Wednesday, April 29, 2009

frontloading disaster

so it's been a full week - full of burglary, paranoia and work.

3 days into moving, i'm the victim of a forcible entry.
3 days into moving, i get locked out of my house because the mgmt company gave me the wrong keys to my back door.
5 days into moving, my toilet flushy thingy snaps in two.
5 days into moving, my refrigerator decides to just quit and all my food melts.

all that needs to happen next is for my oven to explode, the ceiling to cave or to come home and find that the thief came back to clean me out. or something else more horrible that will require years of therapy to contend with.

i just hope that disaster is frontloaded and i can continue on my blithe way without further disturbance.

if not, i just might have to think that the universe hates me.

in other news, dealing with LTF (in any capacity) has dropped down to at least #8 on my list of things to do, preceded by fixing everything in my apartment, safeguarding my person, getting internet service established and making copies of my keys to give to all my friends so, if i get locked out again, i won't be homeless.

thinking of boys while having to deal with important crap is just too much for a woman like me to handle.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

home sweet home

there's just one box left to unpack and then i'm done, kids!

(you could have seen my new digs here but frakking Facebook blew my cover!)

but where am i now?
doing laundry at Roomie - uh, XRoomie's place while finishing up a proposal while i steal her interwebs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Shakesville: Quote of the Day

yeah. 'cause it's so hard to believe a white, clean-cut, preppy, educated guy in dockers could be a murderous, woman-hating douchebag who thinks that female sex workers are disposable targets.

Friday, April 17, 2009

...many a slip twixt cup and lip

i wonder how a 'real' feminist would handle this LTF thing...

i mean, i go on and on, writing about feminism this and feminism that. but, reading the current shitstorm over on Bitch PhD (and recalling other similar shitstorms WRT race or class privilege), i wonder at the many gaps that naturally occur when we write from one position but live from another. i wonder at my gaps and inconsistencies.

(for instance, i write about social justice and economic empowerment issues but am barely abashed at the fact i have a cleaning lady whose life and material circumstance is, most likely, a LOT different from mine - and this fact does not keep me up all night at all.)

here it is that i've been writing about patriarchy and feminism and empowerment while fantasizing about taking hammers to testicles and ... well, here i am. and there LTF is, with his weirdness and my reticence.

how would a 'real' feminist, say Audre Lord, handle this?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

what's smaller than an Easter basket? chicago. (pt 2)

An update on the Easter basket story:

So I leave work to head out to LTF's place. I pick up a bottle of wine on the way (GustavoThrace, a very good California red) and get on the CrazyTrain, i.e., the red line.

I wait a while, I ring his place, he's not home, I wait longer and he walks up. He has a big ol' bandaid on his head. Like an anvil fell on him.

He looks all flustered and I think, Great.

Ding: What happened to your head?
LTF: I fell, jogging.
Ding: Like, your head hit pavement?
LTF: Dirt. Gravel. I was going really fast.
Ding: Mustabeen.

Inside, he checks his phone.
LTF: Is this you? Did you leave a message?
LTF: Then who the fuck buzzed me? Who was it? Fuck, I hate it when people buzz me and don't leave messages!
Ding: Um...
LTF: It drives me crazy! It makes me want to call the police!
Ding: Dude. It was me, I wasn't sure if you were here so I buzzed then you walked up. I had no idea when I got here.
LTF: Oh. That's fine then. Sorry. Sometimes it just freaks me out when people buzz me and I'm not expecting them.
Ding: No worries...

It's clear he's had a long, hard day and needs time to decompress. So he vents about work, we drink some wine, we share work disaster stories, look at a weird 80s movie on YouTube.

LTF: So you met T- at an Easter dinner?
Ding: (processing his earlier freak out) Yep.
LTF: So what happened?
Ding: (giving heavily edited version) His girlfriend mentioned she went to X, one of my friends asked if he knew you -
LTF: How do they know about me?
Ding: Are you kidding me? I've been seeing you for 8 years and you don't expect me to tell anyone about you?
LTF: Why would they want to know?
Ding: Because I actually don't talk about you! It's natural to be curious. Anyway, then he said you were a good guy. Intense but a good guy.
LTF: That it?
Ding: (lying again with impunity) Yep.

Is discretion the better part of valor? Yes.
Did I avoid an uncomfortable confrontation? You betcha.
Does this make me a waffling, dishonest, coward? Possibly.
Am I ok with that? Absolutely.

pointless conversation of the day (so far)

here is a chat i had with a AT&T rep online:

Danielle: I will be happy to answer your questions regarding AT&T services. I specialize in setting up new phone accounts and High Speed Internet service.
Ding: i'm moving and would like to add internet to my current wireless acct; not sure yet about tv.
Danielle: Do you currently have local service with AT&T?
Ding: no. i have a mobile phone and that's it. i don't really want a landline - unless i need one?
Danielle: Have you checked the availability for AT&T DSL service at your new location?
Ding: yes. it's available.
Danielle: You can order internet service without phone line if you have a phone jack.
Ding: there are phone jacks. how fast would internet service be? i work from home and would need service that's fast to load.
Danielle: Would you like me to send you link to proceed with order?
Ding: no. i need some questions answered first.

(up to this point, i was convinced i was 'chatting' with a robot. then i became difficult.)

Danielle: Which internet plans do you see available in your area?
Ding: all seem to be available but which one is best, with the most reliable service?
Ding: and that's affordable?
Danielle: The AT&T High Speed Internet 'Pro Package' (No voice line) offers maximum connection speeds up to 3.0Mbps/512Kbps (50 times faster than a normal dial-up) for $40.00 per month.
Ding: is that the whole price or without add'l taxes/fees thrown in?
Danielle: It would be before taxes.
Ding: what's the price with IL taxes/fees?
Danielle: Since taxes vary from state to state, I do not have that information. However, taxes would be 7%-12% of your total bill.
Ding: what else is included in the package? is there a start up charge? what about equipment?
Danielle: We offer a Siemens 4100B Modem ($49.99).
Ding: so what would be my complete start up charge?
Danielle: You just need to pay one time fee for Modem and shipping.
Danielle: Shipping charges will be $12.95
Ding: and if i needed to go wireless? i buy a router on my own or what?
Danielle: We offer 2Wire Wireless Gateway ($79.99).
Ding: do i need to use your router/modem? or can i go with one of my own?
Danielle: You would need AT&T equipments.
Ding: why is that?
(long pause here)

Danielle: Other equipments are not compatible with AT&T DSL service.
Ding: so i'm looking at a possible start up cost of at least $106.95, including a 12% boost to the basic $40, 12.95 for shipping of a $49 modem. right?
Danielle: Yes, that is correct.
Ding: after that, monthly bills would be approximately $45-50?
Danielle: Yes, that is correct.
Ding: if i add this to my already existing wireless acct, is there any kind of discount available for the start up?
Danielle: At this time there is no such discount available.
Ding: then what's the benefit of going with at&t?
(another long pause)

Danielle: You can get the same plan for $10 less if you have AT&T land line service.
Ding: ah. and having a land line would cost me what? (even though i don't need it)
Danielle: You can order land line service for $10 a month.
Ding: so you're saying it's cheaper for me to buy something i don't need.
Danielle: I am not forcing you to do that.
Ding: but you're saying that.
Danielle: I am saying only what AT&T says.
Ding: so, as a current AT&T customer, i don't get a discount for adding a needed product unless i order an uneccessary product - that's what AT&T is saying.
Danielle: Yes, that is correct.
Ding: niiice. that's a great customer service orientation AT&T has.
Danielle: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Ding: no, that should be it. thanks.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

i don't know what kind of mood i'm in but this brought tears to my eyes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

what's smaller than an Easter basket? chicago.

How small is Chicago? Too small.

The K- easter dinner had just concluded and we were sitting in her mother's parlor digesting, enjoying a few after dinner cigs (not me!) and sipping wine. One of the other dinner guests, a tall gentleman with dreds, joined us. His girlfriend had just mentioned that she was attending X College.

I exchanged semi-alarmed glances with my friends. LTF taught at X College.

Roomie got that look in her eye. It was a look that said, 'Whatever is about to happen is going to make Ding freak out.'

G- smiled and said, 'And you? Do you go to X College?'
I quickly interject, 'Uh, no. Remember he said he goes to XY University?'
He corrected, 'But I transferred from X College.'

Roomie said, 'Oh, so maybe you know Professor LTF?'
He nodded. 'Oh, yeah! LTF. I took one of his classes. He's a cool guy.'

And he looked at all of us, waiting for one of us to tell him why we're asking about one of his past instructors.

AK, after taking a slow drag on her cigarette, said, 'He's a friend of a friend.'
I was silent.

Please, Newly Risen Lord, let this conversation end now.

He chuckled. 'You know, he's an interesting guy. He sent an invitation out after he got tenure - ' (Quickly, I calculated that LTF and I were not seeing each other at that time.) ' - and I went to his party and there was kind of a weird vibe.' He chuckled again.

Roomie slid me a glance. I kept drinking my wine.
'Really?' she said. 'What kind of vibe was it?'

Dear Risen Jesus! You are not listening to me! Please give this very nice dude a stroke.

He continued. 'Well, there were no women there. Well, there was one. She's in some other department. Built like a brick shithouse - a very voluptuous brick shithouse on high high boots - she was all over him, actually - but the party just had this weird guy vibe and I was wondering why I was there and what was going to happen. It was sort of ... adventurous.'

Good lord. I knew that vibe. I'd successfully extricated myself from that vibe several times. When LTF gets in a Burroughs-Bukowski mood, sometimes you gotta take your chances and get the hell out. And that woman? I recognized that outfit. I've *worn* that outfit.

He went on. 'But LTF is a good guy. If he doesn't like you, he won't bother with you but he's a good guy. He's given me some excellent advice about grad school. But there is something...One night I was in a gay bar with some friends because a band was going to be there. The band flaked but we stayed, having some beers and then LTF walked in!'

Really, Risen Lord. One stroke. Muteness. Plague of boils. Anything.

'We leave but he stays. A week later, I run into him on the bus and he says really loud, Hey, I saw you the other night in the gay bar! And I'm like, Dude!' He chuckled. 'He's just a little socially awkward, I think.'

My friends took in all of this in silence. The Gentleman in Dreds looked at them looking at me.

'Ahem,' I said. 'I, ah, know LTF socially. Uh, yes. Socially in a social way.'

Roomie snorts and G- smiles behind her glass of wine.
Thankfully, dessert was announced and the topic changed to the Muffin Lady (who is apparently out from her earlier charge of possession with intent to distribute.)

On the way home LTF texted me, asking if I was coming over later. It was late so I texted No.

Ding: But weird coincidence - I met an old student of yours tonight.
LTF: who?
Ding: His name was T-. He had his girlfriend with him. Weird, huh?

No response yet from LTF.

Yes, indeedy. This town is way too small.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

this week is going to kill me. i've had things scheduled after work (which is turning into an endurance marathon of repressed panic) every night this week: com'tee meeting, hospital visit, board meeting, meet/greet.

it's great in a 'wow, i have a very full and satisfactory life' but it's also - ugh.

why am i meeting Scientist Larry for a drink tomorrow? have no idea.

Friday, April 03, 2009

everything i love goes away...

Domino Magazine To Fold - noooooooooooooo!

here comes another childhood anecdote:
when i was a kid, my mom would bring magazines home for me from her office, mostly Teen, Seventeen and Good Housekeeping. i was in heaven. i'd paw through them, reading about love vs. limerance (what 6th grader even knew the word 'limerance'?), parker stevenson's ideal woman (dammit, me!), and how to tell if a marriage was going to survive (most were doomed.)

i'd cut out pictures of all the cute guys and tape them to my wall until my half of the bedroom resembled the shrine of someone truly psychotic.

my faves:
Sassy - god this magazine was great. this one mag probably made me the commitment-phobic bitch i am today. it was feminist, smart, sassy (heh), knowing and sarcastic as hell. it was like having an older sister, who's been there and done that, tell you everything you needed to know about the strength of being you - and telling everyone else to frak off.

Real Simple - why i'm obsessed with this magazine i'll never know. maybe it's the heir to Good Housekeeping. it assumes the reader is really involved with her home and there is some part of me that really wants to be that person. the kind of person who knows all the uses of white vinegar. (you can cook AND clean with it!) i once made a Real Simple recipe for Roomie and almost killed her with it.

do i know the feminist implications of a magazine like Real Simple? of course. but i still love it and you can't stop me.

Fast Company - i've loved this magazine since its inception back in the early 00s. it's smart, hip and the way it talks about business is rather progressive - it's like the guy in the meeting who always has great ideas, but his ideas would probably bankrupt the office or mean the CEO would have to quit. i read it all the time.

and it's cheaper than the HBR.

GQ - for a while i was a dedicated reader of this men's mag. the photos were lovely and their contributors wrote like stately, bachelored uncles. it fascinated me. private rooms, bespoke clothes, manners, style. but now it reads like an older Details and the old whiff of gentlemanly rogueishness is gone.

W - this is a magazine i love to hate. i hate it. can't stand it. it disgusts me and every time i read it i want to burn it. clearly, it triggers my class resentment.

wallpaper* - before dwell, there was wallpaper and it was good. forward-thinking, gorgeous layout, great paper, fascinating profiles (everything i know of modern architecture and design i remember from wallpaper*.)

Domino - RIP. martha stewart tried something similar (remember the blah of Blueprint?) but this was a fantastic magazine. yes, like Lucky (another fave), it encouraged shopping (or sourcing.) but it had great ideas, was easily translatable into different income brackets and was really great at featuring accessible design. not just economically accessible, but aesthetically accessible. out of all the design mags it came closest to helping me define my taste - clean, modern, california with a huge pop of EXOTIC FLUFFY. (ahem, EXOTIC FLUFFY is *my* term.)

i even bought a subscription for myself and one for my sister (who is way too in love with the color beige.)

it had its annoying bits: the Green issue; god i hated that issue. apparently, green is only for the rich. (and Green clothing? you know what? Green clothing designers can kiss my big soft girl arse.) it was also one of the whitest magazines ever. only in the last year or so were designers, contributors and staffers of color even featured.

and now it's gone! everything i like goes away. (sniff)