Tuesday, October 30, 2007
(i'm going to assume there are more than 5 of you now, but i won't be as immodest to assume there are as many as 10.)
yes; Coach C- is now Dr. C- and she said, in no uncertain terms, that my intimacy issues needed immediate attention.
'really?' i said.
'Ding, how long has it been since you've spoken with B-?'
(let's stop here. i know i've been keeping my summertime dallying with B- a secret. but things weren't actually that bad and i was actually looking forward to maybe making things a bit more normal and - i just thought that if it turned into something, perhaps it wasn't a good idea to write about it all over the place. but, clearly, things didn't turn out the way i wanted so he's back on the blog.)
i replied, 'um...since labor day?'
'Ding! it's practically november! how are you going to make progress if you won't make the effort!'
'i was really busy! there were some personal things, moving, work, some medical issues...i had to re-prioritize!'
'normally, where does B- fall on your list of priorities?'
'on a list of 10 things, he is about a 6 right now,' i said. then i thought a bit more. 'actually, in all my years of knowing him, he hasn't really moved up past 3.'
'how long have you been with him?'
'on and off, 7 years.' i shrugged and threw up my hands.
'Ding! that's really bad!' she lost her grip on her professional demeanor a little and laughed.
'i know! that's why i'm here! how can i not do this anymore?'
she sighed. 'i think we have to get a little bit more...aggressive. if you're reading and crying over wedding announcements in the times and you're coming here, it's clear you are interested in having a partner, but your inability to foster intimacy is so entrenched, you will never get one. (ouch, i thought.) i think coaching is too passive. one month between appointments is too long. behavioral intervention is going to be necessary.'
'jesus. there's not just a list of things to do that will help me? you know...write some journals, make notes about my bad habits?'
she shook her head. 'we're past that.'
so...this is me in therapy. at least she said i wasn't depressed.
Patricia Miller and Alfred Zollar - New York Times
Monday, October 29, 2007
west town is where i live but you can search by your community area (not necessarily n'hood name) to see what issues in your community have appeared on the city council agenda. there are no more excuses for not participating in your community's politics.
another good source? civic footprint. you can search by your address (sorry, it's chicago specific) and not only see who your alderman is, but local reps/senators, county commissioners, police precincts and committeemen. so handy for sending scathing letters of complaint.
and if you're wondering what the hell is going on down in springfield and what you can do to make people listen to you, well, you can go here and talk to some local (gulp) republican women legislators. for some reason, they've formed a small group of suburban legislators who want to hear about issues affecting women. so, take them at their word and tell them at ww.womensvoicesillinois.com.
(they say it's a bipartisan group but only a few republican women have joined. weird.)
Friday, October 26, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
i can now spread my tedium to the outer reaches of the b'sphere.
Monday, October 22, 2007
The Values Voter
if i was premenstrual, i'd be in tears right now.
it has all the things that get me: earnestness, long distance, interracial couple, yearning, deflection, and dogged pursuit.
i'm obssessed with these stories.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
was watching the unbearable 'tell me you love me' with Roomie the other night; is it true that married women are really stunned that their husbands look at porn? i mean, really. who is stunned that men look at porn?? for that matter, isn't it understood by now that women also look at porn? (or is this a generational thing?)
speaking of TMYLM, how can i scrub the image of jane alexander, naked and fucking on a chair, off my inner eyeballs?
can we please have movies about neurotic people of color now? i mean, i'm getting sort of bored by all the representations of quirky/conflicted white folks in popular culture now. and i don't think the tyler perry movies count.
i guess what i'm asking is: who's the Wes Anderson for brown people? (great critique of wes anderson's work here.)
why is the #66 chicago bus the most crowded motherfrakker ever? hm? and why don't the folks who ride the #66 understand the Move to the Back rule ?
with a little under one month of unfettered carnal carnivale left to me before The Procedure, will i find a frolic partner in time?
Friday, October 19, 2007
what does dr. orr think? she thinks contraception isn't a medical necessity because 'fertility isn't a disease.' well, no shit. contraception is just something we women need to have because, otherwise, we'd be pregnant all the fucking time.
i'm truly puzzled at this administration and the folks who don't see what's completely wrong with this picture. birth control is good. it allows a family to control its fertility; it allows a woman to determine when and if she is going to get pregnant; and when access is wide, paired with education about contraception, abortion numbers go down.
but you know what it is: birth control = sex.
it's a marker that sex is in the makin' and unless you're in a proper heterosexual, monogamous marriage then having sex makes you a slut. (and if you're a dude, having sex just makes you a dude.)
so...birth control = sex = slut.
so basically, orr's appointment is just another step in the social conservative's movement to shame/punish women who have sex.
of course, planned parenthood has sent out an alert to oppose orr's appointment.
you know what you have to do.
The Associated Press: Family-Planning Appointment Denounced
Thursday, October 18, 2007
like, nasty monkey sex.
i've text messaged someone but if he doesn't get to me in time, then i'm totally going home to take a long 'shower.'
or think naughty thoughts while pondering my lesbian boss' suddenly single appeal.
one or the other.
[much later: none of that happened. i went home and read a book in bed. i lead an exciting life.]
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Tell the Media that No Never Means Yes!
In August, when the CW network announced Kevin Federline was going to guest star in a few episodes as a front man of a band called ‘No Means Yes,’ we asked the producers of the popular show One Tree Hill to change the name of the band before the season began. We thought the band name winked at sexual assault – an all too common reality for their target demographic. YWCA USA CEO Lorraine Cole, YWCA associations from Illinois and Greater Los Angeles agreed. The name of the band had to change!
But the CW is silent. Maybe they didn’t hear us. Maybe they don’t take sexual assault seriously.
For the YWCA’s Week Without Violence, send another message to the CW and tell them that No Never Means Yes!
Go to their Advocacy Action Center to send an email.
Spread the word!
[and, yes, i am not exactly a disinterested party here.]
i note that every time someone says that at least Chicago is better than Detroit or Cleveland, i cringe a little bit. to me, that's code for 'ghetto' which is code for 'town where the black folk run wild.' hm.
Monday, October 15, 2007
this article by the times, paired with the jezebel post, is sort of interesting. it's something i thought about, too, while i was walking through Around the Coyote this weekend. the entire festival was a feast of images of middle class white angst. how many self portraits of waify, doe-eyed, depressed looking white hipsters was i going to have to endure? or, if i wanted to see some representations of brown-ness, was i going to settle for photographs of hurricane katrina victims and mardi gras? yuck.
more and more, i see artistic representation turning inward; we are only willing to represent what reflects ourselves. i think this is what's happening in fashion - the agents, bookers, designers, editors are not able to tear their gazes away from their mirrors. i don't care about whether models get work (girl, this is why college is a good idea) but i care about the representation of reality - or, if 'reality' isn't quite the word to use, then the representation of experience.
what does it mean when experience is only filtered through a homogenized lens?
when the only images we see are white, i think that's a problem.
when you aren't visibly represented in popular culture you might as well be invisible to everyone's naked eye.
in other words, we are training our eye to be blind to difference.
however, i believe that if this situation is ever to change, then the means of production has to change hands. know what i mean? at every stage of fashion production, the person in charge is white - the designers are white, the agents are white, the publicists are white, the editors are white, the publishers are white, the CEOs of the fashion houses are white, the buyers are white. it's a proverbial parade of whiteness.
until these things change, there's not much hope of seeing more diversity on the runway.
Friday, October 12, 2007
have you seen what the CTA is proposing to cut in November and January if they don't get funding??
say goodbye to the following bus lines:
143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148 - hey, North Siders! how ya gettin' to work??
156 LaSalle! (dude!)
so...if these bus lines go, can you imagine how completely unridable the trains are going to be, heading downtown?
i might have to get a bike, dude.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Roomie and I went to our first condo association meeting last night. It was an eye-opener.
We’re the first to arrive (slightly mortifying) and the much older-than-I-thought Board Vice President/Husband greets us graciously and we take a seat on the very mod beige sofa in the living room. His Board President/Wife comes downstairs; they’ve both met Roomie before and soon they’re both looking at me a little quizzically.
Roomie says, ‘This is my roommate.’
I smile, ‘Hi. I’m Ding.’
Everyone shakes hands.
The Wife takes a seat on her very mod moss velvet chaise and she’s still staring at me with slightly narrowed eyes. Whatever, lady. I’m just taking in the stunning art work and trying to read the books on the shelf over the fireplace.
Another gray-haired condo person comes in; introductions are made again.
When she looks at me, Roomie and I say, ‘We’re roommates.’
Condo person nods but still looks confused. She sits.
Wife suddenly says to me, ‘How long have you been here?’
I say, ‘As long as Roomie has. We’re roommates.’
Roomie says, ‘Yeah, we’ve been roommates for a few years now.’
The gray-haired condo owner says, ‘See? They’re doing that nowadays.’
Thankfully, other 30-ish condo people arrive, including our across the hall neighbor, who greets us enthusiastically. ‘How’s the construction going?’ he says.
We say it’s almost over, just waiting for the door to the second bedroom and some glass panels; we make a joke about me sleeping al fresco, and the Wife looks even more confused.
She says, ‘So, Ding, do you work?’
What a fucking odd question.
‘Yes,’ I say. ‘I’m in government relations at National Non Profit.’
Other condo people have arrived to hear this last exchange and with an almost unseemly enthusiasm they say, ‘Wow! That’s great! How interesting! What a cool job!’
‘Uh, yeah,’ I say. ‘It’s a great job. I love it.’
Husband says, ‘I love the song.’
Wife says, ‘That’s the other National Non Profit, dear.’
And she’s still looking at me. She seems to be looking at me a lot the entire meeting.
Meanwhile, Roomie is experiencing some passive aggression from the gray-haired condo owner on the first floor who thinks one of our contractors dripped some gunk through her ceiling but has yet to say anything directly to Roomie; she’d rather stage-whisper about it right in front of Roomie to another Board member. As soon as the meeting ends, we hightail it out of there.
Standing in front of our own door, I say, ‘They SO think we’re gay.’
Roomie says, ‘What the fuck was that? Do you work? What the fuck??’
‘Fucking baby boomers,’ I say.
Monday, October 08, 2007
this is my girly part cocktail: daily seasonique with a monthly dose of lupron.
i'm down to the little yellow pills in my Seasonique pack (which cost an unholy $140!! what the fuck is that??) these are the first birth control pills i've taken since i was 18 (i was prescribed for heavy, continuous bleeding) and it's not so bad. but august through september i bled almost every freaking day and i actually just stopped bleeding last week. (though there is currently a faint 'leak' of some girly fluid. what is it? i have no idea. it's just like an overflow of moisture or something. i know. TMI.) in august this bleeding was a strange dark, almost black color then it gradually became more 'blood'-like but the bleeding was extrememly heavy and the clots were unbelievable. i suffered no cramps, no bloating, but now i think i've gained a few pounds. clothes aren't noticeably tighter but my belly is certainly a little pudgier, like i look a little pregnant. granted, i hate exercise but this seems rather extreme, thank you very much.
other side effects: i have excruciating headaches, am sensitive to light and sound, i get really hot at night and there's some joint stiffness that just popped up out of nowhere.
anyway, just thought i'd share what's going on in my pants since the world is dying to know...
Skipping Your Period: Seasonique - The Well-Timed Period
let's see if this makes sense:
the majority of those with 'greenlight' capabilities in hollywood are men.
the majority of producers are men.
the majority of screenwriters who get their movies made are men.
the majority of directors are men.
but if a whole slew of your movies fail at the box office, blame your female lead.
'cause that's totally logical.
just for fun, let's take a look at warner bros. 2007 sour grapes:
The Bucket List (2007) utter crap. an aging baby boomer movie about dying guys who have a list of stuff they want to do before they die? no one is going to see this movie.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) actually, this looks awesome. but come on - how many people in america are really into a goth screen version of a serial killer musical? not big box office.
P.S., I Love You (2007) a sappy movie written by two men about messages a dead husband leaves his wife, played by hilary swank. gag.
I Am Legend (2007) um, i can't wait to see this but only because the source material is fantastic.
Beowulf (2007) computer generated epic poem only die hard english majors remember. whatever.
Fred Claus (2007) crap.
August Rush (2007) orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift to find his parents. kill me.
Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007) crap. sequel to a really really bad remake and the reason why people stop going to movies.
The Brave One (2007) depressing or not depressing enough? hm.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) beautiful yet...boring. snooze.
In the Valley of Elah (2007) political downer.
Michael Clayton (2007) this actually looks good, but a corporate evil downer.
The Invasion (2007) bad, boring remake of a remake. oh, and written/directed by a bunch of guys!
No Reservations (2007) bad, soulless, american remake of a really sweet german film.
thanks for ruining 'Mostly Martha' for me, talentless hacks.
License to Wed (2007) crap. but i think robin williams will work again.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) awesome. built in franchise success because of great female-authored source material.
Nancy Drew (2007) nothing will be as good as the books.
Believers (2007) totally crappy religious cult movie.
Ocean's Thirteen (2007) feh. just ... ok. think george clooney is in fear for his career?
Lucky You (2007) craptacular. you could see the craptacularity from the trailers. but, again, i think eric bana will live to make other movies.
The Reaping (2007) crappy biblical plague movie - again, with hilary swank. (hmm...)
TMNT (2007) 80s nostalgia kid movie. again, built in success.
Zodiac (2007/I) good, but long.
Music and Lyrics (2007) craptacular to the nth degree. oh, and written/directed by a
Rest Stop 2 (2007) yeah, this is art.
not really a great year for warner bros. but is that really an actress' fault or should they chalk it up to their own industry's mediocrity and barely concealed contempt for the audience?
Thursday, October 04, 2007
a coworker showed me a mailer she got in the post sponsored by the folks at Pro-Life Action League. it was chock full of ridiculous inflammatory misinformation about Planned Parenthood ("they encourage sex before marriage! they think babies are smelly!") and it made me so angry that i did something that was a little nuts:
i looked up the home address of eric scheidler, the communications director for Pro-Life Action League and son of joe scheidler who's the patriarch leading the local charge against the folks at Planned Parenthood.
i copied the address. i thought about posting it here and telling pro-choicers to use it and send the scheidlers a little taste of their own harrassment.
but i had an icky feeling. i felt shame at taking a political fight to the doorstep of a family of 10 (they have 8 kids) to scream at them for hating people like me, for thinking that their grip on righteousness allows them to harrass and violate the privacy of women like me.
why don't the pro-lifers feel that shame?
Real Time: Harassment in Aurora RHRealityCheck.org
(p.s. pro life folk say Planned Parenthood slandered joe scheidler with one of their ads. this interview with eric zorn says otherwise.)
if my life had gone another way, you'd be calling me dr. ding right now.
alas, the call of big city life, drugs, sex and spending derailed my academic career. ah, me!
but if i was a grad student now (and i totally may go back for a different degree, not frakking english) i'd have a coach. did you know there are now dissertation coaches and grad student coaches? my coach/therapist offers these services and i was stunned. perhaps if i'd had a coach back in grad school, i woulda finished those final two chapters!
anyway, good luck with making the ph.D less traumatic.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
but...is it such a bad idea to protest more porn in the military? i mean, considering the military's already frakked up record with sexual violence against women (both within their ranks and outside of them), is this really a bad idea? i don't think we should pooh pooh it.
of course, there's the question of whether porn contributes to an environment of misogyny and sexual violence? well, it doesn't necessarily encourage the porneur (my word: porneur - one who reads or watches porn) to see women in ways other than a wet pink hole in the service of masculine power and sexuality, so i'd say yes - porn contributes to misogyny and sexual violence. in interviews, prostitutes reveal how often johns come in with pictures of what they want, or they describe what they've seen in porn; they also tell of pimps using porn to 'train' the prostitute's expectations - what they're expected to perform.
and, of course, one needs to ask if porn, misogyny and sexual violence is less important than war?
well, if you're a woman in the military, already keeping your head down from all the sexual harrassment and covered up rapes going on, and you're surrounded by all these guys reading hard core porn - or if you're an iraqi girl just minding your own 14-year old business surrounded by a bunch of drunk, angry soldiers reading porn that strongly suggests there's nothing better to solidify male bonding than a gang bang of a barely legal hot chick - then i'd say that you would find the situation pretty damn important.
historically, where soldiers are so exists rape, porn and/or a sex industry where women's individual or collective empowerment has never been the object. in the crimean war and as the british empire spread and british soldiers were stationed in far off 'exotic' colonies, so proliferated the creation, sale and dissemination of pornographic postcards, pamphlets, stories and pictures that reinforced the notion of british masculine hegemony and the racially marked 'whoredom' on the part of those colonized which offered an excuse to the occupying military for raping 'native' women; the existence of forced prostitution and camp bordellos for german officers, soldiers and collaborators during world war 2; japan's use of 'comfort women' and the enslavement of asian women for forced prostitution, also during world war 2; and during the vietnam war it was estimated that 400,000 prostituted women in thailand were procured for american soldiers on leave, as well as the now confirmed stories of american soldiers raping civilian women. more recently, the stories of soldiers raping civilian women during the serbian/croatian conflict, the ensuing trafficking from that conflict or even the current events in darfur as woman are raped by rebel soldiers.
what's porn compared to war? for women caught in the cross hairs of a heterosexual male fantasy of control via sexual power over a woman's body, porn is war.
(and sometimes i wish snarky male political bloggers would take a fucking step back sometimes to really examine the shit they're saying.)
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
here's my story:
there once was a girl who kept bleeding and bleeding and bleeding.
one day, her doctor said, 'hm. did you know you have a fibroid?"
so they looked at the fibroid, clinging stubbornly to the side of the girl's uterus and the doctor said, 'hm. that really should come out.'
the girl said, 'ok.'
so they talked about removing the fibroid and set a date to do it.
but then they discovered that the girl had a blood level of 6.8. the doctor was alarmed.
'that's too low! you're dangerously anemic! we can't do this until your iron levels are higher!'
the girl said, 'huh. so that's why i'm short of breath all the time.'
so the doctor gave the girl birth control (to stop the bleeding) and iron (to get rid of the anemia.) and another date was set for surgery.
but it didn't work. the girl kept bleeding and the bleeding got heavier. she ate double the birth control. still she bled, even heavier than before.
alarmed even further, the doctor had a final solution. 'we have to shut everything down. we'll give you one shot of Lupron for free. but you need two. we'll see if your insurance will cover the second shot.'
weeks passed. the lupron seemed to work and the bleeding eventually stopped. (today it stopped.) the girl was happy! but the insurance company said, 'NO! thou shalt not have Lupron because it doesn't meet the medical criteria policy of blue cross blue shielf of illinois!'
panicked, the girl contacts her doctor.
the doctor says, 'that means they think you're not on birth control.'
'but i am! it's all in my medical history!'
'yes it is. they're idiots. don't worry. we'll think of something.'
to be continued...
what a bunch of assholes. even an idiot can trace the line of causality:
heavy bleeding/cramping leads to diagnosis of fibroid
fibroid diagnosis leads to planned surgical procedure to remove it
surgical procedure pre-op testing leads to diagnosis of anemia
anemia diagnosis leads to prescription of birth control/iron pills to stop bleeding and boost iron
birth control fails to stop bleeding
failure of birth control leads to prespription of Lupron.
Monday, October 01, 2007
new year's eve 2006, park west, chicago.
i'd bought two tickets to see sharon jones at the park west and since B- was in a snit (which can be read in the archives), i called up my friend E - in milwaukee. he was ecstatic, packed some vintage soul threads, and got on a bus to chicago. i met him at the station and we headed to lincoln park.
we're sort of hungry and there's plenty of time before the show so we duck into the tiny sushi restaurant next door to the park west and who do we find? sharon jones and the dap kings. and who does E- know? sharon jones and the dap kings.
they put on a great show and sharon jones kicks ass. the band is tight. (and are they hot? in that soul/funk/vintage/'we don't care about you hipsters' way, yes.)
i was on my feet all night and danced until they bled. afterward, they all signed an LP for me and we walked home in the frigid wind.