The health care bill and the voting drama in Congress are really pissing me off right now. Oh, I think reforms need to be made, especially when so many people are losing their jobs and therefore their insurance. Everyone knows that maintenance costs a whole lot less than a problem that suddenly won't let itself be ignored anymore. I have good insurance and would like to keep it; other people don't. However, I have yet to see anyone, Republican or Democrat, who appears interested in anything other than political grandstanding, cutting down opponents, keeping their jobs, whatever. Nobody appears interested in, say, a worker who can no longer afford a medication that keeps him or her alive. I want to be wrong. The one thing I'm sure of is something that Belledame brought up: The Republican Congresspeople who are vocally opposing the health care plan, even talking about destroying Obama, don't seem all that interested in giving up their own taxpayer-paid health care.
Anyway. Did everyone hear the torrent of cussing from the direction of Brooklyn yesterday? Not about the health care debate. We really wanted to see Juan Pablo Montoya win the Brickyard 400, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was such a boring race--not as boring as last year's, where tires kept getting shredded and there was caution every ten laps--but close enough. We did like the idea of Montoya becoming the first driver to win the Indy 500 *and* the Brickyard, and it looked so certain. Then, a speeding penalty. For you non-NASCAR fans, there is a time when a driver has to slow down, and that's when s/he approaches pit road. I understand intellectually that it's for the safety of the crew members and officials. But when Montoya got penalized for going .11 MPH over the pit row speed limit, well, he lost it. And several of us did, too. "This is bullshit! Just bullshit!" yelled one friend. "They want Mark Martin to win it," opined another, and he wasn't the only one with that conspiracy theory. I was real articulate: "Fuck fuck fuck FUCK!" L'Ailee never cusses except in sign, but she joined me this time. Her best friend A. was amused. "I love it when you say 'fuck'," he told her.
"Shut UP!" she growled. He was taken aback. Then his driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., blew an engine. He started cussing himself. Really, none of us were happy to see Jimmie Johnson win at all.
The race was so boring, we played Cyanide *during* it. We usually save this for rain delays and red flags. I've brought it up and explained it quite a bit on sports forums lately, so I'll share it here. Cyanide is a verbal game that my wife and I learned from A., who is a NYC cab driver. He learned it from a group of tipsy partyers in the back of his cab one night a few years ago, and shared it with us. We do not know its original name. I named it "Cyanide" because the poison plays a large role in it. It can be adapted for a number of things. We got through Election 2008 by playing a political version of it, for example. (Cyanide got picked a *lot*.) We played the NHL version throughout intermissions during the Stanley Cup playoffs. And we play it during any boring parts in NASCAR races. Obviously it is not to be played around children, and the NASCAR version will probably not be played by straight men or lesbians.
Questions are asked of the group in this format: Would you have sex with Person A, have sex with Person B, or take the cyanide pill that you keep handy for such an occasion? These are your *only* choices.
Example: "Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., or cyanide?"
The rules of Cyanide are simple and finite:
1. You don't have to stick to celebrities or public figures, but it's very helpful for avoiding hurt feelings in the group.
2. Keep it to pairings of people in somewhat similar positions or who have something in common. For instance, "Joey Logano or Tony Stewart" works because they both drove the #20, and "Greg Zippadelli or Chad Knaus" works because both are crew chiefs, but "Joey Logano or Chad Knaus" is too random.
3. When using dead people, act as if they are still alive and in their prime. Example, "Dale Earnhardt or Alan Kulwicki."
4. "Both" is not an answer.
5. "None of the above" is not an answer.
6. You may not hypothetically force-feed one of the people suggested your hypothetical cyanide pill, no matter how bad you hate them.
7. Defending your choice is not only permitted, it's encouraged. But if you feel like holding out on the group, you don't actually have to defend your choice.
Believe me, you will learn lots of interesting new things about your friends playing this.
WrapAroundCurl is whiling away the hockey offseason with an interesting survey on hockey and how it affects relationships. Of course I contributed. If you want to as well, just e-mail her. She's looking for a wide variety of ages, team affiliations, and experiences.
Interesting piece about the money laundering/organ trafficking scandal in New Jersey and the rabbis involved.
This was really unexpected for me: Wicca in India
The Time Traveler's Wife was perilously close to chick-litty for me, but I really enjoyed the hell out of it once I gave it a chance. I don't know how that thick book can translate to a movie. I stayed away from another movie based on a book I'd read, My Sister's Keeper, this summer, and I'm glad I did. I'll cry for this one, though.
Finally, a moment of silence for the great E. Lynn Harris. He was only 54. I really hate the idea of never having another novel of his to read.