Monday, November 29, 2004

Informed Comment

heh. take that, george will, you lazy boob. let's hear it for geeks with degrees!! (he's from my alma mater.)
in other news, things are back to normal and simultaneously abnormal. (i'm doing my best to ignore the shrub administration; my chest gets too tight if i concentrate on them for a long time.)

domestically, i am ever grateful to my roomie for cleaning the kitchen while i was gone. i don't deserve such friendship. (i especially don't deserve it considering i'm about to foist my dating persona on her up close and personal in the next week or so.)

i'm suffering from lower back pain. it's advanced to a degree that i actually worked out this morning in an attempt to loosen everything up. i have to sleep with a pillow between my knees! i can't get on all fours! (not that i'll need to be in that position for any reason...or anything...)

i'm back at the office and i'm getting overwhelmed at all the junk i have to do outside of the office. resume, networking, interviewing. i'm starting to panic. what the hell was i thinking??

i'm assuming dewey darko (aka The Librarian) is dead. i'm assuming, while driving from uconn late one night, he stopped to move a moose carcass from the side of the road and was set upon by angry deer and was torn apart in the woods, his howls fading into the cold, stark moonlight. i assume this because, well, to think any other way would force me to acknowledge that (sigh) we are (grr) over.

so, to hide my disappointment, i'm having drinks with a musician saturday night. and maybe i'll follow that up with a dinner with a 44-yr old writer who wears glasses and says things like "alchemy is between a rainbow and faith." oh, here we go again. i know, A--, i know.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

interracial sunday, pt 1

Customers Like Me - Verizon uses race to make you look. By Seth�Stevenson

(things sorta got mixed up with blogger earlier...)

when i first saw these spots i noticed the little kid's kinky hair and thought, is he brown? with a white grandpa? i thought i was hallucinating.

since i come from a biracial family i guess it shouldn't be a big deal to see one in a commercial, but it is. you don't realize how overwhelmingly white pop culture is unless you're not white. and seeing mixed couples or families anywhere? forget it. over the past 20 years i can think of an ikea commercial, a car commercial, a heineken ad and one old tide spot that showed a mixed couple. so seeing a middle class family that looks like my own (or at least my sister's) makes me sit up and think about switching to verizon.

whenever things like this come up, the reaction is usually scoffing. what do we brown people want? commercials for everyone? a spot with indians, mexicans, koreans, africans?

well, yeah.

so here's a shout out to verizon's canny marketing ploy and exploitation of multiculti reality - it works for me

interracial sunday, pt 2

t r u t h o u t - Alabama Vote Opens Old Racial Wounds

i never did say what i was thankful for, this holiday.

1. i'm thankful i don't live in alabama.
2. i'm thankful i grew up in california where no one called me 'colored' and where the state thinks kids should probably get an education.
3. i'm thankful i don't live in alabama.

t r u t h o u t - LA Times | Chipping Away at Roe vs. Wade

totally depressing

so what are we going to do about it?

so ... if it's not sex, it must be...

The New York Times > Arts > Frank Rich: The Great Indecency Hoax

something else entirely. like race.

my roommate A--, who's very minnesotan about race and ethnicity, had an insight when this whole thing blew up at the beginning. she said, 'no one's saying it, but it's all about the white-black thing. no one would give a shit if it wasn't the implication of a naked white woman jumping into a big black guy's arms.'

huh. i was a little sorry i hadn't thought of that first. but she has a point, and rich's column briefly hints at it when he quotes limbaugh for saying it 'reminds him of the kobe bryant case.' it seems that the specter of interracial sex still spooks this country, sending moralists into convulsions of hysteria, whipping up fantasies of black bucks gone wild, cavorting with race-mixing white women and seducing our kids with a desire to 'go black.'

would the media and morality outcry be as loud if, say, halle berry had jumped into owens' arms? or, a better test, if sheridan had jumped into the arms of peyton manning?

(heh. i know a little football.)

our country needs to wake up and smell the miscegenation. white and black folks have been woven together since first contact was made (and i'd like to go on record and say that it wasn't even our idea). a little dropped towel in a locker room or a briefly exposed breast (hm, another ebony/ivory moment) is nothing compared to our actual social and sexual history.

Friday, November 26, 2004

will be leaving tomorrow morning to go back to a wintry chicago. have had a wonderful holiday - no fights over politics, no freak outs. just a huge family thanksgiving that sort of looked like a scene from 'mi familia.'

around the dinner table, i looked around and my dad and i were the only brown faces - and everyone else spoke spanish. let's hear it for los angeles and multiculturalism! my niece and nephew speak spanish fluently, the in laws only speak spanish and i'm going to have to seriously brush up if i'm to survive any more family holidays.

only complaint so far - haven't nearly had enough to drink while here and, yes, i must admit to wanting to go home and snuggle. am i the only one the holidays make horny?

Monday, November 22, 2004

like a crate and barrel advert

Tomorrow morning I'm going to board Southwest Airlines, shove some old lady out the way, and shoulder my way to a seat. Then, my father will pick me up at LAX; we'll talk about the flight, it'll feel good to be home, and we'll catch up on the gossip. Generally, this goodwill will last 24 hours. Then, the second day, my holiday spirit will shrivel and all I will want to do is sit in a dark theater, smoke and drink bourbon.

Why? Family dinners. It's like a movie running backward. All the drama, hurt feelings and pathos happens during the cooking. Old resentments surface. You wonder if your mom really loved your sister more because how else did she manage to remember how to cook everything so perfectly? You feel your life will be justified as soon as you can manage to whip potatoes and make a pie crust all in the same afternoon. Afterward, face rosy and smelling of gravy, you just slump in your chair and eat until you get drowsy. Then you burp. Maybe you manage to eat a piece of pie. This is the boring part of the movie that makes you realize you've flown 2000 just to eat a really big dinner.

I'm used to my dinners being relaxed, wine-based, affairs. Instead of food that makes you sink into insensibility, you really need good wine, champagne and chocolate. And cheese. Perhaps fruit. Maybe a pumpkin or butternut soup. In the background, some Cousteau or Ella Fitzgerald - and the kids should eat in a totally different room. Oh - a low chaise where I can lay back, slide off my shoes and smoke a cigarette while looking up at the sky through the trees.

Why can't my holiday be like this?

catch a tiger by his toe

American Prospect Online - ViewWeb

let's see. which democratic ethos gets kicked to the curb?

gays. definitely. yeah. love 'queer eye' but all that fabulosity is just too much for us, clearly. gays want benefits? they need to move to sweden. time for us straight liberals to get back down to the nitty gritty of aggressive heterosexuality. (that'll get the nascar dads for sure.)

or, how about women? yeah. deep down all chicks just want to be told what to do and with whom. (check out the success of "he's just not that into you" if you think i'm lying.) they really don't care what happens to their bodies. at least the young ones don't. and if they all just got freaking married, they could just do what their husbands tell them. sure!

hey - black people! forget about urban renewal - unless some monster redevelopment deal is on the table, of course. and racisim is clearly dead. we've visted all those churches at least twice - time to move on. the day of brown people is over - everyone knows that comfortable white suburbia is the place to go now for support. (even oprah knows that.)

eesh. we can drill in alaska, roll back OSHA and EPA rules; tell the unions to kiss our ass; the lower and working classes need to get with the program and realize that if they got their act together and went to community college, then they could tear themselves out of poverty and stop living paycheck to paycheck. and old people? they're almost dead anyway. geez.

it's so hard to choose. but hey! why stop at one principle? we could chuck all of them? wow, when you get rid of principles a whole new moral universe just breaks wide open. the potential of being a winner makes me positively giddy.

cuz that's the point. winning.

Friday, November 19, 2004

holy crap.

the sweater at the top of page 2? yeah, i had a WHOLE dress that looked like that.

(credit for the link goes to the Great Dane.)

pop culture friday: short guys Life | Short and sweet

politics is depressing (again) so how about a little sex?

my friend J-- is a short guy and he is the most adorable guy on the planet. every gay festival, every bar, club or cafe, wonderfully tall handsome men would swoop down and scoop him up. and now J--'s partner is also on the short side and they make the perfect salt and pepper shaker couple. there is something to the compact appeal of a short guy. they're cute. (oh, umi, where are you now?)

but there are limitations. yeah, it's too much to ask a guy to smooth over all your insecurities with his height, but as a big soft girl, i don't want to roll over on my side while i'm in bed with someone and not see the person behind me - just a tiny little hand flung over my plushy shoulder. and then there's making out. let's say you're both rolling around and then you cimb on top and - hey, where'd he go?? i'd feel like a bully sitting on the chest of some skinny little boy i've knocked down on the playground.

that's just...well. that's just not going to happen. (again)

i know all my girlfriends are adamant about their height requirements - lobbyist lumberjacks, gentlemen giants and brawny lawyers need only apply over there. they want to feel feminine, small, dainty and tiny. i said this to a gay friend of mine once and he put his hand on mine and said, very kindly, "sweetie, you ain't never gonna be dainty." it stung, but he was right. i was never going to be thistledown. no man was ever going to swing me into his arms without grunting, herniating a disc or buckling his knees. (oh, s--, i'm sorry for putting you in a truss.)

but maybe there's something powerful in that amazonian feat of wrestling a cute little guy down and unleashing an earthquake of lust on him simply because you can. maybe.

Feckless Pursuit: I Am Sixteeen Going On Seventeen....

from my roomie.

it's really depressing to see everything laid out like that.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Drunk of the Week,(11/18/04)

Drunk of the Week,(11/18/04)

ok, this totally made me laugh at my desk.
something to do.

girlfriends and i have already discussed the best el trains with the best looking guys.

hands down, the purple and brown lines have the best guys. they read, they smell good, they're brawny, they have cute german glasses, their hair sticks up adorably, they make eye contact.

the worst: the red line: lincoln park/wrigleyville frat boys who pretend to read the wall street journal or, worse, actively read red eye (the 'newspaper' for people who like their news the way they like their one night stands: shallow); cubs fans, yuppie gentrifying northsiders who killed Fusion (the best gay club for a straight girl to hook up), some of them smell like pee and most of them are crazy.

middling to fair: blue/orange lines: the working class guy; denim, stubble, shorter, out of work artist people living in humboldt park/logan square; guys who fly out of midway because they have to; or, fleeing lincoln parkers who can't afford to live in lincoln park anymore and so clog up my neighborhood (baggy suits, red eye papers and starbucks). bastards can't even support the local sip cafe...

unknown: the green line. who takes this train?

christian retail on bookslut!!

blog | Reviews index

wow. totally cool. (well, if you're a PK like me, it is.)

Welcome to Our World, Liberals Are the New Gays, by Dan Savage (11/11/04)

Welcome to Our World, Liberals Are the New Gays, by Dan Savage (11/11/04)

huh. totally never thought of this before.
it's made me rethink my whole let's talk religion with fundies position. whatever.

as in our war with iraq, we progressives are up against a backwards population; as they continue to destroy a nation, so should we battle to preserve our way of life and spread our progressivism. as they colonize others to spread a warped version of our values, we should begin our own imperial age - the age of the urbanite.

like it or not, we will drag you into the 21st century or die trying.

(i really have to lay off the energy pills in the morning...)

city mouse kicks butt

The Urban Archipelago, It's the Cities, Stupid., by The Editors of The Stranger (11/11/04)

you know it's bad when the soft and crunchy open a can of whup-ass.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

city mouse to country mouse: shut up! Southwest Florida's Information Leader

if you paw through all the numbers in this editorial you realize the main point: keep the electoral college because a few big cities, with the ability to carry a whole state, could vote for candidates against the wishes of the rest of the country.

chicago carried illinois for kerry. so did new york for ny. philly for PA, detroit, los angeles, san francisco, milwaukee, portland, seattle, etc. but the editorial says "thus cities can pick our president, against the wishes expressed elsewhere nationwide."

this is what i say. so what? why should a village with only 40 people in it count more than a whole city? that's called progress, people. that's called civilization.

they want to carry the heft of a city? then become one.

update: after reading this post by david neiwert, i realize that my above reaction was not as (cough) nuanced as it could have been. so to my country mouse cousins (ahem), mea culpa. the neiwert piece is a good one - a long one, but a good one.
Negrophile. One who admires and supports Black people and their culture.

the other night i had drinks at the W hotel with antonio, a wonderful friend of mine from my grad school days. of course our conversation turned to politics. he was telling me of his reluctant need to step into a departmental argument with other faculty over inviting bill cosby to speak at his university. sighing he said, 'i have to say something. i don't want to but i have to rock the boat.'

i agreed and reminded him of the time, years ago, when he said, 'they are about to turn me into a militant black man.'

let's hear it for being militantly brown.
at last, another brown face...


do we even care anymore?

running late this morning, and listening to the litany of bad news from npr this morning, it hit me. do i even care anymore about what this administration does?

oh, i'm still passionate about politics - but it's clear that bush is crazy and, with an egomaniacal determination james bond villains manifest, intent on ruining life as we know it. we will never leave iraq; we will find some excuse to invade syria or iran; our economy will utterly collapse beneath the weight of perpetual war and debt; we won't be able to travel anywhere and our population will devolve into a morass of stupidity and mediocrity. women will be forced to remain pregnant; men will be forced to serve in the military. the rich will become even more obscenely rich and the poor will think that's exactly the way it should be. we'll be forced to go to church and pray to bush's god (mammon, frankly) and perhaps there might be a public defenestration or two, just to spice things up.

our federal govt is lost.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

ugh, brooks again, pt 2

this is what he was missing in his stupid editorial today.

shut up, madonna

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Madonna holds public book reading

if there's further proof needed that our world will end in an ashy ball of mediocrity, here it is.

ugh - another brooks column

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: 'Moral Suicide,' � la Wolfe

1. david brooks should hang out with real college students.
2. david brooks is too young to act this old.
3. david brooks misses the point of almost everything happening after 1985.

the problem with 'students today' isn't moral relativism, or their lack of moral center. it's the fact they're dumb, literally and figuratively. they are disengaged from the world around them intellectually, culturally and spiritually (in the very broadest sense) and so live in a silent white bubble of privilege and conformity. it's clear our culture doesn't value critical thinking, analysis or even deep thought, so why should he be surprised at the vacuity of a bunch of undergrads?

where has david brooks been living??

Monday, November 15, 2004

love is a comic book

(because i know you pant to know what i do with my time)

1. cocktail date - a very good evening. drinks in hard rock hotel (a hotel concept that needs to not exist), watching the winos drink 40s by the river and looking at the view, funny bitter stories about, of course, politics. a weird, hesitant goodbye by the cab. sigh. having fortitude sucks.

2. chicago comic fest, ramada inn, rosemont - wow. dorky does not even cover what was going on in this little hotel by the airport. one, why did everything smell like nachos - and boy feet? two, everything was covered in plastic. three, action figures. whatever. they are dolls! four, there is a japanese movie that i must own - casshern. it looked totally cool. apparently, everyone got picked up on except me. sigh. having a blind spot in my upper right quadrant sucks.

3. comic books - spent all weekend in bed reading back issues of 100 Bullets, the Forsaken, and Identity Crisis. how perfect is that?

Friday, November 12, 2004


slowly my life goes back to normal.

now that i've made my decision to quit this job and find another, i'm really liking the people i'm working with! (strange.) i'm writing an article about how the left needs to concentrate on building a movement, rather than winning elections (which we don't seem to be very good at, grr grr). i'm going on a nerve cocktail thingy tonight. (interesting, haven't done that in a long while. and, slightly off topic, Dewey has been MIA for months! is he dead? who knows!) and i'm going to a comic book convention tomorrow. (oh-ho, the fun and extreme dorkiness that will be tomorrow afternoon!)

i'm also obsessed with 'regency house party'. i love these shows and this one is the best of all. it could even top 'colonial house' as fantasy fodder du jour.

(i keep waiting for 'slavery house' or 'antebellum house' just for the horrific psychological damage it could do to everyone involved, but i don't think it would be that fun to watch.)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

uh, what?

no, i don't need to get laid. it's the horses.

beware of any article for singles that begins with a quote from billy graham.

the red for a reason.

actually, this explains a lot...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

i think oprah had an episode about this...

so, call me crazy, but i'm quitting my cushy, fabulous (cough), extrememly civilized job in a couple of months to do something nuts: work for change.

i'm in the middle of talking with my firm this week and they're very cool - actually they're relieved. they thought i had a flaming drug habit or something. but it's only a bad case of politics. once we work out the details of how/when i leave (please, after the holidays!) they're going to put me in touch with people i can talk to who can put me in touch with other people and, by hook or by crook, next year i'm going to do work that matters to me. this corporate crap sucks.

is it scary? totally. i like shopping. i like living in chicago. i like having a fabulous apartment. but is working for a soul killing corporate death star worse? yes. absolutely. this election and what our country is becoming distresses me and i have to DO something.

does this mean i'm going to turn into one of those dirty children screaming about globalization? uh, no. this doesn't mean i'm going to wear a sandwich board and walk up and down michigan avenue, either. it just means that the non-profit world or some tiny political office somewhere is going to have me doing something for them. (the women in my firm know everyone - even kissinger.)

so i'm still here. i haven't gone off the deep end. i'm just sick of the other side winning all the time.

Monday, November 08, 2004

tiny genius

Tiny Mix Tapes

my mood is lifting (again, thank you valium). came across this beauty of a site that compiles mix tape play lists for every mood, crank, screed or freak. it's addictive so don't look at it at work. (look away!)

in other news, my friend M-- in Korea has to be about the bestest guy ever. he read my depression and spent a small war's budget to call and say 'it's ok.'

yeah, it is ok. i had THE TALK with our firm's coach, rose (a wonderful wonderful woman) and guess what? with my firm's help, i'm quitting my job, will help hire my replacement and will attempt to live my pancreatic, scleratic bliss as a campaign whore.

who saw that coming?

Sunday, November 07, 2004


jp's blog

amen, brother.

totally depressed

t r u t h o u t - William Rivers Pitt | Worse Than 2000: Tuesday's Electoral Disaster

i've stayed away from my blog because, well, i've been crying all week. angry, anxious and depressed, i may have even reached the end of my tether at work. how have i been coping? valium. i'll know if i have a job at the end of monday or tuesday.

in the middle of writing about this election and why something serious needs to change within the progressive movement, i've decided that something needs to change with me, too. i've been hiding for the past four years behind a cushy job and a safe economic existence, not really risking anything for the things i care about. last week brought all of this to a head for me. do i want to lose my job? i'd rather not - i have a nice life and don't deal particularly well with sudden change.

but do i want to work for a firm that has nothing to do with my own political, intellectual identity and ideals? no. do i want to spend the rest of my good years being assistant to a wealthy woman whose needs don't enthrall me? not really.

so. here's to burning bridges, not fighting your texture and throwing yourself at the mercy of fate.

Friday, November 05, 2004


still too furious to say anything coherent about this week. but something coming soon.

in the meantime, contemplate the map. geez.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


t r u t h o u t - Sidney Blumenthal | Bush Unbound

i'm back, after a whole day of crying at work, chest pains and headaches.

more on this later.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

the morning after

that sucks.

...and i'm up late

hawaii just went to kerry.

our party was a smash- kind of a subdued smash. toward the end of the night, the numbers were too depressing and i think alot of us went home to drink alone and cry. but we still have michigan, ohio, wisconsin, nevada, and new mexico.

hang in there, kerry. don't concede.

...and i'm up late

hawaii just went to kerry.

our party was a smash- kind of a subdued smash. toward the end of the night, the numbers were too depressing and i think alot of us went home to drink alone and cry. but we still have michigan, ohio, wisconsin, nevada, and new mexico.

hang in there, kerry. don't concede.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

i'm up early

i tried to find a suitably martial title, but i'm so fricking tired, that's the best i could muster.

i'm up fecking early to vote. (it went off without a hitch; the republican 'challenger' was a bearded beer-bellied chicagoan - you can see him on a barstool, exposing butt crack, nursing another old style.) i punched through all my holes (no shady electronic voting for illinois, thank you very much!) and gingerly stepped through the wet outside to get into A--'s car, my civic duty successfully discharged.

vote, people! vote!
tonight is the election party. the guest list is growing. the cleaning lady came yesterday. the deviled eggs and twice baked potatos were finished yesterday. the darts were tested all weekend. the chili was finished sunday. the decorations hung saturday. the notes asking the neighbors not to call the police on us slipped under doors last night. poor A-- hardly slept a wink last night, imagining all sorts of third world terror.

i sort of worried about the 'talk' me and my boss are going to have soon. yes, i think my corporate bitterness is starting to seep through my amiable exterior. whatever. gen x-ers aren't meant to be lackies. slackers, yes. lackies, no. i hate people telling me what to do. (which is why i loved grad school.)

eesh. never drink coffee before 8 am. gas, man, gas.