My wife and I slept in this morning, rising at the scandalous hour of 10 a.m. When we got up, I said, "Do you realize that there are people who have been shopping for five hours already?" We both agreed that we'd rather be dead.
I've made some additions and subtractions to my blogroll. Nothing personal or petty, I just prefer to have sites on my blogroll that I check every day. So if you haven't already, check out Ace of Spades and Power Line; you won't be disappointed.
Obscure Store links to this story about a 13' wooden Jesus that has attracted some attention around Wake County, North Carolina. I link to it because I have some experience in this area: when I was in law school I lived across the street from a vacant lot that contained a crucifix of roughly the same size as the statue in the story. And that thriftshop owner is 100% correct; large religious iconography located in close proximity to your place make giving directions really easy.
My good friend Chanda sent me the link to this story about "cuddle parties," a bizarre New York fad in which a bunch of strangers pay $30 to gather in their pajamas and hug and spoon with one another:
Curiosity is a big driver for people who attend cuddle parties, and it is a better way to meet people than going to a bar, getting drunk and spending the night with someone just because of the need for some affection, she said.
A cuddle party is really about communication and not therapy, say the organizers.
Before any touching begins, participants gather in a circle to hear the rules and voice any questions or concerns. The first rule is that the event is not clothing optional, pajamas must stay on and sex is not permitted.
Participants team up into pairs, and to ensure the boundaries of what is permissible are clear, they practice saying "no" to the question, "May I kiss you?"
An introduction to cuddling ensues, first by hugging three people. People then get in a circle on their hands and knees, rub shoulders and moo like cows. After a bit of swaying, everyone falls to their side, which puts them into an easy cuddling position.
Well, as long as you make those boundaries clear, I'm sure there's no possibility whatsoever of attracting any weirdo molester types. And the vetting process for weeding out the emotionally needy, co-dependent and criminally obsessive is airtight:
Cuddle parties are intended for people who are emotionally sound. People in therapy or who are seeing a mental health professional are asked to consult their doctor before signing up for a party and to tell organizers of their situation.
Indeed, the most effective security is relying on the honesty of our fellow human beings. Yeah, I'll take a dog over a stranger any day.
Here's an interesting tidbit from this great piece in the Wall Street Journal about online auction fraud investigator George Frawrup:
Come September, Mr. Fawrup will be on a new antifraud beat. He's been reassigned to a unit in Commerce, Calif., that investigates people who try to redeem empty cans, bottles and plastic from out of state.
Sometimes kids (and their guardians) have to learn the hard way. Darla, a five year-old Macaque service monkey, bit two year-old (and seeming little shit) Thomas Romano because Romano wouldn't stop grabbing Darla's fur and otherwise bothering her while she was working. Romano's grandmother, of course, claims her little precious angel couldn't possibly have done anything to provoke the bite ("Mr. Kramer, he's just an innocent primate!" "Well so am I!"), on which I call a resounding "bullshit." Two year-olds demand constant vigilance, and if Grandma ain't up for it she oughtn't be taking him to the store on her own.
I didn't like this portion of the article:
Seidler, who lives alone and depends on the monkey to groom and bathe him, claims he has never seen Darla get angry before, and he said he typically doesn't frequent the Key Food store on Avenue U.
Emphasis mine. I might be being too sensitive, but I don't think the reporter needed to use the term "groom." That's how we describe animals looking after each other, like those wildlife videos of the monkeys picking lice and such off of each other's backs and eating them. That's no way to talk about a human being.
[LAWYER ALERT: If you couldn't tell, I think the kid was totally in the wrong. But I also question Seidler's credibility. At one point, the article quotes him as saying that he was "shocked [Darla] took so much abuse before biting him," yet later claims that he had never seen Darla get angry before. If she had never been angry before, how could know that she took an inordinate amount of abuse from the kid before reacting?]