Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's the stupidity, not the skirt.

'It is going to be so good,' I said.
'I know. I cannot wait,' Roomie said.
'Utter trainwreck.'
'Disaster,' Roomie agreed.

I cannot help but thrill at the upcoming debacle that will be the VP debate. I'm heady with it. I shiver when I think of it. If this was a Roman arena, I'd be one of those barbaric spectators, with my thumb turned down.

It's unseemly, isn't it? Unlike other feminists who've been writing about their conflicted feelings toward Palin and how her running for the 2nd in Command makes them feel bad about their feminism, I have never felt bad about wanting to see this woman get shoved off the political stage, never to be seen again. But until today, I had no idea why I was getting more and more ginned up to see Palin destroyed so publicly.

I saw a glimmer of a reason yesterday when I watched one unbearable minute of the Couric interview. I tried, I really did. I tried to sit through them but the incoherence, the plain cluelessness, the vacuity - it all did me in! Aargh! I couldn't take it and stopped the video. I still haven't seen the whole thing. I can only read it in transcripts, in short spurts.

I couldn't bring myself to watch the Gibson interview, either.

But today, when I was talking to Roomie, I realized that watching Palin get plucked out of nowhere like a modern day Courtney Cox in a Bruce Springsteen video has made me suffer a high school flashback, back to a time when I hated seeing charming mediocrity succeed. There's no good way to explain it without sounding like a bitch so I'll just shrug and admit it: smart people make me swoon, stupid people make me angry. Especially deliberately stupid people.

And Sarah Palin is deliberately stupid.

I count her among the people who refuse to learn; people who refuse to research (or at least do a little digging); people who refuse to think critically or ask good questions; people who refuse to explain things in clean, elegant ways; people who refuse to speak without using jargon, cliches or sentimental shorthand - ugh! I cannot stand seeing these people in positions of authority!

For the last 8 years, such a person has been our President and it has triggered every single one of my snobby, brainiac issues. It infuriates me to see such a person leading our country and if someone like Sarah Palin, a woman several degrees dumber than Shrub, gets into the White House, I might as well lose eternal faith in the benefit of higher education.

LeBlanc at Bitch Ph.D. says it a bit more elegantly than I but the point stands: I can't stand Sarah Palin because she epitomizes everything I don't respect.

And I can't WAIT until Biden wipes the floor with her.

our fiscal mess explained

Bitch Ph.D. has a good post up from her BritFriend, explaining our current fiscal crisis. I'd write about this more but, lately, my reaction has been to confusedly pray I don't lose my non profit job, begin brainstorming a move back to corporate for a bigger paycheck and more stability (yeah, right), begin looking for a sweet but not too bright Sugar Person.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Update: Bailout a No Go!

...And, stocks plunge.


[House Rejects Bailout - NYTimes.com]

shorter bailout blame: The Brown People Did It! and what i'm reading this morning

It is a truth universally acknowledged (among Republicans) that when the economic shit hits the fan the one holding the shovel is most likely a low-income person of color.

So it is with this bailout mess. Now that the package has been approved, all eyes are looking for a scapegoat. Surprise, surprise, the luminaries on the Right have lit upon their various whipping persons: people of color, poor people, affirmative action, immigrants and even the nice fuzziness of multiculturalism.

You can catch reaction to this line of spin at Feministe and Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose thread includes a very good parsing of CRA lending policy.

(No, I'm not going to link to Malkin, Coulter or Sailer. You can Google them yourself and gag in the privacy of your own desk.)

Of note is Tim Wise's essay that not only takes this line of thinking to task, it also pokes some holes in the 'personal responsibility' canard the Right is so fond of trotting out:

So there you have it: white conservatives who simply cannot bring themselves to blame rich white people for anything, and who consistently fall back into old patterns, blaming the poor for poverty, black and brown folks for racism, anybody but themselves and those like them. That anyone takes them seriously anymore when they prattle on about "personal responsibility" is a stunning testament to how racism and classism continue to pay dividends in a nation whose soil has been fertilized with these twin poisons for generations. Unless the rest of us insist that the truth be told--and unless we tell it ourselves, by bombarding the folks who send us their hateful e-mails with our own correctives, thereby putting them on notice that we won't be silent (and that they cannot rely on our complicity any longer)--it is doubtful that much will change.

When conservatives say things like 'Oh, if only those darkies hadn't whined about equal access and equal opportunity, we wouldn't be in this mess!' I realize that there is a huge gulf between us that will never be bridged.

Conservative anger always seems to float downward, blaming people who always get the shorter end of the privilege stick; my anger floats up. I'm not going to blame the folks who use pay day loans to make their tiny paychecks last a little longer; I'm gonna look fish eye at the greedy white-collared sonofabitch who calculated that he could fleece more sheep by putting a pay day loan office on every corner in the south side.

I know, very noblesse oblige of me. But it's not, really. It's called freaking compassion!


I'm working on a complicated piece I've been wanting to write about intentional motherhood so I've been snapping up essays on motherhood, birthing and contraception. This is one linking increase demand for food and family planning.

This is also one about black midwives fighting the AMA for the opportunity to provide black maternal care.

And, of course, the asshat from Louisiana who thought it was a good idea in a brainstorming session to throw out 'sterilize black women' as a way to combat poverty. Uh-huh. No, that's not racist or problematic as shit at all.

Oh, and then there's this - it only took one month for the bloom to be permanently rubbed off the rose. (Yeah, there are huge problems if Parker thinks Palin is a picture of modern feminism but to get a huge, horking female conservative to admit Palin was a bad pick? I'll gloat.)

And here - a third party (who??) solution to the economic crisis at hand from Cynthia McKinney (via Alas, a Blog.)

Get to reading!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Debate: Finally!

I'm sitting here, with my girls and amid a fab spread of cheeses, pate and chips/dips (as well as a hell of a lot of beer), watching the debate. And we're taking a drink everytime we hear the words: war, POW, Main Street, and hope. We won't get as plowed as watching the Orientalizing opening cermonies of the Olympics, but maybe we'll get a nice buzz on.

Consider this your space to share your thoughts, reactions, funny asides and observations during this debate.

Carry on!

[I've also opened a thread at Bitch, PhD if you wanna take part over there.]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

happy (39th) birthday to me

Birthday resolutions:

Birthday resolutions:
Stop smoking. I had no idea the cigarette I had when I got home on Tuesday night, exhausted, would be my last. Now I know.
Exercise more. Yes, I've internalized our culture's messages about age and beauty and I refuse to be the dumpy, cute, near-40 year old.
Stop procrastinating. Feh, maybe tomorrow.
Be mindful.
Go to church more. (see Procrastinating)
Get more sleep.
Eat more salads - or at least alternate them with the bags of Doritos I love.
Find a tailor. (see Salads and Doritos)
Be open.
Make an effort.
Call the family more often, for god's sake!
Get regular Paps. And get on the mammogram tip, too.
Finish Worst Romance Novel Draft #1 by New Year's. Then sell it and begin to stalk Eloisa James because she is my hero.
Write more. Write better.

(And, because I'm creepy like that, remember Agatha the Fibroid? She who was untimely ripped from my woman parts last fall? You can take a gander at what that looks like over here. Neat!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

shorter McCain: 'the dog ate my homework'

McCain calls for debates to be delayed - msnbc.com

Really?! Better yet, let's suspend the election altogether until this whole icky mess blows over.

It's just too good, so I'm posting the whole thing:
McCain called for Friday's first presidential debate to be postponed, according to prepared remarks released by the campaign. The dates for the debates were set more than 10 months ago by the Commission on Presidential Debates, on Nov. 19, 2007.

From a Senior McCain source:
-- McCain called Obama before he made the statement and told him he was going to suspend his campaign and move back to DC until the economic crisis has been figured out.
-- McCain wants to create "a political free zone" until a deal is reached between now and Monday.
-- McCain also spoke with Bush and urged him to get both sides to work together

The Obama campaign's Bill Burton said in a statement: "At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal. At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama's call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details."

Here's part of what McCain said, in part:

"Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me. ...

"We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night's debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

"I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

student voting: a handy legal guide

[crossposted at Bitch, Ph.D.]

So I'm at work, trying to put together communications for GOTV and I am realizing that there is a huge gap in my knowledge re: the voting process for students. I know the rules for early voting, absentee voting and registering and what to do if you're challenged at the polls here in Illinois, but what about for students?

Everyone I've spoken to has drawn a blank when I try to develop a guidesheet for students voting in this election. The best I can come up with is, 'Uh, be familiar with the laws of the state you're going to school in or, uh, vote absentee.'

Not good enough. I had no idea there were so many barriers to student voting - and it's no wonder that previous elections have seen younger voter turnout remain so flat. We make it virtually impossible for them to vote!

Some states have flat out refused to recognize students' residency as valid (hello, Texas, Virginia and New York); some states don't recognize student IDs as valid identification, making it impossible for students to comply with HAVA (Help America Vote Act) guidelines; some states require drivers licence addresses to match voter registration card addresses, which unfairly burden students from another state; and then there are those state officials who claim that students voting where they go to school could endanger financial aid or scholarship awards.

So what are the rules? Where can student voters go for clean information?

Thank goodness I didn't have to do much legwork.

The Brennan Center has developed a web tool that provides a handy legal guide for students during this election year. They code states according to how student-voting friendly they are - green is friendly, red is not. (Just guess which states aren't friendly.) They give you what the regulations are and what maze of red tape you'll have to navigate to come out the other side. They also dispel all the myths WRT losing financial aid, imperiling parents' taxes and endangering tuition.

The guide does not say that students merely have to show up to vote, but helps prepare students for whatever bullshit their state throws in their way. Forewarned in forearmed.

So, professors and grad student instructors, or anyone who knows a college student voter who's fired up - do your students a solid and tell them about this guide so they can prepare themselves for what they need to do to vote without too much issue. They don't have a lot of time.

Updated: to add that Jack (from Jack & Jill Politics) has created a Voter Suppression Wiki. They have an action page that is pulling information together from voter suppression watchgroups, contact information to report irregularities, different campaigns and legal actions already in progress to halt voter suppression.

Friday, September 19, 2008

being busy - and being invisible at church

good gracious!
this week has been a little bit full.

had a date on monday (which was fun), worked furiously to get ready to leave town for a meeting on tuesday, was in indianapolis on wednesday for my meeting, flew back, worked furiously on thursday to catch up and now - hey! more working furiously while also getting ready for a church retreat over the weekend, a birthday party and maybe a tennis date.

but what i really want is a nap.

speaking of church, here's a little story i haven't had a chance to share. it reminded me that, as progressive as my congregation is, it has a LOOONG way to go to recognize something that Macon D over at Stuff White People Do has written about here and here. (And has posted a fine analysis of non-white reaction to what white people do here.)

i was with some church folks at a farewell reception for a church colleague. most of the people there were from Session, some i recognized from my years as Deacon, and some from my position as board member on the non profit organization housed at the church. in other words, these were not complete strangers to me.

but as the cocktail party wore on, it became clear that people did not recognize me to the same extent that i recognized them.

little old white ladies rushed up to me and cooed, 'oh, stacy! it's so good to see you here!' repeatedly, they did this - even after someone else had introduced me as 'Ding,' member of the Such&Such Board. oh, the stiff smile i'd wear as their eyes would blink and flutter and i could see their confusion, which probably sounded a little like this:

'what? but - but - stacy is The Black Girl! this is a Black Girl, so...this must be stacy! but she says she's not stacy! but she must be! why isn't she stacy?!'


when i put in my requisite 90 minutes of cocktailing, i sat in the lounge area to check my messages on my cell phone. a man from the reception came up to me, hugged me and said, 'oh, stacy! it was really good to see you tonight!'

i had been standing next to this man when the departing executive director of our organization publicly thanked me for my service on the board - and said my name.

flatly, i said, 'i'm not stacy.'
he said, 'oh.' silence. uncomfortable silence as i stared at him, with my cell phone in my hand. i was not smiling.

he said, 'well, it was good to see you.' and rushed away while i really tried not think bad thoughts about white people - and failed.

who is stacy? stacy is the african american woman who runs the very successful tutoring and mentorship program at our church.

and, clearly, the white people i serve with at church think she and i are exactly the same person. this is not the first time this has happened to me. at our mission benefit, at a board dinner, and during coffee hour while i stand at our organization's table during a fundraising campaign - i am every other black woman in church except who i really am.

do white people really not see the differences between us? do we really blur and blend into indistinguishable shapes? are we just all brown and black and yellow blobs that float indistinctly in and out of white vision?

this is the kicker: not one person apologized for mistaking me for stacy. not a single word of apology passed their thin, christian lips.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

excuse me, your freudian slip is showing

Scene: breakfast bar at suburban indianapolis hotel.

Ding: hi, I'd like french toast.

Chef (a congenial pink faced man):sure thing!

(Whipping up breakfast)

Chef: brown sugar? Uh, I mean, want sugar? I mean, how about some powdered sugar?!

Ding: um, yeah. Sure. Powdered sugar.

Chef: I don't know why I said brown sugar! I mean, brown sugar! Ridiculous.

Ding (wondering why he won't stop saying brown sugar):no worries. Powdered sugar is fine.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

john mccain = bad judgment

i think today should be john mccain=bad judgment day.

make it the title of whatever blog post you write and then write whatever you want. it's up there; it's sending the message.

for this post, i have about 30 minutes before i leave for the airport and i wanted to vent a little about this election (as if i'm the only one going through fits.)

to the american people - you're still a bunch of fekkin' idjits. really. you're like the apostle paul who was stuck on his anti-bacon thing. how many times did he need to have the vision of the sheet with all the food on it? 3 times before he got the message??

well, here we are, living the past two republican administrations and you're still willing to give those GOP fuckers a third try.

if we get stuck with Gramps and Hockey Mom for President, i'll blame you. you and your home schooled values. (anyone see that SNL skit? gosh, it was hilarious.)

i mean, i frakking give up, you know? you'd think the past 8 years was proof enough that the GOP is venal, corrupt, ideologically retarded and just plain bad for the country. but, clearly, most of us really are too stupid to vote in our own best, long-term interest.

so, as our country's banks fail, our industrial sectors fail, our economic indicators fall, and we wage war on more countries because the Hockey Mom doesn't know why the Bush Doctrine is a failure, i hope you're happy.

after all, you sure did stop those slutty girls from using birth control and killing teh babehs.

frakkin' idiots.
(yeah, i'm pissed off. i'm going to be sitting in an airport lounge while Fox News blares at me! frak!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quick Hit: Can I touch your hair? - Feministing:

Renee at Womanist Musings has a great post up, Can I Touch Your Hair? Black Women and The Petting Zoo.
Natural hair equals revolutionary because it says I do not covet whiteness. It says I have
decolonized my mind and no longer seek to embrace the qualities of my oppressor. It flies in the face of beauty traditions that seek to create black women as unfeminine and thereby undesirable. My natural hair is one of the truest expressions of the ways in which I love myself because I have made the conscious choice to say that I am beautiful, without artifice or device. It further states that I will not be judged by the yardstick of white womanhood. My beauty is a gift from my foremothers who knew on a more instinctual level than we know today, that 'woman' is as beautiful as she believes herself to be.

Yeah, well, my relaxed hair says, "Shit, this humidity is driving me fucking nuts!"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

amazingly candid

What to Expect When You're Aborting
[via WomenStake]

shameless plug: follow me!


If you read Screed (in fact, if you just can't get enough of Screed) show me your love and Follow me!
Yes. I am totally craven for attention.

I'm a Libra.

Monday, September 08, 2008

do *you* have friends of another color?

I'm glad Glamour had this panel (h/t Racialicious.) I've always had friends, close friends, of other ethnic backgrounds and I sincerely believe that most of this stuff about race and difference, privilege and white supremacy, would be addressed in a more thoughtful way if folks actually knew people of another ethnicity.

(Like, KNEW them. Not knew OF them. You know?)

Slightly related, but sort of different, over at Stuff White People Do, Macon D. had a really thought provoking post about all-white spaces and the cultural, historical, social blindnesses that kind of monochromaticity can create.

(Hm. 'Monochromaticity.' Perhaps not a real word. But, like, Lollapalooza. Did anyone else notice how White Lolla was and how nearly all the social pairings/groupings seen were monochromatic?)

In a similar way, I think having friends all of one color is...limiting. It speaks to an insularity that I think is really puzzling.

Anyway, Glamour wants to know and I do, too: Do you have intimate friends (not mere acquaintances) from another ethnic group? If so, what's your story?

(I'll show you mine if you show me yours.)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Community Organizing: Not a tea party

I live in Chicago.

My adopted city is one with a vibrant history of immigration, ethnic pride, migration, work, violence, poverty, ambition, and working class values (with a little head breakin' and racial segregation thrown in for good measure.)

It's also a city that has always taken part in community organizing, that thing the GOP sneers at. A better word for it would be grassroots community organizing.

The thing about grassroots organizing is that it happens outside of power. It goes directly to the folks being impacted by bad policies, by inequity, by disenfranchisement and it helps them fight against all that and work in their own best interest.

It's hard work helping people fight in their own best interest, especially when those in power say that the interests of the rich ARE the interests of everyone else. It's hard to mobilize folks to go up against big institutions and work for reform and actually win, especially when those institutions pretty much depend on the bafflement of the communities they exploit or neglect.

Community organizing does what government can't or won't.
Without community organizing, where would we be?

The organization I work for was founded in the 19th century by 13 women meeting in someone's home. They saw women migrating to the city from Illinois farms with no way to navigate this new environment and so they vowed to do something about it. These women helped with housing and employment; they helped these women build community with one another and, later, they integrated their clubs long before most other women's clubs were comfortable with the idea. They went on to agitate for women's sufferage and then helped organize Wednesdays in Mississippi, during the Civil Rights movement. In the 70s, these women helped mobilize the working women of Chicago to fight for sexual harrassment and gender discrimination laws that literally transformed the way thousands of working women were treated in this city.

These were ordinary women, hidden women. Wives, daughters, secretaries and students - going up against political disenfranchisement, racism, and sexual discrimination - meeting in lunch rooms, living rooms, libraries, churches, and community centers, sharing their stories, identifying deep systemic problems and dedicating themselves to solving them. These were women writing letters, crashing city council meetings, rallying in plazas, and riding buses to help other women fight police violence and racial conflict.

Who benefits from community organizing?

Mostly poor people, working people, elderly people, children, people of color, people who don't usually have access to power and influence.

Who doesn't the GOP care about, if they're so ready to be contemptuous of community organizing?

Poor people, working people, elderly people, children, people of color, people who don't usually have access to power and influence.

Ideally, grassroots community organizing allows for the flattening of power. Maybe, just maybe, this is a clue into why the GOP hates it so much. For some reason, the GOP just doesn't like the idea of ordinary people taking up the mantle of changing their circumstances - or the idea of anyone helping them do so. Though they say they're the party of 'personal responsibility,' when a community decides to take responsibility for itself and mobilizes to fight for its own interests, they characterize the effort as lazy or irresponsible and feckless.

It's funny. They say a lot about Christian values. They spend a lot of time holding hands (or kissing ass) with the Christian Right. But they don't have a firm grasp of the Golden Rule or the Beatitudes. To me, a woman who grew up in Sunday School and still remembers her lessons about the sermon on the mount, religious minded folks who express contempt for the poor and disenfranchised screams hypocrisy.

If you work as an organizer share your story here: what you do, who you fight for and what you're up against.
Tell the GOP exactly , and other folks who hate the idea of fairness, what community organizing is about.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

RNC 08!: it's about McCain

Disclosures on Palin Raise Questions on Vetting Process - NYTimes.com (h/t Americablog)

There are so many things wrong with this, where to begin?

Well, let's begin with how this story is a perfect example of how Republicans say one thing and reality dictates something else, entirely.

They say: McCain's campaign thoroughly checked Palin out
Reality: "A Republican with ties to the campaign said the team assigned to vet Ms. Palin in Alaska had not arrived there until Thursday, a day before Mr. McCain stunned the political world with his vice-presidential choice. The campaign was still calling Republican operatives as late as Sunday night asking them to go to Alaska to deal with the unexpected candidacy of Ms. Palin."

They say: McCain's campaign knew Palin inside and out
Reality: "top aides were vague on Monday about how and when he had learned of [Bristol Palin's] pregnancy, and from whom."

They say: McCain's campaign went through the vetting process painstakingly
Reality: "[McCain] had his first face-to-face interview with her on Thursday and offered her the job moments later. Advisers to Mr. Pawlenty and another of the finalists on Mr. McCain’s list described an intensive vetting process for those candidates that lasted one to two months."

They say: McCain's campaign had the FBI check her out
Reality: "an F.B.I. official said Monday the bureau did not vet potential candidates and had not known of her selection until it was made public."

They say: McCain's campaign did a good job gathering all background information
Reality: "officials in Alaska said Monday they thought it was peculiar that no one in the state had the slightest hint that Ms. Palin might be under consideration" - including the state's GOP chair, state legislative leaders, business leaders, community leaders - leaders of any kind.

They say: McCain's campaign wanted the selection to be a surprise.
Reality: They didn't do their homework.

But the biggest gap in what McCain's camp says and what the reality is becomes clearer once we discover who the main driver was behind the Palin pick.

They say: McCain is a maverick, a reformer beholden to no one.
Reality: "As word leaked out that Mr. McCain was seriously considering [Joe Lieberman and Tom Ridge], the campaign was bombarded by outrage from influential conservatives who predicted an explosive floor fight at the convention and vowed rejection of Mr. Ridge or Mr. Lieberman by the delegates."

And who were these influential conservatives? The Christian Right.

Wow, McCain. Way to stand tall.

Monday, September 01, 2008

They really did just throw a dart at a map to pick a VP.

RNC08!: leaving no civil right unviolated

La Chola has updates on her space on the arrests at the RNC convention.

Oh, haven't heard about the arrests? Haven't heard about journalists, independent media and people being arrested, harassed, detained and whole neighborhoods being raided?

Don't worry. That's exactly how the Republicans like it. Burn that platform they distributed. They crap on the idea of democracy in the name of national security.

Nihilix has posts up at Bitch, PhD about the St. Paul arrests here and here.

Bitch also has good links for coverage here.

Also check out The Campaign Silo and Fire Dog Lake for updates.

Number of arrests: 187 and counting.

Thank you, Republicans. Thanks for the peek into your worldview: you, all safe and pink inside your bunker of freedom while rubber bullets and tear gas flies outside.

omg: fire in the neighborhood

It pays to be the crazy lady who stays up waay past her bedtime to read.

Around 2 am, I was getting ready for bed and saw flames coming from the alley across the way. I thought I was seeing flames from a deck so I ran to the windows in the living room.

Shit! The trash behind one of the buildings was burning and the fire was slowly climbing higher. The houses are so close here, it would be no problem for it to spread.

I grabbed my phone, gabbled my information to 911 and began pulling on jeans and a shirt over my nightie. I ran down the hall, the stairs, my flip flops really loud on the concrete. The sirens could be heard just about a street away.

Standing in the alley (our alley behind my building) I watched as the flames grew bigger and reached the electrical and phone lines. Then I began counting how far in the fire was - about 5 houses, in the middle of the block.

My friend, G-, lived in the middle of the block. Running down the street, around the corner, to the front of the building on fire. I pounded on G-'s door, yelling her name. I called her cell phone - it said it was out of service. The condos behind and beside the building on fire began to evacuate. People carried their kids and their pets.

I called T-, another neighborhood friend, to see if she could track G- down then remembered that she mentioned going to DC to visit her brother. Her cat - ? No clue. The fire was soon out in about 10 minutes.

The three engines are leaving now. The street next to the loft is a lake, practically.

SO glad I didn't fall asleep on the couch watching Law & Order reruns.