Friday, August 26, 2005

i swear. last one. THEN the break.

AngryBlackBitch: Take a stand...

money quote:

A bitch has met several generation Y motherfuckers and they are disturbingly stupid. How the fuck are these idiots going to pay for my retirement? Education is not rocket science, for the love of all that’s holy! Tell the religious right to get serious about private school and fucking take it back to basics. Instead of debating “intelligent design” lets [sic] have a debate on why children can’t fucking spell “intelligent”!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

first this then i'll be on a break: role play hell

via alas, take heed to a tale of what happens when a role playing game goes mortifyingly awry.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Shut up and Listen

i met a friend of hers over the weekend and i guess i'm not the only brown girl who's having a tough racial summer.

it's ranty, powerful and impolite. read it.

[update: this is the original piece from kiwi grrl that pointed me to the above post. she rocks!]
I was going through some of my archives last night – couldn’t sleep again – and wow – I was feisty and the writing wasn’t bad, either. Lately, I’ve come to realize that my postings are a little uneven; they’re a mixture of ‘hey, my butt!’ and ‘grr, the latest moves against women’s rights’ and ‘look, shoes!’ Work has been hectic (not complaining) and our fundraising season is heating up and will most likely stay there until October. But I’m sad the writing has been so choppy lately. My bad.

So, I’m taking a little break. Just for a couple of weeks. To regroup my writing and get thoughtful again instead of merely reactionary.

(having said all that here's a piece about GAP's new store that's supposed to be for women like me - over 35. I guess I'm supposed to be happy they have clothes in my size.)

it's back to school!

as the late summer partying winds down, don't you wanna write an essay?

over at alas, a blog we see that The Anti-Feminists Want to Give You $5000! the partisan think tank IWF is holding a contest and i think it would be smashing if they received actual feminist essays.

(not an undergrad? shhh. but if you are...go for it.)

it's 750 words. easy peasy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

fearless leader: wrong on women

"Bush, spending a day at the resort with Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, a Republican, said he was getting updates on the Iraqi constitutional process from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

He said Rice had assured him that the rights of women were being protected. ''Democracy is unfolding,'' the president said."


Huh. He really has no idea what he's talking about, does he?

since elvis mitchell is no longer with the times, i guess i'll have to get my movie snark elsewhere.

(yes, more important things are happening in the world but let's put them off for a few more hours...)

chicklit, pt 2

we (ok, I) often assume that most chicklits are white. i'm often wrong.

if you haven't heard of her, jackson writes paranormal romance (!!) and her blog tackles being brown in the romance community.

love the comment how chicklit critics 'roll around in a self-congratulatory frenzy over how intelligent [we] are.'

Sunday, August 21, 2005

ladies who lunch

today was hot, and not in that paris hilton vapid kind of way.

it was so hot i felt my head was on fire, a blazing bush. (why oh why did i wear a shirt that didn't breathe?)

i woke up late-ish, checked email for a bit, then left to meet a few chicago blogging women for lunch (including Bitch, who is totally cool.) we then went shopping on southport but the heat was too much for us - who can enjoy shoes when your skin is melting? i can't. but, despite the heat, i liked the women i met.

more and more, my world is filling with women. we rock.

(i drooled over a luscious red leather bag and a few pairs of low heels at this boutique: dilani on southport. and on friday, i finally found the jacket i've been looking for: a pin-tucked grey wool with 3/4 sleeves and sparkly frog closures. i'm so happy with it, i can't wait to find a good pair of cuffed grey trousers to go with it.)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

soapbox? check.

ahh, the relief of fiber.
over at bookslut there's a link to a rather pointless conversation about whether chick lit has value. (the discussion starts out promising then devolves into a weird, meandering junior high wannabe snarkfest, and not in that interesting way, either.)

why link to it? it comes back to issues of value, taste, discernment. i've been writing my own piece of dreck lately (one that i am enjoying) and the other night, when i came home a little wasted from a work function, roomie was watching Wedding Date (the one with Debra Messing and one of the Dermots). what an utterly insipid movie. roomie put her finger on it: there's no conflict and everyone is boring. where's the conflict when the most common rule of chick lit is 'marry the boy who loves you for being you'? and where's the conflict when the heroine's journey to self-discovery follows a simple trajectory - middle class dream almost attained, middle class dream deferred, middle class dream reinforced and used as reward for maintaining the (middle class) status quo. what's discovered when she ends up back where she began, perhaps a little more knowing, but basically still unaware?

the chick-lit lovers (and their authors plum sykes, jennifer weiner, marian keyes and that woman who made my roomie throw the book across the room) defend their genre by comparing their domestic dramas to those of austen but they don't seem to have read austen very well. it's no wonder they choose austen as their guide; she's easy to underestimate. her clean and chatty novels of drawing rooms and marriage plans seem like our romance novels but austen had actual conflict. elizabeth bennet was not trying to 'find herself' in the love of a good man; she was fighting for survival, knowing that her future, and those of her sisters, depended on marriage - and marriage, even if you were gently bred, was not a sure thing especially if your family's class and reputation question. this is the conflict - austen's drama is not about darcy loving elizabeth for herself; it's about class distinctions, money, sexual scandal and the laws of primogeniture that endanger a woman's ability to be free.

that's what Conflict is - the very BIG thing outside of the hero/heroine that endangers the outcome of the narrative. it's not whether someone is fat, or fired, or if someone will read the email that was accidentally sent when someone else was drunk with jealousy and stupidity. it's not a misunderstanding or a misheard conversation. that's called a plot point. conflict points to something monumental and the fact that these stories lack that largeness, that weight, just undercuts their argument that what they write is important.

Friday, August 19, 2005

things lined up on my kitchen counter:

  • citrucel fiber 'milkshake'
  • natural constipation aid
  • ex-lax for ladies
  • toilet paper
it's gonna be a good weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

how intolerant of me

if anon hated my intolerance for maxim and its readers, this should really blow their stack.

word snobbery.

love. it.

(and the writing exercises are an excellent way to take a break from work to get the flow going again.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

reading sucks

Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | The tyranny of reading

For someone to say they don't care for reading labels them as some kind of thickie pariah, fair game for any insult. To decide any such thing on the basis of one single trait seems both sweeping and snobbish.

during my footloose-like childhood, two things distinguished me from my sister:
1- my birthmark was on the right side, hers on the left
2- i read books, she didn't

as we grew up, this second division between us became more marked. i horded my books and she launched guerilla attacks at me through them. (oh, the day i found my hardy boys mystery ripped, defaced and chewed by my dogs because my sister threw it in the back yard - oh, that was a dark day.) my sister knew how deeply this hurt me just as i knew how it hurt that i preferred reading to playing with her.

all of this is to say that my sister doesn't read very much. she read in college, yes; now her collection of books can fit in a small file cabinet. but she has read a book. somewhere, a book has felt my sister crack its spine. somewhere an idea has been digested by my sister and now sits percolating in the ether of ideas my sister carries above her.

but NEVER to have read a single book? and boldly to admit it? (and you don't have a condition to account for it?) you're no pariah. just hugely ignorant.

illinois rocks: pharmacy access to contraception permanent


there are a lot of things wrong with illinois government - but this isn't one of them. if things go bad on the federal level, i feel good that my state legislature still recognizes women's needs. (and good on planned parenthood for keeping up the pressure.)

why i'm glad i'm 35: maxim is 'cool'

Do You Read Maxim? Like to Shoot Pool? Welcome to the Club - New York Times

"It's a very cool magazine," Mr. Gerber said. "I've been to a bunch of parties they've had. It's my clientele at those parties." The typical Maxim reader is a 27-year-old male whose favorite alcoholic beverage is tequila and whose preferred leisure activity is shooting pool.

do you fear for the future? cuz i do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

yawn: Chicago Tribune | BLOGS CAN BITE

same old same old.

here's a thought for writers covering this new-fangled things called blogs: how about writing something interesting?

you have a front page story to write and these are the most interesting stories you can explore? jeebus.

Monday, August 15, 2005

meme meme meme...

(it's my lunch break. really.)

50 Questions (via ABDmom)

1. First name: Ding
2. Were you named after anyone? Yes; my mother’s best friend back in the philippines
3. Do you wish on stars? No.
4. When did you last cry? Sunday I teared up a little while watching First Daughter but I’m chalking that up to PMS.
5. Do you like your handwriting? Very. My print is very blocky.
6. What is your favorite lunch meat? Um…shhh…liver loaf.
7. What is your most embarrassing CD? I once had a baby face cd. I later sold it in a yard sale.
8. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? Of course! I’m fabulous (despite the fact that I will most likely forget my new friend’s birthday.)
9. Do you have a journal? Yes, one that i’ve been neglecting because of this thing.
10. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Doesn’t everybody?
11. What are your nicknames? Yum-yum, gassy princess...
12. Would you bungee jump? Um, no.
13. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Shoes? With laces? You mean gasp athletic gear?!
14. Do you think that you are strong? My lower body strength is immense – really! I can leg press a muther. I have weak girly upper body strength that only kicks in during panic.
15. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk. (because I am a super fudge chunk – ha! Roomy – beat you to it.)
16. Shoe Size? 8
17. Red or pink? Persimmon.
18. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? I think I’m inheriting my mother’s problematic filipina grandmother tendency to be, uh, hairy. I’m not happy about it. At all. Grr.
19. Who do you miss most? My mom.
20. Do you want everyone you send this to, to send it back? Whatever.
21. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? I am proudly wearing a maternity summer dress from Target! Why maternity? Because it’s comfy and gives me an excuse to stop holding it in. Heh.
22. What are you listening to right now?
23. Last thing you ate? Corner Bakery croissant.
24. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Burnt sienna.
25. What is the weather like right now? Hot and slightly humid.
26. Last person you talked to on the phone? Roomie, to wake her up.
27. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? I actually have a hard time noticing the opposite sex…(no peripheral vision, dude! None!)
28. Favorite Drink? Red wine, champagne, hendrick’s gin, or whiskey
29. Favorite Sport? That’s funny.
30. Hair Color? Brown (with gray in exactly the same spot my dad has it)
31. Eye Color? Brown
32. Do you wear contacts? No – I’m terrified of them. I sport cute black glasses.
33. Favorite Food? Meatloaf. Always meatloaf.
34. Last Movie You Watched? The Aristocrats. Heh.
35. Favorite Day Of The Year? Thanksgiving.
36. Scary Movies Or Happy Endings? Scary movies; happy endings are for chumps.
37. Summer Or Winter? Summer
38. Hugs OR Kisses? Kisses
39. What Is Your Favorite Dessert? (see Ben & Jerry above)
40. Who Is Most Likely To Respond? Hmmph.
41. Who Is Least Likely To Respond? Phht.
42. What Books Are You Reading? Jonathan Ames
43. What's On Your Mouse Pad? My hand, on the mouse.
44. What Did You Watch Last night on TV? The one with that skinny girl in it and that preternaturally mature child, dakota fanning
45. Favorite Smells? Bread, bacon, jasmine, gardenia, issey miyake’s parfum
46. Favorite Sounds? Traffic
47. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Rolling stones
48. What's the furthest you've been from home? Europe.
49. Do you have a special talent? Um…my (cough) yoda imitation.
50. What is your ring tone? Some baroque thing…


exurbs? no thanks.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

scribble scribble

roomie sits on the couch tonight blissfully engrossed in miracle, the movie about our olympic hockey victory in 1980. (have i mentioned roomie is from minnesota?) i sit at our dining table, surrounded by a watered down whiskey, a coke, cigarettes and unopened mail. (mail=bad news!)

it's been a nice weekend, rainy and warm, and we spent hours at the movie theater yesterday. march of the penguins (hey, we thought it'd be educational!) was less than satisfactory. first, seeing any G-rated movie is a mistake if you see it in the afternoon. children. everywhere. really chatty children. we had to move to an empty part of the theater but we were pursued into that section, as well. here's a piece of movie theater etiquette: when your newborn starts wailing at the top of its lungs, pack up everyone and leave the theater. please.

we decided to wash the children's fare from our minds by taking in 'the aristocrats.' ah, profanity, vulgarity, incest, shit and bestiality. it was the perfect tonic to the curiously bloodless march of the penguins. (i'm sorry, if you intone pretty much from the beginning of the movie that some penguins won't survive the winter, i want to see penguin carcass; if you say predators are coming for the fuzzy babies i want to see that weird ass bird snatch a fuzzy baby, rip off its head and fly away with it. it's nature.)

we came home to watch tv (we're total potatos) and then had a brief discussion of race - again - and why people of color ask less questions about white people. roomie has come to terms with her privilege and i've reassured her i don't blame her for anything, though perhaps some reading would be in order. (remember that reading list?)

today, i stayed home to write. the Worst Romance Ever is in full swing, though i'm having some issues trying to keep my heroine from sounding like a humorless prig. it was good to puzzle some things out. i miss these times when it's just me, a cursor, a question and a pack of cigs. these are the things i miss most from graduate school.
B- sent me a short series of emails this week. it's been a couple of months (or has it been three?) since he and i were last together. our contact is spotty and usually follows a familiar cycle: a night together, several months apart, a tentative attempt at reestablishing contact, contact is made, another night together. and so on.

his last three messages went unanswered and sooner or later i'm going to have to figure out a way to say i'm not up for it anymore.


this woman almost makes me ashamed to be filipina. my mother would have hated her.


ever had one of those moments when you read something that makes you swear the person who wrote it is sitting right in front of you at your kitchen table? you know this voice. it belongs to the woman who says the angry uncomfortable truth that makes you look around wondering if anyone heard that. (my roomie is one of these women.)

they are AngryBlackBitch.

and, man, does she have ideas about that story last week about that jail break down in tennessee.

(she's going on the blog roll)

please no

no. way.

i mentioned this to my roommate and she about had a fit. 'no, they can't do that!'

considering this article is from july and no one's heard anything about it, maybe we've all dodged a very icky bullet. television can barely raise itself above a junior high level of discourse; it's hardly a subtle enough tool to look at race.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Girl Crush; the times has a word for everything

first it was metrosexual.
then came man-date.

now it's girl crush.

my old roommate was fond of 'office boyfriend'.

pretty soon we won't be able to walk, the world will be so plastered with words defining relationships that had previously been unknown.

All Cultures Are Not Equal: so says david brooks


is it me or is david really talking about two different things when he uses the word 'culture'?

i'm prompted to ask, why write this column? what is he going after? does he think no one will really notice he's misusing terms?

i'm going to bed.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


So the birthday is next month.

It’s giving me a little trouble. Not the usual ‘I’m so old’ crap. I look forward to getting older – my body is changing (again), my outlook is changing and I’m only dreading menopause because of the discomfort (ding hates discomfort). The women I’ve gotten to know through the Social Do-Gooder Job are older, yet look and act younger because of the immense fire they have in their bellies; they are given youth through what they do.

So it’s not the fact of my age that’s throwing me for a loop.

It’s the aesthetics, or the imagery, of this number. I mean, when I was approaching 35, there was a roundness to it that appealed to me. It was dead center; 35 was such a good, steady number. It signified balance to me. 36, however, is off-center; 12 goes into it 3 times. (right?) It’s weird. It’s not a milestone age, like 30 or 35. It’s after the milestone. It’s sort of the chapter after Happily Ever After.

It’s the Then What? page.

So now what? These are the less than ambitious plans now that I'm officially approaching middle age:

Learn how to sew properly (which means I’d need my mom’s old Singer …)
Take a tango lesson (or maybe the foxtrot; I’ve always liked the foxtrot)
Take a vocal class (it’s been ages since I've belted anything out)
Have a girly golf outing (I know but it’s really about the drinks afterward, isn’t it?)
New pillows for my bed.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

ouch. my ass.

this post officially goes in the TMI box. if you're squeamish then look away - like, here maybe.
if you're brave and bold, like a listerine breath pak, then read on:

i have a hemorrhoid.

it's making me afraid to poop. this fear, in turn, is making me constipated. which makes it harder to poop. which hurts my ass visitor. two weeks ago, after church, i went to walgreens. i just couldn't take it anymore. so there i stood, in the itch/burn/ben gay aisle puzzling over what to put up my butt to make it stop hurting. a suppository? i couldn't figure out the directions. a topical cream? my roomie told me stories of her dad complaining of leakage. the least invasive remedy i could think of: a medicated towelette.

i reached out to take a package when a guy came over and stood next to me, also pondering the mysteries of tucks vs. preparation H. we stood there, frozen, each with our own ass issues. i finally grabbed my box of towelettes and got the hell out of there. i even bought a box of girly laxatives (the box was pink!). but then my way too efficient cleaning lady came and threw them away.

tonight, while watching peter pan with my roommate, i decided to see what web md had to say. eesh. not good. words like 'vigorous wiping' 'pushing strain' 'probe' 'see your doctor right away' and 'fiber' throbbed at me.

i don't think i want to see a doctor about this, i said to roomie.
i think you should have a colonoscopy, she said.
i can't believe you just tossed that out like - like it was nothing! nothing is going up my ass! no one is going to send a periscope up my butt!

the fact that nothing is coming out my butt is not lost on me.

there's just no good way to finish a post like that, is there?

Liberty University: where liberty means none

Student Affairs - LW - Code of Conduct - JudicialSys - Reprimands... - Liberty University

so imagine how much you'd have to cough up in fines if:
you visited your (illegal) non-catholic boyfriend at his apartment off campus, failed to identify yourself when you snuck back and then decided to cap off the evening at an illicit seance.

[via foreword]

Monday, August 08, 2005

to see if i can, i've been writing a really crappy romance novella. i thought the discipline of regular writing would be good for me and, for once, to FINISH something would be nice. i had a few versions of it from a few years ago but, when i quit my job earlier this year, i dug them up, reread them, and started over. unemployment was the best thing to happen to this little project - whole days of writing crappily, yet happily.

i gave myself a goal - something in vague finished form by my birthday - but because i've been so consumed with work (which is good) i've had to catch up with my own writing. and, because i've been so consumed with politics, romance just hasn't been on my radar (erotica/porn, yes-romance, no) so i checked out a couple contemporary romances/chick lit last weekend, to get my feet wet again. research.

how's it going?

aack. i hate it. it's all crap. these books suck. kill me. kill me now.

(thank the book gods i also checked out a novel about a forensic entomologist and one about a gay man's wacky adventures with his butler.)

Ms. Magazine | The Dialectic of Fat: From Kirstie Alley to Broadway to Fiji

if i wasn't so constipated and worried about renal failure i'd think harder about this.

but no matter your lower GI situation, it's a good read.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Delicious Biting: Savory pancakes

what does a french literary icon have to do with buckwheat pancakes? plenty.

damned by faint praise

i like the word play in curtis' title "Terry McMillan - Waiting to excel" but, really, a whole literary history on the black aesthetic movement?

it's significant that most of the review is about that instead of mcmillan's new book.

in fact, this is about as much enthusiasm as he can muster:
The Interruption of Everything may not be a great novel, but it's a far more ambitious one than McMillan has written in years, and it seems like a lurch toward something important.

i stopped reading mcmillan years ago. i thought she was bland. boring. tired. done. cliched.

so, curtis, just break it to us: she's a bad writer. we can take it.

Friday, August 05, 2005

what to do...?

the day is bright and cool and i have the rest of the afternoon off...

what to do?

go back to the neighborhood and write in the cafe?
see a movie?
buy a comic book? (oooh)
window shop for fall stuff?
return overdue library books? (boo)
eat a cheap, yet satisfying, lunch?
try on shoes? (yay!)
walk in the park?
take a train ride to a new neighborhood?


i'm sensing a do-over

i was hoping for 'philadelphia story' but this was the best i could do.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

dove: i like the ads

and so does poundy, who penned a rebuttal to the lame asses at the sun-times who think the ads are ugly, offensive and gross.

fuck you, asshats.
(poundy's rebuttal is more articulate than that but you get my drift.)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

good idea or...

excellent way to plunge 20 floors to your death?

how to hack an elevator via boing boing

my roommate was saddam hussein


Filipina Brides And Marriage Resource

i wish i knew the tagalog for 'you sad little man.'

all i know is tatay mo kalbo. (used to crack us up when we were kids.)

that doesn't fit the situation somehow.

[via feckless, though were she finds this stuff i don't know.]

sorta. Life | I want you to want me - NP

The letters in response to this essay are interesting.

Most of them accuse her of being a drama queen, contrary, 'white', whiny and to 'get over it.' Well, sorta.

Maybe the Beyonces or the Halle Berrys among us don't want to admit to being needy and so Dickerson’s need for affirmation from white people is too … ugly.

Maybe there’s a generational difference; in a lot of ways I have the same reaction to Terry Macmillan and her books. That particular slice of older black woman waiting to exhale was too dependent on male approval for my taste.

On the other hand…

As a reasonably cute brown girl who doesn’t fly off the handle for just any reason (cough) I think she has a point. But her position is a tricky one – using the Wedding Crashers to argue for cultural acceptance as sex object while black women are also objecting to being just a booty in hip hop videos is a highwire act I’m glad I don’t have to sustain.

I think her larger point is that black femininity is either one of two types – the Halle Berry/Beyonce/Dorothy Dandridge type (ultra feminine object) or the workaday capable black woman who’s so capable we’re hardly women (Missy Elliot before she lost weight.) Her point is that, for whatever reason, black women don’t count as representable cultural objects.

Is she wrong? I mean, other than Oprah, where are black women visible in our culture (other than entertainment) and how are we visible?

amen, sister.

via bitch (you know where to find her) a fab rant on nursing, professional obligations to provide patient care and why religion needs to stay out the medical business:

The Drunken Lagomorph :: Medical duty vs. faith and religion :: August :: 2005

there are some days when i wish i could take the pill just so i could ask for it and, when i'm refused, lose my shit on somebody.

it's one of those days, you know?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


in-fucking-credible. that didn't take long at all.

i thought we had at least a few years until the right started going after birth control wholeheartedly, but this was faster than expected: banning the dispensing of birth control at a university hospital.

what. the. hell.
'birth control leads to promiscuity'?

these are adult women who can make up their own minds and don't need a legislature telling them they're not supposed to have sex - and if they do, tough shit.

so let's keep a running tally of the conservative wish list for women:

no rape counseling
no emergency contraception
no regular contraception
no access to abortion
no pregnancy counseling

what's more likely to happen: women stop having sex or women start getting pregnant and catching diseases? women stop having sex or women drop out of college because they're pregnant and can't deal? women stop having sex or...what?


Monday, August 01, 2005

happy birthday roomie. more trivia for you!

what's the effing point anymore, you know?

Bush Appoints Bolton as U.N. Envoy, Bypassing Senate - New York Times

why not just declare himself king and get it over with?