, and gosh, i want me some!' stance, and get ready to be a parent.'

(you may have noticed that this is a bit of a hot button for me these days. ;) )

Posted by: beth at July 26, 2004 6:57 PM

That's an excellent point that I didn't even consider. You're absolutely right.

And what the hell is she thinking?

Posted by: James at July 26, 2004 9:01 PM

Perhaps the better question is "Is she thinking?"

I hope she has the good sense to practice birth control while she's dating this guy--obviously he's not capable of putting a raincoat on his John Thomas.

Posted by: Patti M. at July 27, 2004 10:36 AM

At least that question has an obvious answer.

"Yes, she is thinking. But not with her head."

Posted by: James at July 27, 2004 11:20 AM

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