Saturday, February 04, 2006

I've moved

Yup, Blogger done buggered me one too many times. Come visit me at For the time being, it will look bare-bones over there, but that will change. Update your links, folks. No telling when I might crash this place AGAIN. D.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My glamorous profession

Warning: don't read this on a full stomach. Did I ever mention that Alec Baldwin watched me to get into character for the movie Malice? It's true. And for my end-of-residency roast, I did a little stand-up comedy for my fellow residents and my attending physicians, wherein I showed this video clip from Malice: You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God. Stop video clip. Lights back on me. I'm shaking my head slowly, my mouth agape. Then, I say: It's uncanny. That is so . . . ME. Ah, well. You had to be there. Truth is, if we're playing God, then God has one messy, messy job. You know what I do more than anything else? I mean, as a simple percentage of time spent? I dig out ear wax. But that's not the messiest thing I do. I'm a PusBuster. Pus is one of the main reasons I'm late blogging today. That, and my son talked me into playing two games of chess with him, and of course I had to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. In residency, I owned a tiny brown bottle full of oil of wintergreen. When it comes to pus, oil of wintergreen is your best friend. Schmear a bit of it under your nose and everything smells wonderful, even gangrene. Well, maybe not gangrene. Somewhere along the way, I lost my little brown bottle. Could have used it last week -- that pus shot two-and-a-half feet across the room. Thank heavens I wasn't in its path. My nurse, a woman in her mid-sixties, said that was the worst thing she'd ever smelled. For a nurse (especially one in her mid-sixties!) that's really saying something. I'm not complaining. I like busting pus, just as I like cleaning ear wax. Nothing satisfies quite like a good spill of the yellow poo or a big fat plug of the brown-and-hairy. These are some of the happiest patients: in the case of pus, they usually experience a rapid resolution of their pain and pressure symptoms; with ear wax, they can hear again. I've been hugged more than a few times. If I thought about complaining even for a moment, I would force myself to remember my comrades in general surgery, who regularly pull beer cans, beer bottles, and baseballs from people's rectums; my comrades in urology, who remove bobby pins and other delightful items from people's urethras; and my comrades in gynecology, who sometimes have to explain to their patients that, no, tampons do not dissolve, and it's a bad idea to stuff one in after the other. See? I have it easy. Only the eye docs have it better. We're medieval barbers, that's all we are. Sometimes I try to explain that to my patients. Usually, I stop myself before they get that glazed, wide-eyed look. D. PS: Here's the US Military's latest recruiting video (NOT). Hat tip to Daily Kos for linking to this biting satire.

We have a winner!

Shelbi wins the drawing. Congratulations! Thank you, all of you who played. That was a delightful bit of self-stroking for me. If you missed out, don't feel bad -- I'll have another contest in April when I hit the one year mark. Shelbi, email me at azureus at harborside (dot) com, and send me your snail mail addie. If you would rather have a gift certificate than Borges's Collected Fictions, let me know. Thanks again, everyone. D.

Thirteen Dreams

Thirteen Dreams from Doug Tales from the other third of my life (Other people's dreams are boring as hell. Let's see if I can make this work.)
1. The earliest dream I can recall: a pixie lives in my closet, and she alerts me to her presence by playing on a tiny piano. She leads me into a room I had never seen, sunlit, full of toys, a world of safety and beauty. 2. My grandfather (he of the surgically removed horns, and the monkey in the attic) and I travel to the moon. It's so small, I could walk around it in a matter of minutes. I jump higher and higher in the low gravity while my grandfather scratches his bald head and mumbles in Yiddish. 3. Late at night, my parents talk quietly near the gas range. All the burners are on, not a pot in sight. "With all of your problems," my father says, "it's a wonder you're not dead." My mother falls to the kitchen floor, unconscious. (What can I say -- she was a bit of a hypochondriac.) 4. I'm in a car with my brother and sister, and we're pulling away from a home construction site. We leave my mother behind. She wants to give me some food -- a Hershey's chocolate bar, no doubt -- and she runs after the car, holding it out for me to grab. She can't catch up. That one recurred, haunting me for years for reasons I still don't understand. 5. I've had insomnia for as long as I can recall. I used to tell myself stories to pass the hour or two it would take to get to sleep. Sometimes, it's difficult to know the difference between a remembered dream or one of those stories. In one, I'm a secret agent, poisoning Hitler's carrot patch. 6. A woman wakes up in the night to an empty bed. She calls out for her husband, but no one answers. In a panic, she runs outside, calling his name. Terror surges; she passes out in the driveway. She wakes up the following morning in her own bed, and does not realize that the experience hours earlier was a waking dream. This is not my dream. 7. A woman watches a chef boil a lobster. The lobster screams as it is lowered into the pot. He takes it out and removes its limbs, one by one. This is not my dream, either. 8. I am amazed at how readily dreams can reprogram decades of memory. In one recurring dream with many variations, I'm back in that state of loneliness I lived in before meeting Karen. A girl or woman (depending upon how old I am in the dream) lets me know she's interested in me. Together, we take the first step. 9. Oh, lordy, the student's dream. My favorite remains the one in which I'm late to the final, but I still have 20 or 30 minutes left. I look at the first question, then the second, then the third. Each and every question is nonsensical -- essay questions with numerical answers, mathematical equations with multiple choices covering the gamut from "honesty" to "betrayal." 10. I'm peeing, and I lose control of my aim. Soon, the ceiling and the walls are dripping in urine. 11. My teeth fall out. 12. I'm in a crashing plane, or a car attacked by gunmen, and in a last minute restoration of faith, I recite the Shema. 13. And then there's the one about the malt shop -- you know the kind, red-cushioned spinning stools beside a long, gleaming countertop. Twelve cheerleaders, sweaty from their last workout, sit atop the stools. They are a Godiva Deluxe Assortment of ethnicities, they are all beautiful, and none of them are wearing underwear. Oh, wait. That's a fantasy, not a dream. My dreams are never that much fun.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens! (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

1. D. Challener Roe 2. Kate Rothwell 3. Write from Karen 4. Jona

5. Sapphire Writer 6. Amanda's 13 Favorite Movies

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

With apologies to vampire bats

So President Bush is worried about human-animal chimerae: Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research, human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator -- and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale. Well, Mr. Bush, aside from the fact that such a law would prevent the cloning of human genes into bacterial or viral vectors, thus crippling biomedical research for decades to come, I think you should clean house before implementing such a policy. You may begin with your Vice President. D.

Quickie poll

Don't forget the Number 500 Giveaway! I hope to see several more entries before the evening is over.
I'm happy -- not about the state of the world, of course, but about my trilogy. In the last few hours, I did a bit of cosmetic surgery on the first novel, and the current word count stands at just under 90,000 words. Ideal! Not only that, but this first novel is one tight sumbitch, and I think anyone who finished it would have to buy the next book. But that's just me. I'm chucking the working title (The Brakan Correspondent) because it put the main character's father front and center. I want to keep Cree (the correspondent's daughter) center stage. All of the titles below refer to her, although they also have double meanings that spread to a few of the other characters as well. Tell me whether any one of these grabs your eye better than its neighbors: Nest Out of the Nest Fallen from the Nest Fledge Fledgling Thanks! D.

Funny thing is

I own a Miata, which is almost the spittin' image of this car (except for color).

I'm a Honda S2000!

You live on the edge, and you live for the adrenaline rush. You don't need luxuries, snob appeal, or superfluous gadgets. You put your top down, get your motor revving, and take all the curves that life throws at you at full speed. So what if you spin out occasionally?

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

I found this quiz at Dean's place. By the way: don't forget to enter my 500th Post Giveaway, if you haven't done so already. D.

Cindy Sheehan arrested for wearing a tee shirt.

UPDATE: San Jose Mercury News reports, Police Drop Charge Against Sheehan, Apologize. Gracias to Blue Gal for pointing me to John Nichols's editorial in The Nation, The War on T-Shirts. Here's a bit of meat: Is there really a law against wearing a political T-shirt to the State of the Union address? No. The Capitol Police, who on Wednesday dropped the charges against Sheehan, have acknowledged in an official statement that: "While officers acted in a manner consistent with the rules of decorum enforced by the department in the House Gallery for years, neither Mrs. Sheehan's manner of dress or initial conduct warranted law enforcement intervention." What they have not acknowledged, and what is truly troubling, is the evidence that Sheehan was singled out for rough justice. What follows is the entry I wrote this morning: Here's Cindy's story. Her shirt said, "2245 dead. How many more?" Read the whole story, but here's the part that gets me: I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled; "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like "I'm going, do you have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

The officer ran with me to the elevators yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, "That's Cindy Sheehan." At which point the officer who arrested me said: "Take these steps slowly." I said, "You didn't care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps." He said, "That's because you were protesting." Wow, I get hauled out of the People's House because I was, "Protesting."

Bradblog has updates and pictures.

I don't know if I have many Bush supporters in my audience, but I'm speaking to you folks now. What will it take for you to wake up? That's all I'm asking. What will it take?

The rest of you, sorry for the political post, but it seems like something new pisses me off every single day.


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Number 500: a giveaway

Yup, this is my 500th post. I'd like to celebrate by giving away a copy of one of my favorite books, Jorge Luis Borges' Collected Fictions. If you already own it, or if you despise Borges, let me know, and I'll send you a gift certificate instead. The rules are easy. In the comments, tell me how you found your way here the very first time. I know the answer for some of you (the BBSers), but for most of you, I haven't a clue -- and I'm curious. Tomorrow night at this time, I'll write down the names of the commenters and draw one at random. The winner will need to email me with his or her snail mail addie.
Coming Attractions
Karen reads Kate Rothwell's Somebody Wonderful . . . in one day! Little Green Fascists tests the waters of poor taste . . . and finds them warm and inviting! And . . . I finally explain why you should belittle your children at every opportunity! Plus . . . Too many exclamation marks cause fingernail cancer!!! And more. D.

My little humorist

More later. I thought I'd dash this off before fixing dinner. I've been teaching my son grammar from Strunk and White, and from Karen Gordon's books, The Deluxe Transitive Vampire and The New Well-Tempered Sentence. He finished reading Gordon's chapter on commas last week, so now I'm having him go back through it and write sentences demonstrating each of her major points. Here is what he has done so far, uncorrected by yours truly: Monday. He barfed, he heaved, he blew his nose. I barfed Sparky up, and I saw her half-digested tail wagging. Sparky didn't like being in Sam's stomach, but she liked his intestines. He wanted lunch and she wanted a heart. He always salted her before eating, but he thought she was bland all the same. [Eeeew.] I woke up covered in barf [I think I understand the theme of this composition] and said, "Let's go again! Let's go again!" Tuesday. Sam tumbled and splashed and rolled around in the radioactive waste. When the radio started saying, "Recently there has been a radioactive spill and we would just like to caution everybody from playing in it, that is all", he started drinking the foul liquid. Sam drank the water so that he would get 6 extra eyes. From the left, a boy rose up and Sam saw his tentacles. At dark he thought 30 tentacles were enough. Out of the murky water appeared a girl with 6 red eyes and 4 tentacles. I'll make him a blogger yet. D.

Too cute not to share

With this morning's mail, I received a card from one of my patients. She doubles as my surrogate grandma. Here's her note: Dear Dr. Hoffman, When I think of you . . . "Appreciation" comes in view. Thank you for your care. Sending medical samples is kinda rare, But then, so is a doctor who can serve up a wickedly delicious "Latker!"* P.S. My Yiddish is kind of kiddish. *Okay, you have to love this forced rhyme: doctor and 'latker'. She's referring to my potato pancakes (latkes). Here's the recipe. No one has ever written me a poem before. D.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Why is Bush so awesome?

Major tip of the hat to Jellio at YesButNoButYes for this hilarious video. Okay. Now I can get to sleep with a smile on my face. G'night. D.

Samuel Alito got me out of bed this morning

. . . at 6 AM. I guarantee you, if I had set the alarm for 6 with the intention of spending an hour editing, or perhaps working out at the gym, I'd have groaned, turned over, and gone back to sleep. Nope, it took Sam Alito to motivate my ass out of bed. Something strange is happening inside my head; the neurons are rearranging themselves, like one of those old mosaic puzzles where you had to scoot squares around in order to unscramble the choo-choo train. I'm becoming more political. Yeah, I've written political posts, I've donated to lefty causes and campaigns, and I've even emailed my representatives in the past, but nothing compares to the all-out blitz against Alito that I -- we -- took part in over the weekend. Sure, we lost, but we picked up 23 votes against cloture that we didn't have when this all started. We know who our friends are, and we know who the Vichy Dems are, too. We have some sense of the clout we can wield as citizens of the net. And we did it all without support from the established liberal groups, like People for the American Way. Quote from Kos: But say what you will about blogs and the netroots, we are not effective organizers for this type of large-scale effort, with an opposition wielding tens of millions of dollars. That we got this much accomplished in the fact of that is simply incredible. And a rallying cry from Meteor Blades that, I swear to you, brought tears to my eyes (but then, I cry watching sitcoms, too): . . . But a battle is not a war. And, disappointing as it was, and as devastating as Alito's tenure on the court may turn out to be, giving up is simply not an option.

No matter what the odds, and no matter how few of our elected representatives we can count on to stand with us on this matter, and a hundred others, we have to keep up the fight. The war against Big Brotherization is as crucial as that for abolition, for women's suffrage, for civil rights.

In every case, the warriors in those wars suffered immense setbacks, repeatedly so, and found it hard to get the politicians to speak up and stand up for them. Eventually, however, because they refused to surrender, and because they took the fight beyond the electoral arena, they won.

We will, too.

Read the whole thing. One more inspirational link -- Jane, at firedoglake: We shook things up. Oh, yeah.
It may sound weird to you, but I finally feel like a citizen of this country. The other day, my son asked my wife -- and I'm paraphrasing here, cuz I wasn't present for the discussion -- whether we were just watching the world go to hell, or whether we were trying to do something to change it. It feels good to show him that we do more in this family than write checks to politicians, Amnesty International, and the ACLU. I don't think this is a flash in the pan, either. I keep popping over at my favorite political blogs, looking for marching orders. I've already pledged money and phone-calling time to Ned Lamont, the one dude who looks like he has a chance to unseat Windbag Lieberman in the primary. I'm angry. I want to do more. And I'm not alone.
Yeah, yeah. I know I promised you more self-esteem BS yesterday, but I'm not sure anyone cares about that but me. Right now, I'm having a hard time firing myself up over what used to be one of my pet peeves, since I'm too fired up about other things. Off topic: go say hi to Balls and Walnuts's newest friend, Mark Hoeschletter, an 82-year-old gentleman who just began blogging less than one week ago. Today, Mark has some important words for the young people of today. Finally, my apologies to all of you in the blogosphere whom I haven't visited this week. I'll do better, I promise. D.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The merits of poor self-esteem: Part I

My mother, bless her labyrinthine heart, saved every scrap of writing and artwork I produced in elementary school, or at least she had saved every scrap until I moved out for college. Then, somehow, everything managed to fit into a single box in our garage. Some time between college and med school, I went through the box. It held no surprises for me -- I had been through it several times before, looking for answers that I hoped would be more palatable than the obvious ones I'd known from the beginning. Nope, nothing new. I saved the interesting stuff and tossed the rest. I kept my first grade report cards, quarter by quarter showing a teacher initially enchanted by me, ultimately exhausted. I kept a small folder of stories bound with three brass brads. And I kept another brad-bound folder from first grade, this one titled MY FAMILY. The frontispiece consists of a family portrait, hand-crayoned by yours truly. You know the type -- family in the foreground, names pencilled crudely under each, house in the background, smoking chimney, yatta yatta yatta. The smallest figure's legs are fused in one column, he's armless, and his head sits atop his body, an undifferentiated lump. That's me. I imagine any post-Benjamin Spock child shrink would have had palpitations over that drawing, and he would have been right. I was one fucked up kid. And look at me now.
Yeah, admit it. You missed that photo. (My son says, "You know, it's kind of obvious it's faked." To which I say: "What? What? What's fake about it?") I'm grappling for some image or memory to convey how self-hating I was as a kid, but you know something? So much of it was internal. I don't have it in me to be self-destructive, so I can't cough up any stories of drug abuse, insanely reckless behavior, or failed suicide attempts. Mostly, I stayed depressed. Fred Delse, my med school mentor I told you about in this post on ego boundaries, once said that it was nearly impossible to diagnosis major affective disorders in kids. I don't recall if he said, "It's impossible because they're all sick," but that's what I took home from that conversation. I thought: It's okay that you spent your whole childhood wishing you were anyplace but where you truly were. Other kids were undoubtedly more screwed up than you. Not surprisingly, I did have one addiction, schoolwork. I aced everything I touched. My one kernel of self-worth came from the knowledge that I was at the head of the pack. I earned this bit of self-esteem; I didn't have it foisted upon me by teachers eager to praise my every artistic, literary, or spoken turd. I clung to it like a life preserver, and in the end it did, indeed, save me.
Sometimes I worry that my son's childhood is too happy. I feel a little better after yesterday's brouhaha.
The fiction writer in me cringes. Show, don't tell, remember? But I can't show you, not while my parents are still alive and capable of reading my blog. Irrational as it may sound, my father's command to me in first grade still carries weight. I had blabbed to my first grade teacher. At our first open house, she asked my parents about the stories I'd told her. My dad denied everything, of course, but when he got me home, he laid down the law. Don't ever, ever talk about what happens in this house. So I can't show you. Some of these things you'll just have to take on faith. Besides -- when have I ever lied to you? But I'm still cringing. This is not effective writing.
I'm not here to whine about an unhappy childhood. In fact, my second choice title for today's post was, It's never too late to have an unhappy childhood. I never would have become who I am today if I hadn't been fueled by a ton of self-hatred. I couldn't continue being who I am and doing what I do if I didn't still have that hatred burning inside me, constantly requiring appeasement. My worst enemy is my best friend. And I am resolute in my belief that a groundless "high self-esteem" is a bad, bad thing. Tomorrow: Sociologists agree with me. D.

Letter to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

(Feel free to use this yourselves. The DSCC's email addie is Now, I'm off to post this as a Kos diary. See ya later!) Dear Sirs, I am a registered Democrat, and my wife and I contributed heavily to the last Democratic Presidential campaign. In the 2006 election, we fully intend to contribute both time and money to help defeat the Republican majorities in Congress. However . . . It has become increasingly difficult to support a party that fails to show spine in opposing the Republicans and their imperial President. I am opposed to the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito, because I feel he will push our country further from democracy, closer to fascism. Judge Alito has made clear his opinion regarding the unlimited range of Executive power. I feel that his opinions are discordant with my wishes and the wishes of a majority of my fellow citizens -- and even if most Americans wanted to be led down the path of fascism, I still don't think his confirmation would in any way be good for the country. It's the old, "If your friends were jumping off a cliff, would you jump off a cliff too?" routine. I will not donate my money or time to a Party of Lemmings. Actually, lemmings are not that stupid. This is a myth, but it is also a useful metaphor. In reality, humans are this stupid. Let me be very clear: at this time, more than ever before, I expect to see leadership and resolve on the part of the Democratic Party. This may be the last chance we have to oppose an Imperial Presidency. Please, for the health of our democracy, get our Democratic Senators to vote to oppose cloture, and to support Senator Kerry's filibuster. Thank you. Douglas Hoffman

Is there a dog whisperer in the house?

I had to share this with you. This morning, RaZen at YesButNoButYes brings us a video of a possessed dog. I think St. Francis needs a day or two a month, not just one day a year -- this dog needs to be blessed big time. You may not know this if you're sane, but dogs will acquire the psychopathology of their masters. I've seen it again and again. Mostly in my family. But I do have one family-safe story to tell regarding psycho canines. As some of you may recall, I volunteered at Napa State Mental Hospital for a few years, during my time at UC Berkeley. Napa had a halfway house on their grounds, a building that looked and functioned like a real home, nothing ward-y about it. Folks who were ready for the real world could spend a few weeks there, cooking in their own kitchen, using actual knives. The halfway house had a pet dog, one of those creatures that looks part poodle, part terrier, part chihuahua, and part Tasmanian devil, and this dog had a favorite pillow. After you've watched the possessed doggy video (linked above), imagine our runty little hero treating his pillow in just this manner. Just when you think he had given that pillow what-for, he would change tactics and hump the pillow. A minute or two of fruitless humping, and he'd back in full attack mode, snarling, biting, ravaging that poor pillow. I'd never met a dog with borderline personality disorder before, but I'm sure he had it.
For those of you who read my boogers blog, I've posted a long rant on ear wax. Just what you wanted with your Sunday coffee. D. PS: and this is partly a note-to-myself, so that I can find the links first thing Monday morning . . . Vichy Democrats has a one-stop resource in the fight against confirmation of Sam Alito: Senators' local phone numbers, fax numbers, email addies, web forms, plus where they stand on the cloture vote. Also, links to online petitions. For those of you wondering what all the fuss is about, Georgia at Kos says it better than I ever could. Many of us who oppose Alito do so because of his opinions regarding the powers of the Executive branch. In the context of the George W. Bush power grab, Alito is downright dangerous. This may be our best chance to block the Imperial Presidency, folks. Let your voice be heard, preferably over and over again. Tomorrow, I'll be getting up an hour early so that I can make lots of phone calls and send lots of faxes before my day begins. We can do this!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Oy, what am I doing wrong?

Here's what happened: One of Jake's pet millipedes died. He fusses over these critters to no end, spraying them once or twice a day with water, giving them bits of lettuce. He didn't seem too upset by the death, but he kept talking about it. He wanted to show his mom the dead millipede, and she refused, saying it was a yucky, dead, decaying millipede (based on Jake's description of brown stuff oozing out of its body). Jake got insulted and demanded an apology. Karen wouldn't apologize. Meanwhile, he was supposed to be reading his biology, and he kept turning the pages with his feet. Or something like that. I wasn't there, didn't see it happen. All I know is, I came upstairs, saw wrinkly pages in his nice new biology textbook, and said, "Um. You know, I wish you wouldn't mess up your new book." No anger. I didn't realize Karen had already said something to him about it. Next thing I know, we're in Tantrum Central. Then he kicks me in the shin. Now, I've almost never hit this kid. One little slap on the butt to get his attention (at about 18 months old), nothing since, and he's ten now. So I sent him to his room and told him if he DIDN'T get down to his room right away, no computer for a day. For three days. For a week. (I'm upping the ante because he's standing there, refusing to go downstairs.) I think he misunderstood me, because he thought he had to go to his room AND was getting booted off the computer. Next thing I know, he pops out of his room with his pillow, blanket, and flashlight. He leaves the house and begins running away. Slowly. My parenting skills are exhausted at this point. In the old days, you were supposed to just let the kid go, right? Let him have his temper tantrum and wander back sheepishly. But this isn't the old days, and besides, we live on a street where folks barrel down in their trucks at 50 MPH. Nevertheless, I had Karen come downstairs (her pelvis has mended well enough that she can get around with a cane, but still) so she could see Jake running away down the driveway in slow motion. "Go after him," she said. "Bring him back. I don't want him walking down the road." I met up with him at the entrance to the driveway. Another 'don't you think you're overreacting' speech, to no effect. He wouldn't come back. "I'll carry you back if I have to," I said, and he said, "You can try." I lifted him up and carried him back, with him kicking me in the shins as hard as he could all the way. We put him in his room and left him there. That was about an hour ago. Karen's thinking we should punish him extra (for all the shin-kicking): no computer, no TV. But I don't think we've seen the end of this insurrection. Look, folks. My parenting skills are for sh*t. As a kid, I didn't get much of an example, and neither did Karen for that matter. Dr. Phil me, people (tell me what to do). Thanks. D.

Support the Alito Filibuster

Gilliard has coverage. Be warned: every Senate office number I called has the same message (this mailbox is full), so I had to resort to emailing as many Senators as I could. From Daily Kos, here is a great list of links to Senators' web forms. The main point to make, assuming this Senator is not your Senator: "My contributions of time and money to the DNC will depend on the outcome of the upcoming filibuster." Or words to that effect. Even if he or she is not your Senator, this message should still hit home. Update: here is the most recent action post from Daily Kos. We have 15 no votes for cloture -- up 3 votes from this morning. One easy thing you can do to help: sign the petition at SaveTheCourt.Org. D.

Your morning bwaahahahahaha

The BEAST brings us the 50 Most Loathesome People in America of 2005, including a special punishment for each one. Warning: if you think George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are great, wise, and wonderful human beings, stay away from this list. This BEAST article may be old news, but I just discovered it this morning, by -- how else? -- snooping around Technorati. My take? Michelle Malkin deserves to be much higher in the list than #49; Michael Brown and Scooter Libby got off too easy; Terry Schiavo -- cheap shot, not funny; most chilling entry: #4; person most conspicuously absent from the list: Tim Russert. I mean, really. They put Geraldo Rivera on the list, but not Russert? Rivera's a has-been. Okay, Hoffman, stop goofing off and get to work. D.