Tuesday, January 31, 2006

a sad day in munchkin land

craptastic. alito was confirmed.
what to look forward to: an out of control executive branch and a country that swerves a little bit closer to theocracy. ladies, say goodbye to your uterus.

come on, God, where's that fiery meteor i've been waiting for?!?

and sad. coretta scott king died last night.

well, january kind of blew

why i'm staying up late, i don't know. i have a full week ahead of me.
but i'm watching 'man from snowy river' and noticing how parts of it feel close to 'brokeback.' the yearning twangy guitar, the smooth cheeked cowboy alone with his horse, the livestock, the mountains and his little tent.

[god, i'm bored.
being all earnest and non profity is boring. i mean, not really. it's tremendously fulfilling and good, you know? good. but being good is dull.

being good requires patience. i think i have a thimble full left of that substance.
being good asks for a certain kind of dullard acquiescence. and that just makes me more bored. and you know what happens when i get bored?

i make bad decisions.
bad bad decisions.]

Friday, January 27, 2006

whither the Dems?

Kerry Gets Cool Response to Call to Filibuster Alito - New York Times

my favorite part of dumbassery:
"No one can complain on this matter that there hasn't been sufficient time to talk about Judge Alito, pro and con," Mr. Reid said on the Senate floor. "I hope that this matter will be resolved without too much more talking."

yeah, we certainly wouldn't want to muddy this whole confirmation with, uh, DEBATE.

i'm sick of them. just sick of them.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

partying with the planned parenthood folks

tonight i went over to the ritz for the planned parenthood annual award reception. two other women from the office joined me. we'd never been before - to a planned parenthood reception, that is.

that was approximately 6 hours ago.

what a blast! planned parenthood throws a kickass party. (a full 90 minutes of cocktailing!!) we heard from the governor, the woman who resigned from the FDA, and a community doctor who'd been serving planned parenthood for the past 30 odd years. it was fabulous being in a room full of activists, officials, agencies - everyone tossing back the cocktails, eating the prime rib, nibbling on chocolate, reading everyone's nametags desperately trying to figure out who you were. oh, yes, and catching up on what's been happening back in washington for the scalito confirmation. everyone had a story about being depressed and angry. (though rumor had it that kerry called for a filibuster, kennedy backed him and then frist called cloture.)

interesting fact: did you know that planned parenthood only has ONE abortion provider in the whole of metropolitan chicago? ONE. a doctor who's been doing this since roe was decided. i was stunned. we think that because we live in the city that we're protected. that access is easy and it's always going to be here.

it's not. there's ONE doctor in the whole city of chicago providing services for planned parenthood. who are the other service providers? the county hospital and one other service agency. how many providers do they have? one each. so that makes 3. 3 abortion providers in the whole city of chicago.

what the hell is going to happen when those doctors move away, or die or somehow stop providing services? some of the discussion tonight was about what would happen when abortion became a regional issue. my friends and i realized that chicago (and illinois) is surrounded by virulently anti-abortion states: wisconsin, missouri, michigan, indiana. if abortion turns into a regional burden, illinois will be swamped. i spoke with a woman who works in one of the medical offices and she said that today, they performed 65 procedures. 65. in one day. in one city. in one office.

we northern liberals like to distinguish ourselves from states like mississippi, states where there's one agency where women can go for abortions, but if a place like chicago of all places only has 3 doctors providing service, what's the difference? there's no difference between them and us.

a loss for them is a loss for us.

noooo! ira glass is leaving us

via Gapers Block, Chicago, IL - Merge: January 2006

like a brazen jezebel who just doesn't know how to leave well enough alone, new york has stolen away chicago's This American Life.
first you kill marshall fields, then you saddle us with trump's monstrosity on the river, and now you steal ira?

what's next, new york? what more can you do to us??

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

and so it begins...again

the mid term elections are around the corner and the jockeying, the strategizing, and the handicapping has begun. i've taken a year to recover from the whole election thing (which is why a hillary run makes me nauseous - it'll be hell) and i've been happy ignoring the fundraising pleas of the DNC.

but can i really stand another republican administration?
(and canada's no longer an option. thanks for that, canada.)

anyway, a piece that's been floating around today about what's really ailing the left: the media.

totally: no hillary for 2008

I Will Not Support Hillary Clinton for President

i can't do it.

i would love to vote for a woman but i can't vote for hillary. i admire her ambition, her drive and her brains but i can't do it. not for president. let's just hand the country to the republicans for the next 50 years, why don't we?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

a friend's book: reading at the newberry

A Stronger Kinship: One Town's Extraordinary Story of Hope and Faith

she's actually a friend of a friend but her project is stunning. last week, new orleans' mayor practically shat all over king's dream of racial cooperation. cox's book looks at a town in michigan that predated king and lived his dream. it's a great work of research.

on february 22, she'll be reading from and signing her new book at the Newberry. hope to see some of y'all there.

Monday, January 23, 2006

oh, gack: students get uppity

Hugo Schwyzer: Quick reflection on UCLAProfs

like sands through the hourglass, our university system gets dumber and dumberer. but instead of trying to figure out why college kids can't read by the time they graduate, a group loosely affiliated with my alma mater is truckin' out that old canard: universities are full of lib'ruls - and they're out to get your children!

michael berube has a fabulous post about it here.

i wish we'd had the ability, way back when, to brainwash students. it would have freed up a lot of time; instead of introducing the urchins to austen and bronte, i'd have lost my virginity a lot sooner.

teachers don't think about inculcating young minds with progressive dogma; we'd be happy if the little urchins actually knew how to write a non-plagiarized paper.
we don't have time to cook up ways to bring them over to the dark side; we're too busy getting drunk reading papers on why the japanese deserved to be interred, or why ayn rand was misunderstood or why feminists just need to get laid.
we don't have the flipping time to scheme of ways to get them to renounce capitalism or kiss michael moore's ass; we're too effing busy trying to explain what cultural literacy is.

i wish these people who think teaching college is like touching one's intimate parts for public gratification would actually try teaching a class one day.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blogging for Choice

My alter-ego, ChurchGal, Blogs for Choice here.

And it's the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Let's enjoy it while we can.

(And if you need reminding why reproductive choice is so very important, take your head out the sand and read up on what's been going on across the country for the past year or so. it's boggling.

Via Bush v. Choice)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

with the mayor of new orleans blathering on about chocolate on monday, i finally saw 'crash' friday night, dreading whatever racial lessons were going to be unleashed, and i was pleasantly surprised. sure, it totally stressed me out to see the lapd and l.a. but i was surprised how true the movie rang.

not about race. i don't think 'crash' is about race at all. it's too convenient to say it's a race movie. l.a. is too racially diverse to avoid racial tension but race is often a handy metaphor for what l.a. feels like beneath everything. but beyond racial conflict, the movie is really about the basic, crazy isolation of los angeles.

i was born in l.a. but i hate it. it makes me tense. i feel like i'm on some lonely planet whenever i visit. and what i noticed in the film is that every conversation, the basic bridge from one person to another, misfires with possible disaster as a consequence. beneath every conversation, you sense there's something a character really wants to say: about desire, fear, something. there's something he desperately wants to get out. (you see it most with terrance howard's character, especially in his scene with ryan phillipe. you see it in the last scene between nola gaye and brendan frasier and he's saying good night to his wife. there's always something under the surface and the opportunity to voice what it is never presents itself.) but they either don't know how to say it, or they've been so alone in their bubble, they've forgotten about other people.

not because of race, but because l.a. makes you that way.

the women didn't seem to have this much of a problem, though. the female detective, the persian daughter, the tv director's wife, the DA's wife - the women in this film try to pierce the little bubbles that surround them, to varying degrees of success.

when i talk to midwesterners who moved to l.a. for a little bit, then came back hating it, i nod. they felt like they were going insane. no one talked to one another. no one touched each other. there was nowhere to go. it felt like people spoke a secret language only a few others could understand. it was too isolating. and that's what l.a. is. it's a skinner box. you're in your car for hours at a time; then you're in your office park; then you're back in your car; then you're home.

l.a. doesn't have public space; it doesn't have sidewalks full of people. the streets are too large to cross in one traffic light. none of the public transportation goes quite as far as it needs to go. but it has commerce. it's not unnoticed that the most popular places in the city are places like The Promenade or Universal City Walk or The Grove, the old Farmers Market on Fairfax that's been turned into a huge outdoor mall where they manufacture snow for the holidays. it tries to capture the way a neighborhood is supposed to feel but instead it just feels like an amusement park.

think of it - in l.a. people drive miles to find a place to walk around and brush shoulders with other people. how sad is that??

when you live in a city that's just a nasty ball of artifice, distance and commercial calculation how can you not feel crazy and disconnected?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

yay!: Carnival of the Feminists 7

i love the carnival.

if you haven't read a carnival, you really should. it's a compendium of some really great, smart writing by blogging women. (emphasis on smart - if you like your women the way you like your president, then this ain't for you. on the other hand, who knows? you may learn something.)

hosted by Feministe.
that loud popping noise you may have heard today, around 5.30 pm?
yeah. that was my head.

Monday, January 16, 2006

wookin' pa nub

were you at wit's end on MLK day? so were these people.

[thanks gapers block]

work is heating up this week so, unless we invade iran, posting is going to be even more random and light than it has been since new year.

just so you know.

i have a dream: a day off

working for a non profit rocks.
why? i get martin luther king day off.

so right now roomie and i are wondering what to do:
hit a bar in the middle of the afternoon?
drive up to evanston for a movie, lunch and comic books?
find a roller skating rink?

roomie's wearing her hunting hat. we gotta go.

Friday, January 13, 2006

the One

it's late (i just spent 90 minutes straightening my hair) but in honor of the passing of B- (and to deflect any self-pitying tangents) i'd like to know who is the one who still makes you dizzy when you think about them? (the one who got away, the one you picked, the one you just glanced at on the el - who?)

mine was S-, an unemployed web developer in brooklyn. he was my first Nerver. tan skin, hair that stuck straight up, black rimmed glasses and a rower's butt. quirky, funny, neurotic as hell. he told me a story about blinding a mouse with hairspray and i was a goner. i flew out to brooklyn, we frolicked, he asked if black people ate asparagus...gosh, i liked him alot. he made me nuts.

no...maybe it's K-, my massive crush from grad school who'd wear a kilt to teach...or maybe it was M-... well, let's just stop there.

who's yours?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

resolution: make an effort not to whine

work is going to be my lover for a while.
not that it's a bad thing! work is comforting; work makes me feel good; work makes me feel valuable and i do good work. so work is good. yeah...good.

it's good that i have a deadline for a piece to write coming up next week; it's good that the month of january and february will absolutely blow at the office. it's good that my position will probably be expanding (newest development!!). really, it's all good.

it's just that...sunday, i went to get a bra fitting and i think that's going to be the last time, for a very long time, that anyone is going to cup my boob.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

alito in the house

now that the alito process is underway, i've been thinking about the worst case scenario: access to abortion being whittled down to nothing, forcing women who don't want to give birth to do so.

so i've been thinking that it's probably time for me to get an IUD. there are no hormones involved (which is a good thing for me since anything containing hormones will kill me) and it's long-term. my ex-roomie has one and she loves it, though it took her two years to find a doctor in illinois who didn't want to administer a psych exam before giving her one.

(can you believe that?? talk about bullshit patriarchy.)

worrying about how to keep my body baby-free is why choice is so important to me. if someone gets on the court who will severely limit access to abortion (or allow states to gut reproductive legislation significantly) my ability to make the best decision to not conceive or not give birth becomes harder and harder, accessible methods becoming more and more extreme.

a coworker of mine once told me i was paranoid, that nothing would ever happen to reproductive rights - at least roe wouldn't be overturned.

but we don't need roe to be overturned to worry; check out what's happening legislatively in south dakota, indiana, virginia.

[via feministing]

Monday, January 09, 2006

have i told you that my resolution this year is to Make An Effort?
well, to that end, i think i've dropped the hammer on B-.

he emailed me today.
shorter B-: i'm angry you blew me off; but i'm up for it again if you are.
shorter ding: i didn't blow you off; i had my period plus you live in wisconsin and i'm feeling resentful you expect me to do all the traveling and never once think about reciprocating.

his response? 'oh, well.' what the hell?? 'oh, well'?!?
so. i decided it was time i was honest with B-. it's a new year. i have to make an effort. i made a short list of my feelings: i feel resentful, i feel emotionally unsatisfied, i feel taken for granted, i feel tawdry. i feel it's his turn to give the CTA a whirl. i feel if we're going to continue to see each other, everything has to change.

he's likely to go on some kind of existential rant or ignore it altogether or call me a cruel, calculating bitch (which he's done before), but i don't care. i made the effort to communicate my feelings. via email.

Friday, January 06, 2006

among the news lou rawls kicking off this mortal coil, sharon's brain bleed and jon stewart hosting the oscars this is the stupidest thing i've come across today:

"In order to convince people we care about them, we've got to understand their culture and show them we care about their culture," Mr. Bush said. "You know, when somebody comes to me and speaks Texan, I know they appreciate the Texas culture. When somebody takes time to figure out how to speak Arabic, it means they're interested in somebody else's culture."

someone please wake me up when this presidency is over.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

bitch to david brooks: you missed the point

reliably, Bitch Ph.D. takes apart David Brooks and points us to other pieces covering the same article he wrote to kick off the new year.

my favorite part is her succinct parsing of his blind spot (emphasis mine):

Like a dummy, he goes on to say that "Hirshman has it exactly backward . . . . Power is in the kitchen. The big problem is not the women who stay there but the men who leave." Infuriating, because THAT IS PRECISELY HIRSHMAN'S POINT: that the problem is that men don't do enough of the unpaid, unrecognized, low-status work of domesticity. And that because they don't do it, women are forced into "choosing" between home life and professional life rather than getting to have both.

(and here's a letter to the times that says quite the same thing)

not a crush, but getting there

i really hate putting my clothes back in the closet.
it is such a punishment for them. like me, they love hanging out all over the bed.

but since i must Make an Effort this year, i have to put them away. but not yet. right now, i'm checking out this guy's blog (found via my roomie Feckless) and i think he might give the naked guy in the red flannel robe a run for his money.

he's clever with the words, people!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

i am in the throes of an inappropriate blog-crush on a guy who takes pictures of himself in a red flannel robe and white socks. yes, i know it's ridiculous. but come on. if i can't have mathieu, then this is what's left.

shyly, i make my way over to his blog, lurk for a little bit - and i mean little. i can only take it for five minutes. i don't crawl through the archives, i don't leap from link to link. i read his latest post and when he says 'read more', i do. and then, when the naughty photo pops up, i giggle like a teenager. i even get a little light-headed.
then i get the hell out of dodge.

jeebus, i need to go out on a date.

naughty, naughty: black fiction too sexy?

Their Eyes Were Reading Smut - New York Times

last year, i dropped in on a black romance writer's blog and checked out the conversation there. in a thread about chick lit vs. literary fiction, someone said that those who complain about chick lit and how bad it is are just boring, over-educated so-and-so's, by extension arguing that literary fiction is boring and over-educated.

maybe. honestly, my tastes in african american literature are very particular. the more literary, the better. but nick chiles seems a bit overwrought in his reaction. why the shame, nick? don't we have permission to be trashy, too?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

we broke it; they fix it


i guess not rebuilding iraq is what our president means when he uses the word 'resolve.' if so, we should be wary when he vows to show the same 'resolve' toward other things: fixing social security, protecting civil rights, strengthening our borders.

if this is resolve, show me a little timidity.

Monday, January 02, 2006

perfect start to the year

Tennessee Guerilla Women: David Brooks: The Year of Domesticity

wow. since the times went all premium i've thankfully been spared the weekly aneurism i suffer whenever i read him. but thanks to the folks at Tennessee Guerilla Women, here's Bobo at his most patriarchal:
Her third mistake is to not even grapple with the fact that men and women are wired differently. The Larry Summers flap produced an outpouring of work on the neurological differences between men and women. I'd especially recommend ''The Inequality Taboo'' by Charles Murray in Commentary and a debate between Steven Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke in the online magazine Edge.

One of the findings of this research is that men are more interested in things and abstract rules while women are more interested in people. (You can come up with your own Darwinian explanation as to why.)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

my favorite posts

hugo started a short list of his favorite posts in 2005.
it seems almost pointless for me to do it since i have about 5 regular readers (except when i post about hemhorroids and having bad sex with B-), but here it is.

my faves:
why david brooks is a tool (jan 18)
i choose sex (feb 10)
odd messengers (april 22)
for the librarian (may 7)
the racial summer posts (jul 30, jul 1, jun 23 & jun 4)
ouch. my ass (aug 9)
the MoDo posts (oct 30 & nov 2)

why these? i don't know - some were more written, others more amusing, but i just like these the best.

anyway, happy 2006! may it be slightly more satisfying than 2005.