Friday, February 25, 2005

let me count the ways today blew:

1. boss out of the office with bronchitis (is that contagious?)
2. power outage because of a blown transformer by the brown line. (big boom)
3. process and work flow issues with nerve-bitten consultants
4. one office manager on the verge of going absolutely postal
5. piles of crappy paper that desperately cry out for order and organization
6. a realization that i 'quit' this job back in november
7. so much caffeine ingestion, my eyes are scratchy
8. so much caffeine ingestion, i resemble a puffer fish wearing black cropped pants and high heeled boots - with a 'fro
9. new company identity launch scheduled in two weeks - we're not ready we're not ready we're not ready
10. feeling anemic as am going into week #3 of my period because am so effing stressed out

(though am not as stressed out as my roomie A--... poor butternut tree - some lame ass in london tried to steal her identity wednesday!!)

Thursday, February 24, 2005


couldn't have said it better.

go here if you want to read just about the funniest, snarkiest tale of how a blog can get your ass fired. (J-- take heart! your mealy-mouthed coworkers should be thankful you show the restraint this woman didn't have!!)

i love her swagger.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


i'm feeling a little bloogy. however, i bought a new pair of cropped pants over the weekend that i love. i need new shoes for it. now.

but one thing has caught my reluctant attention: i could have sworn people had already pounded this topic into the ground, but i guess not. (i also would have thought that xx blog's rhetorical twist on it would have ended the navel gazing...)

imagine an empty expanse of beach. a row boat nudges the shore. scads of pale, bloviating men jump to the sand. "Ah," they say. "We shall claim this island for ourselves! We shall name this wide open free uninhabited beach Blogosopia!" and the men cheer. from the tree line, a group of women watch them cheer. they watch them light fires and lay down and mark different territories. 'how annoying', they murmur. and so they leave the cover of the trees to move further down the beach.

'hey,' says one layabout guy. 'i think those are women there.'
'no. can't be.'
'yes. there they are.' and he points to the group of women moving down the beach. he waves and the women wave back.
'absolutely not. this is Blogosopia and there are no women here! we are the first! yay for us!'
'uh, i'm pretty sure those are women...'
'well, we'll just pretend they aren't here, then.'
another cheer.

this whole deliberate blindness reminds me of a conversation i had with my father once, about the 'down low' thing. he and i were having drinks with my friend Dr. A and his partner, S--. my father was absolutely floored that there could be 'straight' black men who preferred to have sex with gay men. (the whole DL phenom is another thing i don't have time for right now. maybe later.) Dr. A and i laughed. Dr. A said, 'mr. ding, being on the down low has existed for ages. there were songs written about it during the harlem renaissance.' and he quoted one. and another one. my father gaped like a fish.

he said, 'i never knew this. why haven't i known this?'
i said, 'but gay people have known this.'
he said, 'i'm shocked.'
i said, 'if you really wanted to know about gay history, dad, it's all there. you just have to look.'

so to all those people who find themselves on the side of the hegemony, here's a word of wisdom from me to you: get a fucking clue. step outside of your fucking subject position, for once, and realize the world is wider than the two foot radius surrounding your body.

before you open your fucking mouth to ask 'where are the women [insert current brain fart here]?' stop and think. really really think.

think about why you're asking that particular question. ponder more valuable questions: why aren't i linking to women political bloggers? what am i assuming when i imply female political bloggers don't exist? what does it mean when i implicitly assert female bloggers should model a masculine-defined blogging practice? how have i gotten so far being such a dumbass?

Monday, February 21, 2005


so this morning i found a snark-like anonymous comment somewhere. it went along the lines of 'snitty snitty...another leftwing blogger...snit snit yawn.'

so i deleted it. it pissed me off and i erased it. (thanks, blogger, for fixing things so i can do that now.)

i only wish i could exercise that same editorial mastery in real life...


Legal Affairs Debate Club - Can the Law Regulate Reckless Sex?

via well-timed period (who gagged, as well.)

Friday, February 18, 2005

is this day over yet?

Improv Everywhere Mission: McDonald's Bathroom Attendant

because i'm so tired - and didn't get as much accomplished as i would have liked - i'm taking a break.

join in.
am finishing a position paper on blogging for my co and have run into bit of a roadblock.

how hard can it be to find a blog expressing hatred of/displeasure toward/disillusion with a product and/or corporte entity??

a big blog. an influential blog. something like...'Microsoft Ate my Baby' or 'Jihad on WalMart' and they get 2000 hits a day, you know? come on, i need the InstaPundit of anti-corporate blogs...


[there is so no way i'm linking to instahack.]

Thursday, February 17, 2005

what i won't be watching: texas house

reality blurred + PBS' Texas Ranch House now casting.

is 'plantation house' a few seasons away?

kung foo hustle

can't wait to see this movie.

who's with me?

[edited because 'fung foo' just sounds lame...]

social security made easy

i'm a big fan of easy ways to make math less freakish for me. so i totally appreciate this way of calculating how much i'll get screwed if bush gets his way 'fixing' social security.

pass it on.

dude. now you know.

so let's say you're stuck in an airport and you have nothing to read. let's say you're in the mood for something lighter than What's Up With Kansas? yet more interesting than the airport flight guide.

perhaps a romance will fit your mood. but no, you think. there's this half naked 'indian' guy on the cover. where do they find these people, you wonder.

why student newspapers are hilarious.

[thanks to bookslut]

what's for dinner?

Simply Recipes
my roommate A-- says that i am the slowest cook alive. she says watching me prep a dish is like watching, well, like watching something slow do something even slower.

but i don't care. when i'm in the mood, i don't mind cooking. and i really don't mind it when i have all the ingredients. (cough. word to the wise: if a recipe calls for beef stock, substituting chicken broth and then replacing every other ingredient with a close approximation won't work. just sayin'.)

i especially like cooking things in large batches, mainly because that's how my mom cooked. so - soups, stews, lumpia, pansit (mine is still weird, though), adobo, umba - all of these things can be cooked for a whole bunch of people. i'm much less successful cooking for one other person. (which is why i often fake my dinner parties. it's just fuckin' easier, you know?)

i'm also much less successful picking good recipes; i tend to pick them the way i go grocery shopping. (a typical grocery list: fancy mustard, dark chocolate, pasta, fancy cheese, grands biscuits, kashi, ice cream and doritos. WTF??) i read a recipe and get all caught up in the romance of it without thinking about what this will actually taste like. i guess i pick the recipe for what it signifies rather than its essential qualities.

go figure.

[but thanks to my friend J-- at Delicious Biting]

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

project runway: the best. show. ever.

watching the designers dish on each other on the 'filler' episode before next week's finale.

rowr. 'we all felt sorry for you because you're such a terrible designer.'

total smackdown for la pepper.
it's inappropriate how giddy i'm feeling right now.

the road called my uterus

crapity crap crap.

says our fearless leader, harry reid:

He acknowledged some complaints from abortion rights groups about the party's shifting rhetoric. "They have to keep their folks geared up, just like people who work for more highways," Mr. Reid said. "That is what they do, just like the pro-life groups." [emphasis mine]

uh, no, mr. reid.

abortion rights, reproductive rights and all aren't like lobbies who work for more highways. dr. b rightfully points attention to the fact that everyone is gaming this argument; there's no woman at the center of it. it's all like a game of risk to everyone, only set on my uterus. the right likes to look at the fetus; the left looks at the donor base. where's the woman for whom this matters?

to borrow reid's analogy, our fight for autonomy is no different than fighting for a road.


Steve Gilliard's News Blog : Pill taking

if funny also means 'lame.'

jeebus. (the good stuff is in the comments.)

frailty, thy name is ding

His message to me was typical – sober and dark like a Puritan’s suit but barely covering something less seemly underneath:

“When will I see you again? I’d like to make up for last time. Sorry for the terse message.”

I groaned. This was the latest such email in a series I’d received from him since our disastrous reunion last summer. Feeling cornered I suggested dinner, prepping him with dire warnings of my being “shaky, stressed out and easily shattered.” (Perhaps, in the words of my roommate A—, I can’t fault a guy for having mechanical difficulties. That didn't mean I was getting naked, though.)

Let’s skip back a few years, when naked was our friend. Our intense 4-month long carnal carnival was coming to some kind of conclusion; we could both feel it. We’d soon have to stop rolling around in sweat for a few minutes to actually talk about what this was. But thanks to being two people who have the communications skills of overeducated Helen Kellers, our conversations completely misfired:

Him: So…what do you think about having a drink with me or meeting my friends soon? [Do you like me?]
Me: Uh…ok. I actually didn’t think you had friends. [You scare me.]
Him: You don’t know me. [So you don’t like me.]
Me: I know. That’s my point. It’s not like we’re actually dating here. We meet, we have sex, we chat for a while, I take the train home. Is that a date? [Deflect! Deflect!]
Him: But would you? [But do you?]
Me: What? [Yes. No. I have no idea. You scare me.]
Him: Be interested in me. Beyond this. [Because I like you.]
Me: Uh…sure. [Jesus. Shit. Crap.]

It’s no wonder the implosion of our pseudo-relationship gave birth to the words “cold, calculating bitch” and “intense loner freak.”

Saturday night: Dinner and conversation was lovely; in the middle of espresso he invited me over to watch Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Hm, I thought. Odd choice. So I said yes. What could be so wrong with one movie? And it’s good to go to his place, I said to myself. The cold bareness of his apartment will reinforce why it never worked out between you in the first place. You have furniture and he doesn’t. He lives like a weird monk and you don’t. You will keep on your clothes no matter what happens.

Sitting primly on what passed for his couch, we managed to get through half the movie before he pushed his cat off my lap and …well, the loss of two garments is hardly an entire outfit, so I think I still kept my promise with myself.

early morning gossip

this morning, while touching base with my unofficial mentor at my firm about my new job search, found out through a very connected person of hers in her home state who's also heavily involved in black democrat circles (especially in illinois) that the rumblings about a hilary run for pres in 2008 are more than rumblings. they're seriously thinking about it.

i think they're nuts.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

all that AND a bag of chips

bill clinton, grammy winner.

problematic fantasy: president bill clinton reading me a bed time story. sigh.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I choose sex

One of the things I’ve noticed about the Unplanned Pregnancy Debate (hey, notice that reframing?) has been the elision of one aspect of choice – the choice to have sex.

Amanda at the XX Blog hits the issue on the head when she says:

I don’t really think that most Americans are confused about what they want to see, which is safe, accessible contraception and abortions in the first trimester.
For those women that “deserve” abortions, that is. The real gray area that has always been a huge gray area is where the idea of pregnancy as punishment for naughty girls comes into play.

In the current conversation about choice and pregnancy (and whether or not you get to choose to be pregnant) options seem to be available if you deserve it. The price of deserving choice, or redemption if we want to use the language of religion, is a woman's victimhood. In other words, I can exercise authority over my reproductive choices/future only if my autonomy has been compromised by an act of aggression - rape or incest. Victimization earns autonomy.

Autonomy that I already exercise, by the giving and taking of sex, cuts off further choice. By practicing safe sex, by even saying that I have the right to be sexual on my own terms and that I can maintain or manage my sexuality, I am opting out of choice later on. Apparently, in today's sexual politics, for both the right and the left, a woman only gets ONE choice.

So who receives the benefit of a full range of choices? Not the Victim Woman; once she uses her choice to have/not have an abortion, the choice flow chart ends. She stays victim - either of the aggressor or the act the aggressor forced her to make. Her agency virtually disappears. The Naughty Woman, who's chosen sex over...whatever, if an unplanned pregnancy occurs, must learn the lesson of consequences. How many times has a discussion between pro-lifers and pro-choicers devolved into someone sniffing,"Well, she shouldn't have been doing that, anyway!" or "Well, now she knows what happens when you have sex." The chance to remedy a mistake, an accident, disappears in order to punish the Naughty Woman for having sex in the first place.

I think the Consequences argument is (for lack of a better word) bullshit on a couple of levels. Not only does it seek to make pre-marital sex punitive for the woman participating in it, it returns sex to the marriage bed as if that's where it belongs naturally. Moreover, it posits that women have never been fully aware of what the product of unprotected sex or a failed condom can be. Basically, it nullifies our earlier choice to have sex. In other words, I only had sex because I didn't have all the information.

Which brings us to moral agency. Hilary Clinton’s speech successfully repositioned the argument as prevention of unplanned pregnancy vs. prolonging abortion, and correctly made sex education the center of the solution – but only in terms for teens (children), poor women who don’t normally have access to contraception, or married women who wanted to use contraception for family planning. What about women like me? Single women who choose sex – maybe with one partner or perhaps with a few. What about women like me – educated, knowing women, who rationally (or irrationally, depending on the lover) choose a sexual life and considers it appropriate (and moral) to have one? Is premarital sex a moral act for a woman? Over at XX Blog, Amanda thinks so. So do I –less so for religious reasons than for ethical ones, if that’s the right word. (Though I have to say that my religious background is always hovering just at the corner of my vision…much to my dismay while in the throes of whatever folly I’m in at the time.)

I had a rhetorically beautiful line of argument laid out about female agency and choice but I guess I’m less coherent than I thought. I guess I’m trying to say that I’m tired of the single woman, the strong woman who has always known what she’s wanted and why, being a blank in our conversations about sex and morality.

i'm late to the party...

but i'll do my best to summarize.

apparently, this guy posed as reporter and somehow (wink wink) gained access to the white house briefing room to ask questions that were so soft they coulda been named gund. he worked for a 'news' agency that apparently had no offices and was funded solely by a GOP outfit out of texas. his news stories were made up entirely of GOP talking points. in other words, he was a shill. a straight up shill.

and apparently he liked lounging around in his underwear and promoting man on man action on different websites.

(those family values sure are strange...)

anyway, score one for the bloggers here (and on kos) who broke this story and made this guy shut down.


black history month: day 10: social security

today's lesson.

(ok, so i missed the first 9 days, ok? gimme a break. i'm making black history of my own.)

alan keyes, father of the year

this is sad.

last summer keyes' daughter had a blog that made it sorta clear she was gay. it was picked up by another blog and, well, you know how these things go. the blogosphere went slightly insane - was it right for the other blog to pick up her blog and link to it, effectively 'outing' her? (i guess she wasn't out to her parents.)

there was much pointing of fingers as well as shoulder-shrugging ("she's the daughter of a public figure in the middle of an election. deal.") blah de blah.

some even said keyes was such a freak he'd kick her out of the house if he found out.

need i say more?

yes, the election. again.

came across this post discussing how kerry lost heavily among white working class women in the 04 election. (no, i can't get over it! our lives are ruined because of shrub! ruined, i say!)

i remember reading articles about the decline in women's support but the numbers weren't too specific about which women were soft on kerry. i always assumed it was lazy ass yuppies. guess i was wrong. it was our blue collar counterparts. shifting our gaze from the election to the here and now, i wonder what women can do to bring these women back. these women have the most to lose with bush policies. working class women are more vulnerable to economic disaster; they're less likely to have health insurance; they're less likely to make enough money to support a family and keep a home. they, like black people, benefit more from social security benefits and medicare.

why isn't this message getting across? what has the democratic party failed to do to engage these women?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

amazing race: only feh

obnoxious southerners won.

i believe my hatred of this couple birthed itself when kendra opened her ignorant mouth and, as they were leaving senegal, said, "this country is absolutely wretched...and they just keep breeding!"

she's an ass.
harsh? unsympathetic toward her clearly sheltered and under-educated existence? possibly. probably.

she's still an ass.

girly round up

The Well-Timed Period

one of my favorite sites has posted some good stuff updating us on the state of women's reproductive health lately. one post in particular discusses the refraiming of the abortion issue in terms similar to hilary clinton's in her speech. (and, if i may say so, sorta like i did when i was high on pain killers last year).

all the back and forth over conception, morality and such conveniently avoids a discussion of the real problem - how to deal with unplanned pregnancies?

i have a little problem with the language of the 'nurturant parent/stern father' binary (why father?) but the framing itself makes sense. if we are trying to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies (of which unplanned children will be a result) then what do we do? do we help women help themselves by making preventative measures available (thereby reducing the number of abortions over time) or do we want to increase abortions and unplanned pregnancies because we want to punish women for having sex?

if the second 'option' is what we're really going after, then it seems to me that the whole 'think of the innocent babies' meme is a cover, isn't it? it's a patriarchal move to control female sexuality and autonomy. right?

anyway, follow the links to the original white paper and have a good read.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

judgment v. knowledge

Informed Comment

An argument that judgment matters but knowledge does not is profoundly anti-intellectual. It implies that we do not need ever to learn anything in order make mature decisions. We can just proceed off some simple ideological template and apply it to everything. This sort of thinking is part of what is wrong with this country. We wouldn't call a man in to fix our plumbing who knew nothing about plumbing, but we call pundits to address millions of people on subjects about which they know nothing of substance.

oh, professor cole...

Monday, February 07, 2005

monday night tv

tutoring totally blew tonight. my student, a very fast 7th grader, left her books at school because she 'didn't feel like carrying them.' working on her black history month project was horrific. she wanted to do a report on joe louis or aaliyah or michael jordan/jackson or anyone famous. anyone who's actually done something significant for the african american community was 'boring.'

on the bachelorette. blackouts, deaf mothers, ugly siblings, drunk families, men with fish lips, broken stemware, boring conversation, loads of alcohol. it's time for the home visits. heh.

on super nanny. not only has this show reinforced my decision never to have kids, it has moved me to email my sister and brother in law to tell them they are the best parents EVER. EVER.

this hour of domestic mania is a parade of women trapped in suburban cul de sacs slowly going insane. the fathers are utterly detached, escaping to the outside and unable to understand what's going back in the domestic space during the 8 hours while he's gone.

it's like watching a japanese horror movie: dutiful women become wild haired demons. no, they're becoming berthas. that's exactly what this show is - Jane Eyre: the Corrected Version. (and how perfect the nanny is british.)

actually, speaking of super nanny, over a conversation with our friend J-- about her boyfriend, we discovered how helpful super nanny can be for all of us. she actually uses the super nanny techniques for conflict resolution:

--maintain eye contact and come to his level
--in a low, authoritative voice tell him what he's done wrong
--demand an apology for naughty behavior

heh. i think that's effing hilarious.
(um, it could also explain why i've never had a successful relationship.)

James Wolcott: Prof Harpoons Maroon

my favorite culture writer tells us about the smackdown professor juan cole recently gave to hacktackular joshua goldberg and reminds me one of the few reasons academia is fun is that one has a chance to administer righteous bitch slaps to mediocre minds, all and sundry.

it's also a reminder that our culture is an example of the rapid deevaluation of knowledge - more and more, expertise in a given subject is giving way to a lackluster flattening. (where else would you have someone blatantly admit they know nothing about a subject, yet offer a whack-ass opinion anyway - and then have the gall to get their panties in a twist when they're called on it?)

Friday, February 04, 2005

inner dialogue

what have you been doing all day, you ask.

well, i say, i've been working.

but isn't this the job you're quitting?

yes, but think of it as the long goodbye. (pause) i think i'm conflicted. i'm thinking that i will be rescued or something.

rescued by whom, you ask.

well, someone who will take me away from all ... all this. (wave of hand) i want a rest for a bit while someone takes care of all the paper and just leaves me alone - except for when i want to have sex. like a mama bear in hibernation who only wakes up for a little hibernatory nookie.

i see, you say.

yes, i say. it's impossible and i think i've stayed away from the gym too long - i tried pulling on a sock this morning and nearly wrenched a disc in my back - so the hibernatory nookie is going to have to be on hold for a while until i get back in uh shape.

and what shape are you in now, you say.

sort of a pearish, softish, soap shape. like lever 2000. but brown. (pause) scratch that. don't think of brown lever 2000.

perhaps an avocado?

yes, i am shaped like an avocado. an avocado wearing boot cut jeans and square-toed stacked heel buff leather loafers.

would you rather wear something else?

i'd really like to wear a sexy librarian outfit, but it's too cold and besides i think my middle is too soft. (pokes middle) see? or, if not the sexy librarian, then the sleek assassin outfit. something that would allow me to go deadly and change the course of history forever. sort of like a kill bill ... but not bill...

yes, you need a rest, you say. your thoughts are becoming dangerous.

mm, yes. a rest. which brings me back to the beginning of our conversation and why i need one.

need what, you ask.

a rest, i say.

why, you say.

because i'm working.

sorta sad... - Actor Ossie Davis dead at 87 - Feb 4, 2005

bummer. he was such a cute old guy. and he was just given a kennedy center honor...
on the other hand, the oscar death montage will kick ass.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

heh. new website.

hear anything particularly asinine in your workplace?
put it here.

the readability is crap but i like the idea.

(assistants, rev your engines...)
I avoided the halting, robotic tones of our POTUS last night. I couldn’t take it. Last year, my distaste of the POTUS drove me nearly insane. I’m determined to hold on tightly to mental health so I told A—that we weren’t watching it. Not when everything he says is lies and stupidity.

Bitch, PhD has a nice summary of what this crap ‘ownership society’ means – “you’re all on your own, fuckers.” Think your employer owes you anything? Think again – pay for your healthcare all on your own – you own that. Think insurance companies have an obligation to insure you? Think again. You own it. Think your government has an obligation to make sure its citizens face the future with some kind of net in place so they don’t end up beggars in the street? Too bad – you own your own future so you better make damn sure you can afford it.

That’s what ownership means – those who can afford to survive. Those who can’t – too fucking bad. I wonder if anyone knows what an ownership society looks like.

So what are we (those of us under 55) to do? Most likely we’ll stare blearily at the numbers flashing in front of us and we’ll say, ‘Dude, I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.’ We won’t realize that the benefits our meager suck-ass jobs give us are on the chopping block in about 4 years. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be 39 – too old to suddenly refinance my quite comfortable pseudo-middle class life.

This morning a coworker and I were trying to figure out the details of this Social Security plan on the front pages of the WSJ. Some questions – is this mandatory? What do they mean when they say ‘voluntary’? Like, what happens if, in 2010, I say to the government, “Screw you – keep my money where it is and when I’m 60 I better see it.” What happens then? Where are they getting their numbers? What happens if I die – who gets my benefits then? Where does my money go? Would my beneficiary get survivor benefits? What about disability? Would I be able to roll over whatever money they’re talking about into my current Fidelity 401(k)? I’m totally confused. And if they want to start doing this with fucking health care insurance, I’m totally screwed because that’s already a labyrinthine tale of “Huh?”

Our City on the Hill is beginning to look like a Besieged Fortress, lit on the inside while the growing masses get hungrier and angrier down below. Certain communities are used to this. For them, society has always been like this. They’ve always lived on the margins. But we’re not used to it, are we? We’ll freak out. When the middle class starts looking more like the poor, I’d like to see who’ll be left to take our side. When are we going to wise up and start asking ourselves ‘In whose INTEREST is it to dismantle what little social safety nets we have?” Who profits? (Think the long game, people – long game.)

Do we want to wait that long or is there something we can do NOW to stop this hysterical juggernaut into insanity? (Remember when the world maintained an appearance of rationality? Remember when we didn’t dread every new sentence emanating from our Fearless Leader’s mouth? Remember when life was actually good, or at least not like some horrific Ayn Rand novel)?

I’d really love to see us stop being sheep. Really. Stop it.

want some nudity with that juice?

here's what's going down in middle america.


[thanks to my coworker G--]

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


hate having to log on to a site just to read a cool article?
no more!

thanks, bookslut.

my head hurts

The New York Times > National > Church Groups Turn to Sonogram to Turn Women From Abortions

does anyone else feel like they're in a margaret atwood novel?
cuz i do.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

GOP and Civil Rights, pt 2

Chicago Defender / Local


[edited: via BitchPhD]

Safe, Legal, and Never - Hillary Clinton's anti-abortion strategy. By William�Saletan

Safe, Legal, and Never - Hillary Clinton's anti-abortion strategy. By William�Saletan

thoughts are bubbling around moral agency, motherhood, pregnancy and all sorts of stuff.

more later.

[edited: via Girl in the Locker Room!]

a break

Manolo's Shoe Blog: My Name Is Tommy, And I Have A Torch

heh - one of the special people...
(i've been working very hard and my eyes are about to pop out my head.)