Super Bowl Drinking Bingo

31 01 2009

To play:

  • Print out enough bingo cards for everyone you’re watching the game with. If you’re watching alone, please consider making some friends.
  • You might want to use multiple cards per player. There are a lot of variables, so not every card will lead to a Bingo.
  • Every time something described on your card(s) occurs, ie a particular score is reached or a penalty is called, mark that square off and take a drink.
  • The team must hit the exact score for the square to be marked off. For example, if Arizona has 7 points and then scores a touchdown, you cannot mark “Arizona 10”
  • Once you get bingo–a complete horizontal, vertical or diagonal line–finish your drink and discard the winning card. You may continue to play your other cards.
  • The middle space is a free space.

Cheers!

Super Bowl Bingo cards 1-20

Super Bowl Bingo cards 21-40

Super Bowl Bingo cards 41-60

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No more human litters

30 01 2009

As a card-carrying, lily-livered, bleeding-heart, bed-wetting liberal, both reproductive choice and social welfare programs are at the core of what I believe in. So I feel like I should be a lot more comfortable with the recent birth of octuplets in Bellflower, CA.

But I’m not. Choosing to carry eight babies to term is tantamount to neglect. Even if the mother, who has not been identified, did have the resources to provide for her brood of 14—estimates for absolute basics for the octuplets alone range from about $2.5 to $3 million—it is simply not possible for one person (or two people, it’s not clear if the mother is married or has a partner) to simultaneously nurture eight infants to the extent they need to develop normally.

That’s the thing about “choice”—Your right to chose ends when it starts taking choices away from somebody else. In this case, the mother’s choice to have eight viable embryos implanted invariably limits the choices of her friends and neighbors, her extended family, social services providers, her six older children who will inevitably be the ones caring for these babies, and of course the octuplets themselves.

No one, in the primate family at least, has octuplets by accident. This is not a matter of a young woman who makes some poor choices and ends up needing food stamps to get by. Instead, it is the case of a person who, for whatever reason, has insisted on having her way, regardless of the consequences and at everyone else’s expense. Her children have my sympathy.





Lilly Ledbetter and the tough girl’s guide to negotiation

29 01 2009

This morning Barack Obama signed into law the first legislation of his presidency, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, extending the statute of limitations on paycheck discrimination for men and women like Ms. Ledbetter, who earned less than her male colleagues while doing the same work.

The bill is a victory for women and other marginalized groups and is long overdue. That said, though, I seriously doubt it will make much of a dent in America’s 78-cents-for-every-dollar gender pay disparity because overt bias is much less of a problem than the inability or unwillingness to negotiate. Simply, the problem isn’t that American women aren’t getting raises; it’s that they aren’t asking for them.

resentment

It’s been well documented that in America, and probably around the world, boys are taught to argue while girls are raised to acquiesce, and from the sandbox to the boardroom, pushy women are seen in a very different light than pushy men. So it isn’t any wonder that more often than not, when Dick and Jane are each offered their proverbial 78 cents, Dick will negotiate his way up to a dollar, while Jane will politely accept what she’s offered, reasoning that the company, knowing the market and her qualifications, probably is offering a fair rate.

So now the company is paying Jane 22 percent less than Dick for doing the same job—but they probably would be willing to pay Jane what they’re paying Dick. Only Jane never asked.

The same is true when it comes to raises and bonuses—you usually aren’t going to get one unless you ask for it. The fact is that in business, unlike in college, no one is assigned to track your successes but you. Your failures, yes, but successes, not so much. Social scientists have long puzzled over why women succeed in huge numbers in academia then fall behind their male peers almost immediately after graduation, and the answer is simple. The problem isn’t women’s all-consuming (and highly overstated) desire to make babies; it’s that while her male colleague is in the boss’s office asking for a raise, she’s sitting patiently at her desk, waiting for somebody to notice all the great work she’s doing.

None of this is to say that women like Lilly Ledbetter who earn less than men for doing the same job aren’t victims of discrimination or that they don’t deserve the right to sue for damages. But regardless of the law, few women will ever have the opportunity to see these wrongs righted in court. Every woman, though, has both the ability and the responsibility to ask to be paid what she’s worth.

Come back next week for How to Negotiate Better Pay without Sounding Like a Bitch.

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History felt very, very cold

26 01 2009

Here are your goddam inauguration photos. Enjoy!





Exclusively for those who enjoy enjoyment

26 01 2009

When I was in Washington DC last week, I happened across this gem on a table at everybody’s favorite pile of kindling, Cap Lounge, which I actually kind of hate, but what do you do. As a person who is, in fact, looking for both “enjoyment” and “life enrichment” I have to say I was intrigued, but the three-star promise of “much more” seemed kind of menacing.

capitol-hill-match

The real art, though, is the circa-1985 stock photography. I mean, if they actually had dudes like that in DC, I would never have left.





Sit. Stay. No Begging.

22 01 2009

or, How to Not be a Complete Jerk at the Dog Park

One of the highlights of my day is taking Henry (seen below at Capehart Dog Park in San Diego) to our local doggy park. The sun is setting, the breeze is blowing, and the air is fresh with the scent of… well, nevermind. But even though the dogs at our park are wonderfully sweet, silly and downright bizarre, some of their people can be a bit much at the end of a long day.

Of course, everyone knows the official rules: Be current on vaccinations, fill any holes your dog digs and pick up any “presents” he leaves behind. Great. But there’s also unwritten, and often violated, dog park etiquette that helps keep the park a fun, safe and reasonably sane place for everybody to unwind and get their wiggles out. So sit, stay and read on for Urbzen’s five things you should never bring to the dog park:

Food: This applies to both the human and canine variety. Whether it’s Fido’s favorite treat or a quick lunch for you, bringing food into the dog park is one of the best ways to go from zero to anarchy in seconds. And don’t think you can hide those morsels in your pocket; With a sense of smell that is 100,000 times greater than that of a human, they’ll find it every time. After all, they don’t have bomb-sniffing humans, do they?

dog park

Your own toys: Of course, bringing your dog’s personal toys to the dog park is fine–as long as neither of you wants to see them again. The beauty of the dog park is the communal atmosphere, so expect to see plenty of sharing, but don’t expect to see Rover politely return Fluffy’s ball when it’s time for her to go home.

Small kids: A dog park may seem like an ideal place to let your two-legged charges run loose as well, but even the friendliest medium- to large-sized dog can knock a toddler to the ground with so much as an enthusiastic greeting, causing inevitable conflict between parent and pet owner. Kid parks outnumber dog parks by at least 100 to 1, so for everyone’s safety and peace of mind, keep at least one hand  (or better yet, a leash) on your tots when they’re in canine territory.

A leash: Though a must in most situations, a leash should never enter the dog park attached to a dog. Rather than keeping your pooch safe, being tethered to a leash can make your furry friend a sitting duck, unable to get away from dominant or aggressive dogs. Last year in San Diego, a Chihuahua/Yorkie mix was killed at Dusty Rhodes Dog Park when its leash kept it from evading an aggressive Husky. While the leash was obviously not to blame for the incident, it left the small dog open to attack.

An attitude: Your love for Lassie may be unconditional, but that doesn’t mean she can do no wrong. Always keep an eye on your pup and be ready to intervene if playtime gets out of hand.

By following the rules–both written and implied–the dog park can be a great place for everyone who is lucky enough to be owned by a dog. Let the butt-sniffing begin!





You’ll get your Inauguration photos when I’m good and ready

21 01 2009

Because Your Editor is both a masochist and an idiot, I booked a flight out of Washington “Reagan” National Airport the day after the biggest event in the history of the world ever and only arrived four hours before my scheduled flight (which takes me to Los Angeles via Boston, but that is another matter) thinking I’d have plenty of time to check in, check my bag and proceed through security. Evidently our friends at US Airways had other ideas; The wait to check in was more than five hours and quite possibly was just one big circle.

Which is all to say that you’ll get your Urbzen Inauguration photos when I’m goddamned ready to give them to you, which will not be today. In the meantime, you can catch up on Urbzen’s thrilling Inauguration coverage here, here and here.