"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Friday, February 14, 2003


My esteemed future father-in-law, Mr. Richard Neff, sent this item out:

Nazi leader Hermann Goering, interviewed by Gustave Gilbert during the Easter recess of the Nuremberg trials, 1946 April 18, quoted in Gilbert's book, Nuremberg Diary:

Goering: "Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally the common people do not want war. That is true in England, in Russia, in America, and in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship,.....or a communist dictatorship."

Gilbert: "There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

Goering: "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."


Never let it be said that Americans learn from history. It checks out at every single fun-loving level. Evil seems to be afoot in the land again...but you who read here already know that.

The UN along with much of Europe speaking separately has told the US, "Don't attack Iraq," in so many words. The president and his men REALLY REALLY want to, though. A certain regime went up against the equivalent of the UN lo these many years ago. Putting two and two together and coming up with shades of Nazi Germany isn't too hard. Sure, genocide isn't on this administration's official agenda...but it could be argued otherwise.

I wish the protesters well this weekend, and hope against hope that people in power will get their heads out of their asses and listen.

posted by Julie Neff  # 2/14/2003 01:28:00 PM

Thursday, February 13, 2003


In 1801, Britain's first census was begun. Approximately 80 years later, a follow-up survey was conducted in which residents were asked to provide their rank, profession or occupation. Some of the verbatim responses, as noted by the London Genealogical Society, are as follows:

- Artificial scone-maker
- Decayed publisher
- Emasculator
- Rust attendant at lavatory
- Proprietor of midgets
- Beef twister
- Separated from head
- Fatuous pauper (note: this one went to university)
- 52 years an imbecile
- Examiner of underclothing
- Knocker-up of workpeople
- Supposed to be a lady
- Sampler of drugs
- Hand in Hartley's jam
- Turnip shepherd
- Gymnast to house painter

These are taken from my Forgotten English desktop calendar.

posted by Julie Neff  # 2/13/2003 11:57:00 PM


As you may know, Morgan the Kid has developed a full-blown crush on Emeril Lagasse. Yeah, I know. Spare me, please. It was either him or John Basedow. Who would YOU rather have your daughter fawn over?

So, anyway, tomorrow being Valentine's Day and all, she asks me, "Mom, can you send Emeril a Valentine email for me?" Awwwww...isn't that cute? I did. I sent Mo's first fangirl email for her. *my baby's growing up so fast...*

The interesting thing is, Mo is at the age where her "love map," as theorized by Dr. John Money, is being formed.

When I was 5-going-on-6, I was enamored with a boy in my class (Jason P., you out there anywhere?) who was incredibly smart, kind of geeky with sticky-uppy hair, wore glasses and wrote stories. He read comic books. He liked scifi in the form of both Star Wars and Star Trek, and I seem to recall a first edition D&D book floating around in his book bag...although that might be selective memory. And one more thing...he had the most kaleidescopic turquoise/hazel eyes I had ever seen.

After that, there was another boy that I had known since preschool...always smarter than me, also with the glasses and a pointed sense of humor, also with the vivid blue-green eyes...he grew up to be a chiropractor...he's one of these. Hint: Pick the most eastern-European-former-communist-bloc-sounding name on there and that's him. Further hint: It's not Kaminski.

Oh, there were more, lots more. I can't even recall them all. I was a very crushy little girl.

Then, of course, what brainy-geek-girl would be complete without a swoony fangirl crush on this guy? Or seeking out gamer boyfriends in high school who were in AP English and physics and calculus II? Not-quite-men on the verge of scientific and literary greatness...such were the dreams of my youth.

One incredibly fond memory involves blushing over someone comparing me to Fenchurch from So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, and further discussing Douglas Adams' books outside the school on a damn cold November day in 1990 so we could have some privacy, and finding out about They Might Be Giants and MST3K from this very lad. I believe that one is an animator for Disney now. Hm...and the Phantom Poet who got under people's skin and spoke in feline growls, subverting the dominant paradigm...I'll leave college out of it. By that time, the precedent was set.

There might be something to this love map theory. I will say a few themes have asserted themselves:

1. Extreme academic intelligence.
2. Light-colored eyes (mostly).
3. "Geekiness," whatever THAT means.
4. Role playing games, or 'the gamer mystique.' You know.
4a. Fantasy.
4b. Sci-Fi.
5. Writing.
6. Aura of subculture.

Since I'll be busy as a little bee tomorrow (and tomorrow night), I'll send out a verbal Valentine to each and every one of you XY-carriers out there who steered me in the right direction. All of you were wind and waves, washing me ashore to Pooka Island. Kiss kiss, allay'all.

Mo could do a lot worse than getting crushy on Emeril. A LOT worse. Any of these guys, for example.

posted by Julie Neff  # 2/13/2003 08:03:00 PM

Sunday, February 09, 2003


Josh posted something about the country of Liechtenstein being for rent, and just happened to subtly slip in a snip about us getting married. Well, it wasn't just for the sake of the chuckle. It's true. We found each other again and there's no way in any of the seven heavens or nine hells we're letting go this time. Some time in 2005 or so, it'll be official. Morgan has graciously agreed to the arrangement and will be allowing Josh to adopt her thereafter.

We plan to run a mini-con (Neffcon?) at the reception, so bring your dice.

Joke, people.

We'll provide the dice.

ADDENDUM: Ixnay on the iceday. We're playing Nobilis. No dice needed. If someone wants to do D20s on the side, fine, but the main event is a Nobilis LARP (how we're going to pull that off with the entire population of Liechtenstein plus the friends'n'family, I don't know...)


This somehow seems wrong to me. Bush's brand of religion, that is what seems to be old-school Bible-thumping evangelical Christianity, straight out of St. Paul, is what it sounds like he's encouraging to the exclusion of all else. By the letter of this policy, it appears that prayers to Allah and reading of the Koran, prayers in Hebrew or reading of the Torah, prayers to the Mother earth/Father sky dyad, or even prayers to Satan would have to be tolerated, even encouraged.

In theory, expression of religion is fine. In actual practice, though, it becomes problematic. Evangelical religions in particular, which compel one as a matter of course to "spread the word" and count up converts like tokens (coughMORMONScough), are problematic in this case.

Here's an obvious thing : Nothing else in relatively recent human history has caused as much strife and conflict as religion and expression thereof.

Here's an opinion: Your relationship with deities or lack thereof is an individual, personal concern; should fellowship be desired, then do it on your own time. Should observance fall during school, like someone once said, take it outside. Get a note. No one can stop you from going to temple right after school has restarted on Yom Kippur, or being excused on Ash Wednesday for a few hours to go to church and be marked, or not having lunch during Ramadan, can they? No.

I'm a bit cynical in thinking that few high school or elementary school kids are so devout anyway. It seems to mostly be the Christians making the fuss.

Am I in favor of repression and intolerance? Heck no. Am I more in favor of privacy and keeping public schools (facets of city, county, state and federal government) strictly secular? Yes. Why else do we have extracurriculars? For stuff that you want to do while you're attending school that falls outside the scope of secular education, RIGHT?

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes was a big thing at my high school. It was outside of regular school time and did not meet at school facilities. It wasn't funded with money meant for actual education; they did fundraisers and had other sources of support. It wasn't a problem. I wasn't in this organization, by the way. I was in the Fellowship of Pagan Thespians and Musicians, or FPTM. Impressionable freshmen thought I was serious.

My point is this: To put a price (federal funding) on the schools' ability to prove compliance with this policy is the part that seems wrong. Religion is extracurricular.

Don't even get me started on the whole evolution/creation thing. I could be here all night.

posted by Julie Neff  # 2/09/2003 05:14:00 PM


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