Monday, August 31, 2009

so my tonsils are the size of loquats and i just learned that hot compresses help drain them.
amazing what you learn when you don't go to the doctor.

sorry the blogging here has been light lately. i'm taking a mental holiday.
everything, and everyone, sucks and i can't trust myself with the conversation.

so i'll just suffer through my swollen tonsils and drink peppermint tea.

you know, it might be the end of Screed soon, anyway.

i said a temporary goodbye to ChurchGal and don't seem to be returning to it anytime soon.

maybe Screed has run its course, too.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

it's all connected: land theft yesterday, wealth gap today

From Race, Wealth, and Intergenerational Poverty in The American Prospect:

"Economic studies also demonstrate that inheritances, bequests, and intra-family transfers account for more of the racial wealth gap than any other demographic and socioeconomic factor, including education, income, and household structure. These intra-familial transfers, the primary source of wealth for most Americans with positive net worth, are transfers of blatant non-merit resources. Why do blacks have vastly fewer resources to leave to the next generation?

Apart from the national failure to endow ex-slaves with the promised 40 acres and a mule after the Civil War, blacks were deprived systematically of property, especially land, accumulated between 1880 and 1910 by government complicity and fraud as well as seizures by white terrorists. During the first three decades of the 20th century, white rioters destroyed prosperous black communities from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Restrictive covenants, redlining, and general housing and lending discrimination also inhibited blacks from accumulating wealth."
[bold emphasis mine]

Remember this post, during the longest election cycle of the year? (And the one I wrote about the lynching exhibition?)

This connects to that. The dots are so easy to connect once you know what they look like.

back to normal

feeling the ground under my feett again at work. i didn't realize how hard the past 2-3 months had been until i went to work last week and felt an energy and clear-headedness i hadn't felt since may.

my old CEO is sending me job descriptions of positions she thinks i might be interested in; yesterday's message was for a position with a city dept as their director of policy. it looked good on paper but the city has a fiscal deficit the size of Texas and working for the city just fills me with images of dusty file cabinets, beige walls and desktop computers loaded with Windows 2001.

and, oh yeah. maybe it would be good to actually revise my resume.


Monday, August 24, 2009

sometimes one needs to stop thinking so much.

Friday, August 21, 2009

on my own

well, M- is off for a guy's weekend.

what should i do this weekend?
(other than bathe my ex-Roomie's big dog and attend the Danny Davis town hall?)

hello, white racial frame

When the story about Caster Semenya was on Good Morning America this morning it triggered my memory.

What was said about Debi Thomas - that she was pure Sport compared to Katarina Witt's Art?

What was said about Surya Bonaly:
You know, competitors like Surya and Midori Ito, they had the really
masculine, exotic sort of style and yeah, it got them some great technical
marks. I mean, not many women are out there attempting triple axels.
But skating is really all about beauty and sophistication and all the really
powerful women skaters have modeled themselves after Grace Kelly or Audrey
Hepburn, or that sort of a thing. That’s what our women have to offer and
it just comes natural to them. And I’m not saying they’re not up there
technically. I mean, they’re obviously not as aggressive as someone like
Surya, but she’s never really had the respect, you see. She’s a great
skater, in an exotic kind of a way I suppose, but she’s missing the classic
basics our girls have. And she’s not the nicest person out there either,
let me tell you…

(sure, the quote comes from a Canadian coach but US media commentary pretty much conformed to this; Dick Buttons would be brutal on Bonaly during her skates for not being graceful, for having more jumps than grace, for showing bare legs, for being so muscular, for 'attacking' the ice. Thanks, Dick.)

What continues to be said about the Williams' sisters.

What was once said about First Lady Michelle Obama, that she was shaped like a 'horse'? (Wasn't this on the Daily Show?)

Back to Caster Semenya: The GMA correspondent didn’t blink at all as he’s describing how this athlete has to have her genitals examined, her chromosomes counted and analyzed and her organs picked over, like she’s a ‘thing’ rather than a human being. It’s like a live autopsy. Like Sarah Baartman, all over again. Once again, we see the disturbing tendency of the West to literally/figuratively dissect Other women.
Do we really have to remind folks about the intricacies and pervading influence of nationalist, white supremacist, imperialist, colonialist discourse?
(And I'm not going to recreate the scholarship here. Why not? Because I'm not the only one who can use Google Scholar. Shit.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

david cassidy can go jump in the lake

It is a truth universally acknowledged (at least by all the romance novels I've read) that the best thing to happen to a woman EVER is to hear the object of her affection whisper 'I love you.' It's where every novel ends, the absence of it is the source of endless conflict and its presence the proof, somehow, that a couple is destined to be together.

But in reality, when those words are whispered, it freaks me out.
'I love you' comes with all sorts of baggage attached - responsibilities, expectations.
Like the expectation, for instance, to say 'I love you' back.

When I hear it, it's like there's a test coming up and I haven't studied for it, yet.

I've said it once (in the throes of frolicsome ecstasy) and didn't mean it; I've felt it once (maybe) and never said it. So I'm going to take my sweet-ass time saying it this time around, just to make sure my feeling and my meaning get to the same place, at the same time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

one more relationship epiphane

where did august go?
it's like it left the house to buy a pack of cigarettes then got waylaid by a floozy, never to be heard from again.

i was going to write a whole snarky post on nearing 40 and growing carnal appetites that are slow to be met but i'll take a page from a more discreet life and just say that it is ... unfortunate that men and women are such different sexual trajectories. what's the biological imperative in this difference?

my mom didn't have a chance to tell me this. (and i don't think my dad ever noticed, and if he did he certainly wouldn't choose that as a topic of conversation to have with his daughters. though he has no problem telling me about his prostate issues.)

mom also didn't tell me about the various sexual anxieties men have. this is sort of a surprise to me. once again, the horribly inaccurate picture i have in my head of the clueless, confident Modern Man has led me down a path of assumptions that was about to set me off on a diatribe about 'getting the job done' instead of actually, you know, thinking about the other person as a person.

it's weird. i've rarely ever thought of men as people. (there are exceptions.) women are people. people are complex, complicated; they are onions to be peeled; they have layers. men don't have layers. they have...behaviors that have been programmed by a sexist and patriarchal culture and such behaviors are to be controlled and/or avoided for the benefit of one's personal safety. most of their layers have been erased by the time they are 20; the layers remaining are labeled Sport, Sex and Collectibles.

well, glad to say i'm on my way to correcting my thinking. yes, i can begin to admit that, indeed, men are people. i was wrong: they have anxieties, worries, insecurities, fears and the whole shebang of layer-itude that women have.

whaddya know. men are like women.


Friday, August 14, 2009

an oldie but goodie: do manners trump bigotry?

This past week of town hall protests and white supremacist/segregationist rhetoric has tired me out.
Once again, you people have disappointed me. (And feel free to interpret that 'you people' as you wish.)

I don't even have the energy to write a whole new thought on how ignorant our masses our, how we clearly fail to read books and how useful it is to be knowledgeable of western history and be aware of what happens when large, ignorant mobs of hysterical white folks get really scared of losing their privilege and power. (Even though that fear is largely unfounded. I mean, really. REALLY.)

I'm so tired of it, I can't even bring myself to wonder what the hell can be done about it. I'm just about out of hope that our culture can bring its face out of the Cheetos to correct itself.

So here's an old post on manners: Screed: bringin' bougie back?: or, do manners trump bigotry?

From a comment of mine:

"well, as a woman of color who's getting mighty tired of waiting for people to 'get it', i guess i'm wondering if us folks in the target communities (women, people of color, gay folk) - if we even frakking care anymore.i mean, i'm struggling with the almost unpoliticized notion that i don't even care if a racist or bigot changes his mind or thinks harder about these things; at this point, trying to educate the 'masses' about privilege and bigotry is such a frustrating, brain busting endeavor that i just wanna go for the quick fix: change the behavior and at least make my life a little easier."

Sigh. Such a disappointment, you people are.

Monday, August 10, 2009

pillow talk, 3

[Saturday night, my place, fan on High, the hottest weekend of the summer so far.]

M-: just lay here and don't move.
D: i can't move. it's too hot to move. (only our pinkies are touching)

M-: if you close your eyes we can imagine we're camping...
D: on the sun....
M-: ...on a cool, fluffy...
D: camping on a grill...
M-: on a sticky, gooey marshmellow...
D: camping on the surface of a volcano.

M-: I want to have sex, but it's too hot.
D: If you touch me, I will kill you.

'the election broke their brains'

worth spreading - and watching:

Rachel Maddow and Frank Schaeffer discussing the increasing hysterical and violent rhetoric (and actions) of the right wing.

Contrast this with the way George Stephanopolous won't press Newt Gingrich when Gingrich defends Sarah Palin's statement about 'death panels' - instead of calling it pure nutbaggery.

it's only 8 months into the Obama term and already the fringe element has reached a level of hysteria that's usually reserved for ...bunkering down and waiting for the Rapture.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Do we trust women?

Apparently not.

Oh, Florida. Why are you so fucked up?

(Again, another reason why I'm so adamantly pro-choice.)

this blog is AWESOME

i usually save all capital letters for sex or food or really great leather bags.

but this woman's blog deserves it: Fugitivus.
you need to read her.

i sort of wish she lived in chicago and we could have a beer. i might develop a creepy, blog-girl crush on her. i'm already envious of her turn of phrase.

anti-sexist, anti-racist and funny as hell.

thanks to my fellow blogger, m. leblanc, for introducing me to her.

healthcare dumb

Do not laugh at my question., can anyone give me links to *really good* summaries/breakdowns/outlines of this healthcare reform thingy? Timelines, analysis, what have you.

I've been so buried in work and NewGuy, that I haven't devoted one single minute to forming a rational opinion on it.

And, really. I don't want to hear about how Obama is going to kill your grandma. I'm not that healthcare dumb.

So please, well-informed readers. Help me. (All 10 of you.)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Sometimes the most useful conversations about race, privilege and the cultural frame of whiteness comes from outside politics and the media. Mainstream media should take note.

Check out the discussion thread here: SF Signal: TOC: The Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF edited by Mike Ashley

What I like about the thread is not just the fact that privileged assholery is severely out-numbered but that the level of argumentation is just so cogent (and funny as hell); there is also a sense that the community of writers participating in the discussion actually cares about the implications of white supremacy on their genre. The community cares about it - not just one or two voices in the wilderness, getting frustrated that no one is 'getting it.' That matters, you know?

(And here for further context and discussion of intersectionality.)

h/t to

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

hands off my ovaries

Playing the Abortion Card - The American Prospect:

"Far from cackling as they sneakily lobby for "abortion-on-demand" legislation, women's health advocates are actually rather anxious. In the Senate, anti-choice Republicans say they will oppose any health reform plan that subsidizes abortion coverage or even includes, in the proposed health insurance exchanges, private insurers that cover abortion. Currently, 87 percent of health plans offer some abortion services. That means if Democrats capitulate, the majority of women who currently have abortion coverage could lose it. The result would be a near-blanket restriction on women's access to insurance-subsidized abortion, one far more radical than the Hyde Amendment."

M- and I have actually talked about this - what would happen if a freakish unintended pregnancy occurred (despite the Pill, the condom and the Plan B.) No doubt in my mind, I'd call my Ob-Gyn and make an appointment for termination. Currently, my medical insurance covers this procedure.

So the idea that some conservative assholes can threaten to take my right not to be pregnant away makes me angry as hell.

Monday, August 03, 2009


i like this.

M- and i spent the weekend apart; it was my best friend's birthday this weekend and i wasn't going to have time for him. i had told him this a while ago and he quietly made other plans to go to the beach, fix his computer, see his friends and wait for me and my running around to end.

i like that, too.

at the birthday party, i'm sitting around with my girl friends, catching up.

a friend looks at me and asks, 'how are things going with M-?'
i say, 'things are good.'
she looked at me like she was expecting more but there wasn't anything more to say. we are enjoying getting to know each other and, so far, we're just happy to make it to the end of the week and still like each other.

and, i don't like so much the feminine tradition of living relationships out in the open. sharing little things here and there is different. here, it's about little vignettes, stories, anecdotes. things to make you laugh.

but the emotions, the real introspection i go through about this relationship are kept behind a little veil. just a little one. there may be a peek or two.

and, besides, there isn't anything to talk about really. there isn't enough to fill a whole conversation about us. we haven't come to any grand conclusions. we haven't said the big words to each other. we just watch movies together and fall asleep on the couch like old people.

we're the most boring couple in the world. (and i'll never make fun of my sister and her husband ever again.)

the other day, while shopping for my best friend's birthday, i found the cutest little band-aids. they were covered with comic book words like POW! AARGH! UUGH! WHAM! and i bought them for M-. i thought it would be a cute, silly thing to give him for our unofficial 3-month mark.

i put the little canister on the front hallway table and try not to feel self-conscious about it.

but other than that, there isn't that much to say.