Tuesday, May 27, 2008

just a plane away...and other things

Emily Gould - Exposed - Blog-Post Confidential - Gawker - NYTimes.com

i wish i had time to write about this today. often, i've thought about the random way i stumbled onto blogging. (yes, a boy was involved.) often, i wonder why i continue - some of my friends wonder why i say things here i've never said in conversation. the only thing i can do is shrug and say, 'It's different. I don't know.'

remind me to come back to this when i get back from ITALY!

enjoy the beginning of summer and i'll see you in about 10 days.

Friday, May 23, 2008

i-tal-ya! i-tal-ya!

am i crazy?

the italy trip is in a scant 5 days and i'm just sort of puttering about, making random lists in my head of 'to-dos', and i haven't done a single thing, yet, except buy a really great travel purse.

my friends are frantically burning CDs, shipping books, making lists of local sights, finding grocery stores, poring over maps, copying down recipes, or blurting out random italian phrases at each other.

('Non interferisca il bambino!' ok, i'll be honest. that's just me and Roomie saying that.)

meanwhile, i'm making stick figure sketches of my Italy outfits, imagining that i'm going to roll off an international flight looking JUST LIKE that!

lame. i should be buying more tampons in preparation for the menstruation tsunami that shall engulf me when i'm crossing the Piazza Pave.

5 days. so excited.

Monday, May 19, 2008

'Fertilized egg is a person' ballot proposal scares doctor : The Rocky Mountain News

that does it.
i need a drink.

who gets to be american? a jeremiad.

Well, according to Kathleen Parker, it's all about the blood.

From her column:

It’s about blood equity, heritage and commitment to hard-won American values. And roots. Some run deeper than others and therein lies the truth of Fry’s political sense. In a country that is rapidly changing demographically — and where new neighbors may have arrived last year, not last century — there is a very real sense that once-upon-a-time America is getting lost in the dash to diversity.
We love to boast that we are a nation of immigrants. But there’s a different sense of America among those who trace their bloodlines back through generations of sacrifice.

It's the blood that somehow conveys heritage, values, national identity and civic belonging. If you don't have the right kind of 'blood' then you're not a 'real' American. You're a wannabe, a poser, a fake. You have no claim on this American birthright because you aren't 'pure-blooded' American. You're a mutt, impure, Other.

Is any of this ringing anyone's bells? Even without graduate degrees in history?

Because we should know about bloodlines and blood spilt for sacrifice. Sweet holy jesus, this Parker woman dares to tell anyone in this country (who isn't white) that the sacrifices their families were forced to make because they were Other in this great country of 'opportunity' and 'plenty' don't count.

Who hasn't sacrificed to be an American? Who?
Have black people not sacrificed?
Have the Chinese not sacrificed?
Have the Japanese not sacrificed?
Have the Native Americans, for god's sake, not sacrificed?
Have the Mexicans and the South Asians not sacrificed?
Who is shirking off the responsibility to sacrifice so that they can participate in and assume this twisted American identity of ours?

All our histories in the past two hundred years have all been litanies of the sacrifice and 'blood' of Others. Why does our 'blood' not count and other 'blood' does?

This column so infuriated me, the only thing that could make me feel good about my anger was this Lincoln quote:

"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.' When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy."

Oh, Abe. If you only knew.

I knew this election season would bring out people's subterranean ugliness, the thoughts that whisper around their heads they would never dare bring out into the light, but I thought folks would treat this historical moment with a little bit more class. How naive of me. Once again, the white supremacist underpinnings of this country have jumped the leash.

You are killing me, America!

I keep giving you chances; I keep thinking, this isn't everyone. It's the media; it's some snaggle-toothed nutter living in the woods; it's just some run of the mill white person who doesn't know any people of color so they're just sort of stupid; or it's Fox News (see nutter). But this came out in a nationally syndicated column. This piece of xenophobic, nativist trash (which reads no different from the xenophobic, nativist trash from the 19th and early 20th centuries) was approved by someone. Someone's lizard brain read this and thought, 'Eh, what's the big deal? It's just an op-ed.'

Gah! America, if you were a person standing in front of me I'd slap you!

Pat Buchanan wants me to 'be grateful.' He wants me to shut up and be grateful I live in a place that suffers from the worst case of degenerate racism, a place that makes no significant movement toward recognition of or reconciliation for its white supremacist past. But here's our chance! Here's a moment - a gorgeous, breathtaking moment! And what do we do with this moment? We say he is not (and by extension, we are not - I am not) a 'full-blooded American'!

Oh, America, you make we wanna holler!

I can't be grateful when I keep waiting for this country to grow. the fuck. up. I keep waiting for it to do some frakking introspection. Look back at OUR history and make some little effort to change. But this country, rather than look backward with a critical and regretful eye, looks behind like Lot's wife and can't feel its limbs turning to salt.

[h/t: Too Sense: Oh, Hell No.
And here's that excellent post back in March on the Buchanan 'black gratitude' mess at Obsidian Wings.]

Thursday, May 15, 2008

swoony, swoony, swoon: obama edwards bromance!

PostBourgie Witnesses Obama-Edwards Lovefest. « PostBourgie

in the midst of dealing with some pre-italy tension yesterday the news came through that Edwards endorsed Obama - and what a relief that is!

PostBourgie has a very good eyewitness account of the announcement and you should read it.

come on, joe six pack! now you have the Great Blue Collar Communicator telling you it's ok to vote for the black guy! get on board!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

i shook Arianna Huffington's hand today at the luncheon i attended today. she gave a great speech and one thing that stood out was her statement that, when it comes to issues like fair pay, the economic empowerment of women, or policies that enable women to strengthen and take care of their families, there is no 'other side.'

cue massive girl-crush.

new love: tano handbags!

you will love these bags. they are awesome to touch, they're made of leather, the colors are deep and saturated, they're urban and sleek and so so chic.

they also don't have that awful tacky, oversized, obnoxious hardware look so many bags have now. (really, handbag makers? you really need to put buckles the size of fenders on women's bags?)

i stimulated myself as soon as i received my stimulation from our government. this is my new italy bag (in fudgesicle.) and this is the bag i really really want. maybe i'll save it for my birthday.

sigh. aren't they lovely? I got my Tano bag at RR1 Chicago (Chicago/Ashland); you can go there or to these locations in Illinois.

shoes and bags, shoes and bags. there really isn't anything that comes close.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Reproductive Justice Bill in Illinois Mobilizes New Allies | Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org

Reproductive Justice Bill in Illinois Mobilizes New Allies Reproductive Health RHRealityCheck.org

over on my other spaces, i've been writing pretty vociferously about reproductive rights and the religious right's push to limit access to contraception. nutty though they may be, they're organized and well-funded, which could mean the difference between your ability to control your fertility the way you want and being forced to remain pregnant if you don't want to be pregnant because someone thinks an egg is a person.

anyway, there's a bill on the books here in illinois that you need to be aware of. read about it (check out the bill number on the illinois general assembly site here) and start to call your representative to get his/her thoughts on women being able to create the families they want.

don't assume you know where your representative stands; look into their voting records, write out some talking points and ring up their capitol office and see where they stand on HB 5610.

come on!
pretend you're on the West Wing and do some grassroots lobbying.

Friday, May 09, 2008

ah, memories.

Riding into work the other morning with Roomie, we were reminded of something that happened while we worked for one of the Big 5 consulting firms in the city, years ago.

Roomie (who wasn't my Roomie back then) and I had been hanging out in the pantry getting our coffee and yogurt when the head of HR stepped in with one of her HR friends. Back then, HR was run like a sorority and it wasn't an overstatement to say that no one liked them much.

Trying to ignore them, Roomie and I had busied ourselves with our coffee and yogurt but couldn't help but overhear a conversation that went like this:

HR Director (in her deep, whiskey and cigarette-whipped voice): I am so exhausted. I didn't get a lot of sleep last night.

HR Flunky: Oh, no! What happened?

HRD: It was Dan. He peed on me again.

HRF: Gasp!

(Roomie and I exchange a silent, shocked glance.)

HRD: Oh, you know. When he drinks, he doesn't remember things and last night he totally peed on me. (Sigh) I had to clean up the bed, the closet...

(I mouth to Roomie - 'The closet??')

HRF: Ohmygod. Uh, I'm so sorry?

HRD: (sigh) But what are you gonna do, you know? I just hope he doesn't drink so much at the wedding and pee on me during the honeymoon.

(They leave the room. We wait until we can't hear their footsteps anymore and then immediately burst into raucous laughter.)

When Roomie and I remembered this story the other morning, it was like being there all over again.

'Oh my god, she actually married him!' I said, tearing up and laughing my ass off.

'They had a baby! Ha ha ha!' Roomie said.

I said, 'Oh, wait. Didn't we start calling her Urinal Cake after that?'

Roomie howled. 'Urinal Cake! Ha ha ha ha!'

We laughed so loud and hard, the people standing for the bus could hear us through the car windows.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

a real mother's day

A co-blogger from Bitch Ph.D. writes this about the upcoming Mother's Day weekend:

What I want for Mother's Day is some demonstration that the adult-ish people to whom my mothering matters (which is currently only my husband as our daughter is young) have reflected on what it means to try to mother with intelligence, grace, courage, and kindness in this historical moment. I want a recognition that I am under-served by social and business policies that do not value the work I do as a mother, and that I am under-served by the sentimentalization of motherhood. I want awareness that while the domestic labor I do is unpaid, it is not, de facto, my labor and has very little to do with mothering. I want conscious decisions to value the social and political influence of mothering, and commitments to increasing the visibility of the ways mothers are disenfranchised.

Here, here.

A real happy mother's day to all you moms out there. Really. Y'all deserve more than that.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

seek and ye shall find

I don't have time for a full blown post today but this is just some stuff that caught my eye this week, so far:

Manola Dargis' piece about the gradual disappearance of women from film.

Too Sense has a bunch of new posts up, including one about the latest craziness from Jonah Goldberg.

There's also a post from Jack & Jill, taking a closer look at that recent Wright/Obama poll.

And, of course, some of the new blogs I'm reading:
Field Negro
Skeptical Brotha

And there's the always reliable Negrophile, who is just a compendium of articles and news about brown folk. I still don't know how he has the time to do this!

The big comic book movie season is beginning and, inevitably, I wonder, 'Gee. Sometimes I think representations of race and gender could be better in comics. But since I don't see women or people of color represented within the comics world, we must not exist. Golly, we must not be comics' audience.' (roll of eyes.) Ridiculous.

So here are some women and bloggers of color I've been reading, lately, in the world of geekiness:

Afrogeeks (the post about the voicemail his friend left about McCain just about made me snort out my coffee.)

Written World (this post contrasting the self-policing the geek/comics community enacted when the lame Boob Project popped up vs. the lack of self-policing within the feminist community during Marcotte-gate led me to read her other posts and I think she rocks - and she's a Green Arrow fan!)

From Written World, I came across this PoC Sci Fi Carnival and it's also very cool: links to all things sci-fi, geekery and through a lens of race. Excellent; I can't wait to explore more of the links and really see what people are writing about.

Glyphs, a blog on PopCultureShock, on the Black Comics Community.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Iron Man: my new boyfriend

oh. my. god.

i don't care if you've never heard of Iron Man, never read a comic book (what are you, a philistine?), never even knew comic books existed and don't give a crap who Stan Lee is. i don't care if your boyfriend owns all these weird dolls (oh, action figures) and they're taking over your apartment and all you want to do is pile them in the backyard and set them on fire.

this movie is teh bomb.

it's better than the X-Men movies (not that hard); better than Spiderman and his tired adolescent angst; and gives the recent Batman a serious run for its money, if not totally surpassing it with the quality of the script, acting and action. this movie made a man encased in titanium erotic. hello!

favorite bits:

1. Robert Downey, Jr. - how hot is he? how funny and witty and sad can he be? and when his eyes get all teary and he's regretting all his life decisions in a cave in Afghanistan? sigh.

2. The bromance - at last, masculine friendship that isn't totally about measuring the size of one's dick.

3. The pacing - hail to Jon Favreau for making a movie that actually captures the 'ohmygod what's going to happen now???' spirit of comic books. every beat in the story was struck blam blam blamblamBLAM!

4. The script - wow. dialogue that was actually character-driven and not merely 'cartoony.' it was sly, spry and wry. loved it.

5. Women I could like - ok, there's only one woman who really matters and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) wasn't a screamer, a frail chick who needed to be rescued or a belligerent neurotic with issues. she was capable, supportive, knowing and decidedly not foolish. (the other woman in the movie just needed to be recast. the actress was awful and bland.)

6. Humor - at last! a comic book movie with a sense of humor! i'll chalk this up to Favreau and Downey's snarky sensibilities. yeah, the Christian Bale Batman has a certain hangman's noose humor about it, but it's so...heavy. blah. and the X-Men movies? pullease. dour, overbearing and way too earnest about its own allegory. give me the wink and the sharp quip delivered by a guy you can actually believe can carry it off.

7. Robert Downey, Jr. - sigh. really. he is just so...yummy. sure, he's short; he's in his 40's; he's a little worn on the edges. that's history, baby! and sure, when he takes off as Iron Man there's a little balletic grace to that little hand flip he gives that might not be really very macho. but i don't care! he's hot!

i'm about to start babbling about this movie. i should stop.
but one more thing!

now i'm gonna have to start reading Iron Man - and isn't *that* the measure of success for a comic-based movie?

(thank goodness saturday is Free Comics Day.)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

countdown to italy

4 weeks.
then i'm blowing this pop stand and lolling in the hot Tuscan countryside, drinking wine, eating pizza and saying things like 'Non sono Americana. Sono Canadian. Whatever.'
4 weeks and i will leave this horrific primary season behind me (only to come right back to it); i will try to leave behind our nation's unexpiated racist past and present.
(come on, sean bell's killers get off completely?? no punishment at all? people go to jail for accidentally killing someone with their motor vehicle! 50 rounds! unarmed! LORD JESUS!)
4 weeks and i will be on fricking vacation from this frakking mess of a country that i love with all my heart, even though recent events are making me struggle with my affection. my love comes at a price and every little privilege i enjoy feels like a bribe. or like a stack of crumpled bills on the side of a bedstand, at the very least.
in 4 weeks, i will sleep deeply, i will explore eagerly and i will float lethargically in the villa's 4 ft pool Roomie chose so that i don't drown.
thank god there's italy because lord knows here ain't feeling really good right now.
there's so much still to do.

i know we're 4 weeks out but i have a running list in my head of the things that need to be taken care of: i have to hold the mail, unlock my phone, alert my bank, transfer funds, wrap up work stuff, make a list of things to pack, copy recipes, learn a bit more italian (i'm actually not bad with the accent!), and resign myself to the fact that, yes, i will be on my period while in italy.

(i had to buy some cute black pants for this trip. forget that summer fantasy of white linen and a summery light wardrobe. i will be bleeding like MacDuff's mam.)
an acquaintance last night gave this piece of advice: "Never pass up an opportunity to sit, eat or pee. You never know when you'll get another chance."
i will take that advice to heart, slowing down my group of friends as i take every opportunity to sit, eat and pee. perhaps all at the same time.
and did you know urban outfitters has really cute, cheap cameras? unlike coldly perfect pictures taken with digital cameras, these take really wonderfully lo-fi photos, sort of blurry and saturated with light and all sorts of imperfections. i'm thinking about getting the Diana+Edelweiss or the Holga.
and i need to get my hair done. i think i'm officially over being completely 'natural.' not for anything political, but for danged expedience. the summer is around the corner and i do not want to mess with the frizz. Tia at Shake Your Beauty mentioned something called a 'conditioning relaxer' and i think want to try that. i just need to loosen the curls here and be less frizzy.
wow. a whole post on totally frivolous crap.