Wednesday, February 28, 2007

kenneth eng: just stupid or just a stupid racist?

here is where you can find all the recent articles about a (crazy) article that ended up in the pages of asian week, a san francisco weekly paper.

(you can read the original article written by kenneth eng here. you can also read his other articles here and here, which demonstrate that perhaps his asshattery isn't just for blacks. it seems to be endemic with mr. eng.)

it reminds me of a chinese freshman student i once had at ucla who wrote a paper defending the japanese internment camps. when my head stopped throbbing with disbelief at his thesis i sat with him in office hours to talk about it. i gave the paper a passing grade (technically, there was nothing much wrong with it) but he and i had a long discussion about critical thinking, research, and the need to avoid talking out of one's ass if one wants to be taken seriously.

i am also reminded of the asian guy whose bright idea it was to create a game called Ghettopoly. remember that?

dear lord, how much fucking ignorance must we endure from young college grads who graduate dumber than when they went in?

i fear for this world, i really do.

[and how much do you want to bet that a statement from mr. eng will soon appear, defending his columns as 'satire' or 'ironic,' whose real, subterranean and much too subtle purpose was to hold racism and bigotry to ridicule?

if such a statement appears i want to be the very first to call bullshit on that.]

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

damn you, new Blogger!
i lost my link list and buttons!

noooo!: Gap to close Forth & Towne chain

Gap to close Forth & Towne chain


now where the hell am i supposed to find anymore cute work clothes??!!
marina renaldi is too expensive.
banana, GAP and JCrew don't have the sizes.
H&M is too young.
Old Navy too cheap.
Bloomies still can't quite get the fit and cut right - and they don't have the variety.
Lane Bryant is too...unprofessional.

so, thanks, GAP.
thanks for totally screwing over 30-something women who can't/won't dress like tarts who also happen to be shaped like women.


[wanna share your thoughts? forth & towne feedback can be emailed here.]

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

living well

the dinner party was lovely. i love my friends - not only are they funny as hell, they have style, they can cook (when we've had a week to prepare ourselves) and they appreciate effort. and what a lot of effort we went to!

(in fact, at one point of the night, we bemoaned - unfairly, perhaps? - the fact that not very many of the single men we knew went to this kind of effort at all.)

Roomie tapped into her midwestern hostess geneology and laid a spectacular table - gorgeous silver, great big fat goblets for wine, ruby water glasses and silver candleabra (how the hell do you spell that?) over a creamy white silky tablecloth sprinkled with little sparkly glass beads that caught the light. vintage linen napkins rolled in heavy silver napkin rings were perfect and pretty. T- brought over a delicate orchid as a hostess gift that played nice with the simple red tulip arrangement and the teeny, pretty as can be calla lilies that Roomie bought the day before.

the menu:
1st course - two amuses: an onion tartelet of puff pastry and cooked with thyme and butter (so yummy) and the salmon mousse on toast, drizzled with a bright green chive oil (ti wasn't my favorite, but it did look very feminine and pretty)
2nd course - roasted tomato soup with fresh basil and crusty artisanal bread, accompanied by a really round fruity white wine that i can't recall
3rd course - endive salad with pear, topped with a gorgonzola and honey dressing (which went well with the champagne we had been drinking before the meal got started)
4th course - meat tortellini with a prosciutto/cream sauce, baked in a puff pastry sarcophagus, as well as a filet of baked red snapper in a champagne sauce with fresh green beans and red peppers on the side, paired with a very nice white burgundy (i think it was called Mayhem & Mischief)
5th course - K-'s gastronomic chocolate topper: a little chocolate cake with a kapow of chipotle, three handmade truffles (one was topped with sea salt and it was so good we all just ruminated on that for a while), a lime cream in the shape of a heart, meringue 'cigarettes' and the whole thing was paired with a very manly shot of vodka. dude. we all agreed that she won the Top Chef moment of the night.
6th course - the very nice cheese plate from T- that was a nice finisher to the chocolate and vodka we'd consumed.

then we sat around the table while the candles burned down, smoked our cigs, drank the rest of the wine and champagne until the table was a wonderful decadent mess of ashtrays, half empty wine glasses, cheese and silver. i took a few pictures and everything had a really great golden glow.

the night reminded me of those nights back in grad school when we wanted to distract ourselves from our deprivation and depression and we'd throw over the top, elaborate dinners and hang out with YF because she was the best cook and we'd sit at her long table in her quirky victorian studio, eating and drinking until we staggered home. i have a few photos from one of those dinners: you can see the packs of french cigarettes, the bottles of wine, the wine and sauce stains on the white tablecloth, profiles of heated faces caught in mid conversation, the over flowing ash trays.

every night you're with friends should be like this, don't you think?

(and then i think about the brief phone call i had with S- yesterday, when she called me from the traffic in los angeles. and, again, she mourned the death of her past life - now it was teaching at a local university and constant daycare for her two children instead of nights with friends and going out.

i said, 'S-. you have to stop that. there's no point to wishing or missing what's gone. your life is different now. all of that - it's over.'
she said, 'i know. but what about you? is it all work and nothing else? don't you miss what it was before?'
'no. because i'm at a different point now. i hate bars and clubs - i don't miss it at all; so while there's tons of work, there's also hanging out with my friends at my place, there're movies, dinners, visits, cocktails. it's just different - better, more livable. and...i don't have kids. i have the freedom to schedule around what i want. there's no one else depending on me for sustenance.'
she sighed. 'i know. it's just that we never go out, we never see anyone, my house is full of toys, it's a mess, my mom is living with us because we can't cope with everything and it just sucks, you know?'

and while i made sympathetic noises, i also felt a little superior. i did! i couldn't help it. i just did. so there.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

the weekend begins

fox & obel makes me want to cook. when i'm there i imagine i'm in paris, on my way to my charming flat overlooking the rue de whatever, picking up just a few things for dinner with sophisticated friends. ah, the dream. it's the dream where i'm wearing a simple chic outfit, carrying a chic canvas bag (no proletariat plastic for me!), and i'll use public transportation in a very chic way, effortlessly balancing bread, cheese, flowers, boeuf and wine.

unfortunately, the reality is far different. i'm slogging through crusty gray snow, slushing through dirty water in the parking lot and the plastic bags are cutting off my circulation in my fingers while my glasses fog over in the cold. (all the while i'm bloated with my period and waddling so slowly across the street i almost get hit by a jeep.)

the plan was so easy: take the time before the dinner party to get a couple recipes under my belt so i could get the timing down and such. so prepared! so full of foresight! so deluded. i bought my smoked salmon, my heavy cream, the chives, the grapeseed oil - all to make a fluffy little amuse. how hard could it be?

almost 2 hours later, with a cuisinart, blender and beater going, grapeseed oil burning on the stove while chives burnt to a crisp, pureed smoked salmon looking about as appetizing as vomit, i decided that stores like fox & obel could kiss my ass. even now, i know i should taste the test batch i made last night but i'm afraid.

pureed salmon with cream sprinkled with chive oil? gag.
while near blizzard conditions battered chicago tuesday night, roomie and i (with a couple of girl friends) went to the Chicago Auto Show. (it was ladies night! $5!)

i have to admit that when you're on your period, there's nothing better than wandering desultorily around a convention center with your belly all poked out just being lulled by all the shiny paint jobs and the new car smells.


why do men want to take pictures with cars? i don't get it.

how cool that you can drive the cars in fake rivers and over faux hills?

the mini is really made for a tiny little hipster with no friends. i mean, really. we tried to fit four people in the new mini convertible and i almost dislocated a hip sliding into the driver's seat.

a car that costs over 150k is totally obscene and no one, except a tacky saudi prince, should ever own one.

the new volvo c30 is love love love love. it's not here, yet, and i don't drive but now i'm rethinking that lifestyle choice, thanks to the volvo.

so whaddya know. cooking and car shows.
i contain multitudes.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

ever wonder why you were so dissatisfied with Pretty in Pink and why you can't turn away from Some Kind of Wonderful?

beyond the whole Gen X thing, Atalanta (hee!) discovers the answer here.

(yes, i gave you a shout out!)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

the winter blues


It's like I'm a manitee. I'm so incredibly bloated right now I actually look pregnant. (I do. And the empire-waisted blouse I'm wearing ain't helping.)

It feels good, though, to let the belly out. Just stand there and let it all go. ahhh...


I'm so signing up for Weight Watchers Online...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

another one for the oscar party, ladies.

Anna Nicole Smith Dies - The Lede - Breaking News - New York Times Blog

is it hugely cruel of me to say 'As the fembot lives, so shall the fembot die?"

ok, then. i won't say it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Orange Tangerine: Phobias

while i dither at work, frantically trying to prep for tomorrow (now there's a chance i'll have to speak at the press conference!!), here's a post about our sometimes irrational fears from Orange: Orange Tangerine: Phobias.

(in the comments you'll find a short list of mine, which includes having acid thrown in my face. i've been horribly afraid of this since i was a kid. any idea if that's an actual condition or just an extreme expression of my vanity?)
i know i should be excited about tomorrow's trip to springfield.
i really should. i'll be down in the capitol as part of our democratic process. yay.

but it's going to be 2 degrees, snowing and/or yucky. who's at their best when they're wrapped up like the michelin man and wearing sensible boots?

not me!

Friday, February 02, 2007

krugman on molly ivins and satire

(do i have times select? no. but i have friends who have. thanks, Orange! i reprint this not to point out similarities between my rant on what satire is and krugman's essay - ahem - but to direct attention to ivins' desire to hold Power accountable. i hope we can continue to do that.)

Missing Molly Ivins
Published: February 2, 2007

Molly Ivins, the Texas columnist, died of breast cancer on Wednesday.
I first met her more than three years ago, when our book tours
crossed. She was, as she wrote, “a card-carrying member of The Great
Liberal Backlash of 2003, one of the half-dozen or so writers now
schlepping around the country promoting books that do not speak kindly
of Our Leader’s record.”

I can’t claim to have known her well. But I spent enough time with
her, and paid enough attention to her work, to know that obituaries
that mostly stressed her satirical gifts missed the main point. Yes,
she liked to poke fun at the powerful, and was very good at it. But
her satire was only the means to an end: holding the powerful

She explained her philosophy in a stinging 1995 article in Mother
Jones magazine about Rush Limbaugh. “Satire ... has historically been
the weapon of powerless people aimed at the powerful,” she wrote.
“When you use satire against powerless people ... it is like kicking a

Molly never lost sight of two eternal truths: rulers lie, and the
times when people are most afraid to challenge authority are also the
times when it’s most important to do just that. And the fact that she
remembered these truths explains something I haven’t seen pointed out
in any of the tributes: her extraordinary prescience on the central
political issue of our time.

I’ve been going through Molly’s columns from 2002 and 2003, the period
when most of the wise men of the press cheered as Our Leader took us
to war on false pretenses, then dismissed as “Bush haters” anyone who
complained about the absence of W.M.D. or warned that the victory
celebrations were premature. Here are a few selections:

Nov. 19, 2002: “The greatest risk for us in invading Iraq is probably
not war itself, so much as: What happens after we win? ... There is a
batty degree of triumphalism loose in this country right now.”

Jan. 16, 2003: “I assume we can defeat Hussein without great cost to
our side (God forgive me if that is hubris). The problem is what
happens after we win. The country is 20 percent Kurd, 20 percent Sunni
and 60 percent Shiite. Can you say, ‘Horrible three-way civil war?’ ”

July 14, 2003: “I opposed the war in Iraq because I thought it would
lead to the peace from hell, but I’d rather not see my prediction come
true and I don’t think we have much time left to avert it. That the
occupation is not going well is apparent to everyone but Donald
Rumsfeld. ... We don’t need people with credentials as right-wing
ideologues and corporate privatizers — we need people who know how to
fix water and power plants.”

Oct. 7, 2003: “Good thing we won the war, because the peace sure looks
like a quagmire. ...

“I’ve got an even-money bet out that says more Americans will be
killed in the peace than in the war, and more Iraqis will be killed by
Americans in the peace than in the war. Not the first time I’ve had a
bet out that I hoped I’d lose.”

So Molly Ivins — who didn’t mingle with the great and famous, didn’t
have sources high in the administration, and never claimed special
expertise on national security or the Middle East — got almost
everything right. Meanwhile, how did those who did have all those
credentials do?

With very few exceptions, they got everything wrong. They bought the
obviously cooked case for war — or found their own reasons to endorse
the invasion. They didn’t see the folly of the venture, which was
almost as obvious in prospect as it is with the benefit of hindsight.
And they took years to realize that everything we were being told
about progress in Iraq was a lie.

Was Molly smarter than all the experts? No, she was just braver. The
administration’s exploitation of 9/11 created an environment in which
it took a lot of courage to see and say the obvious.

Molly had that courage; not enough others can say the same.

And it’s not over. Many of those who failed the big test in 2002 and
2003 are now making excuses for the “surge.” Meanwhile, the same
techniques of allegation and innuendo that were used to promote war
with Iraq are being used to ratchet up tensions with Iran.

Now, more than ever, we need people who will stand up against the
follies and lies of the powerful. And Molly Ivins, who devoted her
life to questioning authority, will be sorely missed.

Thursday, February 01, 2007