Monday, November 30, 2009

thankful for not having swine flu

basically, i spent the entire thanksgiving holiday knocked out on my ass due to flu. couldn't eat, broke into flop sweats, weak, achey, whiney and congested. lovely. and did i mention broke? yeah, good times.

also had the most alarming dream wherein B-/LTF reappeared, just as crazy and delusional, and basically stalked me thinking we'd pick up where we left off. the dream ended with me screaming at him to get the hell away from me but also panicked that i was missing an important work deadline.

so there you go: i don't have swine flu, B-/LTF still haunts my dreams (and not in a good way) and work is giving me nightmares.

happy holidays.

Monday, November 23, 2009

the most boring couple in the world

a quick M- vignette to tide you over the Thanksgiving hols:

you know you might be in it for the long haul when your guy's head is in your lap while you're watching an old Mexican horror movie and he's letting you pluck his crazy italian stray eyebrow hairs, and you marvel at them together ('wow, that one's huge') before blowing them away.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Worth sharing: an online guide to health care reform news, policy, wonks and wags from Slate's Timothy Noah.

Carry on.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

yeah, so. work.

stuff like that.

writing my ass off there so i'm utterly depleted here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

precious wrecked me and i don't even know why

just saw Precious.
wow. this is not going to be an analysis - just my first impression. but still, wow.

the bus was packed with a bunch of african american teenage girls and i just thought it was because school was out and they were going to the mall. nope. they were all going to see Precious. the theater was full of these young girls. and the theater was pin-drop silent.

(movie going with teenagers in the audience? it's never pin-drop silent.)

i wouldn't say the movie craft is *brilliant* but it's still a movie that should be seen - with performances that should be recognized:

Mo'Nique (without a doubt, so far ahead of anything she's done before.)

Gabourey Sidibe (for an unknown to carry this whole thing is amazing - this could *not* have been done by a Hollywood actress. no way. they're too mannered, too practiced, too fake, too stiff, too soap opera-y. it would be the equivalent of watching Holly Hunter play a dysfunctional cop from Oklahoma - sinewy and wrong.

my one quibble: i know most of Precious' subjectivity lives in her head but it would have been great to see more of her inner life, her push, somehow made more visible, other than the fantasy sequences that allow her to disassociate from whatever blow she's just received. This is a point that someone else - PostBourgie? - made somewhere and i agree with it.)

the other girls in the ABC class (don't you recognize each of them?)

after i saw it, i walked around for a few blocks wanting somewhere to sit and cry but that would have just looked crazy. it made me look at my aunts, the girls i knew from my church, the girls i see on the bus - differently.

if you've seen it, or read the book (which i haven't) would love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, November 06, 2009

the world needs meds

what the HELL is going on out there?

if the actual shooting at Fort Hood wasn't bad enough, the growing cacophony of anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria is about to eclipse it. on Twitter someone asked for the over/under for FOX News calling for the immediate segregation of all Muslims by Tuesday. why no link? it's unnecessary; just click on any comments section of *any* online newspaper or blog, liberal or conservative.

(frankly, i think the real story here is about mental health support, or lack of it, in the military but that's just me.)

then there's a second shooting today in Orlando and the difference in coverage is freaking startling (no instant speculation about race, ethnicity or religion - just 'crazy workplace shooter' narrative.)

question: why not treat the Fort Hood shootings like any other workplace violence story? or like a random school shooting?

and then the stupid ish i read in The Root huffing all insulted that the actress from Precious has the *nerve* to be all unashamed of her body?! (she must be mentally ill, The Root says. we're all caving to the PC gods if we don't shame her about her weight, The Root says. i say shut the frak up to The Root.)

makes me wanna holler or at least eat some bicuits and gravy. (i've missed lunch, too.)

it's a humdinger of a friday, folks.

carry on, if you can.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

halloween is for *kids*

i'd post a couple of h'ween pics from the party on saturday but, uh, they are not appropriate for public consumption.

note to self: just because the open bar closes in 20 minutes does not mean that BOTH hands must hold pints of Gumball. nor does it mean that, at the next bar, one must switch from beer to jameson.

highlight of the night? overhearing a girlfriend's boyfriend murmur, 'you know, i actually like how i feel wearing a dress' and watching a girlfriend take a photo of M-'s spandex-clad crotch.

sorry the posting has been so undergrad-y, lately. i haven't even read a newspaper in a few weeks; there are elections going on?? some gov't relations hack i am. but work, as usual, is kicking my ass. tomorrow i take the metra out to the end of the Milwaukee West line to pitch a conservative GOP congressman on why he should include my org on his list of appropriations. (yeah, that means pork!) it'll be the third such meeting - which means i'm submitting 3 proposals to 3 different offices for earmarks.

when folks get upset about 'pork' it's really clear they have NO frakking clue what it takes to get it. it's literally a crap shoot - especially if you're not a hostpital, museum, research facility, university or loaded with juiced up Board members and/or lobbyists/consultants. you talk to a staffer, you pitch your org, you gauge their interest and then you fire a short proposal into the air and if it lands, you sometimes don't know.

if you're lucky enough to actually get through the district staffer then you have to get through the DC staffer, who'll be creating the list for the congressman/senator to review and approve. and then, if you make that round, you might not make the final list before they have to submit to the appropriations com'tee. if you make it onto that list you might have a chance of making it to the omnibus, but it all depends on how the budget negotiations proceed. so you could get knocked off.

in other words, when you're not juiced up with a lobbyist or a personal connection to the elected official, a little org like mine getting 'pork' is a frakking miracle. and pure luck.

and once you get it, you don't really 'get' it. the process shifts from being a discretionary one ('hey, they do good work and could use some support.') to a federal grant. have you ever written a grant proposal for a federal agency? they are frakking long, complicated and onerous. most human services orgs don't have the capacity to write one because it takes a team to do one well. there are budgets, narratives, assurances, and metrics that have to be submitted. in other words, they make you work for your pork. they want every dollar accounted for - if you say you're going to spend $87.50 for a brochure, at the end of the award year your expenses better reflect you spent $87.50 for a brochure.

when it comes to pork, you don't just get a fat check in the mail to do with what you will. they either parse it out to you in small chunks per quarter or you incur the initial cost of providing the service and they reimburse you for the expense. there is nothing 'free' about this money.

and don't even get me started on how long it takes this process to roll along. if you're applying for FY11 appropriations year, you don't actually receive your money until 18-24 months later.

and? this is one time money. that's it. one year of funding to pilot or support a program and then - poof! gone. it's a lot of effort for brief relief.

so don't talk to me about how pork is evil.

thus endeth the rant. carry on!