Friday, December 30, 2005

never talk to strangers in bars.

this is my new rule. if you start talking to them you end up at the gentry (yes, i know it was my idea to let him buy us one more drink--i thought he'd be amusing!) listening to mediocre cabaret and ignoring the hand squeezing your knee.

so follow ding's advice and don't talk to strangers in bars. instead, go see munich. it'll satisfy your jones for a movie that's 'meaningful' as well as your desire to look at hotness: it has him (rowr) in it - and him and him! squee!

(of course, if you're a glutton for punishment try seeing 'syriana' and 'munich' back to back. you'll either want to join a sleeper cell or blow your brains out.)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

the MLA: party of the century

let's send good thoughts to my friend J-, who's interviewing at the MLA in washington dc this week. and while you're at it, go read an article about political literacy in undergrads from a MLA panelist here.

[over on church gal i ranted about some related things here]

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

holiday break thus far

i've barely ventured outside.
i've slept on the couch like a derelict at least once.
i've eaten cold pizza for breakfast.
i've read $88 in comic books.
i've watched half a season of 24.
i've showered. once.
i've eaten half a cheesecake over two days.
i've sipped half a bottle of white wine.
i've smoked half a pack of cigarettes.
i've seen two movies back to back at the theater.
i've taken the trash out (except the wine bottles. they're too heavy.)
i've played scrabble by myself (this really isn't as pathetic as it sounds. really.)
i've watched a distasteful 'girls gone wild' infomercial.

[speaking of which, it seems poor joe francis, GGW creator and sexbot impresario, was humiliated and victimized in his home by a none too bright home invader. thankfully, the kind los angeles judge has chosen to spare joe's feelings and gets to hide his private humiliation - though i do wonder what 'unconventional sex' means. unlike the judge and the celebrity drunk media in los angeles, i will save my sympathy for someone more deserving. while i'm sure the terror of being made to pose with a dildo and say demeaning things about yourself can land you in therapy for hours, i can't help noticing that masculine 'humiliation' deserves privacy but female exploitation gets marketed and sold around the world.

but when i try, i can't think of someone more deserving of invasion. karma's a bitch.]

Sunday, December 25, 2005

a churchmouse christmas

it's early sunday morning, the streets are empty the way they have been since friday night. two text messages from friends have come through, i'm about to call the west coast in a little bit and this is the just the (shhh) quietest christmas ever.

i love it.

merry merry, everybody!

Friday, December 23, 2005

so ... over there on the hall console are my copies of the magazine with my first 'real' published piece. i'm afraid to open it! what if they totally cut it?? what if it's lame??

oh, and since i've gotten my period and i nixed B's visit, i've cooked a marvelous meal from SCRATCH, opened a good bottle of white wine, had some cheese, some cake, and am about to have a few dunhill cigarettes.

could he do this for me?
i don't think so.

frolic interuptus

wouldn't you know it?

B- was finally going to make the reverse trek to my place when another long-delayed visitor finally arrived.

sigh. God hates me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

not gone; merely resting

if there are those who miss the pissed off political ding, do not worry. she's still here with the rest of us. she hasn't been killed by the frivolous ding who's all worried about how to frolic with a guy who spits and doesn't own a sex kit. (which, after friday night, should all be taken care of. heh.)

the political ding is still aware of our nation's asshat of a president, the bid to drill in alaska, the passing of a budget with less of a social net intact, the growing lawsuit against illinois to protect a christian pharmacist's right to not do their jobs, the still roiling mess of the iraq war, our blithe willingness to keep innocent people locked up in gitmo (even though we know they're innocent), our refusal to release padilla to civilian authority, the masses of displaced victims of katrina who apparently are too poor to get home loans for rebuilding while the wealthy are so rich they need more help than anyone else and the continuing bullshit over the 'war' on christmas. yes, my sweetings, i realize this is all happening.

it's all just percolating in my brain, waiting for my vacation to start when i can be really, you know, like, articulate and shit about it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

what bush would hear if he spied on me and my roomie

Roomie: uh, don't go in the kitchen.
Me: why?
R: i farted.
M: go stand over there! not here! over there!


M: i love project runway. i had a dream last night that nick was my best friend.
R: i dreamed trent lott was holding me prisoner and you killed him to rescue me.
M: you're so problematic. so would you kiss tom hanks?
R: mm, no. but he'd be a good husband, i think. but an asexual one.
M: i had a dream i was from outer space and my outer space brother and i settled in canada and, this is icky, we became lovers!! because we were from outer space!

(and still later)

R: it was totally your idea to buy the xbox.
M: it was not. you're the one who had a jones for it. i kept asking if you were sure!
R: but you weren't saying no! you seemed really excited about it!
M: because i didn't think you would do it! i would never goad you into buying something you didn't want!
R: but you did!
M: we so aren't talking about this anymore.
R: so. do you think president bush is a tool?
M: totally. president bush is a tool.

[and for confirmation of his toolness, you can read about it here: Bush Says U.S. Spy Program Is Legal and Essential]

plus, it was cold

the holiday party i hosted for my workmates made me unfit for human interaction so i spent the weekend at the cinema. here's my take:

king kong - helpless blonde femaleness sacrificed to appease the questionable lust of a giant primate by dark-skinned natives is never uplifting. however, overly long sequences of rampaging dinosours are always fun. this should be peter jackson's next challenge: dude, make a movie under three frickin' hours!

chronicles of narnia - ok, who DIDN'T have the words to that lame poem, 'Footprints in the Sand', pop into their heads when Aslan left the big coronation? yes, we get it - he's JESUS! the movie was fun enough but crazily violent - like, LOTR violent but without spurting. and when are the brits going to GET OVER their fascination with all things king richard and hobbit-like? really. just get over it. and HOW LUCKY for the children than narnia is has all their favorite british foods in it, right?

brokeback mountain - sad. sad. depressingly sad. if only they had lived in san francisco or new york...

Friday, December 16, 2005

il est mon petit ami: mathieu kassovitz - Site Officiel

[thanks sid!]

in related education news, the SAT is too long

SAT, at 3 Hours 45 Minutes, Draws Criticism Over Its Length - New York Times

waah, waah, waah.

at least Gen X can read!

say what you will about Gen X's rampant cynicism and selfishness. at least we can read.

so says a new study that has found that literacy among COLLEGE grads have dropped significantly since 1992 (the year i graduated college.)

to my liberal, 'america-hating', complex sentence-loving professors from ucla who thought critical thinking was more important than spouting platitudes about patriotism and who are all probably on david horowitz's shit list: THANK YOU.

to generations Y and O: geez, no wonder you voted for the shrub.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

the best snowfall

this is what my family back in l.a doesn't see: fat white flakes hurtling down from a blanket white sky so that you think a giant, cosmic child is shaking his sno-globe.

i'm home to prepare for a cocktail party i'm hosting for work folks so i'm actually sitting in my turret looking down at the intersection, staring at the snow like a moron.

Monday, December 12, 2005

a frolic too far

so remember how B- (not B minus) didn't respond when i told him it would be great if we could actually appear in public before going back to his bat cave, and then there was nothing but radio silence as a result?

i think i've found the reason: he moved.

but he moved so effing far northwest, it's pretty much going to pound a nail in our frolic coffin. (i know, there are many nails but this one will be pounded in. the rest are just sticking up, waiting to be pounded in.) why can't he live somewhere normal??

i think it's perfectly reasonable to dump a frolic if he's not easily accessible by public transportation.

niice: aussie rioting

leaving aside how this story completely reinforces my problematic stereotype of australians as thuggish throwbacks of aggression and how this makes me think that this is what happens when 19th century prison colonies go horribly awry (inbreeding!) what i like most about this story is the prime minister's disingenuous refusal to say that racism isn't widespread in australia.

when i read that, the first thing that popped into my mind was the country's quite recent history of repression against aboriginals.

but then my little thought bubble was soothed when i read this:
"Aborigines rioted in the Sydney neighborhood of Redfern in February 2004 after blaming police for the death of a 17-year-old boy. Forty police were wounded."

well, that's all right then, isn't it? racism can't possibly exist on a widespread level in australian society, despite the ease with which thousands of youth assault innocent brown people, since aborigines rioted.

because the two situations are absolutely the same, aren't they?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

since i'm going to be home for christmas, instead of visiting my family in los angeles, i've been wondering what i'll do with myself for that week i'm on holiday after christmas. ideally, i'd love to have a whirlwind affair with a visiting jazz musician/political attache (who also likes making furniture) that ends with a tearful goodbye on the roof of the Peninsula while the snow swirls around us, but i fear that's not in the stars.

so what will i do, other than sleep in?
  1. get a new photo taken for 2006
  2. take up embroidery (go here for cute patterns)
  3. catch up with J-, have drinks with T-, maybe drop in on B- and hang out with C-
  4. rent dvds from television shows i should catch up with: Lost, Battlestar Galactica...
  5. see movies: Syriana, Rent, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Narnia, Paradise Now, Family Stone
  6. see what's up at the MoCA and catch all the kids choirs at the Museum of Science and Industry
  7. get a haircut (i'm totally due)
  8. pay off my library fine (it's a big one) and begin checking out books again
  9. clean my room
  10. hang out in my neighborhood cafe, write a few things but then rush home to spend all day playing a game (which game? which game?).

Friday, December 09, 2005

the countdown begins: brokeback

who's with me?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

at last: project runway is back!

the new season of project: runway has begun! so excited!

i loved santini's muslin dress, but his obvious glee at bald guy's total breakdown (euww, messy) and his pique at not winning the first real challenge made me think, 'Hm - not so much.'

i really like the asian chick, chloe, the science nerd girl (only because how many times do you hear the sentence "the magents reversed their polarity!" used in fashion?), the greek diplomat's son (his muslin dress rocked) and the older blonde guy we'll call dorian gray (so icy!). guadalupe needs to mind her own business; zathura, or whatever her name is, needs to dial it back a notch; and the south african girl's clothes look good though her nerves are already frayed.

and don't you want daniel to do well? i just wish he'd stop with that wanker 'my spirit says hello to your spirit' crap. annoying.

my predictions: i think santini (whatever) is going to lose his mind as the process goes on. the quiet young things are going to crack under the pressure of designing evening wear. and poor andrae is going to be hospitalized by the end of the whole thing.

Monday, December 05, 2005

psst. it's a secret

i have been sworn to secrecy by my ever vigilant roomie.

all i can say is that we spent an entire weekend (approximately 16 hours) doing something i never thought we would do - EVER. our household is changed forever. all has become clear to me and a new addiction has begun. the secret life of a certain population makes sense now.


in other news, B- has not contacted me since i suggested we actually go out before having a rambunctious frolic. perhaps he's buried under student papers. perhaps he's pondering the implications of the two of us appearing in public together. perhaps he's refilling his scrips. who knows?

and in still more other news, it seems i'm going to be stranded here in chicago for the holidays. my new job, though fabulous, just will not allow me to pay over $400 for a plane ticket to the west coast. (yes, it's my fault i waited this long to even try buying a ticket. i never said i was good at planning. just planning for frolics.) so if anyone else is going to be in town for the holidays and would like a partner in crime or even just a mild adventure while the city empties, let me know.

i'll be up for anything.

Friday, December 02, 2005

blog against racism: barely made it!

[you think this is going to be about katrina, privilege or something that makes everyone get all upset and angry. no. it's about my hair. but hang in there; it's a story then a question. y'all have to answer the question.]

There's a man in my office who has a certain fascination with my hair. He's older, in his mid-50's, and is one of the 3 men who work here. When we first met, he complimented me about my hair. Graciously, I said 'Thank you!' And I smiled. Then he kept doing it. Every day, something about my hair. How full, how glorious, how beautiful, how fabulous, how big, how stupendous, how whatever. And then he'd say, 'I mean this in a totally non-racist way, of course.'

Hmm, I'd think.

Then, when the snow and the cold came, I changed my hair. I blow-dried it straight so I could fit it under my hat. And when I came into the office, he almost died. He edged into my career station and said, 'Your hair! It's'

I said, 'It's only hair. But thanks.' And so it's been since before Thanksgiving.

If he talks about my hair one more time I'll blow. I've endured this since May and I will seriously have to read him a lesson if this continues.

Here's the question: why would comments about hair piss off a brown girl?

[yes, this is a test. it's much more interesting than asking if someone's been a victim of racism, huh?]

Thursday, December 01, 2005

so silly: i thought this was my uterus...

A Man's Right to Choose - New York Times

while this didn't make me choke on my coffee, this last bit made me sort of gassy with exasperation (i'll bold the most gas-inducing parts):

"Why couldn't I make the same claim - that I am going to keep the baby regardless of whether she wants it or not?

Well, you might argue that all the man provides is his seed in a moment of pleasure. The real work consists of carrying a child for nine months, with the attendant morning sickness, leg cramps, biological risks and so on.

But how many times have we heard that fatherhood is not about a moment, it is about being there for the lifetime of a child? If we extend that logic, those 40 weeks of pregnancy - as intense as they may be - are merely a small fraction of a lifetime commitment to that child.

The bottom line is that if we want to make fathers relevant, they need rights, too. If a father is willing to legally commit to raising a child with no help from the mother he should be able to obtain an injunction against the abortion of the fetus he helped create.

Putting this into effect would be problematic, of course. But while such issues may be complicated, so is family life."

so, basically, let's just have men force women to give birth. yeah, i'm all for that.

while dalton's argument is fairly even in tone, it won't prevent me from calling him a complete tool.

his toolship: dalton, i'd really like to know how you (and other men) are going to justify forcing a woman to give birth against her will. i'd really like to see how your willingness to perform your fatherly duties outside of a woman's body justifies taking ownership of her body for 9 months against her will.

at the end of his 'waah waah' essay dalton tries to slide in an obligatory 'please ignore the fact i'm talking out my ass' by saying 'of course' his modest proposal would be hard to implement. but he doesn't say the reason why his idea won't work: hey, there's a woman attached to the other end of that fetus!

wouldn't everything be so much easier if we forgot there was a woman attached?

here's a tip from me to dalton: until we find a way for me to hatch a human embryo so a guy can sit on it like a penguin, you can kiss your dream good bye.

(tool! tool!)

so silly: abortion, silly land and alito

Alito File Shows Strategy to Curb Abortion Ruling - New York Times

yes, it is silly of me, isn't it, to worry about how scalito's past briefs and memos will bear on future decisions? it's so silly. i'm so silly. all of us women are silly, apparently. just so silly.

what isn't silly is alito's condescending disregard for women to make their own moral decisions and be their own moral agents:

And in a strongly worded 17-page legal analysis, he recommended advancing the administration's ultimate case against Roe by defending state regulations requiring doctors to provide women seeking abortions with information about fetal development, the risks and "unforeseeable detrimental effects" of the procedure and the availability of adoption services or paternal child support.

Although the information might cause "emotional distress, anxiety, guilt and in some cases physical pain" to the women, Judge Alito wrote, such results "are part of the responsibility of moral choice"

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

dead horse, revived: the opt out phenom

American Prospect Online - Homeward Bound

unlike the articles in the times and dowd's kooky 'i can't get laid' book, this actually is interesting. why? because it says there may be something to that weird data, after all. and it actually makes a rigorous argument - an actual argument!

Conservatives contend that the dropouts prove that feminism “failed” because it was too radical, because women didn’t want what feminism had to offer. In fact, if half or more of feminism’s heirs (85 percent of the women in my Times sample), are not working seriously, it’s because feminism wasn’t radical enough: It changed the workplace but it didn’t change men, and, more importantly, it didn’t fundamentally change how women related to men.

and what was the culprit that prevented such a radical rethinking? the language of choice.

Here’s the feminist moral analysis that choice avoided: The family -- with its repetitious, socially invisible, physical tasks -- is a necessary part of life, but it allows fewer opportunities for full human flourishing than public spheres like the market or the government. This less-flourishing sphere is not the natural or moral responsibility only of women. Therefore, assigning it to women is unjust. Women assigning it to themselves is equally unjust. To paraphrase, as Mark Twain said, “A man who chooses not to read is just as ignorant as a man who cannot read.”

The critics are right about one thing: Dopey New York Times stories do nothing to change the situation. Dowd, who is many things but not a political philosopher, concludes by wondering if the situation will change by 2030. Lefties keep hoping the Republicans will enact child-care legislation, which probably puts us well beyond 2030. In either case, we can’t wait that long. If women’s flourishing does matter, feminists must acknowledge that the family is to 2005 what the workplace was to 1964 and the vote to 1920. Like the right to work and the right to vote, the right to have a flourishing life that includes but is not limited to family cannot be addressed with language of choice.

Women who want to have sex and children with men as well as good work in interesting jobs where they may occasionally wield real social power need guidance, and they need it early.

these are much better questions than why men don't like smart women or why MoDo can't get a date.

Monday, November 28, 2005

10 things

  1. walk the line: who knew johnny cash and ray charles had the exact same life?? i didn't.
  2. reading: bel canto. already peeked at the ending; now i'm depressed.
  3. good night and good luck: david straithairn is my new boyfriend.
  4. have a lunchbox: 1/2 pint glass with equal parts beer and orange juice; drop a shot glass full of amaretto in the beer and shoot it. it's an elmhurst special and you can order it at doc ryan's or the spring inn. crazy but strangely refreshing.
  5. saliva: not meant to be used for lube. must mention this to B-.
  6. grant proposal for large technology firm dead in the water....what to ask for?
  7. affordable christmas day flights to los angeles thin on the ground. this is what i get for waiting so damn long.
  8. last night i was heating up a piece of pizza and when i turned around i got an eyeful of my naked neighbor across the way. i think he finally realized that when he's starkers in his bathroom, we can totally see him. totally.
  9. why isn't B- prepared for frolicking when we get together? he has no sex accessories. like lube. lube is necessary! (must get a better brand than KY, though. KY's a little sticky.)
  10. listening to: the mars volta. weird weird weird.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

thanksgiving debrief

the delights of thanksgiving...moist turkey, wine, and tramping out in the early morning to a suburb in face-freezing weather to meet a friend at the end of a turkey trot and do a little pub crawl before the sun even reached a mid-point in the sky.

the burbs have weird traditions. after spending the night before drinking to excess, the whole town runs a 5k race, drinking little bloody marys along the way, and then they wrap up the morning with more drinking at the knights of columbus hall - to be followed with more drinking and breakfast throughout the morning. i called my sister from an irish pub at 11 am and had already guzzled half a bloody mary, a jack and coke, a lunchbox and a guinness. what am i thankful for? i'm thankful for strong kidneys and a constitution like a cow.

i'm also thankful i have a sane family. spending a holiday, a long one, with a family not your own enables you to see your tribe in the clear light of relief. my family is happy, content, proud of one another, and understanding of frailty. (we also understand that dinners are hard enough without reenacting slights from 1976.)

happy thanksgiving, everyone.
hope your tribe was normal.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

my memory should not be better than the vice president's

this is what i remember:

after 9/11 i remember the white house saying there was an axis of evil.
i remember the white house saying we needed to be afraid of iraq - because they were part of this axis.
i remember bush said that they had weapons of mass destruction.
i remember condi rice implying they had nuclear capability.
i remember niger and yellowcake.
i remember a memo from italy.
i remember colin powell going to the UN and holding up a chart.

at the same time i also remember old CIA and UN weapons inspectors saying that none of that was the case.
i remember colin powell's presentation being totally bogus.
i remember the whole yellowcake thing being totally bogus, too. (hello, valerie plame.)
i remember news items saying the italian memo was bogus, too.

so out of all this bogucity, wherefor all this revision?

(need a timeline? i found one here.)

Monday, November 21, 2005

the ethics of the medicine cabinet

i didn't mean to find it.

but you know how, after a frolic, your breath is all funky and you just can't stand the thought of your face being covered with various eflluvia and you just need to wash right now right now right now??!!

well, i needed toothpaste (i brought everything else but forgot that). so i opened his medicine cabinet and grabbed the aquafresh. i'm standing there, brushing, when i see two bottles. it doesn't take much effort to tuuurn the bottle to read the label. ambien. ok; i know about his insomnia. (personally, i think he should switch to lunesta.) still brushing. i tuurrn the other bottle: fluoxetine. hm. que es esto? don't know. never heard of it. i'm desperately trying not to think STD medication, but i make a mental note to look it up later. (and make another note that it's time for another pelvic exam and all concomitant tests.)

later: thanks to Desperate Housewives I know what it is and a friend added further illuminating info; it was prescribed to her cat to level out kitty's bad-ass aggression: kitty prozac.

what was heretofore known as pot-dick now has another name.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


so not only do i discover that my other blog is linked on a Ms. magazine blog (!!) the mag i wrote a piece for is running the issue on dec 2!

yay! i'm happy.

it's here!: The Carnival of Feminists, Issue 3

Sour Duck: The Carnival of Feminists, Issue 3

i read the previous carnival on philobiblion and this biweekly blogging carnival is a really great collection of feminist writing. maureen dowd should take a note or two.

[via bitch phd]

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

trading spouses: why not the dad?

my roomie and i have deep conversations on the couch while we watch tv.

one time, we wondered where kissing came from. i said, the search for food. and, lo, months later on discovery channel, we learned that was probably true. see? our conversations are deep.

anyway, while watching House and catching an ad for fox-tv's Wife Swap, my roomie asked, 'why don't they ever switch dads? why is it always the mom?'

that's a good question, roomie.
why not the dad?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Creek Running North: December First is "Blog Against Racism" Day

well here's a project to occupy my time: chris clarke at creek running north has announcedDecember First is "Blog Against Racism" Day.


(now watch me forget the date...)

'This Isn't the Real America': uh, yes it is

i love jimmy carter. it's a simple love from way back when i was a little girl and i dreamed that i had tea with the president.

but i have to disagree with jimmy, a little bit. while our post-9/11 willingness to torture seems new and doesn't fit in with our american mythology, this is precisely the america it has always been. there are two americas. on one side we have the america of progress, liberalism, jazz, commerce, positive thinking, youth, golden American-ness (in contrast to the musty smells wafting over from the old world.) we are vim and vigor, hope and liberty, freedom and possibility.

but we are also lynching, slavery, genocide, colonialism, repression, manifest destiny, civil war, puppet dictatorships, internment camps, reservations, betrayed treaties, stolen land, and rapine viciousness for the sake of a dollar. this is our other face. it's a face most of the historically marginalized populations in this country (on this continent) know quite well.

i love america too, jimmy, but do we need to be quite so naive?

Monday, November 14, 2005

federal budget update: those phone calls work!

A quick update on the 2006 Budget Reconcilliation Process:
Last week Thursday House Republicans cancelled a vote on proposed $54 billion in spending cuts on programs such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, TANF, and student loans.

Though the budget fight isn't over (gov can't run without a budget) it's good to see we can make a difference.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

i'm engaged.


no. i'm not.
since it's 6.40 am and i just got off the train of shame, just thought i'd discombobulate you, too.

i'm not engaged but i am feeling quite relaxed after a night with B-. (hm, really must leave him a note on the deliterious effects of marijuana on sexual energy.) we caught up, we listened to music, we drank wine, we watched 'the devil's rejects' - it was a lovely evening that actually lasted longer than i anticipated.

after the frolic i thought, well, this is where i shower and go home. no, we hung out, smoked a cig and played with the cat.
after the shower i thought, now i go home. no, we wrapped ourselves in sheets and watched horror movies and drank wine on the couch.
after the movie i thought, surely he's going to say he's wiped and i should go home. but, no. we watched animal planet. (his sense of justice is satisfied seeing abusive people getting arrested for pet neglect.)
after animal, he ordered another bottle of wine (!!) from the restaurant down the street and somehow convinced to come back to bed.

who was that genial fellow and what happened to my malcontent B-?

Friday, November 11, 2005

hooky, not hooker

today i will not be at work. thanks to working for National Non Profit that doesn't pay very well i have the day off. yay for veterans and other lucky hooksters. and yay for me - after months of saying 'i want my sex to matter' i might actually have an opportunity to have that conversation with B- rather than just whine about it here, to people who aren't sleeping with me.

of course, the chances of such a conversation happening are slim; once B- and i are in the same room, rational discourse disappears, to be replaced with terse directives: 'um, lift your leg', 'turn around', 'on top now?', 'wait wait wait, i have a cramp', 'harder!'

it's disturbing how that happens and how quicky - quickly - the fog dissipates.
in other ding news, i made a pot roast thursday night. it's gorgeous. it's beautiful. it smells so good. it's actually edible. roomie had to give me a high five. chopping those 6 cups of onions was worth it. i'm having people over but now i want them to stay home so we can have the pot roast all to ourselves.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

why can't this be a law?: no noisy kids in public places

instead of the right and left jabbering on about spousal/parental notification laws, i think we should debate this instead:

should a parent be responsible for his/her noisy child in a public venue when said kid kicks up a fuss?

like spousal notification, a law allowing a business to set the parameters of parent/child relations in the public sphere would foster greater communication, not only between parent and child but also business owner and patron. for all those involved, expectations are managed.

a law like this, as in spousal notification, would also help the greater good. by asking children to be on their best behavior, cafes would truly be oases of relaxation, commerce would roll forward unimpeded, and all patrons would be able to enjoy a stimulating cuppa.

of course, there are those who say that it is not a cafe owner's job to regulate the relationship between father/mother/caregiver and child. we say, of course it is. for when you leave your home and enter a public space you are entering the public home of another - the business owner. your relationship has left the private sphere and entered a public one, making it subject to the rules of public behavior. if you want privacy and liberty you should stay home.

(for those are the only choices we have here: go out/stay home.)

and there are others who are determined to argue that asking a child to behave is just too hard; it's an undue burden. nonsense. it's only a burden because you're a bad parent. and if you are, indeed, a bad parent then asking you to assert more parental control is a good tutorial for future parent/child interactions.

do not whine or complain. rather, subsume your private childrearing failures to the will of the Public, or the State. once surrendered, you'll find that the law is more than adequate to manage your family. who cares if how you raise your child is no one's business? we've made it our business because you've entered our business. who cares if you bristle at the thought of someone telling you what to do with the product of your various fluids? the Public/State is heartily offended you don't see the moral need for early basic social skills.

beware the punitive and watchful eye of the Public/State.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

should v. have to: 'spousal' notification in brief

scalito's nomination is throwing all sorts of moral quandaries into the air, not the least of which is whether the law should force a woman to tell her husband she's getting an abortion.

my favorite bitch has a discussion going on here.

Monday, November 07, 2005

here's a reason to be angry: Federal budget cuts

About the Federal Budget Cuts:
Last week the Senate voted on their federal budget bill which would cut programs and services, including those that help women and girls, by $39 billion dollars. This week, the House of Representatives is voting on their bill which would cut $54 billion dollars from programs and services-$15 billion more than the Senate bill. Programs that face drastic cuts in the House bill include Medicaid, Food Stamps, Foster Care, Childcare and the Student Loan Program. Please contact your Representative immediately and tell them to oppose budget cuts which harm those in need.

Impact for Illinois women and girls:
A 2% budget cut in Head Start is the equivalent of services for at least 35,000 children nationwide. In Illinois, services to over 1,500 children could be cut. Families on TANF would be required to work 40 hours per week, but there is insufficient funding for child care assistance to allow families to meet this increased work requirement.

2 Ways to Take Action:
Click here to send an email to your Senators and Representative on this issue.

*Call your Representatives November 7, 2005- November 11, 2005.
Phone: 1-800-426-8073 (toll-free) or see the bottom of this post for phone numbers by district.

My name is (insert your name) and I am from ( insert your city and state). I am calling to ask Representative (insert name) to oppose the $54 billion dollars in cuts to Medicaid, Food Stamps, TANF and other critical services that help women and girls. I am also asking that they oppose the $70 billion dollars in tax cuts that are being proposed.
Congress should be investing in programs that end poverty and inequality in our country, not enacting policies that do the opposite. Please urge Representative (insert name) to work to pass a responsible budget that does not include unaffordable tax cuts and harmful program cuts. Thank you.

Special Note:
Five Illinois Congressional representatives (Kirk, Johnson, Weller, LaHood and Biggert) are being targeted as particularly influential in this decision, because they are perceived as swayable votes on this issue. Your call is urgently needed if you live in one of the following counties: Adams, Brown, Bureau, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Dupage, Edgar, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Logan, Macon, Marshall, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Peoria, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Stark, Tazewell, Vermilion, or Woodford. If you live or work in one of these counties, please visit and enter your zip code to find contact information for your representative.

Who to call:

Everyone can call Illinois Senators Obama (312) 595-0937 and Durbin (312) 353-4952.

If you are working at the loop or in Lawndale , you can call or fax:
Congressman Danny Davis
Phone: 202/225-5006 Fax: 202/225-5641

If you are working from Hyde Park or Englewood, you can call or fax:
Congressman Bobby L. Rush
phone: 202-225-4372 fax: 202-226-0333

If you are working in the west suburbs, you can call or fax:
Congressman Henry Hyde
Phone: (202) 225-4561 Fax: (202) 225-1166

If you are working from Uptown, contact Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky:
Phone: (202) 225-2111 Fax: (202) 226-6890

From Logan Square, contact Congressman Luis Gutierrez:
Phone: (202) 225-8203 Fax: (202) 225-7810

me, angry?

talking to my roomie today and she said, dude, you have some serious anger about men.

i gave it some thought and agreed.

but tonight, after the episode with the guy and girl under my window, i revised my thinking. when he grabbed her i felt something jolt inside me. THAT was anger and that's not something i feel, or have felt, toward any of the men i've been with or have had in my life. this is what makes me angry: ignorance, arrogance and stupidly used power. blindly wielded authority. apathy. stupid teenagers and undergrads (see ignorance and arrogance above.)

but do i have anger toward men?

men i feel specific anger toward:
george w. bush & almost every single man in his cabinet who has not yet quit and who still supports this disaster-laden administration.
david brooks
the men who voted for bush. (fuckers)
bill frist, rick santorum, that pale weasly guy from connecticut...shit, what's his name?
the guy who plays horatio on csi: miami (fucking tool)
all the drunk buffoons who stumble from the sports bars and pee on the cars on my block. (fuckers)
the guy who took advantage of my friend when she was in no shape to fend him off (fucker and i hope you get hit by a taxi when you're crossing the street while talking on your cell phone)
carry lalabro (fucker fucker fucker)
chris nelson (yeah, i used your name, you bougie-hocky playing with the stars-date my sister-barely graduated college-asshole. fucker.)

men who merely frustrate me so much i can only talk to them in little chunks:
men who work in financial services
men who are 'born again'
the men in my dad's church
hipsters/guys who still go clubbing

the number of men at whom i've gotten angry but not for very long: 9

so when you think about it, that's actually not alot of anger floating around. i could be angrier.

(and am i angry at patriarchal discourse in popular culture, a system or at a whole gender? unfortunately, the majority of those who benefit from a patriarchal system are men, therefore, some men experience some blowback. ah, well.)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

tonight i almost had to call 911 on a guy under my window chasing a woman down the street.

i was checking my email when i heard a woman scream, stop it!

it was loud. you think it's a cliche when you read that a 'scream pierced the air' but that's what it did. it didn't sound like a girl screaming with laughter. it sounded like a scream. the guys who live across the street from me thought so, too. they ran to their windows as i ran to mine. i couldn't get a good view from my bedroom so i hurried into the kitchen, yanked down the window without a screen, so i could poke my head all the way out. this is what i saw:

a white woman with short brown hair, running diagonally across the street, away from the direction of the little mafia row of houses. it was so quiet i could hear her shoes on the concrete. she was on her phone, screaming 'stop it' to a white man in a blue track jacket and jeans; he had short light brown hair. she kept dodging behind cars and he kept blocking her. another woman from a building behind me was yelling down, 'leave her alone' and the girl ran into the alley behind my building while a man from the direction of my building walked past her, looking at her over his shoulder as he walked away from them. she was yelling, 'get away from me, leave me alone!'

the man with short brown hair kept coming after her saying 'you owe me my money, give me my 800 dollars!" under my window, he grabbed her by the hair. i yelled out the window, 'hey! i will call the fucking cops on you! step away from her!' he looked around a little and grabbed her jaw and was forcing her to turn toward him when i yelled again 'hey, get the fuck away from her!' she twisted away. i forgot my cell phone in my bedroom so by the time i was back in the kitchen with my finger on the 911 button (i have them on speed dial), they were gone.

it was silent. i checked my remote camera for the back door, the alley, the side street, the front stoop. not a sign of either of them. no more screaming. i hope she managed to get to her car.

and if i find out he's a neighbor i'm telling my landlord.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Hugo Schwyzer: a man's response to parker and MoDo

i read hugo every so often; though i don't agree with every single thing he writes, i applaud his sense of searching - as well as his knowledge of feminist history. (since he teaches women's studies i guess it shouldn't be a surprise he knows it.)

one of the criticisms that i've heard about the dowd and parker pieces is that they don't really consider the male point of view. (i disagree; i think all they're thinking of is what reinforces social masculine hierarchies.)

well, here's a guy and here's what he thinks. it's worth reading - especially what he says about masculine responsibility.

Friday, November 04, 2005

what's in my purse:

1 marshall fields make up bag containing 3 sanitary napkins
1 red leather wallet with no cash in it
1 red leather business/bus/office card holder
glasses case
black moleskin notebook for journal/story ideas and a place to jot phone numbers
mobile phone
a copy of 'More Book Lust'
3 matchbooks from local bars/restaurants
theater ticket for 'Purlie'
theater ticker for Eddie Izzard
lunch receipts from the past week
paycheck stub
1 pen
gummy fangs
1 chanel lipstick in 'bengal'
1 tarte lipgloss/balm in 'wednesday'
1 MAC lip pencil in 'chestnut'
1 lip brush
house/mail key on silver tiffany ball-thingy
1 tampon (i need to be ultra prepared when my uterus decides to go for it)
$5 in singles for the bus/panhandlers

hm. i need to buy cigarettes.

[if you want to peek into other pockets, hop on over to bitch phd]

tampon-po: bowing to the bitch

i'm humbled by the giant minds over at bitch phd.

who knew an ordinary makeup sponge could be used during your period so you could have sex?? my mind is boggled. i mean, my friends used to call me macguyver but, clearly, i have nothing on the resourcefulness of dr. b over there.

oh, college

"Ghetto"--themed dorm party offends students

guess they should have gone with 'kill whitey'...

incidentally, if you've ever wondered what football played by kids with massive IQs looks like, wonder no more.

we'll be the women at the top of the bleachers sipping hot toddies, laughing our asses off.
(private school football just makes me laugh...i went to pac 10 and big 10 schools!)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

feminist epistemology and you (and Nature and MoDo and Kathleen Parker and...)


This is the thing that feminism failed to account for, according to Kathleen Parker in the Chicago Tribune today as a response to Maureen Dowd’s Sunday NY Times piece. But while this seems like a reasonable oversight on feminism’s part, I have to disagree – again.
Nature is something feminism has always been aware of.

How could feminism not be aware of nature when Nature has been the stick used to beat women over the head? We could not work outside the home because our ‘natural’ state was in the home; we could not participate in politics because our ‘natural’ place was caregiving; we are ‘naturally’ retiring, our brains were ‘naturally’ less powerful than those of men so why should we be allowed to attend school, hold a job or even walk the streets alone – since we were so ‘naturally’ inspiring of sexual violence?

We know that none of this is ‘natural’. The rules governing female behavior back then and now are cultural constructs, meaning they aren’t intrinsic rules but are socially mandated (unconsciously and consciously) in order to support a larger social structure.

Like Dowd, Park is ignorant that behind Nature there is Patriarchy, and while Patriarchy might not always wear a male face, it is usually (one might say ‘naturally’) supported by men, who ‘naturally’ benefit from it. Quite simply, patriarchy is a way of looking at the world and understanding it; it is the dominant paradigm – it is what we assume to be ‘natural’, or common sense – conventional wisdom, almost. Patriarchy manifests itself through a system of ideas and practices that systematically disadvantage women and other subordinated groups; it is a system of ideas and practices that serve the interests of the dominant group. Who’s in the dominant group? Those who benefit from it.

The thing about Patriarchy is that it’s so damn invisible. It’s the foundation of our Western civilization so it’s completely absorbed into our culture – our icons, our literature, our government, our institutions. It’s almost second nature to us. (heh.) Because of the ‘invisible’ work of patriarchy, we take as natural that our relationship to the opposite sex is to be deferential and appreciative. I suppose that when such natural deference is absent it appears “hostile and demeaning to men”. I’d call it impatience, myself. Hostility is so…patriarchal. Impatience at the slowness of someone else’s progress is much more accurate. (Like walking behind two tourists on Michigan Avenue. Maddening.)

But not only is Patriarchy invisible, the effects of Patriarchy are invisible, too – until feminism came along, that is. Till feminism came along, unseen were the ways that Patriarchy disadvantaged women by:
(1) excluding us from inquiry,
(2) denying us epistemic authority,
(3) denigrating our “feminine” cognitive styles and modes of knowledge,
(4) producing theories of women that represent us as inferior, deviant, or significant only in the ways they serve male interests,
(5) producing theories of social phenomena that render women's activities and interests, or gendered power relations, invisible, and
(6) producing knowledge (science and technology) that is not useful for people in subordinate positions, or that reinforces gender and other social hierarchies.*

[*emphasis mine and a shout out to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for this and the above definition of patriarchy.]

Which brings us back to Nature. Feminists are very much aware of Nature; we just object to the use of Nature as an excuse to reinforce a bullshit, oppressive paradigm that fails to see women as people and only serves male interests. Let’s consider the conservative boycott of American Girl. Why do they protest a bunch of ahistorical dolls? Abortion and lesbianism, we all thought. That’s not the real reason at all.

In today’s Trib Dawn Turner Trice quotes Ann Scheidler, the Executive Director of Pro-Life Action League: "The reason we're protesting is that American Girl appeals to the wholesome image of girls, and the Girls Inc. web site is almost a recruitment for a feminist agenda. All they talk about is science and sports, nothing about homemaking and motherhood."

Homophobia and a lack of respect for a woman’s reproductive autonomy is certainly a part of Scheidler’s boycott but the fundamental thing that makes her twitch her apron is the way Girls, Inc. advocates for a girl to transcend ‘nature.’ For Scheidler, feminism is freakish because it isn’t wholesome, homemaking or motherhood. It’s sports and science – two fields that aren’t feminine because they aren’t ‘natural’ to a woman, while childbirth and caregiving is.

What’s Nature again? Patriarchy.

So to Park I say that feminism didn’t tell half a story; feminism knows the whole freaking story. It knows the Author, the Publisher, the Reader and the little bitty ISBN number inside the front page. It knows who the Distributor is and where the Bookstores are (tired of this metaphor, yet?). We know the story and we keep telling it. You just don’t like that story. That’s fair.

You don’t like the ending, either; that's ok, too. It’s hard being a feminist. It’s hard being 'unnatural' and knowing. It’s much easier to be naturally ignorant. I get that. It’s hard to look around and see you're the village idiot, or the crazy lady crying in the wilderness about something no one else wants to see. I get that. You don’t want to be the outlier.

But you are lying. Feminism didn't cheat women; it just didn’t account for the general chicken-heartedness of our sex in the face of patriarchal disapproval. It thought we were braver than that.

[edited to thank my roomie for pointing me to the article and to correct Parker's name.]

the links? they are dumped.

One of my faves, James Wolcott, on bearding for the neocons: "I don't understand why someone as politically keen as The Nation's David Corn would lend his name to the editorial board of Pajamas Media, the greatest assembly of conservative deadbeats since Jonah Goldberg's last fondue party"

Gearing up for the SCOTUS fight, The Well-Timed Period takes apart Scalito's dissent and husband notification: "Since male masturbation also involves the purposeful termination of potential life, I take it the decision to masturbate must also be recognized as sui generis, different in kind from the rights protected in the earlier cases under the rubric of personal or family privacy and autonomy. Coming soon to a police department near you, the Squad for Prohibition of, and Enforcement of Rules on, Masturbation, or SPERM."

A fable from The Heretik: "The bush that was burning down, burning down the house of white, flamed higher so all might forget the fallen Libby and the never risen Miers. Out of the flames sudden burst Sam, the one of tribe of the Peni now known as Scalito" notes the movement was more than Rosa: "the NAACP chose Parks — married, sexually modest, and employed with no alcoholic father to act the fool in court — to be the center of a movement.

Colvin wasn’t just rejected for fear of what the white media would do to smear her and the boycott, but also because the NAACP was concerned about whether black churches would support a movement aligned behind a shameless, 15-year-old pregnant hussy."

Donkey Rising points out that Scalito is bad for more than women: "Alito opposed majority decisions on worker's rights with respect to minimum wage, discrimination, pensions, public employee rights and union protection. He points out that Alito wrote "anti-worker majority decisions" on exempting employers from the Family and Medical Leave Act, "putting him to the right of William Rehnquist."

And, just for brainy nerdy fun, the Chicago Humanities Festival is here. The weather's cooling, big brains are in's so sexy. I'm going to the Nov 12 panel on affordable housing and maybe catch a few other things on the black migration from the south...hope to see you guys.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

what opposition looks like: Democrats Force Senate Into Closed Session Over Iraq Data - New York Times

at fucking last.

dare we hope this sudden show of ovarial chutzpah will last?
all it took was 5 years and scooter getting kicked in the butt...

Monday, October 31, 2005

(post removed...)

i mean, really.
who cares about michael jackson?


sometimes it's hard being so right: bush's new scotus pick

it begins - again.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What's a Modern Girl to Do? - New York Times

if you can stand it.

why am i totally not feeling conflicted about being a feminist?

[updated: this article has flown all over the place and it even made the dinner conversation tonight with a couple of girlfriends. it's a more important piece than that lame 'ivy league girls give work the finger' article but it's still slightly problematic.

i don't have a quarrel with dowd's view on pop culture. the sexual codes floating around out there are regressive; we have a generation of young women who don't know the first thing about feminist history or their connection to it; we have a whole slew of men who are still infantilized, much to the chagrin of a small segment of the female population who would like, yes, a partner in life, not another child. we've heard of the man-child, the kids who are still living at home, the women who think the view of the 50s is nifty. the failure of the 'have it all' lifestyle, blah blah. i have no doubt about any of these things.

i have a problem with her main thesis: "Little did I realize that the feminist revolution would have the unexpected consequence of intensifying the confusion between the sexes, leaving women in a tangle of dependence and independence as they entered the 21st century." for dowd, the problem isn't patriarchy but feminism. the backlash against feminism has nothing to do with the phallocentric nature of our institutions, the way that masculine power is disseminated and replicated in our culture, or even the basic inability of the general male population to fucking evolve. no, the bloom is off feminism's rose because feminism itself rubbed it off with its own hand.

for dowd, the reason women are so confused and men are still so maddeningly retro is because women have changed the rules, don't know the rules, or ignore the rules, or haven't. in her analysis, this dance of the sexes is our burden to shoulder; it's our maze to navigate. men just get to passively respond to what's put in front of them and their position is never really problematized.

the editor of maxim gets to thoughtfully furrow his brow and muse of his surprise "to find that a lot of women would want to be somehow validated as a Maxim girl type, that they'd like to be thought of as hot and would like their boyfriends to take pictures of them or make comments about them that mirror the Maxim representation of a woman, the Pamela Anderson sort of brand. That, to me, is kind of extraordinary."

um, yeah, how fucking extraordinary! as if this extraordinary thing just freaking happened! it's not as if this desire to be validated as a walking vagina with fake breasts just accidentally became the norm! not only are ed's ideas left standing there, blinking dumbly at us, the ideas behind his ideas are completely accepted as 'accident.'

there is no accident. the big white elephant in dowd's piece is masculinity. the crisis in masculinity, the narrative of masculinity, the blankness of masculinity. behind all her examples of courtship, beauty, ambition, pop culture, she posits women as the cause of all this topsi-turviness. i don't buy it. it's the hollow core of patriarchy and its empty codes of masculinity that are the culprit here. maxim's choice to replicate a type of fraternity boy masculinity, or a bill maher's decision to voice masculine desire for a woman to 'shut up', creates a cultural atmosphere that requires a woman to acquiesce to a shallow and fragile childish ego. that is, if she wants masculine attention.

let's face it; this is dowd's real question - why aren't i the object of the masculine gaze? waah waah.

her writing is so fucking heterosexist.

i'd like to rewrite her thesis:
Little did I realize that the idea that women are people would have the unexpected consequence of confusing men, leaving them in a tangle of dependence and shallow bravado as they entered the 21st century.]

Friday, October 28, 2005 - Commentary on Popular and Political Cultures - Commentary on Popular and Political Cultures

when i get home, i'm adding it to the blogroll.
smart, feminist, and pop culture-y.

it's not sexy...

but it's interesting, and that's what matters since this is all about ME.

For Blacks, a Dream in Decline - New York Times

i don't know much about unions/organizing so i'd be interested in knowing (mark) what other people think...

i guess i'm confused: are african americans leaving unions or are jobs getting rid of african americans, thus emptying unions of african americans? or some weird combo of them both?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

so let's see...

the sox have won the series.
someone in the shrub administration is about to (finally) get spanked.
harriet miers is off the short list (this is a yay/boo kind of thing. yay she's off; boo someone more awful is next.)
george takei and sheryl swoops have come out.

with all this commotion and topsy turviness, i can either crawl under the big pile of laundry on my bed and go to sleep or i can spin around in circles, giddy with the absurdity of it all.

i'd rather spin, thank you.
things to do while in chicago:
see purlie
check out my doppelganger
go to the sox parade (heh)
get a massage
ignore the fact that no one i know is throwing a halloween party.

poor harriet: wrong (straw) man for the job

Now that the burden of this woman has been lifted from the administration, how much you wanna bet a man, a very scary man – even scarier than poor mediocre harriet – will pop up and get the post, thus unifying the right, terrifying the left and basically screwing all of Creation in the process?

Hm? Any takers? Any?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


i will not deny my class bias or envy.

"It's all about six degrees of separation for black folks. Beautiful, smart, happening black folks."

for anyone who never knew the meaning of the word, this is bougie.

enough of politics; now let's talk poop

Orange Tangerine: Wow, that's a lot of repression

orange is a woman after my own heart and her readership! naughty, all of them. over at her place there's discussions about sammiches, boobs, poops and why interracial babies will eventually rule the world.

(bwah ha ha ha! rise up blasiatinos! rise up!)

Wal-Mart Memo: eat the poor!

Wal-Mart Memo Suggests Ways to Cut Employee Benefit Costs - New York Times

there are so many things wrong with wal mart in this article, it's boggling.

while acknowledging that a significant part of their workforce makes so little money they're still on public assistance, wal-mart still wants to find ways to squeeze their benefits; acknowledging that their workforce is probably among the unhealthiest (diabetes, obesity, poor nutrition), they still want to cut benefits; acknowledging productivity is flat they figure the solution is to find a way to push out senior workers, though there's no indication that younger or newer workers would be any more productive. acknowledging their internal culture is fucked up, do they or their consultants recommend changing that culture?

no, they just want to find ways to make poor and unhealthy people work harder for less.

what a truly fucked up company wal-mart is.

news flash: goose and gander not pals

Senators in G.O.P. Voice New Doubt on Court Choice - New York Times:

Senator Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican in the political middle of his party, said he needed 'to get a better feel for her intellectual capacity and judicial philosophy, core competence issues.'

don't know about you but i think this is hilarious.
they're in a dither about meirs' intellectual capacity and core competence (how corp speak) and we have the president we have. i guess it's all ok to elect a truly mediocre man to the highest office in the land but it's not ok to put a mediocre woman on the supreme court.

not that i'm a fan of meirs and her problematic willingness to ban abortion for all women unless we're bleeding out somewhere. but i find it interesting that she's getting the grilling from the GOP based on skills when this administration is full of puddingheads who couldn't string together a coherent plan or skill set if a gun was held to their heads and their testicles were on fire.

sexism? naaah. couldn't be.

fascinating: diary of a wife

i honestly can't remember how i came across this blog.

it's an older salon blog but it's a really interesting conversation about marriage, sex with a littl ebit of advice column thrown in. the main readership is male and it's fascinating to read their responses to what a woman thinks. i've been reading it for the past two nights and i can totally see patterns of my parents' marriage in her posts.

anyway, you should check it out. it's like a marriage/sex manual written by someone's cool mom.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

niice: olsen twins of the white nationalists

via feckless, the all-american story of two cute kids just trying to catch a break in this rough and tumble world - you know, in that 'kill all the black people' kind of way.

aren't they adorable?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Asking the Wrong Questions: 4 Popular Misconceptions About Pride and Prejudice

i seem to be obssessed with austen.

here is abigail nussbaum discussing popular misconceptions of pride & prejudice. (just in case any of prof L-'s students are still hanging around...)
and i still have no idea what i'm going to submit to that contest...grrr.

oh, blah.

the sox won game two of the series tonight. yay.
the bears beat the ravens, whoever they are. again, yay.

i spent the whole weekend nesting, recovering from the week and the big fundraiser. roomie hung out with T- and i tried to write a little bit. when that failed, i ate a whole pint of ice cream and started reading the chronicles of narnia. when one's sex/love life is as barren as mine at the moment, you need to stuff every nook and cranny with as much distraction as possible.

political news usually gets me excited but right now there's nothing grabbing my gullet. the world of men is increasingly distasteful; they've created these games that are eating them, and us, alive and i'm exhausted by it all. the playground pendulum of What Goes Around slowly swings back our way and some rather nasty people could go to jail; if we're lucky they all get dropped into the black hole of Irrelevance.

i should write. i have a nov 11 deadline for a contest and i got nothing. nothing! sex or writing, sex or writing. which has the chance of hitting first?

Friday, October 21, 2005

ding's back! (huge fundraiser a smashing success!)

now that roomie is getting more sleep, she's chipper in the morning and - let's just say it's crazy-making. (i say that with love, roomie, i do!) but i only sound bitter because her morning chipperness interrupted a really good, inappropriate dream i had of B- the ex-boy.

why was it good? just have to know B-.
why was it inappropriate? any hot dream wherein your father makes an unexpected appearance is totally inappropriate. totally. inappropriate.

the moratorium i've declared on B- is becoming more difficult to maintain as the weather gets colder. why the fuck am i doing this to myself?

oh right. STANDARDS.

Monday, October 17, 2005

roomie on the train

roomie's anal aperture was ravaged this morning on the blue line.

let's all send our sympathetic to poor traumatized roomie.

american girl dolls: lesbianic abortion-getters

once again, some people need to get a grip: Groups Threaten to Boycott American Girl - Yahoo! News

why do these people want to boycott american girl?
because Girls Inc. happens to believe that women are people, too.

i don't particularly care about american girl dolls. i think dolls are creepy and the whole cult around the store is weird - not to mention their whole take on history is patently ahistorical. but i think social convervatives are becoming increasingly nuts.

it's a good thing that women make medical and moral decisions for themselves.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Fallen Fruit: uh, hands off my fruit, man.

Fallen Fruit

theoretically, i'm down with this. theoretically.

practically, i have an issue. being from LA i know that a lot of the neighborhoods where fruit trees live are on the south and eastside of town, the older parts - neighborhoods like my father's, echo park, macarthur park, silverlake, east la, arlington, the neighborhoods bordering downtown la. these are mostly communities of color. or, they used to be.

gentrification is changing a lot of rules in urban neighborhoods but i know that my father's neighbor would not look kindly on some crunchy granola guy putting his hand up and taking a banana from the tree that grows on his front yard and happens to overhang the sidewalk. he has a machete and isn't afraid to use it.

when i was in hawaii with my family my sister and i walked down the street and pick up all the fallen mangos. we'd sit on the red dirt curbs and eat until our stomachs bulged and our faces were sticky with juice. mom would look at us and say, "that's the filipina coming out." but we'd pick fruit that had already fallen. when the neighbors saw us (and everyone had a huge mango tree) they'd bring out sacks for us and beg us to take what we wanted; no one could eat it all, there was so much.

before you take someone's fruit, shouldn't you ask?

Friday, October 14, 2005

black people to george bush: you stank!

i love this:

from a statistical level, it's a theoretical possibility that with the possible exception of Condoleeza Rice and Michael Steele, not a single black person in the United States of America approves of George W. Bush.


original article here

Thursday, October 13, 2005

why working with a bunch of women is good

we can cry at the office.

in fact, when i worked at my other firm (where there were only two men) tears were a natural part of the business day. when projects were overwhelming, when meetings got touchy, when a consultant was contemplating a career change - i'd see any number of women in my boss' office tearing up over a box of kleenex. (it was usually related to stress...)

tears were ok. when our boss told us she was buying out her partner, when we launched our new identity, when i told my boss i didn't like it there anymore, when we had our staff retreats - tears. there were tears at other firms too: when i made one particularly awful manager cry, when another manager made my office mate cry, when i got fired for making my manager cry - tears then, too. (not from me. i was too angry to cry.)

there was a time in this country that tears were a sign of sensibility; they were the indicators of finer feelings. but now they're just taken for being a wuss. or - not being a MAN.

are tears a sign of weakness? tears are a sign you're fucking human. if you don't cry, you're a robot and you're about to have a stroke or a heart attack.

are there appropriate places to cry? yes. office politics being what they are, i don't like crying in front of people i don't trust. i'm not too down with open displays of emotion, so i like the idea of finding an empty office or conference room and letting it out there. so much more discreet.

tears can also be strategic. i *know* i bought myself some time and just avoided getting fired from a job because i cried. in front of another woman, no less. stoicism and the 'i'm tough' thing can get you so far. sometimes you need to break down and sob a little.

how sad is it that women have to stifle a normal reaction to stress just to satisfy someone's fucked up notion of 'work'?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

guilty late night pleasure

so, thanks to my roomie, we have hbo and every sunday night we have ditched the desperate housewives and have embraced the people of rome. she has her favorite and i have mine.

i love him: Honorable, severe, unforgiving, pitiless; dour and pragmatic, with a tendency towards self-laceration.

he has all the charm of a hemorrhoid, doesn't he?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

reality raises its hoary head: budget cuts hit the poor

Liberal Hopes Ebb in Post-Storm Poverty Debate - New York Times

suspending all the swooning and mooning over EofDM, let's take a short break to think about what's going on in this post-apocalyptic storm time: our administration, over-extended because of the war(s) waged abroad, bad tax policies and other economic miscues, now sees fit to slash even further funding for those programs that poor people (the people we hadn't really thought about until now) who need it to survive.

here's a partial list of programs on the chopping block:

Medicaid: the last-resort health insurance program for the very poor
Medicare: the health care safety net for the elderly and the disabled
Agriculture programs (that include food stamps)
Student loans
Tightening requirements for the Earned Income Tax Credit
Housing assistance
Education and training programs
Safe and Drug-free schools programs
School lunches for poor children
Minority Business Development Agency
AIDS research

disproportionately, these programs affect women and their families (which include elderly parents, extended families, children).

conservatives say that the latest storms have shown how these programs don't 'work'. they say that now is the perfect time to get rid of them. debatable. is it the programs don't work or that these programs are only as strong as the infrastructure that supports them?

regardless, if these programs are whittled even further, then what are the odds the growing population of desperately poor will be helped?

Monday, October 10, 2005

more about the moustache on my latest inappropriate lust-object - News - Eagles Of Death Metal Frontman Gushes About 'Amazingly Sexy' LP, Own Moustache

i think i must have this cd. i will try to ignore the worrisome thing about being a republican activist. but i think i need to have it.

(roomie - josh homme is in the band, too! squee!)

Friday, October 07, 2005

dude! haven't i been saying this very same thing?!

Jessa Crispin Worries For Keira Knightley

i have. i've been saying the very same thing - bronte over austen! bronte over austen!
but i guess people actually listen to bookslut...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

tomkat: gack.


proving that the Big Fundraiser has sucked all serious thought out my brain, i'm posting about the alien pupae poor little katie holmes is carrying. a moment of silence for her so-over career.



Abortion Might Outgrow Its Need for Roe v. Wade - New York Times

this may be so, but i'd still rather have the legal right to make health/reproductive decisions without worrying about how to get my hands on misoprostol.


have no idea who this band is, but he's kind of yummy.
thanks, sid.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

opting out: one more time

When Louise Story's piece ran in the Sep 20 NYT about droves of Ivy League women opting out of careers to be stay at home moms, it nagged me. (kinda how lisa belkin's crappy article pissed me off in 2003).

Nothing in it jibed with recent numbers I'd read about working women, and the glaring class/race holes in it were obvious.

It seems I wasn't the only one bothered by it. Below are a group of links about women and work that are useful and tell a good story about what needs to happen to make work work for women - and not just the privileged ones. (thanks, feministing)

Original Opt Out NYT articles:
Louise Story (2005)
Lisa Belkin (2003)

Linda Basch, et al, Alternet
Katha Pollit, The Nation
Jack Shafer, Slate

(the alternet article is my favorite.)

VAWA: call senators today!

VAWA expires today. VAWA (and the awful Managers Amendment) passed the House last week but it expires today.

We need everyone to call their Senators as soon as possible and urge them to bring VAWA to the floor IMMEDIATELY.

Please call both of your Senators and tell them:

Your name and the city and state you are calling from.
Please ask the Senator to bring the Violence Against Women Act of 2005, S. 1197, to the floor TODAY.
If you have time, tell them why it is important for your community that VAWA be reauthorized.

For contact information for your Senators, visit or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Never called your Senator before? No worries:

When you call your Senator, your call will be answered by a receptionist. Tell him or her that you would like to leave a message for the Senator. The receptionist will take down your message.

If you called or faxed your representatives last week -- THANK YOU. Our calls were heard and have gotten us to the place we are now. But your Senators need to hear from us again. This is our opportunity to make VAWA happen!

For more information, please contact Allison Randall at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, 202-554-3436 or

Monday, October 03, 2005


there's really almost nothing better than joining the girls for a complete dorkfest at serenity. (i desperately want to be like zoe but everyone forced me to admit that i'm more suited to more, uh, sedentary pursuits. companion, anyone?) we're two weeks out from Big Fundraising Event at work so this week is going to be rather light blogging. and a really inappropriate glimpse of a rather large penis while watching rome last night made me have a disturbing dream about B- this morning.

(they really should warn you that a large uncircumsized penis is about to make an appearance in a scene. really. we had to stop and rewind, we were so startled. ahem.)

Friday, September 30, 2005

bill bennet, shut up.

White House Criticizes Bennett for Remarks - New York Times

he says:
"I was pointing out that abortion should not be opposed for economic reasons, any more than racism or for that matter slavery or segregation should be supported or opposed for economic reasons," he said. "Immoral policies are wrong because they are wrong, not because of an economic calculation. One could just as easily have said you could abort all children and prevent all crime, to show the absurdity of the proposition."


In an interview with Fox News, Mr. Bennett said critics had distorted his comments by omitting his statement that aborting all black babies would be "morally reprehensible."

"When that is included in the quote, it makes it perfectly clear what my position is," Mr. Bennett said, "They make it seem as if I am supporting such a monstrous idea, which I don't."

but, funny, though he 'easily' could have said so, he didn't say that one could abort all children and prevent all crime. he says black babies. (equating blackness and crime and just being icky all over the place); and saying that it's reprehensible (which was included in all the transcripts) doesn't take away from the fact that he SAID IT. no give backs. no do-overs. you SAID it, Bill.

(hey, let's play the bill bennet game! i know - one could also say that we could prevent all rape by aborting all male babies. of course to do so would be wrong, but it's a thought, right? or, we could stop all terrorism by aborting all muslims. or, we could stop homophobia by isolating the gay gene and aborting all gay babies. wow. this is a fun game once you get started. thanks, bill!)

dear jesus, thank you for tina

after waxing on below it seems a shame to bump it down with common snark but THIS is TOO good: Hostage Gave Meth to Atlanta Fugitive.

remember that awful bad man down in atlanta who took that sweet church going woman hostage and she won her liberty by witnessing to him?

uhhh, no.

she gave him her secret stash of crystal. (oh, the sweet sweet tweak of tina.)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

katrina & race: post mortem

Body and Soul: Criminals and victims revisited

as is my wont i'm posting this right before bed so my thoughts aren't going to be smooth or plainly laid out. i'm thinking about the story my father told me, of black people eating dead bodies; i'm thinking of stories of black people shooting at helicopters trying to rescue them; i'm thinking about stories of marauding hordes while a city descends into chaos and anarchy. i'm thinking about stories of gang rapes in stadiums.

did we believe these stories?

how many blogs did we read where commenters distanced ourselves from what we heard and saw on tv; we were horrified at those stories and angry at them. posters saying they couldn't understand why people would behave like that. we gave to the red cross to send aid, but we spoke in private conversations at the office about not getting how people could be so lawless. where was the personal responsibility, we asked? where's the accountability, we mused?

i did it. i remember writing how ashamed i felt at all those stories and images. i internalized the easy racist (prejudice + power = racism) narratives of the Black Rapist, the Black Looter, the Black Savage.

and now, on further examination, it turns out those narratives were mostly empty. yes, there was looting; yes, there was crime. but not on the level our fevered imaginations created. the shots fired at helicopters were fired on the ground; the hordes are two men; the rapes...

so, now that we're calmer, where did our acquiescence come from? why were we so pliant to listen to those stories?

don't you think that's interesting?
i think that's interesting.

more, sir? no, enough!

Have you noticed that those of us in the blog-hood seem to be tottering on our last legs lately? Over the past month I keep running across writers who, one by one, have gasped, "It's too much. The world is too much. I can't take it and now I must go."

It has happened. The absurdity and wrongness of this world have finally taken its toll on the best and brightest of us and now we've retreated to our netflix subscriptions, gin and home-brewed beer.

Katrina was probably the breaking point but let's spread the blame around: George Bush, new Republicans, college kids who don't like homework, opt out moms/daughters, reality tv mavens, social conservatives, men's rights activists, maxim readers, status quo humpers, religious fanatics (of all stripes) and plain old stupid people have succeeded in finally sucking the last drop of resistance from us and now, limp with despair, we just want to take our toys back and live in the tree house where we can remember the good old days of 1999. (remember how much fun it was then? shit, even 2001 was more fun than this. at least i was having sex in 2001.)

I don't know about you, but I can't take 3 more years of Bush Co. I can't take a whole lifetime of Roberts and his anti-privacy/women/pro-corporate crap. (yeah, it's not even his first day on the job but let me go on the record: he's going to startle us with his suckage! look at history! it repeats!) I won't be able to withstand middle age railing against some freaky ID advocate who wants us to redefine science to resemble prayer. I won't be able to muster the energy to keep birth control a matter of health and privacy, not religion. I won't be able to stay sane as we morph into a bunch of nationalistic pseudo-christian hopheads.

Maybe this was their plan all along - exhaust us with an unceasing barrage of stupidity, misogyny, various -phobias and -isms until we are so shocked with their audacity we just fold in defeat.

Because I especially won't be able to withstand the continued transformation of the democratic party into oliver twist much longer, either.

a modest proposal: bill bennett on crime and abortion

think he's being satirical?

i don't.

Delay Is Indicted in Texas Case and Forfeits G.O.P. House Post - New York Times

happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me. happy birthday to ding, happy birthday to me!


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

36: ain't nothin but a thang

the birthday passed exactly how i wanted it: not a lot of fanfare and just the right amount of alcohol sickness.

a girl friend of mine had her birthday last week so we went out saturday night. it started out a feminine civilized evening: wine and dessert at a new bistro in bucktown, a few cocktails at blue line - but when we got to exit things took a decided turn for the unwise.

who had the bright idea of drinking tequila, beer, guinness and whiskey on a stomach full of sugar and wine? we did.

(and if anyone can tell me what all the police/crime scene tape was doing at marie's rip tide lounge saturday night around 2.30 am, that'd be great.)
pink martini was in town monday night and roomie sprang for a ticket for me and we went with the girls. another perfect, romantic evening spent in the company of 4 single women. if we were gay, and into each other, we'd be set. for a minute there, we were worried k- wouldn't be able to join us (the show was sold out!) but the generosity of a really cute older man older man on the sidewalk saved the night.

i can't say enough about pink martini; they may only tour the west coast and europe but if you hear a rumor they're in your city, you MUST see them. they are so very good. and the cello guy? hot. hothouse on balboa is a gem that really needs to be taken advantage of more often; they get excellent world class talent and they even serve a fine soul food dinner.

can double door say that? i don't think so.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Look At His Butt!

funniest. blog title. ever.

(yah i can't sleep tonight.)

Cannot find server: whither XX Blog?

where'd they go?

did i miss something? have the wonderful women of xx blog gone their separate ways?

Friday, September 23, 2005

crafty. grr!

roomie and i will be here on saturday. maybe we'll see you there.

maybe i'll pick up something cute and funky.

speaking of cute and funky can i admit to crushing out on the middle-aged rockers inxs? i think the chubby bearded one and the one who looks like he'd like edgar allan poe alot are my favorites.

fashion friday: big strollers

my sister has two kids. one of my friends from grad school has one. i've even babysat two toddlers at the same time, taking them shopping with me at the mall.
and i've never once hit anyone with a stroller.

why? because i know how to negotiate my space in the city.

i used to live in a very baby-populated neighborhood in boystown (oh, boystown before you bacame haven for yuppies!) and i have to admit, the big Hummer strollers clogging Caribou Cafe pissed me off. the looks the parental unit would get as they rammed their buggy over feet, knocking into tables, tumbling coffee cups to the floor, wrestling their way to the front of the line. or the exasperated glares from waitstaff when a huge mercedes benz of a stroller blocks the aisle and there's no way to get to their table. or on the bus, when even the smaller strollers bifurcate the only aisle, trapping other riders behind them.

is this about privilege ('i have a human life in a buggy so step aside') or is it aout being city-dumb?

i think it's about being city-dumb. who in their right mind doesn't fold up a stroller when entering a restaurant, cafe or bus? who plonks their uncollapsed stroller in the middle of the aisle, creating a FIRE HAZARD? who thrusts their large stroller into traffic, stopping right turners who have the right of way, so they can cross the street? who decides that a stroller will fit (head first) into a revolving door?

people who have no concept of living in the limited space of a city.
people who think the world is their backyard.
(and this applies to groups of single women who walk 4-abreast down the sidewalk as they shop - group it together, ladies! this ain't the quad in college!!)
people who would fail a city navigational quiz.

so here's a city tip to those stroller owners out there: fold it up and put it aside.
the world will like you again.

*edited because a cleaner post is a better post*

Thursday, September 22, 2005

opting out, pt 2: slate calls it

remember that lame article earlier this week about those ivy girls who just want to stay home and pop out babies?

jack shafer calls it a a bogus trend story on Page One.

thanks for the heads up from sarah t.

financial services: home to hannibal

this explains why the guys who work at the CBOT and the Merc all creep me out.

they're nuts.

[thanks feckless]

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

birthday dork

one thanksgiving, i was helping my mom cook and on the little black and white tv i saw a movie i have always secretly loved: busgy malone.

uh...i totally loved it. kids in jazz baby dress, jodie foster, scott baio and cute little cars that you pedaled. i loved it.

and now, because i mentioned it to my roomie once, i have it on dvd for my birthday. (she got it from japan. squee!)

i love this movie. it made me want to be a jazz baby. i even loved the corny paul williams soundtrack. yes, i'm almost ashamed to admit it but i know almost every song. (and the shoes!!)

so we're watching it tonight and roomie says something about a guy not understanding this bugsy thing i have.
i say, NO! if they can have dorky stuff i can have this!

whoever is not enchanted by a pubescent jodie foster singing about how she got her training in north carolina is a whoever i don't need to meet.

macy's sucks

i grew up on the west coast where there was a local macy's at the fox hills mall. i hated going to macy's. the merchandise looked cheap, the aisles were always narrow and it was beige unstylishness all around.

that was years ago and nothing much has changed. i visited my sister a year ago and we went holiday shopping at macy's in the westside pavillion: still junky, still tacky, still ugly.

and now they've destroyed marshall fields. they're taking a gorgeous flagship store with real historical weight, cute boutiques, and they're going to paint it beige and suck all the style out of it and make it a filene's basement. they're going to destroy the tiffany's window, turn the walnut room into taco bell, dump merz apothecary and throw the big state street clock into the street.

i know. no one outside of chicago really cares.

but it's typical: big corporate asshats taking something beautiful, historical, quirky and small and then turning it into something totally boring and common.

elitist? sure. it sucks to have good taste replaced with tackiness.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

opting out: not just for your mother anymore

you know you've read it. or someone has emailed it to you already. (it's the number one emailed article in the times today.)


Ms. Ku added that she did not think it was a problem that women usually do most of the work raising kids.

"I accept things how they are," she said. "I don't mind the status quo. I don't see why I have to go against it."

does no one know women's history anymore??

Monday, September 19, 2005

get your war on | k

he's been bitter about iraq and now he's downright scathing about katrina.

(thanks to mr. b for reminding me)

36: the non-age

oh, blah.

nothing right now is grabbing my attention, either on the news or off. last week worked me so hard i was brain dead for the entire weekend. much to roomie's chagrin i watched hours of remington steele season 1 episodes, slipping immediately into my childhood pleasure. (i loved that show.) i have overdue library books, com'tee meetings and a huge fundraiser coming up next month at work that's just about ready to drive all of us insane at National NonProfit.

and - next weekend is my birthday. 36. it's depressing. my friends are treating me to a pink martini concert and that's great. i love them. i love my friends. it'll be wonderful. but i have to confess that i don't want to think any more than i have to about turning 36. i don't really want to celebrate it. i want it to disappear.

more and more i'm thinking about how invisible women become the older we get. or, maybe this is just about me. i'm feeling more invisible the closer i get to true middle age. it's like, ok if there's no rocking passion in my life at least let there be decadent fun. (yes i'm passionate about my work and about my writing but that doesn't keep a girl exactly excited, you know?) but no. no decadent fun. just age. more hairs in unmentionable places. more evidence of sagging and stretching.

even my bras have changed. from lacy cute things to utilitarian soviet-style underwear that really do the job. it's depressing, this 36. i may even be closer to early menopause than i thought previously. now that i think about it, my mom went nuts right before her 40th birthday. pre-menopause. insanity. dwindling desire. increased hair growth. more stretch marks. aching knees.


Friday, September 16, 2005

things i read while at work today...

1. I. Wallerstein, 169, Katrina: The Politics of Incompetence and Decline
2. NYTimes - Serving Gays Who Serve God
3. Plain Jane Custom Design (I want pants...)

it's been a busy week. clearly i'm brain dead.

AngryBlackBitch: A bitch might hate you if...

for all the reasons we love ABB, her ability to spin a rant into a piece of effing art is highest.

Thursday, September 15, 2005